Speed wobble (again)

Today has been tough. You know when I think I have my shit together, I’m always proved wrong.

The weekend was lovely. I’d had the kids, it was awesome. Then they went to Napier and I went to dinner with a couple of friends on Sunday night and it was a really good laugh. I’m very lucky. Great family, great friends.

Then today, the job.

The morning I spent in the notorious ‘Ward 27’ think ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest’ with slightly better decor. I’d been dreading it because frankly I was scared. I didn’t want to get shanked with a plastic spoon, or have fecal matter thrown at me – stereotyping much? Er, yeah! But I’m nuts myself so I’m allowed. And frankly this place is notorious for a reason. But instead of being scared I was confronted with a very real reality. I was facing myself. I have been that ill. When I lived in that area I was threatened with Ward 27 often. There’s no private facility and no alternative and at times I was regarded too ill for respite. It was Steve that advocated for me to stay out of there. Had it not been for him, I’d have been in there myself. I was facing a very real reality for myself. And not only that, a future possibility, although admittedly not in that hospital as I don’t live in the area anymore, I could become unwell like these people. It’s never too far away. My instinct was to want to run away. I felt panic. I wanted to hide from it if I’m honest. But the Ward is locked down. I was effectively trapped. So I had to rely on my colleague to manage the meeting to guide me through the processes.

Afterwards I wanted to sob. I wanted to express my fears, I wanted to cry for the old me, and again I wanted to phone Steve immediately and thank him for what he’d done for me. None of those were options. I chatted a little bit about my experience but kept emotionally void.

Returning to the office I felt drained. I’m still deaf in one ear, I still have a cold, I miss my kids, I felt emotionally raw and sure enough the three women skipped off to collude together in their coven. I felt left out, fed up, miserable, alone, etc. When they returned the giggling started up and I just simply wasn’t in that mood. When they started talking about going home I said fine, I’m going then, and left. As I reversed, I nearly ran my boss over who came flailing out behind me. Not to check if I was ok, but to have a go at me for leaving abruptly and making everyone feel uncomfortable. I can’t win. I apologised. She went on a bit and I felt my defences drop. I was just too cold and too tired. In the end I admitted how I’d found the day confronting. She told me I should I have talked to her about it. I explained it was pretty hard when the three of them were hanging out. She got a bit defensive. I think we both paid lip service at this point. I left – on I think, good(ish) terms.

As Steve is away I’ve come up to the house. It’s warm, I’ve snuggled under a blanket, had the heat pump on, watched his big tv, had a bath, now I’m in his big bed. It’s a hotel. It’s sad that what was my house has become a ‘treat’ but at least I don’t view it as ‘home’ anymore. Steve has really killed that off for me. I had hoped he’d offer some sort of support today, yes I stupidly and naively text him and no of course he didn’t reply. He’s not even with the kids apparently, he’s probably shagging some high earning suit in some posh hotel somewhere laughing about his crazy ex wife. Why should I even care? But sadly I do, even as he loves to point out, it’s been three years! Get over it!

Anyway, I’m just sore because it’s been a long, emotionally draining day and it would be really nice to share it with someone. Still, I had a good cry in the bath, so at least I’m not bottling it up. Hopefully I can see my CPN soon and rearrange counselling to a time outside of work hours. I need all the support I can get at the moment.

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Job and stuff

I think it’s really interesting that Steve mentioned I used to say all the time, I never really enjoyed that, after everything I ever did. I had lost all pleasure in everything in my every day life. I hardly remember that period at all but it seems familiar.

It’s interesting to me because I have spent the last few years being extremely sad. I have struggled with the marriage break up and all the subsequent difficulties I’ve faced alone. My mental health has been unstable and I’ve probably spent more time crying than I have at any other time in my life. But I have to say that I’ve really learnt to embrace the crying. I don’t see it as a weakness or question my sanity. I see it as a release and I just let go. It’s actually very freeing. In amongst all the grief and sadness there are many things I have learnt to appreciate and therefore enjoy. Simple things. It can be anything from a good cup of a coffee, to something one of the kids say, to driving my really cute car to something one of my good friends say. I guess when I think I’m going backwards it takes a simple comment like that to realise that’s not the case at all.

In terms of the job, I’m sticking at it. Some days are better than others. There’s been some really interesting cases, so if I focus on the clients it ignites real passion in me, I just want the freedom to get stuck in. The team seem a little bit warmer to me. Maybe it’s a time thing? I guess because I’m so open and tend to accept people, I expect everyone to do the same, so I’m bitterly disappointed when they don’t. That’s my problem really and not anyone else’s fault.

I’ve interviewed a nanny to take Harry to his tutoring on Tuesday and Thursday as I’m not going to be available. It really was a bittersweet experience. She’s lovely and I am glad to be working, but I’ve really enjoyed being such a big part of my son’s routine. I’m going to miss that a lot. I do love my boy so much.

I’ve had the kids the last few days, but now they’re off to Napier with the grandparents for the week – it’s school holidays. I’ll miss them so much. I’ll make the most of Steve’s empty house though by doing my washing and using the spa pool 😄

I’ve got this horrible ear infection which I’m starting to think will never go away. I’m completely deaf in my left ear. I’ve been on two different antibiotics. Now I’m on ear drops. It’s really frustrating. When there’s background noise I can hardly hear and I’m constantly shouting which I know is annoying everyone.

My mood is a little unstable, slightly more than usual – it’s the antibiotics. It interacts with my medication. I swing a little between my usual (crying) and then feeling extremely irritable and confrontational. I’m aware of it, fortunately it should only be temporary. I see my psychiatrist every 2 weeks at the moment and I’ve been seeing my CPN pretty much every week but he’s been on leave. I realise starting a new job is also a huge stressor, and I’m really keen to stay on top of mental health. I want to keep communication open and try to stop anything before it spirals out of control, which is easier said than done. I’m extremely stressed about my finances. My job pays pretty much the same as being on welfare, and of course by not being on welfare there’s a lot of things I don’t get discounted anymore so I’m very concerned. You can sort of see why some people can’t see the point of working. Especially when you consider tax deductions and student loan debts and child support, etc. But I’ve talked to Steve about that. I’ve gotten really good at budgeting, but I’m still lousy at understand taxes and what my entitlements are, whereas that’s his strength so I’m hoping he’ll be able to support me in terms of his knowledge.

I have a lot going on, but I’m managing. I’m taking each day as it comes. I’m finding it better to acknowledge each anxiety as it rears up as opposed to try and push it away. I’ve even kept lists of things that really trouble me and it’s amazing to be able to look at those lists a few months later and see most, if not all of the things cleared.

Tipping point

Interestingly the last few days have been surprisingly better. A few ‘shifts’ have happened.

Firstly, I was due to have the kids at my place but there was a power cut, no heat, no light so I felt it best we return to the house. I slept on the couch because Steve was leaving early the next day. They all watched a movie and I didn’t feel like it, so I curled up in a bedroom and read a book. I can’t explain the feeling, but I suddenly knew I had to get out of there. I mumbled excuses about having to buy a bottle of water from the garage. I drove a few seconds down the road and then pulled over and cried like I’ve never cried before. I sobbed, I wailed, I howled like a wounded animal. My entire body shook, i could feel this terrible pain, in that moment I could completely understand why people become addicts because I could have easily done anything to avoid the pain, but I trusted by body. I instinctively knew it was something I had to do. I don’t know how long I sat there for. I managed to get it together enough to go to the garage and buy some water but I was sobbing the whole time. I didn’t care what anyone thought. Back in the car, again i only got a little way and the whole thing started again.

By the time I got back to the house I felt drained and hollowed out. They were finishing the movie and heading to bed. I curled up on the couch and soon came the heart wrenching sobs. I managed to hold back on the wailing but the sobbing was just as gut wrenching, I played some music on my phone to cover the noise. I felt the pain the same intensity and gripped the blanket in agony.

I think I was finally grieving. I do cry easily at times, but I’ve never let go like that before. I always stop myself, scared that if I let go I might not stop or it might hurt too much. Clearly I’d reached my tipping point. I grieved for a number of things, my marriage, my health, the stuff in England, how my life is. Just everything that hurts and feels out of my control.

The next day I felt numb, but without a doubt I knew things had shifted.

A friend of mine that knew I was struggling with my house came and did a blessing on it! It was really nice of her and although I’m in two minds about it, I’m trying to stay open minded. I really love that she did that for me.

I got a new car as mine was too expensive to fix. It’s a cheap little piece of shit but I absolutely LOVE it!!! I haven’t owned a car like it before, it’s very raw but I really love it! And it’s so economical. It’s been well looked after too for its age.

I saw the new psychiatrist and she’s convinced my seizure was caused because my dose of anti depressant is far too high. The maximum dose is 400mg, I’m on 650mg. I may have my answer! She’s slowly reducing it with a view to changing it, I’m ok with that.

I’ve got a busy weekend. I had the kids over last night and I took them out for dinner, it was really lovely. We’re just going for a walk now. Then I’m catching up with different friends. I feel really grateful.

And I have two interviews on Monday! Fingers crossed!

In a pickle

Today is just a total cry fest. It’s been extremely emotional. I think there’s a lot of reasons for this. And I’m trying to acknowledge my feelings.

I sat and wrote out two letters to my children – in the event of my death. I have two more to go but it’s extremely emotional. I think I may have mentioned that I’ve organised things and left detailed instructions as a way to take control over dying. It’s taken some anxiety away. Not that I plan on dying any time soon, but a health scare does make you question your immortality. It was suggested by my counsellor and it’s been helpful.

I’m anxious about the call tonight from England. Hearing details, going over old ground, questioning myself and tormenting myself over my role to play.

I’m anxious about tomorrow. The most likely answer will be that the seizure was random, they don’t know why, they don’t know if I’ll have another one. Which isn’t helpful at all. And I hate the thought of trying to live life normally with the threat of collapsing in the back of my mind. Epilepsy is another possibility. I initially was terrified about that. But I guess like all illnesses, it can be treated with medication, and there’s no reason why I can’t live a normal life. Finally it could be a brain tumour. I can’t dismiss the idea out of hand, I do suffer with chronic migraines, I feel faint at times and I get blurred vision. Although as I’m writing this down it seems even more unlikely! My anxiety this last week made me think I was having a heart attack! And I’m bound to feel every little thing in my body and let it compound into something bigger. Other than that, I can’t think of any other possible answers.

A good friend once said to me, the opposite of love is indifference. I realise I go through a real cycle with my separation. I hate Steve, I want him back, I grieve the loss, I wonder about us getting back together, I’m angry, I’m sad, I’m rejected, I’m angry with myself, I go over old ground. This is not indifference. I have often used the term ‘indifference’ when describing his reaction to something. Steve is indifferent towards me. I can barely make him even angry anymore. He simply has no interest. Clearly he got there a lot quicker than I did. He’s presumably done his cycle and come out the other end. I’m still in the cycle, but have finally accepted Steve’s position. And it hurts. A lot.

So today I’ve been reading my books quietly curled up on the sofa with a blanket.

I’ve realised I’ve made some significant errors. When I left the skating rink the other day, I should have stayed. It wasn’t about me, it should have been about my kids. On the holiday Monday I felt sorry for myself because I missed my kids, and in my mind it was Steve’s week, therefore I couldn’t see them. Wrong. Steve wouldn’t have minded if I’d have taken the kids out or had them down at mine. I was creating my own drama and heart ache for ‘principle’

I’m making significant errors in judgement at the moment. I don’t know if it’s a period I’m going through, the stress I’m putting on myself, or I’m just an idiot.

I just need to get through the next couple of days. Come what may.

Group

I went to the group session today and it was a complete waste of time. The group was dominated by this crazy arse woman that talked about her life, making a Steven Segal movie more believable. It was non stop. I eventually spoke up because it was clear everyone had tuned out, but I think the facilitator wanted to bring her under control more gently. Whatever. I used the time to browse rentals on the net. I really hate this house. It’s freezing cold, it’s layout is odd and there’s just not the room for my 4 children. It’s one of reasons I was always going back to the house. To escape my own home. I actually dread going back.

My good friend has come over and she is in complete agreement. It’s just not got a very nice vibe. But it has served its purpose, I needed a house quickly before my parents left and this was here. Hopefully being winter I’ll have less competition looking for a new place.

I had coffee with my friend at her place after group to debrief, it’s become our routine now. She could tell I was really down. I said I longed to return to the house, to the lights, the noise, my children, the warmth and broke down and cried as I seem to be doing constantly lately. She keeps reassuring me that this will pass. At the moment it’s hard to stay positive. I’ve had to stop the gym, stop looking for work and worry constantly about keeping my heart rate down. Why do I keep being beaten down?

I’ve taken to leaving the tv on at night, on a music channel. I can’t stand the silence and this seemed a good way to make the nights more bearable.

I just have to wait until Wednesday- then I should get answers and be able to resume trying to make a life for myself.

I am letting myself feel the pain, the sadness, the despair. It’s all uncomfortable but I can only heal from it by going through it. And I’ve spent too much of my life ignoring what’s in my heart. So whilst my physical world falls apart and my physical health is questionable, my mental and emotional well-being is being acknowledged. As long as I don’t go down again. That would be really bad.

And Steve continues to thrive and love his big, full life with no regard or compassion for me at all. It’s amazing how quickly some people can shut off. I wish he had half of my problems – that might be more humbling to him. But he’s destined to walk on water.

Life. Sucks.

The email

To my counsellor

The MRI was as panic inducing as I expected. In fact I anticipated a seizure as a result of the huge stress on my body. Had it not been for  a friend holding my hand – I couldn’t have done it. The hole was so small and the noise just terrifying. But I am relieved it’s done. I’m also relieved that I didn’t have a seizure – this is surely a positive sign?

I heard on Friday night that the cop in England was found guilty. He will have a record and be unable to work for any police force, corrections, security type roles.

I’m still struggling with it. The guilty thing was decided which indicates he was in the wrong and I feel vindicated. Yet another part of me thinks that he is so less worse then the rapist. He was only ever nice to me – even when he was commanding. He manipulated me in such a way that he made me feel safe, even when he made me feel ashamed and dirty. How can that be? I hoped that Steve might see the ‘affair’ in a different light, that is, there was no black and white. But he has moved on/no longer cares. This outcome is something you and I need to discuss in more detail. Also, the investigating officer is calling me on Tuesday night to explain in detail what it all means and in her words ‘to ensure I have good support in place.’

It’s certainly been a roller coaster of emotions. The betrayal of good friends, the stress of the MRI, the results of the investigation and also learning that Steve is not and cannot be my ‘go to person’

Yet I still learn nothing. Today (Saturday) I longed for my family, for my role as mother and yes I admit I longed for a partner to bear part of my burden. I didn’t consider my fragile emotional/mental state. Instead ploughing on with my expectations.

My eldest C had horse riding and my other children wanted to go roller skating. I was happy to take C and then meet Steve and the kids at roller skating. I longed for the ‘normal’ family outing. Instead the complete opposite happened – as I’m sure you could have predicted. C fell off her horse, once I knew she wasn’t hurt I began a tirade of vitriol towards the horse she was on. My daughter was upset by my comments. She told me I ruined good things for her and that’s why she didn’t like me taking her horse riding. What could I say to that? I have let my own daughter down with my anger.

I was angry because I was scared for her. I couldn’t catch her, I couldn’t save her, so instead I placed all of my powerlessness at the horse. Plus the fact the damn horse did cause my daughter to fall!

So we drove on to roller skating. Her, refusing to talk to me. When we arrived H wanted to skate but my fears clawed at me straight away, the roller skates weren’t made especially for young children, there was no helmet, no pads! My little boy would be vulnerable. I think by this stage Steve saw me as a total nuisance.

I wasn’t needed. I was just a taxi, this was Steve’s show and I was encroaching. I didn’t belong.

Why did I have these ridiculous expectations? Why can’t I learn? This is not my family anymore. We’re not a unit. I am mother on my time, nothing more.

My friend S has continually been by my side, trying to keep me focussed on reality – I cannot appreciate her enough.

I left the skating ring. I didn’t want to physically turn away from my children, but I realised that this wasn’t my place. They had Steve and he was more than enough.

I got some wine and lie miserably on my couch. Images of England and what happened barking at my heels, my hidden fears about my health, the sense of loneliness and the pain. Reality fucking hurts.

The positive things to come out of this is that as we discussed I have taken some control over my death (if that was happen). I sat and wrote everything out. My wishes, the practical aspects, access codes. I saved it as a draft email. I won’t send until I’ve completed my letters to the children. But I know I have at least made things easier and there is less to worry about. In doing this I realised all of my outgoings, so I’ve had to face up to this and make some serious changes.

The week about starts next week as Steve isn’t travelling. I’m deeply saddened that it’s come to this. I grieve again for the home I’ve lost and the sense of partnership I imagined for myself. But I realise I can’t emotionally sever ties until I start removing myself from ties.

Tonight I feel a sense of relief that the week is all but over. I’m so grateful to the friends I’ve come to realise are true and can reach out too. But I’m so sad, so lonely and so fed up with myself (more than Steve is – which is saying something!).

I felt so much lighter after our last session and wanted to get down everything that’s happened to make some sense of it. To fill you in and get your much appreciated feedback.

If I don’t hear from you tonight (and that’s ok!) I’ll see you tomorrow,

Much love

Being real

I’m still going to the gym! People have told me I look like I’m losing weight. But I can’t see it! I’m so impatient for results. I went to see my GP to see if maybe she could prescribe some pills. Apparently there’s only one brand available in NZ and it’s dangerous with the medication I’m on. Gutted. The GP told me I can’t expect to lose weight like a normal person because of my history with medication and an under active thyroid. So the frustration continues. At least I’m enjoying my gym sessions.

I feel that after discussion with my CPN, my baseline is lower than I’d hoped. I’m actually quite a miserable person! At least I’m not technically depressed.

I’m still interviewing for jobs. I’ve had a couple of offers actually. Neither of them really appealed and I want to be sure that I’m taking on a job that I really want and feel passionate about. That said, I’m getting sick of my financial restraints. I’m struggling all the time. It’s so frustrating when Steve is living like a king and I’m here with nothing, struggling to make ends meet. I have made plans the last few weekends and although it’s been great to be social – I really can’t afford it.

But none of this is why I actually started this blog entry.

Today I had a really intense therapy session. I verbalised my shame over something’s I’ve done and the part I played with this cop that’s still under investigation. I actually talked about my shame and my disgust. I cried, I hurt, I put it all out there. My confusion, my anger, my vulnerability. My deep rooted sadness. My chest clenched so tightly with anxiety that it hurt, it literally hurt to breathe. Then I got this painful ache in my stomach. My whole body was reacting. I’ve not talked in so much detail about my own behaviour and my own shame. My therapist was pleased that I felt in a place to actually talk about these things. To start healing. Although I felt I was exposing a broken part of me, my therapist told me that it was time I honoured all these feelings and it denotes strength. I thought about that as I drove to pick up the kids. To be honest if I wasn’t on call for the kids, I would have dedicated some more time to thoughts and feelings. Which is something I usually try to avoid. I hate feeling uncomfortable. The therapist told me I should be kind to myself and I should forgive myself for thinking so badly of myself. It’s interesting that she worded it that way. Forgive myself for thinking badly of me – not, forgive myself for my behaviours.

I feel like something shifted in me today. Or at least is gradually shifting. I’m thinking about things on a far deeper level and it’s for no other reason than for myself. I want to be the best version of myself; which means facing some home truths and things that are uncomfortable.

It’s a bit like the gym, I’m doing that for me. So that I can feel good, and have my time to clear my head. Therapy is doing that to my insides. Or better yet, I’m doing it for myself.

It’s still difficult not having someone to discuss all this with. I do feel lonely but I know that Steve isn’t the person I can talk to about things. He’s not my person, and never will be. I don’t resent him as much as I have. I see how we’re such different people with such different needs. It’s hard to be angry with someone when you’re more focussed on sorting out your own life.

And that’s really where I’m at now, trying to become a more authentic person so that I can be a better mother/friend. There is so much more I need to work on, I need to grieve over, I need to move on from. I feel like I’m finally getting all the tools, I just need to do the work.

I’m taking life day by day. Trying not to over think things, trying not to waste energy on the things I can’t control.

I can’t say I’m a fully revised version of myself! Just someone that wants peace, to be true to herself and to be a great mum.