No way back

My time in the UK has been fantastic. I’ve seen my best mate’s baby born, I’ve caught up with old friends and grown closer to my family. I rented a car so I’ve been independent and able to move around the country, spending nearly a week up North with a good friend who has relocated from NZ after her marriage broke down. She’s come an incredibly long way and looks and acts remarkable. She was quite inspiring.

I’ve overcome my anxieties to force myself out and engage with people. This is a huge turnaround from when I was in NZ staying in bed all the time. 

I actually started to think I could start over here with the kids. I have friends and family and it feels like a good base to start from scratch. Unfortunately when I mentioned this to S he not only ripped apart the idea but even had the audacity to throw my mental health at me as a reason for not having the kids. It was a low blow even for him. In retrospect I should have waited to discuss it until I got back. 

Now I don’t know how I’m going to get back – S isn’t going to use his air miles as previously promised. To make matters even worse, he’s been suggesting I’m not welcome to stay at the house. It seems in my absence he’s turned me into a monster and seems hell bent on punishing me. He even arranged a nanny to live in – knowing full well id be coming back. He’s been even colder and more nasty than I could ever have imagined. I’ve no doubt he’s had his family in his ear. He accused me of playing games, which makes no sense as I came here for respite, to gather my strength and always planned to go back. So I’m not even sure what ‘games’ he’s referring to.

I had no idea that he would take the house and flight away from me. It’s left me feeling really down and powerless. I don’t know how he expects to ban the mother of his children from her own house? He asked me to organise accommodation- but how can I do that from the UK? I need to be in NZ first and a hotel is out of the question because I could never afford it. Just when I think I’ve come to terms with everything, he throws something else at me. I literally can’t believe how much he hates me. How cold and heartless he’s being.

So I face a gloomy and unknown future. Obviously if I didn’t have the kids, I’d just stay here. But I miss them terribly. And time away from them is becoming increasingly more painful. I Skype with them regularly but it’s just not the same.

Being reunited with my kids should never have been this hard. I feel terribly anxious and overwhelmed at the new hurdles I face.

It’s such a horrible end to what has been a really productive and beneficial time here. I need to be careful that my mental health doesn’t plummet. I could already feel that sense of dread creeping in and the desire to give up and stay in bed. I don’t want S to have that power over me. Obviously as soon as I get back to NZ I intend to find a rental house and move as quickly as possible. I already know it’s not healthy to remain living in the same house as S. But as an interim, it’s all I have. I feel sick that he’s effectively trying to stop me from being with the kids.

I’m so glad I never signed the house over. I would definitely be left without a leg to stand on. I came so close to caving under the pressure. But now by hanging on by my fingernails at least I have some security.

I need to get back to my babies. I need to retain all the strength I’ve built and remember I have some awesome people in my life rooting for me.

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. 

Therapy and sun!

Today I had my first therapy session for a long time. There was much to catch up on including my move, my witness testimony following the date where the sister was murdered, and the updates of the case against the police officer in the UK. I also told my therapist about my bad night in my new house, and the recognition of the time of year. Suffice to say she was pretty surprised by how much has happened but of course she knows me well enough to know that there’s always plenty going on at any one time.

It was relaxing to verbalise the occurances over the last few weeks including talking about how happy I am with my new home and I showed her some pictures. Although the session was draining and I found talking about the time of year difficult;  ultimately it did feel good having someone to talk to. I think it was only yesterday that I said I missed having someone to talk to that would listen and validate my feelings.

Fortunately last night I had a really good sleep, although I awoke with a migraine pressing still, I loved the blue skies and the peace of my home, and I even felt sad that I have to leave my home to head back to S’s house for the children as he is away again.  Not sad to see the children of course I miss them bitterly whenever I drive away but sad to leave my new town and my new home.


This morning ūüėä

The afternoon has been a lot of fun though; the kids and I were in the paddling pool most of the afternoon as the weather has been so hot today even my eldest came out to play in the pool which is very unusual.


J made dinner for us tonight, I really enjoyed my small portion of half cooked noodles, baked beans cold, and a spoonful of white rice! She even brought it outside on the tray for me! My children are just awesome and a real blessing. It’s important to remember times like this when I’m struggling with my past. It’s too easy to wallow in the pain when I am away from my children. I’m really looking forward to the weekend when they can be at my house. I also need to make more of an effort to take walks around town that I know; i  need to familiarise myself again and find my confidence, not to mention the fitness benefits.

Getting back to a weekly therapy session will be really helpful for me, it’s so important to be able to articulate feelings, thoughts and concerns with someone that supports me and listens without judgement. As a single woman  it is easy to forget that I do have a voice and I do need to be heard. Although of course this blog is extremely carthrtic. My energy goes into the children and anything left for me feels like grief currently contained and pushed down.

I’m feeling nicely tired from a full day and is plenty of fun in the sun this afternoon; I hope for another good night sleep and it is nice to finally miss a place that I can call home.

Sins of the husband

So a few things have happened. And again its been insightful, albeit a tough lesson.

On Tuesday I had a wonderful day with my son, I took him to see what will be his primary school and he seemed really excited, although unfortunately we missed his sister.  J is doing so much better in that school and the children always seem so happy in there.  H found cars, so he was pretty relaxed!

After that we had brunch in a new cafe, just my boy and I, in which the staff showed him a fairy door and the magic fairy left H a lollipop Рhe and I were both equally excited!!, we went to the park as Spring gave us a much-needed reminder that summer is on the way.

It was a lovely day and I was able not to mull over the upcoming meeting with my lawyer.  For a few hours I was a mother to a beautiful boy enjoying the sun.

Because S had demanded this earlier ‘urgent’ meeting otherwise ‘it would be my fault that he lost everything’ – ¬†I insisted he leave work early as I didn’t intend to take the kids with me. ¬†He obliged but funnily enough as he rushed in he¬†needed¬†to make an¬†urgent¬†phone call and expected me to hang around. ¬†Er, no.

His lawyer had made certain demands, and also hinted to my lawyer that his client was ‘insistent’ on getting these things wrapped up as soon as possible.

For two hours I trawled through finances, communications, his negotiations. ¬†I’ve never been privy to this information before. ¬†It was quite insightful. ¬†It’s amazing how I am to blame for so many things I knew nothing about! His parents as anticipated were trying to create a back door way in and stake a claim the house, pushing me out. ¬†Which won’t happen. ¬†My lawyer was fantastic as usual. ¬†Very calm and methodical. ¬†I broke down and cried. Not because of grief anymore but because of my own stupidity. ¬†You can never really know anyone. ¬†And I didn’t know him at all.

Nothing can you prepare you for that. ¬†I’ve had all of these awful experiences in my past with men, but I genuinely believed that in S I had found a soul mate. ¬†A kind, compassionate man with integrity and loyalty. ¬†The facts speak for themselves, he’s immature, he has no sense of accountability and he’s happy to continually twist the knife. ¬†I’ve constantly been blamed, been shamed, been treated like crap so he can not face his own recklessness. ¬†So he can use the system, not take any responsibility and ultimately rely on Mummy and Daddy to pull him out. ¬†How can I have let this go on for so long? ¬†How can I been so ignorant? ¬†This wasn’t a relationship built on love and honesty. ¬†This was built on lies, betrayal and immaturity.

By the time I left the lawyer’s office, drained, I wandered around the supermarket. I felt like I had seen yet another level of deception. ¬†There is no safety, no comfort zone, no one to turn to.

When I got home, I didn’t have the kids. ¬†Initially I parked the car and then sat in there and cried. ¬†Like a stone finally hitting water. ¬†The impact rushed at me. ¬†I dragged myself inside and I just lay on the bed and stared at the ceiling. No feelings, no thoughts, just quiet. ¬†I had written a Facebook status saying I would never get married again, and I was amazed by the rush of support. ¬†Clearly people are seeing things in my marriage that I didn’t. ¬†Or chose not to and are only voicing that now. ¬†Another shock. ¬†Who¬†is this guy? ¬†My answer I know now is, he’s the father of my children and someone who I used to know.

Eventually we text each other and I wasnt surprised at all to get a barrage of how everything was my fault, how he was the innocent party, in my silence, he text more and more about how I had screwed things up for him and how his job was at risk, the house, etc. etc. ¬†I was too tired to give him anything other, then fine. ¬†You’re right. ¬†I have nothing more to say on the matter. ¬†I actually didn’t. ¬†Words are meaningless. ¬†My lawyer keeps saying, actions mean everything. ¬†And his actions have shown me how little regard he has for me.

My lawyer has requested the basics, a house evaluation – he wasn’t even going to do that! And yet still expected me to sign the house away. ¬†Even the debt in taxes includes the period we’ve been separated – which is incorrect and these claims he made in support from the government??? ¬†How can he do that without my consent? ¬†How did I get pulled into his mess? ¬†Marriage – sucks you right in with the other person.

I’m relieved I have this lawyer. ¬†I would have broken down and given in ages ago, but she’s advocating for me, shes explaining things to me. She’s giving me the sense of empowerment – no I won’t be rail roaded. ¬†I will stand up for myself.

I was in bed by 8.30, I was shot to pieces. ¬†I had my hospital appointment the following day, I’ll write in a separated blog!

 

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.

 

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.

 

 

Reflections on a broken marriage

It is one year ago that S and I officially separated. In NZ, you have to be separated for 2 years before you can divorce, irrespective of circumstances. And the only reason for divorce is citing irreconcilable differences. I think in the US you can divorce straight away, I don’t know about the UK, but Australia is one year. So two years seems a long time.

I’ve been through all the stages of grief, denial, anger, sadness, and over and over them for different periods.

I can still remember S telling me he didn’t love me when I got to Cambodia. My desperation to fly home and sort out the situation and him telling me he’d leave, he didn’t want me to go back. The shock of a marriage gone bad. Although we’d been drifting for some time, I never envisioned divorce in my life. That was something other people did. Surely we’d find our way back?

On my return, S seemed to think we could live together as flat mates. Which might have been possible if not for the fact he couldn’t hide his disgust with me. If I stepped close to him, his barrier was almost tangible. He looked at me with disdain. For me, I couldn’t live like that. I couldn’t pretend. My parents have a fake marriage built on familiarity and fear of the Unknown. I wasn’t going to have this half in marriage. Either we made it work, or we didn’t. In which case, we moved on. Which in theory seemed easy, but then there’s the emotional baggage. S made it clear, he was out. He was over this marriage. No tearful talks from me were going to change anything. So I engaged a lawyer. And why not? I don’t know my rights, I wasn’t going to be left without anything. S seemed to take the lawyer as a personal blow to his integrity. But I don’t regret it. She helped me organise my finances and his financial obligations and explained the house situation. Although S initially agreed to move out within a set time frame, he reneged. And I didn’t want the cost or pressure of going to court for an order. So I decided to move out. S can’t afford to buy me out of the house, and we want to sell later when prices have gone up, so it works for me.

I didn’t anticipate the emotional connection to the house though. Spending too much time up there blurred boundaries and made the separation process harder to accept. But then avoiding the house totally had the other effect of extreme emotional torture.

I’ve flipped and flopped with my emotions and there’s been no easy route.

I can finally say, one year on, I no longer have an emotional connection to the house. It’s S’s house. I sometimes go up there to look after the kids when he’s working late, but I treat it like a friends house.

There was no need for a custody agreement, S and I work well where the kids are concerned, as there’s 4, it’s hard to have them all here at once – my place is quite small. But I usually have 2/3 at any given time, weekends and during the week. My relationship with the kids hasn’t suffered.

S and I are moving into a new stage of our post separation relationship. The hurt has finally disappated. I never thought it would get  to that. But hanging onto the hurt was only serving to damage me.Bearing in mind he’s had longer to deal with his decision and feelings so I’ve found his coolness hard to bare. One result from this is there is no going back. I could never trust him again after all this hurt.  Not that going back is an option. He seems happy and relaxed. Probably much better than his good days with me.

I’m sad, very sad that we had so much history, so many stories accumulated over the years. He was my best friend and I’ve lost that. 

For the first time I find myself missing affection (we didn’t have that for a long time in our marriage, and as for intimacy, God knows). I miss the closeness of a relationship. It’s strange to think of dating again. 

Right now I’m focussing on my mental health, and my fitness. It’s time I took better care of myself as I fight this low. I’d also like to get back into my study again.

I’m enjoying my kids, and I’m more set in my ways now in my house. I didn’t think I’d ever feel like this. I know there will still be hard periods, and my body will crave the familiarity of a man I’ve loved for over a decade, but I know I won’t find my true happiness there anymore.