Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Bad Habits*

*Please come back another day for more lighthearted posts, if stress-bunny habits and sad faces aren't your thing (why would they be?!) I have some happier things lined up to talk to you about later this week,
Brownie Guide Promise. 
I don't indulge myself very often, but if you fancy having a quick read of this, then here are the truths of the last few weeks months. Maybe it will be of help to people in similar situations.

I am stressed in the Single Mummy Zone. The problems I was experiencing before I left my marriage, and all of the ones just afterwards, have reappeared. I am having to go through mediation, because the ex is challenging access (he wants 'half' of the children, ie, he wants them to live with him every other week) and money (he wants to pay none on a regular basis, as opposed to the 'none' from the money that he stopped paying last year) and he's not backing down, and its hurting me.

The sensible take on it would be: I have nothing to hide, and it would not be beneficial to let this 'get' to me, so bring it on... which is kinda what I'm aiming for, and some days I even succeed.  But lets not forget that this was a difficult relationship to say the least (have a look at the link in the first paragraph of this second post if you're in need of people who can help you, like they did me).

So hey ho, love and war and all that, moving on...

Which is kinda what I'm trying to do here- move on. Only I know that pattern only to well. Before moving on, I have to go through a process, a bit like the the stages of grief thingy.

I exhibit these stages when the children are away**, (see below if you fancy an insight into the times when they are here) and I think I do okay, (even if I do say so myself), when they are around to be as normal as I can be. Don't laugh- I can be normal! The stages look something like this:

1 stress out, feel nauseus
2 panic, cry
3 get into bad habits
4 rest, sleep, gather myself
5 move on.

Yes, you read that right: the sleep doesn't really happen succesfully until stage 4! This isn't a clear formula. Yesterday, for example I was between 1 and 2, and today I am doing 1, 2, 3, just like I did for the last 6 months of the relationship, and the first 4 months of my new-found singleness. I manage to find good coping mechanisms on the 'in-between lots of stress' times. So I know I'll get to 4 and 5 agan, just not until the mediation has failed, he's taken me to court, thrown all he has at me and leaned on me to give up my job. Then someone else can make a decision. Scary but true- I'm a realist.

Stress provokes naughtiness don't you think? I seem to know just the best worst reactions to give when I'm in a panicky situation. Some less pretty examples of my bad habits are:

problems keeping it together,
random tearfulness
forgetting to eat, then
eating marzipan from a cake decorating block (and I've run out!)
staying up far too late
being unsociable (I have a rare invitation out tonight where I could potentially meet new people, but do I want to go? No.) 
fidgeting, and getting a shaky knee, and a flicky eye (Mmmm- attractive!)
getting short of breath and experiencing claustrophobia
craving bad cravy things
assaulting my piano (poor piano, he endures Chopin, Beethoven, Mozart when things are very bad, and when I'm more relaxed he puts up with Vaughan Wiliams, Debussy and Ravel)

However I also need to exhibit stage 5 today. The 'move on' aspect is where I'm aiming to pretend I am, so that I can put my woes behind me and do a thing this afternoon, for people who are so much less fortunate than myself. I'm not that much of a Genuine Good Samaritan, because I thought twice about it (naughty) but I owe some people a favour, and I feel I need to help. Reality is good: knowing that I need to be sensible because others are 'going through it' (bereavement in this case) is a welcome reminder of the world outside of the Single Mummy Zone, and I can't afford to be selfish. Here goes.


**When my Little People are here, or I can't let on for another reason, and I'm stressed, its kinda like this:  I badly burnt myself on Mothering Sunday when I was 7, trying to make a breakfast and tea for my mum. The hot water from the kettle came cascading over the work surface, badly scalding and scarring both of my arms and my stomach. I had 4 weeks off from school, and many many weekly trips to the burns unit for dressing changes etc. One particular time, the dressing (or something odd that looked a little bit like a net that you find around satsumas anyhow) wouldn't come away from my upper arm. They had to take me into the shower and ease it off, with water. I remember the agony. My mum told me recently that she couldn't believe that I sat there in the bath silently, letting the tears roll down my face because I didn't want to make a fuss. I remembered this again recently, and that is what I feel like I'm doing when I have to get on with it nowadays- when its expected of me to be ok. Thankfully this isn't a continuous feeling, its only during the worse times. Someone could offer the ex a truck load of cash and a one way ticket to somewhere far far away, and I'd feel even better :)


  1. A divorce is hard enough to go through when there are no little ones involved. I am sending you lots of hugs because I don't live near enough to come and hug you in person. I read the 2 posts that you linked to and I think it is very sad when the bad bits of life ruin a love. Hang on in there, it will change. xxxx

  2. Sorry to hear you're having a bad time at the moment, I'm thinking of you,

    Victoria x

  3. Your ex is at the top of my list of VERY annoying people.
    Big hugs xxx
    You know where I am if you ever need a shoulder - any time, any day. xxx

  4. *hugs*

    Sounds like things are very stressful at the moment, I do hope you manage to resolve things and be happy and less stressed soon.

    As Diane says, things will change and all these bad bits make us stronger!

    (I can sympathise/empathise in some ways - I don't have children but I spent four years trapped in an abusive relationship and had a stressful year getting out of it, with much complication. I was like you - blind to what was happening but being controlled and having self esteem ruined etc.)

  5. I never had the 'delight' of meeting your ex husband but OMG he sounds like a right tool.
    Keep ya pecker up my love and to quote some wise (woman?) " Don't let the bastard grind you down".

    Sending you best wishes for happier (smug, I've beaten the idiot at his own game) days xxxxx

  6. "If you're going through hell, KEEP GOING" - that's Winston Churchill you know.

    Big hugs, tak care of yourself xxx

  7. Just seen Lucy's comment above. And it made me think. In accordance with all the popular merchandising at the moment, you must 'Keep Calm And....' insert whatever you like at that particular moment. My favourite would be to eat cake! x