Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum


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Still broken. Ugh.

For the first time, Ingrid asked me about my thirty years with Roger.

I steer clear of this topic with my new friends. For the closest, “I was with the father of my children for thirty mostly wonderful years. He was unfaithful and left me for her.”

Never any more than that.

Until now.

She dug a bit.

Ingrid and Andy started as an affair, more than twenty years ago. She was divorced. No kids. He was married. Two kids. They both say it was a terrible thing to do. But I have played my cards close, not wanting cheaters to know about my cheating stories.

“Tell me about your life. You are a woman who loves very, very deeply. Kind, intelligent, loving, giving. BG is so damn lucky to have you.”

“Not much to tell. You already know. I loved a man – my only man – for over thirty years. Four years ago, he left me for a widow he was cheating on me with. It wasn’t the first time. Eight years earlier, I discovered he had had a long affair with a single friend of ours. I was floored to find I didn’t want to leave him, instead, worked my arse off to heal. Loads of therapy. Tonnes of pain. Litres of tears. I slowly put the shattered pieces of my heart back together. When I sat him down, after submitting my Masters thesis, to tell him I felt healed, he told me he’d Met Someone Else. This was just a week after giving me a card, and a candle that said, amongst other loving things, “you are the only woman for me.” And “Love Always.”

He lied. And cheated. Probably most of those three decades. And it is only recently that I genuinely, GENUINELY, hope I never have to see him ever again, as long as I live.”

She tilted her head. “There’s so much pain still. I’m so sorry.”

I replied, “I now accept that there will always be pain. You don’t ‘heal’ you only keep healing.”

“At least you have thirty years of mostly great memories.”

Fuck!

I teared up. Dammit!

Shaking my head, “no. Sadly, I don’t. Because none of it was real. It can’t have been. Because you could never put someone you love through what he kept putting me through. It was all lies. I don’t believe, or feel that any of it was good. True. Loving. Connected. I made all of that up in my head, because I totally adored him. With everything I had. There are no good memories. Just tainted ones.”

She sat back, sucking in her breath.

“The births of your children? They must be good memories?”

“No. They are very painful memories for me. Of how easily I was duped. I know it sounds bitter. It’s not that. It’s just me seeing him for who he was to me. A mirage.”

Ick. I am all prickly even typing this out. I hate trying to explain. I hate new people peeping behind the curtain.

No one really understands. She tried. But to say I have good memories, shows how she has never lived this. Can’t understand.

Damn. I don’t want BG’s people to know how damaged I am! I know you know what I mean. I am a real person. With real feelings. But that felt really yucky.


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“I’m obsessed with you”

The barman sent me this super cute reel, with the title of this post.

My heart is melting.

Someone who loves me can’t understand why that MF kept cheating on me.

Because he’s obsessed with me!

Naw.

Must have been my naked dance as I made coffee the other morning 😂😜. I’ve never owned pyjamas, so glad he is also a naked sleeper.


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I did it

I am independent almost to the point of being self destructive.

I’ve known it for a while.

It wasn’t until after my darling boy, Roger’s affair with my “friend,” Leanne that I learned it was a trauma response. It started to be really big when my parents split up. My seemingly happy family was all bullshit.

Violent rape at the hands of a “friend” exacerbated it.

Being cheated on by my most beloved, and one of my oldest friends sealed the deal.

As a young adult, a child of parental infidelity and lies, lies, lies, I ran away to the furthest university in the land. And never accepted any help. Financial, or otherwise. I can do it. Leave me alone.

The below quote is so true.

This. Hits. Hard.

The inability to receive support from others is a trauma response.

Your “I don’t need anyone, I’ll just do it all myself” conditioning is a survival tactic. And you needed it to shield your heart from abuse, neglect, betrayal, and disappointment from those who could not or would not be there for you.

From the parent who was absent and abandoned you by choice or the parent who was never home from working three jobs to feed and house you.

From the lovers who offered sexual intimacy but never offered a safe haven that honored your heart.

From the friendships and family who ALWAYS took more than they ever gave.

From all the situations when someone told you “we’re in this together” or “I got you” then abandoned you, leaving you to pick up the pieces when shit got real, leaving you to handle your part and their part, too.

From all the lies and all the betrayals.

You learned along the way that you just couldn’t really trust people. Or that you could trust people, but only up to a certain point.

Extreme-independence IS. A. TRUST. ISSUE.

You learnt: if I don’t put myself in a situation where I rely on someone, I won’t have to be disappointed when they don’t show up for me, or when they drop the ball… because they will ALWAYS drop the ball EVENTUALLY right?

You may even have been intentionally taught this protection strategy by generations of hurt ancestors who came before you.

Extreme-independence is a preemptive strike against heartbreak.

So, you don’t trust anyone.

And you don’t trust yourself, either, to choose people.

To trust is to hope, to trust is to be vulnerable.

“Never again,” you vow.

But no matter how you dress it up and display it proudly to make it seem like this level of independence is what you always wanted to be, in truth it’s your wounded, scarred, broken heart behind a protective brick wall.

Impenetrable. Nothing gets in. No hurt gets in. But no love gets in either.

Fortresses and armor are for those in battle, or who believe the battle is coming.

It’s a trauma response.

The good news is trauma that is acknowledged is trauma that can be healed.

You are worthy of having support.
You are worthy of having true partnership.
You are worthy of love.
You are worthy of having your heart held.
You are worthy to be adored.
You are worthy to be cherished.
You are worthy to have someone say, “You rest. I got this.” And actually deliver on that promise.
You are worthy to receive.
You are worthy to receive.
You are worthy.

You don’t have to earn it.
You don’t have to prove it.
You don’t have to bargain for it.
You don’t have to beg for it.

You are worthy.
Worthy.
Simply because you exist.

-Jamila White

Tonight, I actually called a complete stranger. To ask for some information and insight into this business.

It took me three days to gather the courage.

To call BG’s friend.

Because, you know, I CAN DO IT MYSELF!

Like a damn toddler.

But pleased I conquered this fear. He was amazing. Positive. Real. Encouraging. I feel invigorated.

But still fearful. Taking the steps I need to to secure finance, and be as informed as I can be.

I asked for help. Me. Lol.


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Success?

It is hard dealing with the fact that the whore who happily fucked your partner of thirty years, is around your children. Touching. Hugging? Laughing. Ugh.

I have to constantly work at “not thinking about it.” To save myself the heartache.

I remember seeing other people who had affairs, in the affair relationships, for years, and thinking, “how the hell is that fair?”

I know the stats say most don’t last. They really are not that happy. It just looks that way from the outside.

In a support group recently posted;

I’m reading Not Just Friends by Dr. Glass. In light of some recent posts re: the ex’s apparent happiness with their AP, she shares her research’s finding that, “Seventy five percent of all unfaithful individuals who marry the affair partner end up divorced.”

I hate that our eldest daughter currently lives with them. In that house, with that whore. But I suck it up, because it means she has free board while she studies, which is truly magnificent.

But, lying in bed, I struggle with mind movies of her waking up to that bitch in the kitchen. Being fondled by her father, in front of my daughter.

Ugh.

And my younger brother talked to me yesterday about how hard I found it/find it being no contact with our narcissistic middle brother.

Not gonna lie. It’s hard. I didn’t want to cut off a family member. But my mental health is far better for it. It’s been years now. Pretty sad, but no regrets. Younger brother gets berated constantly by Mr Perfect, and is considering no contact, too. He asked about my no contact with Rog. I said it was the hardest thing I have EVER done. I recently looked back at messages from the start of being dumped by him for his new wife appliance, and squirmed. Yuck. I still love that guy he looked like before all of this. I guess I thought he wasn’t dead? But he is. My love. He doesn’t exist anymore. If ever? It’s pretty humiliating. No contact, when that person I loved so very deeply still walks the earth. It is utter agony.

But completely necessary.

I NEVER saw myself as this person. I had never ended any relationship, with anyone. Even people who treated me poorly, I forgave, and protected myself with less open contact. To cut people off wasn’t a thing. Small communities, you have to live in them, with the occasional interesting dynamic. You suck it up. You smooth the rough edges of difficult relationships. You compromise. (Yourself???)

I know those people now label me. As crazy. Bitter. Difficult.

I was in fact (still am!) faithful, loyal, kind, loving.

But because I got fucked over, I deserved it? I dunno. It’s all incredibly difficult. Utterly heartbreaking. Every day. But you do it. You keep going. You rebuild, protecting your hard won healing.


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Sigh

The weekend is over.

My four day weekend!

It’s been crazy busy. And BG was just lovely. He’s tired too. It’s been a really tough 18 months or so. Both of us are feeling the strain of our jobs.

Of living apart.

We had a really good talk about that. Reality is, he’s at least a year from being able to come to me. Which is something he feels weird about. He has struggled with his gendered expectation that he shouldn’t be moving into my place. That our different economic circumstances are shameful to him.

I just keep going, doing my thing. But told him clearly that he is very welcome. We just need to have clear legal protections and agreements in place. Anything together needs to be clearly started and documented as ‘ours.’ And if he moves in with me, we need to ensure he has protection as well. He doesn’t want to be “my tenant.” I understand his fear.

Anyway, a fabulous weekend, celebrating Colleen’s 50th.

Stayed at her place. She has become my biggest fan. It’s really sweet. Late in the night, she came and cuddled up with me. We were talking about the fact that three of her four older brothers were able to come. One was still in lockdown. They all expressed surprise at seeing BG there. They didn’t know they are still great mates. It’s been around 25 years since they were a couple. And Colleen said, “but, I told the boys that one of the best things is, he brought you into my life. And I really love you, Paula.”

She’s a bit cute.

And was a bit drunk. Lol.

Driving home this afternoon, I got a message from BG’s mate, Andy’s wife, Ingrid. Asking me to come and stay with her next weekend. The boys are off, playing golf, Friday-Monday.

I am always so humbled with these people BG brought into my life. They have welcomed me into their hearts and homes in ways no one really did before. I’m so damn lucky.

And it all kinda triggered me a bit. About how that filthy cunt, Trinket, is no doubt welcomed the same way into Roger’s world, by people I considered my best friends.

She is now totally loved and treasured, by him – my love – in all the ways he made me feel so loved. Ugh. It sucks. That the person I loved so fully, turned into this person. Who gives that love – MY LOVE – to a stranger. And he despises me. It’s so hard to comprehend.

It aches. Always. The loss of my story.

I’m tired. Tired of all the work. To heal. To rebuild. To find a new way of making a living. To pine for my love, both the one that never really existed, and this man I love (quite differently) but whom I can’t be with often enough.

And as I was spraying some thistles in my hay paddock tonight, I thought about this red flag I can’t seem to shake.

BG never tells me he loves me first.

His actions seem loving. He says it back, when I say it.

But I’m fairly sure he has never, not once, said ILY to me before I have said it to him.

That doesn’t sit well really.

It makes me worried I am projecting loving feelings from him, when they are not there?

And I had a moment, on Friday night. I had to drive home for the day, for some appointments. When I arrived back at the beach, I got a message from BG saying he was “at a thing,” and would be an hour away.

No explanation of the “thing.”

At first, I was fine. Then my mind raced to the times Rog was at a “thing.”

Or, “the pub.”

Etc.

Those were the times he was fucking Leanne.

What if BG was fucking someone local? And having to “settle her down,” because I had returned after an eight week hiatus?

I just froze.

And tried to talk myself off the stupid ledge.

He arrived back about 40 minutes later, having no idea I had panicked. It was a farewell for the local supermarket owner. He had told me about it a few days earlier. But I didn’t know that until his return.

And, at the party on Saturday, people asked us our “origin” story. During BG’s telling of it (I LOVE that he is happy to tell it) I admitted I ghosted BG. Ran scared.

For the first time, BG heard that I sobbed my heart out the entire drive home after he kissed me the first time. And I “disappeared” for nine months. He was a bit taken aback. “Oh darling. I’m sorry, I didn’t know that. That that was the reason you went cold. Or that I made you cry. I feel really bad.”

He’s never seen me cry.

Ugh. Why am I such a hot mess?

Because I got gaslighted, lied to, cheated on, fucked over. By the person I loved the most. My person. Who was my best friend. Who said he had my back, whatever, whenever, forever.

It makes even the most sane, strong person, messy. Confused. Vulnerable. Fearful.


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Coming up for air

Just briefly.

I think the barman missed me.

I walked into his very busy work on Wednesday night, and he threw himself at me. Announcing loudly to all, “she came back!!! Three months! Outta lockdown, she’s back!”

It’s only been eight weeks, dude, but cool story. 🤣

Oh Lord.

Then he took me out to dinner, at the new restaurant his friend, Tami, has just opened. It’s gorgeous. And the food was divine.

An expensive bottle of Syrah, and stop off at another bar on the walk home, then we made love for hours!

We are a couple who have a million good things going on. But sex, whilst really nice, hasn’t taken a starring role.

Apparently the key to this man is not seeing him for a few months, lol.

It was hot, heavy, kinda kinky sex. Amazing. He just kept going, and so did I!

He took me to lunch yesterday, after my zoom meetings with accountant, banker forms, I’m getting cold feet about the enormity of this investment…

Unbelievably good whtebait sandwich. That cos was delectable, with the best, lemony dressing!

Today, back to the real world, I have a massive headache. And a hair appointment was wangled. To get to these three month long grey roots, before our friend, and BG’s ex, Colleen’s 50th on Saturday.

Time to go. Pick up some cupcakes I’ve ordered for my baby girl. It’s her 23rd birthday. Right now, 23 years ago, I had been in labour for 28 hours. Only 8 more to go. Roger was bored. Poor thing, right?

BG independently sent her a happy birthday message.

And asked me if that was okay. I mean, wow, how sweet is this man???

Hi all, I’m diving again, lungs full of oxygen xxx


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When can I slow down?

Slow down. They say.

Hello.

I’m Paula.

I’m 53 years old.

I have worked damn hard, my whole life.

All of my friends had far easier paths. And that never worried me at all.

Until Roger cheated on me. So fucking unfair! The spoiled bitches got away with it!

It isn’t an exaggeration. As a small example, I milked every milking, except those hours I was in labour, and the next 12 hours.

I had my babies with me as I worked.

Then came home and was a domestic goddess!

I met my love waaaay too early in life.

At 20.

My first and only lover.

I knew that then. That I was “too young.”

So I resisted the idea.

But really? I adored him.

And, being young, I got fucked over.

I just gave everything.

Thinking, “be the best chick EVER!!! He’ll love you forever for that.”

I lost me in that plan.

I’m having to push harder than ever. I’m a single woman, getting nearer to “those” years.

Lower pay.

Longer life.

I’ve been trying to work out how to have the more comfortable life I worked so hard for, for thirty years! That wonderful goal, of loving my boy, and travel.

Now with half the money, and no one to share half the expenses with.

I’m working 12 hour days, and trying to organise finance, create a viable business plan.

To work really hard again for several more years as I establish a new business.

Don’t get me wrong. I have a great work ethic.

But this was “supposed” to be the start of the easier years.

Our reward for working so damn hard. And loving each other so dsmn fiercely.

Hahahaha!!

Keep going, bitch!


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…and … we’re out.

In T minus an hour and a half.

Lockdown restrictions end for this region then.

It’s such a relief, in a long distance relationship.

It’s only been eight weeks. But I’ve felt it.

Work for tomorrow, then we’ll catch up in person.

Look out!!!!

🍆💦🍆💦🍆💦

No pressure, BG 😜

And I just realised we have a 50th in one of our favourite coastal cities this weekend!

Yay!

And then I realised I haven’t seen a hairdresser in 11 weeks, and I am grey AF! And some lockdown kilos have arrived….

When you realise you are out of Covid prison, woohoo!

Then you remember you resisted box dye. And will be token grey rooted Nana at party.

For BG’s ex 🤣🤣🤣🦳👵🦳

Lord. So funny.

Lucky she loves me! And I am ROCKING my grey roots 🤣😱🤣😱


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Character reference from a faithful, loving spouse, to an AP?!!

Yeah. I experienced this.

Trinket actually said to Roger, that I had “trained him well.”

What? For her?

Ugh.

Yeah. Because men are puppies, who need training. Once the starter wife has trained one up, an AP can come along and pick them, like perfect cut flowers.

That pissed me off so much. I did actually tell her, far too gently, face-to-face, that I HAD NO IDEA THAT APPARENTLY WE WERE OVER!!! He lied. To her. But also, to me. He had promised me no more cheating.

Because apparently that wasn’t clear. I mean, I only supported him, did all his life admin, worked, and had his three children.

Apparently, it was never clear, after three decades, that I expected monogamy…🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️

Yes, he’s house trained. He can cook (not that I saw much of that, it only happened when he was love bombing, trying to charm himself back into my good books.) He can use household appliances. Wow!

He’s not a total pig.

Rog told me that Trinket found and read my blog! And my thoughts, about whether or not to stay with him after he broke my heart, cheating for 18 months with my friend, giving me chlamydia and HPV (culminating in cervical cancer) made her pleased with her decision to continue her affair with him, because I sometimes expressed my very real doubts about whether we would make it as a couple.

Fucking bitch.

She knew. She knew my pain, and carried on. Had zero qualms about fucking a father of three. The man I committed to, and loved very, very deeply.

Because she read that I had doubts…

Jesus.