Update

My job continues to tick along. I meet quite a few different people. Some are incredibly interesting and very humble. Others seem to be so entitled and obsess over the smallest of things. Not too dissimilar from me. I’ve always obsessed over the smallest of fractions. It makes me wonder just how happy I’ve been in my life to let somethings affect me so much.

I hate the separation. I hate missing the familiarity of Steve, the companionship and the affection and certainty that comes with a long term relationship. But I’m closer to the kids. I appreciate every second I spend with them – I can think of nothing better than spending the days and nights with my children. Of course it’s draining and stressful, especially when I’m juggling my job, but they are the absolute epicentre of my earth. Maybe I took them for granted before? Maybe I relied too heavily on Steve to look after them? I’m always there when he has his work commitments. There’s nowhere else I’d rather be.

I’m back at the gym – which was a huge feat for me. I was genuinely scared that I might bring on another convulsion. But I can’t keep living in fear. Admittedly I did join a different gym. Start fresh. And it’s not far from the office, so I’ve been going in before work, but if I have the kids, I can go in during the day. So far it’s worked out really well. It’s still a hard slog to go there. I think of a million different reasons not to go; but I put on my gym gear and force myself. I never regret it afterwards. In the spirit of my health and fitness, I’ve joined a ‘couch to 5km’ group. I’ve not told anyone except Steve because of the logistics. It’s a very early start Mon, Weds and Sat. So early in fact on the weekdays that I have to drive 40 minutes into the city, back home to shower and swap to my work car and back out again. It’s a huge commitment, not to mention cost, but I reason that it’s only 8 weeks. I can do it. Can I? I hope so. I’m very anxious about it. I start next week – and again, I’ve already thought of a million different reasons to get out of it. It’s sheer determination to change the rut that I’m in that encourages me.

My counsellor asked me the other day; am I pleased with myself? Am I happy with where I am. But I don’t feel I’ve done anything to warrant feeling proud. Each day is a grind that I survive. I wouldn’t say I’m particularly happy either. But was I ever? I can’t think back to a time in the last few years where I stopped and thought – I’m genuinely happy. It’s been about survival for me. And some days have been better than others, but there hasn’t been a defined period of contentment. That’s not because of the separation – it was before then. The benefit of losing everything is seeing the bigger picture. And I’d genuinely like to go to bed and smile. Sure, time with the kids is awesome, but at night I ruminate over everything little thing. Was I a good enough mum? I stress about work all the time. I wonder when I’m going to cop the next bad mood from Steve. Things still aren’t great between us. The reason being; it defies my expectations. I want a relationship of sorts with Steve, but he’s not willing to participate. Instead there’s this uncomfortable dialogue and unpredictability of sometimes getting along, sometimes having a slanging match. I try not to get sucked in, but old behaviours are hard to break. I can’t control his behaviour, like I want him to show me more respect, so I have to learn to control my reactions and change for myself the impact on me. It’s actually really hard to do that. It’s amazing how much power we can give people.

My medication has changed radically. Some things recently I changed (after seeing the GP). I’m really more in control of my medication. I’m seeing a new psychiatrist in a week, sleep is still an issue. My new exercise routine hasn’t changed that. I obviously need chemical input, I just need something that’s cost affect and works. My CPN has left which I’m quite gutted about. I had a lot of respect for him – even being a man! I’m supposed to see this new woman but I’ve put it off. I don’t feel able to establish trust with anyone else at the moment.

So life continues for me. Not particularly interesting. I’m trying to grow as a person and a lot of times I think I am. Usually it’s interaction with Steve where I end up doubting myself.

Maybe this new fitness program will bring about some positive change.

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Visual representation in therapy

My therapist today told me that I’ve worked incredibly hard, particularly over the last few months and I’ve achieved a lot. The way I talk about things is different. And she sees us moving forward onto the ‘next level’ of things. I didn’t understand what any of this meant and asked her what that might look like. She actually did a visual representation for me which was really helpful and unlike anything I’ve experienced before.

She took a bunch of toys and books from the box and laid them out on the floor in different spots. Each item represented some aspect of my life. The abuse I’ve experienced, Steve, the kids, my home, my job, my friends. She showed me how it was all a jumble when I started counselling. But things have separated and I no longer mix them all up. She showed what things are my priority (kids) how my home has moved closer to me (it feels more like home) and how my past has less power over me. How my friends are of great value to me, and how, despite a Baptism by fire, I have continued to stick it out with my job – and who knows where that might lead for me in terms of a career. Seeing my life laid out in an external format was really enlightening. I couldn’t identify the emotional connections, but I know I felt some contentment that it wasn’t as overwhelming as I always think of my life to be. My therapist explained that I would, in my own time, work through the different dynamics and discover new feelings, identify things I hadn’t worked through or considered before. Carefully unraveling layers, but ultimately consolidating foundations with the ultimate goal of becoming stronger, more aware, healing.

I’d really like to be handed a manual and told exactly what the processes are and rush through to the end. I find all this work very painful and often wonder if I’ll ever truly be at peace. But I guess I just have to trust the process.

This session certainly wasn’t like last session which was incredibly intense and I felt the pain for days. I didn’t think I’d stop hurting but obviously I did because at some point normal life resumed. The weekend was pretty tough but that’s because the kids didn’t want to stay with me so I was pretty gutted. I felt the familiar tug to wallow in bed the whole time; and I pretty much did. But on Sunday I went out to watch a movie – The Wife. I enjoyed it immensely. I like watching movies alone. I cried during the movie, it was really just an excuse to release some emotions.

I’ve had the kids the last couple of nights and I feel so much better for it. And Steve is away for most of next week, so I’m looking forward to next week with them. Time with the kids means everything to me – even though they’re messy and noisy! They make my house a home, they’re my whole world.

I feel a bit numb from this afternoon. I tend to after a therapy session, unless it’s been particularly intense, in which case it’s harder to control, I have to seal it off as I’m looking after the kids. But I’ll be thinking about that visual representation a lot. I can move things around in my head and think about what issues are requiring my attention sooner.

Pain

Yesterday was really tough.

I had a really intense therapy session. I knew I’d been feeling sad, but I’d not been able to really let myself ‘feel’ it which I’ve learnt is integral to healing. I told my counsellor what I’d felt, but I never expected the depth at which it came flowing. I uncovered so much that I’ve not said before. I felt really ripped raw. Don’t get me wrong, although it was incredibly painful, I knew it was incredibly powerful. I could have curled up right there and sobbed the night away. I had unpicked a scab and the pain was unbearable. But the tears flowed freely. The pain was being released that had been trapped inside.

When I left I felt raw, but I was going to Steve’s as he was away and I was looking forward to spending time with the kids. It was my focus. I called him on the way back and asked him where he was, no reason it was just by chance, this turned into a saga in which it was pretty clear he was lying. He back peddled, lied, stumbled and fucked his way through an awkward conversation in which I sounded like a paranoid insecure wife and he sounded like lying, cheating scum caught out. Of course, he’s not cheating – we’re not together anymore. And I’m not his wife. But my god, it was like a white hot knife to the heart. I’ve had my suspicions with his travel but this has just confirmed it. And the bumbling lying has just made it a hundred times worse. I knew it was inevitable, I’m not an idiot, I knew he wouldn’t stay single forever. I just didn’t expect to find out this way – although any way would have hurt to be honest. It really felt like salt to a tender wound. I broke down and cried more. The kids of course saw this. But I was tired, and I couldn’t hide my sadness. I explained I was sad with their dad. We hugged and moved on. Although of course at night while they slept I sobbed quietly. All the pain of the day washing over me.

Today I put my game face on for work, but alone I’ve felt the tears welling. I’ve felt tired and at times numb. The temptation to crawl into bed overwhelming but somehow I’ve managed to plod on.

I feel I’ve reached yet another junction in my life where I can either choose to give in or drag myself together and keep going. Things never seem to happen at once for me, or I never seem able to coast. I always feel like I’m surviving.

I feel sick about everything from yesterday. The feelings I experienced from the past, my ex husband moving on with another woman and blatantly lying about it. I just have to hope that the pay off is that I get stronger from this.

Job and stuff

I think it’s really interesting that Steve mentioned I used to say all the time, I never really enjoyed that, after everything I ever did. I had lost all pleasure in everything in my every day life. I hardly remember that period at all but it seems familiar.

It’s interesting to me because I have spent the last few years being extremely sad. I have struggled with the marriage break up and all the subsequent difficulties I’ve faced alone. My mental health has been unstable and I’ve probably spent more time crying than I have at any other time in my life. But I have to say that I’ve really learnt to embrace the crying. I don’t see it as a weakness or question my sanity. I see it as a release and I just let go. It’s actually very freeing. In amongst all the grief and sadness there are many things I have learnt to appreciate and therefore enjoy. Simple things. It can be anything from a good cup of a coffee, to something one of the kids say, to driving my really cute car to something one of my good friends say. I guess when I think I’m going backwards it takes a simple comment like that to realise that’s not the case at all.

In terms of the job, I’m sticking at it. Some days are better than others. There’s been some really interesting cases, so if I focus on the clients it ignites real passion in me, I just want the freedom to get stuck in. The team seem a little bit warmer to me. Maybe it’s a time thing? I guess because I’m so open and tend to accept people, I expect everyone to do the same, so I’m bitterly disappointed when they don’t. That’s my problem really and not anyone else’s fault.

I’ve interviewed a nanny to take Harry to his tutoring on Tuesday and Thursday as I’m not going to be available. It really was a bittersweet experience. She’s lovely and I am glad to be working, but I’ve really enjoyed being such a big part of my son’s routine. I’m going to miss that a lot. I do love my boy so much.

I’ve had the kids the last few days, but now they’re off to Napier with the grandparents for the week – it’s school holidays. I’ll miss them so much. I’ll make the most of Steve’s empty house though by doing my washing and using the spa pool 😄

I’ve got this horrible ear infection which I’m starting to think will never go away. I’m completely deaf in my left ear. I’ve been on two different antibiotics. Now I’m on ear drops. It’s really frustrating. When there’s background noise I can hardly hear and I’m constantly shouting which I know is annoying everyone.

My mood is a little unstable, slightly more than usual – it’s the antibiotics. It interacts with my medication. I swing a little between my usual (crying) and then feeling extremely irritable and confrontational. I’m aware of it, fortunately it should only be temporary. I see my psychiatrist every 2 weeks at the moment and I’ve been seeing my CPN pretty much every week but he’s been on leave. I realise starting a new job is also a huge stressor, and I’m really keen to stay on top of mental health. I want to keep communication open and try to stop anything before it spirals out of control, which is easier said than done. I’m extremely stressed about my finances. My job pays pretty much the same as being on welfare, and of course by not being on welfare there’s a lot of things I don’t get discounted anymore so I’m very concerned. You can sort of see why some people can’t see the point of working. Especially when you consider tax deductions and student loan debts and child support, etc. But I’ve talked to Steve about that. I’ve gotten really good at budgeting, but I’m still lousy at understand taxes and what my entitlements are, whereas that’s his strength so I’m hoping he’ll be able to support me in terms of his knowledge.

I have a lot going on, but I’m managing. I’m taking each day as it comes. I’m finding it better to acknowledge each anxiety as it rears up as opposed to try and push it away. I’ve even kept lists of things that really trouble me and it’s amazing to be able to look at those lists a few months later and see most, if not all of the things cleared.

Good things!

So my parents left today, but I saw them last night. It was still emotional even though things have been rocky here. Luckily it won’t affect the kids. But I’m still indebted from my time in England.

In other news, I’m LOVING my job training! I’m feeling very positive about that. Although it’s been a shock to the system! I’m knackered!

I’m LOVING my home. It’s all in place, and feels like home. Of course I miss the house I had with Steve – it was our ‘dream’ house after all. But I have to remind myself it’s just bricks and mortar at the end of the day (technically aluminium!).

The kids are with Steve’s parents in Napier, which is great for them, my children deserve to be spoilt and I have neither the money nor time at the moment. My eldest is here at the house, she’s just living on her laptop talking to school friends! 

So at the moment, contentment resides. I honestly NEVER imagined getting to this point. I seriously thought my life was on a continually bad plateau and that perhaps I’d been the worst person in a former life! My mental health does concern me, but I’m doing the only thing I can do, take my medication, get sleep and wait until the psychiatrist comes back from holiday. I’m terrified of plummeting, but I’m hoping the job satisfaction and feeling of having a ‘Home’ keeps me balanced.

Oh, and I can use the 24 hour police gym!!! So I save on membership and can actually start trying to get healthy again!

Change?

Some strange things have happened since I mentioned how much bad luck I’ve been having at the start of the year what with a broken hand, looking at a fairly scungey apartment and not being able to find any work.

Most people would take this change in circumstances and see it as a positive thing where as I’m now even more full of self-doubt because I wonder if there’s  going to be a downfall from having some good luck!

So what’s been happening that’s given me this profound sense of undeserving luck?

Well firstly there was a property that I had enquired about in a beautiful village where we used to own a property and that I love very much.  I spoke with the homeowner at length on the phone about his current tenants and he wasn’t sure when they’re going to be moving out so he said he would speak to them and get back to me. He did get back to me and told me that the tenants have decided to stay so the property was no longer available to rent. This was another one of the reasons I decided to opt for the apartment because on the rare chance I see a property  I like I end up missing out either because I’m simply not chosen or other circumstances out of my control.

A few days ago he called me to tell me that the tenants have changed their minds again and were going to move out. He said because of my previous interest he would give me first refusal. I had already put down the deposit on the apartment but this house has a real draw for me so I said I was definitely interested and went about the application process.

Probably an hour later I received another call I missed it and it went to voicemail it was somebody saying he’d seen my CV on a job site and wanted to speak to me about this position he thought I was suitable for.  While I was on the phone to him call waiting was going and unbelievably I had a message from a company which I applied for a job with a few months ago and they were calling to organise a time to interview with me.

All this came off the back of me  saying to S that I was going to give up househunting and jobhunting for a while as the rejection was just getting too much for me.

I received confirmation that I was accepted for the house. It’s a small cottage in this lovely wine region in New Zealand and I’m really looking forward to moving in; unbelievably again the start time is the exact same time as the end date of my tenancy here.

Today I met the recruitment consultant that headhunted me for a role and he is going to put me forward for that so I will interview again next week sometime. I’m having an interview tomorrow with the guy of the company directly for the job that I’ve applied for a few months ago.

Unfortunately in terms of self confidence I am actually feeling really low because of these medications I’m taking I’ve  put on so much weight and I feel really uncomfortable in my suit and I’m conscious that people will be looking at me thinking that I’m just this fat frumpy old woman. I feel behind my game and that I will really have to work hard to try to impress people to get them to see pass my fatness.

I have heard from the hospital and next week I have an appointment with the plastics departments because apparently they’re the only ones that can help with the strange bone of mine broken in my hand.

So I’m joining the realms of the normal people with the house waiting for me next weekend and jobs lined up that I have stopped applying for a long time ago. It’s really tiring returning back to this facade of the person that i  used to be but I don’t really know who I am anymore. Because of feeling so self-conscious because of all the medications I take because I am under the care of the community mental health team because I’m not really normal and yet I’m facing these people and getting on.

I have to say each day is exhausting and I’m almost waiting for something horrible to happen to me to make up for the good things that are happening I’m not sure if that’s the way I think or if it’s the illness making me feel this way. I do believe that what is meant to be will be. So if one of these jobs comes through then perhaps I really am ready to join full time employment and it certainly would be good to have my financial independence and have some semblance of normal adult life.

Of course there is some excitement about these new prospects don’t get me wrong but I’m still not in a place right now where I can really feel fully excited without the sense of impending doom.

It’s interesting that I’ve lost my sense of self. I don’t know if that’s a combination of the separation, of having a mental illness, of going through different things in my life or if it’s just the time in my life where this happens where I undergo some sort of mental change in a later stage in my life.

Whatever it is I hope that I will really start to feel comfortable again in my own skin and get to know who I am again and get to know what I like and start to live without this fear on the back of my shoulders all the time and without the internal painful monologue I torture myself with on a daily basis.

Sweethearts and sickness

Its my high school sweet heart’s birthday today.  We’re Facebook friends.  We don’t talk to each other, just the odd ‘like’ on comments.  Way back when, everyone thought him and I would marry.  We ‘dated’ as you do in school, often split up and then made our way back to each other.  We were odd bods, which seemed to intrinsically link us.  Where others saw him as frankly a bit crazy (a candidate for manic depression), I understood his ebbs and flows.  His moods, and his little routines.  And I think in that, he felt safe to be himself with me.  Although he often chased the girls that were known for giving a bit more in the relationship physically, so to speak, he would often seek a respite with me.  Perhaps that’s because I was pretty damn crazy myself! – And as for the all of the politically incorrect statements I’m throwing around, I’m referring to our time in school.  Back then, labels weren’t applied, just observations.  He wasn’t my first kiss, that was DL. A local boy who went to the same first school and then secondary school as me.  I did think I was in love with him at the time.  I remember him dancing with Samantha at a school disco to the Bangles and I cried like a baby in my heart-break.  DL was also a larger than life character, he dabbled in some professional acting, and I believe does some acting now.  But DL and the first love that I refer to, AB, didn’t get along.  Perhaps their ego’s were too big for each other.

DL and I kissed in a cupboard for chairs one summer afternoon in a local village hall.  I was so terrified, but so excited.  We were dared to kiss.  When the kiss happened it felt so forced, I didn’t feel all ‘floaty’ as I would have expected.  I suspect he had kissed a lot of times before me.  I was 13.  I still picture it perfectly.  The room, the chairs, the lingering dust, the warmth of a summer’s afternoon, the other kids daring us.  It makes me smile.  Of all of the boys, DL was a great person to share that moment with.  A cherished fragment in a young life.

I never gave any thought to my first time sexually.  It wasn’t something people talked about.  Even AB chasing the other girls hadn’t considered sex, just even a look or a touch! – that’s his words!

Perhaps in a different world, AB would have been my first time.  Beneath his boyish humour and manic ticks, he was sweet and gentle.  We took many walks around the fields near his house, and not once in all of those times did he try anything.  I always managed to feel safe around him.  Even when he kissed me it never felt like a promise.  Perhaps we were never meant to be more than a dance of what could have been.  Certainly I have no doubt if we had have ended up together, it wouldn’t have lasted.  We both share the same moods and egos.  Both too passionate about our stances to back down.  We would have come to hate each other.  Both of us need someone calm, consistent and patient to counter our imbalance.

But life would have been better had I have chosen the person.  If it was planned.  And not necessarily even like in the movies, with the roses, candles and bed made by the fire.

This morning I went constantly into panic attacks.  My son was sleeping soundly in the bed, so I had to go into the bathroom and try to get a grip.  Then I got back into bed, drifted off to sleep and the same thing happened.  I don’t know what triggered me.  I guess a dream I had.  But clearly a lie in this morning wasn’t going to happen.

Already triggered, I decided to unblock HIM [the rapist] on Facebook and look at his profile.  See if anything significant in his life had happened, make sure we didn’t have any friends linked.  I wouldn’t usually do this, S has always done periodic checks for me, but it’s not his place anymore.  I need to bite the bullet.  Of course with Facebook settings as they are, I couldn’t see much.  Seeing his photos and I felt an odd shut down.  In my mind his image is set to back then.  His mouth, eyes, his demeanour is still clear in my head.  So the photos are hard to place.  I didn’t look for long, I didn’t want the revised image burned into my retinas.  I didn’t want any image to cause me distress.  So I didn’t find anything of interest.  Unfortunately now with Facebook I have to wait 48 hours to block him again.  So I live in fear of him seeking me out, I’m counting down those hours.

Seeing AB’s birthday was a reminder though of some of the better times in my young life.  Some of the possibilities that could have been.  But of course I feel sad, painfully sad for the loss of having a special memory for my first time.

S has decided to extend his stay in Auckland for another week.  So I’m up at the house.  I don’t have time to process any thoughts or feelings, and fighting this mood is difficult as I’m on call all the time.  S has also not left much in the way of funds, which is really stressful for me.  I had arranged for a babysitter to come on Sunday for a couple of hours so I could enjoy the women’s only swim, but I’ve had to cancel that, I can’t afford the babysitter.  I’m a bit annoyed that the one thing I enjoy I can’t do.