Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum



A quiet weekend.


At the beach.

With no assignments, just a few readings sorted in about an hour or two.

This was my weekend. I’m home now, and I realise I am still so all over the place at times. My emotions are always bursting at the seams from under the rug where I have them pinned down, to keep them from public view. I have only just started a prescribed VERY strict nutrition and exercise program, only in week two, and I recognised today that it is making me utterly miserable. Too rigid, too little wriggle room. So I am making some changes to it, for my sanity. I can feel the suicidal stuff threatening me from behind THAT door, and I need to change tack, and not open that door again. I have already lost three kilos, so I know I can do this, and I am just starting to feel the positive effects of an increased exercise regime. ‘Just’ twelve to go!

It started with a friend sharing some birth photos online on Friday. They were beautiful, but not something I would share publicly. I had the most wonderful home births with the second and third babies, and the memories of the long, 24 and 34 hour labours, with Roger there with me, holding me, rubbing my back, kissing me, caressing me, in the birth pool with me in the mid stages of labour, walking for miles up and down our rural road – me gripping telephone poles, or trees, or him – as the contractions swept me away on those oh-so-unbearable waves of pain, but he was always there, always encouraging me, always telling me I was amazing, beautiful, strong…and I was…and he meant it…

And yet, here I am all these years later, alone, and no longer amazing, beautiful, nor strong. Or not as any-of-those-things that I thought I was. I am here broken, sad, and not healing. It just seems that the more I achieve, the harder I push through this hell, the deeper I get into it, without getting any closer to the other side.

I’m sick of it, sick of this fight.


29 thoughts on “Beach

  1. I think there are a lot of people who would disagree with your statement about not being strong or amazing, you may not feel those things right now but they are there, let them rest a while.
    Beautiful? Who knows, it’s all subjective. But there is beauty in the words you give to others, I draw strength from the words you give to me.
    I feel you and I are quite similar in the things I read, I know for myself I cut other people a lot more slack than I would ever give myself.
    Keep on fighting the good fight my friend, there is an end. Jesus there HAS to be an end.

    • Thank you owlie. I know on the outside I am all three. But I don’t FEEL it. I know rationally that I am. I just hurt. All. The. Time. And I’m tired. Tired of fighting every day for what should just BE.

  2. Oh Paula I hear you. It is such a deep, deep loss for those of us who truly loved. But you are strong and you have healed a lot. I can see it when we comment on stories from people who are reeling still. We may not feel it but we are healed a lot. I don’t know that we ever fully heal, but we have so much to live for even if we feel pain. I think of my gran a lot these days. The last 8 years of her life she was in pain. The last 4 she was in great pain. But she took joy in moments she could. She hung on for 3 years to see us move home with our son. She hung on to know our baby was due soon. She kept going because she loved. The same reason she hurt in some ways (stupid family some of them, plus her cancer).

    I think I am concluding that the meaning of life is those we love, whoever they are. My kids are mine. Paul was, once. His loss. But my kids give me joy and that keeps me going.

    Wish I could have a cuppa and a drink and make a brooch of purest green out of the gold we have been dealt. Sorry, other way round.

  3. Sending you love from New York. Your words made me realize that there is a balance of emotion. If you love fiercely and completely, you will grieve the loss just as fiercely and completely.

    Based on your examples of what you have accomplished, you like control and pushing your limits because you excel. Yet it’s the quiet time that is the toughest to deal with.

    Hugs, dear Paula. May you realize that you are worth the struggle between the loud and quiet. You are worth it xxoo

  4. You are beautiful and strong. I can tell from your words and from you sharing your emotions and steps to move forward. But I can relate to not feeling that way and being rejected doesn’t help. It is an extremely difficult process but it is a process. I suspect we will always look back at times and be sad. I hope though that there are more smiles and laughter as we look forward and stay in the moment of right now. I pray for all of us that our life situation just keeps getting better and better to the point that one day we are thankful for the experience. I am not there yet believe me but I want to trust that there is a good reason for all of this.

    • The silly thing is, I had choice. I left him. Your dynamic is all the more painful and crushing. But he still wants me. But loves me enough to let me go. It’s so painful and he wants to rescue me from the pain, but he’s the cause of it. It’s a total mindfuck! Thank you for your sweet and extremely thoughtful words πŸ™‚

  5. You may well be alone Paula but that doesn’t mean you are no longer amazing, beautiful or strong! You are all of those things and more… you just have to cut yourself some slack now and again. Think about how far you have come and how much you have helped others along the way. This may well be the one thing you can’t fix but it doesn’t mean you are broken, just that Roger was.

    Good luck on your nutrition and exercise program. Sounds as tho a tweek or two is just what it needs xx

    • Cheers, PW. I don’t think it’s the alone that makes me feel like shit. I happy in my own company. I just feel like I fail recovery every single day. And mostly I cope – note I said cope, not thrive – but some periods are darker and oh-so-damn heavy. This is one of them and I know some of the triggers. It’s duck shooting season. This was when I started questioning what might be going on. Autumn, cooler, quieter, more reflective. I am in the last part of the semester, there’s our business GST return due. And the work one. I am only partially through one. It will be SIX years on the 16th. And I never imagined I would still be so paralysed with pain. So I’m angry again. Angry at them. Angry at myself for not being able to rise above. Angry at my so-called friends for allowing my withdrawal from them. I didn’t mean enough for them to chase me down the rabbit hole and pull me up by the collar.

      The pointless cycle of this just continues and I wanna get off!

  6. Struggling over here on the other side of the world as well. I’m still trying to write it out. Better get back to it. I am just deflecting by reading and commenting on other blogs. It sounds like you think you should be staying instead of doing what you want to do and that is go… you are not failing at anything. I am also trying to figure out my answers. What does it mean to be true to myself? I have spent so much time trying to protect the feelings of others, I forgot to protect myself. Hugs.

    • Hmmm. Actually, very much the other way ’round, Kat. I want to stay, but feel that hurts us both and I feel like a …. loser????… for staying with someone who totally disregarded my safety and emotional wellbeing. I know that is not who he IS. But I can’t reconcile that with the facts of what he WAS! STILL!!! I mean, how long do you give it. There’s been no real reduction in my pain. I cope better with it, but that’s management, not healing. I just wanna scream!

      • Are you guys still living in the same house? I can’t remember. I know I probably sound like a broken record, but do you think it will be easier for you to heal when you are out of that environment?

        Your “scream” comment immediately brought to mind a lady that attended the Take Your Life Back seminar with me. She was actually in my small group and man was she a feisty one. Teeny little thing who had been married for nearly 40 years (five grown children and a bunch of grandchildren) when her husband cheated on her for the first time. He cheated with his MIDDLE SCHOOL crush. They saw each other at their 40 year high school reunion (the OW was married to a minister!). The feisty one wrote a piece and recited in front of the group about how she could not believe that her “fat,” diabetic, bald, old husband was having an affair after 30 some odd years of marriage, and with HER best friend from middle and high school (who neither had seen for something like 20 years). She talked about how she went out on their deck one night after dday #3 (he kept cheating, she also attempted suicide, twice) and just screamed as loud as she could until she lost her voice. Dogs were barking, the neighbor called the police. I kind of just think of her when I want to scream, and it puts a smile on my face. She is quite a lady… too bad her husband is such an asshole.

        I know this all sucks and there is no easy answer for you or anyone. As always, lots of hugs your way!

      • I get this Paula. Its actually one of my big mindfucks with ChumpLady. She contributes to the culture created by OW that we are weak if we stay. Hell if this is weak, don’t show me strong because…look out!

      • We share a house, Kat, but don’t see much of each other, lots of coming and going. When I posted this, I hadn’t seen him for five days. I have had eight months when he lived elsewhere, and it was no better, so the idea of us being apart making it better, while it seems like a sensible idea, makes no difference, in fact, I think we miss our best mate, both of us.

      • Actually Neph, this is the one area we probably disagree on. I don’t see Chump Lady quite the same way as you. I think the vast majority of her audience are with narc arseholes, and they do need to leave/feel absolute relief once they do and work through the shit of divorce. If that isn’t your case (like you and I) then the message is not for us, necessarily. I see the chumps as those who really found it difficult to leave a marriage that was utter shit. That is not how our situations are, or were. That is not who we are, we are strong, independent women, not defined by our marriage or partnership. But I have always thought that you should leave someone who treats you poorly, that I am worth so much more. Hell, Roger partnered up! (Lol. But seriously, he kinda did!) So why did he get to cheat, and have me stay, after he broke my heart because he couldn’t keep it in his pants??? Of course, it isn’t about the sex. Roger made Leanne his confidante, he was hearing his worries, his triumphs, his emotions. He didn’t tell me. I have always confided EVERYTHING in him, there were no secrets, I bared my soul, and he trampled all over it. How do you ever get over that kind of shit? Why should I have to live a half life because of HIS choices?

  7. Oh Paula, sucks for you right now and I am so sorry. It must be hard to be living together yet not really living together as well. Having a strict eating regime is never easy and throw in exercise boy am I feeling for you. Isn’t it amazing how we live life by our senses? The feel of autumn coming and what was happening in your life 6 years ago and sadly those are the most painful memories that bring back darkness and hurt. Hang in there. You are beautiful and strong and intelligent and a wonderful mother and you were the best wife to Roger that you could ever have been. Never ever forget that.
    Hugs xxxx and more hugs.

    • Thank you, CF. Just another vent πŸ™‚ Doing well on the program. Get a bit hungry at night because I (stupidly) trained my body to go without during the day and eat at night. So retraining is ongoing πŸ˜‰

  8. I don’t know Paula, I might be probably am wrong, but I think maybe it’s because you are fighting what you want. I know I’m going to be blasted for saying it, Hell Angry Kelly is screaming in my head to shut the fuck up…but maybe you can’t move on because you are where you are supposed to be. With the love of your life, the father of your children, the one man you want to be with and you are fighting to not feel that way. Maybe you need to just stop fighting it? Love you as always…

    • Angry Kelly can go jump! Rational Kelly is right, of course. We really were (choke, gag) “soulmates” – how ridiculous is that??? I didn’t ever say it out loud, but I KNEW we were. He is still gutted, and I am still broken. I know I need to stop fighting it….but I just can’t seem to. Thank you for your words, Rational Kelly is just saying what I think, but struggle with every bloody day!

  9. Paula, I did not realize that Roger had an emotional affair as well as a physical one. No wonder you are done! It was robbery! He stole something from you and gave it to someone else. I wonder why adults keep acting like children and running away whe something tough comes along. I think we in the developed world have lied to ourselves that nothing bad is ever going to happen to us. How dare we have a bad day. Roger made a financial gamble, resented his family of origin(based on what I think you wrote) and hit middle age. Well, then, he would just be about three years old and do something mean. So you paid the price. The truly sad thing is they both got away with it. Nobody did jail time. Neither has lost a home or their health over it. I think that is the hardest thing to overcome…the awful unfairness of it. I don’t know you except through this blog but I think of you and your fellow bloggers often.
    I read Chump Lady and her audience appears to be divided between those who needed to get out of their marriages for their mental and physical health and those who were abandoned. She also is very good at helping people recognize when they are being “played”. If you have a truly remorseful spouse and manage to forgive and move on I don’t think you are her target audience. Most of her fellow chumps agree with her that reconciliation is very tricky. We revert to type. If someone cheats more that once you have a serial cheater on your hands no matter how many tears they shed. If someone has narcissistic tendencies they don’t go away. I get from her blog that she is an “early warning system” for future chumps who may not recognize what is happening to them.

    • I think most people who have sexual (I hate the term “physical” when it relates to affairs, which sounds to me like they held hands, stroked each other’s forearms, and skipped merrily along country roads, lol) affairs mostly have aspects of emotional affairs within them, Let go. To a greater or lesser degree. Even those who frequent prostitutes often use them to chat as well as the other services offered. His was an emotional crutch, one he is horrified he ever thought might be somehow helpful. And he has lost. He will lose his home. He has lost the respect of his children, his friends, his own sense of being a good man.He deeply mourns the loss of a totally amazing woman (ahem, that would be my fabulousness!) great cook, willing unpaid worker/accountant, hot babe, sizzling lover, PARTNER in LIFE, his best mate, team mate and the only person who had his back one million percent. He is humble, yet accepting of what he created.

      Injustice has always been one of my pet peeves. As I get older, I see how that has affected my life and choices. I left high school and went to study law. Funny thing is, law isn’t necessarily all about justice – shock, horror. I think it explains my interest in human geography and anthropology now, there is definitely a lot of injustice in dealing with inequalities caused by power imbalances. I saw the power imbalance in my own situation, giving up paid employment for the greater good of the family (a move that was fully supported by Roger.) I am always fighting for equality.

      I see Chump Lady much the same as you do. I guess I always knew that trying to forgive even the most genuine person for cheating was always going to be pushing shit uphill. But I gave it a damn good shot – I really thought we could make it. The thing is, I don’t feel valued, no matter what he says or does NOW, or what he said and did for the pre-cheating twenty-one fabulous years. Cheating spatters shit a hell of a long way, and the stench becomes embedded in your skin.

  10. I hope at some point in your life you write articles, books etc. You have an amazing way with words. His affair has robbed you of five years and given you some health issues. I hope when you take your life back that this pain subsides and you can use your gift to write for the sheer joy of it.

    • Thank you, Let go. I write constantly now. Still wouldn’t say I’m a good writer. I can organise words in (mostly) the right order. But I kinda write as I speak…..fast and from the heart – not necessarily well considered or rational!

  11. If we want rational we could read math books. One plus one is two. You are not irrational. You are just very good at getting feelings on paper.
    Let us know how your life is going when you have the time.

  12. Your feelings of tiredness and being stuck drip off these pages. There is no shame in not having been able to heal yet. But I think most of your readers (me for sure) and you yourself would wish for you to be able to enjoy life again. You seem to have found yourself in a dead end. I hope you don’t take offense, but you come across as potentially suicidal and I worry for you.

    Again, if this is not appropriate please forgive me, but I really feel you need to hear this: Suicide is not an end of suffering, it’s the creation of much more suffering for your loved ones. I know three people from relatively to very close who lost one parent to suicide and they all feel like having been burdened by that parent’s misery. Like the load was shifted on them after the deaths: they are left to deal now with the suffering their parent tried to run away from. Even if there is really nothing else in this life that can bring you peace now, this one thing is enough to keep on living: you are preventing your children from a life-long trauma and that is an expression of pure love.

    It’s understandable to want to kill the part of you that is constantly sad, bitter, angry, desperate and grieving when you can no longer bear the weight of it. But you don’t have to physically die to get rid of that weight and you certainly do not have to kill the much more important parts of you: the loving mother of your kids, the funny and smart kick-ass humanities student who can be really proud of herself.

    If those last parts feel far away it is because you are stuck running around in circles in your brain. It is a blessing and a curse as well to be intelligent like you: you’re too smart to fool yourself into being happy and yet also smart enough to fool yourself that all the things that make you suffer are real instead of illusionary constructs of your mind. If you had enough, if you can’t go on this way, if you see no point in life: break these constructs. Try a confrontational inquiry like platonic inquiry – or the more practical version of that by Byron Katie (it’s called The Work, you can find her whole method, consisting of a framework of questions, for free on the internet). If you think you can’t do that, can’t break out of your circles: at least prove it to yourself by giving it your best shot and keep doing it with whole your heart. Don’t let the dark suck you in any further, we all need you not to.

    By the way, I think your friend Kelly is right. And you don’t need to be ashamed of loving your husband, nor of the fact that you have a hard time loving him now.

    I’m sorry if this is too long or if you don’t find it appropriate, I just really think you’re just a couple of insights away from turning your life around again.

    • Thank you Eve. I am not suicidal. But I have been (two attempts in the first year, but that desperate fime is behind me) and am very aware of the repercussions for children. I have counselled others about this. Basically becoming a parent removes that option. I will check out your recommendation, I believe I have seen it before but worth another look. I have had a LOT of therapy, I have worked my bum off trying to find some peace throughout these six years.

      • Good to hear, I’m very glad that’s not an option for you. Just check it out, it might work for you. It’s not really like counselling, more like practical philosophy.

      • Eve, I want to thank you for your thoughts. I have had another look at The Work. It is the same concepts of most of the therapies I have worked with. Mindfulness, and critical evaluation of your own thought processes. I have done a LOT of this stuff – most of my life, but especially in the post-affair years. It seems good, but the reality is, it is just all the stuff you already know, that your mind has to be re-set constantly. My thoughts about it are that it is instinctive to me, but that doing “The Work” constantly is exhausting, and you don’t get any down time. I have a very fine-tuned radar about what the messages my brain keeps generating really are. I fight a 24/7 battle to straighten out the crap I tell myself. I just want to BE, to not fight this fight all the time. But, I accept that I will have to fight it for the rest of my life. I used to have such a great life, it was happy more than it wasn’t and I appreciated that privilege every day. If it helps someone reading here, I am pleased – thank you again.

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