It’s only been a few days since my last post, but between then and now quite a lot has happened. As you all know, I started the week quite positive, absolutely sure that things were turning a corner and my stay here was destined for happier and more fun times. Oh, how I was wrong! As soon as Baptiste got a sniff that his parents weren’t in the vicinity and it was just him and me, all hell broke loose. It’s for this reason that I’m booked on a plane for tomorrow afternoon five and a half weeks earlier than scheduled.
I think my mum would like to hear that I am immensely excited to come home but, in fact, I feel the opposite. I feel like I’ve let myself down – I’m not used to giving up on things and pretty much see everything out to the end (apart from taking my driving test for the third time, but that’s another story). The word that sums up how I feel right now is ‘sad’. Although it’s the adjective we are discouraged from using from about the age of seven (sorry all former English teachers), it hits the nail on the head for me. Really, it’s because I love France. I love home more, but I feel like France could be my home too. I know I’ve moaned about silly things like the weird milk, the horrible cheese and the very shocking eating patterns, but really, it’s a brilliant place to be. I haven’t felt homesick or missed my family, friends and Will too much and I’ve loved every second of being here (when not with the children). Even in just two and a half weeks my confidence has rocketed. I now find myself ambling up to taxi drivers to ask them for prices without a care in the world. My approach to speaking French now is ‘fuck it, what can go so wrong’? I just hope I can keep that mentality up!
But really, there’s no way I can stay. Yesterday’s antics would be enough to put anybody, even a professional nanny, off staying here for another six weeks. Those of you who have me on Facebook will already be aware of what happened, but for those of you who are strangers to me, here’s a bit more information!
It all started when we got in from school, after having a lovely chat about what we’d do in the evening (make one of those paper chain thingies) on the walk home. As usual, both children went searching for ‘papa’ but to no avail. I saw Baptiste’s eyes light up immediately, and he began to dawdle and refuse to do as he was told. I don’t remember at which point he snapped, but before I knew it I was being kicked (in the face, stomach, back, legs), hit (more like punched), scratched, spat at, being hit with various objects (polystyrene swords, hockey stick, baseball bat, books, teddy’s, boxes) and having my hair pulled so much so that I would almost fall over. The worst thing that occurred was his insistence to grab and squeeze (really hard) my breasts and try to put his hands down my top. This is what shocked and appalled me so much, and I think it was at this point that I made the decision to leave. This went on consistently for two and a half hours, all the while he was laughing like a crazed, daemon child. Truly, it was awful, and I can’t believe a five year old child had me sobbing on the phone to my mum – I feel ridiculous!
I’m sure some of you will find parts of that amusing, but trust me, I’m not embellishing or exaggerating anything. I’ve been quite lucky in the sense that the parents haven’t argued my decision to come home, and I get the feeling that Céline completely understands. What pissed me off was hearing Loïc say to me ‘I can’t make the link between today’s events and you wanting to leave’ and then ensuing to ask me if I have problems with my parents, boyfriend or if I was just homesick. I wanted to shout at him ‘no, your son is just a tw*t!’ but somehow I didn’t think that would go down too well. I really couldn’t think of a better word there.
So, for my last day, I decided to make the most of it. Clermont-Ferrand is situated just at the bottom of the Puy-de-Dôme and a string of mountains and volcanoes. It really is spectacularly beautiful, I just wish I had done it on a sunnier day! I spent lunchtime shivering at the top of a mountain enveloped by clouds and, looking back on it now, I realise I should have used that opportunity to let out a massive scream. Here are some photos, and probably the last ones I will have to post from my trip! There isn’t one from the top because, well, you couldn’t see a bloody thing.
Even though I’m disheartened at the way things have turned out, I know I’m doing the right thing. I would love more than anything to see this through to the end and to see what I learn and how I develop in that time, but for the sake of my sanity I have to just walk away. I thought making the decision to come here was difficult, but that seems like a piece of cake in comparison to making the decision to leave, especially when you’re as stubborn and strong-willed as I am. I think a big part of my sadness is not really having anything of interest to write about anymore – it turns out I quite enjoy this. But this very short and very long two weeks that I’ve experienced really have taught me that I have the best support network (cheese). So, thank you everybody who has read this, commented on it or even just liked it – you’ve made me smile each time!
Lots of love, Little French Faye xx