Going down

I saw my CPN today. I was in tears by the time my appointment started. I’ve been working long hours, I’m scheduled to work tonight from 9.30pm-7am – with no breaks. And tomorrow night the same! I was up at 4am this morning because Steve was going away for business. I’ve got no money, my car is expensive to run (why oh why didn’t I factor in running costs) I’ve got no food and no money to buy food. And yet I’m working all the hours I can which is slowly killing me. I’ve been so emotional, I had to ask Steve to order pizza for me and the kids tonight. He did so, without any argument and I was so pathetically grateful I sobbed over that.

So I’m feeling kind of raw, overly tired and tiredness is a huge factor for me. Plus all this talk about sexual assault allegations is making me feel triggered and sick.

I wanted to see the CPN to check in because I’m terrified of a relapse. He told me that he felt my reaction was that caused by stress – which he considered normal, but commented that shift work can of course trigger mood disorders. I’m talking to him next week to see how I am.

I’m glad he’s there to listen and guide me as I can’t afford therapy anymore.

I haven’t been able to catch up with any of my friends because I’m either working or too tired from work, so I’m feeling quite alone and isolated. More trigger points for me.

The commute into work is killing me, parking is a hassle, and the train seems too much hard work after a long shift,plus I don’t like travelling alone at night.

In all I feel like a flake.  I’m barely making enough to pay rent and bills. My hair looks bloody awful but i can’t afford a hair cut, let alone colour. I feel miserable about my appearance, but can’t do anything about it.

I’m of course grateful that I have a house AND a car AND a job. But at the moment work is ruling my entire life, I’mmissing valuable time with my children and my financial situation is dire. Meanwhile Steve continues to live in the big house and now drives a Jaguar. 

I feel so useless.

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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.

More low?

So I wasn’t entirely forthcoming about something else on my blog, something I kept to myself. I saw my GP about reoccurring eczema on my breast and she referred me to a mammogram. I had that today and got the all clear. I didn’t want to write about it because I didn’t want anyone to know. Last night I hardly slept at all thinking about it. Not just the outcome but the test itself. Turns out the test wasn’t painful, it was quick and the woman was really friendly.

To be honest, I couldn’t have fought anything else. I’m on a losing streak with this depression. I can’t face the days, everything overwhelms me, everything is grey. 

Yesterday I had to pick the kids up early again because I had an appointment, this time with the benefits office. They won’t help with the ‘scungey’ flat, so I’m back to square one. I’m now officially homeless. Squatting at my ex husband’s. I honestly don’t think life can get much worse.

All of my crap is in storage, even clothes so I barely change. Goes with my barely showering. I’m a complete shambles.

I just don’t know what to do anymore. I keep being rejected, smacked by the face and pushed down. 

Therapy, issues, interview

Today was very long and called for all of my strength and ability to compartmentalize.

After S dropped off the kids last night (at 10.30pm with McDonald’s?!!), and getting them settled, the neighbours kicked off with their all too frequent noise.  Despite reporting them to the council, they persist in music going from 8am- 3/4am (yep, all day and night!).  Its loud and really inconsiderate.  Especially when they have friends over all night.  The morning came all too quickly and after school drop off, I had some time to get ready and then head to my first therapy session in months.

I decided to tell my therapist about the case in the UK and let her read all of the emails and my statement.  She had a very strong take on the situation, referring to the cop as being a predator and pointing out my vulnerability state at the time.  I don’t feel that way, but I am conflicted about the whole thing and I feel a lot of shame.  My mind likes to remind me of certain conversations or things, that feels wrong and did do at the time, but I am also keen to believe that we had a connection and I wasn’t one of his many ‘types,’ that he pursued for his own desires or need for control.

Knowing I was driving on to a job interview, it was really important that I didn’t give in to my feelings.  Only last night I was liaising with the police in the UK AGAIN because they keep asking the SAME things and it’s really traumatic.  Last night is the first time in a long time that I felt like self harming.  The urge to cut was overwhelming, I thought about the knife I would use, I pictured myself doing it, not only the release, but the punishment for myself.  To take away some of the shame and feeling of being dirty.  I struggled with the desperate urge, but focussed on my sleeping son and how special he is and how much I love my children and need to be strong for them.  It was the perfect distraction I needed.

Therapy was much-needed, to discuss to my thoughts, to confide in someone, to go over the communications – because I don’t feel safe talking to anyone else.  It would have been good to cry, to shout, to express the deep-rooted shame, confusion and fear.  But as I say, I was keen to focus on the long drive ahead on roads affected by earthquakes, floods and even a tornado!

Amazingly I kept my calm, and the drive was uneventful.

The interview was good, but I’m not overly confident.

Its surreal.  In the morning I’m talking about the rape, I’m being told the cop I thought liked me was nothing but a predator and it was abuse, and then in the afternoon I am chatting in an office about my professional experience, without any indication that the night before I was struggling with issues of self harm.

Am I even normal??

This evening I am absolutely exhausted, I’m short of breath, I have this terrible feeling of doom and I’m uncomfortably restless.  I recognise that I am in the grips of anxiety.  I don’t have any diazepam, I don’t really want to drink, and I feel more lonely than normal.

Its evenings like this where I would truly love to feel cherished, to be cuddled, and to be reminded that I am not alone, that its OK to be damaged, and I am not some sort of heinous slut.  I guess I need to remind myself of that.

I’m feeling pretty confused about everything.  I would like to enjoy a good night’s sleep, but I suspect the neighbours won’t grant me that.  I feel the urge to go away for a few nights.  I really need to process things.

Furious – the ugly truth of rape culture 

I was so scared to share my last blog. Fear of shame, humiliation, being judged. I have spent the last few hours considering pulling it. I love to be honest and write my experiences and insight. It’s important to me, to document, to heal. To share.

I anticipated some backlash. But I didn’t anticipate this particular backlash, especially from someone I know.

And I quote (without getting permission)

Anyone in exposed situations is at risk. Doctors have to have someone with them if they are examining a woman. The odd woman will claim assault and there are big payouts if he does not have backup. It is being used by children against teachers etc. Yes there are bad public servants but a lot of innocent people have their lives ruined.

I mean, WTF???

You asked a question and I gave you an answer. There is now a bandwagon of money seekers. That is nothing to do with you or women like you but it is almost becoming a business now.

A business??

If you are an MP it is almost certain that you have carried out an assault at some point. In correcting one area the pendulum swings too far the other way.

Nothing to do with me or women like me??

Rape culture is defined as 

Rape culture is a term that was coined by feminists in the United States in the 1970’s. It was designed to show the ways in which society blamed victims of sexual assault and normalized male sexual violence.

Men and women have a subconscious or conscious part of this culture – that can be anything from the long held belief that rape is the attack of a young, fully clothed  (no flesh showing), woman being threatened by a knife with mask wielding maniac in an alleyway. It can be the long held belief that as long as a woman doesn’t get drunk, dress a certain way, have too many sexual partners, flirt with a man, walk around at night, to name a few, are somehow part to blame for their attack. It can be people judging the accused, assuming a natural bias towards the accused because they’re white/wealthy/popular/famous/could have any woman they wanted/was known to the woman/volunteered at a homeless shelter/adopted a cat – the list goes on.

Rape culture isn’t bias towards men, women, sexuality, race, age. Anyone can participate in perpetuating the myths that ultimately harm the victim, prevent justice and divide a community.

By someone I know declaring victims out to make money, buying into false allegations propaganda, empathising with the accused’s family, they are indirectly insulting me, my friends and other victims out there.

Let me tell you, I cannot imagine a woman alive going through the harrowing pain, humiliation, degradation of talking about an assault for the sole purpose of making some money. I don’t deny that there *might* be, but I’d think that number is so comparatively small that’s almost obsolete. The onus HAS to be on making women feel safe enough to speak out. To not be condemned, threatened, humiliated and destroyed by a trauma that she didn’t ask for.

Frankly, I haven’t been so disgusted for a long time. Not because someone spoke the words that so many already think, but because it came from someone that knows me and knows the heartache that I’ve been through. Someone that I believed would stand up to rape culture, stand up for women and not buy into this nasty, vicious secondary assault on victims.

Turns out, you really can’t know people. And people can’t really know you.

People may feel comfortable in their ignorant beliefs, content not to face the real fear that women have known for too long. But ignorance provides a blanket for predators to roam freely amongst them.  To go without punishment, to go without fear of consequences. It leaves a victim more afraid, more isolated, silenced and perpeptually ashamed.

I remain appalled at these messages.  I print them here so I can assign blame where it belongs. With the culture that CHOOSES to be blind, CHOOSES the predator over the victim.

I want no part of anyone that is willing to throw myself or other survivors under the bus to make themselves feel better about the world we live in.

Shame. On. You.

Sins of the husband

So a few things have happened. And again its been insightful, albeit a tough lesson.

On Tuesday I had a wonderful day with my son, I took him to see what will be his primary school and he seemed really excited, although unfortunately we missed his sister.  J is doing so much better in that school and the children always seem so happy in there.  H found cars, so he was pretty relaxed!

After that we had brunch in a new cafe, just my boy and I, in which the staff showed him a fairy door and the magic fairy left H a lollipop – he and I were both equally excited!!, we went to the park as Spring gave us a much-needed reminder that summer is on the way.

It was a lovely day and I was able not to mull over the upcoming meeting with my lawyer.  For a few hours I was a mother to a beautiful boy enjoying the sun.

Because S had demanded this earlier ‘urgent’ meeting otherwise ‘it would be my fault that he lost everything’ –  I insisted he leave work early as I didn’t intend to take the kids with me.  He obliged but funnily enough as he rushed in he needed to make an urgent phone call and expected me to hang around.  Er, no.

His lawyer had made certain demands, and also hinted to my lawyer that his client was ‘insistent’ on getting these things wrapped up as soon as possible.

For two hours I trawled through finances, communications, his negotiations.  I’ve never been privy to this information before.  It was quite insightful.  It’s amazing how I am to blame for so many things I knew nothing about! His parents as anticipated were trying to create a back door way in and stake a claim the house, pushing me out.  Which won’t happen.  My lawyer was fantastic as usual.  Very calm and methodical.  I broke down and cried. Not because of grief anymore but because of my own stupidity.  You can never really know anyone.  And I didn’t know him at all.

Nothing can you prepare you for that.  I’ve had all of these awful experiences in my past with men, but I genuinely believed that in S I had found a soul mate.  A kind, compassionate man with integrity and loyalty.  The facts speak for themselves, he’s immature, he has no sense of accountability and he’s happy to continually twist the knife.  I’ve constantly been blamed, been shamed, been treated like crap so he can not face his own recklessness.  So he can use the system, not take any responsibility and ultimately rely on Mummy and Daddy to pull him out.  How can I have let this go on for so long?  How can I been so ignorant?  This wasn’t a relationship built on love and honesty.  This was built on lies, betrayal and immaturity.

By the time I left the lawyer’s office, drained, I wandered around the supermarket. I felt like I had seen yet another level of deception.  There is no safety, no comfort zone, no one to turn to.

When I got home, I didn’t have the kids.  Initially I parked the car and then sat in there and cried.  Like a stone finally hitting water.  The impact rushed at me.  I dragged myself inside and I just lay on the bed and stared at the ceiling. No feelings, no thoughts, just quiet.  I had written a Facebook status saying I would never get married again, and I was amazed by the rush of support.  Clearly people are seeing things in my marriage that I didn’t.  Or chose not to and are only voicing that now.  Another shock.  Who is this guy?  My answer I know now is, he’s the father of my children and someone who I used to know.

Eventually we text each other and I wasnt surprised at all to get a barrage of how everything was my fault, how he was the innocent party, in my silence, he text more and more about how I had screwed things up for him and how his job was at risk, the house, etc. etc.  I was too tired to give him anything other, then fine.  You’re right.  I have nothing more to say on the matter.  I actually didn’t.  Words are meaningless.  My lawyer keeps saying, actions mean everything.  And his actions have shown me how little regard he has for me.

My lawyer has requested the basics, a house evaluation – he wasn’t even going to do that! And yet still expected me to sign the house away.  Even the debt in taxes includes the period we’ve been separated – which is incorrect and these claims he made in support from the government???  How can he do that without my consent?  How did I get pulled into his mess?  Marriage – sucks you right in with the other person.

I’m relieved I have this lawyer.  I would have broken down and given in ages ago, but she’s advocating for me, shes explaining things to me. She’s giving me the sense of empowerment – no I won’t be rail roaded.  I will stand up for myself.

I was in bed by 8.30, I was shot to pieces.  I had my hospital appointment the following day, I’ll write in a separated blog!

 

Phone and PTSD

The issue that is ongoing ‘the thing’ has almost pushed me to breaking point. After ongoing calls and paperwork it was arranged that I’d go into the local police station and relinquish an old phone and the subject of this current phone came up. I had my son with me and he was tired and irritable, I didn’t want to be in the damn police station and I certainly didn’t want to be without my phone for a few days. My phone is my contact for my family and friends, my calendar, my emails – not unlike most people my phone is integral to managing my daily events. Furthermore as a sufferer of PTSD, it can be my literal lifeline when I’m struggling with panic. I don’t care how much people moan about the technological age, for me it’s part of my being and handing over passwords and account information already felt like a violation, let alone my primary method of communication.

So I excused myself to buy a prepay phone but ended up having a massive meltdown in the mall with my son in tow. Poor boy doesn’t deserve this exposure. We cut his kindy hours to spend more quality time with me. Not watch me fall to pieces. 

I have to say, while in the grips of a myriad of strong emotions, panic, anxiety, loss of control, guilt, shame, loneliness, fear – it’s really hard to manage a tired and hungry 4 year old. I’m certainly being put through my paces in terms of how much I can handle at any one time.

Mummy guilt ended up presiding and I bought him a small toy from a shop. Eager to make him happy and forget his miserable day with his miserable mother.

All evening I’ve felt ill. Tired, headache, nausea. It was a late finish for S, the kids were hyper this afternoon and I honestly didn’t think I’d cope much longer.

I’ve taken a long bath – ironically dropped my iPhone from a height, although luckily it didn’t smash but the noise alone nearly caused me a heart attack. I’m on edge, restless and acutely aware that at any time my accounts could be accessed remotely. It’s a horrible feeling. I just want this period of time over. Hopefully it’s days at most.

S goes away again so I’m alone with the kids. Still up at the house. I have heard from my property manager about potentially finding a new place that’s quiet. That would be a good resolution.

I have my hospital appointment next week for the upper GI that I’ve been dreading. That too will excerberate my PTSD symptoms.

I feel like I’m going through another rough patch but fortunately my mood isn’t becoming dark and morose. Instead I’m trying to get through everything as it happens and remind myself it’s all passing. Nothing is permanent, right?

I’ve still not had therapy in months now. I guess I’ve gotten used to internalizing again. But I feel that talking everything out won’t make much difference. I was booked on a psychodrama course this weekend but I almost can’t be bothered to listen to anyone else’s crap! As harsh as that sounds. I’m trying to put one foot in front of the other here and watching people hash out their own issues sounds almost claustrophobic.

I think I need a holiday!