Sometimes there’s no poison like a dream.

16 Aug

I stare at my backyard, the hole where the pool was, cluttered with toys, old plastic things half buried. I wonder how much fill will cost, how much it will cost to take down the old fence to get the fill in, put up a new fence. I see my garden, in the future, the garden I most likely will never have.

I turn into my house, see the peeling paint, the flooring coming up at the seams, the holes in the walls, the doors that don’t close.

It’s as if a dream slowly became a nightmare. Difference being, this was my dream, and I’ve never been able to keep it alive. Now, I barely skim the surface, and vainly hope I’ll make back what we spent 6 years ago.

My dream was a home with a porch, many windows, warm corners to read in through winter. Fresh squash and flowers. Sunlight.

I’m feeling it slip through my fingers, and frankly, all I find myself wanting to do is curl up and cry.

Another failure. Another something I can’t fix.


I’ve quite nearly given up. A friend was here and her husband, bless him, did all the man tasks he could in a few days, and was angered by the sheer negligence involved. That a husband would do nothing, just let the house fall down around, fall to pieces. I felt helpless and humiliated in the face of this, knowing I’ve been trying but not trying hard enough, not focused on my home, not focused on the things I need to get done.

But it’s so big. And I’m so alone with this, and while I can make my lists and start little projects, I feel like I’m pissing into the wind trying to stay dry. I couldn’t sell the place right now and make back what we need, but I can’t afford to do all the things that I need, not correctly. How I dream of just walking away from it all, leaving it behind, this dream, the quiet home I wanted, the one I still want but just cannot carry on my back alone.

I’m just not strong enough to do this by myself, not with kids and a job and my own needs and desires. I’m not strong enough to feel so fucking poor and unable.

I’m not strong enough to be the woman I know I need to be with this. Not right now.


Everything else in my life is heady and wonderful and scary, like a rollercoaster in all the best ways. I have a lover who makes me smile to my toes while my brain works overtime to keep up. I have two incredible kids who stop what they’re doing to tackle me with hugs, just when I’m at my wits end. I have family and friends who are always there when I need them.

But this one thing, this albatross on my neck, this house…it drains me. There are moments when I think “I can do this on my own!” and for a second, I really believe it.

But then I remember the toilet leaks and the pipe needs to be cut and replaced which means tearing up the bathroom floor to get at the pipe and I don’t have the money to gut the room like I want to and I worry that the floor will just fall through some day and I realize, I just can’t.

Sometimes, the hardest part of a dream is realizing you just aren’t ready for it yet.


15 Responses to “Sometimes there’s no poison like a dream.”

  1. Deer Baby August 16, 2010 at 6:34 pm #

    I so feel for you. I hope you’re getting good legal advice because surely you shouldn’t have to shoulder this alone.

  2. Bad Mummy August 16, 2010 at 6:58 pm #

    The ex and I had owned a house for just over a year before I decided to leave him. Damn, how I hated going back to renting after owning, esp since we’d moved into the house when THe Mook was 2 weeks old.

    I thought about holding onto the house, seeing if I could carry it alone, but it was just too much. Too much expense. Too much work to be done. Too much chance something would go wrong when I had no money in the bank.

    I still dream about owning a home, but something small – meant for just The Mook and I. Manageable. New-ish. Simple.

    Can you approach your bank about a loan to use on the house?

  3. that girl August 16, 2010 at 7:20 pm #

    ‘you are not strong enough right now’ is correct. you will be though. we can’t be strong all of the time and that’s okay.

    i do know where you’re coming from though. we own a 130 year old home and i often feel like curling up into that ball for a month or so. it’s hard to keep a house up with two people, let alone one.

    give yourself a break – don’t be so hard on yourself. as long as you are fed and so are the kids – you’re doing what you have to do and doing a great job of it too!


  4. Hannah August 16, 2010 at 7:39 pm #

    I know how much this sucks, even when you have help. When you don’t, I can just imagine how it drains you.

    If it helps, it broke our hearts to sell our first house. We had put so much blood, sweat and tears into getting it right. We did so much. There was so much more to be done. It was our little piece of heaven, our cottage in the city. Our chunk of waterfront – salt water! – and our little woods and our privacy.

    Our front lawn was eroding because the seawall needed to be replaced. We were mortgaged to the hilt, barely making ends meet, credit line maxed out, no wiggle room. We had a fellow come in to give us an estimate on the work. It came in at a minimum $20,000 – might as well have been $20 million.

    In the end, we sold it. Cried. Were so upset. Bought this house, despite the questionable neighbourhood. Are once again putting in blood, sweat, and tears. And the point is – it feels like home. Just as much as the old place did. We love it for different reasons. Home is where your family is. I know it sucks. I know you love that house. And I know – because I’ve seen it – just how much work it needs. You may need to sell it. You will be sad. It will hurt. And it may be a while before you can get into another home, one that you can manage. But you will, if it’s important to you.

    This is my long convoluted way of saying I know how much it sucks, to be seriously contemplating selling your home – but that if you, you will find that the peace you get for not having that worry hanging over your head far outweighs the sadness at having to leave.

    (And also, yay for friends who help on weekends! That’s awesome).

  5. bon August 16, 2010 at 7:47 pm #

    ouch. this does not sound like an easy place, like there are good options. i am sorry.

    i grew up in apartments and have no literacies of house ownership, no clue even how to tell when pipes need to be cut. no patience or desire.

    i think if i were alone the house would be tidier, but would fall down around my ears too.

  6. Jennifer August 16, 2010 at 9:44 pm #

    Awwww, don’t feel that way. Seriously, he was angry at him not at you, he knows how hard it is, there is no reason for you to feel ashamed. He knows how hard you’re trying to balance everything. He did what he could.

    Glen ranted that it’s more important for you to spend those precious daytime hours with the girls vs fighting the lawn.

    We’ll be back in November! LOL! Don’t kidnap him!

    • thordora August 16, 2010 at 11:49 pm #

      Oh i know-it wasn’t him so much as my own shame at not being able to keep up with it all. Just made me think about it is all. 😀

  7. flutter August 17, 2010 at 12:38 am #

    the best thing about dreams is that they are often recurring.

  8. Sue August 17, 2010 at 9:34 am #

    Ah jeez, this is heartbreaking, Thor. I feel for you.

  9. Kat1766 August 17, 2010 at 9:55 am #

    My sister and her husband had a dream of running a bread and breakfast in his hometown in Austria. They bought the house – historical and needing mountains of work. It was doable only w/ his salary and the interest free loan because of his citizenship. Then he died. 6 weeks from dx to his funeral. With it her dream. So she had to stay there and figure the best of horrible options. Finally it was clear. The only option in reality that made any sense was to walk away and take the loss. It damaged her credit and it delayed future dreams. It’s been 7 yrs now. She will finish her PhD this winter – a new solo dream. This spring my husband and I worked to make her new garden dream a reality. A reality in the home she bought as a family of 3 in a neighborhood where she has supportive friends. I’m certainshe still grieves for the lost dreams of her life before. Theywouldnt have been real dreams if she could have sloughed them off easily. I’m also certain she’s happy.

    From a practical consideration:
    1. Have you talked to someone knowledgable in real estate to find out what minimum would be required to sell?
    2. If you cannot afford even that, can you walk away fromthe house and mortgage like so many in US are doing.
    3. Be very careful what you put into it if he has his name on title/deed. You don’t really want to beggar yourself and have him reap rewards.

  10. trinity67 August 17, 2010 at 11:43 am #

    I have no concrete advice to give you but I can send you a hug.

  11. niobe August 17, 2010 at 11:51 am #

    the same thing is happening to my stepbrother right now. and it’s so incredibly painful.

    my feeble attempt at optimism — it hurts most just before you let go.

  12. Marcy August 17, 2010 at 4:06 pm #

    Ugh. That is overwhelming. I often feel overwhelmed by all the things I think I should (and want) to do with our house and yard and garden.

    I wonder if you could organize some work swaps — get some people together to work on your place, you contribute to work at their places… one person of the group could supervise kids…

  13. thordora August 23, 2010 at 6:09 pm #

    Thanks all. The support helps. 🙂


  1. Tweets that mention Sometimes there’s no poison like a dream. « Spin Me I Pulsate -- - August 16, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Bipolar Blogs, Thordora. Thordora said: it's time to let the house in my dreams go. […]

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