Facebook

I have some wonderful followers on here that either come along to read, or post inspiring and heplful comments.  It makes me feel less alone, in difficult times.

As such, I’ve taken a leaf out of a fellow bloggers (epage!) and have created a Facebook page. Here you will find a (very) novice platform to contact me, create discussion or to find some agencies that may be helpful.  You are always welcome to contact me via that page or on here, and I’d be happy to locate more sources as needed.

The most important thing that this blog has created is a community in which I’ve been able to express all of my inner most thoughts, feelings, fears, symptoms and my life journey to recovery.

No one should be alone.

Thank to everyone over the last years that have held my hand and offered me words to think over, words to soothe and words to remind me that I’m heard.

The blog of course will continue as normal.

Penny Insane

(https://www.facebook.com/PennyInsane)

Penny

xx

 

 

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Binds

Well, I’ve had a great week with the kids and in particular being there for my son. Leaving was hard as usual, but leaving S not so much. I think it’s getting easier. He doesn’t give me the comfort, compassion or even relaxed vibe I’m used to. I almost wonder if he’s doing it on purpose to make the separation easier. It’s working, because I find myself no longer wanting to reach out and touch him or seek his approval. Before, I almost had to literally sit on my hands to stop from reaching out to him, but now it’s instinctive to keep away. I tried to initiate conversation with him over the weekend and got shot down. I told him that was the last time I tried to talk to him about anything and I meant it. My priority is the children. All I care about are my children. S is the father of my children. The memories of us trickle further away, far out of reach and no longer a place I can easily wallow in. If anyone feels that a separation is beyond possible and feels that they couldn’t do it, I’m living proof its possible. For years I held onto S as my life raft, I couldn’t see my life without him. It’s a painful process, made especially harder with children involved, but it’s strange how what is considered ‘normal’ changes. Expectations gradually erode, strength becomes your own life raft and bitterness becomes a truth. And the truth is empowering.

Tomorrow I start the new job. Of course I’m incredibly anxious. I doubt my ability, my brain feels fuzzy, the pressure of it scares me, considering how I’ve been left out of the loop already with no training. I wonder if I can learn, if I can remember things. My confidence is at an all time low, my trust in myself is diminished. Part of course by the separation. Who am I now? Am I undesirable? I’m clearly unwanted and S has made it repeatedly clear that I’m not very smart with his snarky comments. What if there’s some truth to that??

I will only find out in time. But my self doubt is certainly winning out in my internal battle tonight. And the pressure of Uni starting in a few weeks will only add to that.

I want to be happy in myself. I want to look in the mirror and like what I see. I want to be free of the past and the chains that bind me to my conditioned thinking.

I used to get so much confidence and self assurance from S. Alone I have nothing to give myself. But I believe in time it will come. 

I don’t feel that I’ve lost everything. I feel that I’ve lost a man. And he is not the sum total of my worth on this earth. I am only just beginning to realise that.

I am still a mother, I am still a worthy person. And I choose to find out more about myself and what I’m capable of without the bind of a superficial marriage. Held together by routine, fear of the unknown and familiarity. Because that’s all it is. 

I shouldn’t have allowed myself to be so easily defined by a person. So easily rejected and so easily lost.

I owe my children to know that I’m a strong, independent person. I owe myself that too.

Getting to know ME!

My weekend intensive course has finished, I feel tired from the sheer amount of information, and yet recharged. I found the whole thing enriching. I met some really inspiring women, I self reflected a lot, sat with some of my discomfort (when I usually prefer to keep busy or ignore it) and learnt about some of my behaviours and subsequent interactions.

It’s a great complement to the theory I’m learning at uni – applying skills to my own life.

On the whole I’ve had a very ‘set’ idea on the person I am. Gradually I’ve noticed areas that cause various ‘issues’ in some of my behaviours. These include the way I am so assertive about things – I become aggressive. Feeling so ‘right’ about something I start to make other people feel inferior or just ‘talked at.’ It certainly isn’t with malicious intent. But I’ve not known how to change things in the past, noticing it means I was open to changing – and this course provided useful tools. Despite my obvious confidence in some areas, I am affected by the behaviour of others – or what I perceive as negative energy towards me. I also react quickly at times, without thinking first. I need to be less reactive. I also burn myself out putting so much care and effort into my own friends – but I never ask for, or expect the same.

I’ve realised I have many faucets – mostly under developed and there are a few things I don’t like about myself. Often I go out of my way for other people at my own expense, but I realise just how much I abandon myself. How much I give away and then feel sorry for myself when I suffer the consequence, be it financial, emotional, physical.

I realise I’m not too old or to set in my ways to change things. And I accept its not an overnight overhaul! I’m continually questioning my reality and myself. Which I feel is healthy.

I let the behaviour of others impact my entire day, rudeness, someone cutting me up on the road, a complacent comment. But the issue is really me. And only I can control myself. And how I react.

My parents pigeon holed me very early on. I realise now how stifling that was. My ex husband has equally assumed to know me and know my values, know my thoughts. And to an   Extent that’s fair because we’ve been together a long time and there are some idiosyncrasies that he’s privy too. But over the last few months I started to notice that where he assumed my reactions or responses to things, he’d be wrong. I couldn’t understand that. Now I’m realising that I was already changing, already considering my world. 

I care very deeply about things, I’m not ashamed anymore to admit that. I am triggered by things, by the fault of no one, and I will learn to acknowledge the feelings that brings up. Be it grief, fear, anxiety, anger. I am so scared of feeling things, I tire myself out by avoiding. But that just leads to depression and other unhealthy outlets. 

I intend to stay in this introspective period for a couple of days, just getting a feel for my inner self, my core conditions and self values. I intend to work on areas as they come up. I start therapy this week so I will be looking for more tools and guidance on how to find inner agreement in periods of turmoil.

I do need to establish some better self care routines as I’m worthy of self love and attention.

It’ll be interesting to see how therapy goes now I’m in the mind of being open and authentic with myself.

  

Shouldering on!

This morning after I dropped off the kids, tidied the house, walked the dog, I went to my scans. I was apprehensive as I suspected they’d be painful.

The X-ray was uncomfortable, the woman took a million shots in varying poses, I think these pictures will be the most flattering I’ve ever had taken! Unfortunately every time she moved me, she’d push my bad shoulder down, I’d wince and she’d apologise, saying she ‘forgot.’ It went on quite a few times. Despite that being THE reason for my being there. 

I went to my ultrasound next, disappointing it’s not a baby scan! Far less exciting. As the woman probed my shoulder she started asking why I wasn’t doing physio and why wasn’t I taking anti immflamatories. All I could say was that I had only just got back and was following the instructions of my GP that wanted the scans first. She went on to ask why I hadn’t had it done in Cambodia. For goddssake! Must I justify everything! 

I won’t get results until the GP has reviewed everything. 

Later I had my appointment with WINZ (work and income NZ). The guy reviewed my cv and said it was ‘awesome’ he also felt I’d find work easily although it’s not the best time of year. I told him I’d had loads of rejections, so I’m clearly not that great. We also discussed my entitlements – which are zilch because I still live with my husband, but if I move out, they will help. I told him I didn’t want to receive benefits – I wanted a job! I want my Independance. He told me he wasn’t used to hearing that in his position! If my husband and I seperate, to go onto benefit would be soul destroying. I want and need to be working. Just going into WINZ felt demoralising. 

It’s not been the best week and I feel I’m ending on a bum note. I guess I’d hoped I’d leave the office with interviews up my sleeve. Apparently now I’m loaded onto the system, I’m automatically put through for suitable positions as they arrive. I can only hope that between that system and my banging out applications – something sticks.

Meanwhile my friends have been an ever constant source of support. I don’t need to moan to them or tell them every detail, just being cared about and having these strong relationships keeps me in check with my confidence and self worth.

Life plods on in autopilot on the homefront. I see no reason for animosity. Although it’s a highly emotive and a pressured situation. But when we relax, it’s nice. I prefer my husband being friendly and warm. I know that sounds obvious, but the detached coldness is something I can never get used to. I just never thought he’d treat me like that. 

I’m going to watch some movies and enjoy some wine tonight. I rarely drink and my reason for drinking tonight is to enjoy it and relax. Not to get completely paralytic and forget everything!

I’m sore, I’m tired and I’m keen for a quiet weekend.

Predictable 

My days blur into each other. The sunsets and rises with the same predictable cycle as my life.

I am coasting at the moment. No longer in therapy, my emotions and fears are on the backburner.

I have tried to find work, I’ve lost count of the rejections, it’s demoralising to say the least. But I’ll keep going. Something must surely come through.

I’m enjoying catching up with friends but I’m conscious that I don’t want to be an energy drainer. I want to offer enthusiasm to them and company but I’m finding it hard to get myself into ‘enjoyable company’ mode.

I’ve tidied the house of clutter, moved things around, but this isn’t a project that I can make last for weeks.

Christmas looms, of which I have never particularly enjoyed. The pressure to be ‘excited’ it’s overwhelming stimuli and reminders of fighting depression and putting on a happy face. I’d be quite happy to be on a beach somewhere alone, enjoying a cold beer, away from the forced commercial expectations. 

The lethargy is taking hold. It’s a fight to get up, and I won’t last the day without a ‘nana nap.’

I want to find a way through this tiresome life. I still have my appointment at WINZ on Friday and I hope they can help me find work. I need something to break up the monotony. Perhaps even something I can enjoy.

I feel like no one understands me. My husband does, I know, I can see it in his eyes. No longer looking at me with quite the depth of resentment, I feel a truce. An understanding. Although I don’t know if this will be consistent. I can only hope to basque in the glimpses of warmth and a reminder of my once safe haven – enjoy it while it lasts.

I’m uninspired. Unmotivated. No belief in myself or my capabilities.

I wonder if any day will be different. 

I know opportunities and changes will be brought about by me only. I know I’m the one in control of my destiny. But with little self worth and dwindling confidence – it’s hard to make things happen. It’s hard to believe that I can make that difference. 

The nightmares are back, this time around my childhood home. I wake feeling drained and deeply uncomfortable. I know I’m on the precipice of old memories coming through. 

I’ve always been quite hardened. But now that I’m more self aware, I find myself seeking safety, familiarity, comfort, affection and reassurance more than ever. Things I’ve not much cared about before.

  

Hope for myself

  

This morning I had arranged to meet a friend for coffee. Prior to doing that I collected my medical certificate from my GP to send to the travel insurance (for my motorbike accident claim) and with little thought drove to WINZ (work and income New Zealand). I’m in dire need to find work and establish some financial security. With my husband so distant and uncaring, I feel vulnerable that he could pull the rug from me any time. We’re entering this stage where I realise I don’t know him at all anymore. 

I asked about help to find work, and they mentioned some sort of job seeking benefit in the interim but I realise it would be means tested and thus I wouldn’t qualify. Although I freely admitted our marriage was one of legality now, with no substance, and queried if that would make any difference.

It’s unlikely but I have an appointment to discuss my prospects. 

And that is the very core of my realisation. How can I chase a man that has left emotionally? How can I expect love, affection, guidance, support, when the very thing that powers that (love, respect, desire, regard) is gone?

My heart is closed down. Tired of the rejection and accepting the fate. There is no more I can do.

  
Before I’d take any sign of affection or sign of caring as a ray of hope. It’s time to stop that now.

  
The thing is. Cambodia taught me so much about myself and about my worth. And as I gradually lost my self belief when I got back to NZ, friends stepped in to remind me. 

I always thought I’d have my best mate and soul mate. I thought his love would never die. It has and I’m sure he’d blame me for that for all manner of reasons.

But i don’t need to be treated like a second rate nuisance. And I don’t need to tolerate the fact he has no regard for my confusion and need for communication.

So, while he’s busy living his life – which is clear I’m not part of, I intend to get busy living mine. I need to secure work, I want the best for myself. I deserve to be happy. I intend to focus on my friendships because ultimately they will be there for me.

And I need to take this journey of healing alone. 

How long our truce of being amicable will last I don’t know. At least we set Xmas as an objective.

But I know I’m missing so much, to be loved, to be cared for, to be held, to be comforted, to be touched, kissed, made love to. I’m being treated like a flat mate. But I’m a woman and I have needs. 

And frankly, this isn’t going to suit me for long. It’s not healthy or worth the pain. 

I don’t know what he thinks or feels. He refuses to discuss it. 

  
But for the first time, I find myself not terrified by this. 

I realise it’s just another chapter of my life. I can choose to let this destroy my very soul. Or I can manage the situation as tactfully as I can and seek a resolution that creates a compromise for us all.

It was a beautiful sunny day and after holing myself away yesterday, after seeing my friend for a few hours, I walked my dog to the river so he could get a nice refreshing swim

  
I felt calm and peaceful. And the sun warmed my shoulders, heat on the sore shoulder. I felt more determined.

I think I have begun to realise that I am not responsible for other people’s feelings and actions. I think I took so much blame for this state, I wanted to prove my worth, prove my regret, change his mind, reassure him, give everything I could. But I just end up hurt and dejected. Confused and more lonely.

I need to focus on my wellbeing.

Transference or plain stupid

  
My son had been ill over the weekend. A slight fever, nothing major but his cough got increasingly worse, so by Sunday night his breathing became difficult. I sat awake on the sofa a lot of the night listening. When I finally went to bed, it wasn’t long until the little guy joined us. It was a welcome addition. He slept soundly. But he clearly wasn’t himself. In the morning the coughing continued so I got him an on call dr appointment and he was seen mid morning. He’s on a three day stint of a low dose steroid, and an inhaler through the night. He was incredibly good. He’s exhausted but in his true style still smiling. And managing his new inhaler extremely well.

  
Looking after my boy all day, and not sleeping much last night left me naturally tired. Add to that, on Sunday night I took a bath. I’ve found baths exacerbate my claustrophobia and anxiety so have stuck to showers. But with my music playing, I thought it might be nice to relax and put a conditioning treatment on my hair.

It started off well, but then I started thinking about the case. The conversation with the barrister, what it all meant and quickly the comforting heat became intense. The steam was blinding, the conditioning treatment became a boundary stopping me from getting out of the bath, the music was too loud, deafening, uncomfortable, nonsensical sound, the bathroom too small, the light too intense. I was at the far end of the house, isolated, in a white walled chamber, the mottled window that offers privacy seemed like a barred window. I was naked, vulnerable, childlike. Effectively blinded, deafened and muted by own device. My heart raced, my breathing shallow. The sobbing started. I felt both ridiculous, ashamed and fearful.

So began my mantra, wash out the conditioner and get out. You’ll be ok. I repeated it in my bid for freedom. Feeling both pathetic and desperate.

Finally I was out, pjs on, windows open, steam gone, an innocent bathroom, a silly grown woman with obscure fears.

Back to today. My husband’s friend from university was in town. Seeing different people and being the eternal bachelor I thought he might appreciate the opportunity to utilise our wifi, a shower, a home cooked meal, getting to do laundry, even having an afternoon sleep. I let him know our home was here as I knew my husband had met him for lunch but might not consider the basic needs. 

He came over early afternoon. My son was resting on the sofa watching movies. I was just doing odd jobs. Increasingly tired but knowing sleep wasn’t an option. 

I know the guy and he’s fairly self sufficient so I anticipated he would get on with his stuff. Which he did. 

So what’s the issue?

Really it’s all in my head. I have met the guy twice. The first time before kids, when I was super slim, confident, stunning, and felt like I could do anything. I was travelling, I had just met my husband, and my past was a deeply buried secret. I was essentially someone else. A free spirit. The second time I was heavily pregnant with our first baby. So I was still beautiful and healthy aside from my in proportion belly bump. Still relatively carefree.

Now he arrives and I’m frumpy. I’m exhausted, I’m drained. I’m overweight, miserable. My husband has told him my past and that I take medication. 

His first question to me is how is the medication going? I’m not sure how to answer that. I’m not ashamed of it. But I’ve always taken it. Does it appear that I’m not?! 

Then, am I working? No. Do I have any business ideas? No. Do I read any books? Yes of course! Do I know people in the area? Yes. He tells me ‘that’s good for you, makes it better.’

I’m feeling within minutes that I’ve been somehow catergorised/pitied/patronised. And worse still, the fire in me, the conversation skill has gone. I’m so tired all I can really do is stare and reinforce this vision he must have that ‘poor cow has really lost it’

I know I shouldn’t care what anyone thinks, but it was a real reality check to be faced with someone who had seen the older version of me. A better version.

Maybe it was the tiredness. Maybe it’s a low cycle which is reasonable. Maybe it’s a combination.

I hear from some people that I’m inspiring. I hear compliments. I feel loved and supported. And this is very important to me. They have no reason to lie. And their opinion is most important.

When my husband got home, I didn’t feel I needed to be privy or even worth their conversation- what would I contribute? They’re on a completely different playing field to me. 

I wanted to be alone. Even away from the kids. Just the quiet. Just my bedroom. My sanctuary, my safety.

The unsociable. Hidden away. Equally by choice and by judgement.