Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum



It’s been a long fortnight in the Land of the Torn.

Our exchange student’s parents arrived from her home country – against the conditions of the exchange program. They are very nice, one has no English, and the other, a little. Neither of us have any Spanish. So, they took their daughter out of school for a few days and did a quick tour of the South Island. The rest of the time, they have been with us. This is not something I really signed up for when agreeing to host a student. Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, before the Wicked Witch of the….North (in this case) and the horrid Wizard of Torn fucked up my life (pffft, this is my fairytale, and I will tell it my way) I would have embraced it. I am (was?) a very hospitable person, I like (d?) people, I like (d?) to cook for them and show them around. This time it has been somewhat of a chore. Don’t get me wrong, I have had my game face on, but the smile has not quite made it to my eyes.

They are off tonight to have dinner with another lovely South American (immigrant) family, whose daughter N has befriended at school. We have great discussions around the dinner table, with N translating. But it will be nice not to have to wear that mask tonight. I have cooked beautiful dinners, and I can relax tonight with something simpler. Then early the next morning they will take our car (we lent our old banger to them to get about in) and N to her camp a few hours away, and join in the activities planned before the parents return for Saturday night. On Sunday I will drive them to the airport and we will be back to the four of us. N leaves us on the 7th of July, so we are counting down. It has been mostly good, but there have been some moments with a pretty lovely, but pretty entitled, Daddy’s girl living with us. She has tried it on with Roger a bit, batting her eyelashes at him, touching him and generally trying to cajole him to get what she wants. This has made him deeply uncomfortable at times, and he is great with her, they get on well, but he has asked her on several occasions not to do that. Affairs aside (and I don’t give a rat’s arse about it, he is his own man) she is 17. Not cool.

So, we have been playing happy families for the visitors, which is fine, as we do get on well, but I have noted that I have become a bit snarky. Just subtle, but not all that nice, nonetheless. I need to rein it in. I have been working on that. Roger has taken the opportunity to try to fix us and make plans for a future together – “whatever it takes, you’re the only one I ever want, the only person who gets me, I will continue to do whatever it takes for you, forever” – that kind of stuff. He is very nice, very kind, very mindful. But I can’t do this.

So, I sat and thought about it a bit this morning while I was typing out answers to a reading exercise. I have always done what pleases everyone else. My happiness was tied to servitude.

What the actual fuck???

That was not who I saw myself as. I think it was a manifestation of taking a while to find my niche in life. I dropped out of university THREE times, I had a very fulfilling, but very long hours and low waged job for the pre-kid years. So, I threw myself into helping others to get my self esteem fix. And never truly saw it that way until I was shat on so badly by my love and my “friend” (gag).

So, when Roger starts down the road of, “I really, really love and adore you, you are beautiful, clever, witty, sexy…….” I think, “poor guy, he fucked up, but he’s really sorry, you owe it to the poor guy to try again…..”

Then I wake up the next morning and feel ill. Utterly devastated to be conscious of the fact that I will never be able to be with him (or probably anyone, I’m okay with that) because ultimately, I WAS NEVER THE KIND OF GIRL WHO COULD EVER LIVE WITH A MAN WHO TREATED ME LIKE SHIT. NEVER.

I always knew this. But I guess I hoped and wished that I could change. That I COULD LEARN how to be. That somehow his kindness, deep remorse and love would be enough. But it can’t be. It is just the way I was wired, dammit. I am staunch about this kind of thing. It’s weird. I give a lot of rope, but once someone hangs themselves, too late, mate. It’s not an easy life being so damn pious! I’ve tried to change. I’ve tried to accept this shit sandwich, choking it down, washing it down, hoping it won’t stick in my craw (craw, what even the fuck is a craw?) But, I have a craw, and stuck it bloody well is! And it does me no good whatsoever being so high and mighty.


9 thoughts on “Pleasers

  1. I am proud of your belief that you don’t need to stay with anyone who treated you like shit. I loved your analogy about giving them rope and they hanged themselves. I am kind of curious where you live. You said, “South Island”. I live on the south island, Victoria, BC. You might want to stay anonymous but if you live near me I would be happy to be a face to face support for you.

  2. craw
    Noun dated
    noun: craw; plural noun: craws
    the crop of a bird or insect.

    late Middle English: from or related to Middle Dutch crāghe or Middle Low German krage ‘neck, throat’.

  3. Sorry, had to look that up. Middle Dutch and Middle German for “neck”.

  4. I hear you Paula, I do. I hate that I have accepted it, and the keystone vs doormat is one of my major struggles. Am I a keystone holding together something bigger than myself or a doormat? I feel like I have always been treated as expendable, so in some ways why should I cut Paul off for doing what so many others got away with?

    I got to the point where I am not forgiving or even accepting what he did. I am accepting what he does now as long as I feel like it. I can see how you may say that is giving him too easy a path though. It is so tough, especially when none of the options are what you want.

    • I Soooo get that, Nephila. I totally agree with what you are trying to achieve. Despite me never doing the stay for the kids crap, it actually makes a whole heap of sense when you like your spouse and still have good times and good truthful conversations, if you can laugh at the same things and share parenting philosophies. I guess my impending empty nest status has pushed me to leave, to stand up against infidelity as something I can not stand for. His utter disregard for my feelings and my health when his were always top of my list. I keep thinking, is your pride and indignance running the operating program here, Paula? Or is this necessary? Rock and a hard place. Hard to make the correct choice. I don’t think there is one. Just pick a side and go with it x

  5. Rock. Hard place. This is so true. I really struggle with the doormat thing. And yet I know I would be worse off the other way. Which sucks. I admire you enormously, Paula just in case that isn’t obvious.

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