Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum



So, this is it. The way I live in 2014. I get out of bed, I feed an orphaned lamb, Lambie, a rescued calf, Lashes, whose mother’s udder just collapsed on her (we missed her on the cull last season, such a sweet old girl) and my almost-three-year-old gelding, Louis. I get on the treadmill and walk/run, shower, dress quickly. Then I gather my youngest, who at almost 16 is of course pretty damn independent, gets her own meals, including packing her own lunch, and off we go. I drop her at the bus stop, 10km from our home, and continue on to the city where I attend university. 

Except for Wednesdays. Wednesdays I head in the opposite direction, and drive to my work. 

This is the routine. I auto-pilot a lot of this – as I guess many people do – but I never was an auto-pilot kind of girl. I had adventures! I never re-traced the same steps if I could help it. I would find a different way to do something, to relieve boredom, to make it new. It might only be a small tweak, even listening to a different genre of music whilst working at a task. So this routine is … I don’t know, just grinding?

But, we are now in the teaching recess, and I am all over the place, but nowhere, all at the same time. I need to get a review done, so I got started this morning, and got about a third of the word count tip-tapped out. Then I took a break, made a cuppa, and did some more reading. Think I might scrap most of this morning’s drivel and pretty much start over. 

Then I think, hmmm, my treadmill of a life these days means I have no material for sharing on my blog, and I need this. I am kinda addicted to the word, written word on these forums. I have known about this addiction for probably about three years, the last three years of my life. Even though I didn’t blog myself until just a few months ago, I read, I commented, I vented. I have no one. This is it. So I am drawn to check it all out, when I know I need to one day find a real life again. One day, this needs to be in the past. But I have no idea anymore if I will ever have a real life again. I mean, ostensibly, I have a real life. I have three kids, a job, am at uni trying to finish some terribly unfinished business. But none of that means a whole heap to me. I don’t live with conviction any more. I just dawdle along, humming some weird-ass tune to myself, trying to keep the monsters at bay. I mean, what the hell did I used to do? Before I invited Leanne back into our lives, before he decided to waterblast my mind? I used to have good real life friends, I enjoyed life, instead of just going through the motions. I played with my kids, I used to be funny! I used to have an appreciation for humanity, and think that mostly we were a pretty good bunch. Yeah, there were always plenty of arseholes, but if you lived well, and kept a bit of an eye out, you should be able to avoid the big catastrophes. To be fair, I know that was kidding myself. I watch mothers lose their beautiful children to car crashes, to stupid, growing up accidents. I see husbands lose beloved wives to terrible illness. I see new parents struggling to cope with a baby who is battling to even survive. And that is just the privileged West! What about “real suffering” (as I like to label it.) What about those in genuine famine, bloody war zones, political prisoners?   So, instead of building myself up, as I fully intend, I end up feeling really … selfish? For being so scarred by a man and a woman I know/knew having some pretty average sex from time to time, and texting each other when they felt lonely. I mean, who even cares? 

And why does it bloody well hurt so much, still?


29 thoughts on “Musings

  1. I once heard someone say, “hard is hard,” and that you can never compare hardships. I joke that it’s why I know some people who can sail through hideous divorces – and I know others who have to take medication to get through a tennis match at their country club!

    But of course “hard is hard” means more than that. It rocked your world. I think these things just take time.

    I feel the same way.

  2. Don’t. Just don’t go there Paula. Comparing your pain to the pain that others endure just makes you feel even worse!
    I did that….you know I did! Pain is pain is pain…it doesn’t matter what the pain is, or how it comes about…..it’s pain.
    Personally, I think betrayal is one of the worst kinds of pain to overcome….because you love the one who has caused you the worst pain ever!!
    I’ve actually read about women who have lost their husbands to death….they remarried, and now have to deal with infidelity….to a woman, they all agreed that healing from the betrayal was more painful and took longer, if they recovered at all!!
    That should tell us ALL something!!

    When you feel you have nothing to blog about….tell us about Lambie…or Lashes…or Louie tell us how it feels to walk outside and the animals know it’s you, and how that makes you feel 🙂

    We love you Paula…and we are your friends and we have your back…always.

  3. Oh yeah. Whoops! This post comes across a bit self pityingly morbid. Sorry girls. I know pain is pain. I know I am a little stuck in the cycle at present. I guess I was just meandering my musings “out loud” if you will. I learned early in this journey to try not to compare. And that this pain has been compared to many others as really hard. I have even heard a mother say the death of her child hurt quite differently to the pain of her beloved husband cheating on her. I know I have wished him dead before I found out so I could remember him well, celebrate our love, not this mess he created. I could never imagine being jealous of a widow until the day I was! I was jealous she got to remember him as the love of her life. Sick eh? Even Rog has said that towards the end of his affair he used to fantasise about driving under a truck in order to end his disgust and to avoid me ever finding out. I can honestly say that I selfishly wish he had some days. Apologies for my “out loud” thoughts!

    • Goodness Paula….don’t apologize! That’s why you’re here and we’re here…..to express all our thoughts! I just don’t want you feel that you “should” feel better….and then get done on yourself because you don’t! We don’t has a script to follow…do we?
      Hey, if someone is hiding that darn script…release it NOW!!! Lol!

  4. Don’t apologize for any post or feeling, Paula. That’s what I love about you. You say it like you feel it. That’s authentic and real in a really fake world. Never change. Just keep feeling, keep expressing and stay real!

    On a side note, I’m loving your names of your farm kids. So cute! Post photos of those precious babies when you can! xxoo

    • Will do, tempted. Poor little Lambie is not so flash today, she gorged a bit yesterday, and got bad milk bloat. I hope she survives, Rog had to pierce her with a large gauge needle yesterday to relieve the pressure, he was sure she wasn’t gonna make it – but she was a lot brighter this morning, but looked at me as if to say, “you gotta be kidding,” when I offered a very small amount of milk.

  5. I think its natural to have those kinda thoughts Paula. Sometimes, reading all your stories I mentally slap myself and ask myself why I’m moaning about my life when others have had it so much harder. I see the parents of James Foley and I bet they wish they just had a bit of infidelity to deal with! I have a school friend who lost his child to cancer, my shit just doesn’t compare to that! The thing is, there are horrible things happening to people all over the world all the time, but my story, the shit I’m dealing with, is just that, it’s my shit. It has impacted me and my family and will impact me for the rest of my life.

    Your shit, is yours. You are dealing with it the best way you know how. It doesn’t make it any less worthy than anyone else’s shit. It just makes it shit 😦 xx

    • It’s all bloody tough, PW. I don’t think there is any affair “better” or “worse” than any others – they all sting like mad! It’s the permanence that I struggle with – I thought I would be better at coping and accepting this shit by now! I mean, I “got over” lots of other crap, I don’t know why not this, at least a bit better, this drags me down every single day, and that wasn’t who I used to be. Weird.

  6. I did not focus on the comparison. We all do that sometimes. I know you don’t dwell on it. What I took from your post is about conviction, or lack thereof…
    My children all agree that I am a different person after discovering Daniel’s betrayal. What they see is that I don’t seem to care much about most things anymore. Exactly like you said, Paula – no sense of conviction. I used to be driven and always achieving. What will get me off the treadmill now? Not much.

    But I have found a couple new activities about which I am passionate. The important word is NEW. It couldn’t be things I did before because all of my old life seemed tainted. I didn’t go out looking for these new things, but it feels like I was led to them – things that would set a fire under my butt to get up and go for it.

    There are times when I am depressed and struggling and I don’t feel like doing even these new things. But I have been put in positions of responsibility where I must show up. And it’s good that I force myself to do it. I always seem to get better by doing it.

    You will find your passion again, Paula. I know you are seeking it – your university achievements – and they are amazing! – show it. You just haven’t found the thing that will set you in “drive” again. You will.

  7. I guess that is my worry, DJ. That I won’t ever feel passionate again. I mean, I am like you, I do “stuff” and some of the “stuff” is a drag, and I have a responsibility to do it, so of course I do it, but I don’t feel anything good anymore, EVERYTHING is a bloody drag! And it has been such a long time to feel this way – I worry that after so long, I won’t EVER find any drive again, like this has crippled me in ways that I never anticipated. But I get what you are saying here, totally. It pisses me off that I must have been so one-dimensional that my “happy” seems to be dictated by my relationship status, I didn’t think I was like that. This has contaminated every aspect of who I am. I am damn mad at that!

    For the first two to three years, I felt like there was generally progress, that my life would settle down, I would be able to carry on loving him, and we would find a way, there is/was so much tenderness and love. I think some of my deep sadness is very connected to the fact that this relationship is dead. I can’t find a way to be with him that doesn’t break my heart every second of every day – and I can’t seem to be just happy to move on alone, either. Is the worst Catch-22 I have ever experienced. I just ACHE all over. Blah, yucky part of the cycle, I understand this.

    • I really think that your case needs the time it is taking, and more. The affair and consequences of it dragged on and on. Closure was very slow in coming, and in fact there will be no closure in things like your health.
      You are also a sensitive and reflective type of person. For your relationship to have been so vibrant after more than 20 years, that would have to be the case. This sensitivity and reflection, however, works against you when you are hurt. The hurt stays alive just as the flame stayed alive before. I learned this from Coach James, who said the same thing about me. I have been working to change my focus in reflection. It’s still hard but it works fairly well after a while. I can recommend some books that he sent me, if you’re interested in this topic of sensitivity. It’s not about being weak and unable to handle emotion. It’s all about being very aware of your surroundings and also your inner world. I think I should post about this.
      If you keep learning and blogging and being open to new experiences, I believe peace will come, and then happiness again.

      • DJ, you and Paula are alike in so many ways…I’ve known that for quite awhile…I hope you do read what DJ has for you, Paula…you are both such sensitive women…I know DJ understands you in ways that others may not. 🙂

      • Thanks DJ. I would love the recommendations. It sounds along the lines of the ACT therapy that was one of the few “theories” that resonated with me during my Therapy Years (yes, they are that special, capitalisation!) Accepting the crap but making room for small good stuff. Admitting and allowing yourself that this is bad and hard, but using that sensitivity to appreciate small sparkly things in life.

      • Small good stuff would never be enough for me – I will go get those books out.
        The Therapy Years? Hah – maybe I should call mine The James period. It was two and a half years of writing almost daily to my dear and wonderful marriage coach. I owe him much of the healing I have come to so far.

      • Small sparkly things are never enough, DJ. The idea is that you expand the good stuff, until it “is enough.” It is also about what you talk about here, taking time for yourself, and “chilling out” at times, too. It all just seems like such a lot of work, even the “taking time” stuff. EVERYTHING is so bloody mindful, and it really is bloody exhausting. Thank you for the links, checking them out now xxx.

  8. I guess I am quite honestly just really sick of the work. Sick of holding myself upright. Sick of working so hard to live mindfully, the constant effort of trying to put positive spin on EVERYTHING. I just wanna relax and have a good day without WILLING it to happen. The way life used to be. Exhausted. Ready to hop off the ride again….

  9. Hi again, DJ. Yes, I guess I have identified this about myself. I realised this in my teens, when I was highly sensitive to sad song lyrics, if a friend was unkind, or someone’s relationship caused THEM pain, I would feel their pain very deeply too, and felt quite “down” at times, but very bright and bubbly most of the time. I can even remember a friend’s 16 year old daughter being prescribed meds for her “depression” – and saying, hopefully not too insensitively to her step-mother – “isn’t that just what being a teenager is?” I know this girl well, am her godmother, and she is like me, feels things very deeply. She does have some real emotional issues, could be slightly bi-polar, and still uses meds to help her mood. In fact, at 23, she is in her fourth live-in relationship, and is a bit of a mixed up thing, sweetie that she is in many other ways (product of a cheating mother, and very quickly re-married father, with initially a tense relationship with the new step-mother, a very organised and pragmatic woman who just didn’t see this girl’s point of view at all) – she’s been engaged to a man in his late 30s, broken up with him when she found him very controlling and jealous, you know, looking to self soothe with relationships. That was never me. I didn’t really care about boys. I thought I was mighty without! Like you, I felt I just got on with a very busy life. I was on twelve committees (such things as PTAs, Kindy, etc) at one point! Chair of three, Secretary of two! And coaching two sports teams. Crazy, all that, with three little ones, and a full time job on the farm! I never really felt overwhelmed, occasionally a little too busy – Roger commented on it at the time – it was too much, and I scaled back. I am EXACTLY the same in that it wasn’t until after the affair, that the house of cards (me managing my life…….and everyone else’s, lol) came crashing down. I HATE feeling so out of control about my emotions. I feel I have a really good handle on much of this – but I am puzzled about the lack of happiness. I have always been able to self-soothe before this. I used to be incredibly capable, pretty practical, and mostly a sunnyside up girl. This has me totally devastated and pissed that I don’t feel better, even a little better.

    • Yes, I think I figured out that you were another highly sensitive person back when I was using my real name on EAJ. I was drawn to you because I sensed your sensitivity in your writing. I have read that about 20 percent of the world’s people are highly sensitive, which makes it too many for us to be considered abnormal, but a whopping 80 percent of all people are not, and many of them have difficulty understanding us.

      It seems to me that most infidelity “experts” are not. Hence those awful timelines and expectations.

      All that said, how does that help us now? I spent two years working through it with James and I am in a good place within myself. Not without pain and sadness, but able to feel again. I did not feel much of anything besides pain and hurt for a long, long time. Graduations, holidays, and even the birth of my granddaughter were kind of a blur. It felt like there was a barrier between me and my own children, and definitely between Daniel and me.

      Daniel, to his credit, listened to James about giving me time and space to heal. He took over a lot of stuff so that I would have the time to sit and do nothing. He helped before when we were young so it was not entirely foreign to him. One particular day, he bought me new shoes for my hikes up the ridge. It meant a lot to me. And James helped me to move through the tornado.

      Daniel’s new attitudes now are helping me to interact with him and the world now, and my granddaughter – another highly sensitive soul – has brought joy back into my life. At three years of age, she instinctively knows when Gramma needs something, and she knows what to do, whether it be a hug and kiss, or rubbing my head, or shooting me with the water hose. So precious…

      For you, my dear Paula – you are beyond emotional exhaustion and you need to rest your soul. Is there a way you can slow down for a while?

  10. I can’t dredge up anything deep today. So maybe I can make you laugh, or smile or just shake your head.

    Once, during a therapy session my husband lamented to our counselor that he should have just killed himself. That I probably would have had an easier time getting over THAT. He was seeking sympathy of course, and was shocked when she said…….”yes. it probably would have been easier for her to get over. She would have mourned the man she lost. Now she has to mourn the man she lost AND make peace with the man that IS now.” To say the least it was not the response he was expecting!

    • Hahahahahaha! I don’t know about Paula, but I sure got a laugh out of that one! Funny – we are on the same wavelength today. I was just thinking about the aftermath of death vs cheating. I’ve read before that it is easier to get through the death of a spouse than it is to get through infidelity.

    • Indeed EG! Rog knows this. He knew this when we started out on this path, that death is “easier” for the other party than cheating.

      And I did laugh! I laughed because Mr EG was so naive that he didn’t know the answer to the question he asked of the counsellor before he asked it! (First rule: always know the answer before proposing anything!) Poor Mr EG, his little ego would have been very bruised at that response, lol. Thanks for sharing that 🙂

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