Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum

Returning

23 Comments

Returned from a whirlwind trip up north. Took my youngest daughter to a school ball as a friend’s “date.” All girls’ state school, and it was a bit of an eye opener for her, she was amazed at how “young” the girls she was with were, 16 and 17 year olds all starry eyed about boys. One thing the state co-ed school she goes to inadvertently teaches kids is how to interact with the opposite sex. She is a fairly mature 16 year old. She has seen some real-life heartbreak (ahem, that would be her totally devastated parents) and had to break up with her first love due to religious differences (we are atheists, he is Muslim) and they were hiding their “relationship” from his parents, until they couldn’t any longer. I tried to gently nudge her about relationships that you have to keep secret. Her ex-BF is a lovely guy, and they weren’t doing anything sexual – and yeah, I believe her – as she respected his religion as an important part of who he is. She was very sad, but quite philosophical, she knew it could never work, and she is off overseas for five months soon.

Anyway, back to the trip. It was a bit rushed, we drove almost 1000kms in one weekend. But we took our exchange student with us to show her around a bit up north. It was a productive trip – we bought some gifts for her (N) to take home, and some for D to take with her to her host family. The weather was mixed, but generally nice, as it usually is up north, winter or not.

With so much driving, we listened to a lot of music. And on the way home, this old one of The Killers came on. This and Pulp’s Underwear just rip me to shreds.

Still.

I have this awful imagination. I see these things happening. I talked to Roger about it this morning. This version, with Jarvis’ commentary beforehand at Reading in ’94, totally describes how I feel about it all. I can’t turn it off. These images, of them undressing, breathing heavily, full of passion and desire. Dripping with hormones and the thrill of the forbidden, the heightened emotions of distance and ……..My heart just can’t cope. And no matter what I do, this is what loops for me. I know that their sex was mostly pretty average, but you know, a fifteen month long distance affair, when they often didn’t see each other for months – O. M. G. It had to be sexy, and passionate sometimes. He nodded, and said, “sadly, yes, a little. Not on this scale, but yeah, there were tender moments, and gentle fumblings as we undressed, I’m so damn sorry that you still can’t turn these awful movies off.” The pain. It is searing. And the most frustrating thing is that even without him, it doesn’t abate. I have tried all kinds of mind contortions. I try to cut and paste me back into those movies, hell, we were erotic, so why not replace those pictures with the better ones, of US. I have tried cutting HIM out of them, and replacing him with someone else, even a faceless someone else. But none of the things I have tried (including hypnotherapy to just shut the damn things completely off) have stuck, and I loop and loop through this shit.

I love music, I can’t not listen to it, and the reason is that it speaks to me. I know exactly what people are singing about, you know, your own interpretation of someone else’s lyrics, maybe not even close to what they’re actually singing about. But every now and again, yep, a real dagger in the heart.

So, a long, busy weekend, and the pain of it all never abates.

I know it never will.

And throughout it all, I still fucking love him. Like an abused wife. I fucking hate it.

The Killers – Mr. Brightside

Coming out of my cage
And I’ve been doing just fine
Gotta gotta be down
Because I want it all
It started out with a kiss
How did it end up like this
It was only a kiss, it was only a kiss
Now I’m falling asleep
And she’s calling a cab
While he’s having a smoke
And she’s taking a drag
Now they’re going to bed
And my stomach is sick
And it’s all in my head
But she’s touching his chest
Now, he takes off her dress
Now, letting me goI just can’t look its killing me
And taking control
Jealousy, turning saints into the sea
Swimming through sick lullabies
Choking on your alibis
But it’s just the price I pay
Destiny is calling me
Open up my eager eyes
Cause I’m Mr BrightsideI’m coming out of my cage
And I’ve been doing just fine
Gotta gotta be down
Because I want it all
It started out with a kiss
How did it end up like this
It was only a kiss, it was only a kiss
Now I’m falling asleep
And she’s calling a cab
While he’s having a smoke
And she’s taking a drag
Now they’re going to bed
And my stomach is sick
And it’s all in my head
But she’s touching his chest
Now, he takes off her dress
Now, letting me go

‘Cause I just can’t look its killing me
And taking control
Jealousy, turning saints into the sea
Swimming through sick lullabies
Choking on your alibi
But it’s just the price I pay
Destiny is calling me
Open up my eager eyes
‘Cause I’m Mr Brightside
I never
I never
I never
I never

 

Pulp – Underwear Lyrics

Why don’t you shut the door,
And close the curtains,
’cause you’re not going anywhere.
He’s coming up the stairs,
And in a moment he’ll want to see your underwear.You couldn’t stop it now.
There’s no way to get out.
He’s standing far too near.
How the hell did you get here.
Semi-naked in somebody else’s room.
I’d give my whole life to see it.
Just you,
Stood there,
Only in your underwear.If fashion is your trade,
Then when you’re naked,
I guess you must be unemployed yeah.
’cause once it’s underway,
There’s no escaping,
The fact that you’re a girl and he’s a boy.

You couldn’t stop it now.
There’s no way to get out.
He’s standing far too near.
How the hell did you get here.
Semi-naked in somebody else’s room.
I’d give my whole life to see it.
Just you,
Stood there,
Only in your underwear.

If you close your eyes and just remember,
That this is what you wanted last night.
So why is it so hard for you to touch him.
For you to go and give yourself to him?

I couldn’t stop it now.
There’s no way to get out.
He’s standing far too near.
How the hell did you get here,
Semi-naked in somebody else’s room.
I’d give my whole life to see it.
Just you,
Stood there,
Only in your underwear.

Do, do do do do. Do, do. Do, do. Do, do, do, do, do.
Do, do.
Do, do.
Oh yeah,
I want to see you.
Want to see you only in your underwear

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23 thoughts on “Returning

  1. Those songs are difficult for me as well. I too loop and loop and loop. I try to make it stop by focusing on something else but it never works. I just have to let it run its course and then when I give up the power it has it seems to fade. I’m still not sure what else I need to do but I thought I would let you know what might be helping me.

    I’m glad you had a nice trip! It sounds kinda fun for a mom like myself with her teenage daughter!

    • Exactly what I learned to do pretty early on, Bugs. It takes its power away – a little. Like, “Okay, so here goes the re-run of THAT boring movie, hurry up and get to the end ” – which apparently is kinda what happened, lol. She is useless in the sack – and I have more than one opinion to back that up! But my imagination makes her sexier, MUCH more erotic – Rog was always amazed that they always had time to plan – no instant hook ups when you live three hours apart – and yet she never wore anything sexy – her underwear was boring, her clothes were boring, her love-making techniques are boring (non-existent!) she is boring. So I see the mind movies as fiction, but just with their faces and bodies. She has got a bloody good body, not seriously va-va-voom, more just toned and athletic. His is pretty good too, not really gym-good, more 50+ year old farmer-who-is-naturally-slim-and-toned-with-great-shoulders-arms-bum-and-legs. But we see so many depictions of hot, hot, hot sex in the media, even without a whole heap of porn viewed, and that is kinda the “fall-back” position of my imaginings.

      Yes, I love to spend one-on-one time occasionally with each of my kids. Is so much fun. The eldest and I were festival and concert goers, my son we used to go to sports’ events, etc, and the youngest is the “luckiest” – lol – as she gets more time with me than either of them did, poor thing! Is a great way to talk, side-by-side, doing stuff, rather than face-to-face. We share, we laugh and we discuss life, without getting too serious. I am actually looking forward to next week when N leaves, that sounds awful, but it has been hard work keeping up the facade for the five months she has been with us. Nice girl, but a bit entitled, and she is ready to go home. And I am ready to get my life back – such as it is now!

  2. Why in the hell would that idiot tell you there were “tender moments”. If the idiot could lie to you for 15 months he could lie to you for a few moments. Sorry, Paula, but he is a sorry sack of shit. I am so angry for you. What is the MATTER with him!!??! It is like he enjoys your pain.

    • Let go, your comment is not helpful.

      We have an agreement to tell truth. No matter what. It wasn’t said in any harsh manner, in fact, I have to coax it out of him. I asked him to deny that in all that time there cannot have been even one tender moment. After all, the reality is, in the thick of his madness, he actually contemplated leaving me for her, drawing up a pros and cons list for each of us, when he was most confused about who the heck he even was anymore. If he loved me as much as he seemed to all those years, it stands to reason that he would have had at least ONE moment that wasn’t terrible, in order to even do the mental arithmetic. He has downplayed most of what went on. He DOES NOT enjoy my pain, not at all, and you have NO IDEA what we have been through, what we still go through. Your comments on this blog have been lacking in any understanding of how this journey works. Yes, I know he has told lies. Believe it or not, I am not the idiot you apparently think I am. Yes, we both agree, he was a total sack of shit – for fifteen months – out of a total of the 606 he has been on the planet. He had a fucking breakdown. He is appalled. This is my way of working through my new reality, my new future of living with this pain, going forward and growing. We are dear, dear friends, and I appreciate that he doesn’t lie to me – or anyone – anymore. We are a little different in that we couldn’t stay together, but we do remain very close and he is available to me to talk to when I hit the shit patches.

      I have tried really hard to understand why you follow these blogs, Let go, and your viewpoint. I really don’t get it. You apparently haven’t been through this yourself, so why??? Why hang out with a bunch of hurting people?

  3. I don’t even know what the written term is for what I just did after reading this. Sucking so much air in deep with a kind of stuttering feeling, and then just letting the air go in one painful motion. *sigh* It’s so difficult to read. There are only a few songs that really still get me and give me that pit in the stomach feel. I have to consciously let the destructive thoughts go, but the fear of letting the emotions overrun me is still very much there. We are struggling over here, across the world. I hate it when the words “I will never forget” come out of my mouth. They do, way too often and he is trying, he is hanging on by a thread to his sanity right now and it is killing me because here I am still suffering and then I have to watch him suffer too AND YET, he needs to be processing all of this and not just pretending like it didn’t mean anything. Big hugs Paula. It must be so difficult to give up the perfection that was for the less than that is now.

    What a great whirlwind trip. I bet you will miss your daughter when she is off to foreign lands, but what fun stories she will have to tell! ❤

    • Top (or bottom?) of the roller coaster, Kat. Keep breathing. Keep loving. Keep looking after yourself (and then yourselves.)

      I think I am ready for her to go. It’s only five months. Practice for a year later when she leaves for university xxx

      • They all have to go eventually. And then there is pain, but a good pain as they fly out of the nest on their own and then, shit if they don’t sometimes come back and take over the house, and make a mess, and eat all the food–wait, I love it when these boys eat all my food. We have some over ripened fruit around here (bananas and blueberries) that will turn into bread and scones this afternoon. Someone has got to eat it so it doesn’t end up in my chubby belly. 🙂

  4. Paula, I am the child of divorce and I have a close relative who cheated. I have heard all the excuses as to why someone cheats and I don’t buy any of it. I just don’t understand how people can do this to others. I do apologize to you. This is your blog. You and other bs have the right to support each other without any negative feedback. It is just that you have tried so hard to overcome this and yet you are still so sad. It just made me so angry for you. I have, without meaning to, become “involved” in your life because you are so good at putting your feelings on paper. I was older when my parents split. In this case it was my mother who cheated. My family disintegrated and I was left without a family home or even a family. Just two parents in two separate towns who timed my visits to the other in minutes. My children were little and it blew their lives apart as well.

    • Let go, I was who you are. I am also a child of divorce, I was of university age. Also cheating, but never framed that way really, as my Dad is gay, but due to a religious and pious upbringing, had no idea what that even was until he’d been happily married for at least 15 years, with four kids. He, of course, acted out, and my Mum found out, and she worked with him for a while, then left him. I thought it was simple. People are arseholes, they cheat, you leave – fast, and are pleased they are out of your damn life.

      It hasn’t been like that in my case. I have a lovely man, who did a terribly damaging thing, but that lovely man is back, but you can’t undo any of the hurt. Ever. So you have to find a way.

      This is me finding my way. I never hung out on cheating or betrayed blogs, and I admit I find it a little odd that you do. But, each to their own.

      I know it is a very confusing way for people to act – especially people who proclaim deep love for one another. I guess, maybe, I thought cheating was a character disorder, you either cheat (and are character disordered) or you don’t (and have good character.) But I possibly failed to recognise the nuances in between. Labelling them in binary categories. It’s hard. It’s damn painful. And you NEVER get over the agony of it all. But writing it down when it gets at its worst, helps me. Even if the “rants” seem not helpful to you. And it actually helps that Roger is available to help me through the agony of it. It helps that he hasn’t abandoned me to flap away in my own misery pool. It helps that he is self aware, and understands my odd need for truth.

  5. Paula I’m glad to see you today I’ve been thinking about you.
    I recently got this book and it’s really seemed to get to me about my troubles.
    Although there was a few points where empowering just seemed to be paraphrasing what I just said which would make me want to hit someone..

    Anyways have you read Staying Together when an affair pulls you apart?

    It’s a pretty easy read for a speed reader like myself. I have no doubt you would fly through it too.
    I would really like your opinion about it.. because well

    I think it’s pretty great, but I’m just curious what my other BS’s have thought or will think of the book..

    Anyways..

    Glad you got out even though it seemed a bit rushed.
    Sorry about the movies.. irritating how the pain after an affair will always be there..

    XOXOX
    Love
    NH

    • Hey there, NH. No. I haven’t read this one. I haven’t read relationship books for a long time. I hope it helps, NH. is this quite Christian-based?

      • Not really.. The guy is a Ph.D and brings up Christ rarely
        I don’t know how to explain it. You are way smarter than I am and would probably be better to put into words of how the book is.
        It was good though
        But I wanted to run it by you not that it would help you, but more so help me in seeing if someone else sees what I see in a book..
        Or if it’s a load of BS.. 🙂
        Just looking for a thoughtful review of it from someone’s opinion that I thought might appreciate the book’s take on all of this.. 🙂

      • Hi NH. One thing I have learned on this journey is that there is not a one size fits all solution. There might not even be a solution. So you find a way to cope. I say if this book helped, if it spoke to you in a way you needed, then go for it. If I get a moment I might have a look. But your healing might require something different to me. You have a relationship with Christ that isn’t for me, but I am first in line to say do what works, it’s good to have faith in something xxx.

      • No totally get that it really wasn’t a it worked for me kind of thing it just got thoughts going yeah if you have time he addresses no believers as well but the book seemed to take a different approach which I enjoyed

        I didn’t recommend the book to you in hopes of it helping you that may sound harsh or cold it was more like one scientist to another saying check this out what do you think of this method?

  6. Yeech once those fucking thoughts start. It’s so damaging, and in your own head!? A betrayal upon a betrayal. Must be knackering.

  7. Oh yes, there are some songs that can really crack a person’s heart open. I try so hard to stay away from those, but sometimes it just can’t be avoided. My way of dealing with this was to create a “happy playlist”… it works sometimes… sometimes.

    • I used to avoid. But over six years in, I just absorb and let as much run over me as possible, Caroline. It’s only pictures. Pictures in my mind that aren’t even real 🙂

  8. I just want to thank you for your blog Paula, I am also a BS trying to reconcile with my cheating husband. You have the most amazing way with words, you have managed to take these turbulent emotions I’ve been feeling and give them a name and an explanation! What a relief to know that I’m not the only one who is going through this, even though I wouldn’t wish this pain on my worst enemy! Your blog is a lifeline for me, I don’t know how I would have survived this past year without it. Also, I hope this doesn’t upset or offend you, but I can see where LET IT GO is coming from, I often feel angry towards Roger too, but please bear in mind that all we know of R is how you describe him in this blog, so to an outsider he sometimes comes off in a bad light. We aren’t there with you to see for ourselves how much he has changed for the better. Going through my own cheating nightmare has definitely left me jaded towards all people who cheat, I am guilty of tarring them all with the same brush, it’s just my own pain manifesting itself as a deeply suspicious bitch! But I have mad respect for the Rogers of the world who stay and face the chaotic shit storm they created. Anyways, I wish you every success and happiness, thank you for sharing your story so openly and honestly, you will never know how much comfort you have given me in this turbulent journey, I could never thank you enough!
    KJ xxx

    • KJ. I am lost for words. Thank you. And I’m sorry. Sorry you are also living this nightmare.

      I agree. Let go always has a valid opinion. And as bloggers we spew the more painful stuff here, rarely having a lot of balance in relating the good. So it’s easy to see these people in the worst light. Roger hasn’t changed. He was always a lovely, considerate, empathetic, strong and kind man. He had a breakdown and acted appallingly. He knew he was and he struggled with what he was doing. He never spoke badly of me to Leanne. In fact he often defended me if she tried. However, his actions told her another story. Interestingly I no longer tar “all cheaters” with that brush. I do see people who make terrible choices that are terribly out if character and it screws up so many people’s lives. Of course there are the unrepentant arseholes. Plenty of them. But there are many others who stepped over a wobbly line and feel trapped by their bad choice, trying desperately to back pedal and fix it. But that doesn’t erase or always even soothe the brokenhearted.

      Hang in there KJ. Here’s to more good days than bad x

      • Thank you for your kind response. I think it’s really admirable that you have come out of this mess with such great insight and no bitterness. I’m still so angry, the injustice of it all just sickens me, and I’m incapable of seeing cheaters as anything other than selfish scumbags. I was always a woman’s woman, I believed wholeheartedly that we women had enough problems without bringing each other down too, that we should inspire and elevate one another, that we should stick together and be a united front. But now I feel like such a chump, knowing that there are women out there who will fuck your husband and wreck your whole life and not display one ounce of remorse.
        Can I ask Paula, did you experience the intense anger phase? Did you act on your anger at any point? I seem to be stuck in the anger, no matter how much my husband tries to make this better I cannot see past the terrible thing he did. I can’t shake the feeling of being so worthless to him that he would choose to hurt and humiliate me this way. I have lost all respect for him, I see him in a completely different light now, and it’s not a flattering light at all. It somehow feels safer to stay angry because I am so afraid to let my guard down with him again. I’m afraid that if I let go of the anger that he will secretly think of me as the biggest doormat ever. He has already played me for a complete fool, and no matter how sorry he says he is or how sorry his actions show him to be, I still can’t believe that he won’t do it again. I really don’t think I can carry on much longer, I beat myself up daily for staying with him, do I have no self-respect at all?! Honestly Paula, I tip my hat to you for dealing with your ordeal so gracefully and compassionately. I wish I had an ounce of your courage. Roger, if you ever read this, I hope you know how incredibly lucky and blessed you are to have this wonderful woman in your life! This incredible soul who has tried so hard to get past the horrific injustice you brought upon her. You were already lucky to have her as your life partner and mother of your children, you are even luckier now because she could have dumped you like radioactive waste, moved on with her life and never given you a backwards glance. Instead she has chosen to walk with you on this path of pain and self-discovery, and has chosen to do it with such dignity and class. And, as if she didn’t have enough on her plate, she writes this blog and brings comfort, truth and kindness to other Betrayed Spouses.
        Paula, you are MIGHTY! 😊

      • Oh wow, KJ. We didn’t make it. We are no longer a couple. But can’t afford to separate, so share living expenses and a home. Until our youngest leaves for uni at the end of next year, at least. It kind of works. And yeah. HELL yeah, to the anger. I am still angry at times. I am pissed at the terrible injustice, and I do have some bitterness, that I fight every bloody day! The worst anger episode was when we were in the hysterical bonding phase and had just made love, outdoors, in the middle of winter, for the third time that day! We were about to load up the quadbike and trailer with a load of hay to feed a mob of cattle, when I just looked at him, the kind, smiling him, and I drove at him as fast as I could, pinning him against a fence. When I got off, I just beat him dragging my nails down the back of his neck. He was soaked in his own blood, and I was screaming at him, “how could you do this to us, how could you do this to my heart? I fucking love you you arsehole. You’ve wrecked everything. Everything we worked for!” He eventually managed to hold me and as I calmed slightly, and started to feel horrified for the blood everywhere, he whispered into my hair, “I deserve all of that, you can hit me as many times, as hard and as often as you need to. I deserve all of it, and you do it as long as it takes.” I slapped him twice at other times. I threw a full coffee mug at him once. I have NEVER been violent before, and it shocked me how I could so easily try to physically hurt him AFTER all of these events. I still get angry. I still makes no sense – but perfect sense all at once. All that said, he is still my best friend, he is the only person who understands why I am still so completely devastated over six years out from the end of the affair, and my subsequent “discovery.” But I can’t bear to be touched. And I don’t ever want to trust another human being. But I wish I could! The double betrayal, and the fact that he is the only lover I have ever had, a violent rape just six months before I met him, my own very loving parents’ divorce, etc, all of these factors seem to have fed my inability to heal the way I hoped I would. My healing is different and less tidy, less “complete.” I thought I loved him more than anyone had ever loved anyone. But it wasn’t enough for me to stay with him, so I now question my love, was it ever that strong, if I couldn’t get over this??

        The respect factor is a very interesting one. I recall telling my BFF that I had lost so much respect for Rog, and her sharply inhaling. She thought up until that point that we were the best couple she had ever seen. She then said to me that her Mum (who was like my second Mum) had told her that mutual respect was the key to the best marriages. That when you didn’t feel sexy, or in love, or if you were pissed off with each other, or tired, or sick, that respect was the thing that kept you glued together, that kept the love alive. With six years under my belt since she told me that, I have to say that I now agree with her Mum. But that isn’t to say that it can’t be redeemed? I think it might be possible for some people. Unfortunately, I was also very wary of being a doormat, and living with reduced love. I still do love him, but not how I did for the first twenty-five years. It is less. And I grieved (still do) the loss of that amazing love. It aches every minute of every day. but I am learning to cope. Learning to keep pushing forward. Because what else is there?

        You are in the relatively early stages of this journey, and your journey is your own. One thing I have learned is that they all have similarities, but they are all different, and the stages everyone goes through (anger, grief, hysterical bonding, acceptance, etc – not necessarily in that order) are individual. Just because you feel this way today doesn’t mean there is no hope. I really wish you well in this most difficult endeavour.

  9. Well, this is my second attempt at writing a comment. -Kicks WP in the ass-

    I, too, used music as an emotional extension to my everyday life. It’s been cut off since Dday. There are songs that rip me apart (Civil Wars songs, for instance) and other songs that I want to beat the shit out of the OW.

    Hugs to you and I hope your household is back to the original occupants / normal 😉 I know how it is to put on a brave face for a day or two, but for months? HELL! That’s a lot, so hats off to you, girl!

    Just wanted you to know that I’m always reading your posts and hoping you are finding peace in different ways each day…xx

    • Thanks tempted. So sweet of you. I hope your life is settling down and you can listen to music again soon. I can’t not listen. It is where, on my own (usually) I can drop the mask and be me instead of the pretense I project. N leaves Tuesday, so the act will relax somewhat. However, with one last fledgling to sort out we do try to look like we’re coping 😉

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