Bed

I’ve spent the day in bed. I’m in this horrible fog of missing my children terribly, grieving my marriage and feeling uncertain about my future. It’s all so over whelming so staying in bed seems like the easiest option. But I feel guilty because I know I should be doing more. It’s a cycle where I feel constantly miserable and can’t seem to find any solace.

I think my parents are struggling to understand this part of me. They’ve never seen how bad depression is and they probably think I’m being lazy and not even trying. I feel that way!

I’m not sure what the answers are. I’m not sure how to find any sort of peace. I should really catch up with some old friends, but I’m ashamed of what I’ve become.

My children miss me (although S has told me that they enjoy having his mother there) and I resent her for being in my place. Her place is unquestionably part of the family. Unlike me.

I just continue to feel really alone and I’m not sure anyone gets it. I keep remembering when S and I were here last time, so much pressure was on us. In retrospect I should have embraced my time in the UK, rather than seeing it as a punishment. I’ve made so many mistakes. Too many to begin to unravel.

Strangely the bad memories from my past aren’t playing a part. I’m still stuck in the recent past and present. Perhaps my brain has triggered a defence mechanism. Either way I’m grateful. I don’t need any of my past haunting me now.

So I’ve come all this way and inevitably depression has caught up with me and daily life is a struggle.

I don’t know what to do anymore.

Settling in

So of course I’ve found my wedding photos, little momentos from S, old pictures of when we first met. I expected to break down in a heap. I haven’t. Not yet anyway. I guess I knew it was inevitable. I think the thing that stops me from feeling it so strongly is that I know he wouldn’t feel anything. He is so unattached he wouldn’t recognise himself, nor relate any memories. Another timely reminder that this is definitely over and there’s no going back. He isn’t the same person in the pictures. He doesn’t care like he used to. Already he’s blamed me for our son being behind at school over FaceTime, when I was trying to find a solution. He seems to like making me feel useless, digging out my failings and insecurities.

Today is the first day I’ve felt normal since getting back. My headache has slowly retreated, and I feel less foggy and confused. It’s been unbelievably hot here! And the long, light evenings are really strange to me! I’m still sleeping a lot and I think my medication regime is still trying to settle. But at least I feel human. It doesn’t usually take me so long to recover from a flight. I suspect my weight has been quite a contributing factor to that. That and all the stress I was under in NZ. I feel like I can actually breathe properly here. I feel less oppressed, there are less expectations and I’m able to rest, or have the company of my parents as I need. Currently I don’t feel like a burden to them. It is truly nice to feel like I’m home.

I’m even showering regularly! 

Tomorrow Dad wants to drive to Reading to visit the cemetery where his parents are buried – its Father’s Day here tomorrow. I was very close to my Nan, so I’m glad to go. I have no anxiety about going out, in fact I think I’ll enjoy the road trip. It’s supposed to be another sunny day. 

I’m not sure what I’ll be doing for the rest of the week, or if I’ll continue to feel relaxed (I really hope so) so I’m just taking each day as it comes. I know I had some major concerns and regrets on the way, but now I know this is the best thing I could have done.

Arrived!

I’m absolutely shattered, so I’ll keep this brief. I felt like the day would never end, I’ve been in a sitting position for almost 50 hours. I ache, I feel sick and I’m finally horizontal!

I really regretted the flight and thought I’d made a terrible mistake but my parents have greeted me with open arms. My old room has been set up beautifully and Mum had a huge basket of a variety of hair products, body stuff and bath treats. I have felt truly cared about for the first time in ages.

It’s also been really warm here and the long, light evening seems weird! I have no idea on times and days, I think it’ll take me a while to get adjusted and get my medication regime back on track.

I have amazed myself today. Well, the last few days! I didn’t move from my comfort spot, but I have sought care from familiarity and faced the anxiety provoking travel, far away from my days in bed. I survived it and I did it alone.

I miss my babies painfully, but hopefully this will all be worth it 

Leaving NZ

I’ve managed to use the last of my money and scrape enough for a UK flight. One way. I’m going to miss my children desperately. They’re my only reason for living. Without them, I’m nothing. 

But I can’t carry on down this path of destruction. I have lost everything and I have nothing else. I can’t see a way out of the storm and I’m so tired. I hope that being home I can rest, I can grieve and I can find myself again. I’m failing as a mother all the time now. I can’t keep letting my kids down. One day, I want them to be proud of me. At the moment it hurts to breathe. I can’t imagine ever enjoying life again.

So I leave next week. The warewolves in NZ won’t be able to get me there, although I have plenty of demons I need to excorcise in the UK. Strangely that seems easier to comprehend right now.

I will return to my babies when the time is right. I have not given up on NZ. But right now, it’s not my home. I’m miserable and I’m not niave, that will follow me home. In fact for at least the first few weeks I know I’ll be inconsolable. But it’s a tidal wave of grief that needs to be felt and nurtured.  I don’t belong anywhere. But at least I can find solace in where I originate from.

I don’t know if it’s the right or the wrong thing. I can’t trust my judgement, I can’t handle decisions. I’m overwhelmed and over wrought. But I’m doing the only thing that makes sense. I’ve hit so many blocks, there comes a time when picking up and starting over no longer works, even for the strongest. Something needs to give. I only hope with all my heart that a few weeks away will give me some peace and the ability to find my fight again.

Interviews

So, newsflash! I’m coping! 

Yesterday I went swimming in the morning. I wasn’t really in the mood, but I put my swimmers on under my clothes and forced myself to at least float! A good way of getting clean too! It wasn’t too bad once I got in and then I got into the hot bubbly spa as a treat afterwards.

I was on edge most of the time during the day waiting for my interview. I’d had to arrange with the school to pick up the kids early. Fortunately my interview was in a room booked in a library. So I had the kids set up in the kids section, my eldest in charge and I was in a room next door. Not ideal, but I had no option. Luckily they’re well behaved and loved the books, not to mention they had their fidget spinners!

I tanked the interview. One of the women was really nice, warm, friendly. But the other seemed hard, and ruthless in her questioning. I admitted, unusually for me, that I’d struggled with depression and was only just looking at getting back into the workforce. The kinder woman, Belinda, seemed to appreciate my honesty. The colder woman, Amanda just became more ruthless, how would I cope with 8 hour days? How would I cope with autonomy? How would I cope with travel? The implication that I’d find it ‘stressful’ was really thrown at me. And I do feel that had I not have been honest about the depression, she’d have taken my professional experience as my proof of my ability to cope under stress. She also had that uncanny ability to fake smile, and respond to my questions as though I’d asked something pretty obvious.

I’m not upset or angry or disappointed.

What I deciphered from this early on was that this job wasn’t for me. The job spec differed, and the cases are too similar to what I’ve worked with before which I’d like a change from. I’m also not personally affected by Amanda’s questioning, she’s not someone I could work for and that’s all that matters.

I was relieved when it was over to see my children, happily reading quietly in the corner. Unfortunately it was rush hour traffic heading home and they were pretty tired, but it felt good to be out, to be doing something different.

This morning I could feel the familiar oppression pushing me back to bed, but I forced myself up and got the kids organised to drop off. I kept putting off getting ready for my interview but I was determined to go. So unbelievably despite my brain screaming at me to just cancel, I showered, dresses smartly and borrowed my eldest’s make up. Mine is in my car.

Parking in the city was stressful and finding the building turned into a long walk in uncomfortable shoes. I felt like an alien amongst the city workers. Like they were looking at me, judging me, recognising me as a fake. My brain was in shock, walking IN THE CITY, like a NORMAL person! For the briefest of moments I felt hopeful.

The interview was intense. But unlike being gone at like a bull dog (interestingly this role is far more superior to the other role but the women were so much more down to earth), the questions were very professional experience related. Great, except I haven’t worked for bloody ages and my brain doesn’t even remember what I was doing 2 days ago. I feel like I mumbled a bit, I felt lacking in areas and I’m not confident about this one. But that’s ok, it’s good experience and maybe I’m not ready for such an intense role yet. The fact that I showed up counts for so much more.

Unbelievably I heard from another recruitment agent about a job and an interview tomorrow. This one is within the mental health sector but I feel I’ll be on safer ground. This job is more in line with what I’d like to be doing. It’s after school but fortunately S is back so he’s looking after the kids.

This week is full on and I’m amazed that I’m still going. I’m still really anxious about Friday’s court appearance, so I can’t really switch off until Friday afternoon. As it is, this weekend we’re renting a truck and emptying the cottage ourselves which won’t be easy. There’s still no tenant to take over the lease. I’m sure the landlord is putting people off with his eccentric ways. So actually ending the lease without a new tenant could prove tricky. I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

In the meantime, I have 2 more very important days to survive.

Living

I know it’s been awhile since I last updated my blog. My emotions have been swinging so quickly like a pendulum it’s been hard to really capture any particular mood. Or any real direction.

After being in the hospital for two nights I went to a respite facility that was actually quite nice. I hadn’t seen my family and I was missing them hugely, but I was on new medication and feeling the effects of that. I swung between being determined to grab life by the horns and give it my best shot and giving up altogether because everything seemed like such hard work. Even typing an entry for this blog felt like a huge amount of energy.

Finally I am back looking after the children and S has gone away. So it’s a case of out of the frying pan into the fire. I’m really enjoying my time with them though, and although I’m more tired than normal I’m making my time with them more special.

I did talk to S while I was here about the possibility of us getting back together and me living here again. Suffice to say it’s not go down well he rejected me out of hand . In fact I was shocked at how quickly he turned me down out of hand. I thought he might at least want to consider it. As he is away anyway every week it makes sense because I’m at the house to look after the children. It’s not only that obviously I do want to repair our marriage and I’m prepared to do whatever it takes to help us get back on track. I want to look at the damage that was caused and throw myself into the repairs. I’m old now and I want my family, I don’t like living alone, and I don’t like spreading the kids out. I just want everything back to normal. It hurt so much when S said no immediately. Although I did choose to tell him at the time he was working under stress for a Time pressured assignment. As the time has gone on I have convinced myself that is the best thing for me to move back , for a myriad of reasons, and gently work on our damaged marriage. But I can’t see S agreeing any time soon so I don’t know what will happen on that front.

As for now I’m taking each day as it comes and enjoying my children and seeing them is my greatest accomplishments.

Photos – games at my house 

Taking the kids out to dinner

My last night

My last night in respite. Most people ‘transition’ gently from crisis respite to ‘normal’ life. Not me! I’m straight out of the frying pan into the burning abyss of single motherhood with 4 children. I’m actually quite anxious about it. I can accept that I’m unwell, and with that reality I need to deny its affect on me while I put my children’s needs ahead of mine.

I saw my case manager today and I felt so out of it. He was trying to initiate conversation but I couldn’t quite keep up. My brain was tired and a few words drifted by me. I tried to listen but I was out of my body. Easily disassociated from the moment. The thing that’s pending is changing my meds which won’t be easy, but we need to tie it within S’s work schedule. Yes, not only am I housekeeper, child minder and on call nanny, my mental health needs to fit around S’s work. It’s easy to feel frustrated. I haven’t seen my home for so long and I’m so out of sorts as to where I’m sleeping half the time! 

Easter will be the time I change meds. I can utilise all the mental health services and S won’t be at work. I’m hopeful that I can start to feel better with an introduction of new meds and no stress of S needing to work.

I still want to see my children over Easter, I want to witness their excitement and joy with the traditional Easter egg hunt and I want them to see us united again, it’s not easy for them with all this lack of stability. I feel such regret that my children no longer have a proper family. I especially regret that I haven’t been as vested as usual because the tiredness and withdrawal into my shell.

So I’m back on duty Wed-Fri night. It’ll be late so I’ll probably stay over Friday night. S doesn’t seem capable of catching an earlier flight unless HE has plans that evening.

Then maybe I’ll get over to my place. No guarantees, I don’t want to risk it if I’m still unwell and unstable.

Respite has certainly served its purpose. I’ve slept on and off throughout the days. Enjoyed home cooked dinners and have appreciated the background support from friendly staff. The house is warm, the bed is comfortable and no one expects anything of me.

I just wish wish I felt better. Like I had flu and the rest had cured me. I’m fed up of my brain feeling like a brick shoved in butter. Heavy, unsecured, unthinking, confused, aching. I hate all these insecurities, I hate myself. 

I can understand people saying, snap out of it! I wish I could! It feels like there’s a switch somewhere that I’m missing. I know this isn’t a permanent state (I think). I know it’s an illness but its magnitude is beyond belief. My memory is shocking and I feel one step removed from everything. My body weighs a ton, and it takes me ages to get ready. It’s affecting every part of me and it’s hard to tell irrational thoughts from rational thoughts.

The PTSD is there ticking away in the background. Letting me know how I’m constantly in a state of flight or fright, potentially falling victim again to another prey. 

Life is especially difficult at the moment. I just want to get well. I want to join in my life again, I want to enjoy things. I want to breathe in the fresh air and feel grateful. I want to be who I am.