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.

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.

Sun after the storm

So I had no luck with the GP. There’s a long wait for a psychiatrist, and strict criteria and as I’m being treated in NZ, I won’t get treated here. I understand the principle but my meds need reviewing and the GP won’t do it and I’m left struggling. I even had to get a nurse in NZ to send a copy of my current prescription to the GP before she wrote any out. As if I’d lie about the meds I’m on! I know my meds better than most GPs thank you very much!

I took the hurdle really badly and ended up brooding in my bed again, feeling dejected.

It was a struggle and Mum has been trying to get me to the hairdresser but frequently cancelling because I can’t face it. It’s her way of trying to make me feel better about myself and getting me out, which is actually really thoughtful. I decided to go against my desire to languish in bed and do it. I felt so anxious I nearly cried in the place! Silly really. I’ve always loved getting my hair done and been confident. But now I don’t go out and I’m so fat, I’ve not bothered. The hairdresser was lovely and really put me at ease. And I’m glad I had it cut. It looks a lot better.

When I woke up this morning, I didn’t want to go out again (mum had said she wanted to take me shopping). My body was like lead. Getting ready was really hard work and I didn’t think I could face it. But I decided to push through hoping I’d feel better for it.

 I got a lot of really nice things – which I didn’t expect! We walked around a bit and then stopped for coffee. For the first time in months I felt less self conscious and a bit more normal.

I also bought my son a really cute ‘Cars’ jacket from the Disney store (which admittedly I did tear up a bit).

I’m so glad I came back here. For a while it looked like nothing was going to change and perhaps it had all been for nothing. But gradually I’m getting a bit more positive. And it’s so nice to be cared for. My mum makes lovely home cooked dinners, and has done my laundry for me! I’m an overgrown kid again!

But it’s giving me the respite I need to clear my mind and try to think about my future. I’m still very sad and going back to NZ seems to be an overwhelming task; setting up all over again. But if I can continue to get myself in a better space I might start to focus on the positives. I feel like I have my family behind me, which really helps and I’ve still got friends to catch up with.

Getting there!

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.