Feeling fine in the present

I feel like I’m in a good place right now. Yes, the anniversary looms ever closer of my assault and all of those horrible foreboding memories – but in the present I’m feeling stronger. More empowered. 

I’m enjoying the gym, particularly my boxing classes. I’m feel fitter already and I welcome the distraction from home life.

I’ve been offered, following an interview with a local university a counselling course. I’m really proud to have gotten thus far without any help from S. Usually I ask him to help with forms or preparation even his opinion. But this is my goal, and something I feel I can use as a platform to help me learn more about myself and to help others. I’ve always been interested in this, but felt that when I applied for law it was more for S as he’s used to the prestige and I didn’t want to disappoint him.

But this year is about me, and following my heart and learning along the way. Not trying to fulfil expectations of others.

In terms of S and I, we live in a platonic, more tranquil state. There’s the odd snarky comment but we’ve come to exist more as brother and sister. It’s good that we can show a united front for the kids and agree on anything related to them. Ultimately living together long term isn’t an option because like any close family – there’s a time when each person seeks their individual space. Likely it would be me moving and I’m happy and confident with that, with a shared agreement for the kids. 

Maybe I’ll even go on the odd date this year?! Who knows! But I’m rusty as hell in that department and my focus is my children and my studies. As well as keeping healthy. I certainly don’t anticipate a long term relationship for a long time, although it’s fair enough to say I do miss intimacy and physical attention.

I hope this year I’m able to cope better with the anniversary and the associated symptoms and stresses it brings. I’d like not to be ‘owned’ by that anymore.

So I’m feeling refreshed and ready for more challenges. I think there’s a peace that comes with accepting the ending of relationships. I feel less in limbo – more focussed. 

It’s good that I still have him as my mate though, we do have fun. And some commonalities.

The kids are back in school soon, so there’s a routine to get underway and that will help (hopefully) encourage more structure.

So yes, new year, new chapters!

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Reality of ‘home’

No where has really felt like home to me. Perhaps because no where has been permanent. I’ve liked houses and countries that I/we have lived in. But not regarded them as home. My place. My space.

When we bought this house, it ticked all the boxes and it’s truly a lovely house. Perfect for a family in so many ways. But after two years here – it’s not my home. When I returned from Cambodia it felt even more like I was a guest. It’s a large, spacious house, plenty of room for our large family and with breathtaking views of the valley. Anyone that visits, comments. We even have a spa pool, S bought me for a wedding anniversary present. 

But as S and drift further apart, I find myself day dreaming about my own little house. A space to call mine. Free of negative energy, free of forced pleasantries. An opportunity to get to know myself again.

It never ceases to amaze me that for a long time S and I were intrinsically close. He was my home. We knew each other intuitively. His warm hugs could give me a reprieve from nightmares, hope, safety, comfort, belief. The amazement comes now because he is a stranger. I no longer know what he’s thinking about, if he’s stressed, if he’s thinking about football, taxes, the meaning of life, or whether the lawn needs mowing. I don’t reach out to him, it feels wrong. He knows my body better than me, and although he’s not interested at all in me, I still feel uncomfortable, awkward when I’m in a towel or changing. I notice both of us change away from each other’s sight and have done for some time. It’s not like when you first start dating, the shyness and insecurities. It’s something else, an awkwardness as though we’re related! 

I day dream about a home for myself, but not seeing my son’s scruffy hair in the morning, hearing the kids play in the garden, the chaos and unpredictability of family, that breaks my heart.

Yes eventually custody sharing arrangements will be made. No separated couple can live together forever for the sake of the kids. But currently my dreams are shadowed by the sense of emptiness.

Today the kids started their holiday programme. Much to my relief. I have time alone again. Today was a quiet day, tidying up, reading, then to the gym. But as the days go on, I will find much more to do and take advantage of the peace I have desperately craved for so long now. But in this programme there is the secure knowledge that my children are safe, having fun with their peers and will return home to me at the end of the day. It doesn’t matter how much of a supermum you are, how much you adore your kids, time alone is invaluable and needed.

So I’m in this predicament of feeling like I don’t belong here. Sure S and I can smile at each other and for all intents and purposes live a seemingly harmonious life together. But it’s superficial. A love once so strong and so tender, is replaced by awkward friendship. Unspoken boundaries and that heartbreaking reality of nothing ever being the same. 

I’m progressing on with my college application and still trying diligently to find work. I need the confidence, security and sense of direction that employment offers. I need to stand on my own two feet. I need to know I’m more than a financial obligation to my ex husband, more than a stay at home mum with little patience.

I need to find my peace. I need to rediscover myself and I currently feel like I’m dancing in limbo and have been for a long time.

In time of uncertainty I would turn to my best friend, S, for support and encouragement. But I don’t want/expect that. I have accepted the change in our status and in my heart – I know it’s true. I’m not fighting for an ‘us’ and neither is he. We are getting along for the children.

So for now, my dreams of my small, nothing special, but my own space will be day dreams. Despite my need for space, my kids are still integral to my needs, like oxygen and water. As I know they feel security in knowing that I’m there to care for them if they’re sick, to settle a nightmare, to moan about their bedrooms but tidy them anyway, to make sure they have clean clothes and to know where everything is.

My kids are my home. The dynamic of a separation with children is the hardest, most painful experience of all of my experiences.

Not moving but going along

H’s party was I believe a success. Although I feel I’m not a very good host. I’m crap with names and just prefer people to help themselves, I hate serving and prefer people to make themselves at home. Luckily I had my mate Sherrie there who I could chat to easily, as parents tend to talk about kids with gusto, which I really find it boring. Plus I’m still feeling unwell and was operating on less cylinders than normal.

    

    
We’d hired a bouncy castle and a petting zoo. So that kept the kids happy and it was a lovely hot summers day.

By the end every bone and muscle ached but I wanted to keep on top of the mess – as usual. My friend was a great help.

On Sunday S and I talked about the separation agreement and he agreed to the spousal maintainence which is a huge relief. Now I can budget and not have to ask for money when I need it and panic about not having enough. We’ve also agreed to try living together as long as possible because it’s better for the kids. And at heart we are really good friends. Now we’re on the same page and pressures have been removed we’ve fallen into an amicable, friendly relationship and it’s much easier. There’s still issues about the reasons we’ve separated – which I’m happy to address in counselling out of respect for our years together and because I want him to know I still care very much and want us to be able to live in a honest and communicative state. 

As the monthly ‘group’ doesn’t commence until February, a few of the women wanted to meet in January so I offered my home. I forgot that the girls still aren’t in their holiday programme yet. It’s becoming so hard trying to keep the girls entairtained, fed and the place tidy. And I think that’s why I can’t shift this bug. There is no downtime.

I’ve been shopping for snacks and various treats for the women that are coming this afternoon. I’m not going to be able to speak openly with the kids drifting around, which is a shame, but at least it will be nice to catch up.

I’m having constant nightmares at the moment. Really horrible, painful, graphic nightmares. I’m not sure why that is. Whether it’s because of the anniversary the next month, or because my depo and smear and are due soon. That’s two things to be done at the family planning clinic, I wanted it separate from my gp. Unfortunately this brings back memories of my attack. It’s just unlucky that the dates have tied in with the anniversary for these things.

I’m still feeling a pull to get away for a few days, but now I can safely say it would be a stretch on the finances and I’m having to chaffeur the kids.

I’m still in a state of bumbling along. Not really knowing myself and not feeling able to talk to anyone about my anxieties or concerns.

I know I could probably do more to empower myself. But my energy is so low and what’s left goes on the kids.

I hope that when the girls do the holiday programme I can use that time to initiate some self care. Which means rest, excercise, looking at getting into a hobby. I hope I can pursue study in the coming months.

I know I’m in a rough period, I feel down from feeling ill and I feel restless from having no direction or purpose. It’s a temporary situation – but knowing that doesn’t make it any easier.

Well, time to do more preparation and cleaning for the women’s arrival. I might be a lousy host in terms of conversation, but I want to present the best of my house and the best catering!

Physically sick, mentally bored 

I have a UTI that’s obviously advanced to a kidney infection. I have some sort of cold, my sinuses are really blocked, my throat’s sore and my days are spent between sweating like a fountain or shivering. In other words, physically I’m feeling pretty stink and I feel like because I’m carrying all this stress and emotion around, my body is taking it out on me.

I knew January 2016 would be tough emotionally. And it’s proved to be. But it’s been my beautiful boy’s 4th birthday, and his party is this weekend so my focus has to be on getting well and making his party as enjoyable as possible.

Today I ventured out (aside from the day prior to the doctor and back) to get my hair done in anticipation of Saturday. I then decided to wander the mall. The sales are just the crap stuff now, but I needed new trainers, and as I live usually in trainers, it’s better to invest in a good fitting pair. Which I duly found and for the first time in my life, used the ‘lay by’ system. It’s quite good here in NZ that the option is available so easily. As the trainers are over $200 and I can’t afford that up front – strange feeling not just buying up front what I need.

As I’m still getting constant job rejections, I’ve decided to enrol in a counselling course. This will hopefully increase my chances of getting work and keep my brain cells working. Also hopefully increase my confidence and teach me new life skills. 

There’s a few other things I intend on getting back into, like yoga – which I’ve really enjoyed and feel the need to test my body and get some aching from working on it, rather than suffering in it.

I’ve been reading constantly on my kindle, it’s a fantastic escape. And I find my escape and solace in a book far more than ever in a movie. 

Today a dump truck side swiped my car. But I didn’t feel stressed or panicked about it. I’m just glad it was minor – as opposed to ending up squished. I’ve given my insurance details to the company – yes it might be a nuisance – but unlike the old me that would have ranted and raved (like that driver did!), I actually feel a bit complacent. I mean, this is why we pay our insurance right? And the kids weren’t with me, so there was no danger or trauma for them.

I’m also in a complete state of unarousal. That might just be the sickness or perhaps I’ve learnt that life throws curveballs all the bloody time – and if I react to everything I will end up with a heart attack!

Aside from being ill, I’m looking forward to the kids getting into a holiday programme. It’s full on all the time, and the constant mess and tidying is overwhelming- as are their demands. I like/need and relish my own time. 

If I could afford it, I’d go away for a few days, and just read in the quietest of spots, without really ever having to use my voice aside from making necessary purchases – food. So much that my own voice becomes alien to me. It seems a long time that I’ve had that peace.

People give me energy – but they can drain me too. It’s the two extreme ends of the spectrum. Like how sometimes I can buzz on the life of a city, immerse myself in the people, the noise, the constant movement and energy, but other times I can hate the city. The constant chatter of people on cell phones, squeaky brakes, litter, and the claustrophobia becomes too much, so I seek out solitude, isolation. The sound of wildlife and tranquility. Of course, the reverse can happen and I can end up restless, frustrated by the lack of services and the need to see a human expression. But rather than focus on the negative, I’m glad each offers a reprieve, I can appreciate both. Although we live in a quiet area, with views of the valley, knowing there’s people around but barely seeing them – but the township and then city of Wellington is an easy drive. So we have the best of both worlds.

But my need for reprieve comes from the intensity of family, the emotions surrounding my marriage and the boredom of my routine life. How I currently feel unable to please all of the people all of the time and my actions or expressions are questioned. I feel a bit lost and feeling physically week doesn’t help either.

So that’s where I’m at at the moment. Neither hin nor there – is that the expression?

I’ll delve back into my Jodi Pidcoult book now. That sounds predictable, but in the last few weeks I’ve read four Harlen Coben books and an interesting self biography of a woman raised in the Scientology church and her reasons for leaving and speaking out against it. 

In my uninspiring life, I find comfort in others – but only written at the moment. I’m in no mood to deal with the dramas of others in the real world. As selfish as it sounds.