Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum



Hi-de-hi campers. I have reached the teaching recess at uni – PHEW!!!

Only two assignments due soon – one near the end of the break – a short review (shouldn’t take too long) and a start on some fieldwork for a bigger 3000 word one. I also need to make a proper start on a research project for a cultural linguistics paper (something I am completely new to) with my language consultant. I am working with one of the vets from work – she is Swedish, and promised she would help me if I bring wine!  

So, work is getting crazy – I am hoping to get ahead while I am not attending lectures as the wheels are starting to spin pretty fast.

In between all of this, I am coming to some interesting conclusions. I mean, they’re not new, but I am firming up some ideas about all of this infidelity crap. Slow learner.

It’s been five years, three months and one week since D-day.

I have really struggled with recovery, whatever that even means. And I have beaten myself up about my inability to “be okay” this far out, with a truly remorseful man, who I know had a long, slow brain explosion (what even is that, a sloppy, overflowing brain melt???) I read about the occasional person who seems to be able to carry on with the person who ripped their heart out – but I am not like that, and I SOOOOOOO wanted to be. I wanted to prove to Leanne that I LOVED HARDER, that I was BETTER than her, our love was MASSIVE, and would overcome all. I wanted the world to see how strong I am, how AMAZING our love was, “see, I love him so much I can forgive him for making me ill, completely fucked in the head, and I will GROW from this.” But most of all, I wanted this. I wanted to have the love and the man I thought I always had. I still wanted that. I still loved the man, for God’s sake! I wanted our wonderful love story to carry on.

But, I am Paula. I forgot to factor that in.

I write people off when they hurt me. I mean, not usually straight away, they have to keep stabbing me a few times before I’m done, but when I’m done, that’s it. I think that although I understand why TOIL kept replying to her texts in the beginning, even when I said, “starve the bitch of oxygen” (he was trying to PROTECT me – well, partly, partly he was trying to prove to himself that he could go without her, that he was like the alcoholic who could go to bars and not drink, and partly he was so great, he could MANAGE crazy.) I even understand why he re-visited the fucking her when I kicked him out (“why have I fucked up my whole life for some fucking whore? Is she all that after all? I better just try it out one more time. Maybe she is okay?”) But those two years of work were immediately undermined by the distasteful speed at which he hooked up with her again. 

Anyway, we’ve all heard this record before.

I just got to a point, eventually, where I knew I was too hurt, PERMANENTLY hurt, to allow myself to test with a bare skin touch whether that ouchy fire was still ouchy. And people don’t get it. They think I am vindictive, not forgiving enough, that I think I am so almighty that I think I don’t make mistakes. I judged myself (still do too much) by those standards. I mean, TOIL is a lovely man, he is kind, patient, funny and just self-deprecating enough. He even looks just like a guy I used to adore, admire, respect, LOVE even.

But he fucked my “friend” in my homes, vehicles, on my property, in my kids’ beds, on my furniture, yaddah, yaddah, yaddah. I can’t unsee that in my mind’s eye. I can’t undisease my body. Yes, I seem to be cured, but it still happened, I will need to be vigilant with my sexual health forever now. If I ever have sex with anyone else, I will need to let them know that I am an HPV carrier, and that condoms don’t protect against that. (To be fair, most men don’t give a fuck – how does that affect them? It will really only affect a future partner after me. Men. You gotta feel sick about them.)

And I see the people who carry on with their reformed cheaters (the real ones, the genuine ones who really have learnt and changed, TOTALLY understanding and remorseful, with their guard turned right up high about boundaries forever after) and I am jealous. Jealous as hell.

But, if I’m honest, doubtful. Extremely cynical. How will they ever love properly again? How will they ever feel safe, be able to trust enough not to be paranoid of women/men talking to their partner for “too long” touching their arm, maybe electronic contact (for work reasons, a genuine friendship, that kind of thing.) How? 

I also see the others, the ones who carry on, but neither they, nor I am convinced of the genuineness of the reformation. I have found out some more about the recent couple (the ones I got in “trouble” with TOIL about for mentioning here) who had cheating happen to them. Apparently the woman (cheater) who is now home with her husband, and they are carrying on (at least in public) like “nothing is wrong here, nothing to see here,” well, when she left her husband for the OM, he left his wife and four kids – they swiftly moved to another country! He then took Ms Skanky-Pants to meet his parents, and they shut the door in her face! (I would have loved to see that – she is such a pious bitch, better than everyone else – she would have been most upset that Mummy and Daddy didn’t welcome her with open arms – I mean, twu wuv is so overpowering, they HAD to be together, why don’t they UNDERSTAND???) Fairly quickly, she was back with hubby. I mean, it’s a small town, I didn’t even know she had left! Meanwhile, Mr Cheater had lost his family – they live in another country now (good fucking job!!!) She posts on Fakebook all about the lovely things her husband does for her – LOOK! We are out to dinner at the swankiest new restaurant! And now we are on a tropical island! Look at my brand new BMW SUV! Poor chumpy man. You can’t buy love. You can’t even buy fidelity.

And that is the problem. That is who I am. I don’t trust people who lie. Never have. I am like that. I write people off.

I wish this wan’t me. I wish I could push the crap into one corner, and know that the wall around the crap is now high enough, secure enough, and there is an armed guard to ensure it won’t escape. But, I don’t trust the guards not to fall asleep, I don’t trust that the wall won’t crumble, and someone will miss it, and the hole will allow the crap out. 

But most of all, that wall around the crap is so damn UNSIGHTLY. I can’t stand to look at it, and I know I can’t move it out of sight either.

So, my love wasn’t better than anyone else’s. It wasn’t bigger than anyone else’s. I don’t even know why I thought it was?!

Love does NOT conquer all.

It conquers a whole lot, but it doesn’t conquer arseholery.


8 thoughts on “Difference

  1. So many things to say to this Paula but more than anything I want to give you a hug and scream “I so get this!” so that it echoes all through The Remarkables like a scene from a fantasy movie.

    One more thing though, we don’t *have* to be better and love more. It is enough to be a decent person who doesn’t cheat. There’s a lot of pressure out there to be “the better person” and a lot of judgment of betrayed people who aren’t stoic enough. Bugger that. We don’t have to be saints to be better than cheats. We have nothing to prove, Paula. We are enough to be decent just as we are.

    • Thanks Neph. Yeah, scream it from the top! I know we don’t have to be better, but hell, you just want peace, to feel calm, warm, safe for just one minute again. I am so tight through my chest, neck and shoulders, my back aches. I can barely breathe often. I haven’t relaxed in years, I live in a state of constant panic. I. Just, Want. To. Feel. Okay. Again.

      I laughed as I re-read that – did you like my lovely euphemism (unintentional) of “had cheating happen to them?” I mean, like an Act of God. It “just happened.” Ha! Of course I should have said, when his whore wife fucked her client!

      When will I ever find peace again? (Feeling tired.)

  2. I’m writing this reply as I watch “Crazy, Stupid, Love” at the point where Julianne Moore has asked for a divorce.

    I so get the point of being “done” with a liar. Honestly, you’ve given it your all, Paula. Five+ years is beyond noble and brave. When were you “done”? When did it really feel over for you?

    At this point, I don’t see my life as a divorcée…meaning, I can’t visualize it. I haven’t spent any time thinking of that separate life. I did during my affair (fog and smoke). But, not now. I don’t see 5 years from now, either. I only see now. Can’t manage anything else.

    This movie is making me sad…

    • That is a really nice movie. But not so great when you’re in the throes of the agony of infidelity. It came out in my first couple of years, and I was nervous about watching it, but I did, and I liked it, but boy, it is sad. So fucking sad. Why don’t people get how bad cheating hurts???

      I have been like you, I haven’t seen myself single either. But I am in this limbo, where I like Rog, a lot, but I can’t forget what he did, and how easily he told me look-me-in-the-eye lies, and expose me to these horrid diseases and a crazed woman’s wrath at being discarded. I guess it wasn’t like I woke up one day and thought, “I know, I want to end this relationship now.” I thought it would be like that. I think the reality that I am never going to recover from this enough to have the kind of relationship I need to have (or none at all) has been a creeping feeling since the four year mark. I feel that the loss of my sexuality that slowly eroded away from after two years, to the three year mark, when I decided to stop trying to fight the loss enough to try to make love anymore. That intimacy was lost, that connection we had has eroded. We were so in tune with each other. I mean, we worked together, literally shoulder to shoulder, every day for twenty years. You don’t do that, and laugh like we did (and fight like we did from time to time, too, make up sex, WOW!) if you aren’t close. I am tired again. I think hitting the uni break has made me let go of my controlled emotions, my grip on keeping it together, holding myself upright to get through each day. And I am exhausted.

  3. I just have to say–he fucked that diseased whore in his children’s beds? That is just so low. Anywhere is a violation, but in the space that belongs to your kids? In the place where they sleep at night? Revolting.

    By the way, fuck those people who think you’re just being vindictive or unforgiving or bitchy or whatever else makes them feel superior to you. Seriously–FUCK. THEM. You have the right to decide what you will or won’t accept in your life.

    It took my mom 12 years from her first DD with my dad to finally get to the place where she was ready to just let go. My parents were never as close as you and your husband was, but she loves like you do–with her whole heart. But it finally reached a place in her life where it was more painful to be with him than it was to be without him. It was really hard–she had a breakdown and it took at least 3 months of recovery time before she began to kind of feel like herself again. But she is SO MUCH happier with her life now than she was before. Sometimes you have to let go of the things you know in order to make room for the better things in store for you. Even though I don’t know you, I want those better things for you. You deserve to have massive, amazing love in your life.

    • Yeah, disgusting, huh? “But only our son’s bed.” Only. Dirty fuckers. Meanwhile, I am showing her little boy our litter of pups – he LOVED our dogs, as he wasn’t allowed a pet – giving him good quality hand me downs, supporting her when she was feeling like she couldn’t do this single parenting thing, caring about them. Fuckers. They played me. That is the part no one seems to get. I was played. Big time. I feel like such a fool for trusting he wasn’t doing this. Whatever, that is the past.

      I understand your mother’s position. My Mum kicked my Dad out after about eighteen months. And she said she couldn’t remember the next twelve months. The farm was sold in that time, and she bought a house in town, rented a summer holiday home and looked like she was coping (I was living at the other end of the country) with the two boys still at home with her. I think she sub-consciously waited until she only had the two boys left at home, she could manage that on her own. I know that this is over, I guess I wish he was just that arsehole that did the things he did for those fifteen months. But that guy was a manifestation of a breakdown. He was fucked in the head. No excuses, I know he still knew what he was doing was wrong, why else was he lying and hiding it? The man I loved was NOTHING like that guy, and the man I love is back. I just can’t “forgive” him for letting the arsehole out of the bag – and for so long. I will move on with my life. I am staying to get our last two launched – one off to uni next year, and the youngest only two and a half years to go. We are not unkind, it is not awful, he is respectful and caring. I can cope mostly, but I still mourn what I used to have, especially when I am tired, and/or sick (getting a strep throat at the moment.) I had massive, amazing love. I don’t want it again. I can love me, my family, get involved in events/organisations that fulfill me. There are other types of love that nourish one other than romantic love. loving this way just sets you up for agony. I can’t do it again.

      As for those who I feel judge, that is no problem, I weaned myself off their approval years ago! It feels good. Not one of them know the minutiae of what he did, how deeply he cut me. They tend to think, okay, he fucked a whore, that’s bad, but he is sorry, he has been repentant, he loves you. But they don’t know about the diseases, the facts of where, when, how he fucked around on me. They don’t have to live in my head. They don’t understand how important it was to me for him to be faithful, due to my past. They don’t know I was raped, and this caused deep fear about disease, my body issues, the scarring on my genitalia from the surgical procedures after that rape. The safety issues I have always held close to my chest, and never let anyone know that I was a virgin (if you can call it that after you are raped?) when I met him, that I trusted him implicitly, no jealousy, no checking up on him, I loved him so very deeply. He has shattered a lot of who I am, but I am still standing!

      This morning, after yet another sleepless night, he snuggled into me, and said, “I know you are not in a good place again, I am sorry.” To which I replied, “yeah, the cycle continues. I don’t think I will ever escape this, but I can cope much better now, I know how this goes. I will never feel okay again, I accept this now.” He then said, “you will never be the same, but I hope you can find some peace one day, a better way to be, to live with how I scarred you. I love you.” I wish I could leave that other arsehole in the past, where he belongs, but that doesn’t seem to be who I am.

  4. I know how you feel because I was a victim of sexual abuse at an early age. Our therapist confirmed that betrayal is usually worse for victims of prior traumas as all the past issues of inadequacy and safety that we held restrained for so long because of our faith in our spouses are suddenly unleashed in a fury and we feel cast adrift in the turbulence.
    I’m a little over 2 years in and I still can’t get past the fact that knowing my history and how long it took me to trust him, and after 26 years together, he looked me in the face and repeatedly lied. I too understand that I am forever changed and his betrayal will always be a source of pain and disappointment. It is for me a critical character issue that I can’t seem to get past. But then I acknowledge that I have always strived to be better do better and he led me to understand he was the same. How to reconcile who we thought they were with who and what we now know them to be. Though he has been kind and attentive, I don’t/can’t delude myself that this was an aberration. It is a part of who they are deep down inside, they revealed themselves by their repeated choices over a span of time (months in my case-I could not have stood if it was longer-because that points to a decided habit). I can understand a one time thing, but the repeated choices made over and over again for months?? We all know the mental gymnastics it takes to justify such an unjustifiable act. Moreover, what does it mean that we need to do the same to convince ourselves to stay? Uh-uh, aint drinking that Kool-Aid.
    I too clearly see what he is capable of when crisis strikes, it’s “salvese quien pueda” every man for himself–so telling and so utterly disappointing. So foolishly? I stay and observe, hoping he’ll prove me wrong. But for how long? I don’t have that answer yet.
    But I do know we betrayeds deserve so much better.
    Wishing you peace..

    • Moddie, I am with you there. I feel like if he had “fucked up and then woken up,” a short, sharp fling, that maybe I’d be better? For over a year, I was played. And I asked the questions, and thought maybe I was quietly losing my mind, I had NEVER doubted him for a minute for those first twenty-one years. And I kind of knew something was off-key, I remember telling my best mate that something between him and I wasn’t clicking like it always had, but I couldn’t identify it properly. I thought it was me not working with him anymore, and him being a little pouty about missing me. He was, but I was swiftly pushed to the side of the plate as he ate whore for a while (both metaphorically and literally.) It’s not like I thought that some of us are immune to cheating, more like I thought we’d built something of some real value, that BOTH of us valued, and that it would take more than the waggle of a cheating whore ex’s bum to cause him to question “us.” I truly don’t doubt his motives or his honesty now, but I just can’t live with what he did then, staining our story with whore shit. Damn indelible whoreshit 😉

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