With the thesis being finished, we were left with no reason not to finally pack our belongings and move to the new house.
Times were not easy. The Knight was frustrated because none of his old friends from school could come up with a job, an opportunity he had secretely hoped for. One of his friends even told him she had heard that he had married rich and would never have to work a day in his life again. The blessings and curses of my fathers name…
I was not rich. I could have asked relatives for money, and they would have given it to me, but I never did. It was something about pride, and the feeling I grew up with that others thought I had it easy, because daddy would always fill my pockets with money. People always tend to assume my father has a lot of free cash, and partly it is because he makes them think so. It just goes along with his self marketing. But in fact he handles large sums of money, often on personal risk. With the little insight I have I know how fragile the balance of big business can be. No, I would not ask him, if only to make sure he would not worry about his daughter.
For immediate repairs we got money from my mother in law. It was different with her, because we had lived together with her for so long, she felt like part of the inner family. Also, she gave the money to her only son, not to me, so I felt less bad about it. She leads a quiet, financially stable life and came forward to us to offer help. Accepting it from her was somehow not as hard.
I still felt horrible in general. I should have made it possible for my husband to stay at home and care for our daughter, in a house that was not a construction site. A lot of young families have it hard I guess. But I never wanted us to be one of them.
The Knight was no real help to me. He even openly blamed me for our situation once, said “I should have known better than to let you buy that house. Your family just can’t handle money.”
I could have lived with him saying it only to me, but he did say it to the world in general, while angrily pacing up and down in my mother in law’s living room, while she was present. Maybe she did forget about it immerdiately afterwards, knowing how he can be when he is ranting, but I did not forget. He has no idea about my father and no right to speak about him in that way. My father might have been in financial trouble because he tends to take risks, but he also got himself out all by himself. He had suffered a nervous breakdown at that time, after my granddad died, had almost let himself bleed out in a bucket in our pool house and on another night climbed the cliffs on the Côte d’Azur, where he called my grandmother who immediately phoned the police to get him down there, but in the end he had never really given up. He had never spent his days on a couch, lost in self-pity.
Do not get me wrong. I was still determined to help the Knight. However, he could have noticed that I needed support as well. Yes, I did feel responsible for buying that house and I felt inadequate for not being able to finance all those repairs on my own. Did he really have to rub salt in my wounds?