Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum

Walking through fire

22 Comments

Hi-de-hi campers!

Just doing a brain dump, instead of writing up my research findings.

Of course.

I have just returned from a mostly lovely weekend at the top of the South Island. One of my oldest friends and his lovely wife and two kids live in Nelson. So, my old friend, J – whom I have written about on this blog before (but not much lately) – who just cannot understand my state of mind, or my worldview since infidelity hit my life – flew down on Saturday morning to participate in an organised hill run/walk on Sunday. Sounds fun, right?

(Hint … nooooooooooooo!)

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I am not at all fit at the moment. I have let my exercise regime fall down this semester, I just can’t seem to cram it in, and it is intermittent to say the least. Understandably, I have gained some weight. So, fatty me was signed up to do a 16km walk, entirely uphill, with two people who walk up mountains several times per week. I knew it was a big ask. But went anyway. Consequently, when my two companions, J and G were getting rolling drunk on Saturday night, with an 8am start in mind, I had two small beers over the course of the afternoon and evening. Great, no problem. Except I woke with a cracking hangover! WTF? I don’t drink a lot these days, and when I do, I know to avoid wine, as it makes me very ill, and I usually go for spirits. I thought two very small craft beers would be fine. G and J drank four bottles of wine and about 6 x 1.5L of beer between them.

And they woke up fine.

I, on the other hand, was wretched. Nauseous, with a pounding head, I forced a small amount of my breakfast down, starting on the paracetamol at 5am, and taking some ibuprofen prior to the race start. I went anyway. And got up that damn hill in a very slow time of about 2.5 hours. Every step pounded in my thumping head, and I dry retched several times. The other two bounced up there, J, at speed, taking pics, and chattering away to other competitors as she strode past them as they lay dying on the roadside.

I saw it as a bit of a metaphor. I had a good relationship, the longest of any of my friends, and I was a good partner, faithful, loving, caring and probably-too-giving. J has lived a pretty blessed life and parties hard, has a pile of kids and a very understanding husband. She hasn’t given up too much, and she just can’t understand why I am so hurt by Roger’s actions, “because you are meant to be together, he loves you so much,” life is lived on the surface for her. How many Facebook “likes” or Snapchat views can she achieve? (SERIOUSLY – we are 47 and 48.) She made all kinds of noises about walking with me, at my pace, when we said we were going to do this, and even at the start line, she was saying this. It lasted about 10 strides. And she was off like a rabbit, coming second overall, without racing. G, my local friend, on the other hand, knows, and he gets it. I think. He stayed with me the whole walk – despite me telling him I was fine, and would get there. Once I start something, I am committed! I don’t give up. I got my sick arse up that damn hill. Like I said I would. And my world imploded with infidelity anyway. Life was never meant to be fair, right? Too damn right!directory_listing_images_image1_0194.jpg-scale-170-125-1415852675

During the weekend, we had opportunities to spend time in smaller groups. I spent Monday morning working on my pre-thesis project, with G’s wife, K, who is now very successfully selling real estate, and was doing her accounts – and whom I love – and we had a really interesting chat about those who seem to have life all planned out, in exactly the way “society” wants us to. Uni. Check. Good job. Check. Married. Check. Kids. Check. Lovely home. Check. “Stuff” (cars, clothes, jewellery, whatever-the-fuck-else) Check.

Neither K or I are particularly conventional, but each in different ways. She is fairly conservative in appearance, but a deep thinker, with a dry sense of humour and a wickedly quick wit – and they have worked hard and brought up two lovely kids, on little money, but loads of love and their focus has been building a property portfolio, and travel. Their own house is small, and has no “mod cons.” Their kids have never had all the technology and designer crap that many others crave. But, they are awesome kids, just getting out into the world. J has five indulged, entitled kids who have EVERYTHING and social media profiles that have caused the local town we live in to label them facetiously as “The Kardashians.” J sprinkles happiness and love everywhere she goes, but has no grip on the hard side of life, or the fact that she may just be spoiling her kids into a very unhappy and materialistic future. When a sad background of a teen we knew came up, she was shocked, like, WTF? THIS HAPPENS IN THE WORLD? Yep, who knew, J? I am always amazed at her lack of knowledge of what happens outside of her happy, little party bubble.

But, of course, that is just bitter old me speaking.

I felt my mood swinging all weekend as all of this swirled about. I was conscious of my “judgement” of her lifestyle, and was careful to be tempering it, knowing who I am today. The changed person, with emotional damage. I am a little more cynical than ever.

She made comments all weekend that I internally just rolled my eyes at, and very often, G, and K openly rolled theirs at me, lol.

I guess, the thing is, my world is so changed, and J has been trying to force me to fit back in the little hole she had me in, and I don’t fit anymore (and not just because I have a particularly curvaceous arse grown with the help of a lack of exercise!)

And yesterday was seven years.

So, there’s that.

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22 thoughts on “Walking through fire

  1. If we lived closer to each other (we are basically on opposite sides of the world) I suspect we would be great friends. We would drag our fat butts up that mountain together and I know I would need you to get me to the top.

    I have been having similar thoughts lately. The housing situation is crazy in Victoria, BC right now. In Canada, it is the 3rd most expensive place to live. My landlord has given me an eviction notice to take over my suite and I can’t find anything else. It is hard to find anywhere that will take pets and I have a dog and 2 cats plus 2 kids (my daughter is with us for 4 months during the summer on break from university and then when she comes to visit). I am truly faced with the possibility of being homeless.

    As I walk by people getting their lawns, gardens, patios ready for the summer and buying so much stuff in stores I feel bitter. I had owned my own place, with my ex since I was 23 years old. I will be 50 next month. I have nothing. We always held 2 properties–one we lived in, one we rented and now I have nothing. No savings and ability to buy my own place and no affordable, available housing to live in here. If it was just me, I would move elsewhere, but here I am trying to keep my younger daughter’s life stable for the next 4 years while she finishes high school and dance with her friends.

    I know there are good lessons in this. I know I was oblivious to everyone else’s problems and lack while I was happy and seemingly with no cares. We were the ones who gave to others but also spent frivolously. Our kids had everything. We had a 2 bedroom suite in our home that we didn’t rent out for 5 years. I only did after my ex left. I hear people talking now about suites they have that they won’t rent because they don’t want people in their space or deal with the hassle of renters. I get it. Now that I am on the other side needing housing I see what a problem it is and how people can help but choose not to. I was one of those people!

    The other side of an affair sucks but you sure gain some perspective on things. Maybe I am in this position to help influence change, I don’t know. Or maybe I need to experience homelessness. I don’t know. All I know is that I feel nothing but lack and yet I have so much more than many others. I need to figure out what that means for my life now.

    • Oh no! I so sorry this is happening for you. Is there anywhere nearby – meaning a commute – that might work? Isn’t it an awful lesson? And hell yeah about being friends. Come down here with your daughters!

  2. Wow, seven years …
    I think J just wants to put you where SHE feels comfortable. I know you really like and respect her, but the truth is a lot of people don’t know how to deal with our feelings and hour honesty about them. Thats okay I guess. Some people just wont get it. It doesn’t mean she isn’t awesome. I guess you have to go through it to understand it, and I wouldnt wish that on anyone.
    Lots of love

    • I don’t respect her, Caroline. That’s the thing. We’ve been friends since we were 10 and 11. She lives just half an hour away from me and I deliberately just see her about three times per year now. Consciously uncoupled, lol ☺

  3. Some people just don’t get it until something bad happens to them. It is amazing how some people are able to go through life in safe little bubbles, never realizing the harsh realities that life throws to others.

    If I were on the other side of the world I would gladly climb a mountain with you! And I completely get what you mean about those severe hangovers when you haven’t even had a lot to drink. I swear, one night I had ONE glass of wine and I felt terrible the next day. It was a normal sized glass, too, not a huge glass. Ugh!

    • I like J. But I know she will never get it. If this happens to her, she still won’t. She has the emotional depth of a cow pat. It would make her sad. But then she would “get over it” I think. They have a totally different kind of marriage to the one we had. And they bring different histories than Roger’s and mine. That is kind of the issue. No one can understand that my past informs my future the way it does. And I get that now. It took a while. I thought they were careless and uncaring. But they just are totally unable to. They don’t have to. I’m okay with that now. But wish she wouldn’t spiel out the platitudes and ‘victim blaming’ stuff she feels she needs to. It doesn’t help.

      Oh no! I can drink 2 small glasses of wine. But a third will tip me over. I don’t feel drunk, I can and do drink copious amounts of water, but I feel very, very sick the next day. So if I drink wine these days, I tend to drink the most beautiful wine I can afford. And savour one or two glasses. I can still drink champagne all day and night, thankfully! It’s crazy, huh?

  4. Hey there – was thinking about you and decided to look up your blog. Seven years already – wow. I am at five and a half. When I look back at things I wrote at the during my first year, I see that my feelings have actually changed very little. I don’t hurt so painfully and unceasingly, and it doesn’t consume me anymore, but it does still hurt when I think about it and it still affects everything in my life. I have the same opinions about the whole thing and about Daniel and the Old Woman.

    Daniel, for his part, is still trying to mold me back into the person I was before. He wants it to go back to how it was before. Well, there’s no way to unscramble eggs. But he tries, often in very sweet ways. I let him try.

    I have stayed away from blogging because I wanted to change my focus to the future and move towards a positive outlook on life. Most of the time it’s ok and I am happy where I am. Then some stupid trigger will rear its ugly head and then it’s difficult. There are only a few triggers these days and they are not so strong anymore, but they can still make me hurt. At those times I still need to be in touch with people who understand. Like you.

    I have many people like J in my life, and I still have not shared my experience with any of them. No point in that.

    Glad to see you are still here, my dear friend. Love you. ~DJ

    • Oh hi! My lovely friend. Yes. I hear you. Roger knows I no longer fit in that box and we have worked to design something else. It isn’t anywhere near as comfortable, and most people hate the design, and keep trying to push me into the first one, which hurts! I had no choice in who knew, as you probably remember, DJ. The affair was front page news, the tabloid bestseller. The level of humiliation in not only ‘knowing’ (yeah, right) I wasn’t ‘good enough’ but also having what felt like an entire region knowing I wasn’t was something else. Especially when the maggot he cheated with was so disliked by so many. Why would that lovely man choose HER over his partner? Boy, Paula must be really a horrid person, right? Funny the discourses that pop up in these situations. I was so judged. But I eventually managed to walk away from most of that crap.

      Glad you are still about, DJ. I miss you and hope you have some moments of peace and joy xxx.

      And I agree. The pain never leaves. You just find ways to weave it into your being that feel less … sharp … than they once did.

      • Yes, I remember how the witch made sure people knew. That’s one of the many reasons I always said I would still be in the trauma phase if I were in your shoes. You are a strong, amazing woman. I think I would have crumpled up and died.

        But here you still are. And climbing mountains and all… awesomeness.

        I do have much peace and even joy in my life. I am passionate about martial arts and practice daily. I am nearing master status. I enjoy all kinds of things again. I have even become friends with my marriage coach, after letting go of him as a coach.

        Lately, though, unwelcome memories and pain seem to be invading my little oasis of life again. They have always continued to pop up sometimes but recently it has been daily. I’m not sure what I’m going to do about it yet. Just felt a need to connect with old blogging friends who understand where I’ve been.

      • Sorry about the cycling back, DJ. I feel that it is an inevitable part of the journey. And it will continue to happen. Almost like you need the temporal distance to process yet another small aspect. It’s all growth. Never a straight path.

        And it was a hill, people, lol. But thanks ☺

  5. Well done for getting to to the top of that mountain …. Take all the metaphors you want from that!
    I agree with Caroline your friend wants you to get back into the box with which she’s most comfortable. It’s a shame after so long she’s not able to support your growth.
    Hope your hangover is better, maybe you should be drinking more 😬👯 x

  6. This process definitely forces us to evaluate our friendships in a unique way. We cannot change other people, but we do have a choice of how much time we spend with them and how we interact. I have lost and gained significant relationships post discovery. I have always been a bit of a loner (inside, not necessarily viewed that way by others), and in my post d-day trauma, I was fairly home bound for a few months with fear and anxiety. When I see people now that I haven’t seen for a while, I have this inner dialogue going on in my head regarding how these people have no idea who I am or what I have been through… and I am okay with that. I don’t even try anymore to explain what has happened. People just don’t understand.

    I know you do not have the luxury of people not knowing and I understand that is a much more difficult place to be. It is hard letting go of what was and moving forward with what is… and we get to define “what is” for ourselves. Sometimes “what is” doesn’t include a whole lot of people. C’est la vie. ❤

    • Indeed, Kat. I am very much a c’est last vie kinda girl. Living in a rural space requires personal negotiations to deal with people you may be better placed to avoid in an urban one. I have strategies that help. And I have certainly let go of J as my BFF and confidante. I feel a bit weird about her really. I see an ageing, fairly vacuous person, and that wasn’t how I saw her previously. My perspective has changed. What I once viewed as charming naivety is now annoying ignorance, lol. And I am fine with this. But careful not to let judgey Paula show!

  7. Going slightly off the point of the post but couldn’t help but comment how much I loved NZ when OH and I visited a few years back. We sea-kayaked along the Abel Tasman coast from Kaiteriteri to Torrent Bay and walked back along the coast track. Beautiful!

    • That sounds lovely, Ash. That coastal kayak is on my bucket list. It’s a serene part of the world, and I love visiting G and K down there. I’m glad you guys enjoyed your visit. Did you get around a lot of the South Island?

      • Do try and do it. It was magical! I am only sorry that was our only foray to south island. We have family near Auckland so our visit was mainly in the north. Still beautiful though. We loved every second.

        On a less pleasant note, our visit to NZ is forever tainted in my memory however as apparently OH had just started meeting up outside of work with the OW before we went. Of course I didn’t find this out until 2 years ago. He lost his original “commitment ” ring in the sea on that holiday, which is very symbolic to me.

      • I will definitely do it one day soon, Ash.

        I am so sorry your trip has less-than-fond associations. Bugger!

  8. Hang on there!

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