Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum


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How my children saved my heart

After Rog left, and after my cervical cancer surgery and subsequent radiotherapy, I had an episode of being admitted to hospital one night with Takotsubo cardiomyopathy.

Or Broken Heart Syndrome.

I was horrified. Who? Me? A damn heart attack?

And yeah, a little bit scared.

Roger had literally broken my heart!

It’s fairly rare, and the literature used to tell you there were no long term effects. That has now been reviewed. There is damage to the heart. My health further compromised …

Infidelity. The gift that keeps on giving.

The thing I clinged to, those first two years, was my kids.

I had to stay in the world.

For them.

I had to heal.

I had to get better. Stronger. Do better.

Reading some of the literature about mother’s love has been enlightening. We have anecdotally always known it is very fierce and powerful.

But Here lies some interesting information. About the transfer of cells between mother and child, in utero.

It amazes me. Because we know birthing children is not the only way to parent effectively. And many birth mothers don’t parent.

Or do so effectively.

But, I think those cells saved my life.

I needed to survive.

For the people I brought into this world.

Yesterday, I had a mammogram. About my fifth or sixth now. Having had large breasts, and surgical reduction, my breast tissue is super dense. Or so my radiographer-in-training daughter explained to me. My first was a very painful affair. The rest have been okay.

Yesterday’s was excrutiating! Cold sweats, hardly able to breathe.

I knew I was gonna be bruised. And I am. All green and purple on my upper arms and chest.

Also have my right arm twice the size of my left, as when tending my hives, I got stung. Nothing at the time. But up and down all night, icing it.

Running a vet educational course over the next couple of days, and wiped out on the antihistamines…

Fun times.


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Peace

One of Roger and my mutual friends sent me this yesterday. She is married to one of Roger’s best mates.

And socialises with “them.”

But has never agreed with what he did. She made that clear to me, from the outset. From Leanne. And just doubled down when this cunt showed up. She advised me to run. To never look back. That he is just no good 😭

“She has to live with what she did to you, Paula.

I don’t think it sits well with her. I think what she did, cheating with an obviously long-term partnered father, with a partner who really loved him, despite his infidelity, sits very heavily on her conscience.

Every day.

She doesn’t trust him. Even though he piles attention on her and she’s flattered and quietly obsessed with him. She’s feeling your presence everywhere. All these years later. Even though he ran away from you. Ran away to her. I know he knows she isn’t even half of what you are. How he admired and really loved you.’

Jesus.

What do you say to that?

I just replied,

“Thank you. But really? I honestly don’t think they spend a single minute thinking about me. I’m the used up, spat out past. A barrier they overcame to their twu wuv. They’re too loved up. Neither of them have a clue about me. I am just the rejected past. I do however, love that you are being so mindful of me. Love you, chick.”

Man.

Mostly people don’t give a shit. It’s the past. But occasionally, I get glimpses of other views.

Maybe, just maybe, despite all the shit, he really did love me? But just was a weak prick. Led by his need to just get laid, be admired, without the woman fully understanding what he did, by no matter who. He needed a sycophant. Maybe his parting words, “I’ll never have with her, what I’ve had with you. She can never do what you have. One day we’ll find our way back to each other,” he genuinely felt?

And if so, what about her? How truly, truly awful. What if he really did leave the love of his life, to “settle” with who people have called ‘the beige mouse,” or, “the suburban widow.”

Anyway. When people say this stuff, it just unsettles me. How does being told he has just settled with someone “lesser,” help my heartbreak?

It no longer makes me feel better. Instead, it makes me feel sad for all three of us. For our combined children, if there is even a shred of truth. For what he has done to all of these people, because he wanted cake. So much damage.

Then. I come back to this. It’s all speculation. Like my love story with my love, my bear, my Snooks, my Normy, no one can see the love story that Roger and that cunt are living. Maybe they’re Love’s Old Dream? Maybe they were star crossed lovers, who need to break me to get what they wanted, their “destiny.”

Ugh.

My heart hurts.

This is the stuff I have grappled with for years.


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Tough?

Don’t Lose Hope, nails trauma, once again.

It’s something that we get better at “controlling” our response to, if we work really hard at doing so. But it hasn’t made me tough.

It’s worn me down.

It’s exhausting. It’s made me old. Tired. Cynical. Vulnerable.

I think even a bit needy.

I notice that I find it harder to believe in myself. To pull through the mentally difficult phases of life. There is a huge reduction in resilience.

And it’s harder to stay positive. You plunge quite quickly. Way more so than before I knew about all Roger’s cheating.

I’m tired today, understandably. And self aware enough to identify that it is about the lovely weekend with my girls, and missing them now.

Also, that I am always on extra alert not to say the wrong things around them. The youngest, especially, can be quite cutting at times. I’m her mother, not her friend, I know that, but I am pretty sensitive to that dynamic. They become more like friends, as adults.

We had some good chats on our journeys this weekend. About her life. Her dreams. Her fears. Her relationships. Etc. I am always very mindful not to talk about myself much to her. She went through so much watching my life fall apart. It is something I have enormous regret about.

I should have left after Leanne. But I was dumb, in love, in shock, and I believed the love bombing and all his lies about how I was the love of his life and he’d made a mistake. He’s spend the rest of his life making it up to me.

Blah. Blah. Blah. 💔

She has told me before that she saw how in love we seemed to be. That compared to many of her friends, her parents had a lot of fun together. That we laughed a lot, and shared a quirky sense of humour. We seemed so very, very into each other. We were pretty damn affectionate.

Then, it all went to hell in a handcart.

Watching me shrink, in front of her eyes.

Ugh.

Jesus.

I wish I hadn’t put my kids through that.

Consequently, I do walk on eggshells around them, to a degree. I try really hard not to talk about or react to any chat about their father.

I did see the eldest roll her eyes at one stage that made me nervous. It was about her upcoming placement in the hospital in Roger and his whore’s region. She stays with them during these placements. He’s done a huge amount for her. Providing housing and support as she studies. I couldn’t be more grateful for that.

I checked myself after seeing that eye roll. Was it because she is not so keen on staying with them? Or is it about the actual placement? She said she mostly enjoyed it last year. I think she did it to make me feel she empathises with my pain about her father.

But really? I know I’m just overthinking it. He’s her father. He’s good to her. Who really cares if I secretly still hurt so very, very much? It’s my shit.

Driving, while the youngest dozed, I thought about the things Rog and I discussed over the decades. About endings. About how the hell do you go from loving someone, sharing your life, your dreams, your body and soul with them, to … nothing? To hatred and pain? We talked about how we would always be the closest of friends. No matter what.

But. This.

I’m gutted. He’s not my friend. We have nothing to say to each other, and yet, everything.

I’m still super nervous and feel sick every time there is any contact. So much for that idea we had of being a family that would always be close and celebrate together. Not possible.

Certainly not something I can do with the cunt in the picture. I’ve tried to get to a mental place to deal with her. But really??? She knew about me. We talked. I pretty much, embarrassingly begged her not to “steal my man.”

Ugh

I hate myself.

I’m not tough.

I’m soft AF.

Wish I was tough.


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Birthdays

It’s my fabulous eldest daughter’s 29th birthday tomorrow.

So the youngest and I drove down yesterday, via eldest, S’s, university town (which is a bit triggering as it was where I was so brutally raped as a 19 year old) to pick up her flatmate, to come with us to her and her lovely partner’s home near the capital.

Of course, the Easter Bunny came early, taking the opportunity to bring some wee treats south.

We headed into the city for a wonderful set menu, degustation-style dinner to celebrate.

A lovely night. Youngest is recovering from Covid, and is exhausted, so we came home following an after dinner drink, while the others kicked on in town.

That night, S’s godmother, one of my best, most awesome and oldest friends, G, sent me this photo she took of me and our old friend, GJ.

This was taken in the UK, the week I discovered I was pregnant. The same old friend – GJ, whom I ran into with BG the other weekend on the way home from our romantic weekend in his old beach town – was over there on holiday, and G and I met him at a local pub. We were really good friends back then. Always up for a laugh!

It was a very weird time in my life. Roger still didn’t know I was 14 weeks pregnant. I had written him a letter after the diagnosis (and dating of the pregnancy) by ultrasound. G knew. She drove me to Banbury Hospital for the ultrasound. I’d asked her not to say anything to GJ yet.

Of course, she did!

So, GJ knew I was having S even before her father did. I wasn’t thrilled about that fact, but we had a great night!

There are many things, many people I miss terribly from my old life. But I accept that things are changed. I am also super appreciative of the true friends, who are genuine. Including those who believed Roger’s bullshit about me, about the state of our relationship after his eighteen month affair with our “friend,” Leanne, but have realised he is a liar. That he is indeed, a serial cheater. That he played me.

Anyway, as I said. Acceptance. You can’t change what people believe. I get it. I was taken in by his softness, his charm, his fake remorse. I truly loved him to pieces.

And I think the kids think I knew. That I accepted who their father is. They Moira Rose-d me.

I’m pretty sure they don’t know that I was fully committed and working my broken hearted arse off to heal us. To fix what he did to our family.

After all,

You can love someone…
and still choose to say goodbye…

You can miss a person everyday…
and still be glad they’re no longer
in your life.

I’m immensely proud of the strong, independent, clever, beautiful, thoughtful woman my truly fabulous surprise package baby, my S has become. I love following her journey, am so grateful for her and her partner’s very existences in my life. I’m so much better for having been gifted these “dope” people. (A reference to a conversation over dinner last night about language.)

Thank you world, for the special treasures of my children, who saved my life, and make me want to be a better person.

Every day.


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Hysterical bonding

Unless you’ve been chumped, you’d never believe that this is actually a thing.

Hysterical bonding.

Or when you can’t get enough of your cheater.

You shag mercilessly, every minute you can. Every possible place you can. It’s intense.

And incredibly confusing.

You mean I’m rewarding this arsehole for cheating on me, making me sick, destroying my world?!!! WTAF???

But it happened.

A lot.

And there was unbelievable closeness.

And unbearable shame.

I was going insane. The sex was always fabulous with Rog. But this took it to the next level, when I didn’t even know a next level was available.

Sooooo damn hot! 🔥🥵

Then plunged into deep shame.

Every time.

Like an addict.

Because, while he was diagnosed as a love addict, I knew I was addicted to loving him.

And I wanted desperately to protect myself. It was like self harm.

I now understand how I did start actually bodily self harming after he left.

The satisfyingly sickening feel and visuals of the scalpel blade slicing my inner thigh open.

The literal blood letting.

In 50 years, I had no idea that it’s done, not to cause pain, but to try to relieve it. And weirdly, it does. You feel powerful and emboldened.

And you know it’s wrong. Sick. But you don’t know how else you can possibly survive this agony.

And I knew I would never feel that connection with another human ever again.

So far, I’ve been right.

I think we did have something genuinely amazing.

Or I did.

He just didn’t feel what I did. He can get what I gave anywhere, apparently.

I do love BG.

But it’s completely different. I’m grateful for him. He’s a good person. I was telling my boss about how his community looked out for him when he got Covid and had to isolate. Contactlessly delivering coffee. Shopping for food. Checking in on him. And mentioned that he does that for others. Checks on older club members and friends, drives elderly people to neighbouring towns, to catch buses to visit family. To medical appointments. My boss was amazed. “Really? He does that? What a lovely man.”

Yeah, he does that. Regularly. It’s part of who he is. I guess? Perhaps not having his own family has meant he’s cared for others?

And we are cute together.

But honestly? Not that same level of deep connection.

I accept it is gone. The ability/opportunity to form, curate, encourage those life-long deeply rooted feelings of bonding and belonging.

I’m building something else with this lovely man.

He lurves my doggos…

But passion is … not missing. It’s there. It’s just not what I know I am capable of.

I think, loving someone very deeply for over thirty years means that connection is unbelievably strong. Trying to sever it, or even trying to replicate it, is pretty impossible. I’m not trying to replicate it. But I am trying to nurture what we do have. Which is a second (third, fifth? Lol, BG is old, and there’s been chances before) chance at love and happiness.

Not having that intense sexual connection is a hard pill to swallow. We certainly have our moments. Separation for any length of time definitely ups the ante. But hey, that’s not the everyday. What happens when we live together? That certainly is something we are working towards. Rog and I (well, I THOUGHT we did!) had a really intense sexual chemistry. He knew my body so well. He knew how it had changed over the years. What the effects of childbirth were. How my birth injuries changed my sexual responses. These are not things that a new partner knows/has experienced with you, and they are hard to talk about! BG’s knowledge of what I prefer, what works best for me, is only informed by me. Telling him. Showing him. The “lessons” don’t stick straight away. I see and feel him using well-worn porn-informed ideals of what good sex entails. Hey, I’m up for all of that! But there’s a lack of “tailoring,” of bespoke lovemaking, if you will. I ask questions in bed (or wherever else we might be naked dancing!) Do you prefer this, or that? Always, sometimes, just today? Tell me, show me, what you are loving/not enjoying so much.

With Rog, it felt instinctual. We knew each other. I didn’t struggle with getting the words out. The fear I was doing something wrong.

Hysterical bonding (hey, I had two different Ddays, with two different affair partners, and a discovery of him fucking #1 – that I knew of, anyway – again, two years after their affair was “over ” I had loooong periods of hysterical bonding in those thirty years) was easy. We just knew where all the GO buttons were. God. It. Was. Ah. Maze. Ing!!!

I can’t fully articulate this. But I do know the way my heart lurches when BG looks at me, those dimples flashing, the eyebrows raised. Instant WAP.

It just never fully means what I used to know. Unbelievable, earth moving passion.

But, he’s unbelievably caring. Real. Loving. Funny. Sexier than I can explain. I sleep like a baby, feeling so very, very safe, when I’m with him. I never sleep well, since the first Dday. But far, far better when I’m with him. His snoring and all, lol.

That is all.


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Silver

My lifetime bestie and her husband are celebrating 25 years today.

So good.

Their wedding was very chill. Very fun. We had a nearly school aged littlie, and a newborn. A wedding at home on their farm. A very funky short-lengthed dress, designed and made by her fashion designer new sister-in-law, and bare feet. A big farm party. Rog and I danced our arses off! Despite being the only ones with two babies at the party!

This was an odd couple. I like her husband, T.

But they were from different worlds really.

And Rog told me that T fucked one of the strippers at the stag do.

I’m not cool with that.

So not cool.

He’s always been all about the “dirty girls,” as sex workers have long been referred to by the “lads” in local circles. He loves a strip club. An escort. A lap dance.

Apparently, sex with a pro!

But hey. I found out after more than 25 years with Rog, that he also had sex with a hooker at his best mate’s stag party. He lied to me about it for more than 25  years.

But he was clever.

He told me they went to a brothel.

The first version, for over fifteen years, was that he just sat, waiting for the boys to finish their entertainment.

About ten years later it became, “I did go into a room with hooker. But just got a hand job. I was very drunk. I hated it, and couldn’t get hard.”

A few years after his affair with Leanne, the story was that he fucked the sex worker. Nearly thirty years after the event, I got the truth.

Maybe? He’s got a very casual relationship with the truth.

Friends who have holidayed with my friend, J, and her husband, T, have told us about T’s predilection for hookers. How he’d drag the boys to strip clubs. “Just for the beers,” of course!

It’s always concerned me.

But. This couple had five children. Have had a lot of fun.

And some huge heartbreak.

Tragically, they lost their youngest in a terrible boating accident three years ago. 

They’re survivors. They love each other.

At what cost?

I really don’t know.

I remember our silver anniversary. It was not celebrated publicly. We were in recovery.

From his long term affair with our “friend.”

Besides, not long after that, celebrated his 50th. With our closest friends. At our love nest. Our built-by-us-in-love, fabulous holiday home.

His mates were incredible that night. Loving me, hugging me, laughing with me, telling me how fabulous I was. For staying after all his lies. All his deception. They said we were a beckon of love and hope. That I was an incredible person, a truly loving, forgiving woman, for still loving their mate. That he didn’t deserve such a top chick. We were so obviously still madly in love. It was a wonderful night.

No celebrating 25 years.

I will never get a wedding.

Or a long term anniversary.

Trinket and Rog, the cheaters, ensured I never would.

Never could.

I never wanted a wedding. But maybe it might have helped, when I never got the long term anniversary celebrations either?? To at least have one set of gorgeously happy “big occasion,” memories?

Luckily, I have plenty of other wonderful blessings in my life.

But I definitely deserved much, much more.


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🎶You picked a fine time to leave me…

“To you, the horrific discard seems intensely personal, cruel, and callous. But, as devastating as it is, the truth is almost all narcissists discard their partners during important life events, special occasions, and devastating losses.

The reason they strategically implement discards during important life events is so that you will never forget them or what they did to you. In other words, when it comes to your memory bank, instead of recalling your child’s graduation, the warm accolades from your friends and family for your promotion, or the joy of being pregnant with a human life, what you’ll remember instead is the narcissist and their horrific abuse.

While you’re waiting for the ‘real, loving and romantic’ person that you thought they were to surface again and show a shred of compassion or basic interest in your situation, the narcissist couldn’t care less as they go about love bombing their new partner right under your nose.”

Oh! Yes! The above is from The Mind Journal.

I don’t think of my Masters thesis submission as a pleasurable, wonderful achievement. He announced he was leaving me, for Trinket, at the same time. The culmination of a really difficult personal journey, of learning and healing became the most devastating period of my life. Instead of an exciting and satisfying celebration of my hard work in gaining First Class Honours.

The fact that my cancer surgery – for a preventable cancer I was unable to protect myself from, because I didn’t know I should be using protection during sex with my decades long partner and father of my children (no informed consent 😭) – took place straight after he physically left, is also part of the ultimate fuck you.

My Masters degree graduation ceremony, which should have been a joyous family celebration, was instead a low key ticking off the list of Things One Must Do To Keep Going When One Really Just Wants To Die.

I looked back on photos of that day, almost four years ago, just after he dumped and ran, and see the deep pain etched on my face.

I looked very old. So very, very tired. In a lot of pain.

Triangulation
Many “discards” involve the sudden appearance of a new person in the narcissist’s life.

Oh yes! Again. Trinket is amazing! Look at her. Look at me loving her. Look at me planning a new life with this-person-who-is-better-than-you!

Dance pretty, bitch!

“You’ll get to hear all about how great the new person is and, eventually, the narcissist will go so far as to share the relationship problems they’re having with the new person with you!”

Oh man. Did they read my mind?!!! Were they in our home, those last hellish seven months? This is EXACTLY what happened to me!

Ask her what fragrance he has bought her…hmmm

Trinket will never get it. Never understand.

Never care.

That he fucked over the woman who loved him forever, gave him everything. Supported. Worked. Laboured. Planned a future with and for him. All the hard.

But also all the soft. The tender. The sexy. The wonderment. The arrival of babies. The celebrations of life and love.

The fun! The shared interests. The in jokes. The lifetime of sharing.

It all became nothing, because he’s a cheater and a liar.

But also because women were willing to cheat on me with him. You can’t discount that fact. Yeah, I’m fully aware he cheated. That’s on him.

But if people respected other people’s relationships, it would be a bit easier, eh?


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Too much

They don’t leave because you’re not enough.

Not good enough.

I spent years and oodles of emotional energy on this. The couples’ counsellor I eventually – years later – managed to finally drag Roger to, kept drilling into me that I am enough.

That my brain’s constant message, that none of me was enough (not thin enough, not clever enough, not rich enough, not pretty enough, not sexy enough…ad nauseum) was delivered by Roger’s actions. And were not the truth.

The reason they leave is because the OW is less.

Easy.

They can impress them by being nice to their kids. (Love bombing them. Cheering them on. Seeming invested in their futures – less so their own kids, or at least the ones who have seen the truth of who they really are.) Seeming to be thoughtful. Passionate. Kind. Generous. Etc. They can whisper sweet nothings, touch the new love in all the right places (both figuratively, and literally.)

We betrayed, have seen behind the curtain. The facade. The mask.

The new supply doesn’t have all the facts. And will never dig deep. Probably doesn’t care about what he did to someone else. How does that affect them?

After all, they won the prize.

Easy.

Walk away.

Start again.

With someone who is willing to engage with an already partnered person. So has the same low morals.

That’s a helpful place to start. They’ll never try to hold them accountable. They’ve already set the bar low.

Honest, loyal, faithful partners, who are working through previous betrayals, working on themselves, are just too much hard work. Better to cut and run.

And this time, don’t pick one with integrity, a brain, a heart.

Just pick the first one who is easy, and believes the bullshit.

Including the woe is me stories, and fake remorse.


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How to. A simple guide.

I did absolutely ALL of these things. I never went back to exes. Even as “friends.” I told him EVERYTHING. I was honest AF.

About everything.

I was fine with arguments, knowing they were normal and healthy.

I dealt with a brief period of big change – that he chose – unhappy, but with full faith that if we communicated and loved – as we always had – we’d sort it. I kept talking. I kept being fully honest.

I asked questions, accepted answers as truth. Always told him the truth.

He was, without a shadow of a doubt, my best friend.

And I loved him unconditionally.

When your love won’t reciprocate with the same, you have nothing to work with.

The most heartbreaking thing in the world.

I will never fully recover.

I just accept that this pain, loss, and deep disappointment is unable to be changed. Reversed.