Swimming fail

Ladies night at the pool tonight, as usual on Sunday night and I try to make it fairly regular. There is a sense of camaraderie amongst women of all shapes and sizes and ethnicities being able to enjoy the pool without fear of judgement or preying eyes. I usually enjoy the background chatter, people catching up, family members aqua jogging together. And I’m certainly most at peace in the water.

Tonight before I left I’m without the kids. I’m at my house. It’s raining heavily, I’m jumping at every noise, I feel lonely. I couldn’t decide whether swimming would help or not, but decided it would get me out of the house.

My body felt worn out before I’d even really begun. The usual energising chatter sounded unbearably loud and from the snippets I caught, really tedious and inane. I tried heading to a different part of the pool and floated on my back. But the chatter continued. The pool was extra busy tonight. I didn’t feel like myself. I wasn’t open to talking to anyone and the smiles I gave were forced. I sat bubbling in the spa pool for a while and realised just how off my axis I’m becoming. The usual joy I’d get from swimming isn’t there. My hyper vigilance is at an all time high. I dreaded returning to my house, but didn’t want to drive home in the dark. Luckily the evenings are still light here.

Now I’m sat in the relative dark, relying on a sleeping tablet to get me through the night.

I have an appointment with the benefits office tomorrow morning which is causing me great anxiety and I have a counselling session booked at lunch time. And of course next week is the day of the actual anniversary, so my entire week is going to be awful. Perhaps that’s why I felt so out of tune with swimming.

I wish I wasn’t experiencing all of these feelings.

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New year woes

I’m writing my last entry for 2017 before 9pm in bed. I’m feeling really unwell and teamed with my medication, it’s making for a sluggish and disoriented period.

Last night I was up at Steve’s and was struck with the same debilitating PTSD symptoms. I’ve given up trying to question the whys now. I wasn’t triggered, the house is safe and yet I had this unrelenting fear of an intruder, coming to do me harm. I suppose the greatest feeling that accompanies this is loneliness. I have no one to share my fears with. No one to give me comfort or reassurance, or even at least acknowledge and validate my fears. I just have to push it down and get on.

Today I took Ava for her final vaccinations and a microchip. I think I found it more unbearable than her! But the microchip is so important.

Following on from her appointment I felt too unwell to do anything else. I actually felt faint at times, and the sweat was pouring off of me. We came back to my house and I awaited a text that said Steve was leaving Napier so I could estimate their arrival time.

Of course that text never came. And now I’m bed unwell and it’s all my fault and the kids wanted to stay in Napier and I dragged them away from all the fun up there. Blah blah blah. I get fed up being the selfish, meanie mother sometimes and there’s no reasoning with Steve. Once I’m in the dog house, I’m fully there to stay. Still, at least it gives him something to bitch about to his parents. My failings. If only I could be as perfect a parent as him.

I have no desire to see the new year in. I’m done with hoping for something better. It’s just more disappointment and shit to handle, with a different number at the end.

I have no inspirational comments or pseudo motivational sound bites to make. It’s just me signing off one miserable year, expecting the same next year.

Disappointment 

Am I disappointing my family (parents). Yes. 100% Gone are the ‘Europe xmas breaks’ we used to buy them, gone is my capacity to accommodate them in my own home, thus them only needing flights. I am now reliant on them financially and I would say emotionally but they’ve never been very good at that side of things. Every cent my father spends is another black mark against me. He can barely control his irritation. And to be fair, in his retirement, looking after a daughter that’s pushing 40 is a lot to ask.

So far I’ve enquired about numerous properties (competition is hot), made my benefit appointment and a slot to see my therapist, I’m still applying for jobs and may well have secured one – won’t know for sure for a little while. This has been me being proactive and not waiting for things to happen for me.

I’ve had my medication changed and feel much more positive about the regime. It’s just a shame that dr was temporary.

But my parents, they don’t seem to see it. Or maybe it’s all just not happening quickly enough. I still want to spend hours languishing in bed, I still feel low, my anxiety is shocking, sleep isn’t much better – but I’m trying desperately to organise my life.

Tensions are so fraught though, and arguments keep popping out – but you can tell they’re only mild releases of pressure. A big blow up feels imminent.

I feel quite alone in this struggle. I’m enduring another tidal wave of grief and sadness after seeing anything remotely mine in the house been chucked out. I understand Steve was being practical. And it’s just ‘stuff.’ But it’s a stark and shocking reminder that the house is nothing to do with me. That I don’t have a place there. I have no home. Yesterday I broke down and cried. I felt I could have cried for hours to be honest but with the kids around, I kept it hidden. They’re so happy to see me again, I don’t want them to think I’m unhappy.

I’ll have Harry and my daughter here in the motel tonight to sleep. Although it’s not very nice here, I’d like to spend more time with them.

So the struggle is ongoing, I’m really putting everything into putting my life in order. I think my parents just can’t understand me, the situation and the complexities of it. Although I’ve tried my best to explain. Something’s people only get it when they’re going through it themselves.

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.

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.