Selling the family home post break-up

When selling the family home is a metaphor for accepting family breakdown: A ‘second person’ account


HEARTBREAKING is one way to describe selling your dream home – the former hub of your not-always broken family – in the middle of a global financial crisis. Strangely thankful is how you feel when someone falls in love with your dream home and offers to buy it for not much less than your brutally realistic estimate.Panicked describes the realisation you and your children will be homeless in two months unless you buy another house.Conflicted and irretrievably sad describes your state of mind and as you realise how ironic it is that selling the family home represents the deconstruction of your family identity.Scared is how you feel when your severely limited price range means you’ll probably have to share a bathroom with your hair-straightening, make-up wearing teenage daughter in a house the size of a railway signal cabin a stone’s throw from said deafening transport route.

Anger is the raw response when you ask to increase your share of proceeds from the sale of the family home you single-handedly readied for market and worked hard to help pay off, from 50 to 55 per cent. Incredulous is your lawyer’s reaction to your refusal to lobby for at least another 10 per cent on top of that.

Certain is your resolve to never deserve the label of money-hungry ex-wife. Pride is the defining quality guiding the sense of fairness you can’t deny and others don’t really understand, but accept with good grace and a shake of the head.

Frustration stings your eyes when your moderate request is greeted with hostility, giving birth to a determination you always suspected was there and would now have to deploy for the sake of your daughters’ future. Unbelievable and small-minded are the attempts to stymie your every move forward, despite the obvious benefits to your “homeless” offspring.

The Divine Protection of the Universe is the powerful karmic force that guides you to a prospective new home. Excitement wells as a signature seals an agreement to purchase, later accepted by the vendor, finally giving you sole homeowner status at the age of 40 – something a woman rarely achieved until 30-odd years ago.

Grateful doesn’t nearly describe the relief at unswerving family support ensuring you didn’t lose the modest house you’d chosen for your forced fresh start, in the face of hostile threats and legal jockeying.

Fear and loathing, followed swiftly by paralysing anxiety, is your reaction to threatening phone calls and letters, but stubborn is your resolve to remain positive and focussed.

Humbled were we all to survive an unprecedented 12 months. Bravely, you embrace your new family identity, robust with the love, determination and strength to form the foundation for a bright future brimming with rewarding times and positive experiences.
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