Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum


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Intent

I didn’t mean to hurt you.

This was Roger’s calling card.

I usually just sat silently with it.

When the stupid came out of his mouth.

But really?

What did you think would happen, dude?

You didn’t think.

Because you were so clever. You would never get caught.

They are never concerned about consequences.

Or pain.

It’s all exciting.

Erotic.

A rush of adrenaline.

Until we know.

And the pain is ugly.

And yeah, guess what? Fucking painful.

Damn.

Bugger.

Fuck.


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Here’s the thing

We are having a lot of stress at work.

I say we, meaning everyone, as a team.

The pandemic, closed borders (just slowly reopening now) has created pressures on small business that are stressful for all. Not least of which on managers and business owners.

People are fatigued.

And have learned bad habits. Don’t go to school if you don’t feel like it. Work? Optional.

My boss is funding a dairy conversion for her husband. It’s pretty ridiculous. I don’t get it, as an ex-dairy farmer myself. At 53 years of age, to start milking cows, why??? And he’s spending huge money on infrastructure and compliance to milk – wait for it – 50 cows!!!

That is so freaking ridiculous it isn’t funny.

So, the staff are struggling. I am the buffer zone between the them and our boss, and I realised our top little star was not coping yesterday – it’s been building for a week or two. So I talked to her yesterday and asked if we can help, maybe reconfigure things a bit to let the pressure valve off a bit.

I related my conversation to our boss this morning.

She lost her mind.

I know she is under a lot of pressure, but the whole house of cards will tumble if we don’t act now, and lose good people.

Anyway, I know I will be dealing with this soon, myself. I’m not silly, I see the pressures of employing staff. But I think I get it, am intuitive, and can pre-empt problems by cutting them off at the pass, as much as possible.

I didn’t sleep much last night. The mind movies of Rog and Trinket still circulate at night, often. I tried a few of my mindfulness, settling techniques.

But music was my saviour, as it so often is. Lately, I’ve been listening to a fair bit of Courtney Barnett. This one got me in the feels, could have written the lyrics myself! But, her languishing delivery soothes me every time…


https://youtu.be/y808utBEuak


“Here’s the thing
Can’t stop thinking about you
Yeah, I’m writing
It’s the only thing that I know how to do
I don’t know what to say, you’re so far away
I don’t wanna be annoying
I don’t know what to say, you’re so far away
And I feel insecure
Your windowsill
Is momentarily filled with sun
And it’s these small thrills
That get me through the day until the next one
And I’m not afraid of heights
Maybe I’m just scared of falling
And I’m not afraid of heights
Maybe I’m just scared of falling
I’m your man
Mysterious at your command
And it’s understandable
That you’re in such high demand, it’s true
I don’t know what to do
It’s looking like I’ll never leave this room again
I don’t know what to do
Gonna write this letter to you that I’ll never send
(Yeah)
Here’s the thing
Can’t stop thinking about you”


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Telling your story

I was deeply ashamed.

Firstly, that I stayed.

After his affair. What kind of strong feminist, role model was I to my children if I stayed with a man who actively chose to hurt me every day? Who didn’t even care enough about their mother’s health, to roll a condom on when he fucked another woman?

I was embarrassed about staying. So weak.

Later, I was ashamed of him.

The man I chose. To love. To honour. To cherish. To breed with. To share my body and my life with.

So, I started to withdraw. From society. I wanted to become invisible.

I’m not an invisible kind of girl. I wear bright colours. I’m feisty. I stand up for injustice and against intolerance.

But, Roger’s affair with my so-called friend, made me ashamed.

I started blogging some time later. I had connected with a small handful of women, and read a lot of information and books about recovery from a partner’s infidelity. I started to feel safe with a select few, to tell my truth.

You can’t tell it out in the real world to many people. But I started to share it here, in the blogosphere.

Oh how it helped! Like unshouldering a heavy backpack. The shame shrunk, little by little.

I started to believe what I knew was true.

This was not my shame to bear.

It started me on a healing journey that was long and slow, but progress was happening.

Telling my story also eventually made it okay for me to do the kind of geographical research I did for my Masters, and for some postgrad papers. It meant I got to publish a chapter in an academic handbook. Things I would have never achieved had I not had to do the hard work of recovery.

Had I not become brave enough to tell my story.

I was thinking today that I should really thank Trinket.

For taking him out of my life.

Because he never believed in me. Even when I started achieving academically, it was better for him if I was beneath him. I did his cooking, cleaning, shopping, accounting, milking, feeding shearers, farm labouring….

There was such a power imbalance. I always knew it, felt it, but was given enough to make me think maybe he saw me as an equal.

So, those lovebirds down there, I wish I could just go, oh great. Good job. Be happy.

But I can’t.

Because I really loved that man.

He shouldn’t have been hers to take.

And it KILLS me thinking of him giving all that love – that I really believed was mine, all that charm, attention, touch all that incredible lovemaking – to that whore.

My stomach still aches, thinking about them together, all loved up. All smoochy and blissed up together.

Just like I used to be with him.

Anyway. It is what it is. I need sleep…


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It’s unanimous

Being cheated on sucks.

It’s the worst.

We are not allowed to compare to losing someone when they die.

But, I hear it a lot within the betrayed community. Couldn’t agree more. Death is easier.

This, posted yesterday on a support board.

See, it’s not just me…I read because I relate, and feel that I’m not alone. This is as bad as I feel it. I’m not making things up. Etc.

“Yep… death of a loved one is so much less painful than this! At least when a loved one dies you know they loved you and want the best for you. This is INTENTIONAL pain betrayal abandonment and so much more on THEIR part! No one brings flowers cards or casseroles when we get shit on!”

I had a wonderful weekend, catching up with my former very best friend (who has never “got it”) and some of her seven siblings, 5 girls, 3 boys all together. A family I grew up with. Some of whom have experienced this, and do get it. So very lovely. I’m an honorary 6th daughter…

BG drove over to the beach house of the eldest’s, and I introduced him. He slotted right on in, and had links. This is a large, Irish Catholic family. BG went to our largest catholic boarding school with friends who are interwoven/shared. I love this. My life, interlocking with his.

I hadn’t seen the family for a long time. Thanks infidelity (I hid after Roger’s cheating was exposed, the shame was too much for me, so I retreated.) And Covid.

I wasn’t invited by my friend, but her little brother. It was a chili themed night. We made smoked chilis. Chutney. Masala paste. Sambal. Ate Mexican food with slow cooked meat.

And of course, chili margaritas!

Hence BG. He was my sober driver. Sweet man. He rescued me really! We were home, tucked up in bed by about 11pm. They kicked on until 4am! When we went back to collect my car the next day, the hangovers were immense!

Back at BG’s he was excited over something really stupid. I brought him some of my ham and barley soup. “Yum! I love pearl barley!” But cautiously asked, “no peas in here, right? Not pea and ham soup?”

“I’ll never trick you into eating peas, darling. Not even by hiding them in soup. I promise, lol.”

Dick.

It’s soup. Not a Michelin starred dinner!

Last night, back after having a wine with his bestie and his wife, I heated soup for our dinner, adding fresh spinach, heating sourdough, making herby butter, we talked. Addressed my concern. He knew he’d messed up. And I felt awful. Not because I was wrong. But because I struggle with asking for what I need, and holding boundaries. I told him this. That I HATE asking for anything. And that forcing myself to do it, then that request not really being heard, well, that is devastating. I am really low maintenance, but damned if I will be used and abused because of that, again!

He held me, apologised. Said he didn’t realise he’d hurt me. But would do better. Agreed that we both had “stuff” clashing here. He’d been directed to do so much, did it, still got shat on. I’d made my needs small, asking for the bare basics is hard, we came at this with our baggage swinging!

Let’s see.

I’ve been promised better before…

It was a good talk though. I have been worried about his stress levels. And identified that I may have inadvertently added to them.

Without me, he was going through the motions. Decent job. Nice location. Close friends and family.

Now he wants to come and live with me, combine our lives. But he is scared. He needs a similar income. They aren’t always easy to find. I know he is worried. I have the economic power. What if we split up, and he’s moved his life, for nothing.

I get it. So, we talked. He eventually admitted he is struggling with change. He wants it, but is fearful that this dream might crumble, and he’ll have gone backwards. Backwards at a time in life where he needs to solidify and ensure he can live on what he has earned. There’s not a huge nest egg, for retirement. There’s some. But not really enough. He worries he’ll be a burden.

I just said it’s okay. I’m in no hurry. We can keep doing this for longer. The distance. The commute. As I have said before, there is some upside. Sure, you miss them. But that can be exciting. And I have my life. Not wrapped up in someone else.

I slept the best I have in a very long time last night. Curled up in his arms. He got up when I woke, at 5.30pm, for more cuddles, to help me pack my car. Held me tightly, smothering me in tiny kisses. “I miss you already. Don’t want to go back to bed without you.”

He’s not usually like this. I know he is letting some very carefully constructed and fortified walls down lately. Taking big risks with me.

I’m very flattered. And love him for trusting me enough to do so.


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I feel seen…

This reel though 🙋‍♀️🤦‍♀️🙋‍♀️🤦‍♀️

Who ever thought they would stay with someone who cheated on them?

Not me.

Nyuh-uh.

Nope.

That would be stupid.

Meet stupid. I went against my better judgement.

Because he was sorry. Looked so crestfallen. And he charmed his way back. As he obviously did with Trinket.

I was fooled twice. And it hurt far, far worse the second time around. To think I tried again. Shame on me.


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The Marriage Police

I never did this, but boy it made me laugh!

And also really sad.

This is what it is like, having been cheated on.

You join the Marriage Police.

You check, cross reference, check again, about what your cheater is doing, where they are, etc.

I never, NEVER expected that.

To be a “jealous wife.”

Previous to Leanne, I was the opposite of that.

I trusted Rog. Implicitly. Completely. Literally with my life! I even trusted that if he fucked up, he’d protect me. At least use a condom if there was ever a stupid, drunken one night stand, for example.

Infidelity is sexual abuse of your loyal partner.

I hated that I became untrusting, suspicious, doubted him. Well, everyone really.

After he lied and lied and lied, and I believed and believed and believed, I know I will never fully trust anyone ever again.

That is the terrible legacy of infidelity. You change a person with your deception. Betrayal. Lies. Your sweet partner is changed forever. Their innocence is forever lost. It really is soul rape.


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Making amends

BG has been on the back foot all week.

Messaging, worried he’s messed up.

I admit, I’ve been a bit quiet. Processing.

He rang late tonight. Checking in on me. He seems to be genuine.

I have believed that before.

With another man.

A man whose children I bore.

A man whom I dedicated my life to.

I man I (thought I) knew a whole lot better than BG.

So, yeah. I am cynical.

I get sucked in. I know this now. By these lovely words. These supposedly genuine men.

And what if he really is genuine. And I’m judging him by Roger’s standards???

He rang.

To chat. To ask what he can do for me. Not directly about our tough week. But letting me know he admits he didn’t do what he should have. And volunteered to sober drive me tomorrow when I catch up with friends.

That’s a lovely gesture.

Right?


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Sorted

I’ve had a day.

No power. No water.

A tornado through my town, a poor eldery lady was crushed by a falling tree and died. Truly terrible.

My stuff was tiny.

Nevertheless, part of my life.

I realised last night I had partial power in the house. Blank spots. Garage and laundry were also out. I checked the fuse box, all okay, but my water pump was also off. I found one wall of the barn had no power. I ran a lead from another wall to the pump and turned it back on.

Then it wouldn’t cut out when it hit max pressure. 🤦‍♀️

I shut it down.

Pondered….this might be a network problem…

No shower for two days. Ewww.

Tonight, after fitting in my car service in the nearby city, a manicure, a brow tidy up, a laser treatment (all three things in different places, what a vain old woman I have become!) a Zoom meeting with the franchisor, and booking an electrician and water pump specialist, along with contacting the electricity network to fix the pole phase fuse…nailed it!

Lordy.

On top of this, the builder and his team turned up to finish some tidy up jobs, and pick up the last of their gear.

He came in as I was chopping veggies for soup.

And my 60 something year old, hipster-ish builder said, I quote, “thank you, Paula. Thank you for your patience. For paying so promptly, every bill. I just want to say, this has been my favourite renovation I’ve ever done. I know it’s been long. And a big challenge with timing and supplies. But I hope you like it. I love it, it’s the most stylish bathroom I’ve had the pleasure of doing. Made me want to get to the job in the mornings. I see your plans for the next phase, I see your home, and LOVE your new carpet. You should be a designer, the ideas are just great. When you get to the subdivision stage, just get me to build houses on this land. I love this property so much.” He laughed.

I know he’s ensuring I call him again when I have the funds to finish this job…the main bathroom.

But he’s good.

I was flattered.

And I told him I love it! And thanked him for doing a totally brilliant job of finishing this project to the highest standard.

The longer this goes on, the more I feel like I am starting to do life right.

A drive past the business location when taking the loan car back to the car dealer to pick mine up, and progress on the build is happening. Phew!

A quick email fired off to the franchise build guy, outlining some electrical requirements I have thought of, to go in before the slab is poured….

Home.

Shower.

Soup.

Dog snuggles.

A horse racing in the nearby city tomorrow, then off to a chili and margaritas night with some old family friends, down the coast from BG’s.

I have no idea what he’s up to. He kinda messed up again, re: anniversary. Not big. Just sick of asking someone to consider my needs. And it’s okay. I’m just sailing my own ship here.

It’s a hell of a launch! 🚢

And I pondered my recent dream. Imagine if Rog and his Trinket didn’t work out? That would mean he threw out his family, sold our business and means of making a living, and moved to a region he purported to dislike, for no decent reason, other than chasing tail!

Imagine!


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The second half

I’m not in any way a religious person. Can’t decide if I’m agnostic or atheist.

Probably the latter.

But, I get that some people find comfort in it. Religion, whilst seeming to me like wishing on the sky fairy, is personal. I hate when people use religion to hate difference. But if it helps you navigate and make sense of the world, with empathy and tolerance, more power to you.

Therefore, I do follow some people who identify their religion and refer differently to me. Mentioning God casually, so not my thing, but I may still like their point of view. Or take some part of their ethos on board. The likes of Glennon Doyle, who I might not agree with on everything, but enjoy her challenges to straight, white, Christian people’s thinking.

Her “We Can Do Hard Things,’ as a mantra, got me through the worst period in my life!

Mature women, talking about their loves. Chelsea Handler and Jokoy. Whoda thunk she’d be all loved up? And at this age? 😱😜🤣

I like this Instagram post from Jen Hatmaker. A bit younger than me, but similar circumstance. A probably cheating ex husband. I’ve never looked too deeply into it, but it seems that is what happened.

And she’s repartnered relatively recently, and talks about that.

This post broke my heart, but gave me hope.

Who will ever know me like Rog knew me? That kills me. It really does. Absolutely. I still have daily moments where I want to share something with him. An anecdote or wee aside that only he would get. About a thing that happened. Or something he’d love. Or would get why I chuckled. Something on my property. About my cattle. Or dogs. Something someone said to me, that only he would get. Those lifetime sharings.

That are lost.

That now have nowhere to go. That I carry alone. Usually – like right now – sitting painfully in the space between my chest, and my throat.

If you look for thoughts about this loss, it is usually expressed about death.

The “respectable” way to lose the love of your life.

Never them leaving you, for someone else. Because really? If they did that, then they never loved you, you must have done something bad, and grief is not yours to feel.

You are not allowed those shared, deep, loving memories of a special bond. That is reserved only for those widowed! Stop with the “special bond” bullshit.

But, the opportunity for better is immense.

And, BG also drinks his hot drinks black, doesn’t drink milk.

But always ensures there’s milk in his fridge for me.

It’s a start.


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All these dreams in my head

Been battling power problems since I got home from work. Patchy. Heat pump. TV. Water pump. The realised my WiFi was out. Router gone. Think maybe a phase gone on the street pole as a whole wall, my underfloor heating, and no fuses flicked.

Just tumbled into bed. Big day tomorrow…

And I’ve been having weird dreams lately. Stupid dreams.

That Rog and Trinket split up.

I think it’s because I have really got to the point where I am as healed as I am ever going to be, really. I miss my old Rog, I know I always will. My love who died the night he decided to climb into our daughter’s bed with someone I should never have trusted. But I trusted him with, despite my misgivings about her. I’m a dumbass. And, don’t worry. I am fully aware that he died, and was never coming back. I am pushing forward. Getting my life back. Doing really well, actually! Phew! So yeah, the stupid dreams, I think they’re a test. To see how meh I really am. If he hoovered, would I be okay?

In reality, he wouldn’t hoover, even if they weren’t together. Too proud! It would mean he made a mistake throwing me out with the rubbish. And Rog doesn’t make mistakes.

I would be. I really would be okay if he hoovered. Thank the lord. I mean, I still get shaky and panicky around him. But the reasons are different now. It took a very long time.

BG has a theory about the last two times we have seen Roger. He says he is totally scoping me out. To see if I am still available to him.

I have strongly disagreed. I think Rog just believes if we look chummy, and chatty, then it proves to the world that he did nothing wrong.

I dunno. I don’t know who this man is. I thought I knew my Rog inside and out. I never dreamed he’d hurt me. He was always so protective of me. I’m a rugged girl, not a princess, and he’d worry, gently berating me when he thought I was taking risks, or reaching “too high.”

It’s a strange thing to dream about, all these years later. But in the dream, Trinket came and found me. Asked to meet. And apologised profusely, and humbly. Said she really genuinely thought we were over when she started fucking my partner. Doesn’t know why she believed him. But she did. I suggested it was the hetero female version of cunt struck. Completely taken in by the expert level love bombing.

She was deeply ashamed of the part she played in the destruction of our family. Of my peace.

We became friends! Lol. Yeah, right.

Dreams are my brain’s way of processing what I often have struggled with while awake.

Thankful for my life. For the hard work I did to recover, both from the affair with Leanne, and the discard when he found another willing AP. Thankful that I’ve made good decisions since. Despite ill health, despite the fear and the agony.

This blog has been a lifeline. I’m so lucky.