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.

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Update

I know why I had the seizure. An interim psychiatrist that I’d never even met, increased my anti depressants over the phone to an amount well exceeding the recommended dose and a consequence of doing that is a seizure. I only found out because there is a new long term psychiatrist in place whom I met face to face and she was outraged by my dosage and explained to me how the seizure had come about. Naturally I’m angry and upset and I’ve complained and there’s an investigation. Suffice to say I’m no longer on that medication. Really goes to show how much faith we place in these doctors, when they’re not always worthy of such trust.

I now have a job, as a mental health advocate. Sounds fitting. But to be honest I’m doubtful. The hours are very long, the pay isn’t good and I’m not sure about the team. Don’t get me wrong, I’m so grateful to have a job, not working is very depressing not to mention I’m sick of the financial stress, but I’ve definitely jumped at the first offer and rather than feeling excited at this opportunity, there’s a lot of trepidation. But I’m trying to stay open minded. Admittedly it’s not been the best introduction. Two days away in Auckland at a company meeting, so a room full of strangers and the obligatory ‘team exercises’ which is enough to fray anyone’s nerves. Plus it was ‘expenses reimbursed’ and the trip was kind of thrown at me so there was no budgeting for it so it really left me screwed and having to go cap in hand to Steve which is always really demeaning. The women in my team are the kind that like to giggle over penis jokes 🙄 I know, right? And there’s just some things I can’t fake no matter how hard I try to fit in.

And it’s coming up to school holidays and I was really looking forward to hanging out with the kids. We’ve had a great school routine going, and I’ve enjoyed taking Harry to his tutoring twice a week, I’ve been really involved with them. Don’t get me wrong – I know parents have to work and I know they still can be involved with their kids!! Its just I’ve been so removed from them with my own issues, it’s been great to be well enough to be such an integral part of their routine. I’ll really miss the little things and I get the feeling this job is really demanding as low paying jobs always seem to be. Steve is already away a lot of the time, so it’s important at least one of us can be there regularly.

I don’t know, we’ll see. I haven’t established a routine yet, so time will tell and there’s no point in stressing now. As I say, I am genuinely glad to be back in the workforce again.

Things between Steve and I remain like a roller coaster. Sometimes I think we’ve nailed a good relationship. And more specifically I think I’ve personally negotiated my own feelings about our separation. But then something happens and it’s like I’m back to square one. The hurt and confusion, the loneliness and dread. Not knowing how to move forwards. I’m told that’s fairly normal after a break up. But really I’d like to be given set time frames and resolutions!

I’ve totally relaxed over my house situation. I’ve stopped trawling the adverts for a new place. I think because I’ve had the kids over so much I’ve started to relax more. I’ve moved the furniture around, bought more heaters, got some blankets for the living room and the kids enjoy coming over, it feels more homely. I’ll still periodically check out rentals but definitely not like before. I’m not desperate. Because Steve’s house doesn’t feel like home anymore that’s been a huge shift for me. I was up there this afternoon but that’s the first time for a while. It doesn’t have the same appeal. It’s still a luxury, but no more than staying in a hotel. I know it’s not mine and I actually don’t care anymore. Besides, when you look at it, there are many, many cracks and imperfections, there are sad signs of neglect and no one wants a home that’s neglected. Eventually I’ll probably see the house as a metaphor for my marriage but at the moment I’m still wearing the rose tinted glasses. And that’s ok, I’m aware of it. I own that. And I believe that will change in time. It has to, because what I feel and what I know to be true are two very different things. Certainly when I compare old Steve with new Steve, they couldn’t be two more different people.

Well I’m hoping to have an early night as I have an early start tomorrow. I’m quite anxious about it as to be expected. I have my second eldest daughter here with me as her school is a short walk away from me so it’s really nice to have the company and I think she really enjoys the independence. So it’s a win win.

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!

Bleh

Today I looked up DIGNITAS I wanted to know if they’d take ‘clients’ that were mentally at the end of their tether. I felt I’d meet the criteria quite well considering my exhaustive list of medications, therapy and prolonged low mood. But apparently it’s only for people with a terminal or extremely painful physical illness. I suppose in assessing me they’d probably decline my application on the basis that I have four children. Yes, I get that makes me selfish etc.

I’m not particularly suicidal in as much as nothing really appeals to me. I’ve tried overdosing and even medical professionals were surprised I lived, so clearly that isn’t going to work. Hanging, no way I don’t want to choke to death – it can take 10 minutes! Slashing wrists, ouchie, and I don’t have a bath. Jumping off a building – how terrifying would those last few seconds be? And jumping in front of a train, I’m not sure id have the guts (pardon the pun) besides it’s not fair on the driver. Now, if I lived in the good ole US of A, I’d have access to a myriad of weaponry and could shoot myself. Easy. People do it by accident over there all the time. But I’m not there. And we don’t have a gun problem in NZ.

I know why I’m miserable, it’s my own fault and kind of a chemical imbalance too, I’m not entirely to blame. The week has been extremely emotional, stressful and as my CPN said, I’ve had two major life changing events in a week. To cope with the emotional fall out, I stayed on Steve’s couch. I stayed at the house I love, with my kids, with the light and the noise and the warmth. And I know at this point a majority of people will moan, roll eyes, and say, why do you do it to yourself? But I felt I was satisfying a deep need to feel safe, secure and amongst the love of my children. I really don’t like my house, the kids don’t like my house, so it’s easier to just stay up there – which I do every time Steve goes away which is usually 1/2 nights per week.

I couldn’t really squeeze another night in, Steve was already getting fed up (bearing in mind he’s also had to be my taxi since my car is stuffed, and as he said, ex husband’s don’t usually do this stuff). I’m relegated to my house. It’s a very cold drafty house. I had to drag an incredibly expensive to run heater into my bedroom last night because even dressed up like I was in Alaska hardly took the edge off and the bloody long walk to the toilet which might as well be outside (it’s a weird add on next to the laundry, like someone forgot) was a march of death. Well, I guess hyperthermia might kill me off. It’s pretty obvious why the kids don’t like my house. And fair enough too.

What am I doing about it? Well, I’m keeping an eye out on the rental market. I can’t bear the thought of another move, but I can’t stand to see my kids look like they’re coming to Alcatraz when they come to mine. I was in such a hurry to secure a home when I got back from England, I wanted something before my parents left. I jumped at the first house offered to me. I shouldn’t have done that. Realistically I could have just stayed at a motel until the right house came along. But it’s just another regret to add to my long list of regrets. Being winter there’s slim pickings, being Wellington there’s a lot of people looking, and the landlords can pretty much charge whatever the hell they want. I met the last tenant that lived here – she was pushed out because the landlady wanted to sell ($100k over RV – which is insane). She didn’t get the sale, no surprise and then I came along to pay a $70 increase in rent! Obviously if I’d known that too, I wouldn’t have been so stupid to eagerly sign the paperwork.

I’m just kind of exisiting really. To take the loneliness and sadness out of today, I’ve read my kindle pretty much all day, taking a break to go to the chemist to get ibuprofen for a headache because I’ve been reading my kindle all day.

I’m a bit lost really. Steve told me I should go back to England. I have to say that was really cutting. Obviously if my children weren’t here I wouldn’t be here. Those 4 months in England were hard without my children. I’m not sure I could move there indefinitely. But that was his advice, bugger off. Of that, I can only dream…

The update

Well I’ve decided to update my blog now – being as my bloody car has broken down at the hospital! And it’s a really cold wet day too.

The call was pretty intense, a lot to process, but she was really nice and although I’m shocked and saddened by what I learnt on the call, I’m glad it’s over. I don’t want to write too much because it’s still something I need to work through.

The results are in. Firstly the MRI showed a few too many ‘white spots’ apparently you get one for every year, but I’ve got more. I need another MRI in one year to check the growth. It’s indicative of MS.

He didn’t diagnose epilepsy because he said my first incident (I call it fainting) can’t be proven as a seizure because no one saw it and I don’t remember anything. But he said the symptoms I experienced were more in line with a seizure then fainting. I’m glad it’s not confirmed. Two seizures is a diagnosis of epilepsy. He’s put me on anti seizure medication which doubles as a migraine prevention medication – yay! He said he thinks the fact I was on the treadmill was coincidental, not the cause. And I’m booked for an EEG which will take at least 2 months and won’t really confirm anything because I’ll be on medication by then. And I see him again in 2 months to check in.

So that’s my day so far. I’m supposed to have therapy today, which I really need, but it depends if my car can be sorted.

I’m exhausted and cold, but so pleased it’s all over

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.

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.