Lithium and life!

It’s been a little while since I updated.

The lithium is working really well for me, I’m glad I decided to go back on it. My sleep is still an issue, and with shift work it’s unlikely to improve. I had taken on loads of cover shifts in an attempt to earn more money, but I realise now that it was a bad idea. I wasn’t seeing the kids, I was either at work or home, so I wasn’t getting anything done and I was becoming disheartened about the job. I had a couple of days off earlier in the week and it was great! I spent the time with my kids, got out to have some sun, tidied my house and felt overall better. I’m just on my regular shifts now, although I’m currently doing two back to back night shifts, which sucks because it was the group therapy session – last one before Xmas. Which I missed, and I missed going with the kids to the Santa parade. Not that I like Xmas, but I like to see my kids excited. Mind you, I’ve avoided the sun today – I got really sunburnt yesterday which I really regret. Seems I never learn my lesson!

Steve and I are getting along well, as long as we don’t talk about money! I think it’ll be nice to spend Xmas together as a family. The kids are predictably excited about it. But as usual, I won’t be putting any decorations up at my house. I just find it over stimulating and I hate clutter. Steve will put decorations up at his house for the kids.

I’m finding my symptoms of PTSD have settled since the whole saga with my wheel nuts. And for a period, I was more affected by the calls at work, but I’ve definitely gotten a handle on it and my boundaries are back in place.

We have the staff Xmas party coming up – which I’m dreading. I hate social functions but my manager has hinted I should see it as a ‘work obligation.’ And technically I was on shift. I’ve not been social at all, mostly because I’ve been working and can’t afford it, but I must make more effort with my friends.

I’m off to work again tonight, so tomorrow will be wasted while I sleep. But after that I’m looking after the kids while Steve is away, so I’m looking forward to that.

Not much else to report. I’ve been Skyping with my parents every night that I’ve been working and that’s been awesome. I do miss England, and I miss them.

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Update!

The job continues to go well and I’m proud of myself for my accomplishments. Financially it is hard, I haven’t been paid yet but I declared my income to the benefits office, which saw it sliced in half, and with the rent at the higher end of the spectrum, I think it’ll be tough to scrape by. But I much prefer to be working than living on benefits.

My mental health remains stable, although my sleep has been greatly affected and I’m absolutely exhausted. There is some anxiety surrounding the night shifts, but hopefully it’s just a case of getting used to it.

Steve has been away, so I’ve been looking after the kids and I have to say that all together it’s been a tiring week, and I work weekends too, so it’s of no benefit to me that it’s a long weekend.

It’s been good though, catching up with the kids and reestablishing my role with them.

I’ve been able to do a grocery shop, which I’m having delivered so that I can rest on Saturday prior to a night shift. It’ll be nice to have food in, and have my home feeling full. 

I’m seeing my psychiatrist tomorrow for the med review and I’m sure they’ll be surprised at what I’ve accomplished. I can’t continue with therapy at the moment because I can’t afford it. But hopefully in time I will be able to resume occasional sessions.

So, all is well and continues to stabilise for me 😊 what a long road it’s been!

Car! Sorted!

So now I officially own my own car. It’s a zillion years old, but hey, it’s all mine! And although finance was tempting to get a nicer car, I have grown up enough in the last year to know that adding to my financial pressure will ultimately affect me in a really bad way. The less stress the better.

My first week of work is done. Two assessments, passed both. Another one on Monday. It’s nice to feel tired from actually doing something! And I enjoy the work, the team are really nice.

The ‘separation agreement’ is now signed and official. The divorce is another $211, and I’m not particularly keen to get the ball rolling on that right now. Again, it’s pressure and upset I don’t need.

Tonight we’re going out as a family for my daughter’s 11th birthday dinner. It’ll be nice to all be together, things between Steve and I continue to be amicable and I’m pleased with the place we’re at. Although I still miss my husband, I’m not completely useless at life as a singleton. In fact I continue to get stronger and more confident. Let’s just hope it stays that way. My mental health continues to be a source of anxiety, like things are going so well, so where’s the price I need to pay? I’m seeing my psychiatrist next week, so it’ll be good to have a review and make sure I’m on track. I’m also seeing the benefits office to declare my part time income. I get really nervous about these things, I don’t want to screw the system (it’ll only backfire on me) so I’ll be able to get everything up to date.

So;

Job – sorted

House – sorted

Car – sorted 

Now I just need to get money actually IN my bank account so I can start saving and get some extra bits for my Home (dining table, knickknacks, etc). I did go to the charity store and get some more cutlery for a few bucks! I surprise myself!

Good things!

So my parents left today, but I saw them last night. It was still emotional even though things have been rocky here. Luckily it won’t affect the kids. But I’m still indebted from my time in England.

In other news, I’m LOVING my job training! I’m feeling very positive about that. Although it’s been a shock to the system! I’m knackered!

I’m LOVING my home. It’s all in place, and feels like home. Of course I miss the house I had with Steve – it was our ‘dream’ house after all. But I have to remind myself it’s just bricks and mortar at the end of the day (technically aluminium!).

The kids are with Steve’s parents in Napier, which is great for them, my children deserve to be spoilt and I have neither the money nor time at the moment. My eldest is here at the house, she’s just living on her laptop talking to school friends! 

So at the moment, contentment resides. I honestly NEVER imagined getting to this point. I seriously thought my life was on a continually bad plateau and that perhaps I’d been the worst person in a former life! My mental health does concern me, but I’m doing the only thing I can do, take my medication, get sleep and wait until the psychiatrist comes back from holiday. I’m terrified of plummeting, but I’m hoping the job satisfaction and feeling of having a ‘Home’ keeps me balanced.

Oh, and I can use the 24 hour police gym!!! So I save on membership and can actually start trying to get healthy again!

Falling into place

So I didn’t get a reply from my parents which upset me even more, then eventually they emailed steve to ask when their horse riding was. I was so gutted, I thought I’d sounded reasonable in the email and open to discussion. They ended up turning up at my house on Saturday to find out about the horse riding. Clearly discussing the email and it’s meaning was not an option for them. Dad wouldn’t look me in the eye and they seemed defensive. I am glad I saw them though, I’d have hated to have left on a bad note. Especially after England.

They left shortly after and they did turn up for horse riding – but then drove off again. Ah well, my issue is mine alone and I have to deal with it. At least my children won’t miss them.

My house is looking great! Everything is in its place – I just need a dining table now – but there’s no hurry. It really feels like a home and I love it.

Steve, as per our agreement is going to buy me a car next week, just a cheap runaround. As the rental goes back on Tuesday – I’ll miss having a car for a few days!

I’m glad things are civil with Steve. And I’m so happy that my kids love my house.

So I start my new job next week!  Very exciting! I wasn’t sure I’d get it because I have that traffic conviction, and I need a full police check but they were ok about it and I’m really looking forward to working again. It’s part time – up to 20 hours a week, which is exactly what I was looking for. And as my house is near the train station, I can train in!

Feels like things are falling into place. That makes me nervous! But I’m trying to remain optimistic – there should be ‘pay back’ for my good fortune!

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.