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So after the gruelling flight from the UK we were stranded for a while in Auckland because of a burst oil pipeline. By this stage we were all tired and grouchy and desperate to get to bed.

My Dad has continually ignored my advice (which he asked for!) in terms of flights, car rental and accommodation. So it was no surprise that picking up the car was a hassle, having to call them, get shuttled to a random warehouse and being presented with the smallest car in the universe!

Tempers frayed and we all ended up rowing on the way to the motel. Which is hideous!! I’ve never stayed anywhere so bad! But of course, I can’t complain about that as well! And I’m not paying so I need to keep my complaints to myself.

Yesterday I saw the kids, which was awesome, I’ve missed them so much. Steve was far more amiable then I thought he would be, so it looks like we’ll be able to come to a compromise. I don’t want to be too complacent, you never know what can change.

Today I’m seeing my community psychiatric nurse, as I can’t see an actual psychiatrist until mid October! Ridiculous. But at least I can get my meds sorted out. I’m taking my parents with me, I think it’s important they understand my illness properly. I can see they’re getting angry with me because of my anxiety and constant depression – but I’m doing my best.

I can’t see my lawyer until next week, so that will help finalise things with steve.

I have an appointment with the benefit office next week (first one available) so I can sort out my benefits as I currently have no income and rely solely on my parents.

I’ve even been in touch with my therapist and made an appointment to see her in a week so I can continue with that.

So I’ve been fairly pro active. The biggest thing now is to organise a house.

I feel a bit better about things, but again, I won’t be complacent! And I can feel things are tense between my parents and I. My dad won’t insure me on the car for some reason and it’s caused me so much stress because once again, I’m beholden to them. Plus, I can’t get the kids and we won’t all fit in the car.

Small things, I know I can’t let myself get wound up about it and hopefully seeing the CPN today which highlight the issues I have a bit better.

But yep, sure am happy to be with my babies again!!

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Last night

So it’s my last night in the U.K. I said goodbye to my sister which was far more difficult than I imagined. I cried all the way back from her place 


We’ve really reconnected and I’m really grateful for that. I’ll miss her terribly.

I’m looking forward to seeing my kids obviously but prior to that I have this god awful flight to contend with. My anxiety is bad anyway but it manages to encompass all of my fears; crowds, claustrophobia, lack of control.

I’m hoping to keep myself sufficiently drugged on both legs of the flight (going via Dubai again). Annoyingly my dad has booked with Emirates that I think is one of the worst airlines, but he’s paying so I can’t complain!

Naturally I’m incredibly anxious about the stress when I arrive in NZ. There’ll be a lot to plan and organise and no doubt fight for. I know I’m far from strong enough, but I can’t put off seeing the kids any longer, I miss them and even though I’m a useless mother, they need me.

I will miss England terribly. I’ve dearly loved my time here. Even with the crappy weather! It’s been fantastic to be amongst my friends and family and connections have become far deeper. I realise I’m very blessed and wish with all my heart I’d not taken it for granted in the past.

If I had a choice I wouldn’t leave, but I have to make good with what I have.

I’ve also found out that a psychiatrist won’t be available until mid October!! That’s a painfully long wait when I’ve been on the wrong medication for so long. I was hoping to get it sorted pretty much as I arrived as it’ll take a while for the meds to work.

So the England chapter closes. I know there’s more I should have done, more people I should have seen, but I’m just glad that I’ve had this experience.

Reality

So my dad has booked the tickets and I’m beyond excited to see my babies again. It’s been too long and much longer than I anticipated. I keep imagining their faces, their warmth, even the way they smell. I won’t be able to get enough of them.

The hurdles that I have to deal with on my return are what are keeping me awake at night. I’m so glad my parents are going to be flying with me and have booked accomodation for us. That’s a huge weight off of my mind. But I have so much to organise in the short time they’re with me, seeing my lawyer, organising my medication and worse still, organising my own accomodation in the long term. I keep having terrible anxiety attacks and I’m barely sleeping. I feel deeply suicidal because I don’t know how I’m going to be strong enough to deal with all the shit, especially how Steve will inevitably treat me. I feel so vulnerable, so alone, so afraid of my uncertain future. But having my parents by my side in the start will help immensely. My focus is on my children and their love and excitement to see me back.

I am both relieved at the booked flights and equally terrified. There is something to be said for the ignorant sanctity I have been indulging in back home. Although I’ve obviously had guilt and uncertainty, the immediate concerns could be thwarted by delay. Now everything is speeding towards me like a jump from a tall building and I know this landing is also going to hurt.

I’m scared of my unknown future. I’m not strong like I used to be. Nothing is the same. And somehow I need to conjure the strength to organise everything in the short time that I have my parents both emotionally and financially. And I worry about the toll on them. They don’t have deep pockets, they’re old and deserve their peace. Not hurtling towards a car crash situation that’s geographically the furthest point away with a large potential financial burden.

I feel like I’ve let everyone down. I’m no longer the daughter to be proud of, the mother to be proud of and the woman to be envied because I had it all. I’m broken and I have nothing. I am nothing and I’m completely without direction. 

Aside from the warmth of my children – that is all I have to cling to.

Stuck!

Everything is beginning to feel too much now. I’m at the mercy of my parents booking a flight, thanks to Steve reneging on sorting my flight out. And they just seem to be taking ages about it! But I don’t feel able to apply pressure because ultimately they’re the ones paying. 

Don’t get me wrong. I’m loving being in England, and I’ve gotten close to my sister again which is fantastic. My friends continue to be an amazing source of support. 

But my children need me, and I fear that the longer I’m away, the more damage Steve can do. Plus my medication needs to be reviewed desperately and I can’t get that done here – not through lack of trying.

Yesterday my Mum did an amazing ‘Xmas dinner’ and it was fantastic to have my family around and Mum’s legendary roast dinner! But as the day progressed I felt more aware of how much I miss my children and how awful the real Xmas is going to be if Steve is hell bent on keeping me from the family home. I ended up in floods of hysterical tears and spewing my guts up. Not from alcohol either! I’d just got myself into such a state and I felt so bad for Mum.

Today I’ve spent squirreled away in my bedroom. Everything just feels too much to cope with. I feel caught in this horrible limbo and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. I’ve got no money so I’m stuck, and unwilling to see friends because I can’t pay my way. I’m anxious about my phone bill and the storage costs that need paying. I need to get my benefits sorted in NZ but I can’t do that from here. I’ve been applying for jobs constantly but it’s hard to beat the competition when I’m still in the UK.

I don’t mean to sound ungrateful. I’m lucky to have my parents looking out for me and for having a home here. But really, it’s time for me to go back and ‘face the music’ and it’s been time for a while, but alas all I can do is wait. It’s adding to this feeling of powerlessness.

Fighting

The UK continues to provide a good source of friendship and family and a nurturing environment. But I miss my kids so much I’m feeling the loss like a physical illness. I Skype with them almost daily and it’s not enough. I’m consumed with thoughts of them and can’t enjoy the simplest thing without wondering what they’d think.

Unfortunately S has gotten progressively worse and nasty and I know a cold, hard fight awaits me in NZ. The blows which he’s dealt have at times rendered me breathless and unable to see a way forward. It’s like his contempt of me grows daily and he’s trying to make me stay away by increasingly throwing obstacles at me. I can’t remember feeling as despised as I have been. And this thrusts me into a horrible quandary. I want to be with my babies but I need to be strong to face S and his hard hitting blows. I wonder if I’ll be able to survive it.

My kids are gutted as time goes on. They miss me and need me back. They don’t understand why I can’t afford a flight back, they don’t understand that I’m not allowed in the house – but their father has hired a live in nanny instead. It’s confusing for them. I can’t slate their father to them. I have to bite my tongue and say it’s all going to be ok.

But it’s never going to be ok. I had no idea how capable of change someone I once loved could be. Someone that used to make me feel safe and loved. Now I’m treated like something lower than scum. 

The whole thing is a brutal mess. 

I don’t regret coming back to the UK. It’s been a place that’s felt safe and where I’ve been reassured I’m not a bad person.

But going back will take some serious strength. And as any communication I have with S usually renders me in a state of panic and unable to function – I worry if I’ll ever be strong enough.

This is looking to be my toughest fight yet.

No way back

My time in the UK has been fantastic. I’ve seen my best mate’s baby born, I’ve caught up with old friends and grown closer to my family. I rented a car so I’ve been independent and able to move around the country, spending nearly a week up North with a good friend who has relocated from NZ after her marriage broke down. She’s come an incredibly long way and looks and acts remarkable. She was quite inspiring.

I’ve overcome my anxieties to force myself out and engage with people. This is a huge turnaround from when I was in NZ staying in bed all the time. 

I actually started to think I could start over here with the kids. I have friends and family and it feels like a good base to start from scratch. Unfortunately when I mentioned this to S he not only ripped apart the idea but even had the audacity to throw my mental health at me as a reason for not having the kids. It was a low blow even for him. In retrospect I should have waited to discuss it until I got back. 

Now I don’t know how I’m going to get back – S isn’t going to use his air miles as previously promised. To make matters even worse, he’s been suggesting I’m not welcome to stay at the house. It seems in my absence he’s turned me into a monster and seems hell bent on punishing me. He even arranged a nanny to live in – knowing full well id be coming back. He’s been even colder and more nasty than I could ever have imagined. I’ve no doubt he’s had his family in his ear. He accused me of playing games, which makes no sense as I came here for respite, to gather my strength and always planned to go back. So I’m not even sure what ‘games’ he’s referring to.

I had no idea that he would take the house and flight away from me. It’s left me feeling really down and powerless. I don’t know how he expects to ban the mother of his children from her own house? He asked me to organise accommodation- but how can I do that from the UK? I need to be in NZ first and a hotel is out of the question because I could never afford it. Just when I think I’ve come to terms with everything, he throws something else at me. I literally can’t believe how much he hates me. How cold and heartless he’s being.

So I face a gloomy and unknown future. Obviously if I didn’t have the kids, I’d just stay here. But I miss them terribly. And time away from them is becoming increasingly more painful. I Skype with them regularly but it’s just not the same.

Being reunited with my kids should never have been this hard. I feel terribly anxious and overwhelmed at the new hurdles I face.

It’s such a horrible end to what has been a really productive and beneficial time here. I need to be careful that my mental health doesn’t plummet. I could already feel that sense of dread creeping in and the desire to give up and stay in bed. I don’t want S to have that power over me. Obviously as soon as I get back to NZ I intend to find a rental house and move as quickly as possible. I already know it’s not healthy to remain living in the same house as S. But as an interim, it’s all I have. I feel sick that he’s effectively trying to stop me from being with the kids.

I’m so glad I never signed the house over. I would definitely be left without a leg to stand on. I came so close to caving under the pressure. But now by hanging on by my fingernails at least I have some security.

I need to get back to my babies. I need to retain all the strength I’ve built and remember I have some awesome people in my life rooting for me.

Update 

I don’t want to go back to New Zealand! But of course I miss my kids terribly and I couldn’t live on the other side of the world to them.

It’s frustrating not being able to use a car and relying on my parents, but my friends have been awesome and I feel much less alone here.

The whole prospect of dealing with housing and the divorce seems so overwhelming. I’m sure if I stayed in the UK for longer I’d be stronger. But I can’t afford to stay, I can’t get a job because I need to go back.

S has done me a favour by acting like a prize twerp and being pretty bloody awful. I no longer miss him or hold onto a future with him. I’m concerned about how difficult it will be going back and him not being as least amicable. But that’s to do with making things easier, not a need to feel anything from him. If I had the kids here, I wouldn’t give him a second thought. I have family and friends here that care about me. I could easily start my life over back here.

But alas, the kids belong in NZ and I belong with them. They ask me everyday when am I going to go back. They get tearful and I know my lack of presence is affecting them. Although S would tell me they’re doing well without me! – anything to hurt me. But I care only about their welfare.

I’m applying for jobs over there while I’m here – and getting plenty of rejections too! No, my transition back won’t be an easy one.

Am I strong enough to cope? Thats the question. I wanted to come here and try to recuperate. And I am gradually getting my head together – but that’s through the love and support of people around me. I’m not sure how I’ll fare once I’m on my own again. Old habits die hard. And I’m always on the edge of a dark depression.

Tomorrow my best friend gives birth, so I’ll focus on her and the baby for now. I have a few weeks left to try and prepare myself.