Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum

Either he goes, or my sanity does

10 Comments

As I posted earlier, we did really quite well, under the circumstances, for the first six months.  Loads of screaming, crying, lying in the foetal position, but loads and loads of empathy, kindness, love and quite a good smattering of understanding, from and of both of us. He was shattered at what he had done, and I was a mess, but a beautiful one?  

Just before the six month mark hit, on a miserable, rainy day, in the middle of winter, I just couldn’t cope anymore.  My resilience ran out.  I tried to hang myself in the woolshed. There.  How truly pathetic, sad and just plain embarrassing.  I was willing to end my life to end the agony.  I was willing to sentence my three beautiful children to a lifetime of “why, what did I do wrong that Mum couldn’t stay?” I thought about all of this, planning and trying to talk myself into “staying” for days leading up to “that day” but just felt that I shouldn’t be asked to live in such agony and misery, I felt like an animal suffering, and I would immediately end that suffering by putting them down if we’d tried to heal them and they couldn’t be healed.  He found me, and literally cut me down.  He had several farm jobs that couldn’t wait, so he bundled me into the front of his ute, wrapped me in a blanket and drove around the farm with me.  He was stunned, but gentle.  He wouldn’t leave me, his hand was on my thigh or arm the whole time, when he got out to shift cattle, etc, he parked the ute as near as he could and said, “please don’t get out, please don’t leave me today.”  I can’t recall now if we had already separated for a while before that attempt, I think we had for several weeks, but reconciled, as we were both worse apart than we were together.

When we got home, he carried me out of the ute, and put me in front of the fire as he furiously flicked through the Yellow Pages.  He rang one psychologist who was booked up for months, then he tried another.  He briefly outlined the urgency, and what he’d done. She asked if I was in any immediate danger, and gave him crisis line information, and asked him to bring me into her the next day, she would clear a space for us.

We travelled over to see her the following night.  She asked him a few questions after ascertaining that I was okay for a moment.  She asked him the details of his affair, and how we had coped since.  He said, “it was over eight months ago, and it’s been really, truly shitty, but Paula has been just amazing, such a huge amount of love and understanding, not forgiveness, I don’t expect that yet, if ever, and I love her so much, and can’t believe I did this.  I thought we were doing alright, considering how awful what I did was.  I mean, she’s known for six months, Why now?”  The psychologist, Chrissy, just quietly answered him with, “I am working with a distraught man who cheated on his wife more than ten years ago, she still doesn’t know, they’ve been married thirty years. Recently he has decided he needs help, he is ‘not over it’ and he doesn’t know how to process his guilt, whether he will ever tell her.  This stuff affects people forever.  You don’t ‘heal’ – meaning, you don’t ever not have this as part of your life story.  You can heal in other ways, you get better, you accept, you might forgive, but it never leaves.  No one ever forgets this stuff.  Time may help, but it doesn’t erase pain.”  

At the end of the session, she again checked on my safety, and made a follow up appointment, telling us to contact her if we needed to before the appointment if things got worse/out of control again.  She asked it she could just see me the next few times. I worked with her for about six more months, Roger was never invited back, and I seemed to be doing well.  It was traditional CBT method, talking, diaries, relaxation CDs and techniques, identifying triggers, times, sights, smells, etc.  I thought I was healing fairly nicely and eventually the appointments were more spaced out, and I was coping better.  We felt we had done all we could do, and I ended the therapy with her very amicably, and very thankful to her.

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10 thoughts on “Either he goes, or my sanity does

  1. Paula…wow.hugs for being brave on soooo many levels. You’ve left me speechless. And Roger’s care of you was beautiful. I never felt that taking my life was the answer for my pain. But, my son did at 17. He was suicidal over a girl. Scared the shit out of us. He was then diagnosed bipolar and we did the family therapy route for about a year.

    Still, my heart breaks for you and your pain. I like your therapist’s statement. You never get over it.

    You are so friggin amazing xox

    • Oh tempted! A son on the brink. You poor things. I hope he has learnt some good coping skills. Bipolar is tough. He’s lucky he had family love and action

      I’m not as brave as I thought I was. But in the end, all of those of us who survive, and go through this mire are heros. I am only here today because I have children. And a fantastic friend in lonelywife who I met online several years ago. We live on opposite sides of the world, but she’s held me up when I’ve needed help. No one ever truly knows how important friendship is until one is tested, huh? I think everyone who survives this is brave. Very.

  2. Paula is one of the bravest ladies I know! You’ve been through so much, but keep on trying and trying!!
    I find what your therapist said very interesting….you know I feel that way also…like a scar, infidelity doesn’t ever do away, it might get better…but doesn’t go away…it’s a scar forever on the fabric of our lives!

  3. Oh Paula. I am so sorry it has taken me so long to read your story. I just sat here and cried when I read this entry even though I know it was some time ago. I can feel your pain. There were times I felt so desperate and my husband kept reminding me of our children. For some reason, even the thought of the pain they would go through at the loss of me, could not compare with the pain I was trying to relieve myself from. I am so sorry for the agony you have gone through. You are an inspiration.

    • Thanks Kat. I read your story and hear your love. And strength. A blessing and a curse, all at once. Admitting to attempted suicide, even anonymously via virtual space, is embarrassing. But I knew the night I found out that I would wrestle with that. I saw a friend of Roger’s go through this agony in our 30s. His battle ended in suicide. I knew although I was terribly sad he ended his life that he also ended his suffering. Honestly, I thought Rog could never put anyone through what his friend went through. Affairs are so insidiously selfish, no one thinks of effects on others, not fully. And that, I will NEVER fully understand. All actions have consequences. I thought that was something that all adults must have learned. Nyah-uh. Not at all. Self absorption is endemic. Ha! Says the blog writer, focusing on her own pain, lol!

      • But this is a much healthier way of being, not selfish, but self aware. We can get our feelings out and evaluate them at the same time. I have asked my husband if he would murder someone and he looked at me in shock. No, of course not. And I said, why not? Because it is illegal? Is that the only reason? And he said, no of course not, because it is not my right to take someone’s life away from them–and then he realized, I had made my point. My husband’s brother committed suicide 4 1/2 years ago. His brother was very mean to my husband (well, and me), well abusive to everyone really, especially his wives. Their parents had nurtured a crazy competitive side to the brother, who was very successful in a material sense of the word, but was on his fourth wife, abused alcohol and drugs, etc… The truth is, his brother was in a great deal of pain (bi polar) and was never taught how to deal with not being “perfect.” He never reached out for help. The last time I saw him, his spirit was gone. He was broken. He had given up. It was scary to see a human spirit wasting away. He did what he needed to do with what he had. No one said life was going to be easy. Learning how to cope is part of it all. Cheers to 2015! I hope you continue to find peace in your life.

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