Parent drama 

So I had therapy yesterday and in this session I discussed my feelings of disappointment that my parents are not making any effort with my children. I decided to confront the issue with an email which I’ve pasted here as I feel in retrospect that I was unfair – and the kids have agreed with my point – which discussed it. My relationship with my parents has always been tumultuous at best, but I really thought everything would be different in NZ. Sadly they have reverted to their old ways. I’ve not had a response so they’ve not even attempted to change their behaviour or discuss the situation;

Hello

You may have been surprised by my outburst and I don’t want you to think a, it was just a bipolar thing or b, I don’t appreciate what you have done for me.
In England you were both fantastic and I appreciated your support, financial and emotional. I’m really glad you came back with me. However, the reason I felt strongly that you should leave is because;
1, when I asked dad about the lawyer his immediate response was ‘that’s all we need’ and seemed put out that your plans were affected

2, you’ve not asked to spend ANY time with the kids and I felt I had to ‘force’ you to come to horse riding. I realise 4 is hard work but you could have taken it in turns to take 1 or 2 at a time 

3, there’s no point in saying you don’t want to ‘get in the way’ I’m back in NZ now and you guys have limited time with them

4, Ella was looking forward to her ‘birthday dinner’ which I suspect would never happen. And I’ve told you they’re going on Sunday.

5, I’ve heard you wax lyrical about your day trips and lunches out and not once have you asked me or the kids to join in. I realise it might be an ‘expense’ thing but the kids would have loved a trip to the park or the beach

6, I’ve had next to nothing in money, the WINZ pay out was minimal because of stand down times and only a few days were included. I have managed to feed the kids, but barely – although I appreciate that’s not your problem – it’s been stressful

7, I went to a therapy session but I was called before the session had even finished because there was no milk and the kids were to quote, ‘very noisy’ and I felt rushed to get back which subsequently made me anxious.

8, I’ve had to assume immediate, full time care of the kids with no support. I’d loved to have spent some more time doing the house, or perhaps just getting a coffee after my therapy session, some form of back up, but instead I’m juggling it all, while trying to manage my mental health and new medication 

9, Barb and Terry weren’t going to get involved over the school holidays because they assumed you’d want to spend time with the kids, but I realise you wouldn’t have coped for even the Monday, so they’re going earlier. Where I know, despite how I feel about them, they dote on the kids and will take them out, feed them, show an interest 

10, another example was dad not being particularly interested in seeing Moonie’s school

You may think I’m being unreasonable and I repeat, I know what you’ve done for me and I appreciate it. But I also know that if my kids needed me (with or without their own kids) I wouldnt give a damn about the country, I’d do everything possible for them. You repeatedly stated that this wasn’t a ‘holiday’ and yet you seem begrudged when I’ve asked for help. 
I don’t want to end on bad terms, it was really great connecting with you in England, and you’re more than welcome to stay at my house on Saturday night. I’ll stay at Steve’s so I can spend the night with the kids. After all it’s the least I can do for you after you accommodating me for 3 months and paying for my accomodation in NZ.
Perhaps I’ve expected too much of you and perhaps I should have been clearer about the sort of emotional support I’d need. But I know that when you stayed with us in NZ previously and Darwin, you were far more interested in sightseeing then spending quality time with the kids. That’s ok, I shouldn’t have anticipated anything else. We all have limits after all. I certainly have mine.
I’d like to thank you again and hope you continue to enjoy this beautiful country. And the weather stays nice for you. I’ve explained all of the above to the kids so they understand where I’m coming from and they can understand my frustration. But won’t think badly of you, just acknowledge that your relationship is different.
Hopefully see you around, if not, I love you both very much and thank you.

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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.

Facebook

I have some wonderful followers on here that either come along to read, or post inspiring and heplful comments.  It makes me feel less alone, in difficult times.

As such, I’ve taken a leaf out of a fellow bloggers (epage!) and have created a Facebook page. Here you will find a (very) novice platform to contact me, create discussion or to find some agencies that may be helpful.  You are always welcome to contact me via that page or on here, and I’d be happy to locate more sources as needed.

The most important thing that this blog has created is a community in which I’ve been able to express all of my inner most thoughts, feelings, fears, symptoms and my life journey to recovery.

No one should be alone.

Thank to everyone over the last years that have held my hand and offered me words to think over, words to soothe and words to remind me that I’m heard.

The blog of course will continue as normal.

Penny Insane

(https://www.facebook.com/PennyInsane)

Penny

xx

 

 

A husband’s view…

I read with interest when a blogger I follow and very much enjoy – let her husband write his perspective to her trauma. To her journey. Often as victims we don’t hear how our partners/friends/husbands really feel.

Please read this amazing blog entry below.

As a husband, I naturally want to save my wife’s inner-child from 6 years of sexual abuse, unfortunately i’ll have to settle for the clean-up crew..

http://adjustremembered.com/2015/09/23/i-may-be-her-batman-but-ill-never-get-to-stop-the-villain-of-her-past/

Blog for mental health 2015

 

I’m a great believer in bringing attention to the plight and awareness of people with mental illness. It’s actually why I started the blog in the first place. A place to squirrel away my fears, my madness, my failings, my concerns, my battles with medication, therapists and psychiatrists. 

To look at me I’m an extroverted character. Confident and assertive. A mother of four. I look after my home and I’m seemingly ‘together.’

Not many would guess the truth beneath my facade. Until bits started leaking out over social media. Until I simply didn’t want to deny who I was anymore. That some days – I didn’t want to get up. I had been hospitalised a few times. I don’t always have the will to live.

But more than that I have periods of mania, where I think I’m god like. Where I’ve gone out drinking all night. Acting like I’m single.  When I’m so rude and obnoxious my husband has to deal with this horrible diva.

The bipolar is controlled finally with the right combination of medications and we all watch my moods like an eagle. But the side effects are grim.

Then there’s the PTSD. The at times, debilitating anxiety, panic attacks, the nightmares and disorientation. The fears that can’t be rationalised or reasoned. There’s no drugs for that. Sometimes there’s a hug, often not a touch.

My days are stumbled through. Smiles so well rehearsed my muscles form them without instruction. I take a pile of medications like an elderly person would. My liver is all but hanging on. My brain often muddles things up. 

I probably go to bed more times hoping I won’t wake up than most. But I’m too scared to take my own life. 

I love my family. My children bring me such joy. I realise I by no means have a hard life. In fact I have an enviable life. But unfortunately my brain doesn’t tick over with comparison. In fact I feel more guilt and shame for my feelings.

It’s a lonely existence. People that walk the path they look at you, and they just know.

Others, they want you so badly to change. 

For me, I feel I carry a demon in my soul. I would like people to know just how hard it is, how soul destroying it is to live with a broken soul.

“I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2015 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.”

Please see http://blogformentalhealth.com/2015/01/30/blog-for-mental-health-2015/

Mess

Last week I’d spent two nights up speaking with people in the UK. It involved details pertaining to my historical case, so it was emotionally fraught and tiring. I hardly slept. I felt emotional and raw. Lonely in my feelings at trying to deal with it, the past, the memories, the despair and the current day expectations. I decided to miss a lecture at university. Putting my mental health first. Knowing that turning up bleary eyed and anxious would set me off on the wrong footing. Although a good decision I still felt like a loser, a failure.

My husband left on Friday for a stag do so I was home with the four kids. They can at times be helpful. This weekend wasn’t one of them. My son just couldn’t sleep seemingly out of sorts that his Daddy wasn’t home. The girls argued relentlessly. I had to tidy constantly. There was never a break and never a chance for me to catch up on my readings for uni. I try to get a 1-2 hour nap during the day, because of meds and the severity of my bipolar and PTSD issues its like my brain needs that shut down time or else I just get over stimulated by everything and it makes everything ten times worse. Of course, a nap was out of the question. It was full steam ahead. On Saturday I had a terrible migraine as usual with them I was losing vision in left eye and my ear was buzzing. I tried setting the kids up with DVDs, iPads, just about everything but the trail of destruction continued.

On Sunday I had the beginnings of a cold. My mind thinking about the weeks events. The conversations I had with the UK, the university work I was getting behind with – I’m not up to it, I’m not smart enough, who am I kidding? I can’t retain this information. The fact that I have all this anxiety, the fact that I don’t operate normally. The feeling of sheer and utter exhaustion. My husband wanted this to be the making of me, that I would break out of my shell. Find myself or something. That’s all well and good, but he’s not the one reliving things at 2am in the morning. Or walking into a packed room knowing eyes are on you when you get asked a question that I will have to say ‘pass’ to. 

My husband got home last night and I was still trying to hold it together. He took it to mean I was stand offish. I was still in survival mode. That night I tried to read my textbook but our son kept coming in. My husband was busy on facebook so I dealt with him and managed to get him to bed. But by that point I was tired and fed up and figured it wasn’t worth carrying on.

In the night I woke up having a panic attack. I went to the bathroom and sat on the loo trying to calm myself. It didn’t even occur to me to wake my husband.

I am drained, I am alone with this.

When I got back to sleep I had a very vivid dream that I was in a head on car collision. And I remember for a brief moment as I anticipated the impact thinking, please let this be it.

first day at university 

I did it. First day an uni! First lecture!

I felt very old compared to all the bright eyed bushy tailed students around me. My fear had been their judgement of me. The scrutiny, the look of amusement in their eyes. I had been anxious about the size of the lecture room. I had been anxious about panic, about space, about crowds, about putting pressure on myself. 

When I got up, I hoped the car wouldn’t start. This can be my legitimate excuse for not following through. For not going out there. Facing people. Being forced into conversations. But it started.

My husband met me, parked my car for me to alleviate that stress for me. Even walked me to the lecture theatre. He in his suit, looking relaxed and confident, all the while belonging. Me, looking tired, frumpy and like the possessive wife coming to check out his fellow comrades. I’m sure that’s how it looked.

But in the theatre, I listened to the instructions. I was put off by students messing around and giving answers that sounded obnoxious and immature. I realised there was great comfort and sanctity amongst the mature students. And that perhaps my brain wasn’t so rusty after all. Only time will tell.

Now I have this commitment. This ‘thing’ that I do. This direction, and reason to motivate myself. I need to think, set goals, objectives. Half of me wants to bury under the covers. This is all to much. The other half thinks, for godssake grab hold of the opportunity. Do something. Be someone. It’s now or never.

Can I be consumed for ever by my mental illness? By him? Can I live as a prisoner until the day I die? Or maybe I take this chance. 

I don’t want to fail. I don’t want to drown.