Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum


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Distance

I have been thinking about this post for a few days – so unlike me to almost plan a post! I have been reading about people’s struggles with the skank who decided to fuck their husband. There are many different instances of these women – and I am using a gendered label here because I am addressing my own situation, and those of the women whose blogs I read. Hey, it works both ways, but I will describe it thus, because it seems so many of the bloggers are women who have been cheated on.

Bear with me.

You see, I am a lot further – in terms of time passed – from the cheating that happened in my life than many of the bloggers I read are. That doesn’t give me any grand wisdom, or sense of being more healed, or anything else you might think might happen. But it does mean I have had longer to process this crap, and to live around it. I have noted how damaging the skanks are (I HATE the term “other woman” – they are not women, they are skanks, and putting them in the same frame as women is insulting to us all) the ones who obliterated the lives of many a loving wife and/or mother by thinking it was somehow okay to fuck around with a man who was supposed to be committed to someone else. Hey, I am no cheating husband apologist. The person who “owed” us faithfulness was the man we were committed to, not the skank. However, these skanks are hideous excuses for humanity, scraping up the scraps the legitimate (can I use that word?) relationship leaves behind. As tempted commented to me the other day, they are carrion.

So why do we fixate on these scum? And we all do. We all know how these skuzballs get under our skin, and fuck with our heads. And those are just the “normal” ones, the ones who are embarrassed, or do feel ashamed and scurry away to hide under the nearest rock. What about the ones that Nephila, nothate and I had? The “friends.” Or the ones who go full Fatal Attraction on us? Or both (as in my case.) What power do they have over us that makes us think constantly about them?

It’s pretty simple really. Our self esteem is smashed into unrecognisable shards and dust. So we wonder what was so fucking special about these skanks. They might be prettier, they might be thinner, they might be more intellectual, they might be better in bed. In reality, mostly from the literature and the anecdotal evidence I have seen, they are rarely any of these things. In my case, she was skinnier. But I can’t think of one other way she had anything on me. But did that stop me from kind of trying to “compete?” No, I ran and ran and ran, and I got skinny. Did that make me feel better? Hell no. I felt skinny. That was nice, but I wasn’t any happier. I am a mile over that skank in life.

And that was when I got it. Look who they had turned me into. I was competing with someone on looks, brains, love, everything really. Who the hell is that? I was never one to overly compare people. I celebrated difference. I liked that I wasn’t beauty queen material, but that I have my own allure. I am different to “most” – laugh here, who are most women? – women. I have red hair, fair skin, curves, I think outside the square, I am kind, passionate, love animals and the environment. I have a keen social conscience, I am and have been an activist and am not afraid to speak out. I don’t buy into the cult of celebrity. Why was I becoming a pawn in this game? I didn’t need to compete, and I didn’t WANT to compete. I am mighty and pretty darn awesome the way I am. Hey, we are all growing and changing, but I was buying into the beauty myth, the rat race, and a myriad of other crappy positions that western society encourages us to scrabble for.

So I decided to stop with the nonsense.

It wasn’t easy, I haven’t stopped any of the hurt, any of the recycling of the past and the agony that accompanies it all. But somehow I was able to evict HER from taking up too much tenancy in my brain. She is nothing. Even if she “won,” what exactly was it she won? An ageing, cheating, lying farmer. Good luck with that. The harder part to let go was that even letting HER go, I didn’t want her to “win” by splitting up. I know that even if she didn’t “win” him, she was absolutely certain that we would split. And that was the whole intent of her actions both by letting me know about the affair almost two months after he ended it, and by continuing to harass us for nearly three years afterwards. I didn’t want to walk away, because that meant she would have manipulated me into the exact position she aimed for.

Then I woke up again one day and thought, “so what.” So what if I leave, and she wins? How does that affect me? I mean, in my HEAD I had known this since D-day, but I had struggled with so much anger, and so much need to be heard, to be understood, to be apologised to by her. Eventually, it wasn’t there anymore.

That was the day I realised I no longer cared. She had no hold over me, us, or anything anymore. The battle was a hollow one anyway. I have never since then been tempted to look at her Facebook page, her LinkedIn profile, Twitter feed, Googled her, had to fight the urge to give her house the drive-by if I was in her city – all of which I did, or wanted to do in those first years. I no longer fantasize about torching her house, or spraying FILTHY CUNT in large letters into her manicured front lawn with weed spray. She has no power over me anymore. That is freeing. Does this mean I would be sad if I heard she had been the victim of a home invasion, raped, beaten and slowly, tortuously murdered? HELL NO. But I no longer actively wish that on her, or think about it much at all. I worked out that no injury visited on her would equal the one she visited on me. All I ever wanted for her was happiness and love. Now I am glad she has never experienced either, and I know she hasn’t really, as she has never had what I had, what we had, true, deep, passionate and connected love that made our hearts sing. I know that was what she wanted. She will never have it because she is a sociopathic bitch. TOIL told me some stories about the way she treated people that really made his mind up at the end, she is just nasty and horrid to people. She never makes them feel warm, loved or appreciated, but is always there to kick them when they are down, or even when they are trying to help. I just wish that that zombiefied, undead, unfeeling bitch had never crossed my path again, as this idiot felt sorry for her!


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Duck!

So, I popped my head up above the parapet today. I attended the funeral of an old school friend’s mother, making him an orphan, as his dad died in 1989. It was one of those brilliant life celebrations. She wanted happy faces, lovely woman. And as someone very involved in Pink Hope, she had a hot pink casket, and we released pink balloons as the hearse drove her off. I don’t do pink, so was scratching around thinking what the heck am I going to wear, when I found a hot pink lipstick.

But, I digress, that’s unusual!

This guy is single. He was messaging me on Facebook a bit, and I thought it all “old school friends” stuff. Then he invited me to meet him in his city – in a different country! I laughed and showed TOIL, and he read the messages, then told me that old friend was trying to hook up with me. This guy is an old friend of TOIL’s also. I was a bit horrified, as he was a good friend, but not attractive at all! And we have announced no separation. What is up with people?

I was cornered at the funeral by J. She asked that I go out to her house afterwards, and I felt it would be terribly rude not to. When I got out there, she had two other couple friends, yes, drinking wine 😉 . She had a little birthday gift for me, which was cute. Then one of the couples left. And the other woman, A (who is actually a really nice woman) and J told me that the wife, L that had just left had just been caught cheating. I wasn’t surprised, this girl is an entitled person. The funny thing is, I never really warmed to this girl. She is stuck up. But J thought she was great. J used to tell her husband how she was in awe of the love, blah, blah, blah (these two were great ones for PDAs and baby talk in public, ewwww!) The husband is a bit of a lad, but has been an incredibly attentive father and husband. And I felt sick for him. I said, “does he know?” The answer was yes. So I asked if they knew if he was okay. J answered, somewhat sarcastically that “apparently they are fine, and in love, and carrying on building their new mansion.” This poor chump has financed her into so much, Euro cars, high end designer clothes, European and American holidays in the past year, a tropical island one every winter. She got sick of their previous home, and insisted they build a new one, and so far the prep work has been done, and the contractors engaged at the new site. Word is it will be pretty swanky, L has to have the latest and greatest. And yet she thinks she can screw around on the bank.

Just disgusted with humanity. Or certain parts of it.

Hey, it’s not like I thought cheating didn’t happen before it did to me. But now every time I poke my nose out of the cave, BAM!! Another one bites the dust. I literally have not been anywhere social in the last two years and NOT heard about someone screwing around on their spouse or partner. I mean, what the fuck is wrong with people?

Think I will just stay low in my cave, the real world sucks.

DUCK!!!


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I can’t be arsed

Well, the posts have dried up somewhat here. I am just, you know, blah. Again. Always.

It was my birthday yesterday, my sixth since D-day. And I am pissed that I have made no progress! I hated yesterday. Hated it. I had made plans to go see a foreign film on my way home from uni.

But I couldn’t be arsed.

Can I have that tattooed on my forehead?

I can’t be arsed.

New record required, this one is stuck badly.

My old bestie got in touch, wanting to do something. Like I don’t hear from her for literally months at a time – and she lives nearby – and when some excuse to drink wine comes along (hey, she drinks wine with someone most nights of the week, I wouldn’t have thought she was short of reasons!) she plays nice. Hmmmm, cynical much, Paula? I should be bigger than this, I should have just accepted her gesture, but that is how I have always operated in this life, letting people treat me like shit, and forgiving them and playing nice. That is not even who I thought I was. I was woman, did you hear me roar! But I have subjugated myself for years, trying to please everyone else. I think it started with getting pregnant “by mistake” and feeling like I had to pull my head in, take my medicine, be a mother, in the traditional sense. I had to grow up fast, and I got to be Ms Responsible, as TOIL was still pretty free to come and go. That is not to say that he wasn’t a good dad, but he wasn’t the one who gave up his freedom to the same degree. All my friends were travelling, partying, getting fantastic, or at least quite satisfactory careers off the ground. I was at home, milking cows, feeding calves, toddlers and babies. Buzzkill much?

So I told her I was busy, that I couldn’t catch up.

And felt guilty. I sat at home, picking gingerly at an antipasto platter. I felt guilty because I was J’s buzzkill. TOIL asked me if I wanted to go out somewhere with him, he made suggestions. I said, no thanks, I can’t be arsed getting showered, hair washed, made up and dressed, then drive anywhere. The effort. He looked at me sadly all evening. I could see him out of the corner of my eye. He grabbed my foot on the couch and rubbed it. This is what he does when he can’t fix anything. It drives me nuts that I am not happier. I used to pretend, trying to fake it ’til I made it. I can’t be arsed anymore.

Apathy is an insidious “thing.” I know this, I have fought apathy my whole life, about anything. I was an activist, I stood up for causes, for what I thought, for the people I loved, and for those without a voice of their own. I expressed opinions, I was mighty, and I roared often! Now, here I am, just Ms I-can’t-be-arsed. How pathetic!

So, I am going to sign off with the best of intentions to sit on the can’t-be’arsed-arse and start the first of these assignments!


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Cosy

It is cold here. Temperatures in the negatives first thing in the morning and snow on the small mountain I skirt around to go to uni one way around, and work the other side of. I have never seen snow this low. Never on this little mountain. Snow is a rarity where I live, a fresh dusting one night every few years on the mountain range I live near, and that causes much excitement. Usually melted by the afternoon.

I was doing my usual mind meandering on my way home from work tonight. Sometimes I wish my mind was a blank canvas, and I didn’t constantly THINK. But I know this is me, always has been, always will be. I think. Thinking is like breathing. You die if you don’t.

Tonight’s gem I dragged up was about music festivals. I think it was triggered by a song on the radio and what the males in the family are up to this evening. Goes something like this. My eldest daughter and I went to quite a few music festivals together in her early teens. We have similar taste in music, she of course introduced me to more, and I educated her ;-). One of the first ones we went to together was at the end of his affair. And it was in skankola’s city. TOIL suggested we stay with skankola while we were up there. Yep. You did read that right. He really did. He suggested that his daughter, and his partner, supposedly the love-of-his-life (he still tells me that) stay with the woman he had been secretly fucking for a year. Isn’t that cosy? I wonder why I said no?!! I just thought it bizarre, and I didn’t even have a clue they WERE fucking.

I mean really, who was this guy even???

He has taken our nearly 18 year old son and his mate up to the same city tonight to watch one of our local football teams play a visiting West Ham United side. Should be a cold but fun night for them.

I wonder if he ever thinks of staying with her, or remembers that he suggested we do? I doubt it. He has pretty much, in many ways, forgotten about her. He has forgotten that he fucked up our whole lives for a selfish, trashy low life, piece of shit, some regular bad sex and a lot of being told how fun and great he was. Funny when he was the least fun or great he has ever been. If I wasn’t so permanently scarred by what he chose for me, he would never give it all another thought. He even told me the other day that if he didn’t know better, he would think it was all a weird, fucked up dream, “did I really do that shit? No way.” The time between then and now has made it all fuzzy. For him.

Just my little piece of sunshine for today. Off to watch the youngest play hockey and drop off a little lamb to my god-daughter, yes, the one whose mother I no longer really talk to, my former best friend. But my god-daughter Instagram and Snapchatted (basically cyber begging me 🙂 ) asking me if I had one last weekend, and I would never deny her. Fun times!


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New rules

A man I live with read a post on my blog yesterday. He told me about it. He asked that I change names/use pseudonyms. I think that is reasonable. I will slowly go over old posts and edit these. Bear with me as I do if you are looking at anything in the dusty old archives!

I must admit, when I first started blogging, I asked those questions of myself. I guess I came to the conclusion that I didn’t care. I wasn’t telling anything but MY truth, so where was the harm in using real names. I guess I have changed my mind – rather, had it changed for me. But I am okay with that.

I live in a small country. I haven’t come across a lot of people blogging about infidelity in the way I do, from here – that is not to say that we don’t have infidelity – good lord no! I guess I had time on my side, all of the hurtful stuff happened six years ago so I doubted any “real” people involved would stumble across my still-bleeding internet corpse. But, maybe he has a point.

So I am going with it.

I haven’t decided on how I will label the players yet, but as soon as I do I will make the changes. I won’t change me though, I am still Paula, at least I was last time I looked in the mirror (and into my soul ooooOOOOOOoooooh!)

That man is a technophobe. So much so that he doesn’t, and never has, used social media. I never thought he wouldn’t know what a blog contained. He knows I have read these for a long time, and he also knew that I eventually started one. He didn’t get that it would be quite graphic (despite me telling him) and that is is basically a version of a twelvie’s Dear Diary. I think he was a little shocked – and probably a little hurt – although he denied this. But why else ask if I could change names? I am doing this out of respect for him. Not because I feel bullied into it, or that I did something wrong in using my truth, including names. In fact, as I type this, the only name I think I will change is his. Leanne deserves to be named and shamed – as if, lol! I have no problem if anyone thinks they know who these characters are. I am not ashamed of the role I have played in any of this.

So, there you are. Maybe I still “rescue” him. I don’t think I do. I think I am just respecting his right to privacy. Even though he didn’t respect my rights to good sexual health, love, trust and a lifetime partnership based on that love and trust.

(Oooooohhh, who made that snarky last bite???)


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Eez-eh!

Love these guys, and one of my favourite festival acts ever! Have fun! So many pertinent lyrics, huh? 😉

“Eez-Eh”

I ain’t easy
And I make you mad
Least I ain’t sleazy
I’m just trying to put the world to right
If you want to, I’ll take you out
And I got the feeling that I’m gonna keep you up all
Gonna keep you up all
Gonna keep you up all night

Tired of taking orders
Coping with disorders
The wrong men have the power
It’s turning my milk sour
We’re tired of taking orders
Coping with disorders
The wrong men have the power
It’s turning my milk sour
Turning my milk sour
Turning my milk sour

I ain’t easy
And I make you mad
Least I ain’t sleazy
I’m just trying to put the world to rights
And if you want to, I’ll take you out
Cause I got the feeling that I’m gonna keep you up all night

I ain’t easy
But I ain’t that bad
No rhyme or reason, I’m just trying to set the world alight
You got problems, well so have I
And I got the feeling that I’m gonna keep you up all
Gonna keep you up all
Gonna keep you up all night

There’s cobras in the moshpit
Finally we lost it
Everyday is brutal
Now we’re being watched by Google
Gotta keep it simple
Sending out a signal
Everyday is brutal
Now we’re being watched by Google
Being watched by Google
Being watched by Google

I ain’t easy
And I make you mad
Least I ain’t sleazy
I’m just trying to put the world to rights
And if you want to, I’ll take you out
Cause I got the feeling that I’m gonna keep you up all night

I ain’t easy
But I ain’t that bad
No rhyme or reason, I’m just trying to set the world alight
You got problems, well so have I
And I got the feeling that I’m gonna keep you up all
Gonna keep you up all
Gonna keep you up all night


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Replay

Ha! I had a blogging moment last night, wrote a post and it disappeared, the only evidence it ever existed (and I am not going crazy, thinking I had written one, but hadn’t) was the title. I gave up!

Just a meandering post about triggers, mental imagery and how even after five years, two months and two days, and a separate life from TOIL, I still get them. In fact, it might be more relevant to talk about the times I don’t, as I really have had little (no) respite from any of the mental film-festival-of-fucked-up in all this time.

Yesterday’s was a moment that I realised was probably delayed from the few days at the lake. I don’t freak out about sleeping in that bed anymore, but it still goes through my mind, what they did there. I mean, it is pretty sick. I took her there alone, without him, I don’t know why she came? I don’t think it was cover for the affair, as she wanted to uncover it, not keep his secret. I wonder if she was scoping me out, trying to find my underbelly, where she could put the knife in most successfully? I wonder if know that she is a cheapskate, so I guess it was just free holidays. I mean, I get why she came when HE was there, but why would you come and holiday with just me and the kids???

So, the times that we were all there together, I just feel so stupid, and actually really sick about. I mean, he says they never touched while I was there, but I call bullshit. I can imagine that when I was out of the house, that they walked past each other, dragging their fingers over each others’ arses, maybe pants, feeling out the “goods.” This MUST have happened, I mean how can you stay with someone for a week, that you are besotted by, and not cop a feel? Maybe sneaked a quick kiss. He has always denied this. I remember one time we were there and he refused morning sex with me! I mean, in 21 years, he had never refused sex, let alone use-that-morning-hardness sex. He told me it was because our friend (cackling like a hyena here) was in the next room, and the “soundproofing is not so great down here.” I grinned at him with “let’s just do it in silence then, that can be hot!” He wouldn’t. Turns out he had promised her that he wouldn’t fuck me while we were all under the same roof. (Ha, we did, take that bitch, not then, but we did it that night!) I mean, WTF???

I was driving home from uni last night, and felt that hotness, that battle to keep tears at bay, as I remembered (and when I remember, I SEE it in 3D, full Technicolor) how they fucked in our son’s bed. I was at work, and she gleefully drove down. When she arrived, I could see TOIL smile, and grab her hand, as they bounded up the stairs, for him to eat her out on our boy’s bed, then fuck hard. All the while, I was at work, earning for our family, stressed about the kids, and how I was going to get to pick them all up that night and shop, and get dinner, and…… All he was doing was fucking in our son’s bed. So disgusting.

I have a theory. Not a particularly original one. But I believe I have put up with a lot of crap from a lot of people I should have ejected from my life over the years, but as a pleaser, I have instead, “played nice,” forgiven and carried on. This time, I believe all of this pain, and the replayed stories are my psyche’s way of protecting me. I know whenever I think of my friend J, I remember one of the times she wan’t there for me, couldn’t empathise with what I am going through, like the time I was facing nass-tee treatment for cervical cancer, caused by the HPV they infected me with, and she said, very flippantly, “oh, just have an hysterectomy, you’ve finished your family.” I think I do the same constantly about TOIL. I know he is not the guy he was then, but I refuse to let him anywhere near me again, and use the replays of the shit he did to keep me on track in keeping him away.

Not useful.

Not useful at all.

Hey psyche, I get it!


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Super great day!

Wow! Today has been fabulous!

First day back at uni. I got up early to watch the World Cup final, as we had all had a small punt on choosing the winning team at the final 16 stage, putting $5 each on a team. My youngest daughter had picked Argentina, and was the only one left with a chance. After the game, and a run I drove off to the city where my university is. It takes about an hour, a bit less without traffic. When I was about ten minutes away, my phone text alert went off, so I pulled over, just in case it was urgent. It was same daughter imploring me to check Snapchat.

I did.

Nothing.

She had forgotten that she had blocked me on Snapchat ;-).

So I returned her text to tell her, and got on my way. Shortly later she rang me. The kids know not to text me when driving, but I have a hands-free, so they call if it’s urgent. She said she had just opened her mail, and she had won a Language Immersion Award. She applied for this many months ago, and it has been a long process. It is for a full scholarship, including airfares, for high school language students to live and study in a country that speaks the language studied. There are only 15 awarded countrywide, to ALL language students. And my baby, who goes to a very average state school, competing against posh kids from swanky private schools and extra tutoring, won one!!! I was pretty freaking excited for her, buzzing in fact. She was thrilled to bits. We won’t know where she is going for a while, but she takes French, so that narrows it down quite a lot!

So, off I went to buy textbooks, readings manuals, etc. And to pick up my essays from last semester. I had an elderly semi-retired lecturer for one of my favourite papers last semester, and she was a bit lax on putting things online, so I had no idea what I had for the paper. I had received an A and two A+s for the three essays I had already got results for. Well, I am going to show off no end here, but I got the two final essays back, and they were both A+s – 29/30 and 19/20. That means that for every single paper I have sat this time in at uni, I have received A+s overall, five of them. I still have one to have finalised from last semester, and now I have jinxed it, LOL! Now, I am sorry for the terrible self congratulations here, but I was a lazy and very crap student when I was young. Too much partying, too bored and distracted. I cannot quite believe that I am acing this undergrad degree – the fifth (and last, I might add!) I have started! Luckily, some of those very average passes doing Law, Commerce and Management degrees were able to be cross-credited, but my Veterinary Science ones, not so relevant to my double major in Geography and Anthropology.

Now, I know some of you have PhDs, or at least some kind of post-grad qualification, and this is probably old hat to you guys – heck, I know how damn hard you have worked to get there! But for little old me, in the latter half of my 40s, this is very much needed ego-boosting. Obviously it is challenging to juggle a job, full time study, running our business accounts and parenting, as well as the travel to all (bar the business accounts) of these myriad activities. I know I am not the first mother/employee/businesswoman to do what I am doing, I guess I never fully saw myself as capable of that. Hey, it’s not that I am not capable of any of these things, it’s just that I didn’t envisage doing all at once, at least not successfully!

I got home at 6.30pm and prepared a “French banquet” – or at least one that I could manage at short notice, no shopping and late homecoming – Filet Mignon, steamed beans, honey glazed baby carrots and pommes de terre dauphinoise with creme brulee later. My family were very appreciative. I wished I had my old “time.” I would have done a duck confit maybe and some more elaborate French cuisine. I even bought champagne. But it is Monday, we are tired, and we really couldn’t be arsed. It’ll keep.

And guess what.

I will have no kids at home next year, GULP!

There is a part of me that needs this time out. I have been a hands on mum for nearly 22 years, and these past five have been done with a very broken heart. I don’t believe I have done it as well as I once did, obviously the kids are fine, thriving even. But I was fun mum, helping mum, fundraising mum, coach mum, driver mum, and I did it with great humour and zest. These last five I have felt heavy, and solid, and it has been hard work when it used to be great fun. I feel guilty for needing that time, and I am not really looking forward to it, because decisions will need to be made. When baby-girl comes home, she will still have another year at school, so it is not a true empty nest, and I am mindful of any upheaval, as well as the excitement and the fabulous opportunity. For example, on the easy side of things, she still has braces, I will need to talk to her orthodontist to see what they do in these situations, do they just retain and go again when she returns? What about her driver’s licence, she will leave just before she will be able to sit her restricted, so will be a year behind. Whatever. No matter, those are easily sorted. What about her academic progression? Will she learn enough to be able to cross-credit any schooling done overseas? Our school system has the kids earning credits throughout the year, with a final exam only a small part of the qualification/assessment. How does she pass NCEA Level Two? None of these are big problems. “They” (AFS ran the selection process, on behalf of a program run by our government) deal with these things all the time. But they will need to be ironed out. I am so very, very thrilled for her (I admit there was wetness on my cheeks as I drove along talking to her) but, of course it is tempered with a little selfishness about her leaving me. I know it’s ages away, but I will miss her!

Anyhoo, I better get off here and organised for tomorrow, I have three fifteen year old girls tonight, they are hitching a ride to the city to go shopping – catching a bus from the uni (exciting/scary for the rural kids, lol.)

Once again, I am so blessed, and I needed to share that, because my blog always seems like I never have any small good moments. Today had some HUGE good moments.


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Failure

The F word. The stupid F word.

We chatted this morning. TOIL mentioned that he struggles with how he feels about me being so cold now. He understands why, but mentioned how much he misses how cuddly I was, and how I always liked the reassurance of being physically close, both before the affair, and in those first years after. For about 23 years, maybe more, we were pretty entwined. He is a very tactile person, I think I have mentioned it before. I couldn’t tell you the last time we kissed. Yes, we still kiss goodbye, or hello, but like a family member, on the cheek, or lightly, briefly on the lips. The last passionate kiss I remember (at least from my perspective) pre-dates the end of our sex life, I was struggling for a long time before we actually stopped, and I couldn’t “feel” anything kissing. It was kinda gross. We were really big on kissing, passionate, dirty, deep, hungry kissing.

I sat for a while collecting my thoughts about how to respond. (Do no harm, Paula, thanks Katie.)

I came up with this. I told him that despite knowing better, I just feel like such a fucking failure. I know not to do that to myself, to us, but I can’t seem to help it. I mean, there’s the silly, but obvious “failing” of “not good enough” (utter crap, I couldn’t have been better, HIS failing, not mine) and the “failure” to see what they were doing all over my life, in my houses, vehicles, on my farm, etc (also not stupid, just normal trusting person.) But my biggest “failing” is that I feel like I have “failed” recovery. I have the most embarrassed, remorseful, newly-educated, understanding and reformed cheater. The kind that all the literature illustrates. He gets it. He is fucked off with himself, he was even before he ended the affair, and months before I found out. He has worked his butt off to do the right things. And I feel like I have failed at “getting better.” He looked at me and just said, “no one is owed forgiveness, or healing, you just hope for it.” Which of course, I know! But I WANT to be better, I WANT to feel safe in the world and happy again. So, I feel I fail at this. There haven’t been too many personal “achievements” in my own individual life. I dropped out of uni – three times! I am not a big shot at anything (and I have never aimed to be, but, you know…..) My “success” was my love. I loved hard and true, and I picked one of the best. We made three cool people together, and together we built a pretty damn great life. I was the back seat driver a lot, but I picked up all the slack, and I pushed hard for that financial success, I wanted us to be reasonably comfortable, not rich, that didn’t interest me, but comfortable, “enough” to educate our kids, have a nice holiday home and to be able to kick back a little and live as we aged, lovingly together. TOIL had more individual plans, I now believe. I don’t think he really considered the kids’ education much, yes, he had the corner of his eye on a comfortable retirement, etc, but he lives in the now a lot. We were a great team, as each of us had the other covered! It worked. He said that this morning, he can’t imagine anyone more compatible than us, than me. But I don’t feel it anymore. I, wrongly, feel like I have “failed” at the only thing I ever put full effort into. I think it explains my success at uni this incarnation – I NEED to do well at this, as this will be my success now. So fucking warped! (But great motivation, I am scared every day at uni, but that fear seems to spur me on, against my baser instincts.)

I explained to him that I look at this through a completely different lens to him. of course there is the obvious, he cheated, I was betrayed, we are looking through different windows, but more the male/female thing, and the fact that he grew up in an intact home, and my parents split as I was leaving mine. Although I am “cool” with their divorce, it was a shock, it was slightly confusing. My Dad was a blokey, conservative dairy farmer, for God’s sake! See, my parents loved each other, TOIL’s are quite fond of each other, but I don’t think they LOVE each other, sort of more rub along as familiar flatmates, hell, they haven’t shared a bed since before TOIL was ten years old! So although the reason for splitting was obvious and it had to be done, my parents were good together (except for the fact, as Mum used to say, “she had the wrong equipment!”) Dad still mourns her loss. He loved her, even divorced, and says she was the only woman he ever loved, and the only romantic partner that ever meant anything real to him really. He was at the hospital when she died, and we went back to his house to plan the funeral, with my stepfather, we all got along bloody well. I posted a brief pic/comment on Facebook yesterday remembering Mum, Dad was one of the first to “like” it – and he doesn’t really even DO Facebook much. I ridiculously kept thinking (a dream-like state) that one day I would wake up and it would all be some kind of ridiculous dream, that he wasn’t gay, that they were still in love and married. Not that I was all fucked up about it, it was just this little unreal niggle in the back of my mind those first years of their split. Probably much like many kids of divorce. I was really cool with it, and not devastated or anything like that, it was just this little fairy cloud above my reality. TOIL doesn’t understand how IMPORTANT it was to me that I had a true love story, one that was successful and worked. One that lasted FOREVER. I know, I know, everyone wants one that lasts FOREVER, but I was/am almost obsessive about it!

Anyway, meandering way of saying that I am unhappy, in case anyone who reads this hasn’t got the message yet, lol. And it is about my inner demons, the crap I fight about with myself every day, not really about TOIL at all. My own (stupid) definition of “success” and “failure.”

Shit!


7 Comments

Marilyn

Thanks to my old blogging friend, DJ, I thought I should answer her in a post (as my reply to her was getting too long!)

So, in answer to her request to talk a little about Mum, here goes.

No, I look nothing like my Mum! She had black, not-very-thick (thin) hair, and gorgeous olive skin – I have loads (masses of) fine red hair (naturally probably slightly strawberry blonde, but have been various shades of red since my teens) and very pale skin. Our bodies are similar, she had a tiny waist and hips, but no boobs, I have an hourglass shape – boobs from Dad’s side (and then some!) Mum was 5’2″ and I am (almost) 5’4″. Her mother was 4’10” – so we are “progressing” lol. Mum had stunning, kind, green eyes, high cheekbones and a beautiful kind of heart-shaped face, I have a different shaped face, a broader jawline, and missed those cheekbones – but have her eyes, we all do. My daughters both have her beautiful eyes, and long, lush, dark lashes. The eldest especially, she was constantly asked as a small girl if she was wearing falsies or mascara, when of course she was far too young to be wearing either!

I look like my dad, as does my next brother down, with the youngest brother like Mum, he has the face shape, the dancing, cheeky eyes and her colouring more (with lighter coloured hair.) Interestingly, I saw some old family friends a few years ago – from 40 years ago – and they commented how like Mum I am, so that was nice, but odd, as I look nothing like her. I think I have some of her mannerisms, definitely a similar sense of humour – although mine is dirtier and more cynical. I also am the caretaker, but I think that is possibly a gender and place in family trait, as the girl, and the eldest (to all intents and purposes.)

Mum was old fashioned in one sense, she was a stay at home mum, who helped on the farm occasionally. When the marriage fell apart, she was the one who stayed and ran it, which surprised me no end! (Although Dad pretty much just ran for the hills, I guess.) Once it was sold she moved into town and got her first job in twenty years, and went from strength to strength. Mum was stylish, always as well-dressed as she could afford to be, and had gorgeous, well-designed, thoughtfully decorated homes wherever she ended up. Never to my taste, she was a lot more girly and classical than me. Mum was resilient. She always saw the silver lining and never let life get her down for long. I tend to be more like Dad, with his tendency to darkness and dwelling on his own crap. I have always been very aware of that and made choices in life to not go down the path he likes to dawdle about on.

I know how lucky I was. Mum wasn’t spectacular, she didn’t split the atom. Or even finish high school. She labelled herself as “a bit dumb,” but she had enormous emotional intelligence, and loved fiercely. She was bubbly and sparkly, and she made every room she entered more fun. She had wonderful friends, loved to entertain and laugh. This stood her in great stead when she discovered my Dad was gay, and had been cheating on her with various “hook-ups” for several years. She lived quite some distance from where I do and did, but was always available for love, advice, and was super practical. She adored my kids, I had the only NZ grandchildren when she died, both of my brothers have since had families, but my three were her onlies then. I feel blessed she was so into them that she made the journey to visit often, and even had them all for my first “night off” the week she died, She had been hanging out for my youngest daughter to be weaned, so she could take a week off work to have them come and stay at her lovely island home. They were just 2, 4 and 8 years old, and it felt so weird to not have them overnight, as I had never had them all stay somewhere overnight before. We have some cool photos from that holiday that the kids had with Biddy (her choice of name for the grandies, her father’s pet name for her as a child) and Pa (her lovely husband.)

Mum was born to my pretty, petite grandmother in Perth, Western Australia (Mum was an Aussie) just after WWII ended. Grandma had married an American submariner at the end of the war who was stationed at Freemantle, and they had their first baby together. Mum was around six months old (maybe less) when her father was away on manoeuvres and Grandma discovered he was already married with three daughters in the States. I imagine the shock was immense, she had been receiving his pay and everything. They never heard from him ever again. Mum never knew this until she was about 14. Grandma married Grandpa when she was around two years old, and they had a lovely love story, just adored each other. Grandpa loved Mum to pieces, and they had another child, my Uncle Geoff, a year or so later. Mum had a difficult relationship with Grandma, who was super critical of Mum, but heaped love on the golden child, my uncle, who was good looking, sporty and academic, none of which Mum thought she was (she was good looking, at least, lol!) Mum adored her little brother, and they were very close, all their lives. I think there must have been some kind of lingering resentment from Grandma (who was wonderful to us) about Mum. Mum always made the most of it though, and was always careful that we wrote letters and kept in touch, we visited as often as finances allowed (it used to be a real mission to get to Perth as it wasn’t really on any real flight paths, so cost about the same as getting from NZ to London.) I had been to Perth eight times by the time I was 13. The last was the school holidays before I turned 13 – so was still half price – and Mum and Dad sent us all that way on our own. Was such an adventure and Grandma and Grandpa spoiled me rotten! Mum was very close to her maternal grandparents, my lovely Ganny and Pop, and they were the ones who were very supportive of anything she did. I think that must be part of the way she grew up so very loving and caring.

Mum died suddenly at just 55. The death certificate states cause of death to be “septicemia (splenectomy).” She had suffered several periods of ill health in her youth, must have had a compromised immune system, as such things as childhood measles had her hospitalised for long periods. She got them all, rheumatic fever, mumps, unexplained illnesses, etc. She had difficult childbirths, and was told after I was born that she probably shouldn’t have any more children as she and I were in hospital for two months after my birth. She prolapsed, haemorraged and “died” for twelve minutes, was raced to the bigger hospital and I have her notes, she was admitted pale, collapsed and pulseless, and took a long time to recover. The same thing happened again when my middle brother was born, just not quite as severely. When she was pregnant with my youngest brother, she was having a pre-natal visit with her doctor at around four months, and he discovered she had very swollen groin glands. He asked her how long they had been like that, and Mum had no idea, he then examined her other lymph nodes and they were all swollen. His father had just died of Hodgkins Lymphoma (or disease as they used to say) and he was on high alert for the symptoms. She was not quite 26 and had three children at home (my adopted sister lived with us by then.) She had the tests, and she had Hodgkins. He referred her to a specialist immediately and she was told they were going to abort the baby and start radiotherapy straight away. Mum refused, asking for a little time. The cancer went into a kind of remission while she was pregnant, so when my youngest brother was born (at nearly ten pounds, we were all good sizes, but he was the biggest) they whisked her off, growled at her for breastfeeding, and started radiation therapy on her. She was in and out of hospital for at least six months. The Plunket nurse (baby checks) didn’t know who this baby’s mother was as the neighbours all took turns to take him for his checks, etc! When he was about four, she had the cancer return, and her spleen was removed in the process of her treatment. In her 50s, because she worked in women’s health and was having a bone density scan at work, Mum discovered that she only had 90% of one and 10% of the other of her lungs left. At first they thought she must have had TB at some stage of her life. Turns out the radiation had burned and shrivelled her lungs! When she caught a bad cold – that last few days of her life off my stepfather’s littlies who were visiting while she was looking after mine – her immune system was severely compromised (which I was only vaguely aware of, as Mum let nothing slow her down) and she was medivac-ed off her island home to Auckland Hospital later that night. She died the next morning despite heroic efforts to save her with every antibiotic known to man. I had seen her the day before, as I called and decided to pick the kids up early, which she agreed with. That was a bit of a warning sign. She would NEVER freely give up time with the kids! I got up there, ferried across to her and found her crook in bed with “the ‘flu,” and I just thought she needed rest and quiet. So I hung out her washing, and gathered the kids and their belongings and crept out, giving her (unbeknownst to me, of course) one last kiss on the cheek.

Her husband rang me early (6ish) in the morning and told me she was flown to hospital overnight. I said, “I’m on my way.” He said “no, she’s stable for now, she’ll be okay, come see her when she is conscious, I’ll call you.” Only about an hour later he rang me again and said, “you better get here now.” So I quickly found my FIL to look after the kids and hopped in the car. I drove down the farm to find TOIL, he thought I was mad, I had only driven up there the previous day, Mum was fine. I drove up there, a little “panicky” and recall so clearly the point on the motorway, about twenty minutes from the hospital, when I just calmed. Turns out I missed her by twenty minutes. I believe it was Mum ensuring I got to the hospital in city traffic safely.

So, she went within twelve hours of her GP making a house call (I know, house call, gotta love island life!) to her at around ten the previous night. Quickly, and before her time, but still beautiful, and vibrant. That’s how I prefer to look at it, not as terrible loss, but at what we did have, the time we did have and the love she shared and taught us.

Love you always, Marilyn xoxoxo