I see dead people – maybe!

This isn’t going to be a fluff piece or an opinion piece, I just wanted to elaborate on my own feelings before explaining my day yesterday.

I believe everyone has the right to practice their own religious beliefs, I take an interest in all cultures and religions, hence why I’ve travelled extensively.  Personally I don’t believe in God, Christ and I don’t interpret the bible in any way to suit my intentions.  I do take issue when people use religious arguments in social issues like gay marriage or abortion for example.  Being religious and judging people is the ultimate in hypocrisy and I think people like that are responsible for causing a bad name to religious groups.  I think people should be able to live in peace, follow their faiths without living in fear of persecution as I believe people without faith should be able to live without religious propaganda.

I’d like to think there was more to life than flesh and bones. I’d like to think we have souls or an energy that is left behind when we die.  Just because I like to think it, doesn’t mean I profess to state it as a fact. I listen with an open mind when people talk about feeling someone close when they’ve died and let’s be honest, there’s too many people who have had other worldly experiences to be immediately dismissive.  That said, I will avoid seances and I wouldn’t dabble with a Ouija board.  I mean – who can say for sure, right?!

So, this being said I went to a fair in town yesterday for the ‘Mind Body and Spirit.’  There were psychics/clairvoyants there, I know there’s some correct reference but it depends on the person.  A guy was there that I’d been introduced to in the past a friend’s psychic and we bumped into each other by chance.  Or did we?!  I’d taken his business card, he’s on Facebook too – it’s the modern era people!  So he was there at this fair thing, I didn’t know he was going to be there.  I booked my 20 mins and paid my $15 and sat skeptively waiting for my turn.

He held my hands and I guess formed some opinions about me.  Some were clearly visible signs he read quickly – no wedding ring, child-bearing age, wet hair from a late morning start.  So I’m probably either married or recently single, seeking out a psychic means I’m clearly at a crossroads in my life and looking for some advice and the wet hair means I’m probably a late riser,it was a weekend day, so probably lying in because of early starts with the kids most mornings.  First he ascertained the child aspect, my emotional response to the reference, and then gauged my reaction to a relationship.  I’m not easily bought!  He went on to say that there was someone looking after me, a woman, motherly, possibly a Nan.  Unfortunately my poker face fell and I teared up because I was incredibly close to my nan.  He went with the nan thread but some of the things he said were undeniably close to the truth.  The things that really stood out was there my Nan is with me at night when I cry.  That my ex husband isn’t a bad guy but is immature, and that I need to make more of an effort to cut the emotional ties to him because I need to move on.

He also suggested that I was convenient for him, easy to be taken advantage of.  Which is exactly what my lawyer said, because I look after the kids all the time and I can drop everything at a moments notice to be there for them.  But I love my kids, I love being around them, so I can’t help that.

I did leave feeling emotional, the references to my Nan seeing my tears and the fairly blatant, that stage of your life is over was hard to hear. Although necessary and it won’t be the last time.

S asked about the fair and I mentioned a few things which of course he took the piss about.  He doesn’t believe in any of that stuff and thinks I’m just nuts to want anything to do with it.  Of course, if he was actually a nice guy he would have appreciated that I found comfort and knew that hearing my Nan’s reference was incredibly emotive to me.

I actually felt exhausted so had a quick nap before taking the kids out.  While I slept I dreamt about my ex and I.  Me begging for him back, feeling incomplete without him.  Feeling blame and a tidal wave of grief.  But when I woke up, the residual feelings were from the dream.  It was like I was being shown how I used to feel but now I simply don’t.  It was weird to wake up feeling the heartache as a memory but not a current sadness.  It weighed with me all evening, but I knew it was a memory and nothing more powerful.  I look at him now and hear some of the things he says and I see someone who if I met NOW, I wouldn’t be attracted too at all.  I feel like I need to be loved, and I miss affection, but I wouldn’t get that need fulfilled from him.  He’s too selfish for one.  I need a real connection.  The guy did say that I fear being alone forever – that’s true, I do, but I would meet someone and be happy once I was able to let go of all the separation baggage and open myself up to trusting again.

Frankly, irrespective of beliefs, I was given something to mull over.  And it would  be nice to know my Nan was there.

Next week is going to be another shitty week.  Tuesday I take my boy to try at school, he turns 5 in Jan, and that’s when they start school, then in the afternoon I see my lawyer because of S and this shitty house situation, then Weds is my hospital appointment.  Which I’ve decided to get a taxi back from, as I don’t want to rely on S.

I think hostility will grow between S and I because of this house thing, I wish it could be avoided, but the only way to avoid it would be to comply and sign the house over.

 

Not my fault!!!

I’m feeling physically run down and like I’m on a treadmill where I just have to keep fighting the shit.

So I mentioned in my last blog about my phone etc? Thanks to a cruel twist of bitter irony, when my iPhone fell it seemed ok but the next day it died. Faced with no phone due to my own clumsiness I was pretty pissed off. But fortunately it’s insured and I knew sending it away I’d get a phone in the interim – keeping my number and contacts. Although relieved that I only had a few hours of the handset being handed over and a temporary one set up (long gone are the days when you could just switch on and make a call – it’s all about accounts and downloading) I still felt unnecessarily stressed. I tried to entertain myself by wandering the mall, getting a couple of bits and trying to fit into the realms of normal life – in a rare moment without any kids in tow.

I then had to return to the library to print and scan yet more paperwork for ‘the thing.’ It’s time consuming and stressful and I don’t like confidential information on the computer screen and no doubt downloaded somewhere on a public system . But I was determined to get it done and dusted before the weekend or else it would always linger there as a pending ‘to do.’

I got back finally in time to get the kids and the afternoon was predictably busy. I have kept up a niggling headache and nausea and sleep is only forthcoming with tablets.

Today I opted for a rest day with my boy. I knew he needed it too. He ended up having a good couple of hours sleep. I, however, didn’t get that luxury. S text me repeatedly putting the pressure on for me to sign this document signing over the house. I’ve told him repeatedly I won’t sign anything without my lawyer seeing it and after two appointments, he’s still not produced it. My next appointment was on the fourth but that’s not quick enough for him. Instead he’s proceeded to use emotional blackmail, threats, manipulation and just prior to this laying on his nicest and supportive stance – I knew I should have been suspicious. As anyone knows getting these continuos texts of varying degrees of pressure cause a spike in cortisol. My head has throbbed, my anxiety has peaked, I’ve self doubted, felt guilty for exerting my own right, I’ve felt sick, sad, used . It’s just been an onslaught of much unnecessary stress. In the end I contacted my lawyers office and they have got me in the day before my hospital appointment. It’s an early afternoon so he’ll have to look after the kids – I’m not dragging all 4 to my lawyers office. So we’ve all bowed down to his needs and as usual he’s told me it’s not his fault, it’s a myriad of other people’s faults. 

Having felt more comfortable with our communication in the friend zone – but not trusting him, I’m realising that maybe he can’t be a friend at all. In fact if it weren’t for the kids or this house business I’d rather not have him in my life at all.

He’s not a man of substance or integrity. In fact he’s hardly a man at all. I should have stood by my initial instincts when I met him, that is, he was immature and naive. But everything is easier in hindsight. At least I have the 4 most amazing children.

So today I’m feeling predominantly unwell and affected by all the different things going on. The irony is that the stress is not my fault, one is my ex husband, one is the abuse of someone else and the other is my hospital appointment for a health issue – although I suppose it’s my body so that could be construed as my fault.

It feels good to say that, it’s not my fault! Because I have handled the other situations remarkably well and with more honesty and intergrity than I could ever imagine getting in return.

Men are inheritantly selfish, self absorbed and have about as much compassion as a rock. 

Have I mentioned I need a holiday?!

Phone and PTSD

The issue that is ongoing ‘the thing’ has almost pushed me to breaking point. After ongoing calls and paperwork it was arranged that I’d go into the local police station and relinquish an old phone and the subject of this current phone came up. I had my son with me and he was tired and irritable, I didn’t want to be in the damn police station and I certainly didn’t want to be without my phone for a few days. My phone is my contact for my family and friends, my calendar, my emails – not unlike most people my phone is integral to managing my daily events. Furthermore as a sufferer of PTSD, it can be my literal lifeline when I’m struggling with panic. I don’t care how much people moan about the technological age, for me it’s part of my being and handing over passwords and account information already felt like a violation, let alone my primary method of communication.

So I excused myself to buy a prepay phone but ended up having a massive meltdown in the mall with my son in tow. Poor boy doesn’t deserve this exposure. We cut his kindy hours to spend more quality time with me. Not watch me fall to pieces. 

I have to say, while in the grips of a myriad of strong emotions, panic, anxiety, loss of control, guilt, shame, loneliness, fear – it’s really hard to manage a tired and hungry 4 year old. I’m certainly being put through my paces in terms of how much I can handle at any one time.

Mummy guilt ended up presiding and I bought him a small toy from a shop. Eager to make him happy and forget his miserable day with his miserable mother.

All evening I’ve felt ill. Tired, headache, nausea. It was a late finish for S, the kids were hyper this afternoon and I honestly didn’t think I’d cope much longer.

I’ve taken a long bath – ironically dropped my iPhone from a height, although luckily it didn’t smash but the noise alone nearly caused me a heart attack. I’m on edge, restless and acutely aware that at any time my accounts could be accessed remotely. It’s a horrible feeling. I just want this period of time over. Hopefully it’s days at most.

S goes away again so I’m alone with the kids. Still up at the house. I have heard from my property manager about potentially finding a new place that’s quiet. That would be a good resolution.

I have my hospital appointment next week for the upper GI that I’ve been dreading. That too will excerberate my PTSD symptoms.

I feel like I’m going through another rough patch but fortunately my mood isn’t becoming dark and morose. Instead I’m trying to get through everything as it happens and remind myself it’s all passing. Nothing is permanent, right?

I’ve still not had therapy in months now. I guess I’ve gotten used to internalizing again. But I feel that talking everything out won’t make much difference. I was booked on a psychodrama course this weekend but I almost can’t be bothered to listen to anyone else’s crap! As harsh as that sounds. I’m trying to put one foot in front of the other here and watching people hash out their own issues sounds almost claustrophobic.

I think I need a holiday!

The stress and the stranger

Yesterday was nothing short of madness. It was a ‘teacher training day’ coincidentally before a long weekend. And I had stuff I needed to sign, print and scan that was highly confidential and relating to ‘the thing.’ I know, grrrroan. 

So I bundled the kids into the car on a miserable wet day and headed for the library. Thankfully they were awesome and were kept busy on the computers doing their homework- I know, weird right?! And H enjoyed the Disney movie 


Photobomb!

So I was left to the usual technical problems and glitches that usually happen when it seems so easy in theory to print and scan.

Task completed I bundled the hungry monsters back into the car for a late breakfast and early lunch, by way of saying thank you for your patience and being good.

It was a lovely part of the day 


J and C can’t be seen but in a rare moment my little family together were gathered.

Going back to the house it hit me, during this week I’ve stayed incredibly on top of things. Everywhere tidy and in terms of my own feelings, everything compartmentalised. I was determined not to break down or think too much about any of my experiences, the lawyer and the ‘the thing.’ Although that was marginally ruined by S’s lawyer forwarding a rather unhelpful letter to mine re the house and now my lawyer is on holiday for a week!

When S came back his approach had changed. Neither angry or irritated he seemed sad. He was desperate and really playing at the heart for my understanding of signing the paperwork. I swear to god ordinarily I would have caved right there, anything to make him happy and done what he wanted. But something in my gut has shifted. His ploy was less desperate and more game play. I played my resolve without dispute. We both have lawyers, they will discuss it. We will remain civil but I won’t do anything without hearing from my lawyer.

I realise that I don’t trust him. He had all of these meetings, made these assumptions and didn’t expect me to do anything but trust him. But really his actions haven’t gained my trust recently. Prior to him ending it officially (while I was away) all of our accounts, his meetings with the IRD, banks etc have almost be conducted in secret. I’ve been excluded from everything. And as I said before, spousal maintenance has been treated like a ‘favour.’

I don’t think he appreciates this new resolve of mine.

Later that evening I decided to stay, I was tired, needed shopping for my house and was enjoying the kids. Plus I’d got movies to watch. He got some wine (I’ve not drunk for MONTHS and some chocolate- which I’ve not eaten for months either). It should have felt like the old days. I suppose I was supposed to feel nostalgic and get emotional about my feelings. But I didn’t. It felt like I was watching movies with a mate. Things bubbled away in my mind, new knowledge, aspects of ‘the thing’ but I had no desire to share it. In fact I’ve been become increasingly aware of how important keeping things close to my chest is. 

This morning I was treated as an over staying guest. S made a few comments about my movements and my leaving. Usually I’d get emotional but I’m not! In fact I’m pretty pissed off! This is MY house and I’m not the housekeeper/nanny that’s done a job and I won’t just bugger off because I’ve completed my role! 

I think he’s being rather rude! But I’m no longer a sobbing wreck, begging to be loved and protected and supported.

I’m an ex wife who’s utilising the right to have a lawyer to advocate for me. I’m a mother spending time with my kids on a holiday in a house I’m ALLOWED to be in and I’m managing a hell of a lot of stress without the support and/or input from someone who’s frankly primary concern is themself.

In short I don’t really care what he thinks or feels anymore. I can’t read him because I don’t know him, and I don’t know him, so I can’t trust him.

He is my children’s father and just someone that I used to know. But I’m keeping it civil of course 😉

The lawyer

Seeing my lawyer this afternoon I decided to blog again.  I was feeling anxious and expected to leave feeling quite drained.  I had to take my son, but he was quite happy playing and colouring in with the receptionist.  I’m glad he didn’t have to sit in and listen to our chat.

I’m sure people who read this blog have opinions on my marital state and my own emotive reflections.  But the Lawyer sees everything objectively, well, of course there’s a bias, I am her client!  But sees the facts, she interprets actions and lays out her coarse and completely unrestrained opinion.  It doesn’t upset me though.  Last time, I started looking at things objectively.  Why wasn’t I considered with the house situation?  Why were there covert meetings and assumptions?  Why is the spousal maintenance situation seen as a favour as opposed to legal obligation?  And why is S nice and charming when he needs something, but bitter and angry when I don’t oblige him or called selfish and insinuated I’m nuts because I stand up for myself?

I also talked to her about the situation overseas.  She summed it up in about 2 minutes. Brutally accurately and made me realise that I was not at fault.  I needed that outlet.  I needed to talk to someone.

She’s taking control of the separation – and to be honest she’s the first person I’ve trusted in a LONG time.  Not because she’s legally obligated to maintain my confidence, not because she’s paid to help me, those are reasons that I’d be less inclined to trust her considering ‘the thing’ but because shes got integrity.  Because she’s honest.   Because she doesn’t have time for niceties for or bullshit.  Because when she talks to me, nothing in me questions her motives.  I’ve not had that in my life for such a long time.  Her actions denote trustworthiness.

My relationship with S was over a long time, but there’s been this dead air between us.  Me floating in and out of denial.  Me feeling afraid of the unknown.  But S has known.  He’s known his future, he’s brought in his family, he’s chatted to lawyers about finances and to me his actions haven’t been consistent.  I realise the only commonality we have now is the children.  I realise there is going to be a long battle ahead, but I think I’m learning to deal with things myself.  In fact, I don’t think I realised just how much I have achieved by myself and have managed alone.

I think I’ve been ready to confide in the lawyer and trust her opinion.  i think I’m ready to face this stuff overseas.  And in all of these changes, I’ve been doing it alone.

It flips and flops, I feel adulation and I feel contemplative, I feel anxious and I feel sad.

But above all, I feel confident that I have myself and I’m not ending one journey, I’m starting a new journey.

 

The thing

After my meeting with my lawyer and subsequent post, I felt a bit more confident with proceedings and although S has been pretty angry with me and in almost denial about what is fair, I realise objectively that he’s made assumptions about me and made decisions and had private chats with his family all the while thinking I’ll just go along with whatever and when I don’t, I get treated like the bad guy. It’s almost almost a form of gaslighting.

I’ve dared to consider what my future might look like and how I’ve been someone’s wife for so long I’ve forgotten who I really am. Perhaps there is hope in me finding peace.

Of course, as with all things, nothing is smooth sailing.

I’ve had a long chat with someone and although i blog openly and honestly about everything in my life, right now, I really can’t. And it’s horrible. I haven’t even talked to anyone about what’s going on. I’ve struggled with the idea of writing anything the last few days because it’s incredibly annoying when people refer to something ambiguously without being open about it.

You just have to trust me that right now I can’t elaborate on it. But it has involved a lot of overseas calling and triggering conversations. I have this terrible weight on my shoulders and I’m questioning myself constantly.

S is away this week so it’s just been me and the kids. After a long night of calls (time difference) and follow up emails I’m absolutely shattered and distracted. But I’m trying my best to be there for the kids and as usual maintain a tidy house. Cooking elaborate dinners with love for the little guys and ensuring every day they have clean clothes and good lunches. Not different from any other mother really. But this depression is still crushing and the further isolation around this issue is really dragging me down. But when I consider it overall I think it’s best I’m just honest about everything, deal with guilt and other tucked away mixed emotions and let the cards fall as they do.

I have been subject to abuse and degradation for too long. No more. And not when I know other people are getting hurt.

So forgive me for this annoying post, I will talk about it openly later on.

To add to that I have an appointment with my lawyer this afternoon and my son will have to come with me. It’s unfortunate for him but she’s very busy and we need to follow up from the last conversation and subsequent paperwork. I have to deal with this and I have to learn to count on myself from now on. By Xmas I should be 10x stronger and ready for the new year with some better ideas about the future.

I just need to get on with these gigantic hurdles at the moment and hope I’m doing the right thing.

I need to find my Russia

Today I met with my new lawyer as my previous one left the firm and this woman was highly recommended.

I woke up so miserable and getting ready felt like a Herculean task. I was tempted to cancel the appointment but something – maybe the pit of inevitable despair of my future – pushed me.

I arrived at the offices and was greeted by the smell of cigarette smoke and beige (cheap) furniture. Aside from feeling like I was onset of a bad 70s series I seriously doubted that this lawyer would be any good.

After 30 mins of waiting I was getting figedty and about ready to haughtily walk out (I was told she was at the gym – not exactly held up in court). Just as my patience was about to pop I was greeted by the husky, yet professional demeanour of the lawyer with a fleeting apology. As I followed her to her messy office I don’t know why but I sensed that I was going to like this woman. My last law firm was in incredibly swanky offices in the city. A tidy, pretty receptionist greeted me with paperwork, personalised stationary and the lawyer walked me to extremely smart office with leather chairs and ornaments and fresh flowers. I’d bought into This image. That I was being taken care of by the best. Instead my lawyer left after a month and my case fell by the wayside and I could never get hold of anyone.

So bearing this in mind I knew I shouldn’t let my impressions dictate the lawyer.

As it happened she was a straight shooter, much like myself, with a foul mouth and a limitless knowledge of the law. She was casual because she has a big client base (I’d heard) and thus didn’t exactly need my work. She took the bones of the situation and remarked how stupid I was because I moved out and hadn’t forced him out (you know that adage about possession being nine tenths of the law? Apparently there’s some truth to that!).

After the frame of reference was complete she asked more personal questions. And I suppose in an intuitive way, I wanted her to understand that S hadn’t had it easy with me. I’d been all over the place with my mental health and trauma, I’d caused him a job loss (something he always blames me for, but the lawyer isn’t convinced). She asked about the trauma and I decided to fill her in. She surmised that clearly the relationship was a ‘safe’ space for me. But perhaps I was in love with a perception, perhaps my ex husband’s actions spoke louder. I went to defend him but then considered, had I not have put my name against the title of the house he would have sold it from under me, had I not hired a lawyer to advocate for spousal maintenance, he wouldn’t have given me a cent. In all, had I not have advocated for ME, I’d have been left high and dry. Also I’ve blamed myself for my mental health and my past affecting us without considering how he’s dragged me over the world to pursue his own career dreams – which have inevitably crashed and burnt.

As the meeting went on I became more emotional. It’s hard discussing the details. It’s still hard to believe I’m sat there discussing a pending divorce and uncertainty. Surely this is a horrible nightmare?

Seeing my upset she told me about her marriage breakdown. Not unlike other stories I’ve heard she was desolate, inconsolable and felt suicidal. She genuinely believed her life was over. She wanted to commit suicide but made a deal with herself, she’d travel to Russia first – somewhere she always wanted to go, and then she’d kill herself. It was no mean feat, working for a large American computer firm in the 80s (Russia under the reign of Gorbachev) getting a visa proved difficult and she was investigated for espionage! But she made it and she loved it. For her it was a turning point and although she grieved the man she loved, she knew there was more to life.

I listened in awe of her tale. Here was an intelligent woman, blown apart from a broken marriage trying desperately to hang onto to some semblance of life.

Now she’s married a new man, has been for 20 odd years, in a successful firm and happy with life in a way she didn’t think possible.

I find it encouraging. Inspiring and hopeful. Although I’m not particularly interested in going to Russia myself – too bloody cold!

By the end of the meeting (2 hours later!) she’d compiled an email to S, informed me of the process and encouraged me to find a job. To find something positive, to live again.

I was absolutely exhausted by the end, but I still had a mission to complete, get some birthday presents for J and drop off bags for charity and old library books (products of a spring clean).

My phone battery had run out but when I got home and plugged in I had a shitty email from S. I also had missed calls from him. I called him (my mistake) and as usual got spoken to like the lowest common denominator. I reminded him that I’d told him I was seeing a lawyer and told him again that he needed a lawyer. That we were starting the process for our imminent divorce (which will be by September next year – making the legal requirements of 2 years separation). He went on again about how I NEED to sign the paperwork effectively signing the house away to his parents so that I’m out cold (the ruthless parents that I don’t get along with). I explained that wasn’t going to happen and no lawyer worth their weight in gold would suggest I do that.

As usual I was left distraught and wondering just how long ago S stopped loving me. He clearly has no regard or respect for me, I’m just an inconvenience. 

It hurts. I’m not going to lie. It’s hurts so much I wonder if I’ll ever be immune to it.

After my sadness I thought about the lawyer appointment. I thought about her words. I know S doesn’t love me, he can barely stand me, and I know he’d have left me nothing given the chance. I’m reminded again that I’m really in love with the person I thought he was, not who he actually is.

He’s a great father, there’s no doubt about that.

He’s on the road to the career he’s always wanted and I often remark on how happy he is now without me.

I know I need to find my Russia.