Fighting

The UK continues to provide a good source of friendship and family and a nurturing environment. But I miss my kids so much I’m feeling the loss like a physical illness. I Skype with them almost daily and it’s not enough. I’m consumed with thoughts of them and can’t enjoy the simplest thing without wondering what they’d think.

Unfortunately S has gotten progressively worse and nasty and I know a cold, hard fight awaits me in NZ. The blows which he’s dealt have at times rendered me breathless and unable to see a way forward. It’s like his contempt of me grows daily and he’s trying to make me stay away by increasingly throwing obstacles at me. I can’t remember feeling as despised as I have been. And this thrusts me into a horrible quandary. I want to be with my babies but I need to be strong to face S and his hard hitting blows. I wonder if I’ll be able to survive it.

My kids are gutted as time goes on. They miss me and need me back. They don’t understand why I can’t afford a flight back, they don’t understand that I’m not allowed in the house – but their father has hired a live in nanny instead. It’s confusing for them. I can’t slate their father to them. I have to bite my tongue and say it’s all going to be ok.

But it’s never going to be ok. I had no idea how capable of change someone I once loved could be. Someone that used to make me feel safe and loved. Now I’m treated like something lower than scum. 

The whole thing is a brutal mess. 

I don’t regret coming back to the UK. It’s been a place that’s felt safe and where I’ve been reassured I’m not a bad person.

But going back will take some serious strength. And as any communication I have with S usually renders me in a state of panic and unable to function – I worry if I’ll ever be strong enough.

This is looking to be my toughest fight yet.

Novelty wears thin

Staying with my parents;

Pros – I get treated like a kid

Cons – I get treated like a kid

As the novelty of their distant first born returning wears off and the frustration builds (we’ve had her hair done, bought her clothes and she’s still miserable) things are getting more strained. My dad feels it necessary to comment on anything I eat, and when I eat (which isn’t often but apparently I still get it wrong) and also there’s the whole, ‘get some fresh air, it’ll help you’ as I remain hidden away like a vampire reading my books. Of course, if they’d put me on the bloody insurance I could go out and yes, even walk! But no, they’re playing taxi which makes me feel awkward, and it’s slightly embarrassing ending a day with a friend, ‘I just have to call my mum.’

I did have lunch with my pregnant best mate the other day. It was an anxiety provoking start but I ended up relaxed and really happy to see her. And she’s asked me to be her birth partner – very exciting! Of course if she goes into labour before her induction, I’ll have to get my mum to drive me (insert eye roll here).

So I haven’t been out as much as I’d planned in my mind, but then England was never going to be a cure. 

And now I find my nights lying awake tossing and turning and dreading going back to NZ but not feeling I belong here either.

Of course I miss the kids dreadfully and we Skype a couple of times a day. S hasn’t bothered messaging at all to see how I am. I had to chase him down to discuss the kids and a parents evening, and even then I could tell I was a major inconvenience to him. That my opinions didn’t count and basically- who the hell was I again? And if it’s at all possible, he’s even colder with me than normal.

Mind you, despite my planned trip to Cambodia he later accused me of leaving our marriage, which was completely inaccurate. So I suppose with his family firmly inserted into my family, there’ll be whispers that I deserted them and I’ve no doubt it’ll be held against me for all eternity, like with Cambodia.

So in essence, I need to get myself sorted pronto. But as I can’t see a psychiatrist, I can’t see anyway to lift this perpetual dark fog. I’m chugging on with fluoxetine, but it’s not making a difference. And I can’t find myself facing the imminent task of house hunting and moving again with any energy or determination. To be honest, I’m not even sure how I’ll manage the flight at the moment. I’m conscious that September is divorce month and S will slap me with the paperwork before the ink from the printer is dry. Perhaps there’s some avoidance on my part. Although I don’t why. He’s as cold as the ocean, and has made it abundantly clear that he stopped feeling anything for me years ago. Why I continue to pine something that ultimately makes me feel like pond scum is anyone’s guess.

So here I am in limbo. Not getting the miracle fresh air that will cure me, and feeling completely isolated and deeply uncertain about my future.

Swimming

I have been living well below the normal functioning level for so long it’s become normal for me. Even having a shower in the morning is a huge feet which a lot of the times I haven’t been able to accomplish. I don’t brush my teeth often enough and I don’t brush my hair very often. My depression has pulled me so low that I prefer to spend my days in bed, I feel tired all of the time and swing between emotional and feeling nothing. At night it is hard to sleep but I prefer the night even if I have nightmares because at night no one expects anything of you.

I have been very isolated and at times I have felt extremely lonely but been unable to reach out for help. I honestly believe that this was going to be my normal life from now until the day I die.

Gradually I have noticed it’s become very slightly more easy to get up in the morning, and yesterday I was able to last most of the day without having to have a nap, I was also able to make phone calls and put preparations and plans in place for when I move out at the weekend. Today because of having a bit more energy I decided to actually go swimming. This is a huge accomplishment for me. It means seeing strangers, facing the world and doing physical activity. I am really proud of myself for doing this today. I know that there’ll continue to be good and bad days. I don’t believe that I am magically cured but I do feel that I’m getting some energy back.

I am still very much in limbo in terms of my future plans and feel in the long term that I don’t have a lot to look forward to. There is still a huge amount of pain in my heart that I can feel like Jagged pieces of glass. But for today I swam. Today I felt a little bit more normal, and for that I am happy.

My suffering is complex.

Brought about by a brutal rape, my parents that I’d regarded as my protectors letting me down. Not offering the support and guidance that I needed, that might have changed the course of my healing.

The abuse of an ex, with his wicked temper, the physical attacks and the sexual humiliation.

Alone in the world, no trust, no basis to build a relationship I travelled alone. Sensing an emptiness but unsure how to find my completion.

A terrible experience through an attempt at justice later on. The cop with his shrewd words, promises of protection, eager to care for me and offer me solace when my husband seemed so distracted by work. Groomed, boundaries broken.

A marriage over.

A girl left broken.

I’m a girl in a woman’s body. Afraid. Untrusting and like a full 180, I am empty and alone.

Seeking solace in the wrong places.

But I’m so guarded. I don’t trust easily. Everyone is a wolf to me, eager to feed on my flesh and drain my blood.

I want to move invisibly through life, I want to be left alone. Yet who will hear my cries in the night?

Does anyone care? 

I’m a broken girl in a woman’s body. Im empty, im afraid and I will never trust again.

Why did this happen to me? Why? 

My last night

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Today

Last night was a really bad night, both the kids ended up in bed with me and with my sore hand I found it difficult to get comfortable. My head was also pounding with an unforgiving headache that’s lingered around for ages. I kept getting up to go to the loo and wishing day time would hurry up. I felt completely miserable when the morning came. My mood had plummeted and I was almost begging S to come and collect the kids even though it probably wasn’t the safest option for me to be left alone. I definitely didn’t want to go to the monthly group today, I literally just want to lie in bed and wish my life away.

It was a stifling hot day over my way, the kids were great as usual, but I felt completely miserable and useless. I felt like a burden to S for knowing how much I’m struggling, I felt like the world’s worst mother, and I felt completely alone in my torment. The nightmares are regular, the panic attacks have become almost debilitating, and I’ve even had flashbacks that leave me confused and afraid. With no end in sight, and feeling that I will never be free of medication, I can honestly say that suicide has felt like the only option for me. At least S wouldn’t have to put up with my miserable messages and my inability to make decisions about the children. I feel like I’m grieving all over again for the break up of my marriage and as such I feel lonely and I feel bad that I’m still relying on S to help me through these difficult times. But he is the only one that knows the truth about me and how I struggle this time of year.

Eventually I decided that I would drive the kids back. I thought it might give me time to clear my head and at least keep me occupied for a while. When I arrived back at the house it was spotless and smelt really clean, and all my children were together, honestly I didn’t want to leave. S had bought lots of meat to cook and I haven’t had a good home cooked meal for so long, it was really nice to eat with the whole family and to feel more normal again. It is very confusing for me because I know that I shouldn’t allow myself to indulge in family time as though it’s normal, but at the same time it’s what I have needed at the moment. The normality of the family, and the care of another adult. Again, I chastise myself because I know that I shouldn’t rely on S like this.

Because I have decided to spend the night on my good old mattress on the floor, I will be taking the children to school and doing the school run. The very same thing I complained about last week. But I feel like I need something to keep me busy, And I suppose it is good to feel needed and not taken advantage of because at the moment it is S doing me a favour.

I know it’s all seems very confusing and messy and infuriating. But I can only take each day as it comes, and unfortunately this inevitably means daily changes, to meet my ever challenging mood swings.

At this exact moment, I feel well fed, I don’t feel alone, and I’m grateful to be surrounded by my children. Obviously I miss the peace and serenity of my home, but I literally don’t feel that I can be alone at the moment.

My brain is constantly throwing anxiety my way, and I know that I’m not thinking straight. I thought I was better, I was wrong. I am at the mercy of this mental illness. And it feels like everyone is victim to my depression, especially my family, which I hate myself for.

My birthday is next week so I really hope that once that passes things will start to die down again, and I have a bit more control.

Everything seems so overwhelming so out of my control, it’s hard to imagine feeling on top of this again. Like maybe I am bound to feel tortured forever.

One day at a time, that is all I can do.

Therapy and sun!

Today I had my first therapy session for a long time. There was much to catch up on including my move, my witness testimony following the date where the sister was murdered, and the updates of the case against the police officer in the UK. I also told my therapist about my bad night in my new house, and the recognition of the time of year. Suffice to say she was pretty surprised by how much has happened but of course she knows me well enough to know that there’s always plenty going on at any one time.

It was relaxing to verbalise the occurances over the last few weeks including talking about how happy I am with my new home and I showed her some pictures. Although the session was draining and I found talking about the time of year difficult;  ultimately it did feel good having someone to talk to. I think it was only yesterday that I said I missed having someone to talk to that would listen and validate my feelings.

Fortunately last night I had a really good sleep, although I awoke with a migraine pressing still, I loved the blue skies and the peace of my home, and I even felt sad that I have to leave my home to head back to S’s house for the children as he is away again.  Not sad to see the children of course I miss them bitterly whenever I drive away but sad to leave my new town and my new home.


This morning 😊

The afternoon has been a lot of fun though; the kids and I were in the paddling pool most of the afternoon as the weather has been so hot today even my eldest came out to play in the pool which is very unusual.


J made dinner for us tonight, I really enjoyed my small portion of half cooked noodles, baked beans cold, and a spoonful of white rice! She even brought it outside on the tray for me! My children are just awesome and a real blessing. It’s important to remember times like this when I’m struggling with my past. It’s too easy to wallow in the pain when I am away from my children. I’m really looking forward to the weekend when they can be at my house. I also need to make more of an effort to take walks around town that I know; i  need to familiarise myself again and find my confidence, not to mention the fitness benefits.

Getting back to a weekly therapy session will be really helpful for me, it’s so important to be able to articulate feelings, thoughts and concerns with someone that supports me and listens without judgement. As a single woman  it is easy to forget that I do have a voice and I do need to be heard. Although of course this blog is extremely carthrtic. My energy goes into the children and anything left for me feels like grief currently contained and pushed down.

I’m feeling nicely tired from a full day and is plenty of fun in the sun this afternoon; I hope for another good night sleep and it is nice to finally miss a place that I can call home.