Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum



In the context of support for those of us who find our worlds imploding, I think I won the Shittest Friends in the World Olympics. Feel free to contest this if you feel I have wrested your title off you!

When D-day went down, as I have shared before, I drove out to my best friend’s house the following morning, in shock, knowing this had really happened, but wondering what the hell to do next, I still loved this wanker! Who could hold me up as I bore the brunt of the weight of what the only man I had ever fully trusted enough to totally, without reservation or filter, love, had done to us. This mate and I go right back to middle school, and she was my bestest friend in the world. I had a cup of tea with her, and then asked her if I could go for a walk with her down their farm. And then I told her what they did, my love and our old school friend. She gasped and shook her head, “no, no, not TOIL, no, no, you guys were so in love after all these decades, no.”

But then as I told what I knew (which was quite a lot of the full story, we had sat up all night and he had answered every question I posed, with the exception of when it started, which he said he was unsure of) it dawned on her that it was indeed true, and this lovely man that she adored and respected, had indeed been fucking our friend. For a long time. I think she seemed almost as devastated as I feel now – I might have still been in shock. Then she started telling me that there was no way that she would have “let her husband spend the kind of time talking to Leanne that I did.” Mmmmm, no surprises there, blame the betrayed for not being the marriage police, and yeah, comparing my previously very honest and trustworthy partner with her strip club, brothel creeping husband. But he hasn’t been caught out yet by her.

For a year, she was my main support, and I do appreciate that she cared, and was there for me to vent to. But with hindsight, I know that telling her was where the whole town knowing came from – the old story, you tell a secret to one person and it is no longer a secret. The town started to judge me. “Wow, Paula, she must be a real bitch/a slack fuck/a real slob/insert insult-of-your-choice here for TOIL to cheat, he’s such a great guy.” The story roared around town like wildfire, “Stupid Paula, look how stupid she was, he was FUCKING her friend in her house and on her farm, what a total numbskull she must be, we could all see this.” I asked a thousand people if they knew, but they all denied it, but many said they did notice his relationship with his ex was close, and two and two were computed after the fact! The problem for me was that he was always like this with women, and it NEVER bothered me. We trusted each other, and friends are to be encouraged, right? (Of course, in the light of what he did with this skank, I revisited every close female friendship he had had for the past twenty-one years!)

But when I eventually decided that friend fatigue would set in – if it wasn’t already – after a year, I withdrew any comments or discussion about how appalling I felt. I didn’t want to be pitiful Paula anymore. I still was inside, but my public persona had to change. I managed with this facade quite well for another year, still dying inside, and feeling very alone, but trying to show that I was strong, and I would recover somehow from this absolutely cataclysmic event. I told J. I said it was not up for constant discussion anymore. About this time, she kept pumping me, telling me I should be healing and better by now, urging me to “not be sad.” But, I couldn’t switch it off, I just didn’t think sharing any of my pain was helpful, it was just keeping my head under water. I found out that all of my innermost thoughts that I shared with J were shared with everyone else. As I looked at my circle of friends, I realised that I had become the source of gossip, innuendo, and a fair bit of defamation.

So I decided I needed better friends.

The problem is that without exception, every single person I have tried to connect with since all of this to forge a new friendship with, has turned out to be suffering from betrayal also! I mean, is this reverse Midas Touch?

I looked at myself, and wondered why I have turned into a shit magnet. Am I/was I attracting this subconsciously? I don’t know the answer to that, I can’t see how I am, but it seems too much for coincidence.

The only real support I have had during this most arduous climb of my life has been a woman I met online a few years ago now (thanks lonelywife xxx) whose husband had an EA, his second of their almost three decade long marriage. She is completely different to me in so many ways, and so similar in so many others. She is American, southern, Christian, a stay at home mom, the owner of a set of right wing political views, I am a Kiwi, northern, an agnostic, employed/student, with liberal political leanings. But she loves hard and true, and she is passionate, and caring, with deep empathy. She is a problem solver, she doesn’t sit and accept stuff, she gets off her arse and strives for improvement. I am deeply thankful for her friendship every day.


Yes, there is a but.

I don’t have anyone in real life to be a friend. I never told my family, as they would be of no help. And I miss my Mum. She would have been amazing.

Last week, her best mate, a gay man (heck, you would think my Mum only knew gay men, but actually, other than Dad and Philip – and Philip’s long term partner M, whom he is no longer with, but they raised Philip’s three awesome kids together when their alcoholic mother died suddenly when they were very small, and they remain close and co-parents/grandparents to Philip’s brood – no, there were no other gay men in her life really.) Philip now works in a nearby town. He is an antique dealer, and he texted me to let me know that he had a pretty tea set for my eldest daughter, he’s been looking for the right one for her 21st which was last March. So I went to pick it up on my way home from uni, and sat with him on Tuesday afternoon, and he asked me how I was. TOIL shared with Philip what he had done to us some time back. I was very surprised at the time when TOIL told me he had blurted it all out. Philip came to visit us when he moved nearby, and TOIL took him for a farm tour. They talked. TOIL shared the whole sordid story, telling Philip that he was so gutted about the damage he had caused due to his selfishness and lack of appreciation for all I have done for him these 26 years.

That was about a year or so ago. I can’t remember, could be longer. Philip asked me if I was okay. I told him no, but that neither one of us could undo what happened, and we had had shitloads of counselling, to no avail.

So, on Tuesday, he asked me again. I just said, still no. I sent him a text that night saying that one day I will talk to him about “us” but that I couldn’t do that in the shop, as I know I will lose it. I have really needed a parental figure. I have borne this pain alone for so long, and the load is so damn heavy. I know he will be awesome when I eventually find a time a place to talk to him. He cares so much, and sent me a text back that he was sending his mate’s girl a big hug, and that I could always talk if I wanted to, but that he understood why I haven’t so far, and it was none of his business if I wanted privacy. It’s not that, I just don’t know how anyone CAN help other than the old load shared. But sharing the load didn’t help before, because ultimately, it doesn’t lighten anything, it doesn’t change how you feel, it doesn’t stick the pieces of your shattered heart back into the pristine condition it once was.

TOIL and I talked late into the night last night. I seem to go okay for longer and longer periods of time – not good, just good at hiding my pain, at holding it inside, close to me – but I still seem to come to the end of my rope inevitably at some stage. This happened yesterday. I was in agony. So we talked. One of the things we talked about was my frustration at my lack of progress, that I hear of so many people who are with selfish and disordered people, and walking away seems a little easier then. I can’t imagine trying to deal with one of those, I know I would have walked immediately, and kept my distance. But TOIL is not like that, and that is hard. He is truly remorseful, he has worked hard to make me feel safer and loved. He was immediately fully transparent and doesn’t tell so much as a white lie anymore. But I can’t seem to climb that mountain. It pisses me off. I mean, for 21 years (or so I thought – make it 20) I adored this man, he was truly lovely. We were truly fantastic. We had such a lot of fun, and backed each other all the way. It was fucking perfect! Then he had this fucked up thing for fifteen months. Then he came back. The good guy won the internal battle he was fighting. But I can’t seem to find my way back to any kind of equilibrium. I know I don’t owe him reconciliation, but I also don’t want to ever let anyone get close to me again, and I am left with serious sexual dysfunction. I am so sexually frustrated, but can’t seem to get any relief, self or otherwise, which is just bizarre! He discussed how he felt that when I am on my own properly that I will heal.

But I don’t.

I have been on my own, and the pain never lessens, it actually intensifies, because I still mourn the loss of my “soulmate” – whatever the fuck that is anymore. I seem to have serious trouble changing my thinking. I know if I concentrate REALLY hard, I can change it, but it never sticks, it never takes root, it is always fleeting and very temporary. So then he said, “well, why do you think you can’t love me again? I am the same person, but a better version, that I was BEFORE I fucked up, I know so much more, and I am far more in touch with you and I.” I explained it as being a bit like a Big Bang. The discovery of cheating, long term, in-my-face, dirty-no-protection cheating blew up my world. It changed it so badly. And I haven’t had another Big Bang to shift it again. Yes, I can see he is a better person. I can see how genuine, how authentic he is to himself, how humble, and how ……. self sacrificing(?) he has become. But there hasn’t been a matching shift in my feelings for him. The unending love that I felt we had – ended. For some fucked up reason, I can’t seem to picture growing old and being so in love with this guy, and he is a great guy (but my mind says, yeah right – he fucked your friend in your beds, under your nose, and gave you cervical cancer, GREAT guy alright.)

And it is all so fucking pointless. I just wish I could leave it alone. I want my mind to be a serene and quiet space. I have tried hypnotherapy and meditation. Nope. No help. I have no fucking control over my thoughts! Who can’t think properly? Who can’t, after all this time, just cull the shit? Me. I can’t. I am torn. The tear just keeps ripping at the edges.


10 thoughts on “Support

  1. Awww.. Paula.. You are not alone.. I feel in the same boat of not being able to control my thoughts

    • I am quite alone, nothate, but I am more comfortable with that than I was at first. I can be pretty great company, and I have never been scared to be alone! But human contact is part of BEING human, part of why we live in communities, and it is not all about physical needs, cooperation, etc, some of it is just about the exchange of “humanness.”

  2. So sorry about your “so-called friend” – that’s horrible! But, really happy about Phillip being a father figure for you!

    Your post made me think. Your reference to the Big Bang — needing a shift to change your thinking, etc. was an interesting point.

    I think any “loss” leaves an indelible “mark” in your life. Like a forest fire that leaves a dark scar or two in a tree’s life rings. There is no denying the hurt/loss happened. There’s a scar or two. Life changes because of it.

    Hugs, Paula — I’m glad you and TOIL still have deep talks. He’s still a friend and loves you.

    • No worries tempted. I am used to it now, the cull of the vacuous lot of the “cool people, the beautiful and well-off” that I used to mix with. They are no loss. The loss is only that I haven’t “replaced” them yet. That will take a long time, I guess. I am still in touch with J, but I keep her at arms’ length, and very “light,” and we literally go many months without any contact (in this age of constant contact through social media, etc.) I am in two minds about telling Philip my side of the story, I know Rog told him the facts, and how incredibly sorry he is about what he did, and that he loves me very deeply, always has, even during his long brain explosion. Telling won’t help me at all, just another cleansing, I guess.

      I agree about the indelible mark, I have had plenty of dark marks over the years, loss, pain, humiliation, etc. I think I was prepared for that mark, I recall telling the first counsellor we saw that I felt like I had this whiteboard for our life together, and that for 21 years, although there were little ripples in it, and sometimes people had drawn stuff on it, that it had always wiped off, to be clean again, but this time he had written in indelible ink, and it might only be a smallish spot on the whiteboard, but it keeps catching my eye, and annoying the heck out of me, that black dot. The one that ruined the clean surface of the whiteboard/our life.

      He is still my best friend, by far, and I have always known this. He even tells stories about how much of a bitch Leanne was when he ever shared any hurts or hiccups in life, and I would be so comforting and empathetic about these hardships and pains. That is the tragedy of all of this, we are actually “soulmates.” He is a fantastic man – he just made a fantastic error of judgement when under a huge amount of pressure.

  3. Awwww…Paula….I really do wish I was there with you, to help you carry this burden. As I’ve told you in the past, it wasn’t just a betrayal from TOIL…you were also betrayed by your friends….those who have been with you for many, many years…they betrayed you also!!
    You got a double whammy!! It sucks and it’s not fair…but you my wonderful friend are a fighter…you Don give up!

    And yes, this American, Southern, Right wing nut, LOL, lives ya to pieces, you liberal scally wag you!! LOL!!

    You ARE the light in my dark tunnel…and as I inch closer to single life~GULP~ I know I can count on you for love and support!!
    Always in my prayers dear friend!

  4. Oh, and I forgot to add…I LOVE Phillip…he’s sounds like such a sweetie!! Turn to him Paula…let him be your friend and confidant.
    No, it may not help you overcome the loss of your relationship, but his friendship will surely lift your spirits!
    And PS…you KNOW how I feel about J 😦 Ugh!

    • Yeah lonely, Mum had great taste – in friends, if not first husbands, lol! I am just wary of telling my story one more time, to one more person, for one more lot of pity. I don’t have to be sad Paula with him. I can just talk shit, and we do, he is very naughty! He loves racing, and texts me luck for every time a horse of ours starts, and kept me up-to-date with a mare that his son had a share in who won a lot of top races before her recent retirement to the broodmare paddock. We talked about his new partner that he has recently had move in with him, and his “buyers remorse” – this guy is NOT going to work out, but luckily he is going house sitting soon, so Philip will be able to tell him not to come back! He is funny, witty, and cheeky. Love him, always have. I just don’t want our relationship to fall into one of him feeling sorry for me, and me always being sad. He has already seen that with my Dad – Mum and Dad knew Philip when he was married, and when they were also. He can’t believe how … I don’t even have the word … pathetic Dad has become. I need to retain my dignity with at least one person who cares about me!

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