Update 

I don’t want to go back to New Zealand! But of course I miss my kids terribly and I couldn’t live on the other side of the world to them.

It’s frustrating not being able to use a car and relying on my parents, but my friends have been awesome and I feel much less alone here.

The whole prospect of dealing with housing and the divorce seems so overwhelming. I’m sure if I stayed in the UK for longer I’d be stronger. But I can’t afford to stay, I can’t get a job because I need to go back.

S has done me a favour by acting like a prize twerp and being pretty bloody awful. I no longer miss him or hold onto a future with him. I’m concerned about how difficult it will be going back and him not being as least amicable. But that’s to do with making things easier, not a need to feel anything from him. If I had the kids here, I wouldn’t give him a second thought. I have family and friends here that care about me. I could easily start my life over back here.

But alas, the kids belong in NZ and I belong with them. They ask me everyday when am I going to go back. They get tearful and I know my lack of presence is affecting them. Although S would tell me they’re doing well without me! – anything to hurt me. But I care only about their welfare.

I’m applying for jobs over there while I’m here – and getting plenty of rejections too! No, my transition back won’t be an easy one.

Am I strong enough to cope? Thats the question. I wanted to come here and try to recuperate. And I am gradually getting my head together – but that’s through the love and support of people around me. I’m not sure how I’ll fare once I’m on my own again. Old habits die hard. And I’m always on the edge of a dark depression.

Tomorrow my best friend gives birth, so I’ll focus on her and the baby for now. I have a few weeks left to try and prepare myself.

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.

Law and order

I haven’t written down my feelings over the last week or so. Frankly because it’s so unstructured  and so unpredictable, it would change every hour.

Firstly, I sought legal advice over the separation. I came away feeling more empowered. The lawyer said a couple of times, quite bluntly, your husband has already seperated from you. I needed to hear that. He feels he’s ‘shut down’ and at the moment not prepared to talk/work at/face everything. But in essence he has left me, although not physically. I thought a separation required the actual relocation of a person – but it doesn’t. 

There are so many things I miss. Putting a hand on his back in the night, the affection, the hugs, the stolen kisses, the private jokes and of course the intimacy. Ironically I’ve not been fussed about affection before, but now I crave the feeling of being held, being kissed, being loved. Frankly, I can’t remember him and I actually having that spontaneously. Of course in retrospect I should have seen the signs and done something – worked harder. But I can’t go back in time, and I can’t force him to hold me or even love me like he used to.

I feel like I’ve lost a best friend, lover and husband. He’s not my first call anymore, or my person to share anecdotes with. I have wrestled with feelings of loss, grief, regret, denial. I have sobbed at night, during the day, driving the car. But gradually I realise that my final stage is acceptance.

We argue a lot now. Over petty things, it’s amazing how we can both be so adamant it’s the others fault. There is an unwillingness to compromise, to relent. It’s very combative. But I guess I’ve felt so unsure around him, so keen to say and do the right thing, but his constant reluctance to sort things out, to deal with it, to formulate a way forward has ground me down. I’m actually pissed off! And this, I can work with! I’m not going to play submissive and desperate anymore. Frankly, the whole thing annoys me.

I’m still working tirelessly to find work, even friends are helping. But it’s already against me that I have children, that I haven’t worked for so long, that I’m not a born kiwi. It’s very demoralising receiving rejection after rejection. He doesn’t want me, companies don’t want me.

Luckily friends keep me going. Their support and encouragement.

The kids, well, they know we argue. More than usual. And they’ve always seen us being close and affectionate with each other. They know things are changing. All I can do is keep reminding them that we love them and will always be there for them. I feel I can trust him where the kids are concerned. To be united and not use them as pawns. I really don’t want them too affected by this. Although I know it’s inevitable to an extent. I would gladly do family counselling.

I’m not ashamed or uncomfortable about leaving a marriage where there is no love or mutual respect. It’s not the 1950s anymore! People do end marriages.

So I’m hoping for a peaceful, amicable Xmas. That the kids get to enjoy being kids with two parents that are united. 

My shoulder is still painful. The X-rays showed no fractures or torn ligaments. So they’ve diagnosed frozen shoulder. I’ve been referred to an osteopath, and have painkillers. Hopefully the osteopath can help with my migraines as well. The injury where I had stitches has become a cyst. But the dr knows my shoulder is too painful to do anything about that right now. 

Still down a washing machine! So on my regular trips to the laundromat, which keeps me occupied, aside from the usual house chores. Managed to source a second hand dryer in the interim.

Next Sunday is the last group meeting of the year. Apparently everyone is supposed to take some Xmas food. It’ll be nice to see everybody again. 

He’s away next week, Thursday – Saturday, so I’ll likely have some friends around. Relax and enjoy the evenings without tension.

Today I was very busy and then caught up with friends. It was a lovely hot afternoon. And to be able to unwind in good company was a welcome treat. 

Next week, osteopath and psychiatrist! Keeping body and mind in check 😊

Considering the circumstances, I’m feeling quite strong. I guess we never know how much we can take until we’re really pushed.

Hope for myself

  

This morning I had arranged to meet a friend for coffee. Prior to doing that I collected my medical certificate from my GP to send to the travel insurance (for my motorbike accident claim) and with little thought drove to WINZ (work and income New Zealand). I’m in dire need to find work and establish some financial security. With my husband so distant and uncaring, I feel vulnerable that he could pull the rug from me any time. We’re entering this stage where I realise I don’t know him at all anymore. 

I asked about help to find work, and they mentioned some sort of job seeking benefit in the interim but I realise it would be means tested and thus I wouldn’t qualify. Although I freely admitted our marriage was one of legality now, with no substance, and queried if that would make any difference.

It’s unlikely but I have an appointment to discuss my prospects. 

And that is the very core of my realisation. How can I chase a man that has left emotionally? How can I expect love, affection, guidance, support, when the very thing that powers that (love, respect, desire, regard) is gone?

My heart is closed down. Tired of the rejection and accepting the fate. There is no more I can do.

  
Before I’d take any sign of affection or sign of caring as a ray of hope. It’s time to stop that now.

  
The thing is. Cambodia taught me so much about myself and about my worth. And as I gradually lost my self belief when I got back to NZ, friends stepped in to remind me. 

I always thought I’d have my best mate and soul mate. I thought his love would never die. It has and I’m sure he’d blame me for that for all manner of reasons.

But i don’t need to be treated like a second rate nuisance. And I don’t need to tolerate the fact he has no regard for my confusion and need for communication.

So, while he’s busy living his life – which is clear I’m not part of, I intend to get busy living mine. I need to secure work, I want the best for myself. I deserve to be happy. I intend to focus on my friendships because ultimately they will be there for me.

And I need to take this journey of healing alone. 

How long our truce of being amicable will last I don’t know. At least we set Xmas as an objective.

But I know I’m missing so much, to be loved, to be cared for, to be held, to be comforted, to be touched, kissed, made love to. I’m being treated like a flat mate. But I’m a woman and I have needs. 

And frankly, this isn’t going to suit me for long. It’s not healthy or worth the pain. 

I don’t know what he thinks or feels. He refuses to discuss it. 

  
But for the first time, I find myself not terrified by this. 

I realise it’s just another chapter of my life. I can choose to let this destroy my very soul. Or I can manage the situation as tactfully as I can and seek a resolution that creates a compromise for us all.

It was a beautiful sunny day and after holing myself away yesterday, after seeing my friend for a few hours, I walked my dog to the river so he could get a nice refreshing swim

  
I felt calm and peaceful. And the sun warmed my shoulders, heat on the sore shoulder. I felt more determined.

I think I have begun to realise that I am not responsible for other people’s feelings and actions. I think I took so much blame for this state, I wanted to prove my worth, prove my regret, change his mind, reassure him, give everything I could. But I just end up hurt and dejected. Confused and more lonely.

I need to focus on my wellbeing.

Broken (poem)

Is this what my life has become?

Tired, fed up and numb.

My husband barely tolerates me around,

He’s cutting, patronising and a bitterness in him I’ve found.

I’m more alone than I’ve ever been,

Failure is what my husband has seen.

My past like a weight on a back,

It’s courage and strength that I lack.

I would love to feel safe and respected,

Attractive, appreciated and affection received and expected.

I don’t like the person I’ve become,

Weak, ashamed, pitiful and dumb.

Unchartered territory I wander,

With the rain, the wind and the thunder.

I need a sign of what I should do

A suggestion, advice or a clue.

My husband has always been my soul mate,

But now all he has is hate.

Everyday is an ongoing battle from morning and through to the night,

The digs, the put downs and the outright fight.

My depression feels intense, a big scary hole,

Memories repeating in my brain, sadness and fear in my soul.

My life feels stuck on repeat 

This wallowing in self pity I must beat.

I hope I can find strength to continue through this

My old, passionate self I miss.

Death of a marriage 

Just before my lessons began I received a message from my husband that my daughter was in hospital, she had sprained her ankle previously but now the pain was unbearable and the school phoned him to take her to get examined.

The communication was made slow going, probably heightened by the fact I was due to teach and overwhelmingly anxious, feeling useless and miles away. My husband also informed me that his parents would come and look after her while he was at work.

I’ve decided I’m not even going to battle on that one. I’m fed up of being spoken to like shit, I’m fed up as being seen as the bad one. There is no consideration for my need for information and no sense of us being united. Perhaps I have naively anticipated that something like this would spark our connection, or at the very least he would consider the impact on me.

He doesn’t care. He’s right, he’s long done caring.

It’s not a phase, it’s not something that will change. I’m an inconvenience.

I felt like I was nagging for information. About my own daughter. 

When I spoke to her via the Internet and saw her brave smiling face, I was relieved. She’s in less pain than I had anticipated and the other kids are happy.

My husband – he couldn’t care less.

I rode my motorbike through horrendous monsoon conditions, soaked to the bone, pelted by rain, desperate to speak to my family. Desperate to hear their voices and see their faces.

I’m not just physically removed, I can feel things are changing. And with the introduction of his family, they will all move further out of my reach.

I cried buckets of pain when my husband told me he didn’t love me, that he hadn’t been happy for years. That if I returned home earlier he would move out. I thought that pain was insurmountable. I didn’t think I’d ever recover. My heart felt smashed, everything felt unreal. I wanted to go back and fight for him, for us. 

How could my wonderful, warm, tender, gentle protective husband no longer be there for me? How could I go on? How would I survive?

But my continued attempts to talk are rebuffed. And conversation is kept within strict boundaries – he has initiated that. Hurtful. Painful. A tender love that was home for me, gone.

But I guess I’m beginning to see now that he too has changed. He no longer cares, he offers no tenderness, no warmth. The man I once knew has gone and is too far out of reach.

I am nothing to him. And I feel I have worth. I feel I deserve more than to be spoken to like an arsehole.

I feel I deserve the modicum of respect and regard because I’m the mother of his children. Because we once shared a life together, our fears, our dreams. But if someone can turn so cold and withheld – what is the point? Why should I undignify myself even more?

I have been clawing my way through these last few months. Trying to deal with the court stuff, trying to manage my marriage, trying to maintain a routine that bored me, but giving my love and adoration to my children. Trying to offer my love and support to my husband. 

And now, here I am, living and being on my own and realising I’m not as weak as I thought I was. Not as incompetent.

I wish my husband was the same as he used to be, as I’m sure he wishes I was the same.

But at least now I accept, I will never have worth to him. 

Life will never be the same

Life will never be the same.

I thought during the police investigation – reliving my trauma and fighting to be heard was the worst time of my life.

I thought this subsequent trial was going to take everything I had. Reliving it again and again. The paper work, the red tape, the slow processes. I thought I was doomed to live with my past around my neck like a noose. The consequences, the side effects. The pain and the unrelenting nightmares.

Coming to cambodia was an opportunity for a break from that. From the pending trial. The frustrations of daily routine, the expectations, the demands of family life. An opportunity to give my husband and I time to reflect on the last few months, since the trial preparation began and his own legal stuff threw its full force at him.

Since being away I have missed my children painfully everyday. But the feeling of making them proud and doing something different has spurred me to go on.

My husband hasn’t spoken to me, he has talked about our marriage being over. But I have no updates about him, and conversation has been scarce.

This afternoon when he told me he didn’t love me and has in fact been unhappy for the last few years – I felt a pain in my heart I never thought possible. I have made my husband miserable and turned him into a person he doesn’t like. I knew we had problems but to know all these resentments he’s harboured and for so long were awful to hear. I’ve often suspected he hasn’t been happy or doesn’t love me, but he’s reassured me to the contrary. 

When I suggested returning for the kids sake, so I could help lighten the load of managing them while he works and does his own stuff, he was very passionate about his desire for me not to return. Passionate to the point I questioned if I actually had a home anymore.

When I reiterated my need to be with my children, that I’m struggling without them and that we could surely work through this. His thoughts turned to logistics about moving out. About making our separation official. Final.

There seemed to be no feeling there. No hesitation, no regret. I am nothing more that a subject to be managed.

I have spent the day shut away in my room. 

It didn’t occur to me that I wouldn’t have a home to return to. And I’d always imagined the support of my family.

If I can make my husband bitter and twisted – what’s to say I won’t fail my children and turn them the same way.

For the first time I felt the full force of the situation. I am a burden to bear and I have destroyed my husband. Who feels so little for me now, he can barely look and speak to me. He wants me to stay away.

My children are emotional every time I speak to them. I feel I’m letting them down by not being there. Letting my family down by not helping when the stress is clearly high.

But the fear and the reality that I’ve destroyed everything is too much.

I considered just taking my own life today. I am of little worth or consequence. My passion for this time here has been ruined by the reality of my home. 

At least I can disappear like a dog into the wilderness and my husband and children can stay together. Happier and safe from my ability to ruin them. My husband can meet someone else, and the children will flourish.

The things my husband said were excruciating to hear. It’s like he’s never really known me at all. Like I’ve never known me. 

I really am a bad and unworthy person. The times when I thought we were actually happy – he wasn’t. How long has this facade been? When did love turn to hate?

When did he begin to just tolerate me?

I don’t know what to do anymore.

I’m afraid of my future, I’m afraid of my past.

My present is completely obscure and really epitomises my life right now.

I took a handful of sleeping tablets and briefly when I woke, I thought everything was ok and it was just a nightmare.

I am so confused and alone right now. I don’t know how I will ever make it through.