Chicken!

I  have just arrived back at my place after a long cold windy drive over the mountain range. I actually dreaded coming here tonight, it wasn’t easy leaving the house. I had the kids all around me and we were under blankets watching TV, I could even pretend I was part of a real family for a little while. But I know S was due home soon and he would be expecting me to vacate once he returned. I did as he expected, a brief conversation ensued, at least I didn’t leave in tears. I came close though, Especially when the children were begging me to stay the night. It’s all very confusing for them.

It’s interesting that people can see changes in my blog, I can’t. Not only can I not see positive changes but I just see one miserable entry after another. I’d like to believe that I would be happy again, but at this stage it’s very hard to believe.

My best friend in England was facing criminal charges, it’s a long story. But she was facing losing her freedom, her reputation, her future. She felt she had nothing and she had no one as her friends had shown their true colours. I supported her as best I could from here. The trial dates were dragged out, and she could never see the end to all of it. Now I am happy to report that she is almost due with her first and very unexpected baby, with a lovely man that she met, and she has a job she enjoys. The pending charges were discarded as they should have been in the beginning so she has a full future in front of her as well. I think about that, and I think about other friends that have been through separations, etc. It’s amazing how my fallback is always ‘I never thought it would be me.’

I reflected today that perhaps I am just a very genuinely awful person and I have done something to deserve this. The way S has spoken to me and shut me down on numerous occasions leads me to believe that there is a reason he hates me so much I have obviously done something so appalling and abismol that I simply deserve everything that is happening. I feel like I don’t know him any more and that is the hardest of all.

Still today, I did the best I could I got up and I went to the library after dropping the kids off at school and I worked on my CV and did some research on jobs in the area. My confidence is shot to pieces and I have to say just by doing that little bit of work I was absolutely exhausted and had to go home for a short nap. This worries me. But hopefully I can try and secure something, or a least feel better about myself for trying.

I’m fresh out of ideas so I  just keep doing what people recommend I  to do and hopefully find something that works.

It is miserable being back at the house tonight, I miss my son so much and I will miss the children in the morning.

A random chicken turned up today at the house and it was so much fun to see my son with the chicken he was absolutely in love with it!


Suffice to say, long talks to let the chook go! I was proud of my daughters for making posters though and putting them up, eager to make sure the owners were reunited.

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The thing (the truth)

You know what, I am just going to write about what’s been happening that has caused me so much stress.  No one has said that I can’t discuss it and I’m sick of carrying it around and being careful not to mention anything.  And again, I cannot be silenced.

So, I started by blog when I was back in NZ after my brief time in the UK (18 Months) because S got ‘the job’ that was going to ‘make’ him.  Yep, heard that before.  I was pregnant with our son and I really didn’t need that upheaval, when I had a good circle of friends and a good OB here.  But he was adamant, we were all going.  It was going to be good for us.

We were given two weeks to pack our lives and move out of the house, the house I’d loved overlooking the ocean.  Where friends had congregated for BBQs, and where the children went to school just down the road.  We had, like most accumulated so much stuff, alas, most of it became charity or tip fodder.  The whole thing felt like a nightmare.  I anticipated any second that S would change his mind.  Why would I want to return to the UK??

Back in the UK, we’d miss a Kiwi summer, and were in an English winter.  I can’t tell you how depressing, back to back winters are.  S was in the job straight away, so pregnant and leaving my kids with my parents, I trawled rental properties with an agent.  I was pregnant, tired and sick and eager to build a nest for my children.  I had no help, my parents bordered useless.  They were never good with the kids and as a wife/mother, it was obvious that I could juggle all the balls in the air, still look good and not complain.  We were temporarily in an apartment, a 2 bedroom apartment which was hellish with three small children, so S arranged for us to move into a four bedroom apartment near St Paul’s Cathedral.  The area was lovely, and perhaps in holiday mode, I could have enjoyed the history and architecture and atmosphere and I have done previously in London.

But not just a house, I needed to find an OB and hospital too.  This meant many taxi trips and appointments, squeezing the odd scan in where I could to make sure my baby was OK with all this stress.

I found a house, a lovely big home a short walk from shops, off the M25 so easy drive into London city (not incl traffic!) and a fast train into London.

Our furniture was continuously delayed, so we had small pieces of rental furniture.  That were neither homely nor barely functional.  But we got through it.  Despite morning sickness and tiredness and swollen ankles, I organised a school for the kids and started to make this town our home.

I could never shake my regret at not filing charges against the man who had attacked me all those years ago.  And I felt more vulnerable than ever.

I hired a PI initially, I had to KNOW my enemy, and then I decided to press charges.

S worked long hours in the bank.  I felt I barely had any support.  My parents of course delighting that I should be a bankers wife and concentrate on being a Stepford wife.

The whole thing was a horrible, long never-ending nightmare.  But that is a different story.

As I lived in a county away from where it happened, I pressed charges through the local constabulary and then they in turn communicated with the constabulary of the area where the attack occurred.

communication breakdowns, different people on shift, new people, disorganisation and the general disregard you’d expect for a hisotric case were all part of a journey that lead to multiple psychiatric treatments, in-house care, medications, etc. I also managed to parent three kids, give birth to my fourth, and manage my life back in Blighty.  Of what life I had.  The resentment that I had towards S slowly bubbled unde the surface.  Maybe this signalled the start of our breakdown.

Anyway, there was a ‘Specially Trained Officer’ in the local police office that always treated me with such compassion and kindness.  We had a lot in common, and he was great company, funny and attractive.  He always had time for me, he never saw me as victim, he always helped by giving me legal advice and I feel supported me through the whole process.  Even in times of panic and upset, I could get hold of him.  We text each other often and after a while, people started to think our communication was probably too much.  But I didn’t care, here was a man who understood my pain, but could make me laugh and be there to mop up the tears.  I’m not sure how the line was crossed, there is no clear moment, no recollection of comment misread, or a ‘moment’ but somehow we became flirtatious.  There was an attraction between us.  He was married as well, but he told me unhappily and keen to leave.  We bonded over so many commonalities, and he made me feel like a desirable woman.  Not a mother, nor wife, nor struggling mental health patient.  A woman with desires, smart, funny and tender too.

In essence he represented to me everything my husband was not.  He listened, he advised, he held me, he spoke to me for hours.  He was there.

Anyway, he knew ultimately I would return to NZ and he knew that I loved my husband.  But I genuinely believed that there was something special, a connection.

I’m not going to justify this, it was wrong.

Fast forward, maybe three or so years later.  I’m in NZ.  He texts occasionally.  Chatty, upbeat messages, but I keep my tone civil but wary.  I am focused on my family and my marriage and I’m home.  Then he tells me that there was some sort of protest and he and some other cops got involved, things got a bit gnarly and there’s been a complaint about him.  He wonders, if asked, if I  might be a reference for him.

I don’t think that a good idea at all, and say as much.  I asked some friends in the UK and they tell me about a protest that occurred, so I know that much to be true.

He asks a few more times, implies things are heating up.  I answer the same.  I haven’t been in the UK for ages, it would be strange and frankly I don’t know the charges or what happened.

Then I receive a letter, from his office, an official letter, asking for information about an investigation into an officer during years that women made were pressing charges for sexual assault related crimes.  Of course, it was during the year that I had made my complaint (about the offender).

I thought it an odd request.  I ignored it.  I wanted no part of it.  I did query though, with him, why this letter?  He claims that someone is suggesting he was inappropriate, but its all lies and it’s a witch hunt.  Of course, I believe this because initially it seemed to be about a protest.

Gradually as time wears on, his communication comes in spurts.  Mostly asking for a references, sometimes just random, vague messages.  Once telling me he was quitting the force, felt suicidal.  It all seemed surreal.  I didn’t reply because I didn’t understand.

Gradually I started to wonder if maybe he had done something.  Overstepped a mark with someone, and if so, I had effectively set the benchmark.  As my affection was mutual, could he have interpreted that to mean that it was OK to make moves on victims?  I felt horrendously guilty.  Had I started a behaviour?  A year went by, and I carried the weight of my guilt.  What had I done?  What had he done?

So I called and obtained the name of the investigating officer.  I spoke to her.  I had to know what was going on, and why.  Hoping it was something minor, something casual, a witch hunt.  The investigation was still on going.  And I learnt that he had been inappropriate with 10 women in total (that they knew of).  All survivors of sexual assault, all with some sort of mental health issues.  I felt my heart go to stone.  Immediately I explained it WAS MY FAULT, I had been equally attracted and so he must have thought that paved the way to be with other people.  I also asked why this started off the back of a protest.  It had nothing to do with a protest.  It was a woman, making a complaint about his conduct.  I was noted in the communication through emails.  They expected I had become involved but without talking to me, they didn’t know the extent of the communication.  I had to know – was it my fault?  What had I done?

I thought back to when I saw him, always on duty, always in a police car (unmarked), it added to the appearance of a professional meeting.  Yes, somethings had seemed or said that seemed inappropriate, but he was a man and we were friends now, so it didn’t matter did it?

Frankly the whole thing is confusing.  He’s apparently claiming to be very unwell (mentally) but the argument is whether that caused his behaviour or whether he’s simply using it as an excuse.  I guess that’s internal politics because I don’t know why a resignation wouldn’t be accepted.

I mentioned that his marriage was broken and it had been a difficult year for him – yeah well, apparently that’s not true either.

In fact, I am not really the wiser as to what is true and what isn’t anymore.  Maybe I wasn’t so special?  Was he attracted to damaged goods?  Did I really know him at all?  Could these women be wrong?  Was it wrong that he spent so much time with me?  I thought he genuinely liked me.  Or was I a challenge?  Was this a game?

I mentioned to the woman who I kept my phones, I always keep my cell phones, unless I upgrade.  I have a phone and handbag addiction.  I’m not even sure why it tumbled so forthcoming from my mouth.  Even at the time, she didn’t seem interested.  I guess I pictured that Blackberry in my draw, that had been my lifeline.  So many messages communicated.  Such an integral time in my life.  Later she asked for me to send it back.  But the thing has been long since reset.  I might keep my phones, but I don’t keep my data.  She wanted things I’d told her to be written down and for me to sign. A formality with record keeping.  That made sense.

Little did I know, its been a few weeks of complete hassle.  Emails come with statements – formal looking, I’ve had to go to the library and sign and scan.  NZ Police got involved to get the phone.  I have felt scared.  I have felt further violated.  And frankly I would like to speak to the person in question and ask all these questions, did I mean anything to you?  Whats a lie?  Whats the truth?  Is this all one big mistake?

I’m reminded of the reason we met in the first place, and that adds to the seediness of it all.  I feel dirty and crappy all over again.  I’m scared.  I feel used, but I feel so stupid.

I want to believe he’s the nicest cop I’ve met, that helped me through a traumatic time.  The alternative cannot be right.

So, this is why my life has taken an unusual and upsetting turn.  I probably shouldnt have called the UK police, but I had to know the truth.  Although I don’t feel much closer to it.

Again, I’m shouldering this alone.  But I have made an appointment with my therapist to discuss this.  I need to talk, and to think about it.  I need to find where to allocate my blame.  I need to consider what this means and what I’ve done wrong here.

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.

 

Tears

Today as I walked down the street, my sunglasses hid my streaming tears and I thought, this MUST be rock bottom. 

It started last night. My eldest daughter is away on a camp which is always enough to send me into a frenzied panic. After the last nightmare I managed to (almost literally) twist the arm of the Principle to give her special dispensation to take a cell phone with her. I know other parents will groan and say, what happened to the good old days when kids camped without cell phones, blah blah. But what happened when kids got hurt and emergency services couldn’t be reached soon enough? What about the kids that got fiddled with and had no ability to call home? I WON’T have that for my daughter. I want her to know she’s SAFE, and can contact us when she needs. Plus she’s been ill the last few weeks with fainting, I need to know if something happens I’m contactable. Last time it was her bloody cell phone being used in an emergency because the idiot teacher wasn’t prepared. She’s a good 6/7 hour drive, or a one hour flight (that’s not terribly regular). Just too far for my liking. Anyway, some jacked up teacher with little man syndrome decided to exert his authority and take my daughter’s cell away. Which resulted in my threats and a call to the cops. Hey, I said I want my baby safe and fuck me, I will move heaven and earth to make things happen for her. Eventually the stupid twat backed down, and for my OWN benefit I will avoid him to save myself legal wrangles when I rip his face off.

So for two nights I didn’t hear from my girl and I was about to drive up there. S basically called me over bearing and yet asked ME to follow up with the school and camp. That’s right, I’m the over bearing BITCH but if you want something done – ask me. I fell slowly Into a spiral of feeling like I was doing everything wrong. And not having any support really hurts. It’s another beastly reminder that I’m on my own. Not to mention that this situation triggers my own PTSD and the guilt and self loathing feeds into my depression. But I can go fuck myself right? I’m only good for S when he needs me to step in for his work and social engagements to look after the kids.

This morning I woke up ready for my appointment with Work and Income. Basically to relinquish all dignity and ask the government for financial support. It’s soul destroying, confidence blasting and leaves me feeling like even more of a gigantic failure I already am. Look at me rocking 35 with NOTHING and no money.

I noticed straight away that my tyre was flat. A nail straight through so completely irreparable. I had to drive it slowly to the tyre shop when a new tyre would pretty much drain the little money I had left. I was beyond gutted. So while my car was getting fixed I walked solemnly to the office. Going through realms of paperwork and uncomfortable realities, it turned out my new permanent residence visa doesn’t show exactly how long I’ve been in NZ. Until I can confirm that, I’m not eligible for anything. After 3 hours on hold to immigration I was told that they could SEE my status but weren’t authorised to send confirmation, instead there was a process which took 20 days. So a sickeningly long time frame. The woman in the office was helpful and sympathetic but there wasn’t any more she could do. I then walked the distance to my psychiatrist’s office to request a medical form be filled in. Don’t get me wrong, this is no mean feat. I’m ashamed of having a mental illness, I’m ashamed that I need medication, I’m embarrassed that I can’t function normally at the moment. So passing over the form was a huge deal, but I was dismissed and I told to pass it to my GP. Get someone else in on the act. 

When my car was finally ready, I drove to the GP and explained to the receptionist I needed the GP to complete the form – even though I know they’re not treating my mental health.

I hate all of this. I feel like I’m begging for hand outs.

S was out tonight catching up with friends. He got back not long ago while I was looking after the three kids. He looked tired and moaned about it, but I’m sorry, you know you have work on and a trip to Auckland coming up – why push yourself? He’s off tomorrow for J’s birthday and not back until late on Friday.

He can’t possibly understand how I’m feeling right now. I’m alone, I’m struggling, I’m going through the degrading process of requesting handouts. All because he doesn’t love me anymore.

So as I walked the street today I wondered, how bad does this have to get?

I have nothing.

I am nothing.

I have no future.

I have no hope.

At least I have my kids. They’re all I have.

I just feel like I’m walking the street in the rain without anyone to hold me and tell me, it’s going to be ok. It won’t always be like this. And I’m not strong enough to tell myself.

Lost

It feels like ages since I’ve blogged. I guess I was hoping to write that I was on top of the world and had all these amazing plans for the future. Sadly that is not the case. In fact I’m beginning to wonder if I will remain in a lower state of normal forever. 

That said, I’ve been busy making the Spring holiday special for my children. I’ve packed lots of outings in, so far we’ve been to the movies, my son’s first cinema experience!


And we’ve been swimming, out to the local park and to visit a Lego exhibit. Previously the kids have been put in holiday programmes, but as I’m around I wanted them to have really good memories and I didn’t want my depression to dictate to me again. It’s not been easy. Every morning I wake up still tired, full of anxiety and a complete physical lethargy that makes me want to curl up on the couch and not move all day. I have to push myself physically and mentally to get going. Baring in mind I’ve been staying at the house so I am also constantly mindful to keep the place tidy and laundry done. It’s pushed me beyond what I thought I’d be capable of. I also received notice from the government department that gives out student allowances that mine is cancelled. The reason is because I changed institutions, so they regarded my withdrawal as points against me. I couldn’t believe it when I heard that. I rely on the student allowance with costs and I felt like someone had pulled a plug on me. I could appeal the decision but to be honest, I don’t have the energy, inclination to even belief in myself. When I got the news I sobbed like a baby. Yes, uni has been a struggle for me, but I had decided to sort it out after the school holidays. Now the decision has been made for me. I didn’t think I’d be able to carry on with the holiday plans. But it’s not about me, it’s about my kids and they’re relying on me. I’m glad that I’ve been able to keep going and give them the best of me.

Next week I have already made some plans, being careful with budget, but I’m also mindful that the week denotes the end of my purpose. The end of my planning, the end of my need to stay motivated. I have no plans in place to deal with this.

Day to day is easier for me. But the future seems scary and uncertain to me. For one, this rental house won’t work for me. The neighbors are just too noisy. I can’t handle revving cars at 1am, the constant parties and loud music on a Sunday morning. I’ve tried to adapt to surburbun life but I can’t stand all the noise. Which is a shame because the house itself is perfect for me. So do I face a move next year? Part of me is considering going to Australia. Just travelling around and getting work where I can. It’s cheap to fly between here and there. But the kids?? To not see them as regularly will be so painful. But New Zealand doesn’t feel like my home and I feel the need to explore and find myself again. Be more in control of my destiny. 

I’m conflicted about the best way forward. But my existence at the moment is living hand to mouth and trying to get by each day. I feel trapped and stuck. Although I realise that’s part the depression as well. 

I feel like I’ve been thrown another curveball and I’m unsure how to deal with it. I need some inspiration and I need to feel strong again. I need to feel empowered and positive about the future. But where to start?

S has found his perfect career and is incredibly happy and adjusted. The break up was clearly the best thing for him. In fact, at times I wonder just how long ago he stopped loving me. How long was he waiting for us to end properly? Funny, I was like he is now before we met. I have completely lost myself during our time together. I no longer like who I am and what I’ve become. I’m drained. The marriage sucked me dry and spat me out with nothing.

What will happen next?

Lost

I’m tired. My key catchphrase. The mantra that I live by. The sentance that sums up my daily being. My response to the day, to my life, to everything.

It’s after 1pm. I’m in pjs, in bed. I’ve spent the morning closing my Facebook account, opening a new one and trying not to lose yet more friends as I inconvinience everyone moving over. Someone told someone. In malice – probably not. In a bid to clear themselves of carrying around a ‘secret’ and pass it off as the ‘right thing’ a misguided or selfish approach to a situation that they didn’t ask to be in. Frankly, one can only speculate, and as we know, it’s every man for himself in this world. Literally, every MAN for himself.

I’ve done with the tears and the trying to make sense of it. I just need to adjust and move on. The truth was bound to trickle out anyway. Closing down other media accounts, no great loss. Contacts come and go, if they’re meant to be in my life, I will find them again.

The more pressing issue, the greatest of my energy occurred last night. 

My husband and I had a babysitter come over and we went out. Although the first couple of hours was spent behind the bedroom door in discussion. The idea of a romantic dinner was not in either of our minds. Picking over pieces of our stale marriage, the cold parts, the neglected parts, the raw and tasteless parts was instead on our menu.

We then drove to the cinema. In the bar area, my facade of listening diligently and calmly slipped, I felt some anger rising, my tone rose. The loop of conversation that is never going to end. He is a good man, I’m a bad person. It’s true. He could have been a successful multi millionaire by now. Driving fast cars living the fast life. And here he is with this miserable woman full of issues and misery. I genuinely feel remorseful for him. He deserves so much better.

We entered the movie theatre. A rather bizarre thing to do following a clear conversation stating the end of our marriage. 

To absorb into a horror movie was nice. The jumps and the scares. The escapism into another story. Another realm. 

The drive home in silence.

My world has slanted and twisted at sickening angles and degrees. My vision has blurred and gravity feels like it’s ever shifting. 

What I’ve come to know, expect, take for granted is not there anymore. But in truth it never was. We became strangers long ago. We just chose to ignore it. The inconvenient truth of it all. 

And now I’m awaiting my passport, I feel like a guest in my home. The conversations now start with, ‘when you get back…’ 

At this point I regret proceeding to trial. I wanted justice, but I doubted my strength and I was right to do that. It takes everything you’ve got and I hardly had anything to start with. You need so much support, but our marriage was already strained.

All I can do is wait to leave. It tears me up to leave my children. But somewhere I stopped living. I don’t know who I am anymore. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do anymore. 

I’m completely lost. 

lost my way

Yesterday I went to the group therapy that occurs once a month. There were about 11 of us, and a split between people that were in a good place and people that were in a really bad place. The facilitator was a cover for the usual, so it didn’t have its usual flow and I sensed that not everyone got to say their piece or be really heard. I could sense some tensions. I was pleased to duck out for a smoke with a newer member and get to spend some time with her in the winter sunshine with another friend of mine. It felt calm and inspiring to hear them talk. No strain, or pressure. It was almost disappointing to be called back to the group.

The group is usually really helpful for me, albeit triggering and upsetting at times. But when the mood is anxious and strained it benefits from a strong and experienced facilitator to guide everyone. Or else it becomes disjointed and the quieter ones get left out. 

After the group I like to go home and relax, sleep and process, be alone. But instead I had to dash over the remainder of my daughter’s 11th party at Laser Tag where they’d already moved on to bowling. I brought the cake. I was surrounded by loud, over tired, over sugared 11/12 year old years. The place was fairly busy and very noisy and my 3 year old son was exhausted and fed up and kept trying to make a break for it. The afternoon felt never ending. Eventually my husband and I decided that my son and middle daughter simply couldn’t take anymore so I would drive them home. When I got in I could see they’d left in a hurry, I’d left before them for them for my group. So I burst into action with my routines to clean and tidy the house. Get the laundry on, the house warm and cozy and the bedrooms sorted for their arrival. 

My daughter and her friend that were staying wanted to watch a movie. So as they came in, we jumped into my car and headed out for dinner and a movie. Not getting home until nearly midnight.

It was lovely to spend the evening with both of them.

But in bed my mind was trying to process things I’d heard in the group. Triggers, upsetting things, things that upset me. I got myself into the state whereby my body acts like it has flu. I had cold sweats, I swapped between freezing cold and boiling hot. My sheets were drenched. My sleep wasn’t good at all. I knew I’d have my daughter and her friend and my other middle daughter today for her eye test. 

Dropping my son and youngest daughter off at kindy and the holiday programme respectively I had a period when I was driving when I had no idea where I was. I had lost total control of the present. I didn’t know where the hell I was. Alone I might have panicked and broken down. But with the two young kids in the car all I could think was to drive and keep driving until I recognised something. It was a really scary experience. I have periods where I become disassociated, but not for large periods of time. Eventually I found my way.

Even driving back I found I wasn’t paying the proper attention, gliding through roundabouts. I was lucky. I could feel this bubbling urge to cry.

Now safely home I would like to take time to process and unwind. But the kids are busy making smoothies with every ingredient in the house. 

This afternoon/evening my husband is taking my daughter to see his parents, which is stressful. My daughter isn’t happy about it, which saddens me, I’m stressed, but I’ve agreed to step back and let my husband do what he has to do. 

I’m tired. It feels hard. I feel I’ve lost my way in all aspects of my life.