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.

Court

I had an interview yesterday afternoon, the company works around mental illness so it would be something I’d be passionate about. But there were 5 candidates and frankly I just think I wasn’t experienced enough. I struggled to come up with examples of historical work place incidents again and the air got thicker and I shrank more and more. The interviewers pens scribbled less, and I knew at times I’d lost members of the panel. Again, it’s hard not to feel bad about it. I haven’t got what it takes – I can’t fake it. That’s just the truth of the matter. I am starting to feel the crushing realisation that I might never work again, and am finally making steps to apply for disability. Something I’ve avoided for so long because I didn’t want to admit my position. I’ll still send my CV out but I’m not positive at all. I’m not even sure what I want to be doing anymore.

S is making it so blatant that he doesn’t want me around. I can’t even begin to express the toxic environment at home. I feel like such an unwelcome houseguest. I’m trying my best to avoid him. I had hoped to move into a flat on the weekend so I could be out of his way but he needs me Tues-Fri next week. What’s the point in paying rent if I’m going to be here?? He hasn’t even asked, just assumed I’d be ok looking after the kids.

This morning I had to leave early for court and I was using his car, he went nuts saying it sounded really bad ‘since I’d been driving it.’ Actually I’ve told him before it sounds bad, but he told me he had it serviced (even though the check engine light is continually on). He was so shitty with me and then told me it was a mess inside. His car is usually full of litter which I tidy out because it bugs me, there’s no litter in it, so I’m not sure why he made that comment. I felt attacked and useless again. On a morning where I definitely didn’t need it. He demanded I ‘drive straight back.’

The guy hates me like an enemy. An enemy he’s being forced to endure. It’s a difficult thing for me to process. But I refuse to break down and cry.

Court was its own nightmare. People were there with really serious charges, I was told by a duty solicitor that mine was ‘minor’ I’ve still ended up with a traffic conviction and $100 fine. Lucky the fine wasn’t too much, but a conviction is surely a conviction?? Traffic or otherwise. I have no idea how this is going to impact me. I’ll need to speak to my lawyer.

Afterwards I’d hope to secure my flat, I was shown three. One with windows almost against a wall so it was pretty dark, and the others so grotty and smelly. I’m waiting until Monday to view another one that’s come up, but this one is a studio. What does it matter? Without my kids I’m only going to lie on the bed all the time any way.

At least this week is over and I’ve survived it. I’ve certainly seen more action then I have in ages, which is kind of good considering how much I slept before.

First leg booked

The first leg of my flight is booked now for June 4. I can’t book the reminder until I next come into money. But at least I have a date now. I feel both anxious about this and happy about my decision to leave this is my thought process;

The bad

  1. Away from kids (huge deal)
  2. Away from sorting out life
  3. Longest distance if there’s an emergency 
  4. Feel like I’m running away 

The good

  1. Time away to reset
  2. No demands/pressures
  3. Lower costs (no rent, etc)
  4. Time back with my own people
  5. A much needed holiday 
  6. Time to grieve and think about way forward 

I think whenever a mother in particular takes time away from the family it’s a huge decision likely to have strong feelings of guilt. At the moment I am just bumbling from one problem to another and I’m just not getting any better. I need to be surrounded by people, I need the pressure taken off and I want to feel better about who I am for my children. 
Booking the first leg of my flight has given me a better sense of focus and something to look forward to. Next weekend will be storing stuff from my house into storage. So the extra weeks will work quite well in terms of organisation.

I’m still dreading the 24th May and really hope for resolution on that day as I can’t bear the thought of it dragging on.

I have this terrible restlessness which I’m not sure is because of the anxiety or because of the medication I’m taking. Either way I’m uncomfortable in my own skin.

I just have to have faith that things will get better.

End of lease

So I have officially handed in the notice for the house in Martinborough. I don’t think I will earn any money through the tourist website particularly as it’s off-season here. And it’s too much of a gamble. I haven’t heard back yet but I imagine he won’t be very happy. S has made it abundantly clear that he is in no position to help me move financially but I’m hoping with the promise of the bond that will at least help somewhat. I’m putting everything into storage, which costs me less Per month then my weekly rent. It will certainly take the pressure off of me financially and help manage the amount of things I have to worry about. I still plan on going to the UK so hopefully I can get all of this done and packed away before I go. When I return NZ I know I can easily rent a small studio  in the interim while I sort out longer term lodgings.

I still feel really miserable and restless, as my car is impounded I’m useless when it comes to driving the kids around, and I haven’t been able to keep to any of my appointments. At least I see the psychiatrist on the 18th May so hopefully some new medication can be sorted. I just can’t imagine ever getting over this low, and I keep saying it but it just seems the days drag on with no end in sight.

I have asked S to tweak my resume as I’m sure it would help if I started sending that out again. I’ve done a lot of work on it but he’s excellent at providing really top of the range resumes, I guess because of his work history. Maybe in a way my lawyer was right I just need to get on. Even in my misery surely I can fake it until I make it.

Court disappointment 

So eventually I turned up at the courts, fortunately last night I looked up the address I saw that the local courts have been closed down on me so I had to drive to the next town. I made it just-in-time and walked in. The people waiting were predominantly male, large guys gang inscriptions and I felt incredibly intimated. Although to be honest I fear the authorities more than the alleged criminals that were there. Everyone else seemed to know what was going on except me. I know I looked out of place with my half a suit and on my laptop bag.

I managed to find a duty solicitor who walked me to a court. The court called my name and I asked for a “diversion” – meaning no conviction. apparently I am not entitled to legal aid because of the nature of the charge and my own lawyer doesn’t seem interested in standing in my defence so I suppose I will have to continue defending myself. The police will now review my case and the actual ‘arguments’ (I suppose it would be called) takes place on the 26 May. That means my plans to leave for England would have to be put on hold which is a real shame. I have been looking forward to leaving sooner.

I’m really disappointed from today I had looked forward to an answer and the opportunity to move on. I didn’t anticipate that nothing will be resolved and I’ll be left even further in the dark. Now I wonder if I should just give my termination in to the property in Martinborough or if I should wait, if the website I put it on  will come through for me or if I’ll be left out of pocket paying for a house that I’m not actually living in. I suppose I should wait until I have been to England to make any decisions but now that seems really far away. And I feel even less in control of everything that’s going on.

Lawyer woes

My appointment with my lawyer this afternoon could not have gone any worse. Although I was anxious about the appointment I certainly didn’t anticipate how bad it was going to go. If I had an inkling that she was going to be as bad as she was then I wouldn’t have bothered going. Firstly my son and youngest daughter were very tired and hungry and were really irritable waiting for me in the waiting room which is understandable.

Secondly, I don’t want to make any observations without facts but I have to say the smell of alcohol was not hard to miss and judging by the fact that my lawyer’s eyes spent more time closed than open I can’t help but feel she was at least three sheets to the wind. In terms of my court appearance tomorrow, I will be representing myself. She didn’t offer any help nor any idea of how to cope with the situation so I am in at the deep end. Fortunately having gone through the bare minimum of clothes I have kept at the house I have managed to put together a smart outfit. I will put forth mitigating circumstances but really I have no idea how the system really works. I am nervous and I am worried that I’ll say the wrong thing and end up with severe consequences.

I mentioned my proposed trip to the UK, not because I was worried about the court appearance but rather if it may impact any custody arrangements with my ex as previously she had warned me not to leave the country. When I mentioned my intention to leave for about three weeks as I’ve been having such a difficult time she absolutely pulled me to shreds. She told me that my intentions were selfish, that it would be seen as abandoning my children and so I would sever any chances of having custody of my children in the future, and she also had a go about the fact I moved into a place in Martinborough. She said I was “a non-person” that I had lost my “sense of identity” and that I was making things worse for myself. In fact I can’t remember the last time anybody spoke so down to me and so badly to me.

She told me if I was going to the UK to make myself better then I would be taking my children with me, if I wasn’t taking my children then clearly it was all about me. She told me it was paramount that I ended the tenancy in Martinborough and re-located close to the house. She told me that I couldn’t discuss anything with my ex as he clearly couldn’t be trusted.

My ex and I have been through some really difficult times and sometimes I have been astounded by the things he has said but I know he would say the same about me, the only thing we continually agree on are the children. I just cannot believe that he would   betray me if I did indeed leave the country for a few weeks. He knows that I need to get better and he knows that I’m struggling at the moment. If I were to believe my lawyer, then I would have been married to a complete monster for the last 13 years and not known it.

I still refuse to give up on the marriage, and hope that my time apart and by re-establishing myself when I get back we could perhaps look at us again. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get my marriage back. But if S continues to deny me that then I must look at moving forward.

Life feels impossibly hard at the moment. I just need to get through tomorrow and hope for the best possible result. I don’t mind admitting that I am very scared. It’s amazing that I have had no support and now I am expected to go into court and argue my case alone.

I need tomorrow over and I need to find some semblance of a life again.