Going down

I saw my CPN today. I was in tears by the time my appointment started. I’ve been working long hours, I’m scheduled to work tonight from 9.30pm-7am – with no breaks. And tomorrow night the same! I was up at 4am this morning because Steve was going away for business. I’ve got no money, my car is expensive to run (why oh why didn’t I factor in running costs) I’ve got no food and no money to buy food. And yet I’m working all the hours I can which is slowly killing me. I’ve been so emotional, I had to ask Steve to order pizza for me and the kids tonight. He did so, without any argument and I was so pathetically grateful I sobbed over that.

So I’m feeling kind of raw, overly tired and tiredness is a huge factor for me. Plus all this talk about sexual assault allegations is making me feel triggered and sick.

I wanted to see the CPN to check in because I’m terrified of a relapse. He told me that he felt my reaction was that caused by stress – which he considered normal, but commented that shift work can of course trigger mood disorders. I’m talking to him next week to see how I am.

I’m glad he’s there to listen and guide me as I can’t afford therapy anymore.

I haven’t been able to catch up with any of my friends because I’m either working or too tired from work, so I’m feeling quite alone and isolated. More trigger points for me.

The commute into work is killing me, parking is a hassle, and the train seems too much hard work after a long shift,plus I don’t like travelling alone at night.

In all I feel like a flake.  I’m barely making enough to pay rent and bills. My hair looks bloody awful but i can’t afford a hair cut, let alone colour. I feel miserable about my appearance, but can’t do anything about it.

I’m of course grateful that I have a house AND a car AND a job. But at the moment work is ruling my entire life, I’mmissing valuable time with my children and my financial situation is dire. Meanwhile Steve continues to live in the big house and now drives a Jaguar. 

I feel so useless.

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House and kids!

So I’m pretty much moved, depending on your definition of moved! My clothes are pretty much put away, the furniture is pretty much put in place. I have an electricity account, changed my drivers license address and Sky television came today to sort out my programming! I have Vodafone coming tomorrow to sort out the wifi – thank god!  The house looks good, it feels like a home. I think this is the best rental I’ve had. It’s comfy, warm and homely.

I don’t have food! My budget won’t allow a shop which is annoying because I’d like to clean up and have friends over.

Having the 4 kids on my own has been really tough going. It’s the holidays, so I’m juggling the move, issues that arise with that and driving around as well as tidying Steve’s house! Talk about out of the frying pan into the fire!

I’m a bit disappointed that my parents aren’t really involved with the kids. They could have used this time to get to know them better, even taking them out individually to make things easier. But they are in ‘holiday’ mode, so babysitting is a no go zone. And I’m shattered and very conscious that I don’t want to become unwell.

I’m trying to hold the fort until steve gets back (tomorrow) and enjoy my time with my much missed kids. But it is harder than most people would appreciate. I’d love to get into my eldest daughter’s bedroom and give it a good tidy out and move furniture around – I love surprising them like that – but frankly I’m too tired for that! I’d like to be able to take them out but I’m stone cold broke at the moment. I got some money through benefits but that wouldn’t even cover rent! I’ve got to make it last as long as possible.

On the whole I’m ‘doing it.’ I’m up early for the busy days, but my sleep is out of whack again, despite the medication . I think it’s because I spend all night ruminating over the events of the day, the next day and all of my anxieties and concerns. I almost fell into a panic attack last night, just because of how much is going on. But I’m determined to keep a handle on it. It’s just a shame that I can’t see my psychiatrist or CPN until 20 October. I could do with some support on this medication regime, although keeping up with therapy will help.

Last night I was determined to have a bath! Luckily my personal hygiene is back on track so I shower daily, but I wanted to indulge in a bath at Steve’s house because it’s been soooo long. I literally never got a chance with the kids and then I was too knackered. But tonight I will attempt it!

Well I’ve taken some time out to write this blog, I’ll have a hefty price to pay (house will be messed up again!). But I really needed some down time (although I’ve had numerous interruptions!). But I am glad to be back, I’m happy to have my children with me and I’m relieved that Steve is being really helpful and hospitable. It feels so nice not to have the negative energy and fear of the unknown.

I’ve even had a nice email communication with Steve’s parents. Thanking them for looking after the kids – they are really good with them, especially Steve’s dad and I’m happy the kids have that relationship with them. I can’t imagine them having the same closeness with my parents, but maybe when they’re older my parents will find it easier.

In other news, my sister got engaged! I’m so happy for her. She’s been with her partner for years, and they own a house together but it didn’t look like marriage would ever be on the cards, but he surprised her on a holiday in the US. I feel really lucky to have reconnected with her when I went back to the UK.

Update

Life has been extremes as I anticipated but it’s gruelling and tiring.

I have looked at lots of rental properties (all awful). I have seen my lawyer, that tore my life apart, and I had an appointment with Work and Income which was extremely demoralising.

I’ve done everything I possibly can, keep applying for work, house hunting, got my benefits sorted, but I still feel like I’m drowning. I love weekends with the kids, they really keep me going.

New medication seems to be helping somewhat, but I’m anxious. I need them to work.

My parents are still doing the best they can, but I think they’re feeling the financial strain and will be happy for me to be sorted.

Two nights ago I got drunk (alone) on cheap plonk. I had very strong urges to self harm, I gave all of my sharp things to my parents- even my medication. It’s the first time I’ve been honest and done something preventative. I guess I’m kind of proud of myself for that. I’m sad that I got to that level. I hope it was just the wine, which is why I avoid drinking too much and why I won’t be doing that again.

Today I’ve finalised some more paperwork for work and income and am trying to rest.

Tomorrow I have therapy and more house viewings.

I’m just keen to get into a routine now. This all feels so temporary but in a scary way. I feel close to a panic attack often, as I have so little control over my future.

Last night

So it’s my last night in the U.K. I said goodbye to my sister which was far more difficult than I imagined. I cried all the way back from her place 


We’ve really reconnected and I’m really grateful for that. I’ll miss her terribly.

I’m looking forward to seeing my kids obviously but prior to that I have this god awful flight to contend with. My anxiety is bad anyway but it manages to encompass all of my fears; crowds, claustrophobia, lack of control.

I’m hoping to keep myself sufficiently drugged on both legs of the flight (going via Dubai again). Annoyingly my dad has booked with Emirates that I think is one of the worst airlines, but he’s paying so I can’t complain!

Naturally I’m incredibly anxious about the stress when I arrive in NZ. There’ll be a lot to plan and organise and no doubt fight for. I know I’m far from strong enough, but I can’t put off seeing the kids any longer, I miss them and even though I’m a useless mother, they need me.

I will miss England terribly. I’ve dearly loved my time here. Even with the crappy weather! It’s been fantastic to be amongst my friends and family and connections have become far deeper. I realise I’m very blessed and wish with all my heart I’d not taken it for granted in the past.

If I had a choice I wouldn’t leave, but I have to make good with what I have.

I’ve also found out that a psychiatrist won’t be available until mid October!! That’s a painfully long wait when I’ve been on the wrong medication for so long. I was hoping to get it sorted pretty much as I arrived as it’ll take a while for the meds to work.

So the England chapter closes. I know there’s more I should have done, more people I should have seen, but I’m just glad that I’ve had this experience.

Stuck!

Everything is beginning to feel too much now. I’m at the mercy of my parents booking a flight, thanks to Steve reneging on sorting my flight out. And they just seem to be taking ages about it! But I don’t feel able to apply pressure because ultimately they’re the ones paying. 

Don’t get me wrong. I’m loving being in England, and I’ve gotten close to my sister again which is fantastic. My friends continue to be an amazing source of support. 

But my children need me, and I fear that the longer I’m away, the more damage Steve can do. Plus my medication needs to be reviewed desperately and I can’t get that done here – not through lack of trying.

Yesterday my Mum did an amazing ‘Xmas dinner’ and it was fantastic to have my family around and Mum’s legendary roast dinner! But as the day progressed I felt more aware of how much I miss my children and how awful the real Xmas is going to be if Steve is hell bent on keeping me from the family home. I ended up in floods of hysterical tears and spewing my guts up. Not from alcohol either! I’d just got myself into such a state and I felt so bad for Mum.

Today I’ve spent squirreled away in my bedroom. Everything just feels too much to cope with. I feel caught in this horrible limbo and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. I’ve got no money so I’m stuck, and unwilling to see friends because I can’t pay my way. I’m anxious about my phone bill and the storage costs that need paying. I need to get my benefits sorted in NZ but I can’t do that from here. I’ve been applying for jobs constantly but it’s hard to beat the competition when I’m still in the UK.

I don’t mean to sound ungrateful. I’m lucky to have my parents looking out for me and for having a home here. But really, it’s time for me to go back and ‘face the music’ and it’s been time for a while, but alas all I can do is wait. It’s adding to this feeling of powerlessness.

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.

No way back

My time in the UK has been fantastic. I’ve seen my best mate’s baby born, I’ve caught up with old friends and grown closer to my family. I rented a car so I’ve been independent and able to move around the country, spending nearly a week up North with a good friend who has relocated from NZ after her marriage broke down. She’s come an incredibly long way and looks and acts remarkable. She was quite inspiring.

I’ve overcome my anxieties to force myself out and engage with people. This is a huge turnaround from when I was in NZ staying in bed all the time. 

I actually started to think I could start over here with the kids. I have friends and family and it feels like a good base to start from scratch. Unfortunately when I mentioned this to S he not only ripped apart the idea but even had the audacity to throw my mental health at me as a reason for not having the kids. It was a low blow even for him. In retrospect I should have waited to discuss it until I got back. 

Now I don’t know how I’m going to get back – S isn’t going to use his air miles as previously promised. To make matters even worse, he’s been suggesting I’m not welcome to stay at the house. It seems in my absence he’s turned me into a monster and seems hell bent on punishing me. He even arranged a nanny to live in – knowing full well id be coming back. He’s been even colder and more nasty than I could ever have imagined. I’ve no doubt he’s had his family in his ear. He accused me of playing games, which makes no sense as I came here for respite, to gather my strength and always planned to go back. So I’m not even sure what ‘games’ he’s referring to.

I had no idea that he would take the house and flight away from me. It’s left me feeling really down and powerless. I don’t know how he expects to ban the mother of his children from her own house? He asked me to organise accommodation- but how can I do that from the UK? I need to be in NZ first and a hotel is out of the question because I could never afford it. Just when I think I’ve come to terms with everything, he throws something else at me. I literally can’t believe how much he hates me. How cold and heartless he’s being.

So I face a gloomy and unknown future. Obviously if I didn’t have the kids, I’d just stay here. But I miss them terribly. And time away from them is becoming increasingly more painful. I Skype with them regularly but it’s just not the same.

Being reunited with my kids should never have been this hard. I feel terribly anxious and overwhelmed at the new hurdles I face.

It’s such a horrible end to what has been a really productive and beneficial time here. I need to be careful that my mental health doesn’t plummet. I could already feel that sense of dread creeping in and the desire to give up and stay in bed. I don’t want S to have that power over me. Obviously as soon as I get back to NZ I intend to find a rental house and move as quickly as possible. I already know it’s not healthy to remain living in the same house as S. But as an interim, it’s all I have. I feel sick that he’s effectively trying to stop me from being with the kids.

I’m so glad I never signed the house over. I would definitely be left without a leg to stand on. I came so close to caving under the pressure. But now by hanging on by my fingernails at least I have some security.

I need to get back to my babies. I need to retain all the strength I’ve built and remember I have some awesome people in my life rooting for me.