Last night’s supper turned out to be very difficult. I wasn’t expecting my old friend HF to be there and within a few minutes of our meeting, I knew there was something very wrong.
About seven years ago I entered into a complicated arrangement with him around co-ownership of the houe I live in. As a single woman I could not get a good enough bank loan and my job in media was insecure. As a ‘high-functioning’ alcoholic I was not good at taking care of my finances. I didn’t protect myself. His wife was a close friend of mine and I trusted her to help me ensure the arrangement worked. She died suddenly, and I found myself in a vulnerable position. When I went over to the UK earlier this year, HF decied to sell the house. He did not tell me what he was doing.
So far he has not found a buyer. I suspect he may have a plan to subdivide the large property and build another house on it, destroying my garden. And he is obdurate and sheepish at the same time. He knows that even if I could afford a lawyer, there is nothing on paper, no record of what I paid or of the arrangement. His face last night was closed and hostile.
Sober, I can deal with what has to be done. I have always dreaded homelessness because for so long I lived in rented places with tremendous insecurity, moving every other year. I was a student and a political activist in exile, unable to get regular employment. The alcoholism played a role in my drifting, but when I look back I would do the same again, albeit more self-protectively.
As I lay awake in the early hours of the morning I realised that the most painful aspect of this is the loss of trust and the old friendship. HF is elderly and his scheming and plotting will do him no good in the end. But that is his choice. It will be very hard for me to leave the cottage I love so much and find another place to stay. But Una will be with me and we shall find somewhere safe for the puppies, even if there is no garden.
I don’t like the suggested approach from the BB to look at others as being ‘sick’. Active alcoholics are seriously ill and deluded but others may sometimes be simply selfish or stubborn or greedy. I don’t feel inclined to make excuses for HF. He is what he is. And what is done is done. Sober, I am still flawed and less than competent at looking after myself in practical ways. It is a learning curve.
There is no panic and no blaming and that is a start. Feeling heartsore and dreading the inevitable is how I feel. I try to trust the bigger picture and just put one foot in front of another. That is the best I can do for now.