In transit

I’m in Dubai now. It’s hot, and I’m sweaty and miserable. I couldn’t get comfy on the flight (I’ve not flown since I got so fat) and the service was pretty abysmal. I’ve flown Emirates back in the 90s and didn’t like it then. But it was part of a special deal. 

Surprisingly I don’t have flu symptoms yet, long haul and flu go together for me.

I’ve just had feelings of dread and regret in the air. I had a long wait in Auckland, and just watched the new series of House of Cards, but I was still in New Zealand so the gravity didn’t really dawn on me. On the flight I knew by each minute I was going further and further from my children. The regret was just as oppressive and added to my claustrophobia. Especially as everyone else had kids on board. The reality also that there will be no more family vacations struck me pretty hard.

So perhaps my intentions were right, reality is already kicking my arse. My marriage is over and there will be no more family holidays. No more S and I managing the kids. I kept having the urge to cry but fought it off. There will be lots of tears when I land. If I ever land. 

I used to love flying. It’s just watching movies and having a waitress! But now it feels painfully long and uncomfortable. My weight is probably a big contributor to that.

You’d think in times of stress I’d lose weight, but instead I get fatter, and I’m not moving much either. The last few weeks have been spent mostly in bed, so the airport transfers alone are making me walk more than I do in a week. 

My anxiety has been really bad. I’ve been shaking and bordering panic attacks. I was a seasoned traveller. I’ve been all over the globe and I used to storm through airports. Now I’m shaking, sweating, my chest is tight from panic. I feel more alone than I ever have. Everything has fallen apart. I don’t know who I am anymore. I’m ashamed of what I’ve become. I see more clearly what S sees when he looks at me and I can understand his disgust. I’m nothing like the girl he married. I’m pretty revolting as it goes, and my passion for life is dead.

I owe my children more than this. When did I become so selfish? When did I let myself go so much? When did I stop living? 

I hate myself, I hate what I’ve become. My children deserve so much more.

I hope that I can find my way back to myself. If nothing changes after this UK trip, after all of this discomfort and hellish travel, I don’t know what I’ll do.

I miss my children and the unconditional love they give me. But I need to be better for them.

Packing

The day before I fly out. It seems unreal that this time next week I’ll have been in the UK for a week. It’s a beautiful sunny, warm autumnal day here in NZ and I keep wondering if I’m doing the right thing. But the feeling of ‘starting over’ AGAIN, house hunting and moving seems impossible. So it’s not that I’m happy and settled here. I’m just enjoying being around the children. But living in this house isn’t a possibility. 

Last night was lovely. S was away, the kids tidied their rooms and we all sat and watched a couple of movies. It was really amazing and evenings like that make me wonder why the days are so painfully hard. 

There’s a long gap between my arrival to Auckland and my departing flight. Im really anxious about it. I have hardly spent much time out of bed, so being in the loud and busy airport for hours it’s really anxiety provoking. Plus I’ll be devastated from leaving my children, so lots of time for regrets to settle in.

The only aspect of the flight I’m looking forward to is that at least in the air, nothing can be done. That is, no phone calls, no depressing mail, nothing I have to face and handle like I do on a daily basis here.

S has already arranged for his Mother to come here while I’m away. I feel like he blames me for the rift between them (she never approved of me), and he’s forgotten how difficult she was. It’s like every negative thing in his life, every bad thing was because of me. He blames me for the separation, even though he told me he didn’t love me and told me repeatedly that our marriage was over. I just don’t understand him at all. But as I’ve said before, he is happy, so I guess in some way I was making him miserable. It’s just amazing how he was able to stop loving me so quickly and start resenting me so passionately.

I know I drone on about it and I shouldn’t. It’s one of the reasons, well, the main reason I need to get away. I need to clear my head of this stuff. It’s so confronting dealing with it every day. 

I don’t know how compassionate my family are going to be. Considering they think ‘mental illness’ is really something easily controlled and more a state of mind. Their response to my feeling anxious (about other stuff) already has been ‘well don’t be’ as if anxiety can be stopped. And I know they’ll struggle to understand my unwillingness to get up and function. I’ll be considered ‘lazy.’ But it’s a risk I have to take, because I’m not getting anywhere alone. And I’m hoping in amongst all the negative stuff, they’ll show some caring.

I’m looking forward to seeing my best friend. She’s heavily pregnant, so I’ll be excited to be there for her. She swore she’d never have children, so this was quite a shock! And she gets me, so at least I won’t feel totally isolated. 

I’ll just be glad to be on that departing flight so I can close my eyes and take my head off. Although I know it’ll start a fresh lot of tears.

Same old

Maybe day 4 or 5, no showering, same clothes. I’ve given up on life. I’ve certainly given up on myself. No one would believe I used to get my hair done regularly, get my nails done, care about my presentation. I’ve got long dark roots, perpetually greasy, lank hair, crooked nails, and I don’t even know where my make up is. 

I look old, ragged, tired, and I’ve lost my sense of worth. I don’t care how I look and I don’t care how others see me. I have nothing and I am nothing.

S only cares about getting me to sign the house over. So his parents can hold it and then hand it back. He’s sorted for life. And I’m pretty sure he’s seeing someone, he’s on his phone all the time, sneaking out to take calls. It’s like him and I never existed. He doesn’t show any signs of compassion or even regard me as familiar. I’m just an over stayer. I never imagined how much that would hurt. I never thought he could be so cold and callous. I don’t know him at all anymore. And I guess that’s part of the reason I don’t know myself anymore. I used to be life and soul of the party, now I’m pretty much in bed all the time. Forget friends, I haven’t made an effort at all. 

I’d say I’m dead inside but I still have deep feelings of hurt and sadness. 

I don’t know if I’ll get through this. I hope every day that a truck will hit me, or I’ll have a brain aneurysm, just something that will stop this constant misery. I don’t want to hurt my children and I know they’d be devastated, so that’s why I’m not actually doing anything myself. It would be easier if it were out of my control. Every day. I hope something will happen. My funeral would be empty, it’d be process. Because I’m a nothing. A no one. I’ve not made any differences, I’ve not left any marks.

Well, maybe the plane will go down! Not that I wish death on anyone else.

I’m really anxious about my upcoming trip. I’ll miss my children so much. To be so far from them is a scary thought. There’s no ‘jumping on a flight’ in an emergency. It takes 30 odd hours of travel. I’ve never been very far from them before.

I wouldn’t be surprised if S left me there. He can do whatever he likes while I’m out of the picture. And I don’t know him anymore. It’s like he’d slay me with a sword with a smile on his face. I know he’s always thinking and planning, but in his mind, I’m the enemy. Sometimes he’s nice to me, and it’s almost scary. I wonder where the ‘metaphorical’ punch will come. I’m not sure he’s capable of being nice to me out of any sense of residual care for me, the anger, disgust, and disdain boils over too much sometimes for me to know where his true feelings lie.

Anyway, there’s no point keep going on about my sunken marriage I suppose. Perhaps this is normal, when couples separate, feelings change 180 degrees. It just becomes a game to some.

Hopefully England will give me the respite i  need. My parents aren’t particularly sympathetic people and usually blame me for my troubles, I only hope I can push that aside and just be grateful I’m out of NZ for a bit.

Life sucks

So I’m going to have to cancel my (half a flight) back to the UK, which will give S further reason to hate my guts. I will never afford the rest of it and I’m scared I won’t be able to afford to return. Because S used air miles, he loses $150 of air points. Plus he’d already paid taxes. I’m really gutted because I needed that trip. Any break would be good about now.

I didn’t get that third job, so that’s a clean 3/3 rejections in one week! I’m dejected and tired from managing everything including dragging the poor kids around after school. A drs appointment for me (we waited over an hour) the kids were so tired and hungry. Then yesterday Caitlin had her follow paediatrician appointment after all the heart investigation tests. It all looks positive and there’s no need for concern, but it turned into another long afternoon after school. 

I did get my car back from being impounded after my incident with the police, so that’s another load of money down the drain. I still need to pay a deposit on a flat.
Tomorrow I’m back to physio for my hand, which is still painful and useless. I can’t write properly and it hurts.

Everything just feels like such a struggle. 

I don’t know what else I can do. I’m trying but it feels like something else comes up and smacks me around the face.

Interviews

So, newsflash! I’m coping! 

Yesterday I went swimming in the morning. I wasn’t really in the mood, but I put my swimmers on under my clothes and forced myself to at least float! A good way of getting clean too! It wasn’t too bad once I got in and then I got into the hot bubbly spa as a treat afterwards.

I was on edge most of the time during the day waiting for my interview. I’d had to arrange with the school to pick up the kids early. Fortunately my interview was in a room booked in a library. So I had the kids set up in the kids section, my eldest in charge and I was in a room next door. Not ideal, but I had no option. Luckily they’re well behaved and loved the books, not to mention they had their fidget spinners!

I tanked the interview. One of the women was really nice, warm, friendly. But the other seemed hard, and ruthless in her questioning. I admitted, unusually for me, that I’d struggled with depression and was only just looking at getting back into the workforce. The kinder woman, Belinda, seemed to appreciate my honesty. The colder woman, Amanda just became more ruthless, how would I cope with 8 hour days? How would I cope with autonomy? How would I cope with travel? The implication that I’d find it ‘stressful’ was really thrown at me. And I do feel that had I not have been honest about the depression, she’d have taken my professional experience as my proof of my ability to cope under stress. She also had that uncanny ability to fake smile, and respond to my questions as though I’d asked something pretty obvious.

I’m not upset or angry or disappointed.

What I deciphered from this early on was that this job wasn’t for me. The job spec differed, and the cases are too similar to what I’ve worked with before which I’d like a change from. I’m also not personally affected by Amanda’s questioning, she’s not someone I could work for and that’s all that matters.

I was relieved when it was over to see my children, happily reading quietly in the corner. Unfortunately it was rush hour traffic heading home and they were pretty tired, but it felt good to be out, to be doing something different.

This morning I could feel the familiar oppression pushing me back to bed, but I forced myself up and got the kids organised to drop off. I kept putting off getting ready for my interview but I was determined to go. So unbelievably despite my brain screaming at me to just cancel, I showered, dresses smartly and borrowed my eldest’s make up. Mine is in my car.

Parking in the city was stressful and finding the building turned into a long walk in uncomfortable shoes. I felt like an alien amongst the city workers. Like they were looking at me, judging me, recognising me as a fake. My brain was in shock, walking IN THE CITY, like a NORMAL person! For the briefest of moments I felt hopeful.

The interview was intense. But unlike being gone at like a bull dog (interestingly this role is far more superior to the other role but the women were so much more down to earth), the questions were very professional experience related. Great, except I haven’t worked for bloody ages and my brain doesn’t even remember what I was doing 2 days ago. I feel like I mumbled a bit, I felt lacking in areas and I’m not confident about this one. But that’s ok, it’s good experience and maybe I’m not ready for such an intense role yet. The fact that I showed up counts for so much more.

Unbelievably I heard from another recruitment agent about a job and an interview tomorrow. This one is within the mental health sector but I feel I’ll be on safer ground. This job is more in line with what I’d like to be doing. It’s after school but fortunately S is back so he’s looking after the kids.

This week is full on and I’m amazed that I’m still going. I’m still really anxious about Friday’s court appearance, so I can’t really switch off until Friday afternoon. As it is, this weekend we’re renting a truck and emptying the cottage ourselves which won’t be easy. There’s still no tenant to take over the lease. I’m sure the landlord is putting people off with his eccentric ways. So actually ending the lease without a new tenant could prove tricky. I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

In the meantime, I have 2 more very important days to survive.

Medication changes

Saw my psychiatrist today. We’ve added Fluoxetine to the mix and decreased the Sodium Valporate by 500mg because she thinks that might be adding to my tiredness. Although it is helping with my headaches and migraines would you believe! I’m happy with the outcome, as happy as a chronic depressed person can be.

Since going for a swim it’s like it’s taken everything out of me and I’m shattered. But I’m determined to hold onto that good feeling and try again tomorrow.

The panicky feelings aren’t going away. I just need court to be over. And I’m split in two minds about going to the UK. I get the feeling S is withdrawing his financial support as we get closer to September (when we can legally divorce), and my benefits change from leaving the house. It’s all long and boring, but I’m feeling the pinch and I have closing bills to pay, storage to pay, a new deposit to pay on this scungey apartment. I don’t really have the means to support myself in the UK and what if S leaves me  with nothing in the UK? I could be trapped. I’m feeling like I’ve lost all control over every aspect of my life. 

On a plus side, I did get an interview following a big CV drop (online) so I just hope something will come up for me. Unfortunately it’s at a time when the kids should be finishing school, so I’m going to have to take them with me – again. It’s never a good look taking kids, but what else can I do? S isn’t here. I’m not sure how he’s expecting  it to go once I start work. I won’t have the flexibility I do now. And god knows, I’ll need my salary. He’s gotten so used to going away and working late and functions at the drop of a hat, I think it’ll be quite a shock for him having to juggle childcare again. But I’m getting ahead of myself – I still need to get a job first.

I’ll just be glad to be in my own place (as scungey as it might be), and get somewhere with the job hunting. At the moment I’m sick of being an unwanted house guest, grappling with this ugly mental condition and hopefully finding some hope for my future. Although that concept seems laughable at the moment.

Down again

Today I went to the day centre and I didn’t feel very relaxed. I did talk to the staff and a guest speaker who was there to discuss pharmaceuticals. I felt obligated to be polite and partake in the discussion but really I was tired and couldn’t think very well. Ironically he thought I came across so well he assumed that I was well, these kind of remarks feel quite dismissive. Just because I am functioning and hiding my feelings well doesn’t mean I’m any less well or any better than anyone else.

I had therapy this afternoon and I talked about how my inner child is really on the surface and seeking comfort and nurturing . Even during the session I picked up a cuddly toy and held onto it. I didn’t feel the need to talk about anything specific in therapy and felt a little bit like I was just paying lip service by being there.

When I returned to respite, I felt considerably more tired and quite low. 

I was able to squeeze in a hair appointment because I thought that might pick me up. My hair has been especially neglected.

But all that happened was I ended up having long conversations with my hairdresser that I wasn’t really in the mood for, plus my hair cost me a fortune and left me feeling broke. So I returned to respite and crawled into bed. I was upset that I feel low again. I thought I was improving. Last night I slept so well. And I had every faith my new medication regime was going to pick me up.

Instead I’m anxious and afraid that it won’t work and I’ll continue to feel low. I feel such a sense of loss and disappointment.

I messaged my case worker and he told me recovery is never straight forward. I suppose it stands to reason that it wouldn’t be linear. I just wish I could feel happy.