Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum


Royal visit

Urgh!  Dad visit pending.  I have managed to keep him at arms’ length for quite some time, but he is “in the neighbourhood” at present, and just called to tell me he will be visiting this afternoon, on the way to take his oldest sister home from their excursion to visit another of his sisters about an hour away from me.  These ladies are all in their 80s now, and extremely old school.  They are innocuous and it would be rude not to, but, urgh!  I made banana, mascarpone and caramel cupcakes iced with cream cheese icing last night, so at least will look like I have it together.

Wish me luck!


Dysthymia, continued. (No pun intended!)

Well, strangely WordPress decided that there were enough comments on that last post. Quite right, WordPress! Someone let me know that they could no longer add anything, and I had a play around, and the only way I could get to comments was by clicking on one that had already been made in the sidebar.  

The thing I understand about dysthymia is that you are completely functional, it is mild depression, but it is incessant, unrelenting, without any breaks, you never feel okay sometimes, it is constant bleakness. That is what caught my attention, this blahness. Worse than blah, but not really anything you feel you can, or should, complain about.  (Of course, I do nothing but complain on this forum, ahem!)

I don’t know, it is self diagnosed, and I really should talk to a professional, I guess.  But I have talked to so bloody many, I am shrinked out. I suppose I should put up or shut up, maybe I will one day. At the moment I am in hunker down mode, just head down, get this damn undergraduate degree out of the way, keep going to work, get these last two kids launched. I can do this, I do this every day.

Apologies for the disappearance of the comments function, I’m sure you were gutted ;-)!!!

What the hell is wrong with me?

Okay.  Light bulb moment. I have known from D-day, but especially once things “settled down” a little, maybe a year later, and on, that I have been mentally unwell.  I did attempt suicide twice! I have been crying out for help, visiting psychologists, counsellors, hypnotherapists, a psychiatrist, a sex therapist, my GP, you name it, I have spent money and time on it! I have tried various forms of talk therapy, CBT, ACT, The Crucible Approach, EFT, yaddah, yaddah, yaddah.  Yesterday I found something I had never heard of.  

And I self-diagnosed (oh Lord, I really am doo-lally – now I am using webMD to give names to the things I am feeling!)

I think what I have, is called dysthymia.  Or chronic depression.  Or dysthymic disorder.

It means there are others out there who feel this way. I know, I am a freak, but not a lonesome one! 

To explain further, I have had an overwhelming sense of futility, darkness, aloneness and a lack of being able to FEEL anything for years now, ever since the love of my life (okay, what even is that???) was uncovered as a cheat. A liar. A disease-infested man-whore. I cannot feel any pleasure in anything. I don’t enjoy food or cooking quite the way I once did. I certainly can’t enjoy my body or anything sexual. I can’t enjoy movies the way I used to. I don’t even feel the same about my lovely kids. Decisions. Ha!!! In short, I have had my pleasure, joy, happiness and contentment supply cut off. And this description of the “condition” – which let’s face it is just pretty words for a generally sad old woman – is perfect. So perfect. I can tick every single one of the boxes on the online test about the disorder.  I have lost my zest for life. And I rage against the machine for that loss! I was a happy, capable, realistic-yet-loved/loving woman who got stuck into life, took great bites out of it. Now I am a fraction of that person. I survive on crumbs. I am completely socially isolated and only see workmates and uni students, who I rarely talk to. I have wondered who the hell I am, and where did I put the girl called Paula who LOVED life? Well, here it is. I have chronic depression. And the likelihood of me getting better gets less and less. I mean they say the treatment is a combination of meds and therapy. Well. I think I’ve tried every combination of those, and none of it helped me. 

Roger read the definition last night. He was transfixed. Then he looked at me sadly and said, “holy hell, this is what I unleashed on you. You poor thing. You don’t deserve this hell of a life. But I get it now. I have known there was something, but this is it, isn’t it? Your dad is this too, and now I started it off in you. Fuck! I guess that seals it, I can’t fix it for you. You have tried to fix it, but can’t. I don’t know where to go from here.” I just told him that I feel all I can do is release him from living this way, that he needs to learn to disconnect from me, to save himself. So, I have a self-diagnosed label, and it only helps me to try to help the man I love from throwing the rest of his life away on someone who will never feel happiness, or any amount of wholeness ever again. 

Thanks Rog. Thanks for giving me chlamydia, HPV (and it’s attendant cervical cancerous growths that required over a year of pretty yuck treatment for, and still six monthly monitoring) and dysthymia.  At least I can’t say you never gave me anything.

BTW, click on the title, and you get the wikipedia (yeah, I know) definition.


Economics 101

We are in the financial shit.  We won’t drown. But this past couple of months it has intensified a bit. 

Some background information.  We were a young couple, who worked damn hard together to get into a position to buy his family farm. Roger’s parents, stud beef farmers in an intensive dairying area, had always encouraged him into this, since he was a small boy. When we were in the position to be able to do it, we knew we had to convert the farm to dairy, to make it pay.  He struggled to get his parents to understand the economic reasons for this. And they started to renege on the idea. The succession plan had been in place for a long time, Roger had bought another farm nearby, a deceased estate, at a bargain basement price.  He was just 20 when he bought it, 21 when he took it over. 270 acres, 100% finance, mortgaged to the eyeballs. It was covered in weeds.  He set to work clearing it, re-fencing, improving the fertility and pasture, and we managed to turn it over just over eight years later for more than three times what he’d paid for it, to our dear neighbour who had seen him toiling away. We turned over a beautiful farm to him to incorporate into his dairy empire in the area. He has looked after it well. I joined Roger on that property about three-four years into his tenure there, and I worked off farm during the week, but joined him with the stock work, and weed eradication on the weekends.  Our eldest daughter was born during our time there, and was just over a year old when we moved. We bought an undivided half of his parents larger property and set about the work of building a house for us (Rog’s parents were not yet ready to retire and wanted to stay on the property, as shareholders in the company we set up to run the business) and convert, including upgrading water (dairy cows, unsurprisingly, drink far more water than beefies – the production of huge amounts of milk dictates that) building a farm dairy, complete with attached nursery for our daughter, subdividing paddocks into more regular and rotational grazing friendly sizes, re-racing the entire property.  Rog got stuck in on the conversion, while I helped the builder, digging footings, pouring concrete, and when the house was standing, my stepfather, a plasterer and painter, came down and gib-stopped the whole house for me, and I sealed and painted the entire interior and exterior on my own, my little girl happily playing in her port-a-cot.  We really had to push for what Roger’s father had always wanted for him.  He was 65, and we felt like we were pushing him off his comfortable ledge in life.  But he didn’t show any of this reluctance to do it until we had sold, bought and started! He was outwardly supportive, but we could see he was clinging hard. We understood. He wasn’t ready. We just wished he’d spoken up. And Rog was a little angry (Rog doesn’t really do angry, it comes out on the surface as mildly frustrated, I do angry!) As he put it, he had been pushed into this his whole life, third generation on the property, and NOW Barrie was digging his toes in??? I had tried to talk Rog into buying an alternative property, as we paid WAY over the market price for an unconverted property, THEN had to pay to convert it, we could have walked onto a larger property, with better financial consequences. But he was fixated on that family farm. I went with it. ‘Cos I am that kind of woman. Now. Apparently.

We bought his parents out completely four years later. By that stage we had another baby, our son, and Roger’s mum and dad stayed put in the main house. We lived on the smell of an oily rag in those days, I was so proud of how we managed. We were paying off the mortgage, and added a 50 acre run-off block to our land holdings. I was concentrating on the herd, I upgraded us to a high producing pedigree Holstein-Friesian herd, and kept improving the herd, we used to say, I would breed them, and Rog would feed them. He is an awesome pasture/feed manager. We were on an all-grass system (as was common in our country then) and we LOVED our girls, cows are magnificent beasts, they really are.  Kind, hardy, hard working, sweet and incredibly resilient. They were my pride and joy (after my little kids!) Another (surprise!) baby arrived.  I was 20 weeks pregnant when I discovered I was, and shed a lot of tears for a bit, until I got used to the idea – we were so busy, and under so much financial pressure, but we still enjoyed our life, loved each other and had a LOT of laughs, we were a busy little unit. At one point, for about four years because I worked full time on the farm, we employed live-in (and one live-out) nannies for a few months in the spring, when cows were flat out calving, and we had three adults and three children packed into our very compact three bedroomed house. Mostly though, once through the hectic spring period, I would just take the kids with me. I would breastfeed the baby, wake the others, pack them into our ancient 4WD (which had a huge mattress in the back for transport) and toddle off to the dairy to milk, all at 5am. The girls (eldest and youngest) were great, would settle back to sleep to the sound of the pulsators, and wake once the milking was over.  My son was a tough baby, he didn’t sleep for longer than two hours in a row – which we did twice until he was fourteen months – until he was nine months old, normally he fed every half hour, to hour, he must have thought I WAS a cow, as I must have smelled like one as I perched on a test bucket and “topped him up” between rows!

As the years passed, life started to get a little easier, we paid ourselves a living wage for the first time! I actually was able to buy NEW clothes! Nice wine! Go out for dinner every couple of months! We sold the run-off and bought part of the neighbour’s farm, the part with the house on it, five bedrooms, plus an acre of established, lush, treed gardens, three car garaging (we still only had one, lol) workshop and shedding, two large barns and a studio at the back of the garden, along with 35 acres. Rog was thrilled, thinking the move (a lot further from his parents’ house) would mean he would get to eat his breakfast in peace! Not so, Barrie would still turn up at our place as I was pouring his porridge into a bowl, as he always did. We would have been working maybe four hours before breakfast, and he would come and interrupt Rog’s brief down time. I asked him why he never asked him not to. He didn’t want to rock the boat. He thought it was okay for his dad to do that, even though it made his blood simmer away, for decades.

The last year we were there, we employed staff. To let us take the odd milking off. I started milking less. I would relieve Rog from milking so we both got some time out of the cowshed – we rarely took milkings off. In fact, the first eight years we were there, we BOTH milked every single milking, every single day, twice a day – except for me, who took a couple of days off after the birth of the last two children, and Rog, who was with me during long labours – the second one took three milkings, and the third five! My dear friend, Grant came and did those milkings for us. But we never paid a relief milker, we just took it in turns after those first years, if either of us needed to be somewhere else. We bought some land – a lakeside location about two hours’ drive away, and had built a lovely holiday home on it – literally, Rog was the builder’s labourer while I ran the farm during the build – and we wanted to be able to USE it from time to time. I didn’t know, as Roger never said anything, but he was getting sick of what he was doing for a living. He has a problematic back, and standing on concrete for long periods of time was not helping. I offered to take over the majority of the farm work, while he had a sabbatical, and did the dad/home duties, just for a year, to see if that helped, maybe it would allow him time to think about something else, make some plans maybe to put full time staff on, and look into other business ventures. I had always done both, been the farmer, and the main parent, and the cook, housekeeper, taxi driver, school mum. He refused. I was keen as mustard, and there wasn’t much I couldn’t do, I was excited when I offered to swap roles for a bit. I thought the only thing I might need some help with was to understand the new irrigation system he had installed a couple of seasons previously. I was good with gear, tractors, quadbikes, effluent system, I could do this! He would have to remember how to cook, easy!

Anyway, long story to get to where it all started to melt into a Dali-esque landscape. I saved for eighteen months to take our kids on our first overseas holiday, Rog couldn’t leave the farm. My little brother was getting married and I was determined to get there. I am the “MUM” to my siblings, since our Mum died when we were just 32, 30 and 28. I feel like some kind of matriarch, lol. No grandparents, only one uncle who lives overseas on my mother’s side  and no aunts or uncles that we have anything to do with on Dad’s. It was important we got there to celebrate.  Actually, he was the second of us four to marry, as I never did, and my next brother down also lived with his partner, the mother of his two (one then) daughters.  Our much older sister (who is kind of like an aunt really, a large age gap, she is adopted, and has lived in a far away country since we were 10, 8 and 6 years old) did marry, and is now divorced (but wasn’t then.) One of us “biological kids” was going all traditional, we needed to be there! We were gone just ten days. When I came home, Rog told me he had bought a new 1200 acre dry stock farm. WTF??? I was gobsmacked, he’d borrowed 5.5 million dollars and we still had the mortgage on the home farm, the farm he had promised me he NEEDED, and I was sure I was going to live on pretty much forever (there were commemorative trees planted for my Mum, some of her ashes were scattered around our beautiful duck pond.) I was okay, but a little stunned. I now know I was probably in shock, and maybe even a little denial. We had five weeks to move. I baked a cake and took it to our little country school, Rog was on the Board of Trustees, and I was Chair of the PTA. I thought I was fine. First clue I wasn’t, I got there and when I saw the teachers (including Leanne’s – OW – mother, who was the very loving new entrant teacher, and my staff rep on the PTA) who had helped my little brood grow, I got all choked up, thrust the cake in their hands, and RAN back to my car, sobbing all the way home, my heart was breaking for all that was being ripped from me. I didn’t really understand why I was feeling what I did, maybe just the loss of connection with my world, what helped ground me?

I tried to talk to Rog, but as I said,  I didn’t really know what I was feeling. So I just asked him a few questions, like, “why? What are you feeling? This is sudden, I thought we were here forever, you dragged me here and then made me fall in love with our life here, now you are making these sudden, scary and expensive changes.” He was just in move mode, trying to sort out how we were going to run both properties, and how we were going to sell the beautiful dairy farm, where his parents were going to live while they built a new home in town (we have a warm cottage on this farm, they lived there for the twelve months of the build.)  The old farm really was, a gentle, green, well planted property, that gently rolled back to a river boundary. We were five minutes from town, and where we were moving to was a rundown, miserable little town, with a terrible state high school (decile two, the second-lowest socioeconomic ranking for schools, two student suicides the previous year, and area where there was massive “white flight” to poncy – and expensive – boarding schools) and was about half an hour’s drive from the town our eldest child was happy at. I asked him how the budget was going to work, as the returns on sheep and beef are notoriously poor. I did the sums, and I couldn’t see how it could work, well, not to the degree I would have liked, we had worked hard, to attain a pretty nice life, we weren’t rich, but we were very comfortable, and had recently even bought our first ever BRAND NEW car (LOL.) And it was just getting better and better, we were headed for a sheltered and comfortable future. I must have been getting old, because that made me happy (whereas once I would have been a little sneery, jumped up little chequebook liberal I had turned out to be!)  Kids were getting more expensive, as they “needed” laptops, – hey don’t hate too much – the nearly sixteen year old doesn’t have one yet) more technology, overseas language excursion trips, and university educations, and he was going to choose NOW to pull the financial pin?  I told him I understood, we didn’t really ever focus on money, but that I was worried he had done this too early, we weren’t consolidated enough to take our foot off the financial peddle. But I knew he must have been VERY unhappy to do what he’d done. He loved that farm. He explained that at 43, he was still considered “the boy” by all – mostly the stock agents, and farm supply reps, even some of our friends somehow thought we had “inherited” or been “given” land – couldn’t be further from the truth, we had paid above market values for everything, in the spirit of ensuring his parents were never disadvantaged, and so his siblings could never claim we “stole” from them, even in the face of the fact that he had been the most progressive of his family on that farm, he had increased land holdings and profitability, all the while giving back to his community and environment (we were not large users of artificial fertilisers, antibiotics or herbicides, we were farming in an almost organic system) with wetland conservation, and tree planting, etc. And things with his family were getting a little tense, his older sister – also a neighbour – in particular was making life difficult. We had offered to do some land swaps, to make her assets larger, and maybe some joint land deals, and she was sitting on her farm, watching us grow, and getting really jealous – this despite the fact that for decades all she did was spend and party, while we were heads down, bums up, sitting on our wallets! (Phew, breathe, long, poorly punctuated paragraph….)

So, we get out here, I commuted to milk for the first four months, the dairy farm sold, and my beloved herd left (sniff.) I fall into an unanticipated emotional slump, who was I? What was my role now? I no longer have a “job.” I feel isolated from my emotional support system (women I drank wine with occasionally, lol.) I thought I must be mildly depressed, so went and talked to a counsellor for a short while. And I got my first paid job in seventeen years.  Yay me!  I LOVED it, yes, it was advertised as 30-35 hours per week, but quickly morphed into 60-70 (as I coped so well, and still hadn’t learned how to say no, I was being asked to do more and more, my boss was thrilled, and I felt validated!) My pay rate went up quickly, I was contributing to the household. The farm was difficult, even more difficult than Roger had anticipated. But, I was paying the groceries, and we were going to be fine, weren’t we? Change is hard, Paula, but change is good, Roger NEEDED change, and you just have to go with it and find YOUR groove.  Everything is going to be okay, yay!

But it wasn’t okay. I had been in touch with Leanne sporadically over the decades, I had lived in the UK, then she had, then she was in Singapore for a while. But she was back in NZ, and she had a toddler son. She was not coping with single motherhood. At all. She wanted that baby, but it wasn’t the dress up doll she ordered. This little guy had his OWN needs and agenda, WTF??? So, I took her under my wing. Roger was a bit disgusted. He was not a fan. She is vacuous, impressed by things many much younger people get hoodwinked by, money, power, gossip, the culture of personality and greed. So, he kind of ignored her to start with. But four months after I started my “new career” he was in bed with her. They texted multiple times per day, she seemed to be down our way a lot more than she had been previously – her parents live down here, and they were a great help with her “difficult” son (who is really just a normal, very bright little boy who worked out how to press her buttons early on.) I knew they had rekindled a friendship, I really trusted him that much, he had a new friend, lucky him. He never hid the texting, or lied about who he was texting, I just assumed all was well, after all, she had cheated on him with four guys, and he didn’t really LIKE her, he had been pleased to be rid of her at the time, and never looked back on their dating time with any fondness, or thoughts that it could have been more, he saw through her transparent personality then, and he saw through it now. He used to roll his eyes at her vacuous statements, he really was just putting up with her for me, what a trooper he was!

So, here I am, working far too many hours, worrying my arse off about money – for the first time in years – and trying to be supportive to my group of long term friends, all the while, running my kids over to the nearby town (in the opposite direction from my work, or home) and keep everyone fed, clean and watered. The hamster was on the wheel, and it was turning faster and faster, and faster, soon she would fall off completely. We all know what happened next.

Well, this past few months, we have worked ourselves into a very tight financial spot. It is uncomfortable. Rog put on a lot more fertiliser than he has in the past, and it was on hill country, so expensive to spread – by air – and I hadn’t worked the extra amount into our budget.  Whoops!  Scraping right up against our overdraft limit – I don’t want to borrow any more, as this income does not really work with a mortgage. Youngest daughter has a school trip that I have only half paid for – to Japan in September, and I have to yet pay their exam fees, due early August. I have finished my semester at uni – and my job doesn’t up the hours until at least September (my top up, financially, to life is my wonderful job, my boss is fantastic, and I do still like the job) and I don’t have the tuition fees for next semester. Not even close. I am tossing up whether to see if I qualify for a student loan, I wouldn’t have in the past, but we really are watching every penny at present. So, good old, “I told you so,” has happened. This farm, whilst being lovely, and I love living here, is a financial lemon. And I knew it from the minute I saw the brochure. It might have worked if we didn’t have kids, and two racehorses (that we cannot get out of in the short term.) I know, we are spoiled, but it really should be a time when we were consolidating, not struggling. It scares me more than I admit out loud. That is why it has ended up on the page here. It is a major reason I still live in the same house as my dear “flat mate,” Roger. I can’t afford to do anything different without a great drop in my lifestyle, and my kids opportunities for education, sport and the like. 

Who knew? Who knew that in 2014 women still stay in bad situations because of Economics? Not me. Not until now. But, here I am. It ain’t all bad, but the drop off the cliff is giving me vertigo.


Tears, just when ya think you’ve run out…

I have obviously been walking, trudging down crawling along this path for a long while now.  There were bucketloads of tears those first years, cry me a river now actually means something other than some fancy song lyrics to me.

You wonder if you are going to one day wake up and crumble in the sheets, a dusty pile of what was once vibrant life.  But, it does “get better” those tears do eventually become fewer.  For someone like me, who prided herself on not being “girly” or “soft” I didn’t cry a lot.  I was a farmer.  It was tough.  Some days you were bone weary, in the pouring rain, hauling calves out of the mud, warming them and feeding them, milking their poor swollen mothers’ sore udders, or trying to help a poor heifer with temporary calving paralysis, just wanting to go home, get clean and collapse into bed, but that was hours off yet, absolutely buggered, emotionally and physically.  I had broken in tough youngsters for the racetrack, taken my share of spills.  I had my head split open twice playing hockey. I had fronted to hospital – getting myself there – after being brutally raped by someone I knew and trusted – endured the internal and external stitching, swabbing, testing of my poor, virginal, ripped bits, without a tear shed, yes I went home and wept, but I didn’t in front of those caring hospital staff, and police, they were too kind. Plenty of other life stuff. I was one tough MOFO! Yes, I felt a lot of stuff very deeply, and a few watery seepings could be witnessed in the dark of a movie theatre, or in the privacy of my own company, but I rarely cried publicly. I cried publicly far too much in those early days, I had no filter, no floodgate mechanism, the spillway was open and filling up fast.  It embarrassed me – not with close friends, certainly not with Roger, he was my betrayer, but he was also my comforter and healer – at first, but when I couldn’t seem to get a handle on it later, or when it was someone, or something “inappropriate” I would feel deep shame at my lack of control!  So, I learned to stay in.  I learned to hide my agony from the world, they were scared of it, and more embarrassed than I was.  At least I understood the pain, and the reason for the tears, no one else could. I haven’t cried outside of my own bed for a while now.  I did the other night coming home from uni. 

There is a well-known (knighted, in fact) ex sports star in our country, who was a tough guy, very good at what he did, very outwardly successful.  He “came out” – no, he is not gay – a few years ago, publicly about his battles with the Black Dog.  The Mental Health Foundation asked him if he would be prepared to help front a series of TV and print ads about mental health, most specifically depression and its group of fabulous companions, BPD, etc. There were some other famous faces involved, mostly everyday people telling their story, but also some people famous in the arts – somehow it is still more acceptable to the public to suffer mental ill-health if you are “artistic” than if you are “athletic.” He hesitated at first, then dived right in. See, he suffered from depression. It first hit him at the peak of his athletic prowess, he was doing well, the best at what he did in the world even, and he all of a sudden felt that Black Dog.  He talked about it openly, and so very eloquently and with great empathy, for himself, and for fellow sufferers, for the first time. Then he wrote a memoir, which included all of the fabulous parts of his international life, his lovely family, all he had achieved, but also the depression, and his struggle to understand “why me, why now,” and all of those wonderful things.  He is a full time professional coach, a pretty good one, but he also finds the time to front these ad campaigns, and is the face and voice of the depression self-help tool on the MHF’s website.  

I was driving home, going through my usual mental checklists, kids, sports practices, dinner, grocery shopping, horse feed, milk, what exam is next, where did I put the study guide, check…….. when his voice came on the radio.  As he talked through the steps, which I have heard a hundred times, and directed people to look at the website, and take the online test, I felt that weepy feeling.  I was surprised – yeah, like how can I still be surprised by tears?  As they slid down my cheeks again – no sobbing, just watery slipperiness – the weighted band around my chest I have tried to breathe through these past five years tightened, and weighed about forty kilos heavier. I know I have a mild form of depression. I have sought professional help for it for these past few years. Nothing has helped. The drugs don’t work, I tried quite a few. The talking therapy, whilst at the time, lightening the load just a tad, doesn’t work permanently, even when I put in the outside-of-the-clinic work. Nothing helps me. It took a long time for me to fully realise this. And why. I can never take away the way I feel about what happened. I can never undo what was done. And I can’t ever stop thinking about it. I accept this. I thought acceptance would help me. It hasn’t really. I have stopped fighting it. I can’t change any of it, so I finally got to that point, the one I had been striving for – you know, I can change the things I can’t accept, accept the things I can’t change, and have the good sense to know the difference (or something close, can’t be arsed Googling the right words) something of the AA serenity prayer, or what most 12 step programs seem to agree on. But, even though I have this – there is no serenity – I’ve been sold a pup!

I know tears are a release valve. I am not worried about crying, I just wish I could a) feel better after a cry (not usually anymore) b) produce them at more “appropriate” moments and c) stop the need for them altogether 😉

Shame is a stupid emotion! No, wipe that, shame is an awesome emotion – if only the right people felt ashamed of poor behaviour (ie: cheating, lying scum, child molesters, murderers – wait that reminds me, watched a Louis CK stand up routine the other night that was really funny, a bit about how murder being illegal is great for preventing a lot more murders than would occur if it wasn’t – heck, I’ve done PHIL106 – it isn’t quite that simple, but his argument was gold, I got to thinking, I wonder how many people would be spared the agony of cheating if it was illegal – certainly not all, but maybe a few??? But I digress………) then shame would be a fucking awesome emotion.  It might stop a lot of heartache. But it is a stupid emotion when the person feeling it was the wronged party, the one who did nothing wrong. I felt such shame that the man I loved was a cheat.  I must have picked so badly. I even – consciously knowing it was ridiculous – thought I must be a horrible/fat/ugly/unsexy/terrible/unloving/(insert any poor self esteem jingoism here_____________) person for such a previously GOOD man to cheat! My shame. WHAT EVA!! 

Anyhoo!  Back to it, last exam tomorrow, SO OVER IT!



Love Will Tear Us Apart


Joy Division. Another teen favourite. I can recall being so very darkly affected by Ian Curtis’ suicide, I was only in my early teens, but I FELT this music in my whole being.

During Roger’s affair, I was a little obsessed with the movie, Control, about Ian. I read Deborah Curtis, his wife’s book, Touching From a Distance in floods of tears, more than a decade later. Roger says when I watched Control for about the third time, he started worrying. “She knows, she knows I am having an affair, this is why she is obsessed with this film.” I didn’t. I just felt Deborah’s pain so deeply at Ian’s affair with Annik Honore. And I also felt empathy for a very young, epileptic, confused new father on the cusp of international spotlight who was letting down his young family, in dark, dark despair at marrying too young, maybe. My subconscious might have been screaming at me maybe, but I think I just feel this kind of empathy for those in pain. I always have, and I have always been very hurt by other people’s affairs, so when it happened to me, no wonder I was so completely devastated.

When routine bites hard,
And ambitions are low,
And resentment rides high,
But emotions won’t grow,
And we’re changing our ways, taking different roads.

Then love, love will tear us apart again.
Love, love will tear us apart again.

Why is the bedroom so cold?
You’ve turned away on your side.
Is my timing that flawed?
Our respect runs so dry.
Yet there’s still this appeal
That we’ve kept through our lives.

But love, love will tear us apart again.
Love, love will tear us apart again.

You cry out in your sleep,
All my failings exposed.
And there’s a taste in my mouth,
As desperation takes hold.
Just that something so good just can’t function no more.

But love, love will tear us apart again.
Love, love will tear us apart again.
Love, love will tear us apart again.
Love, love will tear us apart again.


How do they do it?

I have met a few pretty wonderful women during this “special” journey.  All online.  All living in a different part of the world to me.  What amazes me is that they all still seem to be able to do things that I can’t.  For example, I can’t “pretend” to the world that I am fine.  I can’t post a loving picture of us online, or talk about Roger to other people, IRL.  I can’t let him touch me anymore, sometimes I can cope with a hug, but where I used to love his skin on mine, now I shudder.  Sometimes I NEED a hug, but it doesn’t soothe me the way it should. “They” seem to still be enjoying sex.  Hell, we were top-of-the-class in Hystercial Bonding 101, but after two years, I drifted away sexually.  I can’t bear to be touched, even a hug from my children has to be endured – and that is so whack!  I love my children, don’t I???  I must, I was a really dedicated mother to them for the first 17 years of being a mother, these past five, I am distracted and not ever fully engaged with them, like there is a membrane between us, something I can’t quite break through.  I am angry my children were robbed of pre-affair Paula.  It is so weird to live this way, I was such a tactile person, so sexual, so sparkly (Roger’s words.)  Now I am dull, distant, depressed, I guess.

I have tried to get help.  I have talked to several counsellors, been prescribed ever increasing doses of happy pills, I understand the whole big picture so well.  So why did nothing work?  Why did I not get better?  Why am I still stuck in so much negativity and pain?  I do consciously choose happiness – or as close to it as I can get – it never sticks.  I have become emotional Teflon. Except for the pain, that is welded onto me.

I wish I knew how to rewire this old brain!



Had a moment to relive my youth this week.  My teen crush, the magnificent Lloyd Cole, was playing in my closest city.  Acoustic set, supported by magnificent NZ songwriter, Greg Johnson.  53 years old now, and recovering from a bout of food poisoning/sore throat from the vomiting, was a marvellous night nonetheless!  A posted the link to this as my favourite song, but Brand New Friend may have been second, and more appropriate to my emotions right now, maybe I’ll do an extra post?

PS, this is still relevant to me, as Roger had a lovely Welsh girlfriend called Helen in the UK, and they had a “lost weekend” as teens (he did his OE at just 17-19 years of age) in Paris, and he got sick, and they had to find a doctor, communicate in pidjin French to get medicine.  I know so much about his past, we were that couple, we knew so much…. and yet not enough, ultimately.

Lloyd Cole – Lost Weekend Lyrics

It took a lost weekend in a hotel in amsterdam
And double pneumonia in a single room
And the sickest joke was the price of the medicine
Are you laughing at me now may I please laugh along with you

This morning I woke up from a deep unquiet sleep
With ashtray clothes and miss lonelyheart’s pen
With which I wrote for you a lovesong in tattoo
Upon my palm ’twas stolen from me when jesus took my hand

You see I I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t mean it
Drop me and I’ll fall to pieces so easily

I was a king bee with a head full of attitude
Wore my heart on my sleeve like a stain and
My aim was to taboo you
Could we meet in the marketplace
Did I ever hey please did you wound my knees

You see I I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t mean it
Drop me and I’ll fall to pieces

Yes it’s too easy and there’s nobody else to blame
Will I hang my head in a crying shame
There is nobody else to blame nobody else except my sweet self

Again it took a lost weekend in a hotel in amsterdam
Twenty four gone years to conclude in tears
That the sickest joke was the price of the medicine
Are you laughing at me now
May I please laugh along

I was a king bee with a head full of attitude
And ashtray heart on my sleeve wounded knees
And my one love song was a tatoo upon my palm
You wrote upon me when you took my hand

You see I I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t mean it
Drop me and I’ll fall to pieces too easily


Girl interrupted…again

Yep, I’m back, but snowed under. Freaking out. Panicking. Losing the plot. Well, nearly. I have a final 30% essay to hand in on Monday and I started it a few weeks ago, thinking I was going fine, then ran out of research material – I chose my topic BADLY. So I talked to my lecturer and she suggested I can it and start again on something else, as yes, she confirmed that maybe I had chosen badly for a second year paper (that’ll learn me for tryin’ to be so alternative and tryin’ to do something different to everyone else!) I only have a week, with work slotted into that, and thought I had started okay, but this topic is worse, it has too much info, and I am confused as so much of the research contradicts itself!  AAAAARGHHH! Taking a break, breathing. Booked an early morning appointment with Student Learning tomorrow, the last slot they have before exams next week (which I haven’t started swotting for either, aaaargh again) to try to sort this crap out, what a disaster of a mess of a complete balls up of an essay. I. Am. Not. Enjoying. This. So much other emotional crap going on underneath these deadlines, and I know this is affecting my ability to work well and consistently to solve the problem. When I am through exams late next week I will update you all on the very interesting mundane workings of this particular madwoman’s brain through my trip away.