Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum


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Fighting on

I constantly re-set. My life became a mental struggle the night Leanne texted me about my most beloved’s affair with her. I haven’t felt real peace since.

I have however become more adept at consciously letting the pain out, then re-setting. More determined to face the world and do better, become better.

So, after I hit the wall two days ago, I decided to start again at the beginning. This is day two of this rebuilding. I accept that my life is changed, and I am a survivor. I went back through my cancer journey, and felt immense pride for how I managed all of that, newly on my own. I focused on getting through. My kids. My fabulous friends.

And discovered old messages between myself and Roger. I was actually quite shocked at myself. At the almost denial I was displaying. If I was just “nice” enough, he wouldn’t swap Trinket into my place, right? It was embarrassing reading them. So not who I am, who I ever was before, nor who I am today.

He always made me feel not good enough.

Always.

And I know I am more than enough 👌


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Safe

BG was working last night. But when he got home, he messaged, sensing I was a bit off.

Struggling. It’s been five weeks without being with him.

He let me know that he is also finding it hard. In many ways. He’s not a verbally demonstrative man. And he’s covering everyone’s ass at work right now. Tired.

I always feel a bit lame, a bit needy. After all, he had a relationship where they lived in different countries for the first two years. So he can do long distance, and get on with his life. I thought it was just me, so have tried not to complain or indicate when I’m really struggling.

Last night, I hit the wall. Sick of this. Being alone in lockdown, when he’s only an hour and a half away.

Then he said that he is constantly amazed at me. At my openness. My softness (triggered! Rog said I have the softest skin he’s ever touched, so “soft” kinda stings?) My kindness. My care. My trust. My strength. How he is amazed at how vulnerable I allow myself to be with him. Letting him know I’m struggling isn’t complaining, or lame. It’s sweet, but yeah, hard for him because he can’t fix that. Knowing he doesn’t need to be the fixer, but wanting to do that instinctively. That he appreciates that I miss him, he misses me.

But, it’s different for him. Level 2 is hard at work, small gathering rules and a vastly changed service model to fit with those rules are hurting his business.

However, mostly life is otherwise “normal-ish.” I can’t even go to a shop. Everything has to be contactless. I spent two hours online on Friday, ordering feed, water supplies, an order from the hardware store, a grocery order all for click and collect. (Supermarkets are open, but the queues mean about a half hour to hour long wait before entry to the store is granted.) No spaces for pick up for 24 hours. Saturday, I spent three hours driving to pick up points, waiting for my time slot, between stores, etc. Of course, you always forget something you need.

I live alone. So no one to banter with. So yeah, Level 2 is testing, BG.

Sure.

But Level 3, where I am, is so restrictive when you’ve been in it for a while.

I mean yeah, I get that he is finding it hard. But he talks to people every day. I can go days without another human. Generally, without it being mandated, I have traditionally been good with alone time.

He has asked me before if I cope with the distance. That he worries at times that I might find someone else. Someone closer. Someone “more suitable.” Someone “better.” And that it must be hard for me, after a serial cheater fucked me over, to trust. The unspoken part of that being that he is being faithful.

The thing is, I’m a trusting person, by nature. Which is interesting, because I can be cynical too. But I do trust him. And that worries me sometimes. Because I 100% trusted Roger. And he used my trust to bring other women into my homes. Around my kids.

I recall so clearly looking Rog in the eye, and saying, at one stage – when I felt a bit weird about his “friendship” with Leanne seeming a bit “too close,” – “you aren’t doing anything stupid here, right? I hope you’re not making me the stupidest woman in the world, trusting you with her?” And him looking me dead in the eye and saying, “oh Snooks. No. Not ever. Of course I would never. You are right to trust me. She’s a terrible person, and I’m not even slightly attracted to her. If I was, we couldn’t be friends,” and he kissed me and held me, stroking my skin.

FML.

So, to keep busy last night, I started cooking a goat dish for tomorrow

And late, I thought I should eat, so threw this Thai inspired noodle bowl together with some cooked chicken I had in the fridge.

Then, despite it’s deliciousness, decided I wasn’t hungry.

Lockdown is messing with my mental health, and my ability to stick to any kind of wellness plan. I’m a quiet mess really.

What’s new?


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Disappeared

I did this. I shrunk. I wanted to become invisible.

To heal.

I was embarrassed.

And knew I needed alone time.

But, Roger was angry. “You never want to go anywhere with me! Pleeeeeeze come to xyz with me. I need this. I need you. I want you to come and have a good time with me.”

I know now he needed the validation. To show everyone that he wasn’t so bad.

But I was really struggling.

Roger’s feelings were ALWAYS more important than mine.

Of course.


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Connection

I’m watching Sex, Love and Goop.

It’s actually better than I expected.

And really hard.

Because Roger and I were very good at sex and connection.

And BG isn’t.

I need to address this with him, as we have built some trust and intimacy. He’s never allowed himself to be truly sexually vulnerable.

Gwyneth is in it, but not much.

But I cried when she told the story of her parents being interviewed about their long marriage. Her father said, “we just never both wanted to get divorced at the same time.”

That was us. I wanted to split, Roger pulled me in. So tightly.

BIG, BIG TIME.

Then, unbeknownst to me (I communicated, he didn’t at all) Roger all of a sudden wanted to leave me. To split.

And got what he wanted.

Not allowing me to pull him back in.

Power, control. All about what he wanted.

Fucker.


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Test driven

I was thinking about the whole “winning” of the competition I never knew I was entered in.

When “my friend” Leanne texted me about the eighteen month long affair she had been having with my partner of then 22 years. I was told Rog had ended it, and she was vengeful.

Probably.

But hey, yay me! He was having a torrid, sexy, secret affair! Woohoo! How exciting, right? Boring old mumsy here was just going to work, shopping, cooking, cleaning, parenting, accounting, paying bills, preparing GST returns, making love to him most days. How tedious.

But hey, I “won!” Go me! He sacked the exciting affair chick, and I was Plan B.

Awesome, huh?

And he love bombed the Bejesus out of me. After Leanne outed him as a long-term cheater. A very excellent liar.

I was the best thing that ever happened to him. The sexiest woman he’d ever met. He had THE most intense orgasms with me, and me alone. Did I not feel our incredible, unique, intense connection? We were destined to grow old together, to travel the world. To be the old coots, holding hands, kissing, fucking, loving deeply and forever. Leanne was a wee hiccup in our amazing love story. Our destiny.

You betcha. I sure did drink the KoolAid.

Hopium and hysterical bonding. What an intoxicating combination!

Reality is, I was the fallback plan. He test drove Leanne, to see if he could replace me, build a life with her.

He realised he didn’t want to. So yeeha. Paula it is.

Until he started pressing his nose up against the showroom window of the secondhand wife appliance stores. Otherwise known as dating apps. Match. Elite Singles. Tinder. Hinge. Zoosk. Whatever. Wherever. Time to trade me in again.

He test drove a few, for two years, tens of thousands of messages with other women, before landing in Trinket’s pussy.

She swallowed his story, hook, line and sinker. Didn’t even flap her dorsal fin as he dragged her into his boat. Catch of the day!

There was no need for Paula anymore.

But hey, don’t release her, or give her a fighting chance, keep her on ice, with footrubs, incredible, bonding sex, words of affirmation. Tell her how wonderful she is. Always was.

Most of all, kiss her deeply and tell her it might not be the end. The hopium pipe hasn’t completely gone out, stoke it up a bit with, “one day, we’ll find our way back to each other,” as you drive your laden trailer out of her life, leave her to do all the cleaning of your now empty house, pay the carpet cleaner, hand over the keys. Oh, and take on your working dog you left alone in the farm kennels!

Chump Lady explains how hoovering, being the back up plan, fucks with our loving, empathetic, manipulated brains.

I was still sure he was having “a moment.” That he’d wake up one day, look at the old hag lying beside him and think, shit. That was a fuck up.

Now I know he just found his level.

Sad. I really, truly, deeply loved that man.


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Floods. Of tears.

I’m so angry at myself!

I’ve just hung up from a two hour video chat with BG.

It was good.

We planned.

We laughed.

We flirted.

And now, it’s all the feels.

I miss having someone I can curl up on the couch with every night.

Rog and I did that. Every night.

Even when he told me he had “picked” someone else. He was my love.

And, I’ve been strong. I’ve rebuilt a shattered life. I’ve coped with more lockdowns.

Tonight I’m weeping.

For all I’ve lost.

For all I am missing now.

And I wonder.

Will it ever end?

I used to have a good life.


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Tough

BG just called me, driving back to his town from a nearby city to us both. He was bored without my company. So went over there, to get out of Dodge, and buy a new phone.

He was quite angry sounding. A bit of a political rant. I know where that came from. Frustration. I think the whole country has had enough. We are now being held to ransom by the inadequate investment by successive governments in our health system. If Delta goes rogue, we can’t cope. Late to receive our supposed early secured vaccine, we had a year without Covid and probably got a bit complacent, tbh. He can’t run his business this way. It’s awful, he is hating it. Supposed to be rebuilding, redesigning the spaces, and implementing a new vision instead, he’s ambulance at the bottom of the cliff. He rang annoyed at yet another staff member not showing up for their shift. He’s headed back to cover for that staff member. Always working.

And he said, he’s really on the edge. Ready to walk away. But feels he can’t, and keep me. I told him that if he wants to walk away from me, that’s fine, but he was being rash. Then he admitted he feels he can’t leave, and stay with me, because I need someone reliable, earning, not a drain.

The funny thing is, he would never be a drain. He’d pull his weight. He doesn’t get that you have ups and downs. That the support of a partner makes that decision a possibility. At 56, he doesn’t have to do it all anymore. I will share. I know he’d do that for me. Gendered assumptions are at play. I know that.

I’ve had a busy day. Started out with a trip to pick up three new queens, my hives need a new genetic injection.

Yesterday I spent two hours doing the click and collect shopping I needed. No pick ups for 24 hours. Ugh. Farm supplies. Hardware store. Groceries. I spent two hours contactlessly picking those orders up. Then realised the things I needed, that didn’t get included. I hate online shopping for these things. I usually see the things I need in store.

Home. Cleaning up my hives. Sorting a third hive, considering a split, perusing Facebook to see if there are any local swarms to collect (free bees!!!) Relaxing, noticing my mother’s wee rose is the first to bloom this spring

I’ve carted this wee cutie around three properties since she died. It’s still in the same pot!!! Twenty years later. Crazy.

I hate it. It’s a little bit lonely. I never feel lonely. I know it is missing being with BG. He’s struggling. I thought it was just me.

Then a long conversation with Roger’s best mate’s brother’s wife. A darling old friend. The first person I ran to when I discovered he was cheating again. Probably hoping she’d tell me it would be okay, he was having a(nother?) moment.

Instead, she shook her head and said, “oh Paula. He’s no good mate. You can’t stay again. He is a serial cheater. You are better than this. Better than him. Don’t devalue yourself again. Fucker. That utter prick.”

Today, she was asking about the kids. And my now stalled renovation. No building imspectors until Level 2. The builders can do no more until then. She’s a teacher. An amazing teacher.

And has resigned, effective end of this school year. A long, long career. She taught at my secondary school as a new teacher in my final year. She will be missed.

Then she asked some questions about how I helped my youngest daughter, gifting her a large sum, to make sure she qualified for a mortgage. Ick. I handled it well. Just truth, without mentioning money. She’s a good chick. I trust her. She is enmeshed in Roger’s oldest friend group.

But has been Team Paula all the way. She cooked me dinner the night I moved here. And left extra soup, and huge hugs.

While her husband helped Roger move to Trinket. She has always been quietly disgusted in what he did.

I’m so grateful for her genuine friendship. We had planned a catch up the day after I went into lockdown. We catch up regularly. I love her.

And miss all my peeps whom I can’t see right now. Everyone who is important to me, except my youngest daughter, is outside of this lockdown zone. Ugh.


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It continues

It’s Labour weekend here. Same. Same.

Groundhog Day. Still in lockdown, away from BG.

Cocktail hour?

But it was a really busy day. Heifers in to jab them with ovulatory hormones pre insemination. Contactless dog post dental surgery vet check. Online food orders. Online hardware order. Inseminating my wee herd. A zoom discovery meeting for the business I want to start. Returning my nitrogen tank out to my workplace. Proof reading an article BG wrote for an anniversary. Mowed my lawns.

The heifers are so happy. Tired. I’ve had to yard them four times in the last three days for injections to synchronise them to mate them all together. They were over it!

I’m tired too. And yeah, feel bummed I still can’t see my guy.

Parked upon the couch now. Planning what to do this weekend.

In the morning, I am picking up three new queens for my bees 🐝

I just got my chainsaw sharpened, so time to attack my woodpile again, for firewood.

Meanwhile, chat was swapped. BG has been asked so many times if we have split up. He’s being stoic. But I can see he’s struggling. His blood pressure is sky high. He had that under control before I got locked down away from him.

And an old rep Rog and I used to use on the dairy farm ran into me as I was out, collecting my online orders. He asked after Roger. Ugh. I said he had a new girlfriend, and moved to be with her. He was sweet, shocked. Upset he’d asked. Then said, “I don’t get these men. Who had beautiful, loyal, super hard working, supportive wives, who fuck them over with another woman! And as for her? What is a woman thinking, taking another woman’s husband. Disgusting.” I smiled, tears welling (damn! I STILL can’t stop that) and said, “thanks, T. It was such a huge shock. I loved him so much. It’s been hard. But here I am.” He tilted his head and said, “he’s an idiot. You were always one of my favourite clients. You’re better off without that kind of betrayal. What a wanker.”

I laughed. It is still awkward. But I do get a lot of people shocked. They thought (like me!) that we were a lovely couple. We were a great match.

Or so it seemed!

It does mess with you. I have been thinking this afternoon about Trinket. Why she did this? What made it okay?

And I know it is that he lied. He got his friends to lie. And we believe what we want so desperately to be true. She’s been told I am awful. That I deserved it. That I never loved him. That he is a great guy and loves her more than he’s ever loved anyone.

Ask me how I know?!


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The good news

My posts have been whiney lately. I know. Sorry fam!

The good news is that my little brother – who went to uni for the first time at nearly 40, with two little kids, to retrain after a career as a chef, gaining an Applied Science degree, with an 88% average over the entire degree (he is dyslexic, and thought he was the non-academic member of the family prior!) – moved up here a few weeks ago. Really hard decision. His kids are in Christchurch. I am upper North Island. But he was in a bad space. Marriage over. Ex wife moved on, in another relationship, and recovering from a serious head injury, he was making poor choices, fuelled by emotion. Mostly hurting himself.

Removing himself from that dynamic, getting support from family, and his lifetime friends, based up this way, has so far been a helpful thing. The kids came up for the school holidays, and they had a fabulous camping holiday around the East Cape.

He’s an Environmental Health Officer (EHO.) With a passion for food, and helping people implement and maintain top class food safety plans. With traditional EHO roles, with local councils, you also have environmental and noise pollution, etc, to deal with. He says he hates dealing with the noise part of the job.

His previous role was with an independent verification company. He loved it. But still hated dealing with noise.

He interviewed with four councils up this way, getting to the final three for all, but missed out.

All the while, he had his eye on a private food verification company, based in a town only 15 minutes from my town. He met the owners. They asked him to come back to them after his holiday with the kids. He had a nearly two hour WhatsApp meeting with them last week.

On Tuesday, they employed him.

It’s his dream job. Car, laptop, phone, best salary he’s ever earned. Travel is involved, and he’s good with that. As I pointed out, no wife and kids to get home to.

We celebrated. We’ve included Dad in our lockdown bubble. The boys have been battening off my fences.

Looking smarter. Close battens into my section, where lambs used to get into my garden.

So, I ordered a restaurant meal for click and collect, to celebrate. To support our wonderful local hospitality sector. I arrived home from work to two smiling men. Both had had a few drinks. Dad is not much of a drinker, but was two rum and cokes deep, beaming, lol. C had a couple of empty beers nearby. We ate like royalty, and C headed to bed early. He’s good, but stress induced headaches, and fatigue are the hangovers he has from his snowboarding head injury he suffered over two years ago. The excitement got to him.

His life is slowly coming back together. And it makes him feel good, knowing he can contribute more again to his children’s financial maintenance. Also to be able to more easily afford to fly them up, and him to go down and watch them play sport, etc. He was his son’s rugby coach, and feels awful he’s not there fulltime anymore.

But, he is getting well, and that was the point of leaving. To get better, so he can do better. He says since leaving, his headaches have hardly happened. Previously they were a daily battle.

I’m so pleased for him.

He thanked me profusely. I’ve helped him before, when he was a young man and got himself in trouble with the law. He came to stay for a while, on the home farm, with Roger and myself. He is a good egg, a loving, empathetic man. He and his now STBX wife saved me that first Christmas. When Roger and I were still living and sleeping together, and he was heading to Trinket’s family for Christmas (with the Nana bras and undies he bought her as a gift! 🤮🤢😳🤣🤣🤣) The kids asked if we could go down to Unc’s. So we did. Me and my three adult kids. We had a blast. Our first Christmas with the little kids. Their mother is a only child, so Christmas with the cuzzies was very special. C and K made us laugh, and we took over their basement flat. I’ll always be grateful, as I was in deep shock, thin, so, so thin.

We have a funny family dynamic. But I’m so grateful for this funny, naughty little bro.

He’s gonna be okay. Us two broken hearted empaths. Connecting and loving each other through this trauma 💔


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Old skool

Who else had mothers like this?

I was kind of the eldest. I have a sister, 9 years older.

She was adopted. A lovely person. But Mum and Dad had me after 14 months of marriage, at 22 and 24. So my big sis is only 15 and 13 years younger than our parents.

So, in many respects, I am the eldest. First bio kid.

And this old standard holds. My Mum used to stay up every night. If I was ever allowed out. Until I got home.

Before curfew.

Of course.

Nostalgia.

They put a parking lot on a piece of land
Where the supermarket used to stand
Before that, they put up a bowling alley
On the site that used to be the local palais
That’s where the big bands used to come and play
My sister went there on a SaturdayCome dancing
All her boyfriends used to come and call
Why not come dancing?
It’s only naturalAnother Saturday, another date
She would be ready, but she’d always make him wait
In the hallway, in anticipation
He didn’t know the night would end up in frustration
He’d end up blowing all his wages for the week
All for a cuddle and a peck on the cheekCome dancing
That’s how they did it when I was just a kid
And when they said “come dancing”
My sister always didMy sister should have come in a midnight
And my mom would always sit up and wait
It always ended up in a big row
When my sister used to get home lateOut of my window I could see them in the moonlight
Two silhouettes saying good night by the garden gateWhat are you doing out there? Come on, you’re gonna be out there all night?The day they knocked down the palais
My sister stood and cried
The day they knocked down the palais
Part of my childhood died, just diedNow I’m grown up and playing in a band
And there’s a car park where the palais used to stand
My sister’s married and she lives on an estate
Her daughters go out, now it’s her turn to wait
She knows they get away with things she never could
But if I asked her I wonder if she wouldCome dancing
Come on sister, have yourself a ball
Don’t be afraid to come dancing
It’s only naturalCome dancing
Just like the palais on a Saturday
And all your friends would come dancing
While the big bands used to play