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.

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Reality

So my dad has booked the tickets and I’m beyond excited to see my babies again. It’s been too long and much longer than I anticipated. I keep imagining their faces, their warmth, even the way they smell. I won’t be able to get enough of them.

The hurdles that I have to deal with on my return are what are keeping me awake at night. I’m so glad my parents are going to be flying with me and have booked accomodation for us. That’s a huge weight off of my mind. But I have so much to organise in the short time they’re with me, seeing my lawyer, organising my medication and worse still, organising my own accomodation in the long term. I keep having terrible anxiety attacks and I’m barely sleeping. I feel deeply suicidal because I don’t know how I’m going to be strong enough to deal with all the shit, especially how Steve will inevitably treat me. I feel so vulnerable, so alone, so afraid of my uncertain future. But having my parents by my side in the start will help immensely. My focus is on my children and their love and excitement to see me back.

I am both relieved at the booked flights and equally terrified. There is something to be said for the ignorant sanctity I have been indulging in back home. Although I’ve obviously had guilt and uncertainty, the immediate concerns could be thwarted by delay. Now everything is speeding towards me like a jump from a tall building and I know this landing is also going to hurt.

I’m scared of my unknown future. I’m not strong like I used to be. Nothing is the same. And somehow I need to conjure the strength to organise everything in the short time that I have my parents both emotionally and financially. And I worry about the toll on them. They don’t have deep pockets, they’re old and deserve their peace. Not hurtling towards a car crash situation that’s geographically the furthest point away with a large potential financial burden.

I feel like I’ve let everyone down. I’m no longer the daughter to be proud of, the mother to be proud of and the woman to be envied because I had it all. I’m broken and I have nothing. I am nothing and I’m completely without direction. 

Aside from the warmth of my children – that is all I have to cling to.

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.