Settling in

So of course I’ve found my wedding photos, little momentos from S, old pictures of when we first met. I expected to break down in a heap. I haven’t. Not yet anyway. I guess I knew it was inevitable. I think the thing that stops me from feeling it so strongly is that I know he wouldn’t feel anything. He is so unattached he wouldn’t recognise himself, nor relate any memories. Another timely reminder that this is definitely over and there’s no going back. He isn’t the same person in the pictures. He doesn’t care like he used to. Already he’s blamed me for our son being behind at school over FaceTime, when I was trying to find a solution. He seems to like making me feel useless, digging out my failings and insecurities.

Today is the first day I’ve felt normal since getting back. My headache has slowly retreated, and I feel less foggy and confused. It’s been unbelievably hot here! And the long, light evenings are really strange to me! I’m still sleeping a lot and I think my medication regime is still trying to settle. But at least I feel human. It doesn’t usually take me so long to recover from a flight. I suspect my weight has been quite a contributing factor to that. That and all the stress I was under in NZ. I feel like I can actually breathe properly here. I feel less oppressed, there are less expectations and I’m able to rest, or have the company of my parents as I need. Currently I don’t feel like a burden to them. It is truly nice to feel like I’m home.

I’m even showering regularly! 

Tomorrow Dad wants to drive to Reading to visit the cemetery where his parents are buried – its Father’s Day here tomorrow. I was very close to my Nan, so I’m glad to go. I have no anxiety about going out, in fact I think I’ll enjoy the road trip. It’s supposed to be another sunny day. 

I’m not sure what I’ll be doing for the rest of the week, or if I’ll continue to feel relaxed (I really hope so) so I’m just taking each day as it comes. I know I had some major concerns and regrets on the way, but now I know this is the best thing I could have done.

The stress and the stranger

Yesterday was nothing short of madness. It was a ‘teacher training day’ coincidentally before a long weekend. And I had stuff I needed to sign, print and scan that was highly confidential and relating to ‘the thing.’ I know, grrrroan. 

So I bundled the kids into the car on a miserable wet day and headed for the library. Thankfully they were awesome and were kept busy on the computers doing their homework- I know, weird right?! And H enjoyed the Disney movie 


Photobomb!

So I was left to the usual technical problems and glitches that usually happen when it seems so easy in theory to print and scan.

Task completed I bundled the hungry monsters back into the car for a late breakfast and early lunch, by way of saying thank you for your patience and being good.

It was a lovely part of the day 


J and C can’t be seen but in a rare moment my little family together were gathered.

Going back to the house it hit me, during this week I’ve stayed incredibly on top of things. Everywhere tidy and in terms of my own feelings, everything compartmentalised. I was determined not to break down or think too much about any of my experiences, the lawyer and the ‘the thing.’ Although that was marginally ruined by S’s lawyer forwarding a rather unhelpful letter to mine re the house and now my lawyer is on holiday for a week!

When S came back his approach had changed. Neither angry or irritated he seemed sad. He was desperate and really playing at the heart for my understanding of signing the paperwork. I swear to god ordinarily I would have caved right there, anything to make him happy and done what he wanted. But something in my gut has shifted. His ploy was less desperate and more game play. I played my resolve without dispute. We both have lawyers, they will discuss it. We will remain civil but I won’t do anything without hearing from my lawyer.

I realise that I don’t trust him. He had all of these meetings, made these assumptions and didn’t expect me to do anything but trust him. But really his actions haven’t gained my trust recently. Prior to him ending it officially (while I was away) all of our accounts, his meetings with the IRD, banks etc have almost be conducted in secret. I’ve been excluded from everything. And as I said before, spousal maintenance has been treated like a ‘favour.’

I don’t think he appreciates this new resolve of mine.

Later that evening I decided to stay, I was tired, needed shopping for my house and was enjoying the kids. Plus I’d got movies to watch. He got some wine (I’ve not drunk for MONTHS and some chocolate- which I’ve not eaten for months either). It should have felt like the old days. I suppose I was supposed to feel nostalgic and get emotional about my feelings. But I didn’t. It felt like I was watching movies with a mate. Things bubbled away in my mind, new knowledge, aspects of ‘the thing’ but I had no desire to share it. In fact I’ve been become increasingly aware of how important keeping things close to my chest is. 

This morning I was treated as an over staying guest. S made a few comments about my movements and my leaving. Usually I’d get emotional but I’m not! In fact I’m pretty pissed off! This is MY house and I’m not the housekeeper/nanny that’s done a job and I won’t just bugger off because I’ve completed my role! 

I think he’s being rather rude! But I’m no longer a sobbing wreck, begging to be loved and protected and supported.

I’m an ex wife who’s utilising the right to have a lawyer to advocate for me. I’m a mother spending time with my kids on a holiday in a house I’m ALLOWED to be in and I’m managing a hell of a lot of stress without the support and/or input from someone who’s frankly primary concern is themself.

In short I don’t really care what he thinks or feels anymore. I can’t read him because I don’t know him, and I don’t know him, so I can’t trust him.

He is my children’s father and just someone that I used to know. But I’m keeping it civil of course ūüėČ

Night out

I’ve really enjoyed the school holidays with the kids. I just feel I’ve been able to focus on them completely rather than languishing in the pain of my separation. They really have kept me going in all of this. I’ll admit though that towards the end of this week my strength had depleted. No longer able to maintain the tidiness and order of the house, and I was worried about my finances. But I knew as I headed to mine of Friday night I’d miss them sorely. 

My friend contacted me, she’d been having a rough time with her boyfriend and asked if she could stay at mine on Friday and Saturday night. I’ve not been social at all so it was a huge deal to have someone in my bubble as it were. This friend ‘T’ is younger than me, no experience of marriage, kids, separation and so her level of understanding isn’t quite there. But I decided to throw caution to the wind and open up my home and also make plans for Saturday night.

Friday she drank wine with great gusto but I didn’t even feel tempted to drink. I was tired from the weeks events and didn’t feel the need to drink for the sake of it. She talked about her boyfriend and her childhood with a rawness I’d not heard from her before. An anger, a grief that was painfully sad for her. On the Saturday she worked and I headed up to the house to hang out with the kids while S took our oldest shopping for an upcoming camp. The kids were great and I felt relaxed and content in their company. So much so, I dreaded the intended night out.

I felt obligated to follow through, T was hitting the wine again and I decided to drive as I didn’t intend on drinking. My head was beginning to thump painfully and wondered how the hell I would ever endure the evening. I was shocked when T produced a bottle of wine in the car to neck. I made the assumption at that point that this clearly wasn’t a girl just wanting some fun and a good night out. This was a girl in a lot of pain, needing the alcohol and distraction.

Another friend, even younger joined us at the bar. It was very busy, everyone seemed to be drinking a lot. Which as most sober people will know, it’s pretty tedious to be around. Fortunately a band played and I enjoyed the music. The girls were up and dancing, that alone would have been great. But T was pulling men up, flirting, dancing in a most seductive way. The guys were all over her and the young, excitable friend. I was the one with the coats and the bags!! Looking on, staying alert and suffering with a worsening headache. I could see things were likely to get out of hand, but I came across as the nagging bore. At the end of the night guys were asking the girls, where next? And making their intentions clear, but the girls fobbed them off without a second thought. Only my sober eyes were able to read mixed expressions of frustration and annoyance. For an awful moment they talked about going to a club but I shut that down. Even without a headache I couldn’t think of anything worse. By midnight I was well and truly a pumpkin!

Of course we walked the younger girl home. Even more wary that any dregs from the bar would follow. T was still shouting at and chatting to random guys. I became more frustrated and determined to end the night without incident. My hyper vigilance was at an all time high. I felt paranoid, aware, jumpy and positively over dosing on adrenaline. 

Back in the car I couldn’t help but justify and sort of chastise T for shouting out at random men along the street. She got predictably defensive. The remainder of the journey was in silence.

Last night I lay in bed with a god awful migraine wondering how I could gently enquire about the drinking and her behaviour. I felt that she was in a bad place and could be on the way to self destructing. The girl is on under a lot of pressure, work, study, family, boyfriend. It all seems to be mounting up. But every attempt in my mind sounding like interfering or being too out of touch. It’s incredible how much the age difference impacts a friendship. In the end I did the only thing I could think of, I messaged her boyfriend in confidence and asked that he make contact with her and try to come to some sort of conclusion. As with everything in the air, it was having a negative impact on T. I took a gamble – this could really blow up in my face, but he’s reassured me that he won’t mention my message and last I heard they were meeting this evening.

Frankly my first social evening in months was not really a good introduction. My head is still pounding, I worry for my friend and have been reminded that I’m really too old, too tired and too boring for these sorts of nights out.

My daughter leaves for camp tomorrow for FIVE days. The location is EIGHT hours drive away. I’m anxious beyond belief. Luckily she’s a smart girl, I trust her implicitly, but I don’t trust anyone else! I will miss her terribly.

My son will now attend kindy 2 days per week which I’m really happy about so I can spend more time with him. 

I’m at my house feeling quite unwell with this headache and it’s lonely without my family. I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to it.

Leaving the house

So, tonight is my last night in what was the family home. I am surprised by how upset I am. I stayed longer than I anticipated and it’s been hard at times. Tiring, stressful and barely any time to myself. But it’s the chaos that I’ve missed. The house is lit up and warm, I’ve cooked meals and hung out with the kids in spaces designed around a large family. The big kitchen that I adored when we bought the place, the beautiful en suite with its own bath so I don’t need to remove a ton of bath toys before I get in. Of course, the little bits that are ‘me’ have been pretty much removed from the house. The master bedroom looks functional and plain. I’m ok with that of course, but tonight it’s plainness makes me feel sad. That I enjoyed a ‘home’ again for this period but it’s not my home anymore.

I’ve chatted via text to S while he’s been away, updates about the kids. This in itself is also weird. His first time away as we’re separated. I’m used to daily calls, expressions of missing each other, reminders that we’ll be reunited again soon. But this time, I know, come tomorrow night my car will be parked on the drive (not in the garage) and when S gets in, I’ll drive back to a cold and dark house. It feels a little bit like resetting again. I hope the emotional impact doesn’t affect my mood even more. 

It’s surprising that when I think I’ve made progress, something hits me again. I wonder how long this goes on for.

Tomorrow morning I’ll be dragging myself to circuit training. I know it will be hard again to force myself and I’ll come up with a myriad different reasons why I can pass. But it’s just an hour.

I feel so sad tonight. Tomorrow will probably feel a lot worse.

Still down

I’m still up at the house because S has extended his stay in Auckland. It’s pretty full on, but I’m managing. I’m disappointed that my energy levels aren’t really increasing. I’m faithfully turning up to circuit training twice a week, and being really careful about what I eat. But I’m still so sluggish, like I’m wading through mud. Today I was especially exhausted and HAD to take a nap. My concentration is still affected and I forget things easily. Including words and phrases.

I feel like I’m never going to change. Like I will never find true joy in anything again. I keep going and live very much on autopilot, functioning with little drama. Yet I’m not really inspired by anything. I’m not excited by things. I miss feeling alive. I miss periods of being relaxed. I miss being content. I hope this is still situational. I’m living in my ex’s house tending to the kids on a meagre budget. Although I’m really enjoying being with the kids – don’t get me wrong, I’m not doing anything that feels awe-inspiring. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me. Maybe this is who I am now? Forever functioning just below baseline with a modicum of energy to get through the day?

I do feel like I’ve lost my direction. I’m so anxious about university, it seems so overwhelming and frankly terrifying even though I know I can do the work, it’s still a place where I realised I was breaking down. To head into the city feels like a huge journey out of my comfort zone. In fact, daily I keep my travel to close, well known places. It’s more confronting having the kids because they need things, whereas if I was alone I probably would avoid most if not all outings.

I’m still not being social with friends, I can’t face social interaction at the moment.

The worse thing is knowing that this isn’t normal and wanting to rise above it, but I can’t. I just don’t have the reserves of energy, the motivation and trust in myself. I look in the mirror and all the tiredness, all the exhaustion seems to be coming out of every pore. My hair looks lank and dry, my skin is pale and dry, my eyes are dark and puffy. I seem to have aged significantly.

This is when (it goes against my feminist principles) I just want to curl up in the arms of someone that loves me. I want to be cared for, loved and nurtured during this time. Reminded that I’m worth it, to take strength from another, and to be understood in the silence.

But I have only myself to get that from and right now I don’t exactly like myself very much.

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.

 

 

Working out

So, today. ¬†Well, last night there was a dreadful storm in Wellington. ¬†Although its Spring, it’s not¬†unusual to get crazy weather this time of year. ¬†Some parts of NZ snowed, some were flooded, most were bashed by the rain. ¬†We fared well in our suburb. ¬†It was noisy, but no power cuts or damage – thank god. ¬†I had C (my eldest), J Bug middle girl and H, my boy. ¬†S’s parents are in Wellington, so I’m effectively banned from the house. ¬†I wanted to keep my boy with me but the girls also wanted to avoid his parents, hence the numbers at my place. ¬†It was nice actually. I felt sorry for Egg who is with her Dad, but it was her birthday recently so she was bound to get spoilt. ¬†That’s¬†their formula for love and affection you see, they buy it.

Well, today I awoke and I felt low. ¬†Dragging my heels low. ¬†Frankly I could have not got up, but I had to take the kids to school. ¬†I couldn’t face dropping my son off, so I had my daughter walk him into kindy. ¬†It was both his emotional state and my own concerns about facing people.

Once alone, I had organised to meet a personal trainer. ¬†There were going to be a few women there (it was women only). ¬†I had arranged it earlier in the week and as it was locked as an appointment in my phone I didn’t think about it. ¬†Last night she emailed me and I confidently told her I’d be there. ¬†But come this morning, I didn’t want to go. ¬†I felt anxious and I felt stupid. ¬†I felt like I was going to be the only fat person there and I felt like I was going to make a fool of myself. ¬†I felt very tired and didn’t want to move. ¬†Urg, I just didn’t want to go. ¬†But I went. ¬†And then I couldn’t find the place, so I wasn’t going to go. ¬†But I figured one quick drive along a road, and if it wasn’t there, then well, I had¬†tried. ¬†It turned out to be there, but then I couldn’t find the way in. ¬†Oh well, time to call it a day, wasn’t meant to be, blah blah. ¬†It was hailing heavily, it was bitterly cold, there were deep puddles everywhere and now I was late. ¬†But I figured one chance to find a way in, then I’d give up. ¬†I tried.¬†As it happened, I found the way in. ¬†The women stood talking, looking like they knew each other. ¬†All of them slim, all of them happy. ¬†Then was dumpy old me. ¬†The late one. ¬†God, I could have turned around and walked out of there so easily. ¬†I even started thinking of excuses in my head. ¬†Sick child? ¬†Appointment? ¬†Even while I was being introduced to the 3 women by the trainer , I was making up the reasons in my head.

She set us up with a circuit. ¬†Oh great, im going to trip over, or be huffing and puffing and look stupid, or hurt myself. ¬†Everyone would be looking at me. ¬†Whispering. ¬†Why did I even want to do this? ¬†I don’t want to do this, blah blah. ¬†The hour will go so slowly. ¬†I spent to be fair, the first half hour moaning to myself and hating myself. ¬†The second part I guess I got into it. ¬†After, I felt great. ¬†I was so glad I’d stuck at it. ¬†And afterwards I spoke to the trainer and this other woman who had some serious self doubts as she’d lost a lot of weight and then subsequently more weight on – not with this PT of course! ¬†I felt relieved I’d stuck the hour, and my body ached from being used. ¬†I had a protein shake at home and then took the dog for a walk in the freezing hail. ¬†Not very long, but it felt good to be out despite the weather and the dog appreciated it.

After I drop the kids off tomorrow, I’ll head to the pool – I hope! ¬†I see the PT 2x per week.

This afternoon I’m feeling very tired. ¬†admittedly its nice to the have fire roaring and the storm is lashing the house, but I’m cozy and my kids are here just sat around the fire, reading or playing games.

I’m still taking each day as it comes and I know some days will be easier than others. ¬†Right now I just feel like I need to sleep and as I’ve identified¬†before, not having a break makes it a little harder for me. ¬†The kids can be pretty full on, and I’ve not even attempted uni yet, which makes me feel bad.

Its annoying that S’s parents will be here for a few days – if I ever needed confirmation that S and I are separated, aside from him being an asshole most of the time, its his families involvement. ¬†They’ve gone from 0 to involved all at the flick of splashing their cash.

Ah well, my kids aren’t stupid, they’ll know what they’re like themselves the more they get to know them. ¬†My eldest daughter is already fed up with them trying to buy her.

Life continues to plod along.  Can I start to feel better now???