Kids are gone

Steve took the children and predictably I broke down and wailed like they were lost at sea. I hate that my babies are being taken away from me, and although I know they will have fun, a part of me resents Steve for taking them away from me during the holidays. Especially choosing to leave earlier, so Boxing Day became miserable for me. He predictably left the house in a state. I did some tidying but my heart wasn’t in it. The house felt so cold (emotionally) and so dead without the children and I could easily imagine them all coming back in. I needed to get out of there. So Ava and I are back at mine. I’ve been cleaning my house non stop for hours to keep my mind busy. Ava is curled up on J’s bed, loyally waiting for her.

I’m anxious about a myriad of different things. I need to phone the benefits office to get that sorted – that’s my main source of stress, and I need to go back to Steve’s to finish off laundry, reload the dishwasher and empty the dehumidifier- Harry ran a bath and forgot about it, so the ensuite was flooded and it came out into the bedroom so the carpet is soaked.

I feel this looming sense of dread that the time is ticking away to a new year and it’ll be another year of shit for me. I literally have nothing to look forward to. I know it’s merely a ticking over of one year to the next and I’ve long since stopped celebrating it, but I can’t help but feel the enormity of starting a new year with nothing to look forward to. I can only hope it’ll be better – it can’t be worse surely?!

At the moment I’m feeling so down because I miss my kids. It’s hard to be positive about anything. But I suppose I should get used to these broken holidays – being as I’m not part of a family anymore.

I’m definitely not going to drink tonight because I know that will end badly. Soon the festivities will be over and hopefully I can resume some stability.

If anyone reading this is struggling with mental health issues, please know you’re not alone. It’s bloody tough but we can get through this.

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Suicide and Xmas

So Xmas eve night I cried for hours. As I often do on Xmas, and no alcohol was involved. It got so bad I started to consider driving off and then driving off a cliff. The idea seemed incredibly alluring but I considered that Xmas day would be forever remembered as the day that mummy killed herself. It was really hard to try and stay rational. Popping a few Valium helped.

Xmas day has been fantastic though. The kids loved their presents (even the meagre few from me) and Steve cooked a beautiful roast. It was nice to be a united family and I think the kids really benefited from it.

We took the kids to the park to try out their new bikes

And of course Ava came along. Although wasn’t impressed about being kept on a lead! But their were loads of families out, despite the drizzle. It was lovely to see.

I did have fleeting moments of panic, I’m not sure why. So found myself easily exhausted. And I’ve been getting constant headaches from clenching my jaw at night, so I need to sort out some sort of bite plate at night.

Xmas with a mental illness is never easy and I felt the struggle all too much as usual. But I tried to get into the festive spirit and relax.

Tomorrow is Boxing Day and Steve is taking the kids to their grandparents in Napier, I’m dreading being alone. I’ve really loved having so much time with the kids. I won’t drink and I guess I’ll communicate as best I can with friends to ensure I stay on top of my feelings. I really hate feeling this way. It’s like no medication is strong enough to get me through Xmas. And I’m clearly not strong enough. It’s a terrible weakness I have.

So today I will treasure, I’m grateful to Steve and I’m truly blessed to have such awesome, beautiful children. I’m sure the kids will have a great time in Napier and they deserve to be spoilt. I just wish it didn’t have hurt as much to let them go.

Drinking and work

It’s not long until Xmas and I did a really stupid thing last night. I was up at Steve’s as he’s away and I got drunk in the bath. This caused a major meltdown, me wallowing in the bath thinking about how awful 2017 has been and how much I’ve failed. How I must be a great source of disappointment to my family and friends. I sobbed my heart out, having to dive under the water when I heard the kids to wash away the tears.

This is why I avoid drinking. I’m not a good drunk. I either think I’m god reincarnated or scum of the earth. There’s no middle ground. It’s also not good with my meds, I ended up with my head down the toilet most of the night and this morning and a thunderous headache to boot.

Mentally I’ve been stable (ok, aside from that slip!). I’ve been quite content looking after the kids, taking them to the pools, enjoying their company, and enjoying the sunny weather.

And I have a new addition to the family..,

I hadn’t wanted to get a puppy, but in the end decided at least I’d know it’s background and it would be safer with the kids. I met the woman selling them and she was really lovely, this puppy, Ava kind of chose me! She came straight over to me and I adored her instantly. The kids have been great with her and she’s really laid back. In the chewing stage which is annoying, but I’ve bought plenty of toys. It’s nice to have company at mine when the kids aren’t there.

I’ve been in weekly contact with my CPN just to ensure everything is going all right.

The job is really too much for me. The night shifts are really messing me up. Working from 9pm – 7am ruins 2-3 days for me. Quality time I could be with my children. And it throws my medication regime off. I’m also aware that a good sleep routine is paramount to good mental health, and I’m working nights every week, with only a couple of evening shifts. If I’d known the time of the night shifts, I’d never have taken the job. But I’ve tried to find a rhythm and not give up at the first hurdle, but it’s simply not working. I’m looking for something else now. Still only part time, but with consistent hours so I can plan my weeks with the children and no more nights.

I’m really trying to be less of a grinch this year. Just because I hate Xmas doesn’t mean everyone should suffer my wrath!

Not long now until the big day! I’ll be up at Steve’s and we’re having a bbq – traditional Xmas day in NZ.

Lithium and PTSD

So I’m officially back on lithium now. It’s too early to feel the awful side effects, but my psychiatrist reassured me that my mood would stop dipping. So we’ll see how it goes. I’m starting on 1000mg increasing after a week. I’m still keeping my other medication which I’m hoping to reduce over time because I’m now on so many pills.

My PTSD reared up spectacularly recently. My car was making a hideous noise to the point I was panicking while I drove it. I made it to Steve’s house and asked to borrow his car. I begged him to call the dealership because I’m so anxious about confrontation. I’ve dealt with them three times already and my anxiety was too high. I was prepared to abandon the car altogether. He made the initial call but I followed it up after he kept on having a go at me for dumping the car outside his house. They agreed to come and collect it.

So turns out, someone took my wheel nuts off, no doubt desperate to steal my alloys to make some money for Xmas. Fortunately one is safety locked on, so I was driving a car with no wheel nuts. I was very fortunate that I didn’t have an accident. The car is either parked outside my house or the police station where I work. Naturally it’s unlikely to be the latter where this occurred, so it means the offender came onto my driveway. I reported it to the police who classified it as a burglary and they asked me to check for signs of entry into the house. I couldn’t see anything, but that didn’t stop me from panicking. That night I barely slept, every noise sounded like an intruder, I was absolutely terrified. The first time I have felt so vulnerable in my home.

I told my elderly neighbour what had happened as she parks outside her house and she told me that her neighbor (on the other side) had had his car trashed. A garbage can thrown over it, windscreen wipers bent. I was shocked and I guess grateful that nothing worse had happened to mine.

I borrowed one of Steve’s golf club’s in an attempt to feel safer at night. But it’s been hard. I’ve been especially jumpy and been suffering with horrible nightmares. I have had an unrelenting migraine for three days, which is costing me a fortune in medication as the prescribed codeine isn’t working.

The deduction from my pay for my student loan was so huge, it’s meant I can’t make the rent. I don’t understand it at all, I thought I had to meet a certain income threshold. I really don’t need this. I’m literally going to be one of these people that is better just living off benefits. Which is awful because work, despite the long hours, has been really good for my confidence and sense of independence.

I’m really feeling the stress and with Xmas fast approaching, it’s only going to get worse. I hate Xmas as it is, so I’m making steps to avoid it, although I’m supposed to be attending this bloody work function on the 13th. I can’t think of anything worse. The people I work with are nice, but so bitchy and in these cliches it’s pretty pathetic. They’re definitely not the sort of people I’d want to liaise with outside of work. I’ve offered to cover the night shift in an attempt to get out of it, but they’ve worked it so that I can still attend and work later!

I’m not seeing the kids from now and through the weekend, I’m working and Steve’s away so his parents are down and looking after them. Of course I’m grateful to them for stepping up, but I miss the kids terribly. I wonder what this is all for sometimes.

Not sleeping

I saw Ian again today and the topic of lithium came up again. I’m now seriously considering it, especially with Xmas coming up.

I’m struggling with these shift hours and the resulting lack of sleep is making me irritable and restless. I’m still under a lot of pressure financially, and my bloody car is falling apart at the seems. First it was the battery, then the electrics, now it’s making a knocking noise. I regret getting that car more than anything right now, it’s causing me a lot of stress. I finally asked Steve to help me this weekend because I’m working and he acted like I was asking for a pot of gold. I just figured he’d have more sway rather than a nearly hysterical woman seen to be moaning all the time. I feel completely on my own and with no support.

Last night I couldn’t sleep for hours. My anxiety is so bad, it’s taking over my life at the moment. I worry about everything and anything. It’s 2am now and it’s going to be another late night, as I can’t seem to sleep, despite taking a sleeping tablet.

Sleep is such a major trigger for me, so is Xmas, so I’m worried about my mood dipping again.

On the whole, work is going well, and I use my days off to tidy/clean the house, so I’m being productive. And I’m still showering daily. But I find my irritability is always lurking in the background. I find noises annoying, like a ticking clock today, or my child sniffing. It’s all loud and irritating. And I keep feeling that creeping sensation of restlessness which ruins my capacity to concentrate. Finally I’m experiencing the crushing symptoms of anxiety. The racing heart, the breathlessness, the cold sweat. It’s affecting my every day life now.

I see my psychiatrist next Friday, so I’ll use the week to consider my symptoms and have a discussion then.

Lithium has previously worked for me, I just don’t like the foggy feeling. Or the complete plateau of feelings. But maybe that’s what I need at the moment.

Going down

I saw my CPN today. I was in tears by the time my appointment started. I’ve been working long hours, I’m scheduled to work tonight from 9.30pm-7am – with no breaks. And tomorrow night the same! I was up at 4am this morning because Steve was going away for business. I’ve got no money, my car is expensive to run (why oh why didn’t I factor in running costs) I’ve got no food and no money to buy food. And yet I’m working all the hours I can which is slowly killing me. I’ve been so emotional, I had to ask Steve to order pizza for me and the kids tonight. He did so, without any argument and I was so pathetically grateful I sobbed over that.

So I’m feeling kind of raw, overly tired and tiredness is a huge factor for me. Plus all this talk about sexual assault allegations is making me feel triggered and sick.

I wanted to see the CPN to check in because I’m terrified of a relapse. He told me that he felt my reaction was that caused by stress – which he considered normal, but commented that shift work can of course trigger mood disorders. I’m talking to him next week to see how I am.

I’m glad he’s there to listen and guide me as I can’t afford therapy anymore.

I haven’t been able to catch up with any of my friends because I’m either working or too tired from work, so I’m feeling quite alone and isolated. More trigger points for me.

The commute into work is killing me, parking is a hassle, and the train seems too much hard work after a long shift,plus I don’t like travelling alone at night.

In all I feel like a flake.  I’m barely making enough to pay rent and bills. My hair looks bloody awful but i can’t afford a hair cut, let alone colour. I feel miserable about my appearance, but can’t do anything about it.

I’m of course grateful that I have a house AND a car AND a job. But at the moment work is ruling my entire life, I’mmissing valuable time with my children and my financial situation is dire. Meanwhile Steve continues to live in the big house and now drives a Jaguar. 

I feel so useless.

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.