In transit

I’m in Dubai now. It’s hot, and I’m sweaty and miserable. I couldn’t get comfy on the flight (I’ve not flown since I got so fat) and the service was pretty abysmal. I’ve flown Emirates back in the 90s and didn’t like it then. But it was part of a special deal. 

Surprisingly I don’t have flu symptoms yet, long haul and flu go together for me.

I’ve just had feelings of dread and regret in the air. I had a long wait in Auckland, and just watched the new series of House of Cards, but I was still in New Zealand so the gravity didn’t really dawn on me. On the flight I knew by each minute I was going further and further from my children. The regret was just as oppressive and added to my claustrophobia. Especially as everyone else had kids on board. The reality also that there will be no more family vacations struck me pretty hard.

So perhaps my intentions were right, reality is already kicking my arse. My marriage is over and there will be no more family holidays. No more S and I managing the kids. I kept having the urge to cry but fought it off. There will be lots of tears when I land. If I ever land. 

I used to love flying. It’s just watching movies and having a waitress! But now it feels painfully long and uncomfortable. My weight is probably a big contributor to that.

You’d think in times of stress I’d lose weight, but instead I get fatter, and I’m not moving much either. The last few weeks have been spent mostly in bed, so the airport transfers alone are making me walk more than I do in a week. 

My anxiety has been really bad. I’ve been shaking and bordering panic attacks. I was a seasoned traveller. I’ve been all over the globe and I used to storm through airports. Now I’m shaking, sweating, my chest is tight from panic. I feel more alone than I ever have. Everything has fallen apart. I don’t know who I am anymore. I’m ashamed of what I’ve become. I see more clearly what S sees when he looks at me and I can understand his disgust. I’m nothing like the girl he married. I’m pretty revolting as it goes, and my passion for life is dead.

I owe my children more than this. When did I become so selfish? When did I let myself go so much? When did I stop living? 

I hate myself, I hate what I’ve become. My children deserve so much more.

I hope that I can find my way back to myself. If nothing changes after this UK trip, after all of this discomfort and hellish travel, I don’t know what I’ll do.

I miss my children and the unconditional love they give me. But I need to be better for them.

More low?

So I wasn’t entirely forthcoming about something else on my blog, something I kept to myself. I saw my GP about reoccurring eczema on my breast and she referred me to a mammogram. I had that today and got the all clear. I didn’t want to write about it because I didn’t want anyone to know. Last night I hardly slept at all thinking about it. Not just the outcome but the test itself. Turns out the test wasn’t painful, it was quick and the woman was really friendly.

To be honest, I couldn’t have fought anything else. I’m on a losing streak with this depression. I can’t face the days, everything overwhelms me, everything is grey. 

Yesterday I had to pick the kids up early again because I had an appointment, this time with the benefits office. They won’t help with the ‘scungey’ flat, so I’m back to square one. I’m now officially homeless. Squatting at my ex husband’s. I honestly don’t think life can get much worse.

All of my crap is in storage, even clothes so I barely change. Goes with my barely showering. I’m a complete shambles.

I just don’t know what to do anymore. I keep being rejected, smacked by the face and pushed down. 

The cyclist

Today as I was driving to collect the kids from school I turned onto a road thought I could make it, didn’t and I hit a cyclist. I’ve had accidents before but I have never hit anybody. For a moment as she lay on the road I thought she was dead. In my mind I thought, I’ve killed someone, over and over again. I stopped the car and ambled out to see her being scraped off of the road by two big men.

She was in shock. She was shaking and crying and struggling to come to terms with the fact that she had been knocked off her bike by a car. Initially my reaction was almost angry, I said something really mean like, don’t exaggerate this. And then the anger gave way to guilt and sadness, she was actually a really nice woman and was genuinely shaken up by the accident. I didn’t want to cry because it wasn’t about me. I phoned the police immediately and asked for an ambulance. The police arrived first and I gave my drivers license and told the whole truth to the police officer, that it was completely my fault and I had seen a cyclist but I misjudged the turn.

The ambulance arrived and assessed her on the spot. Fortunately as accidents go she was barely harmed, there were no scratches or cuts but she’d hit her head and her helmet had taken the impact which reinforces how important and helmets are.

She phoned her husband to meet her; at that point I was terrified. I was scared he would arrive angrily and would be ready to pound me into the next century. I was glad the police were there just in case. I think I was probably more scared  once the husband was coming then what charges I might face. As it happened he was very calm I’m sure he wanted to scream and shout but I greeted him by way of an apology and he could see I was cooperating with the police and that I was genuinely concerned for his wife.

I asked my eldest daughter to walk to the school from where we were which wasn’t far to get the others and bring them to the car. I didn’t want to leave until the police had all my details and  seeing that the woman was okay.

Once I got into my car I started to cry. It was only when I started to cry that the children got nervous. I explained that I would get a ticket but that I wasn’t going to jail. But I felt a panic attack coming on and it was a real struggle to maintain my breathing and concentrate on driving the rest of the journey home.

I knew I would have to phone S as I was driving his car and I needed the insurance documents. To be honest I also rang because I wanted to hear his reassuring me. Well that was a ridiculous idea, he was understandably furious with me, for hitting somebody and also for the damage to his car. He asked me what I thought I was doing and that I  obviously had a problem, I ended up saying yes I do, I need to sleep but I can’t I have to be here for the children. I’m not well I’m on strong medication but there is nothing that I can do.

I felt even more small, even more of a problem, and even more stupid. I am an idiot. I could’ve killed that woman.

The insurance part was relatively easy and we are fully covered so the damage to her bike will be covered. I was able to message her husband to that effect, I wanted them to know I was taking this seriously.

I think I’ll have nightmares about this accident for a long time to come. There is no doubt that I will be drowning in guilt for months to come. I hope I might go to meet with her again, I want to make sure she’s okay and not scared to ride her bike again. As for me, i’m just a sorrowful, mess.

I have no one to wrap their arms around me and tell me that everything is going to be okay. I was trying to think of people I could phone today, because I really wanted to hear a friends voice, as S wasn’t providing me  with what I needed which is fair enough, I actually do seem to make his life more complicated and harder. I just needed to hear a kind voice, someone that will understand that it was an accident, and that I’m not an inherently bad person. But I couldn’t think of anyone. Not that I deserve reassurance of course, but I didn’t want to burden anybody with the situation either.

So I just took my tablets, made the kids dinner, tidied up, and then lay on the bed. I think I dozed off. It’s dark now so I’ve locked the house up and crawled into bed and I am dictating this blog as usual as my right hand is still a problem.

Accomodation 

The YMCA didn’t have any accommodation available for me and put me on the waiting list however they did provide me with a list of other places in the same sort of establishments as themselves. One of them I called and went to view today they are apartments in a slightly different city for me not too far away. Fairly scungey with the typical clientele but again I’m not fussy and I just don’t care any more all I need is a bed that I can stay and sleep in.  I literally don’t feel well enough to go househunting to put in application after application with hordes of people being rejected or hoping to be accepted for a good house so I figure this is a good stop in the interim and I will have to look after the children often but I’ll stay at the house while I do that so I haven’t got to take the children to my apartment.

I went on to the hospital after seeing these different places and had my CT scan on my hand so now I just have to wait for the results.

On the way home a trailer caught fire and I was the only person to stop and help even though I’m a female and my hand is in plaster.  This is the sort of behaviour that really reinforces my depression because it shows how more self obsessed people are and less caring of other people.

My hand hurts from all the driving today so I stopped and bought myself some wine for dinner tonight not overly healthy but I just don’t care very much anymore.

It seems the trailer is very much a metaphor for myself I am on fire and nobody is stopping to help.

Sweethearts and sickness

Its my high school sweet heart’s birthday today.  We’re Facebook friends.  We don’t talk to each other, just the odd ‘like’ on comments.  Way back when, everyone thought him and I would marry.  We ‘dated’ as you do in school, often split up and then made our way back to each other.  We were odd bods, which seemed to intrinsically link us.  Where others saw him as frankly a bit crazy (a candidate for manic depression), I understood his ebbs and flows.  His moods, and his little routines.  And I think in that, he felt safe to be himself with me.  Although he often chased the girls that were known for giving a bit more in the relationship physically, so to speak, he would often seek a respite with me.  Perhaps that’s because I was pretty damn crazy myself! – And as for the all of the politically incorrect statements I’m throwing around, I’m referring to our time in school.  Back then, labels weren’t applied, just observations.  He wasn’t my first kiss, that was DL. A local boy who went to the same first school and then secondary school as me.  I did think I was in love with him at the time.  I remember him dancing with Samantha at a school disco to the Bangles and I cried like a baby in my heart-break.  DL was also a larger than life character, he dabbled in some professional acting, and I believe does some acting now.  But DL and the first love that I refer to, AB, didn’t get along.  Perhaps their ego’s were too big for each other.

DL and I kissed in a cupboard for chairs one summer afternoon in a local village hall.  I was so terrified, but so excited.  We were dared to kiss.  When the kiss happened it felt so forced, I didn’t feel all ‘floaty’ as I would have expected.  I suspect he had kissed a lot of times before me.  I was 13.  I still picture it perfectly.  The room, the chairs, the lingering dust, the warmth of a summer’s afternoon, the other kids daring us.  It makes me smile.  Of all of the boys, DL was a great person to share that moment with.  A cherished fragment in a young life.

I never gave any thought to my first time sexually.  It wasn’t something people talked about.  Even AB chasing the other girls hadn’t considered sex, just even a look or a touch! – that’s his words!

Perhaps in a different world, AB would have been my first time.  Beneath his boyish humour and manic ticks, he was sweet and gentle.  We took many walks around the fields near his house, and not once in all of those times did he try anything.  I always managed to feel safe around him.  Even when he kissed me it never felt like a promise.  Perhaps we were never meant to be more than a dance of what could have been.  Certainly I have no doubt if we had have ended up together, it wouldn’t have lasted.  We both share the same moods and egos.  Both too passionate about our stances to back down.  We would have come to hate each other.  Both of us need someone calm, consistent and patient to counter our imbalance.

But life would have been better had I have chosen the person.  If it was planned.  And not necessarily even like in the movies, with the roses, candles and bed made by the fire.

This morning I went constantly into panic attacks.  My son was sleeping soundly in the bed, so I had to go into the bathroom and try to get a grip.  Then I got back into bed, drifted off to sleep and the same thing happened.  I don’t know what triggered me.  I guess a dream I had.  But clearly a lie in this morning wasn’t going to happen.

Already triggered, I decided to unblock HIM [the rapist] on Facebook and look at his profile.  See if anything significant in his life had happened, make sure we didn’t have any friends linked.  I wouldn’t usually do this, S has always done periodic checks for me, but it’s not his place anymore.  I need to bite the bullet.  Of course with Facebook settings as they are, I couldn’t see much.  Seeing his photos and I felt an odd shut down.  In my mind his image is set to back then.  His mouth, eyes, his demeanour is still clear in my head.  So the photos are hard to place.  I didn’t look for long, I didn’t want the revised image burned into my retinas.  I didn’t want any image to cause me distress.  So I didn’t find anything of interest.  Unfortunately now with Facebook I have to wait 48 hours to block him again.  So I live in fear of him seeking me out, I’m counting down those hours.

Seeing AB’s birthday was a reminder though of some of the better times in my young life.  Some of the possibilities that could have been.  But of course I feel sad, painfully sad for the loss of having a special memory for my first time.

S has decided to extend his stay in Auckland for another week.  So I’m up at the house.  I don’t have time to process any thoughts or feelings, and fighting this mood is difficult as I’m on call all the time.  S has also not left much in the way of funds, which is really stressful for me.  I had arranged for a babysitter to come on Sunday for a couple of hours so I could enjoy the women’s only swim, but I’ve had to cancel that, I can’t afford the babysitter.  I’m a bit annoyed that the one thing I enjoy I can’t do.

 

 

Trigger. Unhappy.

Of course I should have known how this evening would end.  I should have known it the minute I identified my mood was dropping after getting so tired and knowing there wouldn’t be any rest time.

We were up at the house, the kids were being great.  It was a lovely evening with them. They went to bed really well, and I felt nicely relaxed.  However, my mistake was not taking the opportunity and going to bed when I could.  Instead I stayed up watching tv, waiting for S to get back.  Old habits die-hard.

I watched one programme and there was a sexual assault.  Nothing, NOTHING was shown, it was just implied.  I wasn’t triggered by that.  However, the way the perpetrator looked at his victim with such disgust, anger and hatred afterwards me  – shook me to the very core. He looked at her with such repulsion, as though she was shit on his shoe.  I have seen that very look after the brutal intimacy forced on me.  I guess that was very much a piece I hadn’t really processed or considered in any depth.  The way I was made to feel afterwards.  Like it was my fault, any shame I didn’t already feel was imprinted on me forever more.  i felt that shame in that moment, revisited.  My blood felt icy cold in my veins, my heart seemed to struggle to beat to an increased tempo.  I was both lying on the couch in the living room and back then.  I was both in the moment receiving the look, and watching myself.  I felt such a deep despair that even the tears couldn’t release.  I had the incredible urge to hide behind a pillow, curl up in the foetal position, anything, ANYTHING to stop the hurt and the replay searing into my soul.  Should I shower?  Should I scream?  How could I possibly placate this painful mourning.  I flicked the tv to something else, I busied myself with mundane tasks, laundry, trying to find an old necklace, messing around with a make up case.

I suppose I did manage to ride this wave, but clearly the damage was done.  Emotions lay on the surface and the inability to think objectively was hindered.  S got back an hour later.  Fairly drunk, looking dishevelled.  He said he had a good night.  We talked about the kids.  I talked about the plans for the week, who was staying where.  So far, so good right?  Until I asked him to look after the kids one evening because there was something I wanted to check out and he commented, ‘speed dating,’ I asked him why on earth he thought I would do that??  He said I always wanted to date??  I don’t know where that’s from, I don’t know what he thinks of me, but I can’t think of anyone worse right now.  Furthermore, is this the rapport now?  Swapping dating stories??  No, I am still hurt from this separation.  This is the man I’ve spent over a decade with, had children with, why on earth would I want to flippantly discuss dating?  Maybe he feels cavalier about that subject.  Maybe he is dating.  But I wouldn’t want to know.  I didn’t understand why he was trying to hurt me.  Or maybe I was already too upset from earlier.  I lost all impartiality.  I tried to ask why, why would you say that?  Is that really what you think?  He clearly wasn’t in the mood to talk and proceeded to turn off all the lights.  I went into the room with the mattress and tearfully went about taking my nightly meds.  My son was up, and wanted to sleep with his Dad.  But he sent him into me.  A single mattress on the floor just isn’t ideal.  I’ve told S that before, but still he sent him in and I asked my boy to leave.  He got upset, rejected, and perhaps because he knew I was emotional and he was tired and he started to cry, big fat drops of tears, and I felt like a bitch.  And S just shut his bedroom door, no doubt to fall fast asleep in a drunken stupor.  And I felt like my duty was done.  Kids were cared for, laundry is done.  And with no rest for myself I looked at my son and the mattress and said, no.  We’re going to MY house.

My home is becoming my safe space.  I have it looking really bright and cheerful and homely.  My only issue is the bloody neighbours.  Here I sleep in my comfy big bed, in a spacious room with all of my things around.  And here my son can sleep quite happily next to me.

My kids love it here, despite the neighbours.  And if I end up moving when the lease is over, I know I’ll make the next place my home.  Because I put time and effort and care into my home.  And its welcoming, and the kids know that.

But how can the house be my home?  When S seems to think we’re frat brothers!

If he wants to go out drinking and dating, then good on him.  For me, I care about my children first, my wellbeing and trying to meet my personal objectives – study and getting fit and healthy again.

As for this trigger this evening, I intend to think about it some more – when my son is at school and grieve for the child turned into a woman before she was ready.  Because GOD DAMN IT, I deserve to acknowledge that.

Pool

Today was a ‘good’ day – well, so far!  I didn’t get to sleep until very late, and I felt really anxious about going back to uni.  I felt sluggish from the medication, tired from lack of sleep and picturing going to the city caused me strong physical feelings of panic.  I considered how I might deal to that, such as taking the car.  But parking is really hard to find, so I envisioned being parked too far away and then walking amongst the hoards of students to get to my lectures.  Walking into each lecture feeling short of breath and sweaty and everyone staring at me.  Wondering what this old bugger was up to.  It didn’t matter what scenario I pictured, I always felt anxious and panicky.  You wouldn’t know it to look at me.  You wouldn’t think I was scared of being around students, dreading the journey in, and feeling the heavy tug of medications pulling me back into bed.

I dropped the kids off at their respective schools.  And considered where I might go from there.  In the end I decided to go to the pool.  I do love water and I enjoy swimming and its good for me, so why not?  A week day means no kids, and it was quiet enough with lanes available.  I knew I didn’t have to engage with anyone.  Swimming is a solitary form of fitness and that is what I needed.  Plus I wasn’t sure of my own capabilities.  At least if I reached a limit, I’d feel like at least I had achieved something.  After 30 mins, I didn’t want to be immobile from tiredness, so I headed to the spa.  The bubbling heat felt great on my body and I started talking to two older women.  They told me about their walking group, they meet every Monday and walk as far as anyone is willing.  Its been set up for people with injuries, people who aren’t very social, and/or people with mental health issues.  That  is, it’s a friendly group of mixed individuals that benefit from being motivated to go walking.  Apparently they also offer a gym programme and swimming clubs.  It was a strange coincidence to run into them – or rather float into them.  This sounds like something I might be able to do.  A gentle introduction to a healthy work out plan that offers some level of social interaction.I met the coordinator who was also based at the pool and learnt that simply by joining (for free) I’d get substantial discounts off of the pool! – What a find!

I’m glad that I pushed myself to go swimming my body aches nicely from being pushed.  I’m so pleased that because of that I met these women that introduced me to the group – if nothing else, I get a discount off pool entrance.

It just after lunch time and I feel very tired and its strange because as the tiredness seeps in, I am feeling more emotional.  It’s clear that not sleeping well is a teal trigger for me.  I had sat down with a cup of coffee to watch some mindless tv, but my second eldest daughter’s school phoned, she has a tummy bug.  So I rushed out to get her and decided to get my son as well.

This evening S is out late, so I’m up at the house with the kids.  I’ll be glad for the quiet to be honest.  My neighbours are already annoying me, the clanging of beer bottles and the music has started already.

My other daughter’s blood tests are back tomorrow, so I won’t be able to go to uni tomorrow as I’m driving her around.  But that’s OK, I’ll choose one lecture for Thursday and Friday to attend, one hour each day as a gradual build up.  Hopefully I can get back into a rhythm.

I’d just like to state again – I WENT TO THE POOL!