I also find that time in the car, en route to somewhere, is a good time to talk things over. We spoke about the current situation at home, which, I have to say, she seems to be coping with admirably. We discussed moving house (I now know that we cannot stay in our house as it needs to be sold for the divorce settlement) and we looked at some prospective areas of Bristol, weighing up their various advantages and disadvantages.
When we arrived home this evening, just the two of us, she said that she was really looking forward to moving house! She said that she had told her friends as much (I am thankful that she has friends to share her troubles with) and she said that they were surprised. We both acknowledged that living as we do was not conducive to a happy life. I explained that we could only move if Daddy put the house on the market, and that I'd asked him to do it soon.
As an aside, I have explored renting and the cost would be far more than I earn a month, so I would have to pay for the rent with savings, however I can't touch them, because they are part of the settlement. What a vicious circle? At the same time, I can't get housing benefit, because the savings are in my name for tax purposes. At the moment, I have discovered, we are stuck.
Anyway, we wait on Husband to put the house on the market. If he does not, we are very, very stuck, and I don't know what I will do.
However, I didn't say all of this to Tall Girl, I tried to be positive.
''You get on so much better with Daddy now don't you?'' I said '' You do so much more together that you did before'' He was never really involved in family life at weekends unless we all four went out on a day trip together.
''Yes'' She said with a smile ''I used to be scared of him''
Scared of him? She said it in a matter of fact way. It took me by surprise, I always felt that I was the peace keeper, he was often sharp, but I had no idea she had felt like this. The more I contemplate it the more I am shocked. It sounds so Victorian, to be frightened of your father.
They do seem to get on well now. She is his confidante, at last he can see and appreciate her worth.
But the more I think about it the more it worries me. A leopard never changes his spots. How long will it be before he reverts to type? How long will it take before he gets fed up with her?
In the future I will not be there with them both to calm the waters. I hope, as she matures, she can stand up for herself, though I fear she may not as I am not good at it with him. I hope she will not just see him out of duty. I hope she tells me if things aren't right.