Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum


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Fin

Preparing to get my last zap of radiation in a few hours. Can’t wait for it to be done with. Has become a real drag going over every day. I have tried to remain grateful and positive throughout. But am exhausted. And sleep eludes me at the moment. The nightmares were bad last night. Every time I would drift off, I seemed to be startled awake again. I guess the relief at this part of the journey ending plays havoc with the subconscious. But, so damn grateful the serendipitous timing means I get to get away with friends straight afterwards and I can do whatever I need to do to try to relax.

Long weekend here.

Life is good. Enjoy it my sweets. I intend to! 💝


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Stress

My daughter is unbelievably stressed right now. End of semester pile of assignments, exams, trying to decide whether to transfer next year. There have been tears. There is sickness.

I went straight from work to her place with supplements, tissues, hugs and treats yesterday evening. She’s okay. But has a big test today on her favourite paper, and she felt she hadn’t done enough work.

She will be fine. She’s a bright and diligent student.

But, I recalled those feelings. That utter panic. Of not good enough. I often stated I thought I had done poorly, and grades would come back A+. Roger thought I was being dramatic. I wasn’t. I genuinely felt I knew nothing. I remembered how INCREDIBLY stressful studying is.

He never understood.

That intense stress was instrumental in my slow healing. I put EVERYTHING into being the best. I am generally reasonably modest. But, to put it in context, I topped my university’s department in one of my majors, and was second in the other. I won several big scholarships for both my undergrad and Masters degrees, and got First Class Honours for my Masters thesis. I begged Roger to hold off making any final decisions with me until I was done. I had very little energy to know where I was at emotionally. I just felt stress. All the time. Same daughter said to me, the day after he told me he was leaving me, that, “Dad never supported you as you studied, he was always angry about it.” And yeah, he was resentful I was doing something for me. Really grumpy about it. Even though it was super hard. It took a lot of my attention. Away from him? He did, however, once write me this supportive card near the end of my thesis. I was excited to get it! Yay, my love was supporting me! I should have read between the lines. My journey? Not ours? I thought he meant my academic journey. Pay attention, Paula! Fuck! I was just so damn stressed. He rarely called me by my name. Usually a pet name. That was another clue….

He has never experienced this level of study stress. He was stressed, no question. Our farm was super challenging. He is an excellent stockman, and a thoughtful farmer, and guardian of the environment we were caretakers of. But the stress was different. I just knew I needed to prove something to myself, for once. And doing so, concentrating on my needs cost me my thirty year relationship. He could not give me what I asked for, support and time to get it done. He wouldn’t even consider giving me a month or two after it was done to breathe and spend time with him. (To be fair, I even asked Trinket for a couple of months, to reevaluate, to do what we had promised each other, hmmm.) To talk my relief through. I just wanted to get to the end and TALK it through, what I had learned, and what we could do together going forward. I wanted to shake that stubborn man. Tell him that I’ve got where I needed to get! But, nope. I’m done. Fuck you.

And that just isn’t right.


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Smugness

Have been thinking a lot lately about how people react when your world is completely dismantled, and your heart is is shreds, and those who have never been here don’t have a fucking clue. Well, I actually have a couple of happily partnered people who DO get it. ARE horrified by what happened to me. And my God, I am SO grateful for them. And I tell them so often.

But, those “friends” who gap it, because your pain is too scary. Chump Lady posted about this today. Stupid shit people say is so damn right! The platitudes, and the ways that people try to hang onto, and defend lying people and their cheating ways that are truly appalling. I have been shattered by one of our oldest friends writing me off. I’m not surprised, but still hurt. He is a really lovely man, but weak as piss. His first wife cheated on him, and he immediately replaced her with his brother’s ex-partner. I do totally understand that you need to let go and walk away from such people. At pace! But, it does not mean that it stops hurting. Thirty years of fun and friendship, support as he survived cheating and divorce… gone.

And, I do mean immediately! She came around the next day, and literally never left. They are now married, and have two teens, and she would be the nastiest woman I have ever had the displeasure of having to pretend to be friends with for nearly twenty years. I know I made mistakes. I tried to tell this guy about the love addiction diagnosis, and I know he thinks I am nuts. But, he really was identified with this by a counsellor. Anyway, that is in the past.

And a couple of others who have run like the wind, terrified that this is contagious, smugly muttering how thankful they are that their husbands are not cheaters, that they are better wives (than me), and their husbands would NEVER even think to cheat on them.

If it wasn’t so sad, I would laugh, as one of them has a husband who has been cheating on her for twenty years. She swans about, spending money, drinking like a fish (oh, hi there, judgy Paula) when I was bloody selfless, I did everything for everyone else in my family. Stupid martyr. Ah well, ignorance is bliss.

Which led me to CrazyKat’s blog, which hit all the right notes for my current mood. Why? Why do some people seem to carry on when it is obvious that they are hurting another human being? I’m not talking about the cheating partners, this seems so common and we have all analysed the fuck out of this over the years. More bizarre to me is the role of the affair partner. I know there are people out there who have no care for others, no empathy, and will climb over you, shredding you with razors attached to get a damn doughnut. (Cough, Leanne.) But, what about people who are otherwise “normal?” Those who have had this kind of pain inflicted on them? Those who loved hard, and were shit on by the utter selfishness and total disregard of their cheater? What happens to a person to make them able to do this to another person who loves hard, too? Who built a life, had their children, worked hard to compliment their business, kept the home fires burning when all was going to hell in a handcart? I would be so damn angry at a man I had fallen head over heels for, who turned out to have lied to me about his (not) single status, who was trawling online for whomever would bite at the bait dangling out there, who had lied to his wife about being faithful, about the status of their relationship.  To be put in the position of being the other woman, when you didn’t even know you were? Such an awful thing to do to someone. I would be totally FURIOUS with that guy.

I know it feels amazing to feel loved. To feel cherished. To be wooed. To go to fun events, and have your skin sensuously stroked, magical, tingly, fiery kisses… But. Really? As Kat says, what makes someone think a person who is cheating with you, will tell you the truth about the person he is cheating on?

when-your-girl-catches-you-out-cheating-but-she-cant-12242847

It blows my mind. I guess they are convincing. Hey, I kinda believed my cheater. And I definitely WANTED to believe him, but my instincts told me not to, not fully, not until he proved himself not to be the person he had demonstrated he was capable of being – a very clever cheater, right under my nose, in my damn houses, with my damn “friend.” Ugh. He was so convincing. He wrote me amazing love notes, gorgeous words, telling me I was the only one for him. He whispered he would never give up. I know it was hard for him, I took a LONG time to heal. But don’t promise what you can’t deliver. And don’t tell me you will never lie to me again, that you have learned your lesson. Then do exactly what we agreed to never do to each other, keep secrets, lie, and get a new relationship lined up before leaving this one. Don’t ask me about new starts, in a new location, then leave me a month later for another woman.

Just don’t.

Now he has stopped loving me completely. That grief is unbelievably agonising. I wish I could stop my stupid heart from loving him! I will. I have to. My brain knows best. It knows the truth, and keeps trying to beat the stupid heart into submission.

Aaaaaand … reset … lol. Forward I keep charging!

 

 


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Bodies

Bodies are the focus of so much attention. We discuss bodies in and out of place. And wring our hands about media representations, bullying, etc, and how these affect our kids. Ourselves.

Initially we were most concerned about young girls. The messages they were absorbing. Being shaped by. How we could mitigate the damage?

But boys are also deeply affected. Both by what they expect a woman’s body to look like, how porn informs them they ‘should’ respond, and also about their own bodies and expectations. My son is probably more body conscious than his sisters. He worried about his weight from late primary school. He loves to work out, run.

Personally, once puberty finally hit – very late, I didn’t get boobs until 17 – I became a curvy girl. Boobs, hips. I had been a skinny, skinny kid. But later, more hourglass. Rarely ‘fat.’ But after children, I knew I had a bit to spare! It made me feel self conscious. A failure. My brother told me I had a fat arse. I did not! Not back then! Not even close. But it stuck with me.

When I first knew for sure he had been cheating my body went into shock. I lost 15kgs in 3 weeks. 20kgs all up. It was scary. This time, I have lost 25kgs. I am actually too thin right now. Lighter than I have been since I was about 22 when I was riding trackwork, was super fit, and could have been a jockey, my weight was that light. I am now back in that range. From someone who has lived most of my adult life a size 12 (US 8.) I had to buy new pants for work yesterday. Size 6. (US 2.) And there is room in them still.

For a woman with hips and boobs, this is outrageous. I don’t know who I am really! And getting my first lady garden (ha!) wax since surgery, a few days ago – because I have been scared of opening the beautifully healing wound until now – am totally blown away by protruding hip bones and a very changed ‘area.’ My body looks like someone else’s.

Weird.


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Why aren’t lobotomies free?

Interesting night. The nightmares have revved up again since Trinket arrived on the scene. I had appalling nightmares after Leanne. For years. Very violent ones about Roger and her sexually torturing me, lots of flesh and blood, as they tore my body apart, laughing as they did it – actually, most of the laughing was from Leanne. They have returned, this time, Trinket has replaced Leanne, they have evolved, as Trinket is a different kind of person to Leanne, she is less about the physical razoring of my skin off me and violent penetration of my body, and more about taunting me with sexual acts on Roger, forcing me to watch, but there is still my body hanging from meat hooks, still bleeding, and still being tormented occasionally to enhance their pleasure in each other. The violence of my rape has done faaaaaarked up things to my mind. I did try hypnotherapy for a while, to try to expunge these mind movies, to reset my dreams and unconscious from this kind of hell, but to no avail. I accept that this is my subconscious, and it is only dreams, no matter how disturbing.

One thing that Roger did, and I am sure most of you have had this, is he told me that the sex with Leanne was extremely vanilla, that he had at least partial ED up to half of the times they had sex, and that she was unadventurous, and pretty much “just lay there,” while he was having these issues. He made me believe the sex was mostly pretty average, at best. One BJ, right at the end, as she was desperate not to lose him. (Yeah? Hmmmm…..) And I questioned why then? Why would you risk all those decades for some not-that-amazing sex with someone you profess to not even like all that much? Of course, I knew it was the ego stroke, of having someone want you, trying to “steal” you away. The naughtiness of illicit, not allowed, sex. I imagined him driving to her in a high state of arousal, and ferocious, frantic sex, throwing her on her entrance floor and taking her right there and then, or leading her upstairs by the hand, and slow, loving, gentle sessions while I was at work.

Of course, I lapped this up, feeling like our sexual connection was “better” and “more than” extraordinary. Well played, Norm, that probably lifted my sex game perfectly, me unconsciously “proving” my worth in bed. I recall someone telling me (after I had bought his story about our special and better connection) that he was lying, of course affair sex MUST be better. And I was indignant. No way! That woman knew NOTHING. We were going to be better than ever now that I knew he was cheating!

But, it must be true, from his point of view, because he sought more of that. He is getting better sex everywhere else. My viewpoint was that we had deep, intense connection is just because I have only ever had sex – made love – with him. I believed that deeper emotional connection led to even deeper and more intimate sexual connection. And yeah, you do get freakier with time – and trust! HA!!!

having-sex-with-the-same-person-can-only-get-better-30564591 (2)

I know that cheating is not all about sex, but the excitement of getting to know a completely new person, all that adrenaline around “new love,” etc. The thrill of replicating “young love”…. This time around, he shared a few things about what was going on with him and Trinket as well. He talked about her past, with her serial cheater, and her fears, her bodily responses, what her naked body looked like, and his own fears and niggles. He described a surgical scar she has. Her creaky bed. The discomfort about her children possibly hearing them as they went at it. I don’t think he was trying to get me to lift my game as such, more just that we have always been very close, and we talked a lot, about life. I have one of those minds that paints very liveable pictures. I can “see” what her bedroom must look like, how it is decorated, where her wardrobe must be, the clothing hanging in it (he described that, comparing our taste in clothing), what side of the bed they each choose… and his new house, which I have only seen in real estate advertising, where he sleeps, where she sleeps, and the way he leans over her, pushing her down, and taking her deeply, and now, oh so intimately. These are images and thoughts I consciously push away during the day, I can’t linger on those things, I have my own life to rebuild, cancer to thrash the arse off, work stuff swirling around to problem solve, and some academic shit to work out in my head (tip, it is not working out, I am struggling with this book chapter, SO MUCH!) But, I haven’t been able to stop it happening at night, while I sleep, and I recall it all so clearly when I awaken.

There, better out than in. And off I go to do battle with the damn emotion and affect chapter….aaaaaaargh!


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The last week

The last week awaits, of the radiation. Yay! I am bone tired. And the reward is a trip away with friends for the long weekend, straight after the last treatment, I get on a plane, and get away for four days. Four days of art, pampering and champagne with two of my oldest friends, whom I will meet at the destination. Timing could not have been better.

I had another very poor night for sleeping, is really quite the norm now. I am kind of used to lying awake in the small hours, gently willing my body to relax and drift off again. I did. And awoke earlier to a stunning day. Very welcome after days of heavy showers and a decent thunderstorm on Thursday night that raged on for a couple of hours. The ground is waterlogged.

wet crops

So, chores today include going to the old farm to pick up the tractor bucket they have found was left behind, and attaching that to my old tractor, to start gathering up the logs neatly piled under the trees I recently had pruned. When the ground dries out a little! I will pile them in or near the lean to on my barn, to start the drying process for next winter’s fire. Which I have started the permit process for. Hopefully I will have a woodburner installed next month. My heat pump is efficient, but nothing beats the radiant heat of a fire. I can’t wait.

Last night, I attended an industry dinner, as the date of a friend of mine, who is on the committee of the group involved. As such, I got to sit right next to one of the speakers, a man who writes a really entertaining, and well-informed column in a weekly publication that both Rog and I have always read and enjoyed. He has written this for over 21 years, and he was the after dinner speaker, and was thoroughly engaging, both during dinner, and his 45 minute slot afterwards. He started with a really fun PechaKucha presentation – if you are unfamiliar with this concept, it is based on a Japanese idea whereby you show 20 slides which you have 20 seconds per slide to speak about. It is fast paced, and tends to be quite entertaining. He showed slides of his farming life, and his commentary was hilarious. After that, he went into a really interesting chat about some of the early Everest explorers. His grandfather was on two expeditions in ’33 and ’36, a Cambridge man. And he brought along some of the gear used, to illustrate the weight, and how even less than 20 years later, when the mountain was conquered, the advances in technology assisted Hillary and Tensing. He outlined the Mallory and Irvine ’24 attempt (and possible summit) and that his grandfather had picked up and brought home an ice axe that has been identified as almost certainly Mallory’s, during the ’33 attempt to summit the mountain. His quiet pride in telling how the ’99 team were looking for an ice axe of his grandfather’s, near where Mallory’s body was eventually discovered, but he knew from childhood stories that his grandfather had carried both his own, and Mallory’s axe back to Camp 6, only bringing Mallory’s back home after the climb, and the speaker managed to get a message to the team that they were looking in the wrong place. You could feel the passion he had for his topic, and he outlined how he follows every Everest climbing season (current right now) online. Thoroughly recommend him as a speaker. He asked me about my background, and I briefly explained my dairying years, then sheep and beef years (he farms the latter) and he enquired as to why I had exited the industry. Awkward. I quickly said, with a smile, recent relationship dissolution, internet dating, farm sale, and the ex lives down your way now.  He has a long and happy marriage, he spoke kindly of his wife and kids. He crinkled his nose, and gave me a quick hug. Very kind. Awkward moment over. And I thought of how much Rog would have enjoyed meeting him, and hearing him talk. But moved on, and enjoyed it myself, of course.

It was a much needed distraction, as it has been my toughest week of treatment. Not a big deal, just tired of it now, and willing it to be over, trying to stay positive and missing the comfort of a beloved partner, to share the recovery process with.  The devastating and excruciating heartbreak hits hard in these moments. I don’t often get down about it, but it is one time in your life you appreciate being coupled. To have someone take care of you, worry about you, and give you loads of hugs, to curl into at night. To distract, and comfort you with all kinds of intimacy. Quiet times, gentle chat, a few laughs, warm bath together, massage, sex ….. Someone who notices if you are doing well, or might have got a little bit down. I have not had many down moments, I know I have this, and will be better soon.

So, off to get a cuppa, and the damn writing underway, I am all at sea with the subject, and feel waaaaay out of my depth! Wish me luck, team!


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Transparency

Very bizarre morning today. I got a message just after 6am from one of the women that Roger was messaging from the dating apps. I actually knew this woman as I was growing up. Welcome to living in a small country, with just two degrees of separation! We both rode horses competitively, and she was pretty good. Also a very attractive girl back then.

Anyway, it turns out she is still chatting with him, flirting, etc, but mostly just sharing parts of their every day with each other. She discovered that he was not single at all. Never was. This was one of the women I saw messages from on Roger’s phone in the first month or so after he announced he had “met someone else.” He was still messaging her when involved with Trinket, at that early stage. I also saw some more messaging going on in December last year, five months into his new love affair. WTF?

Anyway, this woman sent me a message this morning, and now knows he was with me when he had the online dating profiles, when he was chatting with her, and meeting her for pizza and wine (sex?) I let her know he left me for Trinket, another woman he met online and lied to, and she was totally disgusted. It seems her ex was a cheater. The thing that got me the most was, as she was messaging me, she said that she was simultaneously messaging him! I thought, fuck, he’s in bed with Trinket, and messaging yet ANOTHER woman. Who the hell did I share thirty years with??? Then, she offered to send me some of the conversations she has had with him recently.

She wants to meet with me. Yep.

I thought about it for a bit. I should be running for the hills, shouldn’t I? But, I am curious, and want to know more about this guy, this one I had no idea about, this secretive, duplicitous guy. Who is he?

So, we have arranged to meet to have a chat. I think it might be cleansing for me. I am no longer completely in shock, and feel like I can listen and absorb more of the story now. This kind of thing is helpful, it continues to underline that the man I loved, I believed in is not here anymore.

And one of my first thoughts after I had absorbed that he is still emotionally cheating, ALREADY, was my relief. I am not mad. I really did have an instinct about this, and this is why I struggled to heal from the affair with Leanne. This is the stuff the old friends don’t know, don’t see. They see Roger, the charmer, the nice guy, the golden boy, their mate. Those people who wrote me off (even though it was well known that Rog is a cheater and a liar) who don’t feature in my life anymore, after thirty, and sometimes more, years of deep friendship, they don’t know about this stuff. They don’t realise what he does, how he operates, his secret other life.

So, why transparency? Why did I choose that title here? Well, one of the things that most agree on about couples trying to heal after an affair, is that the perpetrator of the betrayal has to become completely transparent. No more secrets. Roger was a bit of a technophobe when our D-day hit, and the only device he used for his affair was his mobile phone. He had no social media presence, and he did not use email, or the internet. So, his phone was left in plain view, and I was supposed to be able to look at it any time. There was no passcode on it, and he was actually so technically challenged, he did not know about deleting. That was how I knew she kept texting him for the next two years, and the times he replied, which was not often, but it still happened from time to time. I think he was genuine, in wanting to heal us. However, I did request that he change his phone number, so that she could no longer contact him, and he refused. For two long years, he refused. His argument being that he didn’t want to disrupt his clients, and in retrospect, he admitted it was also because he felt he could control her if he knew what she was doing, to protect me from her bunny boiling ways. When he went back and fucked her again, almost exactly two years after D-day, he then came home and said he realised I was right, and he needed to change his number. Ugh, right. As I said, starve her of oxygen. Do not let her contact you. SHOW me that I am important, not her. He says that was his biggest mistake, not listening to me about that. I think there is a long list of biggest mistakes. Fucking the psycho ex AP yet again, being a fairly big one.

So, the bizarreness of my life with him just keeps growing, but I also see it as the universe’s way of ensuring I stay well away, and hammers home the message that this is a very clever, very persuasive, very believable, very loveable, cheating arsehole.

Ngā mihi nui Universe. Glad you have my back!


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Parenting 101

I had a poor night’s sleep. My youngest rang me just after 3am, a bit tearful, and wanting some reassurance. At first, she wanted me to go and pick her up, she was a bit drunk, and I was out of bed, and starting to get dressed as we spoke. However, she was at one of her best friend’s boyfriend’s house (he’s lovely) and safe, so then changed her mind and asked me not to come. I haven’t caught up yet with what the problem is/was. She has had a tough six months, at 19, dealing with a sad break up with her first real love (which she is still struggling with a bit) some confusion about what she is studying and why, and her apparently in love parents’ separation. She’s a little rock star really, but has her moments. Last night was one of those moments.

Of course, I didn’t sleep well after that, and have just heard from her this morning, says she is good, but I know she will have a sore head!

But, it got me thinking. I am really not at all surprised that Rog has had minimal contact with the kids since he left. I know there are some messages with the two oldest, and our son is constantly trying to gain his approval, but missing every time. He is a funny kid, and in his final year of uni, and the binge drinking culture that entails, which is somewhat worrying. I have spoken with him a bit about it, and I know he suffers from social anxiety, using alcohol as a social lubricant, pretty poorly, from my observation. Rog tends to rage at him about it, getting angry and frustrated, making it worse.

Eff par

I have done a bit of research, concerned he is heading down the alcoholism path, and talking to a drug and alcohol counsellor, to see how I can help him when he is not yet ready to address the issue. It goes without saying that berating him is a red rag to a bull. This is one stubborn kid. Tell him to slow down, and he just speeds the drinking up. I am hoping that keeping the communication open about it, WHEN HE IS NOT ACTUALLY DRINKING, d’uh, and him graduating at the end of the year, gaining employment, moving from the student environment, will all help him manage his drinking better. He doesn’t use booze every day, or anything like that, but he is certainly in that laddish mindset, of drink and keep drinking, when he does. It is not uncommon, but still somewhat worrying. Support, open communication, education, not nagging, is key.

Having said this, I know Rog is going down to visit him, and take him to a rugby test soon, and that is pretty cool.

The youngest says she has had three messages, two of which were grumpy, basically telling her off, since he left, over two months ago. She made the effort to go and see him when he was in the area recently, and says he largely ignored her as there were a few people there, and he was a bit busy. She has been considering driving the four hours to his house. But recently said she can’t be bothered at the moment, as he has been up here several times, apparently, and has yet to make the effort to catch up with her. Has not seen her flat – which she has lived in since early January – when she moved out of home during the summer break because she was horrified, scared and disgusted at the domestic violence episode. Ugh, that was a VERY dark moment.

And I cast my mind back to moving. He took no photos of the kids. I seem to have boxes and boxes of them. And then, as I was finding homes for some of the albums and framed photos the other day, I realised I have hardly any photos of me with them when they were little. I have a few, but mostly taken by my mother and her husband, when they visited from their distant home. There are a few of him holding babies, and bucket loads of the kids without either parent, taken by me, but there really is a gap. I am missing. I know that it is partly that I am a bit camera shy, but it is noticeable.

Rog was never a photographer. Pre-phone camera days, he never even owned a camera. I had a decent Canon, and now have a quite nice Nikon that I must start using more, and of course, in my healing days, I used my phone to capture simple, happy images, to add to my mindfulness bank (otherwise known as Instagram, ;-).) And I had never thought about it until I was going through these pics, very few photos of mother and children. Weird. I came from a family that documented EVERYTHING! I think possibly because we were the only grandchildren for a very long time, and my grandparents lived overseas. So, Super 8 movies, and photographs galore. Maybe that is the root of my distaste for being photographed?! That and the fact that I am the least photogenic person on the planet! What I see in the mirror is rarely reflected in the camera.

It kind of reminds me about the lack of investment Rog had in the kids, in our family. It was always me coaching the sports teams, organising agricultural events, serving on committees, supervising homework/music practice/dance/insert activity here……………………………., driving them to practice, lessons, tournaments, recitals, etc. I worked alongside him, full time on the farm.  It was still me who watched the kids during the times they were with us on the farm. And yet, he got to knock off once the cows were milked, and he got in the door. My evening had just started when I came in. Cooking, laundry, listening to reading, hearing about their day, their friends, supervising bath time, etc.

moving too fast

He sold the dairy farm, telling me he was doing it to spend more time with the kids. He spent less than ever, and to be fair, it was partly because he underestimated how much work the new farm was going to be. It really was a grind, and we kind of ran out of money. (All of which I predicted to him at the start, having done the maths, ugh, so I got to, by default, be the ‘I told you so girl,’ which I rarely expressed, as it really does NOT help!) He resented that I was right. A lot. And I think some of that played into his behaviour, in having affairs. To feel like a big man again. I never felt any differently about him, I always loved and respected him. He had made amazing financial decisions up until that point, I wonder if it made him feel a bit bulletproof, I think so. And he is one stubborn MOFO, and would NEVER admit it was a bit of a tough gig. When we should have been flying – having paid off our mortgages, the cashflow just wasn’t quite enough for us to do the things we could have been doing, the plans we had as the kids started to fly the nest; travel, concerts, adventures, etc. Instead, I was still penny pinching at the supermarket, worrying about the bills. I think every time I mentioned I was a bit concerned about paying a bill, or letting him know we had a tax refund (because he had spent more than the farm earned, as it needed a lot of capital expenditure, having been a deceased estate, was quite rundown) he felt it was a personal attack on his manhood, he wasn’t “providing.” Which was NOT how I felt at all! I took an off farm job, to help, and he saw that as me leaving him to it. He missed me every day, as we had always worked together. It was never about that, it was merely me trying to ensure we had the extras for the kids. Rog seems to have seen anything from his own perspective only, seems to lack the empathy chip required to realise that I needed to feel like I was contributing, that selling the farm I was able to be involved in made me feel redundant, that the kids needs (and, honestly, wants as well) were able to be fairly accommodated. I have some parents of girls in their late 20s and early 30s staying with me at the moment, and they are amazed that my kids had jobs through high school, and at uni. They learned a work ethic. They don’t get to have ‘stuff’ and ‘experiences’ without paying for at least part of these themselves. I felt the same way about myself. I didn’t get to sit at home, and have the clothing I liked, eat the gourmet food I like, etc, without earning it. I was never one to feel entitled to anything. I like work, it makes me feel empowered. It gives me a focus. And that is needed now, as much as it ever was. I am valued at my workplace, and it gets me out of bed in the mornings.

And so, he has galloped off into the sunset, knight in shining armour, to rescue a lovely (but obviously a bit dense, if she thinks he can tell the truth after all the lies and cheating in his past, I am pretty sure he even believes his own lies now) widow, and her kids.

liars gonna lie

He can be their hero, sweet, attentive, powerful. Meanwhile, ours make occasional, pretty good humoured remarks about Dad’s “new family.” Ah well, again, I have no control over that. I just tell them to give him time. All the while, selfishly hoping they can at least see who the consistent parent is. Who loves them 100%. Through thick and thin. Who doesn’t move onto the next shiny object when things get a bit tough. I hope that is who I am.

I love those critters!


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Analgesia

Pain.

What do I do to try to ease the worst of the grief and pain, when it hits and throws me on the floor in agony? When the memories of all the love I showered on Roger, that was “never enough” and he rejected me once I felt healed – hmm, you know what I mean, I have never accepted that I “wasn’t enough” – feels too much to bear anymore?

How do I survive those moments?

There are plenty of techniques, but one good one I try to tap into is to remind myself, over and over, that this is not a healthy thing to do, to replace one woman with another. To actively pursue a new relationship, lying to the person you are currently in one with, to try to use an interchangeable other woman to soothe his guilt and shame, to impress with his ‘charming and witty personality,’ to get the adrenaline fix of “new love” over apparent (to him) staidness of the mature, scarred-but-healing, deep, passionate and committed love I felt (bloody still feel, I am a dickhead!) Or, in other words, as I read on another website recently, one commentator put it this way, “HAPPY PEOPLE DON’T DO THINGS THAT HURT OTHER PEOPLE. Happy people work on themselves. Happy people put efforts into appropriate problem-solving. Happy people do not lie, cheat, or steal.”

Because it is hard to go forward without the love of your life. Especially as I face this damn battle with the big C. I am mostly cool with it, but there are days that a warm hug, special kisses, a gentle soothing from my love would be super welcome, LOL. But it is what it is, and I can’t change a damn thing. That ship has sailed, he is now quite a gruff and grumpy old man, to be honest.

And, in order to keep forging forward on this healing journey, to help manage the pain levels, I keep busy. I have a busy little job, I am managing my health, planning good things for my brain, and my heart. And, I did mention earlier that I have been invited to contribute to a geography textbook? Gulp! I have the outline now, and this weekend will mean I have to get my thinking cap back on, and start to disseminate my findings. The chapter I am doing is on emotion and affect, and I am writing about home spaces, and the emotion and affect of the materialities involved. I am actually not really in the right head space! But, my thesis supervisor has said to just start with cutting and pasting from my materialities chapters. So, here I go, opening that vault again …

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