Wobble

I’ve had a wobble over this new year period. It happens pretty much every year with the pressures and expectations. Xmas was so good with all the family together, but then they all left and although initially it was down time for me, I ended up being left with my own depressing thoughts. I was definitely becoming unwell and I had visions of being committed over the new year.

But I’ve clung to my sanity. On New Year’s Day I joined the Parkrun group to get my 5km in. I’ve maintained running for 30 mins x3 a week, so I wasn’t able to run the full 5km again, but I’m not concerned, I’m joining the January program to work up that again. Then, as tempting as it was to crawl into bed, I went to the beach with a great read on my kindle. I swam in the sea and relaxed in the sun (yes I’m a bit burnt!). Today I’m catching up with a friend and will probably go back to the beach afterwards.

I’ve hardly heard from Steve and the kids. I knew he’d come back cold from Napier, so I shouldn’t be surprised, but it still hurts, even when I’m expecting it. They’re due back tomorrow as it’s Harry’s birthday the following day.

I’m working tomorrow which I’m really not looking forward too. I hope I can find a new job this year. I’m still in two minds about study. One part of me wants to embrace it and start learning again, another part of me feels inadequate and that I can’t do it. I don’t have long to make a decision.

It’s supposed to be nice again today. I’m lucky I’m up at Steve’s, it’s much cooler here and I can open all the ranch sliders, but of course I’ll be sad to leave tomorrow. My house is like a hot box over summer and I don’t really have much of a garden. It does grate on me that Steve has everything.

The new year means little to me. I’m not one for resolutions and trite message of hope and all that. It’s just a change in numbers, I don’t think this year will actually be any different. I can only continue to take one day at a time.

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Fighting intrusive suicidal

Thoughts. How easy would it be to step in front of a train? I’ve checked the train table, I could be there in time. I wouldn’t have to face the new year. I could leave the kids with good memories. There’s nothing keeping me here. My life is miserable and hard work.

I don’t know what keeps me here.

I feel like I need to hold on. But for what? Nothing is clear.

Home

I’m home now. It’s late, and very dark (more than usual, the street lights are off). It adds to the crushing feeling in my chest. I just left the bright lights and warmth of my children. It’s so nice to go to bed in the same house and wake up in the same house as all of them at the same time. I miss my family. Even Steve was being really friendly and more like the old him. We fell into our usual patterns and it felt easy.

I’ve long since deleted Tinder. I’m not ready to date or see who’s out there. I’m too focussed on my family. I just cannot see myself with anyone else. And I have no sexual desire anyway.

Steve is taking the kids to Napier tomorrow. They’ll be gone until 3rd of January. I’ll miss them painfully. Although this year I intend on seeing the new year in as opposed to sleeping through it. I don’t know what the new year brings – but it has to be better for me.

I’ll probably divide my time between my house and Steve’s. Primarily because my washing machine is broken and I don’t want to keep paying for the laundromat over Xmas.

This has been a good Xmas. My depression has been more manageable- or rather I’ve learnt to manage it better. I had a couple of times when I longed to stay in bed. But I think a lot of that was sadness, sadness that we’re not a real family anymore. But I loved being with the kids and being more functional. I’m sure they enjoyed us all being together. I took them to see a movie today and Steve came along too. We’ve not done any family things, despite my trying to initiate that. I think it’s good for the kids to see us getting along.

So now I’m all alone in the dark on Boxing Day.

I have work tomorrow unfortunately. I’m just going as back up to a colleague who has a dodgy client. Hopefully I won’t get any calls!

So this has been my Xmas. Overall I’m happy with the way things have gone. I hope next Xmas will be easier though.

Tinder

My friends have talked me into going on Tinder. They’re desperate to see me move on and be happy, or just have some fun in the interim. But my heart isn’t in it. No one is going to become my life partner. I’m just not ready and nor will I ever be. I don’t miss sex, I only miss affection, but not to the extent I’ll start dating. Dating requires trust and a genuine desire to get to know someone. I simply don’t have either.

My world is my children. All of my love and energy goes into them. I cannot imagine a man feeling the same about my children, aside from Steve.

So I’m on it, but I’m not enjoying it. And frankly I won’t bother meeting anyone. You simply can’t recreate 13 odd years of a relationship.

Work of course takes up a large amount of energy. Ive had some really positive feedback for once, from clients. I wouldn’t get it from my boss. And my boss still seems to dislike me. The environment is tough. Being busy helps alleviate some of that, but the job itself is so draining. And I feel like I’ve missed so much of my children.

I’m still doing the running. I hate it! But I’m always glad afterwards! I felt especially proud of myself last Saturday for pushing myself so hard and achieving my goals. First time I’ve felt proud of myself for a long time. It’s weird not being able to share that with anyone.

I have a friend staying with me temporarily. It’s both a blessing and a curse. It’s nice to have company and someone to chat to in the evenings. But she’s rather messy! So I’m torn between missing my space and enjoying having someone around.

I still desperately need a holiday. But I’ll never be able to afford that.

My life seems to have hit a plateau. I’m neither displeased or excited.

I have terrible pangs of sadness at times still. I hate those periods of insufferable pain. I wonder if it’ll ever end?

Update

My job continues to tick along. I meet quite a few different people. Some are incredibly interesting and very humble. Others seem to be so entitled and obsess over the smallest of things. Not too dissimilar from me. I’ve always obsessed over the smallest of fractions. It makes me wonder just how happy I’ve been in my life to let somethings affect me so much.

I hate the separation. I hate missing the familiarity of Steve, the companionship and the affection and certainty that comes with a long term relationship. But I’m closer to the kids. I appreciate every second I spend with them – I can think of nothing better than spending the days and nights with my children. Of course it’s draining and stressful, especially when I’m juggling my job, but they are the absolute epicentre of my earth. Maybe I took them for granted before? Maybe I relied too heavily on Steve to look after them? I’m always there when he has his work commitments. There’s nowhere else I’d rather be.

I’m back at the gym – which was a huge feat for me. I was genuinely scared that I might bring on another convulsion. But I can’t keep living in fear. Admittedly I did join a different gym. Start fresh. And it’s not far from the office, so I’ve been going in before work, but if I have the kids, I can go in during the day. So far it’s worked out really well. It’s still a hard slog to go there. I think of a million different reasons not to go; but I put on my gym gear and force myself. I never regret it afterwards. In the spirit of my health and fitness, I’ve joined a ‘couch to 5km’ group. I’ve not told anyone except Steve because of the logistics. It’s a very early start Mon, Weds and Sat. So early in fact on the weekdays that I have to drive 40 minutes into the city, back home to shower and swap to my work car and back out again. It’s a huge commitment, not to mention cost, but I reason that it’s only 8 weeks. I can do it. Can I? I hope so. I’m very anxious about it. I start next week – and again, I’ve already thought of a million different reasons to get out of it. It’s sheer determination to change the rut that I’m in that encourages me.

My counsellor asked me the other day; am I pleased with myself? Am I happy with where I am. But I don’t feel I’ve done anything to warrant feeling proud. Each day is a grind that I survive. I wouldn’t say I’m particularly happy either. But was I ever? I can’t think back to a time in the last few years where I stopped and thought – I’m genuinely happy. It’s been about survival for me. And some days have been better than others, but there hasn’t been a defined period of contentment. That’s not because of the separation – it was before then. The benefit of losing everything is seeing the bigger picture. And I’d genuinely like to go to bed and smile. Sure, time with the kids is awesome, but at night I ruminate over everything little thing. Was I a good enough mum? I stress about work all the time. I wonder when I’m going to cop the next bad mood from Steve. Things still aren’t great between us. The reason being; it defies my expectations. I want a relationship of sorts with Steve, but he’s not willing to participate. Instead there’s this uncomfortable dialogue and unpredictability of sometimes getting along, sometimes having a slanging match. I try not to get sucked in, but old behaviours are hard to break. I can’t control his behaviour, like I want him to show me more respect, so I have to learn to control my reactions and change for myself the impact on me. It’s actually really hard to do that. It’s amazing how much power we can give people.

My medication has changed radically. Some things recently I changed (after seeing the GP). I’m really more in control of my medication. I’m seeing a new psychiatrist in a week, sleep is still an issue. My new exercise routine hasn’t changed that. I obviously need chemical input, I just need something that’s cost affect and works. My CPN has left which I’m quite gutted about. I had a lot of respect for him – even being a man! I’m supposed to see this new woman but I’ve put it off. I don’t feel able to establish trust with anyone else at the moment.

So life continues for me. Not particularly interesting. I’m trying to grow as a person and a lot of times I think I am. Usually it’s interaction with Steve where I end up doubting myself.

Maybe this new fitness program will bring about some positive change.

The client

Today I met a client that seemed to read me like a book. She sensed my uncertainty and pounced on it. When I asked her anything she cried and wouldn’t answer, but her tears were very short lived. She doesn’t want an advocate – by her own admission, she wants a support person. As the story unfolded what she essentially wants is a taxi service to drive her around. Although it’s not my place to make those judgments, I just write the paperwork. The thing that got to me was in amongst her aches and pains she confided she had been raped. It sounded like a disclosure. She started to cry. I’m not good at hiding my feelings. I blanched, I know I did, she caught it. So she seemed to get graphic. I struggled to keep my composure, lots of things whirring through my head. The next minute she was up showing me her paintings. Then she picked up her bag and requested I drive her to the shops (which is not something we do). I was so taken aback by the whole thing I didn’t object. The woman isn’t under the mental health act, so there’s no illness. I felt well and truly manipulated. Which is not uncommon in this sort of job. I duly dropped her off and then drove back to the office in tears. I felt really angry with myself for losing control in the meeting, for being triggered, for letting my past get in the way. This woman’s story may or may not have been true, but I should have controlled the meeting better. She took control and walked all over me. I feel like such an idiot.

Fortunately I have counselling tomorrow so I can go over it then. I need to learn to manage my triggers.

The rest of the day was fairly nondescript. I went back to the Ward, which used to be my trigger, or at least triggered me the first time I went, but now I’m in and out and don’t think anything of it. The client I was seeing there was just arriving the same time as me in the back of a police car, and I thought, yep, here we go! At least this job isn’t predictable!

My daughter has twisted her ankle (my 11 year old) which is a common occurrence with her. She is hell bent on having crutches- I have no idea why. So every so often we go through this bloody thing of her twisting her ankle and saying she can’t walk and needs crutches. Then we feel like horrible parents making her keep walking. This time however, she has completely put her foot down, or not, as the case may be. She’s adamant she’s really hurt herself. Her father definitely wouldn’t put up with it, but I’ve decided on this occasion to take her to the GP. Just in case. Most likely response is he’ll say she’s sprained it and to rest it where possible. No crutches. No time off school. No bandages (which she also loves). It’s a really frustrating situation. We all know the story about the boy that cried wolf. I’ll never know when/if she’s truly injured unless she’s got a bone jutting out somewhere.

Tomorrow is Egg’s birthday. She’s insisted that I join in the birthday dinner, much to Steve’s chagrin. He has no choice, so it’s a family affair. A couple of hours of being civil. I’ll have to try and not make my passive aggressive comments.

Visual representation in therapy

My therapist today told me that I’ve worked incredibly hard, particularly over the last few months and I’ve achieved a lot. The way I talk about things is different. And she sees us moving forward onto the ‘next level’ of things. I didn’t understand what any of this meant and asked her what that might look like. She actually did a visual representation for me which was really helpful and unlike anything I’ve experienced before.

She took a bunch of toys and books from the box and laid them out on the floor in different spots. Each item represented some aspect of my life. The abuse I’ve experienced, Steve, the kids, my home, my job, my friends. She showed me how it was all a jumble when I started counselling. But things have separated and I no longer mix them all up. She showed what things are my priority (kids) how my home has moved closer to me (it feels more like home) and how my past has less power over me. How my friends are of great value to me, and how, despite a Baptism by fire, I have continued to stick it out with my job – and who knows where that might lead for me in terms of a career. Seeing my life laid out in an external format was really enlightening. I couldn’t identify the emotional connections, but I know I felt some contentment that it wasn’t as overwhelming as I always think of my life to be. My therapist explained that I would, in my own time, work through the different dynamics and discover new feelings, identify things I hadn’t worked through or considered before. Carefully unraveling layers, but ultimately consolidating foundations with the ultimate goal of becoming stronger, more aware, healing.

I’d really like to be handed a manual and told exactly what the processes are and rush through to the end. I find all this work very painful and often wonder if I’ll ever truly be at peace. But I guess I just have to trust the process.

This session certainly wasn’t like last session which was incredibly intense and I felt the pain for days. I didn’t think I’d stop hurting but obviously I did because at some point normal life resumed. The weekend was pretty tough but that’s because the kids didn’t want to stay with me so I was pretty gutted. I felt the familiar tug to wallow in bed the whole time; and I pretty much did. But on Sunday I went out to watch a movie – The Wife. I enjoyed it immensely. I like watching movies alone. I cried during the movie, it was really just an excuse to release some emotions.

I’ve had the kids the last couple of nights and I feel so much better for it. And Steve is away for most of next week, so I’m looking forward to next week with them. Time with the kids means everything to me – even though they’re messy and noisy! They make my house a home, they’re my whole world.

I feel a bit numb from this afternoon. I tend to after a therapy session, unless it’s been particularly intense, in which case it’s harder to control, I have to seal it off as I’m looking after the kids. But I’ll be thinking about that visual representation a lot. I can move things around in my head and think about what issues are requiring my attention sooner.