Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum



One of the hardest parts about letting go of a relationship with a partner who supported you, believed in you, fed your soul, shared your successes (and commiserated about your failures) is the loneliness. The lack of high fives when you do well.

I got my marked final undergrad year, gender, place and culture geography essay back last week. Worth 33% of the final grade. I knew I had an A+ on it. The lecturer had let us know she would post the grades early in the week, as she couldn’t return the hard copies just yet, with two legitimate late submissions needing out-marking. Of course, I was pleased, you always are with an A+.

I picked up my marked hard copy a few days later. I got 100% on it. I mean, WTF??? I didn’t even know you could get 100% on a humanities essay! Maths, sciences, yes. A definitive answer. Of course. But a subjective viewpoint? WOW.Her final comment was, “very much graduate level, here is your Masters on a plate!”

And, in my isolation from all my previous friends, and now from Roger, I was absolutely fizzing (had a few tears in the carpark as I read her comments!) but had no one to share my thrill with. I got a 97% on an essay on the equivalent second year paper, but had never heard of 100%. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I am also on a diet and exercise plan that I am trying to stick hard to, and am avoiding alcohol, so no bubbles for me. Β The best I could do was Snapchat my eldest daughter in the capital. woohoo – when it should have been WOOHOO – LOOK AT ME, CHECK OUT THE BRAIN ON PAULA!

The loss of all of my emotional support systems and especially Rog, who really was a great person to celebrate success with, just tears at me. My daughter let my (former) best friend know. I was very surprised she did that. But J let me know she had heard, and we saw each other at a friend’s ANZAC Day centenary party (we never see each other any more, I have withdrawn from her as she just doesn’t understand) and she gave me a huge hug, and was almost speechless – her words, “I’m not surprised, you have always been WAY more than capable, but heck, I didn’t even know you COULD get a perfect score on a humanities essay.” Me: “I KNOW, WTF?” J: “Can I tell my siblings?” J’s parents are both deceased, but her seven siblings are closer to me than my own are. I answered, “ummmm, yeah, I suppose, I mean, of course, I’m sure they will be super excited to hear that, lol.”

Same day at uni, I was leaving my morning double lecture, the one with the old-school, dry lecturer called my name. I was very surprised, didn’t know he KNEW my name. We had a 35% essay due not long after the GEOG one, and I found it very challenging – the most challenging one I have done thus far. It was 3000 words on a VERY broad topic. I was very worried I hadn’t really answered the question properly – I went a little bit leftfield – even after asking myself if I had answered it a million times prior to submission. As I walked towards the lectern, I had, “OMG, he is going to say, you seem to have missed the point entirely on your essay, Paula.” When I got to him (half the class was right behind me, so no privacy, gulp) he said, “I just wanted to thank you so much for your essay.”

Wait, WTF???

Since when do you get thanked for handing in an essay?

I replied, ” oh, okay, thanks. I was quite worried about it.” He smiled and said, “don’t be,” and I walked away.

How weird is that???

So, I am hoping that is a good sign?

But, once again, I am very alone in all of this. Being alone is normally okay with me these days. I have been comfortable in my own skin most of my life, but this is another level. Most of the time, I am comfortable with my own achievements. I often think of Mum, and how she would have been who I would have shared this with if she was still here.

So, after nearly a week, I am sharing it here. Not to get the “well dones” that my Mum, or Roger would have provided, just to share that this is one of the consequences of being betrayed, and your love being wrenched from you.

So, here I am, yelling to the blogosphere



31 thoughts on “FIGJAM

  1. I’m SO pleased for you!!! Having done my degree as a mature student, and finding out about R’s affair in my final year I completely understand what this triumph means to you – you should feel on top of the world, you deserve to feel on top of the world!

    • Thanks owlie. You rock. I didn’t want to post this because I didn’t want to be shopping for compliments, I was rather exploring the sadness in the achievement being a solo one…

      • You know I think there are some situations where a compliment is perfectly fitting – this seems to be one of those times! I can understand how difficult it is to have achieved something mega and not have any to celebrate with……the facets of post-affair life are varied, far-reaching and invariably shit. This is not shit, so even though you don’t have your important folk to celebrate with I for one would like to give you a massive high five!!! βœ‹πŸ»πŸ‘ˆπŸ»there it is πŸ˜ƒ

      • So true! Thanks chick! Right back at ya!

  2. So proud of you Paula! I know I am just an anonymous blogger with a justice fetish and an unhealthy retention of Monty Python quotes, but I am so freaking proud of you! I know what it’s like to go back to study and fit it in around everything else. And it is all the more awesome. Go girl! Revel in your daughter’s admiration.

    • Thanks Neph. Still feel like a fraud, which is weird because I’m actually nailing this. Why are we so hard on ourselves? I guess my previous academic snobbery feels like airy-fairy arts and social sciences are not quite… academic enough? And yet I know better than to compare πŸ™‚

  3. πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ Being a math person, all those essays would do me in! Well done. Glad you shared with your daughter!

    • Maths scares the bejesus out of me these days. My high school kid’s maths is something I forgot long, long ago! I was actually okay at maths, but not my strongest suit. Gimme an essay any day ;-). Thanks jules.

  4. Well done P! If anyone deserves a pat on the back its you πŸ˜€ xx

  5. Woo Hoo!!!! You are awesome. So proud of you. I am sad though that every time something happens to us, good or bad, we have to think about their absence. You are definitely putting your best life forward. You will get that delivered back to you from the universe and someone who really does think you are amazing, whether you are graded officially for it or not, will let you know by how they treat you. Then there may be no need for us to make people see that we really are fantastic and never deserved to be treated in such a manner. It is your ex missing out celebrating. You celebrate! Whatever that looks like now to you. Maybe a spa day or throw a party with your friends or both!

    • Thanks, together. I guess my point is, I never wanted to be reliant on anyone else for my self esteem, but in a loving relationship, you do tend to grow that tendency. I never want another relationship. I had a truly wonderful one. Until I didn’t anymore. Getting used to that is so sad, but you edge on, because there is no choice. I’m okay, but not that excited about it. I have lost the ability to be truly joyful. And I do miss it. A lot.

  6. I think that is the point, why are you so hard on yourself? Damn, you are worthy of admiration, dear Paula! But, I really get the bittersweet aspect of success and loneliness. The loss of Roger is profound for you and I’m sorry xx

    • Lol. You mean you aren’t, tempted? ;-). My perfectionism was the reason I had to pull away from the man I love and try a new way of being. We miss each other like crazy. But I can’t be with him either. It’s maddening.

  7. Well done Paula, thats awesome… take the compliments you deserve them πŸ˜€

  8. I’d say all the practice you get writing for all of us has helped πŸ™‚ doesn’t surprise me that you can write a 3000 word essay and get 100% on another like superwoman πŸ™‚ When you have bared your soul in public, wrote your heartache to share with the world, college classes don’t stand a chance πŸ™‚ Love you Miss Paula and I am so proud

    • Lol. The funny thing for me is that this blog is thrown together. Unplanned. Poorly edited. And just my verbal diahorrea. Wish it was as eloquent as my academic writing! I’ll take the compliment, nevertheless x

  9. “Hey Y’all – CHECK OUT THE BRAINS AND SPOT-ON INTUITIONS ON PAULA!” Fantastic – congratulations!!

    You is smart. You is kind. You is important. For REAL!! You ARE! Soak it all up! ❀

  10. How awesome are you? That is just amazing! You are really nailing your studies and you should shout about and be damn proud of your achievements.
    This is a special little world we have here in blogland. It is
    Iike a secret society sadly based on pain and hurt but also on compassion and understanding what each one of us is going through. It is a safe place to find support but it is also a place to share achievements. No one else out there has any clue what life is like when the one you trusted has betrayed you. No one out there knows the pain and hurt you suffer. No one out there knows what a truly wonderful achievement you have attained in your studies. We celebrate with you!!!!!!!
    Shame about the bubbles….another time πŸΈπŸ‘πŸ˜€

  11. Paula, there is a pastor in the US, TD Jakes, whose powerful sermon says so very much about the ideas and people we hang on to even when they are harmful to us. We have a daily talk show here with Dr. Phil McGraw and he had Pastor Jakes on his show. Since he and I are not the same race or religion I had never heard of him but I did some research and listened to his words. He’s says if someone walks away from you let them go. That is where I got my name. I hope you shed your loneliness and let go of your sadness and just rejoice in who you are. Look at what you have done. You did it by yourself. You are mighty! Congratulations…..and stay in touch with your worldwide friends. We want to keep up with your successes.

    • Hi Let go. I know. I have always been one to try to surround myself with positive people, but I am also a deeply empathetic person who would never abandon someone in pain. Roger is no longer harmful to me. He’s very kind, caring and very understanding of my position and his role in causing such chaos in my heart. But I felt so ashamed of staying with a cheater, and I needed to strike out alone to try to regain some self worth

  12. Okay, I have to admit, being an American and all, I had to look up “fig jam.” I mean, I assumed from context, but seriously, I googled it and then was actually relieved it is a regional saying not just something I have lived 51 years without hearing before! I make the real stuff from figs that grow in our front yard, but making it nor eating it has ever prompted me to say, “hot damn, I’m good” ha!

    I’m so sorry you don’t have your Mum and you don’t have Rog to share with. Obviously you will never be able to replace that feeling when your Mum is truly proud of you (because good ones are always SO proud), but sometimes our children become the next best thing. Nothing better than when your kids are proud of you, and they get how hard you worked, and how awesome you are! It’s like that old saying… “If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.” There are blessings everywhere and new people to meet and perhaps the best is yet to come, because you, Paula, deserve it” Good on ya!!! πŸ™‚

    • Hey there, Kat. Yup. And yup. And wow, I never knew Fuck I’m Good, Just Ask Me was regional! I thought it was a universal to all English speakers. Learning every day πŸ˜‰ ! (BTW, I love a good fig jam – for real!)

  13. Paula, you nailed it! Congratulations, what an AMAZING achievement! You say you can’t be with him and it hurts to be without…that’s the paradox, isn’t it? Life throws huge benders, and you just conquered one. You worked for it, you achieved it. Enjoy your sweet success. SWxo

    • Much appreciated, SW. It really isn’t the same without him. And his pleasure. He has supported me 10000% in my academic endeavours and the success is VERY bittersweet xx.

  14. You are freaking amazing, Paula! *high freaking five-ing you so hard it just might snap your wrist*

  15. Ouch! ;-). (Thanks TLM, so appreciated x)

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