Not getting anywhere 

It’s not going well. So far I’ve barely been out of bed. The depression feels two pronged. I’m down anyway, I’m grieving my marriage, and I’m conscious that I have to start from scratch back in NZ. I feel such an aching sadness and an oppressive sense of overwhelming anxiety at my future.

Life just feels impossible at the moment.

My dad has just tried to talk to me about my plans and I know he’s concerned that I’m not going out or doing anything. I do try and make plans in my head, but in reality I can’t face the days, the people, the decisions and the sense of not belonging.

I’m not doing my children any service by being here and being the same as I was in NZ. This trip needs to be worth our separation. I’m scared of going back and being the same. I can’t let them down.

And yet, I just feel no joy. No purpose. No sense of identity.

When I go back to NZ, I’ll be living on welfare until I get a job. The prospect alone is depressing.

How has my life tumbled into such a chaotic mess?

I’m going to see if I can find a GP here to refer me to a psychiatrist. Maybe I need some different medication. Maybe I need some hope that something can change.

Rest

I came back to my house yesterday afternoon and immediately felt really relaxed and at peace. Last week felt like a really long and stressful week and the night before I came home I was  sick in the toilet during the night; I’m not sure why that happened but I felt really tired as a result.

Last night I relaxed in front of a movie with a bottle of wine, and it felt nice not to worry about getting anything for the children or having to go anywhere.

S has told me that for the next two weeks he will be away from Monday to Friday, that is a long time to be looking after children alone and a long time to be away from my house. I have told him that I won’t be able to find even a part time job because I’m spending so much time between houses I could never offer consistency to a position, and I have explained that makes me nervous financially and he has reassured me that he would never leave me in a situation where I didn’t have money. And I choose to believe this because he’s never not given me any money and he’s often helped me out when he can financially.

Next week is the school interviews so I will be seeing the three teachers for my children, I won’t deny that I am anxious about the those because I have been avoiding most contact with people. I want to show interest in my children’s learning and stay on top of communication with the teachers that’s the least I can do for them. I also have my appointment at the hospital for my hand which I intend to go through with because I still have limited movement in my right hand. And I have therapy again next week after my hospital appointment. So a lot more movement for me, even though my anxiety is high.

I did try taking the olanzapine 5mg (PRN) and I found that really helps with my agitation. As previously Id used diazepam for extreme restlessness and irritability but using olanzapine is the way to go. It did make me tired but not so tired is that I was dozing off, instead it gave me A feeling of being chemically relaxed.

It’s lovely to wake up naturally in my home this morning with the sun shining, I’ve had some fresh coffee and I am feeling nicely relaxed. I have to head over the hill later though because S is leaving so early on Monday morning.

Everything is very much a blur, I think because there is no routine for me. I can’t decide if it’s a good thing or a bad thing. At least I don’t have time to sit around and think about how overwhelming everything is.

Today

Today has been another long day for me. Firstly I saw my therapist, I talked with her about the trigger I had yesterday and I hadn’t realised how much of an impact it had on me and how much it had a ripple effect on my thought processes. I discussed how drained I’d been made to feel, I talked about my fears as to whether my attacker had premeditated his attack. Did he make a beeline for me, knowing what he planned to do? Or did he ‘end up’ with me? Did he plan on having sex that night but not preempt the rejection? Or was he going to do whatever he wanted? The thoughts went round and round in my head and I expressed the them all to my therapist I told  my therapist I felt closure for me would be being able to ask him these questions and get the answers regardless of whether I like them or not.

This then went on to the police officer and how he had abused his position of power. I wanted to know if he actually did feel anything towards me or was I one of many of his targets? Had the other women been wrong? Did he actually have sincere feelings for me? Or was I just another notch on the bedpost (so to speak) or just another fucked up person he was able to seduce? Then this lead onto feeling let down by S as he knew something wasn’t right but didn’t do anything about it. In essence there was a snowball of different feelings, anger, grief, confusion, powerlessness, and worst of all shame.

I know I’ll  never get the answers that I desperately crave. I’ll be left with the monotony of confusion and despair and loneliness.

I’m glad that I was able to verbalise all of this in therapy, it’s amazing how freeing it is to say things out loud even though I don’t always know what’s going to come out of my mouth.

There was a brief reprieve and then I caught up with my psychiatrist. I was completely honest about my feelings of being suicidal when I stopped taking the olanzapine. I told her that I had planned my suicide and it was only because the children were with me that I didn’t follow through and I had to drop them off back at S’s anyway. I explained that I hadn’t felt safe being alone after that for some time and so I spent some days at S’s house. I was able to tell her that the medication was working again and that I’d only had brief thoughts of suicide mostly out of being defeated by this mental illness. I also told her that S was going to be away more meaning I was going to be at this house a lot more than I had imagined and I’ll be looking after the kids full time. Of course I’m stressed about juggling everything, but as long as I maintain open communication with my therapist and psychiatrist hopefully I can get through it.

After these two blocks of time spent with pretty important people in terms of my mental health, I’ve picked up the kids from school now they’re running around the house screaming. There will be no time for me to debrief, unwind, and take in events of the day.

My psychiatrist has told me to try taking olanzapine at 5 mg PRN to help with agitation, as the diazepam is only really good for panic. She warns this may leave me more woozy, so I shouldn’t take it when I know I need to drive. It’s not much but hopefully it’s another thing I can rely on to help with my mood at the moment. She’s also suggested later on down the track trying a new antipsychotic that doesn’t have weight gain as a side effect, but I am wanting to wait a bit longer before I try anything else as I have felt too unstable at the moment.

The reality is that I am faced with today are that a, I either registered on a rapists radar, and nothing could’ve stopped happening what happened, or b, this person took a spontaneous moment to have a his way with me, and it could’ve been any one. And c, a police officer either saw me as an attractive and healthy woman with whom he wanted to eventually have to date and would fall in love with or d, I was one  of his many preferred victims that was vulnerable, a victim of sexual assault, and easy to manipulate.

I will never get the answers on either. I have to learn to breathe and move on with my life, but at the moment my brain is drowning in different thoughts and upsets and my depression is making it really hard to think clearly.

The drugs are useful to keep me functioning, but it would be nice if I could find my own closure, move on and feel better.

Now I need to go and cook dinner for four children and pretend that today hasn’t happened for now.

Birthday

Well, so far my birthday hasn’t been that great. Exactly as I anticipated. Although I will say that I was delighted to receive some flowers and chocolate’s delivered by my ex-husband on behalf of our children. I did cry some tears over that. I thought it was extremely thoughtful of him and not necessary, but he made the effort and for that I am extremely grateful and touched. He has been really good for me the last few days very supportive exactly what I need at this time.

I came back from the school run and I was absolutely exhausted I hardly slept at all last night. I fell asleep and I awoke to my alarm and time to leave for my therapy appointment. I didn’t really want to go and was tempted to cancel; but decided that talking might do me some good. It’s a really safe place, the women’s centre, and easy drive too, so I didn’t feel too out of my comfort range. And in therapy I talked about the triggers that have been happening for me, my sadness, my dip in my mood, and that I’ve been staying at S’s which seemed to be helping me.

I also talked about about sorting out my hand appointment. My therapist gave me some dates that she could go with me which was really awesome. Unfortunately none of those dates were available, but I’ve taken a date because I really do need to get my hand sorted and I’ve arranged to see my therapist afterwards.

Going to the hospital for my hand should be an easy thing to do. But it all just seems to play on my anxiety and I don’t know how to cope. It’s not in my nature to ask for help, so I was really privileged and grateful when my therapist offered to go with me. I would do it for any friends in an instant but I don’t have it in me to ask for someone to come with me. But that’s okay I’m determined to get my hand sorted once and for all.

That wasn’t much time before I had to pick up the kids but I’ve gone home and tidied it up as best I can and then headed out for the kids. I then went for a brief meeting with my new case manager who is unfortunately a male. Immediately I have trust issues and I feel uncomfortable discussing anything related to my past. But I decided to address this with him straightaway and say that I was prepared to work at this relationship bearing in mind my history. He actually knew about the police officer that has the complaints against him because he knows people in the mental health sector in the UK, so that was a surprise, and as he referred to him as being a predator, really reminded me of how I was played, and really reminded me of how out of order he was and I had to again reconcile in my own head that I was a victim to a professional that crossed boundaries with similar histories and mental health issues. talking to the case manager wasn’t that easy for me and so I spoke very quickly so that by the time we finished meeting and I went back out to the children I sounded like I’d been running much to the children’s dismay.

We are now home. S will be late finishing again tonight. The kids have argued relentlessly on the way home and at home. So I’m back to feeling tired and drained. I’m glad I’m going to see my psychiatrist next week.

And interestingly the skin on my hands has flared up again so looks like I have the same problem as I had last time hopefully I can get treatment for a quickly before it continues to get more painful. It’s already cracking and bleeding in some places on my fingers. I wonder how much of it is caused by stress.

Therapy 

A therapy session to me is like sports physiotherapy to an athlete . It gives me a chance to iron out the kinks that seem to appear more than the average person! My therapist is very open-minded and has a great perspective on people and the world. She never fails to make me feel accepted and she never makes me feel uncomfortable regardless of what I bring up.

Today I expressed to her pretty much  verbatim what I said in my blog last night. That parts of me are at peace and confusion and bitterness are slowly waning away. And my home is truly my safe space which I have wanted for so long.

It’s another hot summers day here which makes me feel very calm as I believe I am solar powered! So my therapy today was calm and I talked about feeling panic for essentially no reason and I didn’t get panicked while I talked about it. I did also talk about a couple of innocuous comments my parents had made on Facebook and why that’s upset me. I also think that these comments were responsible for feeling panicked. I just didn’t want to recognise that they were having a bad impact on me. There is some communication between my parents and my aim is always kept light, I still have some anger around their complete lack of wanting to acknowledge what happened to me, but I will never get closure because they will never change. I recognise them as narcissistic and being unhealthy people, but I will continue a light dialogue with them because at the end of the day they are my parents.

So when I talk about ironing out kinks, I mean things like why my parents frustrated me and how I can deal with the fallout. Going directly to them isn’t an option as I would with anybody else that made comments. They will never understand and it will become about them and I don’t have the energy or inclination to handle their and unhealthy minds. As I’ve said before talking it out is so much better for me and I really love the relationship I have with my therapist.

I feel lighter from my therapy today. I also recognise that I feel very tired from the last couple of days. Often I try to push through the tiredness because I don’t want to be ruled by my medication or my mental health. But I’m tired of going against my body’s needs.

This evening I’m back at my house alone, so I intend to enjoy the peace and have an early night. That doesn’t mean I won’t miss my children terribly but I know we have a lot to do over the weekend to make their bedroom special at my house.

Therapy and sun!

Today I had my first therapy session for a long time. There was much to catch up on including my move, my witness testimony following the date where the sister was murdered, and the updates of the case against the police officer in the UK. I also told my therapist about my bad night in my new house, and the recognition of the time of year. Suffice to say she was pretty surprised by how much has happened but of course she knows me well enough to know that there’s always plenty going on at any one time.

It was relaxing to verbalise the occurances over the last few weeks including talking about how happy I am with my new home and I showed her some pictures. Although the session was draining and I found talking about the time of year difficult;  ultimately it did feel good having someone to talk to. I think it was only yesterday that I said I missed having someone to talk to that would listen and validate my feelings.

Fortunately last night I had a really good sleep, although I awoke with a migraine pressing still, I loved the blue skies and the peace of my home, and I even felt sad that I have to leave my home to head back to S’s house for the children as he is away again.  Not sad to see the children of course I miss them bitterly whenever I drive away but sad to leave my new town and my new home.


This morning 😊

The afternoon has been a lot of fun though; the kids and I were in the paddling pool most of the afternoon as the weather has been so hot today even my eldest came out to play in the pool which is very unusual.


J made dinner for us tonight, I really enjoyed my small portion of half cooked noodles, baked beans cold, and a spoonful of white rice! She even brought it outside on the tray for me! My children are just awesome and a real blessing. It’s important to remember times like this when I’m struggling with my past. It’s too easy to wallow in the pain when I am away from my children. I’m really looking forward to the weekend when they can be at my house. I also need to make more of an effort to take walks around town that I know; i  need to familiarise myself again and find my confidence, not to mention the fitness benefits.

Getting back to a weekly therapy session will be really helpful for me, it’s so important to be able to articulate feelings, thoughts and concerns with someone that supports me and listens without judgement. As a single woman  it is easy to forget that I do have a voice and I do need to be heard. Although of course this blog is extremely carthrtic. My energy goes into the children and anything left for me feels like grief currently contained and pushed down.

I’m feeling nicely tired from a full day and is plenty of fun in the sun this afternoon; I hope for another good night sleep and it is nice to finally miss a place that I can call home.

The night before xmas

Thursday was pretty eventful as day’s go.  For me anyway.

I’ve had this, well, I’ll save you the details but lets say ‘lady problems.’  I had been putting off seeing a dr because I had not long had my smear and that hurt like hell and was generally just awful.  Just because I’ve had 4 children, doesn’t mean anything in that department is easy.  But it really was adding to my symptoms of PTSD, the feeling of being dirty.  I seemed to be showering constantly, scrubbing myself raw, and within minutes feeling the urge to do it all over again.

I made an urgent appointment with a female gp and unfortunately had to be examined.  Painful doesn’t really cut it.  It was BAD.  But at least I have a better idea of whats going on.  And to be honest, I’m glad I went.  But the bleeding has been pretty intense.

I went on to see my counsellor, it was a coincidence that my day panned out like that.  But a good one!  Although I started off very distanced and chatted about inane things, it finally came out about the problems I’d been having and the subsequent examination.  The night before the appointment I had a terrible nightmare.  Not abstract like usual, a graphic replay of events of the rape.  I talked about that with my counsellor, I’ve never talked in details before with her.  I also talked about the sense of being unclean.  How I used to scrub myself with household cleaning products to try to rid myself of this film of grime I felt.  Its one of those things that seems to flare up occasionally, although I’ve not suffered such an intense bout for a long time.

I found things coming up and talking about them without realising the enormity of what I was sharing.  I haven’t discussed issues of such a private nature before.  At times I felt emotional, at times my mind wandered back to exact moments in time, with the clarity of a movie, and I felt periods of frustration and anger.  I hadn’t wanted to get as deep particularly with xmas looming and knowing there would be a break between sessions, but I guess my mind felt it was time.  The hour passed quickly.  So many vulnerabilities and fears shared.  I felt scraped out but yet lighter for it.

My next journey was on to the city to see a friend of mine in hospital.  The driving allowed me down time to defrag and put my mind on the task ahead.  It was great to see her and catch up.

I am feeling surprised at my ability to share so openly with the therapist.  I prefer to keep a little piece of me removed, save myself from emotional fall out.

Today is xmas eve, the time of year I am usually depressed and struggling through. But this time, expectations are low.  I am staying at my house tonight, then heading up to the house tomorrow.  I will be there for my children, but equally distanced enough to save that crushing blow that happens every year.  And of course this year is our first year as a separated family, but luckily S and I have found more civil ground to dance around on.

Just got to get through it!