Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum

The further I go, the worse I get. Unrecovery. Yes, it’s a word. Because I say so.


I really don’t know what the hell will become of me.

I am such a changed creature from the one I thought I was before this.

My discourse about myself prior to this included words and phrases like; strong, capable, loving, passionate, kind, tough, positive, resilient, yes vulnerable, a fantastic friend who would always have your back, compassionate, sensible-yet-fun-loving, empathetic, liberal, sexy, oh-so-sexy, oh-so-up-for-bedroom-adventures, fuck that, ANYWHERE hot, sexual adventures, hard-working, bright, an astute and accurate reader of the human condition, including character.

Yet, my self-discursive head chat now goes something like this, “you were stupid, you believed liars, you are now totally screwed because you can’t get better, STOP talking to yourself this way, you are killing yourself. You will never get better, the nightmares are still appalling, how can I stop them, how can I stop the mind movies, how can I stop my skin crawling at human touch, how will I ever get my sexual mojo back, never mind, it doesn’t matter, you don’t need sex, or even masturbation/orgasms to live…….” and on and on and on……

How the fuck do you shut that bitch up???

I am trying to do less blogging, but of course, you fall in the pits and that is when I find I start itching to vomit it all out here. I had a really weirdly weepy day yesterday. I didn’t actually weep. Only because I was at uni all day. I know I was already a bit vulnerable before the day begun, I will go into that a little soon. Then, in two lectures, I watched film clips that made me weepy, silly things, a young woman struggling with relationships, and packing her days from 6am-11pm with “stuff” activities, work, exercise, volunteering, trying to find meaning in her life after her mother abandoned her at 13 because in court they made her “choose” which parent to live with, and later, a flashback to the assassination in Quebec, of Pierre Laporte, in 1970.

Seriously. WTF Paula!

So, the reason I am down in this oh-so-fucking-familiar pit at present is mostly about some decisions I made recently. Some promises I made myself. Roger – hell, I’m done with the pseudonyms, I have only used them in the body of posts to appease his sensibilities anyway, always replied using his given name – and I talked a while back, and he pretty much told me what I already knew. He feels like what we talk about gives us nothing new anymore, it doesn’t help either one of us. He is probably right. But the purpose it served for me was to avoid falling in the pits. Nevertheless, I decided that if I am leaving him, there is no way he needs to be there, listening to me talk, trying to help solve my pain anymore.

So I promised myself to stop talking to him.

Only problem is, he is my only friend. He has been my only support throughout all of this. Well, that’s not quite true, my dearest old, lifetime friend, J, was fantastically patient for the first year, I leaned on her a lot. But after a year, I knew I needed to lose the crutch. Besides, she had no idea what I was feeling, and going through, she is lovely, but she doesn’t, can’t possibly, understand. She saw us together (has always liked Rog, thought he was the most awesome partner and father, and saw us have such a lot of fun together) and thought, okay, they had a moment, then you forgive and move on. And if this hadn’t happened to me, I would have felt the same looking in through the window. But not talking to him is like torture, the toxins build up in my veins, and I slowly rot.

But that hasn’t happened for me. I feel so fucking trapped by my misery, and I punch it in the face, and the genitals daily, but that MOFO is a tough sonofabitch! The frustration I feel at not kicking this in the arse is immense. I feel unworthy. I feel weak. I feel defeated. And I feel angry that I allow myself these pity parties, holy shit, the world is still orbiting the sun! I have three healthy, happy kids who are achieving, and growing, and pushing their boundaries in safe ways, looking to the world and life’s big adventures ahead. I live in an idyllic location, chooks, vege garden, fruit trees, home killed organic meat. I am grateful, but why is that not enough anymore? Honestly, the sun went out on my life the night Leanne texted me with the details of their (ended) affair. My world imploded. Okay, we all know this, most of you reading here have felt this. But why can’t I get a rebuild? A stronger life from what I have learned? I mean, Christchurch fell over because it was built without much thought about earthquakes. After the big ones hit, they regrouped and the rebuild is thoughtful, cleverly designed, aesthetically beautiful, and yes, to earthquake standards, now they KNOW they sit on some faultlines. Why does my rebuild not stick? What is it in my brain that self-sabotages?

Is the most helpless and pathetic I have ever felt in my life. Take fucking charge. Forge on. I do, but I can’t seem to keep any power up to the engines. I know I am exhausted.

The only thing that keeps me going, that has the last spark of my life glowing, is my studies. And I can’t say I love it. I am still scared every day that the facade of “success” will fall. I push myself to complete assignments, willing myself to throw myself over the finish line. But I am doing well, and if I didn’t have it, I would actually (no exaggeration) lose the will to live.

How pathetic is that?


38 thoughts on “The further I go, the worse I get. Unrecovery. Yes, it’s a word. Because I say so.

  1. You’re not pathetic hon, you’re a fixer and a problem solver but you can’t fix this. The frustration is debilitating unfortunately and leaves you with nowhere to go except into yourself. I wish I could help but it’d be the blind leading the blind. Just keep working at the thing that’s keeping you together. Much love xx

  2. It’s not pathetic. It’s just where you are right now. It doesn’t mean this is where you will be in the future.

    You know me, Paula — I ask crazy questions…so here is one for you:

    What if you took a secondment to travel and get away for 2-6 months? I realize that this is crazy because you have one child still at home, but…what if? A soul journey.

    It brings to mind that shitty book and movie, Eat, Pray, Love. Hell, I would love to do that! I don’t know…it’s just one of those crazy thoughts that spark in my brain.

    Perhaps a change in latitude will prompt a change in attitude? Yeah, a trip could help, but you’ll eventually have to come back home, but…but…but…perhaps it’s about the location that you could change up for a short time and be able to breathe and center yourself?

    The treadmill you’ve put yourself on (yeah, some of it has been a choice and other has been done to you), is been going full speed with no stopping.

    Like I said, I really don’t know — but, what if? xxoo

    • tempted, thanks sweets. I have looked and thought about this. I honestly don’t have the funds. I know that sounds like a cop out, maybe it is, sell the lake house? I have committed to my kids – I promised myself I would be here to help them launch. It is only two and a half more years. I can do it. AND I am determined to knock this damn degree off before 50! I am a pig-headed tart 😉 So don’t listen to my word vomit, it is just purging. It helps a bit xxx

      • Oh, and I did something like this. I moved to our lake house for three months a few years back. Forgot about that. It didn’t help me, dammit! Maybe wrong location, too short, etc, etc, etc. It seems I am good at excuses 😉

      • I agree with tempted, a change in location is a great idea. The lake house isn’t the right place, full of ghosts. Why not take your daughter with you? Come to me in Blighty 🙂 …London baby! I’m only 40 minute train ride away. You’d both have a ball and what a great opportunity for her to see some of Europe. It’d be great for me too! 😀 I’ve got plenty of room xx

      • Oh bubsy, I’m so touched. Thank you so much for your very generous offer, I will get there one day, I promise. Your husband may not be so thrilled with a house guest from the “betrayed” life, lol!

        My daughter has won a six month full scholarship to a French speaking country next year, just found out last week that she is going in the second half of the year – probably around August/September. It is Ministry of Education Language Immersion Award, we were very chuffed, only 15 awarded nationwide, to all language students. It is administered through AFS, so their French speaking countries are Belgium, France and Canada. I don’t know if they go “off-piste” but imagine it will be either France or Belgium, she won’t find out until well into 2015 where she is going. But I think she is likely to get her little taster or Europe :-). But that means for six months, I will be an empty nester! My brother lives in Pinner, NW London with his Danish wife. He has two young daughters here in NZ, and is coming home in January for a visit, would be great to house swap with him! But I have just enrolled in a one day a week summer school paper for the late part of January/early February, as I am one paper behind a traditional degree, so thought I could play catch up. Bum. No trip to bubsy’s this summer (winter.) Also, funds really are very tight here with my middle son off to university this summer, and me being selfish and trying to finish my own next year! I know I am prioritising stuff that maybe I should re-shuffle, but I really want this degree done and dusted fast! I really am very touched that you wrote that, bubsy xxx.

  3. At this moment, I am without advice. I just want to say that I have come to love you dearly, and you are in my thoughts. If I come up with anything to offer as something more helpful, I’ll comment again. With prayers ~DJ

    • S’ok, DJ, see comment to tempted above, lol. I am alive. I have good things in my life, and I just get on here and scream at my keyboard some days before I jump off that cliff! Thank you for your thoughts, prayers and love. Right back at ya, sweetheart xxx

  4. Oh Paula, I feel for you deeply. I just wish we could have a glass of wine and a long chat and a laugh and feel a bit better for a while. I truly believe the way out of the circles is probably a kind of compartmentalisation but to us that’s rightly a dirty word. So that’s hard. I get that. I can do it sometimes and it scares me because I don’t want that filthy characteristic even if I use it for good.

    • Yep, the problem is, I CAN’T compartmentalise. I run all programs at once. I am shit at closing windows! I wouldn’t even care if it is a dirty word if it helped me feel some bloody peace.

      Will have one in your honour tonight, Neph. Join me xx Will need it, as am struggling through these last few essays, bit all over the place to be fair. (I took out …. just counted … 17 actual paper books for one 1500 word second year essay yesterday. Think that about shows where my head is at, lol.)

      • I know. I am no good at it either, I’ve only managed it by a kind of tuning out that comes with kids music. You know those posts with the kids music? That kind of thing plays in our house and car a lot and it’s really the only way I can compartmentalise at all. Not sure if that helps. I’ll definitely join you in spirit.

  5. You happen to be legally married to this man.

    But you don’t need to love him.

    You might need to mentally divorce – and physically take all the restraint that requires… insist upon it, to him and yourself.

    Perhaps the man you need to unleash your great, boundless love upon will build himself before you like a phoenix. And if not? That enormous gift of your love will go to someone else when it’s the right time.

    In the meantime, take care of you. The husband you knew is dead. You are a widow to that marriage. Grieve, suffer, and grow at your own pace, as you are. How he feels about it is a problem of his own doing. It’s GOOD to just be where and who and what you are.

    Going forward, the man you give your love to must be worthy of it. It may be Roger or someone else…

    Or it may be no one.

    And that’s all okay. Be care-full with YOU, my dear Paula!

    • Lol, that is lovely, insistson, but we are not legally married, I chose not to be, so that if and when the time came that the love died, we could … gawd … “consciously uncouple,” spew! How dumb was that 20 year old??? Like a piece of paper makes the splitting up, dividing assets, co-parenting, any easier. I shake my head at the naivety of that young person, who thought she was so worldly.

      The problem for me is I have mentally divorced. I did that about a year ago. I am no happier. Probably a lot worse. But every time we try to “go again,” it is like I feel disloyal to myself, and I am still not happy. Honestly, this guy is wonderful in almost every other way, the blip on the radar – his affair – was just that, but I can’t wipe the screen from my mind. I have a chip that screams at me, “don’t trust, don’t let him near you, don’t let any human being close to this only-just-beating heart” – and that includes my kids, for God’s sake! It is incredibly frustrating. What I am fighting now is my own mind, and nothing else. I can’t seem to break down the walls, or scale them, or take that leap of faith. I am too much a black and white person.

      I wish I wasn’t. I wish I could throw myself off the cliff.

  6. No ideas here 😦 but the dark will get light again…The last optimist in Oklahoma is raising her head to tell you that 🙂

    How do I know you are gonna be okay? Because you are like me and love your kids to the brink of insanity, more than life, and they will pull you through.

    Push it out Paula, push the despair which is consuming you out. I know it’s easier said than done but in your words you are finding hope those kids, the beauty around you 🙂

    Don’t run, those demons will just wait on you…instead fight them because you deserve HAPPY 🙂

    Hugs and lots of Love

    • Thanks Kelly, much appreciated. I guess I just haven’t felt good for a long, long time now. I did during the first years of this crap, but it’s been years now that I have had the weight of it all pressing me down, and I get so frustrated with myself. The weight of it is physical now, I feel it throughout my body, I ache all over. I have had one orgasm in two years – and I can’t even get myself off – used to be really good at that, at least, lol! We were a very sexual couple, I Oed most days of the week ;-). (Oh, Gawd, yuck, but I know that the physical part I have lost is material to my lack of progress, actually, retreat from healing.)

      Yesterday, Rog told me that remember what Stephen Fry said in his doco about bi-polarism, that despite everything, he wouldn’t change this about himself. Well, I just looked at him and said, “yeah, well, if I had some mania, I would probably feel the same, but I don’t have the ups. I only have the lows, so quite different to his situation, huh?” Yep, I did that, he was only trying to help.

      The thing is, I don’t feel the love for my kids I used to. I really don’t. I mean, I worry about them, I get pissed at them when they are divet-heads, I hope they have happy lives, and I try to be up-front about some of life’s pitfalls (talked to my 17 year old on Saturday about the couple of extended family members who have battled alcoholism, and pointed out how easy it is to fall into that trap if you are unaware, for example) but that awesome buzz I used to feel when looking at them, that overwhelming desire to just squeeze them, the flood of affection, pride, and …. warmth, I haven’t felt that since the affair was uncovered. What I do now is more about responsibility, I brought them into this world, I HAVE to look out for them. If I ever hug them, it is a very contrived thing, like something I write on a list. 1. Hug kids today. 2. ….. It makes me so fucking angry that two selfish pricks have robbed my kids of their mother’s love, the kind of love I used to feel and give so damn freely, and I am angry at them for ME losing those feelings, and lastly I am angry at me for allowing them to rob me of them. Lotta anger, huh?

      I know what you mean about running away, though. I am determined to see this through. The kids don’t need me to be struggling financially just when they need help with university funding, etc. And I can’t finish my degree without staying here either.

      Roger moved to the other end of the house again this weekend. I was very blunt about it.

  7. It’s obvious that you still love Roger, hell, we must all love our idiot spouses, we’re still here right? Maybe now is not the time to be concentrating on the two of you, it sounds as tho you have your plate full with Uni stuff, and kids and life.

    You said you “mentally divorced” about a year ago so maybe, just maybe, there will come a point in time, when you can try and start “dating” again. Perhaps you need this time apart, yet together, to get done what you need to get done, for you and for your sanity. XX

    • PW I really aporeciate your comment. But we’ve walked that path several times. Three separations. One very sad, embarrassed and totally devastated cheat who vowed to do anything to help me heal – and has worked his bum off. He has wooed me, taken me away, doted on me, he has held me, he has paticipated in abstinence as per sex therapy instructions, heck we’ve tried every new age, old age, middle aged (snort) trick in the book.

  8. I got sad when I read this. You sound severely depressed – numb and tired. Sounds like you suffer from the void that was left after your whole security base and view of life was broken with the affair and you have not been able to rebuild any of those two. You experienced in a very painful way how building your sense of safeness and security on someone else turned out to be an illusion. Have you been able to accept that or are you still in resistance to what happened? And by acceptance, I don’t mean ‘approving’ but merely stop thinking ‘this shouldn’t have happened’. Because: while of course you wish it did not happen, fact is it did. And to keep on struggling against that fact is not only futile (it won’t change history), it actually harms you, burns you up inside. Stop fighting what you can’t change, surrender to it and to the feelings that might come up with it. Grieve for your loss, allow your sadness to be. Let it cleanse you.

    And don’t tell yourself you don’t have any love left in you. You do. You just can not feel it through the thick armour you have built to protect yourself. You might have needed that armor until now, but it seems it serves you no longer. Sadness and grief are not merely negative feelings, they are dimensions of love . When they need to get out but get repressed, you numb yourself of not only the negative feelings, but of all kinds of feelings. I wish you the best and I hope you will connect to that love inside you again.

    • Hi Eve. Yes, I fully accept that this happened, and no one will magic it away. It took a while, I kept waking every morning, hoping it was a bad dream, but plunging into, “nyah-ah, real” for most of the first year, maybe longer. I have known I was grieving, at one point one of the psychologists I saw understood it wasn’t “true depression” and gave me another label, basically prolonged, and unresolved grief. All my life hurts seemed to come home to roost with this. And yes, I must have built all my sense of safety in my relationship. I wasn’t fully aware of the extent of it, but I did have some idea. I knew that my past had affected me, I knew I didn’t want to be reliant on a man, or any other person, after seeing my parents’ world implode, and especially after my rape. Roger knew I was a tough girl, he didn’t fully understand my vulnerabilities. Hey, we’re all far more vulnerable than most of us let on, that armour is good shit! I spent almost a year under the care of a really lovely psychiatrist, trying heaps of meds, and dose rates, I got no relief. I think all you have written here is very true, but I haven’t really repressed anything, I have screamed, cried and generally let it all out. But it is five and a half years, and somewhere in that third year, I knew that I was getting nowhere, and needed to change tack, learn to re-direct some of the grief, some of the time.

      I really appreciate your comments x.

  9. Wow, you have had a lot on your plate. That must have been tough, I feel for you. And good for you that you have changed tracks and went to uni.

    Maybe I should clarify what I mean by acceptance. I do not mean not denying it happened, but viewing it totally apart from the emotions you attach to it. Like a neutral fact. That means separating the two facets of the affair. So first: my husband slept with another woman (and then refrain from the natural urge to add to that ‘he shouldn’t have’ or ‘that is a bad thing’). In our minds when bad things happen we automatically apply a label on them, to define what they mean to us. It goes especially for intelligent people – as your mind is so active it tends to race away on its own.

    And the second part is the pain. Just allow the pain to be felt without attaching it to the affair. Notice when you do that, your mind will automatically start repeating the stories about it’s meaning. That results in the deep feelings of ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘I am nothing on my own’ or ‘I am not loved’. But if you consciously focus on just the pure pain, the bodily sensation of it – detaching it of any meaning, you will notice it can’t last without the story for very long. And you might discover that when it is just the basic raw feelings of sadness and grief you are letting through – devoid of any personal meaning – you no longer suffer from it anymore but actually can heal from that.

    I did experience that, I really hope it would bring you the same amount of relief. From what I read you need some relief from that burden right now. All the best to you, x

    • Yeah, I got what you were meaning, Eve. This is a huge problem for me. I have worked with several therapists along these lines. The problem I seem to have is a complete inability to detach, to compartmentalise. I have described it to therapists as the wallpaper of my mind. I have worked extremely hard, extremely consciously (mindfully) at doing just this. I still have rape and sexual nightmares most nights, for God’s sake! My subconscious just keeps trucking on. I haven’t had any time where I have been able to separate the pain and keep it away from the vivid mind movies for any length of time. And I have worked hard at this. First CBT then hypnotherapy, then ACT which seemed of the most use, the acceptance part allowed me to not constantly wrangle with the thoughts, but allow them in, feel them, and learn to make space around them to fit the “good stuff” – I call it trying to re-sparkle. Rog says he looks at me and dies a little inside as for 21 years I sparkled and glittered but these past five my sparkle has never reappeared. I bloody wish I could separate the two, but with ACT I found a small compromise.

      Thanks Eve, very thoughtful feedback 🙂

  10. I guess you have tried it all, sad to hear that you keep facing those demons. I think you really deserve some lightness in your life. Maybe the key is in not trying so hard anymore, just letting it wash all over you. But only if en when you are ready to face that, I think you know very well for yourself when that time comes. Good luck with your essay!

  11. keep facing is ‘keep having to face’ I guess (sorry, not a native speaker)

    • Thanks Eve. That is what I do now. Just exist in the moment. The fight was too draining, and fighting with yourself is fairly soul destroying.

      I would have never picked that you were a non-native speaker! (Doing a Cultural Linguistics paper this semester, and this stuff really resonates.)

  12. I love you Paula.. today as I read all of this I struggle today. I want nothing to do with M. My kids hell yeah we are going out for Froyo today!! We should go out for Froyo! I just found some flavors I like.
    I”ve missed reading your blog Paula. I know you are sad and upset about your unrecovery.. but it brings me smiles because I’m not alone. I do unrecovery so well too. Not to say we are the in the same boat, you are miles ahead of me.
    But I wish you smiles and if nothing else this will make you laugh! I love to watch this guy dance.. the commitment is amazing!!

  13. I don’t think your pathetic. I think you just described (very well) our new reality after an affair. This level of betrayal and deceit is worse than anything I’ve ever experienced. I’m different now and I know that I will never be who I was again. He destroyed her.

    • Indeed, racoro. And why do we hang around to see if they can screw the new version up as well as they did the “pure,” unsullied version? I know mine is better, that he had a breakdown that he is VERY embarrassed about and sorry for, he did the work, he had already realised how awful what he was doing was before he ended it, before he prised her off him, but how does that help how I feel about all I sacrificed and gave to him? It doesn’t. And that is the awful truth about cheating. It fucks things. And I can’t get to a place that can sit with that and be as joyful, or experience such true love and peace that I used to have with him.

      Shitty lesson, but that is what has happened to us here.

  14. It’s a lesson I wish I could have missed.

  15. I don’t like what he says here. Asking you not to talk to him about it anymore. He says it’s because he doesn’t see it helping, it’s all the same stuff you have already talked about. But the reason might be hes uncomfortable hearing it. And, even if it’s repetition, the feelings come up again and again for you. You have to sufffer again, so he can bear it again. Having him validate and hear your feelings is healing for you. Having a witness to your pain. Him acknowledging what you’re saying etc.
    also what about telling him your mind movies when they come? Describing to him exactly what you’re seeing whenever it comes up. Every little detail and the emotions involved. I know someone who healed from traumatic nightmares that way
    I see this is an old post, I’m just reading through your blog;), hope it’s okay to still say this.

    • So odd to re-read something from so long ago! I never go back over my blog. Maybe one day it will be something I do. But that is kind of my point. In general, I push forward in life. This got me stuck.

      Without totally going all out in Roger’s defence (Nic, the counsellor, often growled at me for rescuing him) I think this post was written after we had had a ‘let’s not do this anymore’ chat. He did stand fairly stoically for many years, listening to my pain, answering me as best he could, fairly understanding that it ‘takes as long as it takes.’ I now know I will never fully be able to let it go. There will always be thoughts and sadness. Sometimes I will need to say things, possibly cry a little, all that kind of thing.

      I have clearly described some of my mind movies to him. He feels awful. But honestly? I don’t think he REALLY understands the horror. We are quite different in that way. I see the … um … desensitization that he has to sexual horror. As a more sexually exclusive person who was once very violently raped, I am very affected by these. And I don’t think he really CAN relate.

      And it is absolutely okay to comment on old post, JSS. Thanks so much for your support and interest in my little story.

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