Sunday, March 20, 2022

So much has happened since

As usual every time I look at the blog I think I really should update it and then I don't. But now it seems a perfect moment to do so,  I'm in my sunny balcony while the children are playing outside and it just fits. 

So what has happened since the finalised divorce hearing. I have a new partner. Actually I have known him since the years in Dublin, we were colleagues till he moved back to Switzerland and then I moved to Nottingham, and very much incredibly we have found each other in the same city and working again in the same Department in the same university. We had of course kept in touch and he has been essential in helping us settle in, we have spent always a lot of time together with the families and my children always liked him which is a major plus. Mike always liked him to, which I am not sure how he feels about it now that we got together. Martin is divorced and has two daughters a bit older than mine kids, and let's just say...a more complex situation with his ex. 

As we both were free last summer, it seemed quite normal to go out together for walks and stuff when neither of us had children duties and one thing let to another. 

I'm very very happy, I think for Mike maybe it has been a bit quick, but to be honest for me the divorce was only a very final consolidation of an inner separation I felt for years, so I was more than ready to move on and have some fun again. I am not sure if I am still in the "honeymoon" period where everything seems about perfect, but I'm for sure much more at ease and relaxed and my anxiety is under control. Not only this but both Oliver and Martina have settled so so much in the last several months, yes of course it may be that they are growing up also but I think that they feel that I am so much happier too.

Mike is doing extremely well also, his work is going great, I don't think he has anyone yet, but we see each other often and I am delighted that he has friends and things to do for himself. He is definitely regaining self-esteem and independence. I am really hopeful that he will find a partner also. 

We went skiing all together last February, Mike had the children the first half of the week and I took them the second half. He decided to stay in a different hotel which was totally ok of course, and he has zero problems in getting the children ready and up at the ski school well on time (this was always a major struggle when we were together). Even my therapist says that the way our relationship is now is a rare event and of course this benefits the children greatly too. Let's hope it will get better and better.

Oliver is in 5th class and doing remarkably well, he has many friends and he is growing up really fast. I love the deeper conversations we are having now, of course he still has his moments but what a change in just a couple of years! By next year he will be assessed for which type of high school he is best suited. He really has to put a bit more effort in studying rather than just doing the bare minimum or it won't be enough. It's frustrating because he could totally do much more, but settles for the least work possible.

Martina is in 3rd class and also loves going to school, she is full of friends and is doing very well. She inherited Oliver's last year teacher so we know her already and it's very easy. Seems that Martina is a very high achiever and actually quite competitive in school (an aspect we don't see too often at home), and sometimes this causes her a bit of anxiety before class tests etc. 

I think this summarises the main points of the past 9 (!) months, I really hope I can find the dedication to write more often as I love keeping this diary. I hope you are all well.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

The court hearing: all done

 On the 10th of June we had the court hearing, effectively a formality to have a judge ratifying our already signed agreement on the children shared custody and financial arrangements. As I am paying for every recurring expenses and will cover 2/3 of the unforeseen expenses, I doubted there could have been a problem. All went smoothly, it only lasted an hour in total, the judge was very friendly and complimented us for being so civil and she could tell the children were very much ok with the situation (she spoke with the children in a separate private hearing the previous week). 

Mike always looks like he doesn't know what is going on, seems to have said to a friend that he was not actually sure what he signed that day, but I am forcing myself to believe that it was a joke which he thought it was funny.

In ten days the judge sentence will be deposited and I'll be officially free again.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

The tough part

Nobody gets married of course thinking they will be separating down the line. In my case, I never wanted to get married in the first place (for the second time), but alas. 

It is amazing how these situations bring out the worse aspects of people. While I'm absolutely trying my best to keep the situation very amicable and polite, I have to deal with the passive-aggressive attitude of Mike who would not reply to the lawyer that quickly (we have opted for a consensual divorce agreement), would not really discuss with me how he feels about some of the suggestions etc. everything is met with barely a grunt. As I am the one financially stronger (thought he is also working full time), we have agree on how we divide expenses etc. It looks like I'm paying for absolutely everything, including a contribution to the children living expenses when they are with him. It sounds insane, it makes me mad that he will have no contribution to any of the expenses, but I just want this done. This is despite very clear financial agreements before and during our 14 year long marriage. Go figure. 

It's still not done. But I'm trying my absolutely best to understand that he is hurting, that he is worried about the future etc. I hope that when things settle, he will also see that he can be completely financially secure (he has a great job for god's sake...).

On the bright side, I am truly enjoying my time in the apartment on my own! I so needed my space, I will have the children on thursday till the weekend (we split child care 50%) and I know I will love to spend 100% of the time with them with my batteries fully recharged.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

New beginnings

 So Mike has moved out yesterday, I doubt he has fully moved out but it's a step. He found a lovely apartment which is very near, so for the children is minimal disruption in terms of going to school. Telling the children went quite well, though Mike didn't really want to take any part in it as he felt I should say it was just my decision... so I did, but the children, after the initial shock I think they could appreciate that many other children have it worse (like parents arguing always.. or worse). Of course not like they are thrilled but I think they will see I am certainly much happier.

Let's see how it progresses.

Friday, December 25, 2020

2020 Round up

I thought I probably should do my best to post another update of my life before the year is over. And what a year this has been. 

We are all healthy which is the most important thing. Work-wise this year for me has been stellar, one hard to beat I'd say.

The children are doing great in school, even Oliver has settled finally and they are both fluent in Swiss German and High German which means they have zero difficulties with friends etc. I am slowly learning German, but as I don't need it in work, I am not forced to used it, so I am not progressing as fast as I should.

I started therapy again in May, I found the first lock down really tough, homeschooling the children in a language I don't speak is virtually impossible, of course as I am also working full time. I felt extremely anxious and edgy all the time, I had zero time for me and it was suffocating. I feel much better and I came through a journey of self discovery which was long overdue.

Mike started his job (just as Switzerland went into lockdown) and he is loving it, it is great for him to finally have found his path (clearly it's never too late..). But for me this year has been also the year to finally call it a day. I told Mike I want to separate. It would be a massive long post in itself to explain this part properly, but the short version is that first he didn't understand what had changed, then he seems to have accepted it. However this was September and he still has not moved out. 

After Christmas I will again bring up the conversation and I need a date when he will move out. We have not told the children yet, I thought it was best to wait till he had a plan. Of course this is not happening at any reasonable pace and I am at the end of my patience. So I am hoping for a 2021 which will bring a new light, like turning a page. Oliver will be 10 on the 1st of January, double digit... he has come such a long way with his behaviour, but some days are still very very tough... I hope that as the situation settles more, everyone will benefit.

Right, this is me, I still can't post on any blogs, I hope you are all doing well, hugs to all.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Mike got a job and other updates

So this has been quite a week! The amount of things happening since my last post totally deserved an update.

About two weeks ago Mike had a phone interview with a company he applied with in November for a job he was quite overqualified for. He never heard anything about it and put it in the pile of "ah well, it was worth a try". They emailed him to see if he was happy to talk to them about a possible job. The phone interview was scheduled shortly after and it became clear they thought his skills were very suited to another job they were now advertising. The phone call went very well and a week after he had a face to face interview. The job would be quite a new thing for him as he will move away from hands on work in a lab to a more managerial role to be a reference point with the headquarters which is based in San Diego. So, while German is very important, clearly being english mother tongue is quite an advantage. They told him they would let him know within a couple of weeks but on tuesday they called him and offered him the job! Massive celebration all around, major sense of relief  for me and part of my current anxiety around the fact that if something should happen to me, now that Mike has a permanent job at least they can all keep living here (I know..I know...).

On the same friday as Mike's interview, we had the appointment with Oliver to the psychologist for the evaluation of ADD, possible traits of autism and giftedness. We really really liked the therapist, she spoke very good english and had a great approach to probing Oliver's emotions. She had him do a non verbal test (because the others are in German and clearly Oliver would not be sufficiently fluent to be meaningful), and despite being a friday afternoon, after a whole week that he had the flu with high temp etc, and a persistent annoying cough, Oliver scored >130 (not a genius but clearly above average). She strongly recommended for him to do the full test to properly evaluate the giftedness level, this can be done in english at the hospital in the children neuropsychology department. We have been referred and while it won't be quick to have an appointment at least we are now in the system. She said there is no trait whatsoever of ADD (he never lost concentration in the test despite the coughing) or autism. He is just very clever, when he loses interest in school it's because he actively disengages (as opposed to not being able to keep paying attention). She said it's a pity we didn't do this when it was suggested to us back in Ireland, apparently one of the major risks for these children is that they give up after a while, because they just get too bored. Anyway, hopefully now we can find a way so that he is properly challenged and this should help in turn to relax him and make him feel more fulfilled.

This is almost all. I am falling back into my obsessive health anxiety, i hate it so so much, winter sports help but then as I am in my office I enter the awful loops. I've started taking CBD and see if it helps a little. As usual I have (or imagine, i can't tell for sure of course) a symptom of some vague nature somewhere in the body which becomes my obsession and it's a clear sign of something ominous. I know so well how insane this sounds, I must have had 3 or 4 different lethal conditions in the last couple of months... I need help. I fear the only help will be medications.

Heather, still no joy in posting to your blog (or others...though i see some have comments so I have no idea why just mine are eaten up!), I'd love to be in touch, my email is visible, would love to hear from you and at least I can comment to you directly on your updates.

Hugs to all

Sunday, January 5, 2020

A new decade has begun

I was really hoping to write a post to wrap up 2019 but clearly it has not happened... so I'll do it here and now, at the beginning of this new decade. So many posts on facebook have appeared showing all that people went through in the last ten years...mostly families getting bigger. I suppose it was the same for me, the 2000-2009 period saw me getting married for the second time and begin the quest for a family which of course had more downs than up in that time. IVF, two ectopic pregnancies, surgeries, so so much heartache.
Then 2010-2019 has given me two children, three relocations with two job changes and life in three different countries. Significant also has been the steady decline in my relationship with my husband which I am now just accepting as the norm. Maybe this new decade will bring some changes there because I don't feel that old yet that I have to just give up on happiness (for which really there is no age anyway).

I remember my post at the beginning of 2019 was quite loaded with anxiety and expectations, it all went well for me, it has been a great year, specially on the work front. I feel with the move to Switzerland I'm living the dream. I love everything about my job, the new students, the colleagues, the unthinkable options I now have available. I also stopped thinking it was a major amount of luck that brought me here, I know it was not a gift but actually a ton of hard work with very little external help (reading: I had nobody pushing me or my career, ever) and I am very very proud of what I have achieved. The luck has been in meeting exceptionally talented young researchers that worked with me on my ideas, brought in their own, grew as scientists and developed a work ethic which is impeccable. I am so so proud of them and incredibly thankful.

2020 has for me less anxiety to start with (I'm sure I'll get my fair share soon enough), but as no major changes are planned, at least I do not have to elaborate on all possible negative scenarios.

The children are well, have settled in school and we finally are getting some attention for Oliver's behaviour which, while I can safely say it has improved, still is extremely challenging at times. On suggestion of the school, he will soon be tested for giftedness and with that also for ADD. It seems that children can show traits of ADD if giftedness is not spotted on time. If I think about the amount of times we seeks professional help and never got anywhere I feel quite defeated. In fairness the first neuropsychologist in Ireland where we went when he was not even 5, suggested to test him for high intelligence too, but that would have then implied going to special schools and we didn't do it. Here the normal public school he is attending now would have a programme for gifted children every wednesday. Let's see how that goes. He turned 9 on the first of January. He can be such a lovely child, but when he gets into his oppositional mode he is capable of saying unspeakable things which totally push my buttons and never ends well.
Martina is a lovely girly girl, so super caring and thoughtful, she suffers a lot when Oliver is in one of his tantrums, but she is very easy going and forgiving (unlike me clearly).

Mike has not yet found a job, hopefully the new year will bring something for him too, but it is very very tough of course as I would expect he at least used all his free time to engage with the children and build a relationship, but no...he is not that different with them from how his parents must have been with him and this is not working out.

Finally, I still can't seem to get my comments to any of the blogs I read... Heather if you are reading my blog still, please know I must have commented on almost all your posts but it seems that either you don't get the message that there is a new comment to approve or it is just lost in the web.

Hugs to you all and I wish you a great 2020.