No way back

My time in the UK has been fantastic. I’ve seen my best mate’s baby born, I’ve caught up with old friends and grown closer to my family. I rented a car so I’ve been independent and able to move around the country, spending nearly a week up North with a good friend who has relocated from NZ after her marriage broke down. She’s come an incredibly long way and looks and acts remarkable. She was quite inspiring.

I’ve overcome my anxieties to force myself out and engage with people. This is a huge turnaround from when I was in NZ staying in bed all the time. 

I actually started to think I could start over here with the kids. I have friends and family and it feels like a good base to start from scratch. Unfortunately when I mentioned this to S he not only ripped apart the idea but even had the audacity to throw my mental health at me as a reason for not having the kids. It was a low blow even for him. In retrospect I should have waited to discuss it until I got back. 

Now I don’t know how I’m going to get back – S isn’t going to use his air miles as previously promised. To make matters even worse, he’s been suggesting I’m not welcome to stay at the house. It seems in my absence he’s turned me into a monster and seems hell bent on punishing me. He even arranged a nanny to live in – knowing full well id be coming back. He’s been even colder and more nasty than I could ever have imagined. I’ve no doubt he’s had his family in his ear. He accused me of playing games, which makes no sense as I came here for respite, to gather my strength and always planned to go back. So I’m not even sure what ‘games’ he’s referring to.

I had no idea that he would take the house and flight away from me. It’s left me feeling really down and powerless. I don’t know how he expects to ban the mother of his children from her own house? He asked me to organise accommodation- but how can I do that from the UK? I need to be in NZ first and a hotel is out of the question because I could never afford it. Just when I think I’ve come to terms with everything, he throws something else at me. I literally can’t believe how much he hates me. How cold and heartless he’s being.

So I face a gloomy and unknown future. Obviously if I didn’t have the kids, I’d just stay here. But I miss them terribly. And time away from them is becoming increasingly more painful. I Skype with them regularly but it’s just not the same.

Being reunited with my kids should never have been this hard. I feel terribly anxious and overwhelmed at the new hurdles I face.

It’s such a horrible end to what has been a really productive and beneficial time here. I need to be careful that my mental health doesn’t plummet. I could already feel that sense of dread creeping in and the desire to give up and stay in bed. I don’t want S to have that power over me. Obviously as soon as I get back to NZ I intend to find a rental house and move as quickly as possible. I already know it’s not healthy to remain living in the same house as S. But as an interim, it’s all I have. I feel sick that he’s effectively trying to stop me from being with the kids.

I’m so glad I never signed the house over. I would definitely be left without a leg to stand on. I came so close to caving under the pressure. But now by hanging on by my fingernails at least I have some security.

I need to get back to my babies. I need to retain all the strength I’ve built and remember I have some awesome people in my life rooting for me.

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.

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.

Arrived!

I’m absolutely shattered, so I’ll keep this brief. I felt like the day would never end, I’ve been in a sitting position for almost 50 hours. I ache, I feel sick and I’m finally horizontal!

I really regretted the flight and thought I’d made a terrible mistake but my parents have greeted me with open arms. My old room has been set up beautifully and Mum had a huge basket of a variety of hair products, body stuff and bath treats. I have felt truly cared about for the first time in ages.

It’s also been really warm here and the long, light evening seems weird! I have no idea on times and days, I think it’ll take me a while to get adjusted and get my medication regime back on track.

I have amazed myself today. Well, the last few days! I didn’t move from my comfort spot, but I have sought care from familiarity and faced the anxiety provoking travel, far away from my days in bed. I survived it and I did it alone.

I miss my babies painfully, but hopefully this will all be worth it 

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.

Packing

The day before I fly out. It seems unreal that this time next week I’ll have been in the UK for a week. It’s a beautiful sunny, warm autumnal day here in NZ and I keep wondering if I’m doing the right thing. But the feeling of ‘starting over’ AGAIN, house hunting and moving seems impossible. So it’s not that I’m happy and settled here. I’m just enjoying being around the children. But living in this house isn’t a possibility. 

Last night was lovely. S was away, the kids tidied their rooms and we all sat and watched a couple of movies. It was really amazing and evenings like that make me wonder why the days are so painfully hard. 

There’s a long gap between my arrival to Auckland and my departing flight. Im really anxious about it. I have hardly spent much time out of bed, so being in the loud and busy airport for hours it’s really anxiety provoking. Plus I’ll be devastated from leaving my children, so lots of time for regrets to settle in.

The only aspect of the flight I’m looking forward to is that at least in the air, nothing can be done. That is, no phone calls, no depressing mail, nothing I have to face and handle like I do on a daily basis here.

S has already arranged for his Mother to come here while I’m away. I feel like he blames me for the rift between them (she never approved of me), and he’s forgotten how difficult she was. It’s like every negative thing in his life, every bad thing was because of me. He blames me for the separation, even though he told me he didn’t love me and told me repeatedly that our marriage was over. I just don’t understand him at all. But as I’ve said before, he is happy, so I guess in some way I was making him miserable. It’s just amazing how he was able to stop loving me so quickly and start resenting me so passionately.

I know I drone on about it and I shouldn’t. It’s one of the reasons, well, the main reason I need to get away. I need to clear my head of this stuff. It’s so confronting dealing with it every day. 

I don’t know how compassionate my family are going to be. Considering they think ‘mental illness’ is really something easily controlled and more a state of mind. Their response to my feeling anxious (about other stuff) already has been ‘well don’t be’ as if anxiety can be stopped. And I know they’ll struggle to understand my unwillingness to get up and function. I’ll be considered ‘lazy.’ But it’s a risk I have to take, because I’m not getting anywhere alone. And I’m hoping in amongst all the negative stuff, they’ll show some caring.

I’m looking forward to seeing my best friend. She’s heavily pregnant, so I’ll be excited to be there for her. She swore she’d never have children, so this was quite a shock! And she gets me, so at least I won’t feel totally isolated. 

I’ll just be glad to be on that departing flight so I can close my eyes and take my head off. Although I know it’ll start a fresh lot of tears.

Leaving NZ

I’ve managed to use the last of my money and scrape enough for a UK flight. One way. I’m going to miss my children desperately. They’re my only reason for living. Without them, I’m nothing. 

But I can’t carry on down this path of destruction. I have lost everything and I have nothing else. I can’t see a way out of the storm and I’m so tired. I hope that being home I can rest, I can grieve and I can find myself again. I’m failing as a mother all the time now. I can’t keep letting my kids down. One day, I want them to be proud of me. At the moment it hurts to breathe. I can’t imagine ever enjoying life again.

So I leave next week. The warewolves in NZ won’t be able to get me there, although I have plenty of demons I need to excorcise in the UK. Strangely that seems easier to comprehend right now.

I will return to my babies when the time is right. I have not given up on NZ. But right now, it’s not my home. I’m miserable and I’m not niave, that will follow me home. In fact for at least the first few weeks I know I’ll be inconsolable. But it’s a tidal wave of grief that needs to be felt and nurtured.  I don’t belong anywhere. But at least I can find solace in where I originate from.

I don’t know if it’s the right or the wrong thing. I can’t trust my judgement, I can’t handle decisions. I’m overwhelmed and over wrought. But I’m doing the only thing that makes sense. I’ve hit so many blocks, there comes a time when picking up and starting over no longer works, even for the strongest. Something needs to give. I only hope with all my heart that a few weeks away will give me some peace and the ability to find my fight again.