Tuesday, September 9, 2014

What's Happening In My Life (September Update)

I know! I’ve been completely slack and haven’t written an update for a couple of months.

Actually, there's a reason for that. There's been big changes in my life and some of them I’ve struggled to deal with. I was trying to process all the changes and didn’t feel ready to share them with the world.

Back in June, I separated from my husband. Since then, I’ve basically been clinging for dear life to a roller-coaster of emotions, ranging from guilt and worry and fear and hope, and every emotion in-between. I will write more about how I came to the decision to leave my marriage, and how I’ve dealt with the aftermath, in a future post. 

The decision to separate from my husband means that the (unfinished) house, the car and all our supplies will belong to him. I’m basically starting again from scratch. I knew this when I left, and I’m okay with it. Really I am! I don’t want that house, or that car, anymore.

I just want to be at peace.

After two months of worry about how my husband was coping with the separation, dreading every phone call and 3am text, I gradually began to turn my thoughts to the future.

What now, I began to wonder?

I knew the rational thing would be to try and go back to Australia with the children, where I would have financial and family support. But in my heart, I knew that my calling was in Tonga, and somehow, I just couldn’t bring myself to let go of that old dream of running a health food business in Tonga. 

As my little bit of savings and income dribbled to a tiny trickle, my only goal became to feed my children. When our gas ran out and we couldn’t afford to re-fill it, we simply built a little fire in the backyard and cooked over the open fire. When my one pair of thongs (flip-flops) broke, I just went barefoot.

And you know what? I honestly didn’t care! I did not care that I had to make a fire to cook with, or that I had no shoes. I didn’t care that my tiny budget no longer covered luxuries like cheese or apples. I was just grateful that my children had something to eat, even if it was only bread and tea.

(This site went for weeks at a time without an update, because I couldn't afford to have internet.)

It’s amazing how your priorities change when you’re faced with a survival situation.

One sunny morning, while sitting in the backyard, an idea began to take hold in my mind. I would go back to Australia and work to save up and start my business again. My husband had already informed me that he planned to take the children back to live with him. I was determined that our children would not feel trapped in the middle of a war zone, so I didn’t try to resist or argue. 

Instead, I decided to use it as an opportunity to work and save up money so that I might have a chance of supporting them properly in the future. I also knew that, given enough time, my husband would come around to a more a reasonable frame of mind, and we could negotiate an agreement where we could both be part of their lives.

An unexpected tax payment gave me the money I needed for a ticket, so I said goodbye to my babies and headed back to Oz. I arrived last week and have come to stay with my mum and dad. I’ve already picked up a casual job in the bistro of the local RSL club, and helped out on the family farm. 

 I have three goals to save up for: 
1. To buy a car to use once I get back to Tonga (just an old one that gets me “from A to B").
      2. To buy tickets for my children to come and visit for the summer. It will be two years since they’ve seen their Aussie grandparents, aunties and uncles and cousins.
3. To start my health food business again.

All of this while also sending money back to Tonga every week, to help with food/clothing etc for my three children.

It’s a tall order, I know, yet I’m confident it can be done. With the wheat harvest coming up, and then summer fruit-picking on offer, there will be plenty of work around for someone whose willing to work hard and “have a go”…

I’ve been able to speak to my children a couple of times a week. Actually, I try not to think about them too much or it would become unbearable. I remind myself that they’re being well-loved and cared for, by their dad and nanna and aunties and uncles. I also remind myself that I’m here working so that I can have a chance of supporting them in the future and having them back with me again. 

What good could possibly come of it, to sit and mope, or torment myself with “what if” and “I should have…”? 

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