The houseĀ 

So tonight the camping is cancelled because the rain is so bad.

I just drove over to Martinborough  to see my new house which is significantly smaller than I imagined but nonetheless I will be very happy there.

The important thing is that it has a garden fully fenced so the kids can play quite happily. And my neighbour is a 70 year old man so I don’t have to worry about noise.

I am so tired from the events of yesterday. Add to the driving today in horrible conditions over the mountain range-it’s just draining. But S gets the truck this afternoon so he can start loading my stuff. The Internet is working at my new house already so that’s good, it’s a shame that I have so many appointments over this way next week so I will have limited time to unpack and make the home my own.

I wonder how my PTSD symptoms will react to the first few nights at my new house. I always find changes quite stressful, so I imagine that I will be quite jumpy and quite hyper vigilant.

It’s also very nice to be in a different area with such good memories but I can also focus really on my new life and not have the bad memories from my marriage separation. This is essentially a new start for me. It is scary, it is overwhelming, it is exciting, but most of all now is the right time for me.

Feelings and focus

I went to the monthly survivors group on Sunday. A self proclaimed tortoise taking a peek at the outside world of peers. There was so much I could have shared, especially in light of recent months, the triggers, the pain, the shame and the battles. But I didn’t feel able to. I didn’t feel able to connect at all. I felt overwhelmingly tired and I couldn’t shake a threatening migraine. I didn’t feel claustrophobic though, which is good. Just too far removed emotionally to get anything from the group. It was good to see my therapist again though before I see her in her therapist capacity in a week or so.

I’ve heard nothing more regarding this overseas thing. I’m conscious that an email could arrive any time during the night here, but I’ll deal with that as it happens. I can’t keep worrying myself sick about something that I can’t control.

On the Monday my migraine was fully blown and the neighbours started their music at 8.30 in the morning! By midday the thumping was too much, I couldn’t sleep and I could have cried in pain. I called the council and reported the noise. I would feel bad, but frankly I’m sick of the constant noise and they’re so inconsiderate. It’s time they knew that it wasn’t fair. As me personally telling them obviously didn’t change anything.

To date they haven’t been loud again – but I won’t be lulled into a false sense of security. They still do their wheel spins/doughnuts outside the house at all hours.

I haven’t really seen S and we haven’t spoken since I gave in to his demands. Feels very much like he got what he wanted and now he’s gone out of my life. Mostly I’m ok with this, but I feel twinges of sadness. It’s not nice to be used and discarded by anyone let alone someone that was supposed to care. At least the kids aren’t suffering, I’ve had them over regularly and it certainly helps now I’m no longer attached to the family home. It just feels like a weird dream that we once bought our dream home. Now it’s worthless to me and I won’t make anymore memories there with my family.

I’m considering my future and looking at returning to work full time. Ideally it would be out of Wellington and I’d take the two youngest with me, organising shared custody with my ex for all of them. I no longer feel Wellington is my home, I don’t want to leave NZ and leave the kids and be far away, and it’s not working in this rental. And I have nothing really here for me anymore, aside from a lot of sad memories. We’ll see what happens, but currently the job market and rental market is better away from the main cities and I would really like a fresh start.

I feel a bit stuck, like I’m ready to move on but not really sure how to. I need to find myself again and being so close to my ‘old’ house doesn’t really help. Especially as I’m sure my ex and his family will be hanging out more and more. And I really don’t need their shit. It’s clear S and I won’t be friends. And again, I’m sad about this, but not devastated like before. I only see who he is now. And that’s not very much.

I’m due to see my psychiatrist tomorrow where I’ll admit that I’m taking considerably less anti depressants and no other medications. On the whole I’m not sure anything really helped. I wouldn’t like to go without everything – just in case. But I needed to grieve this separation and everything just seemed to stall the inevitable.

I still have the occasional nightmares and panic. But I think being forced to attend appointments alone, deal with my trauma alone has taught me that I’m more than capable of dealing with it. There is no one I’m close to to discuss anything – and that’s fine.

I’m still not ready to date. 

My only focus is my children. Giving them all of my unconditional love and energy has been my greatest source of healing.

It’s very tiring at times but better to be tired from looking after the kids than tired from the agony of life.

Leaving the house

So, tonight is my last night in what was the family home. I am surprised by how upset I am. I stayed longer than I anticipated and it’s been hard at times. Tiring, stressful and barely any time to myself. But it’s the chaos that I’ve missed. The house is lit up and warm, I’ve cooked meals and hung out with the kids in spaces designed around a large family. The big kitchen that I adored when we bought the place, the beautiful en suite with its own bath so I don’t need to remove a ton of bath toys before I get in. Of course, the little bits that are ‘me’ have been pretty much removed from the house. The master bedroom looks functional and plain. I’m ok with that of course, but tonight it’s plainness makes me feel sad. That I enjoyed a ‘home’ again for this period but it’s not my home anymore.

I’ve chatted via text to S while he’s been away, updates about the kids. This in itself is also weird. His first time away as we’re separated. I’m used to daily calls, expressions of missing each other, reminders that we’ll be reunited again soon. But this time, I know, come tomorrow night my car will be parked on the drive (not in the garage) and when S gets in, I’ll drive back to a cold and dark house. It feels a little bit like resetting again. I hope the emotional impact doesn’t affect my mood even more. 

It’s surprising that when I think I’ve made progress, something hits me again. I wonder how long this goes on for.

Tomorrow morning I’ll be dragging myself to circuit training. I know it will be hard again to force myself and I’ll come up with a myriad different reasons why I can pass. But it’s just an hour.

I feel so sad tonight. Tomorrow will probably feel a lot worse.

Family outing

I’m fully moved into my new home, which although lovely has been really upsetting – the realisation really hitting home that I’m alone.

I didn’t sleep too well, lots of nightmares and being unsettled, but I think that’s to be expected. 

Today I caught up with my kids and because of the bad weather, opted to go bowling. I really enjoyed it.

I think today I felt very connected to the family and in the ease of the banter and familiarity I fell into my usual place of mother and wife. I physically yearned to have my family back together again.

We returned to the house and the ache was painful. I wanted to curl up with S and watch movies while the kids curled up watching their movies and occasionally joining us.

It was so cold and miserable, I wanted to create a safe, warm home. With the love and togetherness of my family.

The pain was immense and I felt heartbreaking sorrow. With no control the tears flowed and I let the grief engulf me. I decided to head back to mine and not allow myself the lure of the comfort of my family. I will get time with my children when I get the second bed. But there is no place for me at the house with them. 

I was crying with full sorrow and loneliness as I left. I can’t begin to articulate the feeling of despair and isolation. I am alone. The house isn’t my home. The man I married isn’t my soul mate anymore. Not my confidante or best friend. I am nothing to him. The kids are mine to enjoy at intervals, not the 24/7 I’m used to. My world has tilted from its axis. Nothing is the same, there is no comfort in routine, no longer sanity in predictability. 

I returned to my home. It was bitterly cold, the rain hammered. I quietly went about lighting the fire, switching on lights. The silence deafening. 

I miss my family. 

I can only hope this gets easier with time. I have the greatest admiration for people that have made it through divorce. It’s an incredibly painful process, but those that have forged new lives must be incredibly strong and determined.

Right now I can’t imagine how I will get through the next few months. Let alone the next few days. I want to be strong, but at the moment I’m broken.

The never ending story

My house looks great. Although a little bare I must remind myself it takes time to build a home with memories. It’s warm and cosy and the garden is really cute.

I’m not there tonight though. There are somethings I really need to finish, a fridge (our spare one is far too big), things like cutlery, a kettle, small things to larger less urgent things – like a microwave.

I simply cannot afford these things right now. Although my lawyer advised me that S should be responsible for all the costs, that hasn’t happened, I’ve incurred a lot of unexpected expenses and I’m struggling. S is being less forthcoming with the funds. And as my lawyer left the firm, I need to find another one.

I’m tired from the day’s events. I did most of the moving myself, aside from my sofas which a friend of mine turned up and helped with.

I’m truly happy with my new home. But there’s sadness of course. That I’m in this sad state of affairs. Single again, renting again, unloved and unwanted. A part of me still expects S and I to revert back and then laugh over all the silly nonsense. When he makes cutting remarks or gives me a cold look, I’m immediately shocked and feel hurt again. I don’t know why I still seek him out, expect anything at all, but I guess it’s habit. A painful habit.

I feel physically exhausted from the move, but I’m impressed at my own strength and stamina to accomplish so much alone. 

I hope I can look back at this time and see it as the start of a new journey. See all the opportunity, acknowledge my emotional strength and mental determination. I hope I can congratulate myself on not falling apart and creating a new life for myself.

But this isn’t currently how I see myself. I feel like a failure, I feel lonely, I feel anxious and afraid of what the future might bring. I’m afraid of not knowing my own trajectory. I’m stressed about money, I’m stressed about my health, I’m stressed more than anything about letting my kids down. I worry about them.

Life is a challenge right now. So far I’ve not spent the day in bed wallowing and wishing the day away. I’ve focussed on each new step, setting objectives.

I want to sleep peacefully without horrid nightmares. I want to look forward to each day. And I want to have faith in myself.

I want my family to remain united. Regardless of whether S and I are together.

I am angry. I’m angry at the world for all the heartache I’ve suffered. The cruelty that’s been done to me. I’m angry that now the man I met, married, loved, started a family with, doesn’t want me anymore. I’m angry and I’m gutted.

But I have to believe that living the truth is far better than a false reality. The truth maybe inconvenient, it may cause deep wounds, but at least I’m dealing with that, rather than kidding myself each day. Pretending, putting on an act, needing to be loved so desperately I forsake my own dignity, deeply damage my own potential for happiness.

It’s tough. But I’m doing it.

Last blog of 2015

This year has been an accumulation of epic fails on my part. 

But instead of punishing myself I took a long hot bath and considered the strength I’ve gained. 

If someone had told me that I would be seeking a lawyer and accepting the death of my marriage id have shrivelled up and cried. 

I’m devastated of course, but I realise the ugly truth is better than a pretty lie.

In Cambodia I realised a strength I never thought I’d have. A capacity to learn more about myself, observe the intricacies and beauty of another country and culture in a way I’ve never done before – despite all of my travelling.

I had a motorbike accident, and have the scars from it, but the scars are reminders of the pain I endured and fear I endured alone. 

I realised how being apart from my kids had an immense effect on me. 

I realise how important they are to me, and how my behaviour and response to situations will model them. Teach them. And I want to teach them something different from what S and I learnt from our parents failed marriages. You can and should work at it, but when all else fails, there is no shame in seeking a better life for yourself – and it’s completely possible to start again, no matter your age or circumstance. No one should settle or pretend for the sake of themselves or anyone else.

The kids will learn that we love them. We’ve already taught them the foundations of acceptance, that families come in all models, orientation, gender, culture, etc. to learn that two people can separate and still love them equally is a profound message.

I feel sad. My husband and I have been together for 17 years. A lot of history, a lot of changes and challenges. More than most. But now we part as friends, wishing only the best for each other.

I accept that I will never get closure to my past, not in any tangible sense. That some periods of remembering will be harder than most. 

But like everything else, I have survived. I will continue to survive, to grow and to learn.

But I can’t carry the heavy weight of bitterness and anger around, unleashing it’s unfairness at any given opportunity. I must deal with my scars, manage my wellbeing and continue to put my children’s needs first.

2016 is going to be painful and it’s going to be tough. All that I’ve known and at times taken for granted is changing. But I feel in my heart that this change is about being truthful, and it’s about making a real life for myself. 

I don’t know where I’ll be this time next year. But if I’m lamenting about how unfair life is, how everything is against me, how I’m weak and lonely – then I’ve achieved nothing at all and failed at my responsibility to myself and my children. And all that my husband has taught me and previously supported me through.

I wish everyone reading this a good and healthy 2016. An honest and accomplished new year.

I am scared, lonely, terrified, but I’m strong, determined and don’t want to live unhappily with anyone who doesn’t want me in their life. 

I own my mistakes, my regrets, but realise there is no way to change that, only to apologise, acknowledge and aim to be a better person.

Christmas pride and pain

This Christmas might just top it as worst ever.

I’m trying to be happy for the kids. I watched my son in a school concert yesterday that brought tears of happiness and pride. 

I’m so proud of my boy. He even got a surprise visit by Santa 

Of course the emphasis is on family and we were all there. The girls equally as excited and supportive of their brother.

But I didn’t miss the deep feeling of sadness. The reality of our last family Christmas.

S has finally sorted a lawyer. I’m annoyed it’s taken so long and it’s passed the deadline said by my lawyer, so in essence I’m still in limbo. Scared at what my future might hold. I don’t think he will move out as previously suggested. But I will move out. I don’t care anymore so long as we’re not living in this horrible situation. I don’t know who he is anymore, anything I do is wrong, and he seems so full of resentment and disdain for me. I feel suffocated.

I want us to sit the kids down after Xmas and reassure them whilst we love them all very much, their father and I have decided to be friends. I’d like them involved in the new property, so they know they have two homes, two safe places with people that love and adore them and that won’t change.

I felt sick with hurt and dread at the thought of losing my husband but now I know I’m doing the right thing for both of us. We will start hating each other if forced to live like this – and I’d really like it if we could maintain a strong friendship after so many years together. And I want the kids to know we’re United.

I want control back in my life. I want to be able to manage my finances and let go of this dead marriage. I want to move on, find my strength and the ability to live a healthy, normal life. I’m sure S wants that too, but he won’t do anything without a fight. I’m anxious about the court costs, but at least I know we’ll get a resolution one way or another and I will repay my debt. Eventually sell the house, and then we’ll finally be able to free of each other, aside from parenting our children.

I managed to see a dr for my migraine medication and I’m still doing my best to get up, live every day and not be sucked into the depths of depression.

I’m looking forward to the looks on the kids faces at Xmas. Im looking forward to sharing their joy and happiness. But I’m not looking forward to the gap between me and a man that used to adore me. That used to touch me gently and kindly. 

But I am looking forward to the new year. A new start, as terrifying as that might be. All I care about is supporting the children. The rest will fall into place.

I’m a single woman, but I’m confident of my strengths and I have amazing friends that have been supporting me all the way. And I have the most beautiful kids that deserve the very best parents – unfortunately in our case, the very best means not being together.

Wow! What a stinker!

Today I had no plans. And because of the stress and rushing around I’ve been doing I figured I’d have a nice relaxing day, aside from household chores. 

The increase in laundry was bugging me though and the more I tidied the bigger the bags of laundry grew. The kids really don’t grasp the concept of laundry baskets. As I was due to pick up some clean items, I decided a trip to the laundromat was necessary. It was begrudgingly.  My head aches and the stillness of the day gave my brain plenty of time to consider my life as a single parent. And the eternal feeling of, how the hell did I get to this? 

I vow never to take my washing machine for granted again.
So, off I went. Throbbing head. Boot full with black bags. No music soothed me like usual. Everything was noise. And I was hitting every red light. I felt miserable, tired, the weeks events still jumbling around my head.

Because of my shoulder, I like to park close to the laundromat because of course it gets painful carrying items. Or worse still, it painfully stiffens and I drop things. One park remained and I guess I carelessly slid my car through a gap in between the bugger that wouldn’t shift in an inch forward in the traffic. I was careless. Was I too busy in thought? So tired from the events of the last couple of weeks? Just plain bloody stupid, the front of my car nicked the side of the parked car on my left. A few scratches and caught the indicator light. Of course, my car was fine. But it happened to be the oldest piece of crap of a car that I could scrape. Already dented and on its last wheels as it was. But regardless, I called the non emergency police immediately, reported what I did and gave the plate numbers. The car didn’t have a ticket in it, so I had no idea what time the owner would be back. I wrote a note with a grovelling apology, my details and then took pictures and called my insurance company.

I had to make the weary call to him, because as it turns out, I don’t have authority to make claims. WTF?? Not sure when that was changed, but like when I called about the mortgage the other day, I find I’m in fact a non entity, unrecognisable, no power, no authority. He was fine really considering. And in all the calling and holding, I saw the driver turn up. I apologised profusely, I know how bloody annoying it is when someone hits your car. There’s the time it’s off the road, the inconvenience, especially this time of year. She was appreciative that I had gone to the effort of leaving a note and making calls but I still felt like a shit. At least I have insurance (it’s not compulsory in NZ). But still, annoying for her and self loathing for me.

I still dropped off and collected laundry.

As I was driving over a bridge, there was a brush fire in its early stages. I was the first car at a red light with a bunch of closely knitted other lanes at the junction. I saw the fire engine trying to approach but there was simply no room. So I checked the road ahead, clear, and sounded my horn as I drove through slowly. Hoping to give the fire engine more room to manoeuvre.

I wasn’t far along the road when a cop pulled me over about the red light. He seemed angry, aggressive and anxiety took over so I went on the defensive. It lasted all of 5 minutes until I broke down and sobbed about the fire engine and that I was just trying to get out of the way. I got my license out but by this stage he was clearly shocked at my outburst then sobbing. He explained he hadn’t seen the fire engine, and told me to go on. Also checking I was ok to drive. I sobbed that this was the worst time ever and moped back to my car.

He was behind me for a while (it’s a straight highway) and I was just a complete mess at this point. Sobbing along but too scared too pull over. Eventually I was going too slowly for him and he overtook. I finally came to a rest stop where I pulled over and vomited my guts up.

I then just sat in my car and sobbed into my hands until a woman came to my car, knocked on the window and said she saw I was distressed and wanted to check I was ok. She said it looked like the world was over for me. I thanked her rather embarrassed and said it was just silly stuff. It was really thoughtful of her to stop.

Knowing it wasn’t quite as private as I’d thought, I continued my short journey home. Drained, fed up, ashamed, embarrassed and fearing I might have a major meltdown.

The emotions got the better of me today. The grief, the loneliness, the confusion.

In any ordaniry day, my ‘husband’ would have come home, cuddled me, joked at my expense to make me laugh. Suggested a take away and a movie or something. Whatever I needed to feel safe and whole again. But he didn’t. He didn’t offer any comfort or solution. Not that I should have anticipated it.

I need to get used to this. I’ll have bad days, good days, eventful days. But they are for me alone to deal with. I realise just how hard single mothers have it. Trying to look after themselves and their kids, without a partner to rely on. To support, to laugh about things with.

The sadness, the grief, the stifling realisation of how just how disastrous things have become came at me like another tidal wave.

I’ve spent this afternoon lying on the bed, exhausted but unable to sleep. Knowing these days will come but I’ll have the kids alone. Perhaps it will be easier because the pain of having someone around that isn’t part of your life anymore is awful. It’s almost suffocating to see a person that has no love for you anymore everyday. A constant reminder.

Today was a bad day, and to be honest as I sat sobbing on the side of the road, post bump, post cop, I really did feel like my world was ending.

It’s true, my world is changing dramatically. Everything I knew – it’s gone. But I don’t feel it’s over. I don’t have the urge to hang myself from the light fittings. The thing is, there is a tiny shred of belief in myself and the bond I have with my children.

It’s not just me, it’s me and my children. And they need to see a positive mother who can cope with life changes. They should never feel that all hope is lost.

I feel like I’ve hit rock bottom. My worst nightmare is coming true. But the reality is, it’s here. I’m in it. I can only go one way now. And I’m determined not to let anything else destroy me.