Update 

I don’t want to go back to New Zealand! But of course I miss my kids terribly and I couldn’t live on the other side of the world to them.

It’s frustrating not being able to use a car and relying on my parents, but my friends have been awesome and I feel much less alone here.

The whole prospect of dealing with housing and the divorce seems so overwhelming. I’m sure if I stayed in the UK for longer I’d be stronger. But I can’t afford to stay, I can’t get a job because I need to go back.

S has done me a favour by acting like a prize twerp and being pretty bloody awful. I no longer miss him or hold onto a future with him. I’m concerned about how difficult it will be going back and him not being as least amicable. But that’s to do with making things easier, not a need to feel anything from him. If I had the kids here, I wouldn’t give him a second thought. I have family and friends here that care about me. I could easily start my life over back here.

But alas, the kids belong in NZ and I belong with them. They ask me everyday when am I going to go back. They get tearful and I know my lack of presence is affecting them. Although S would tell me they’re doing well without me! – anything to hurt me. But I care only about their welfare.

I’m applying for jobs over there while I’m here – and getting plenty of rejections too! No, my transition back won’t be an easy one.

Am I strong enough to cope? Thats the question. I wanted to come here and try to recuperate. And I am gradually getting my head together – but that’s through the love and support of people around me. I’m not sure how I’ll fare once I’m on my own again. Old habits die hard. And I’m always on the edge of a dark depression.

Tomorrow my best friend gives birth, so I’ll focus on her and the baby for now. I have a few weeks left to try and prepare myself.

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

 

 

New job! And gel blues

This afternoon I started my first day at work. Yes I have a job!! I’m really excited about it. I found out a couple of weeks ago but I didn’t want to tell anyone until it was secure. I got my contract couriered and my start date changed so I waited until everything was signed, sealed delivered and I was on the clock!

I’m working with female offenders that are released from prison. I’m supporting them to reintegrate back into society. I think it’s a great opportunity and a very rewarding position. Considering my upbringing and experiences, that could have easily been me. In my case, it was just literally luck. These women have fallen through the cracks and I’d like to be able to offer support and consistency that most wouldn’t have had before. I can work easily along side doing my degree so it’s a great opportunity and to learn and develop counselling, studying, and empowering women. My ultimate combo!

I was feeling pretty happy this afternoon, my manager is fantastic and we get on very well. I was feeling confident, professional, positive – just overall brimming with enthusiasm and hope. Something that’s been sorely missing recently. I guess in the midst of it, it’s easy to forget just how much of a divide there is between S and I. Why did I think he’d share my enthusiasm? Why did I think he’d be supportive and proud? I set myself up for a fall. I’m an idiot! Of course he doesn’t give a rats arse. Of course he’s not going to change his demeanour. It means nothing to him.

I guess the reality check was another ouchie. But I might have survived it if he didn’t then go on to oversell a hair product to me. It sounds random! But stick with me, you’ll get it! I had my hair cut into a pixie style, within an inch of its life! So I use hair product to slick it down or spike it. Naturally I’d gone for S’s products as men’s stuff is usually better for that. One big brand hair gel was used by a relative that I don’t like to see, smell or be around because there’s somethings I don’t want to remember (it’s a trigger). Especially right now when I’m getting on track. S KNOWS this. And yet, despite owning other products – he still tries to sell this product to me. I mean WTF??? Really??? I’m not going to keep saying it’s upsetting me because – well, he won’t give a shit. I mean, clearly he doesn’t already or else he wouldn’t  keep doing it. So I was saying that this other hair gel that is otherwise good leaves my hair feeling hard, BOOM, there he goes again. Talking about this sodding gel. I’m sick of it. Ok, you don’t care about my job, but must you keep trying to force me into an emotional wreck too??

I had the urge to just head back to my flat, clearly yet again I’ve over stayed. But I was enjoying being around the kids so much. And I’d finally announced my new job on Facebook and had a wonderful response of support and encouragement. I felt loved, respected, people believing in me, people joining in my success, knowing how hard it’s been and how long and how hard I’ve been trying to find work. How my confidence has wavered and how many nights I’ve spent crying. Things are falling into place for me. My friends have been amazing, both here and overseas. I’m so lucky. So I have to think to myself – believe my friends, feel their love and support and forget the detrimental comments of my ex husband. I just wish it didn’t hurt so much. But I have my wonderful kids too that have been so interested in this job and have been really supportive of my interviews. 

So it’s my children and the support of friends that are keeping me focussed. I’m here another night because I want to be with my kids. Although I’m shut away again in the bedroom now they’re in bed, but I refuse to let S bring me down.

Tomorrow I’m heading back to mine. Friday I’m in a lecture and Friday night through the weekend I’m doing a personal development course. Entitled ‘Burn out vs self care’ it’s facilitated by the woman that does the monthly groups. Frankly I think the timing couldn’t be better, especially as I juggle professional life, study, my children and my ever complicated private life. It’s long days, but I hope to learn a lot and gain tools for good self care. Something I have put so very little into.

I’m truly so happy about this job, and I’m finally studying something that challenges me and interests me. It does feel that things are falling into place. I just wish S wasn’t able to get to me so easily. I guess it’s inevitable that I still care what he thinks and I’m still left reeling when he consciously disrespects me and my past. I just can’t get my head around his constant need to get at me. 

Time maybe. 

Grow stronger maybe.

I’m certainly on the right path, I just know I’m getting where I need to be. I just need to believe in myself. 

Separation is bad. Period.

I’ve met a lot of separated people in my life. Through various reasons. At different points in their separation. Some have been bitter, jaded, angry. Some broken, terrified. Some have been single for years and are terrified of making that first step into a new relationship. Pretty much all struggle financially – especially where children are involved. Some maintain friendships with their ex’s, some don’t.

In all these experiences I’ve heard, I’ve never been able to empathise or relate. Sometimes I’ve felt bored listening, sometimes I’ve felt terrified at such a breach of trust and thrust into vulnerability. I’ve rarely known what to say, and can only offer logistical help. Frankly I’ve thought, thank god that’s not me. Sure, my husband and I have been through some rough times, but we make it back together. He’s my rock, my best friend. In anger I’ve screamed, I’m leaving you! But NEVER have I imagined actually doing that. 

So now I find myself in this position and frankly it’s like I’m riding a tidal wave. But not in a cool pro surfer way. In a, barely breathing, moments of near drowning, everything stings, feel like I’m in a washing machine type way. Flailing around all over the place, desperately trying to reach land or calmer waters.

When I was first pregnant and asked women about the pain of childbirth, they’d give me this knowing look and look of pity and say it was hard to describe. Of course once my first daughter was born I went to these people and said, why the f_ck didn’t you tell me how f_cking painful it was. That I’d feel split open in half and want to die and be put under?! The response was, yeah, thought it was better you didn’t know how painful it was going to be, would have scared you.

Now I’m separating I get a look of pity and a vague warning about it getting worse before it gets better.

My psychiatrist has upped my dosage and told me to be strong and do the best I can. Grrreat.

I saw my lawyer whom was blunt as always. Told me how bad things were going to get and that I needed to take my head out of my arse, accept it and put solutions in place, financial, strategic, etc

I try to to be logical and remove the emotion but it looks like this HUGE puzzle of pieces with no picture to go by. If I let the emotions get the better of me, I cry and wail and want to collapse on a heap on the floor. Worse still, I still want to reach to him. My best friend, my soul mate. The person I’ve spent the last 17 years with. Making memories, creating a family, creating plans. Every couple I see where they tenderly hug or kiss in front of me makes my heart ache, every place I see or hear about that we’ve been too creates a brain movie playing memories with a cheesy love song to boot. Every piece of furniture, every type of food, every conversation, everything around me, no matter so how seemingly trivial is connected to this intrinsic relationship of ours.

I want to act normal like he is. As though it’s just a daily life occurance, we’ve become acquaintances and we live like flatties. But then my arms seek his embrace, my body aches to be touched. I want to see him sleep next to me. I want to hear his laugh, I want us to make plans for our family, I want him to look at me the way he used to. I want him discuss his concerns with me and we work though it together. I want us to have lunches or dinners together. Talk about our days, the food, the weather. I want to tell him about my Drs appointment today about my shoulder and wound area. I want to tell him about my psychiatrist appointment. But the reality, he doesn’t ask, he doesn’t want to know.  Flat mates don’t usually give a shit about the nitty gritty of the other person.

The loneliness is an intense feeling that all the oxygen has gone. That I’m struggling to breathe, stand up, be.

My friends rush to my side, offering words of advice and platitude but I’m still looking at them hazy. This isn’t real right?

I have to sort out budgets and it looks like he will be better to move out the house. I don’t know what’s worse. But knowing I can be here for the kids keeps me grounded. But I love smelling his cologne just after he’s left. I still feel relieved when I hear his powerful car come up the drive. I love knowing he’s in the house, even when he’s fumbling around a project that he’s spontaneously decided to do and never completing long over due, needed projects. It’s just him, the way his, the way his mind functions. I know the way his mind works because I know him like I know myself. He’s quirky and odd, but I like that. He’s fiercely intelligent, an amazing father. An amazing cook. He always knows the best advice to give me when I’m in a quandary. And he’s always known when I just want to slob and chill out. I’ve always guessed his reaction to things and I know when he’s stressed, agitated, concerned about something.

But all of that is gone. He doesn’t ask about my appointments, he doesn’t care. If I’m overwhelmed and down (we had last our Sunday group for example) he gave me an obligatory hug but I doubt he really wanted to spend a sunny afternoon listening to me talk through my ‘token past.’

He hasnt enquired about my Drs appointment for my shoulder. He doesn’t care. It’s not his concern. I’m not his concern, his problem. It hurts that he has quickly determined boundaries.

His concern at the moment is the financial separation. His monetary contributions and potential losses.

It makes me sad that this has become a sticking point and suddenly I’m this bitter wench out to screw him over. Which simply isn’t true. I just want a reasonable agreement.

More than that, I want him to love me again. I want to go back.

But everyone is quick to point out he left me ages ago.

So I’m that person now. I get looks of knowing, pity looks, the whole ‘it’s turns far worse before it gets better speech’ and I feel alienated by some people. Simply because they don’t know what to say. And happily married people don’t want to hear my story or my sadness because they don’t know what to say or because I’m a reminder that no one is infallible.

I wish I could hate him, but I don’t. 

But I need to accept that he deserves a better shot at happiness and to be with someone he loves and appreciates him before it’s too late.

He deserves an amicable end, our children deserve the best from us. And I need to formulate a plan so that I know what I’m doing for myself and the kids.

It’s really one of the worst things I’m having to face. I finally felt like I was accepting my past and moving on. I finally felt in more control of my self care and my self destructive thoughts. Now I’m learning to be a strong individual again.

It’s a rough road which I wish to god I could just walk away from. But all my life I’ve ran away from things I can’t handle. I can’t fix this, so I can only muddle my way through 

But Jesus, it hurts like a mother fucker. My brain is exhausted from thinking, my heart aches from the loss, and he’s around me – I want to reach out. Hold him, feel his warmth, see his soft eyes and get that smile back. But he’s not mine and the affection is gone.

2016 is going to be another extremely painful year.

Triggers and past tense

I had to wait for money I’d asked for from my ex husband to clear in my account so I could fill up my sluggish car with petrol. 

I’d had just enough to drop the kids off, but probably pissed everyone off with my nana driving back home.

Waiting around the house, I saw Dr PHIL was on TV and the episode was about Cosby and the accusers. The pain and trauma that these women feel was palable through the tv. I cried in parts. Some of the women in their late sixties still suffering the trauma from assaults in their early years. I wondered what my (now) house mate/ex husband would think about that. If they should be over it. If their respective partners or husbands were fed up of the ongoing support and understanding they needed. In seeing these women, I felt once again validated. I have done so much to overcome my own fears and trauma and yet, to my once confidante – it’s not enough. He’s reached his limit. I don’t begrudge him for that. I was the one that first heard ‘compassion fatigue’ and told him I understood his position. That said, I don’t believe there can be an expiration date on grief. Particularly as my court case is still sitting somewhere in limbo with a lawyer that’s clearly more interested in high profile cases. 

I felt a little raw, but I had an appointment at the family planning clinic in the city for the depo injection. It stops my periods and as periods can trigger me, I find it really helpful. I don’t like going to the clinic because it reminds of the assault – yes, even years later. But I want to keep my intimate health seperate from my GP.

In the clinic were vivid posters explaining consent and some pictures. I tried to look away, but knowing these images were plastered all over the wall – didn’t help my cause.

I was seen by a dr (female) brief summary taken and then I received the shot.

As usual, I get very bad cramping afterwards. I usually prefer to rest and shutdown after the appointments because I don’t like the feeling orexperience. The pay off is that it doesn’t last more than a day and saves me the monthly agony of periods.

However, as I headed out, my friend called. She sounded very emotional, she felt she was ‘losing it’ after a week of triggers. I offered to go straight to her place.

She was tired, sad, confused, emotional. We sat and talked over coffee. I listened and offered support and advice. She’s a good friend.

Often she’d ask if she sounded crazy talking about triggers, expressing her fear and issues. It all sounded totally reasonable to me. Fortunately she has the support of a loving partner. 

I drove home and within 20 minutes the kids got home with their father.

I’m still cramping and have put my feelings from today aside. There is no place for them here.

I have come to my room to lie down though. My stomach feels terribly bloated and I’m restless with anxiety.

The relationship with my ex hasn’t involved me communicating my nightmares or anxieties about my past for some time. So it’s not new territory to be suffering in silence. In retrospect he stopped caring and being open to that side of me a long time ago.

It’s yet another example of our division. His resistance to see and hear me, my progress and the things that hinder me.

I’m going to manage this alone. I am alone and this is my future. I am not scared by this. But I am determined to keep moving. There is peace for me at the end. I just have to get there.

Good day

Today was GREAT! Yesterday evening I was just so fed up, I ended up walking the dog late in the evening with my iPhone playing so I could escape the misery of homelife. My husband is struggling to tolerate me. I’ve felt like his arch nemesis most of the time. I could comment on the sky being blue and he’d accuse me of seeing things only my way, being self interested, selfish, etc, etc. I realised, the dude can barely tolerate me. And not only that but it’s making me feel shit. Although his response to that is, why should your self worth be based on what I think? But it’s pretty hard when the person you live with can barely stand to be in the same room as you. 

Anyway, I’m tired of being scared of saying the wrong thing and facing the wrath of years of pent up frustration and rage. And apparently three years ago I left the milk out and it went off – ok, that’s probably a bit too far, but you get my point. I’m a useless wife and a barely functioning mother. I’m selfish, stupid and inconsiderate. I get it. The constant reminders just make me feel like I’m living back with my parents again. So I decided to remove my wedding ring and tell him to settle on a neutral truce – for the sake of the kids and our sanity. Whether that ring goes back on my finger or not is completely unknown. But while the pressure is removed we can play happy housemates. 

Today I met up with my good friend L. We had a good chat over coffee and brunch and I mentioned a job that I’d seen advertised that I was interested in and I knew it was in her sector. Low and behold, L makes a call and we’re heading along to see the offices and meet some people. Thanks to L I have a better understanding of the role to make an informed decision and thanks to L, I was treated like a grown adult, with thoughts and opinions and a capacity to learn. The opportunity to be treated professionally and with common courtesy. A huge boost after a miserable week back. Reassurance that some people do have faith in me, and that I’m not a complete loser. I love that L places faith in me too. It feels good to get that from someone.

Then we walked the dogs, I miss the regular excercise in Cambodia, so it’s been good to experience achey legs again. Although my arm is playing up like a bitch.

Then coffee with my friend S that popped around to catch up. She’s been very supportive of me and reminded me of my worth and that I deserve to be happy. I find her strength very inspiring.

Finally I messaged another friend, R, and she called me immediately to chat. It was a good chat, warm, friendly and even she went on a random spiel about how I was one of the most gentle people she’s met. 

In all, my friends have provided a sympathetic ear, good advice and shown belief in me. It’s what I’ve needed. Having felt like a frumpy, useless, worthless unattractive mum.

I’m so grateful to have these people in my life.

Tomorrow I’m taking my daughter Jess to catch up with my friend and her daughter for dinner. She’s the friend that has survived breast cancer as well as all the other shit life has thrown at her. She’s incredibly inspiring and strong and we always manage to have a good laugh.

I’ve always tried to shut people out of my life, I keep them at arms length, but I realise at this point of my life, I can’t do it alone. And where my husband has lost belief/interest in me, my friends have stepped up to the plate. Maybe I can’t be such a rotten shit of a person if I have such good friends after all?

This week has been testing and inightful. Helped and made enjoyable by my friends.

I do feel more refreshed by being around other people. And I also feel that by telling my husband – in effect, giving him permission to lose that sense of obligation which I know he feels pressured over, has helped us move forward. Although I anticipate still being the butt of jokes and outlet for his stress.

But I’m just going to swallow it and carry on for the kids sake. 

I’ve been liaising with my lawyer and frankly it all sounds contradictory and too vague. So I’m not sure at all what’s happening there and I don’t understand what’s going on. It frustrates me and hurts me grately.

I’m looking forward to a relaxing weekend. In particular watching the All Blacks smash the Wallabies on Sunday!

Face, heart and ugliness

I’ve tried to keep myself busy the last few days, doing things that make me feel more normal. Admittedly I’ve also been very honest and vocal about things on Facebook and I’ve received so much support – it’s impossible not to feel inspired and respected by friends that genuinely seem to care. I feel less alone and I feel the sense of disappointment is shared rather than in my heart to ruminate over. 

Today I went and got waxed. I prefer waxing to shaving and there’s the added benefit of feeling more clean all over. Not that I have anyone to impress or show. It’s purely for my own indulgence.

I then caught up with the beauty therapist that’s become a firm friend to me. Due to cancellations I was able to get a facial, my lashes and brows done and a mani pedi. I feel more like myself. I feel cared for and pampered. I’d love for it to be like the old days, my husband is impressed, I feel confident, we make dinner plans, organise a babysitter. But he won’t see me in that way now. Perhaps he regards me more like a sister. I want to be seen as a woman, sexy, beautiful, I want my husband to see that I’ve got clear skin and feel more presentable – less like an old bag lady. I think he compliments me like he would any woman. It’s generic but there’s no real interest. I miss being gathered up in a hug, I miss kissing, I miss being sexy. I think he started seeing me as a sister figure a long time ago. Perhaps before even our troubles started. I thought he was being mindful about my fears because of my history, but really it’s because I don’t interest him in that way. I know he finds women attractive on programmes we watch. I’m sure he probably gets relief from porn – when I’m not around.

My attempts to be seen as anything other than his overweight wife with issues are futile. I will never be more to him.

All of my life, men have lusted over me. Made lewd comments, tried to get my affections, or even not waited for an invite. Now I’m a mother of 4, unsightly, unwanted and damaged. Despite my own shortcomings my husband always {once} seemed to see me as beautiful and desirable. But then that changed.

I really would like to be loved, held, cared for, made love to, seen as a woman – not just a mother – a tolerance.

I felt better today. I felt supported by friends, I felt pampered, felt more tolerant of my own face that I hate to see reflected. But then I hung on my husband’s reaction – please see I made an effort. Will I ever be beautiful to you?

I have my answer. I feel an inner sense of sadness, loss, disappointment.

To add to this, my husband looks great. His skin clearer than it has been for a long time, he’s lost a lot of weight – although he could always carry it because he’s broad and strong. He looks fantastic in his fitted suits, he looks confident, he looks younger.

No wonder I’m such an embarrassment to him. I’m a failure in every sense of the way.

Tomorrow is my appointment with my psychiatrist. I have no idea how to manage that. She’s the American that I barely know. She’s on rotation and she doesn’t seem happy here in NZ. I don’t feel the need to confide in her in depth. Perhaps just the symptoms, look to a medication tweak.

I’m just a clumsy old fool, struggling to get through the days. Trying not to damage my kids. 

Thank god for friends that love me unconditionally. I don’t anticipate ever being loved or held by anyone else for the rest of my life. This is the price I must pay. This is what I deserve.