Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum


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Gliding into the weekend like…

Little dog to the groomer first thing. Planned road closure, so got there early, to beat it.

Home, check beehives, put top feeders on, feed hives. BG arrives while I am suited up, laughing at me in my beesuit, smoker in hand, wishing he had a camera. Talk to the people on my neighbour’s land , who are trying to locate a recorder, in a large tree on my place, to check on bat activity. Funny. My mind went straight to bat shit crazy. I know I’ve been painted that way by the flying monkeys.

Had a horse that BG and I have a share each in, racing yesterday. It was in a nearby city. Knew we had to negotiate the road closure, so planned to leave a bit early.

Roger was there. Ugh. FFS. I had no idea, and got a huge shock, seeing him.

Like, near me. Why doesn’t he stay down there? Lol. (I vastly prefer feeling mostly secure that he won’t pop up in my life…) my heart sank.

I don’t have a clue how many horses he has shares in these days. But he always seems to know what I do. So weird.

Anyway. I avoid.

But he always tries to engage. I hate it. But I answer questions, etc, hoping he’ll go away fast. It’s a public forum. You really do have to play nice. But I liken it to all the times in a woman’s life where society says, “be nice.”

Your boss felt you up a bit, why aren’t you flattered, he finds you attractive, be nice.

Your parents’ creepy friend made lewd jokes about women’s bodies. He’s old. Be nice.

Your friend of a friend raped you. He made a “mistake.” Be nice.

Your cheating, lying, abusive ex wants to chat. Isn’t that great, you’re still friends. Be nice.

I have managed to avoid contact for about two years. But two sightings in the last month or so. It still upsets me no end. My heart races and I go all wobbly. I break out in a cold sweat. I struggle to breathe properly. Fuck. I hate it. I think I cover all the panic signs well? Dunno. I feel like a cornered animal. Swan gliding across the lake, feet furiously paddling underneath!

BG is fascinated. He sees Roger as being like his cheating dad. If he chats nicely with me, then he ensures that to the outside world, that all is well, he did nothing wrong. He’s so intrigued that Trinket has NEVER shown her face. I met her while we were still together. Just after I found out he was cheating again, with her this time. I drove hours to (my shame) beg her not to keep on with her affair with my partner of over three decades.

Never once since. BG finds that as weird as I do. But, I’m not complaining. I don’t ever want to see her. I wouldn’t trust myself, lol. Joking.

I think? 😜

BG also has this strange, but understandable (from the outside) theory. He thinks Roger engages also to keep me on the hook. So he has a back up plan. If Trinket ever walks.

I roll my eyes.

I don’t think Roger gives a flying fuck about me.

He didn’t want me then.

He certainly doesn’t want me now.

It’s all image management.

We are not friends. Friends don’t lie, cheat, see your utter devastation, watch you work your arse off to heal, to grow, give you potentially fatal – certainly health compromising – diseases and cheat again, walking away telling you that “one day, we’ll find our way back to each other,” then never even ask once how your cancer treatment (from an STI he gave you) is going.

Interestingly, BG told me the other day that Chrissy also played that Terminator card. “Ah’ll be back!’ With, “we need a little break, to figure some stuff out. It’s not over, babe.”

Ill Be Back Arnold Schwarzenegger GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

That was the last time he saw her. She did continue to message for years. Including annual “Happy Birthday, babe,” messages for about three or four years after she left. It’s stopped now. I saw the messages. He didn’t reply.

Hopium is a powerful drug. BG gets it, because he also had to break the addiction, when his dealer promised more, but never delivered. I know he thinks I am vulnerable to Rog hoovering. Coming back to reclaim me.

I’m not.

I was for a while.

I knew it then, and it TERRIFIED me. Thankfully, he really was done with using me up. Thankfully the Wonders of Trinket’s Magical Pussy kept me safe from the hoover. I am stronger and better now. The addiction is under control.

BG also has a bizarre theory, which I know to be bollocks, as a woman.

He thinks Trinket is scared Rog will leave her, for me. I admit, I couldn’t be with another cheater, my insecurities would do my head in. (NB I was never in the slightest bit jealous, nor insecure, before Leanne. Cheating partner changed me at my core. Forever.)

So she doesn’t show? What??? That makes zero sense, dude.

Nah. It doesn’t work like that. She’s secure. If she wasn’t, she’d be glued to his side. They are living love’s wrinkly dream 😄

Anyway. The horse went very average. Poor ride by the jockey. That’s racing.

I’m sure Roger found that very amusing.

Whatever.

We headed home, picked up the dog, leaving flowers I had packed in a chilly bin in the car all day, for the groomer’s darling mother, a dear friend, who is recovering from cancer surgery.

Threw clothes in a bag, kissed niece and nephew goodbye, they head back down to their Mum’s today, gave doggos treats and goodbye snuggles, and off to BG’s. We got there around 7. He threw clothes in a bag, golf clubs in car, off up the coast to Andy and Ingrid’s. Here by 9, we drank some red wine, and played pool. BG is a pool shark! We doubled up and played Andy and his friend, Bob. Andy is decently talented too. I just had to not fuck up, and the competition was close, us winning a first to five close encounter.

Bed. Sleep. I’m exhausted. The boys have just left to drive further up the coast to play golf. I’m in bed, contemplating making a cup of tea.

Counting my blessings. This is such a good life.


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Red flag

There were red flags. I can see that now.

The first one that I recall was about a guy we knew. I never liked him. And we realised he was a cheater.

Building a hunting lodge on our farm, jointly with a bunch of mates, I discovered this douche and his AP were using it for hookups.

On my property! Ick! So, I confronted Roger. He’d always been very anti cheating in the previous 20 years I’d known him.

His reply? “We don’t know what goes on in other people’s marriages.”

I was left feeling especially icky after that exchange. There was probably not an affair going on then. I think it was pre-Leanne. But I recall a shift. I remember thinking, what??? Like you’re not only okay with your friend cheating on his wife, but you’re also okay with him fucking his AP on our property??? Not okay with me. And I told him that, too. “Tell him to get a room. Not having that on my property!”

Hmmm. Roger went on to fuck Leanne all over our property.

Including the hunting lodge. How original (and cheap!) of him. That was a favourite of theirs 🤢

Former baseball commissioner, Fay Vincent said in a Wall Street Journal editorial about baseball cheating;
“To ignore a little cheating is to allow a lot of cheating”.

Yup.

I thought the exact same thing when Roger started ignoring cheating by his “friends.” I knew instinctively something wasn’t right that day. I didn’t realise he was a cheater. And I don’t believe he was actively cheating then, but the seed was germinating, for sure.


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She trained you so well!

Yeah.

Writing out the hard conversation I had last weekend with BG niggled at this. Trinket told Roger that I “trained him so well.”

I nearly threw up when he told me that.

Like, great. Firstly, did she mean sexually? Like, wow, you’re so good at sex! Go Paula! Woop woop!

Or, was it more that apparently he’s a pet. Who a woman has to house train. Because men are stupid like that, right???

And it also pissed me off, no end. Because what a fucking terrible thing. To steal a partner off someone else, once they were “fully trained!”

Fucking cunt.


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Starting to get to the nitty gritty

I’ve alluded to my suspicion that BG has some sexual dysfunction – at least – or sexual trauma – at worst – in his history. Carried in his body. I think there is the inevitable amalgamation of the two.

This is a man who never married. Never had children. Never watched his significant other give birth. Never really “needed” to learn about true intimacy, or even just plain old female anatomy.

It’s only just clicking for me now. I had one lover ever. For over thirty years. We were very attuned to each other, sexually, emotionally, mentally. I was an open book with him. Nothing was off limits.

BG has never come close to any relationship anything like that.

Ever.

We had the most intimate talk yet, on Monday. Driving up the coast, we chatted.

And I dived in.

Deeeeeep breath. Trying to get to what makes him tick, and why.

I was a bit shocked to discover that some of the problem is actually Madonna/whore complex! He didn’t know it was a thing… I explained that it has been a thing forever.

And that it is oppressive to women. The result of patriarchy. It negates our very personhood.

He has put me on a bit of a pedestal. Drunk barmaids, or patrons were fine to fuck. But kind, loving partners, there’s a level of weirdness for him. Women are either lovable OR erotic. Never both.

And, unconsciously, he has therefore desexualised me as his love for me has grown. Saint OR slut. You can’t be both. Ugh.

Of course, he wasn’t aware he does it, but I worked it out quite quickly. From his body language and words.

He’s not actively choosing this. But, only son of a serial cheating father and loving mother, two doting, much older sisters. Sent to Catholic boarding school…hmm. Perfect storm.

He’s very tactile. Very loving. Very gentle. Very kind. But the early wanton, lustful, super hot, amazingly adventurous sex we experienced in the beginning, has pretty much disappeared.

And apparently, my pleasure is a moot point!

Shiiiit!

Like, I’m “too good” for rough sex, or anything adventurous in the bedroom. Whoah! What??? I kind of never thought men within my social, generational peer group would think this way! Of course, I never imagined this was it!

He also said he and the only woman he ever loved before me, drank A LOT. And sex was always just drunk sex. Get pissed, have a shag.

So interesting. It was a really open, honest chat. And I was very direct about my pleasure vacuum.

He knows he needs to “work on it,” but he has said this several times.

I looked straight at him and said, “yes. But you have told me this before. I’ve tried to work out what is going on. Today I understand better. But actions. Not words. We are so good together. Do you think? But we could have so much more. You don’t know what you’ve been missing out on! Super connected, hot AF, truly intimate sex.

AND a nice partner, lol. It can be so amazing!”

He agreed. Yes, we are really, really good together. We have similar values, love doing things together. I’ve been fully welcomed into his precious inner circle, not one of his women ever has been before me.

Then, I dug deeper. He said he thinks sex has been a problem in relationships before. Like, he rarely has had to invest. Get drunk. Find a willing hole. Wham! Bam! Thank you, Ma’am!

So I asked about Chrissy. Did she say the sex was becoming problematic?

“Oh hell no.”

Then why did he think that?

“Because this happens, every time. With everyone. Then we split up. So it must be sex.”

So, I asked, “what did Chrissy say about sex? What did you guys talk about? Did she say it wasn’t enough? Up to scratch? What?”

“Oh fuck no! We NEVER talked about sex.”

Holy shit!

That’s insane, right? If there was any inkling of any small problem, surely you bring it up?

No. You just ignore it, then start an affair. Good skills, Chrissy. She’d be in her 60s now. And didn’t talk about sex! Despite having multiple partners. Crazy.

So, BG is talking about sex, with a woman, for the first time ever! Jesus. That shook me.

But best of all, although it was hard, and I could tell he was finding it as difficult as I was, he said that despite the squeamishness he was impressed, and really happy, because he has NEVER gone this deep with anyone. That it’s because of me, because he feels more intensely than he ever has, that he’s willing to go to these difficult, intimate, exposing places.

It’s a damn good start….


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Meh

I know many people, who have never been betrayed, don’t have a damn clue about this experience.

You are not given any time, space or permission to grieve.

You are certainly insane if you are “not over it.”

I have often wondered about myself. Thankfully, the wonderful trauma counsellor I saw for EMDR helped by giving me permission to “not be over it.”

Chump Lady calls it meh.

Like, that person and what they did? Meh. Whatever.

And I guess it meant I thought I was failing.

I don’t feel meh. Roger still affects me. Every day.

But I have rebuilt a good life. Have a good income and standard of living. Property and animals I love. A cute wee, comfy home. I have a man I love in a very different, far healthier way. We are equals. Rog never considered me his equal.

But, there is no meh.

Very much like this letter writer. I have beaten myself up about not being meh enough.

And I love this man’s comment, I think about it always, but otherwise, I feel the same way…

I am with No Meh. The betrayal will never be forgotten or forgiven, but I have moved on with my life and it doesn’t consume me after 5 years. Is it Meh…I don’t know? I probably think about it too much but not often, still get frustrated when acquaintances say I should be over it because she is the mother of my children I would prefer to never see her again and have anger about the past from time to time, but it is not a daily occurrence. I have been no contact for a long time and at this point I have more issue with ex being a fake mother and the fact she slept with a married man and hurt another wife. Next Wednesday is the 5 year anniversary from D day and it just so happens that, randomly, on that day, I will be closing on a new home with a wonderful woman (fellow chump) I have been with for 3 years. This will be our home, not hers or mine, and we are both looking toward a fantastic FW free future. Just don’t ask us to have dinner with our exes.

It’s validating to know that infidelity doesn’t only happen in “bad” marriages. As this letter writer, No Meh, states, “the person I loved more than anyone else in the world betrayed me and, on top of everyone’s expectations that I should be over it by now, I am not.”

Funnily enough, BG and I had this conversation in the car, just yesterday. He was having a giggle over my friend, S, who was so funny at the recent birthday party we attended. He admitted he told her that I was a bit nervous about attending. S said, “oh really? Everyone has moved on.” Suggesting to me that she didn’t understand that I wasn’t nervous about the people there, except Rog and his best mate. I don’t want to ever see him again. I know that is unrealistic, and I can be quite the grownup about it. But I would not be sad if I never had to be in the same place as him, as long as we are both alive.

After explaining that, BG worried that I still have deep, loving feelings for Rog.

I said, “no. It’s definitely not that. The man I loved died. He doesn’t exist. If he ever even did. This person you have met, is an entirely different person to the man I loved so much. He absolutely broke my heart. Shattered into millions of tiny shards. I have zero desire to be around him, let alone WITH him.”

That is the first time we have ever had that discussion.

I absolutely love Chump Lady’s story about the Cypriot woman. Her feelings about her current place of residence, are vastly similar to mine about my new life. My real life was the one stolen from me by whores and cheaters. I’ve made another one. But it’s never felt like my real life. Like I belong. I am sure I will always be this way.

I have also radically accepted this parallel life, to my real life. I haven’t forgotten. I haven’t forgiven. There are ramifications of this injustice forever. This is my meh. I didn’t break.

“No one would be surprised if you felt uncomfortable about being around a person who had assaulted or stabbed you.”

Like that writer, I will always be uncomfortable around him, to the point of nausea and tremors. That was how I felt the night of the party. How I felt the night of our youngest’s 21st. Sick and shaky.

And, I need to find time to tell you about some other interesting chat that BG and I engaged in, driving.

I’m starting to realise that, like my 25 year old son, the best time to converse really well with him, is during a car trip. Boys. Better to converse beside, than face-to-face. Seems that doesn’t change much with age.

And I really am seeing that despite my first thoughts about BG’s one “big” relationship, this one is far, far more real, far, far deeper, than any relationship he has had previously. He’s never had anyone who talks the real talk. And he says that whilst it is extremely difficult/challenging, he is really appreciating why it is so good. To deeply connect, to work together to create a good life, care deeply about another human, on more than just a “because it’s the right thing to do,” level.

Anyone who thinks older, single men, with no children, are just a bunch of lotharios, think again. I’m finding this fascinating. Exceptionally challenging, sometimes very frustrating, but also incredibly rewarding.


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Not Good Enough

Having a wee battle with the Not Good Enoughs again.

They’re like nasty little parasites that Roger planted in my brain. I fight them off. Then back they come. Brain cooties!

I am more conscious of who I am than ever before.

I’ve just had an “introductory” chat with BG, and … crickets. I don’t know if he has the capacity to deal with this. Be on my level, as such, emotionally. This is going to be such a test.

Because I love deeply.

With everything.

Even when my trust has been broken, I’ve given more to this man than I expected I could, after Roger’s abuse of me.

BG did say Thank You. He knows he isn’t quite getting it. He knows I give “too much.” Or at least, more than he feels he is worthy of.

This is the hard stuff, starting over. We both come into this with so much damage. With Roger and me, the young love meant less damage. I did know mine, mostly to do with my childhood, then late teens parental cheating and divorce, violent, brutal, bloody rape by a “friend,” and finally my incapability regarding penetration with the first boy I loved with everything I had. He was just too damn big. That all messed with my head.

However, I was fully aware of all my shit, and we started so well, and seemed freaking awesome for at least two decades. The disastrous stuff appeared with my discovery of his long, secretive other life. The one where he was planning a life with my supposed friend. Ugh.

Tired. But with a little makeup on for the dawn service, I wondered about my physical self. I try not to put any of my damaged self esteem into looks. But, in my mid 50s, betrayed, replaced by other women, I know that I have a lot of Not Good Enoughs linked to the way I look.

And I also know it is bollocks.

Both because looks mean sweet FA in life. And because I am probably physically not a complete troll.

Normally, I’m happy to be me. Flaws and all. But when the Not Good Enoughs reinfest my brain….ugh

See? Tired, but probably mildly fuckable, right? 🤣🤣🤣

I took the photo at 8am after the dawn service, to show myself that it’s okay. I’m alive and well. Have so many great things in my life. And I’m probably not going to blind anyone with my hideousness.

This is what PTSD and betrayal trauma have done to my previously far more sensible brain! I recall one of the things I said to Rog after Leanne told (dumbarse, clueless) me that they were having an affair was, “you’ve now turned me into the vain, insecure teenager I never was. I never worried about my looks before this!”

I fucking hate him for that.

And I take full responsibility for the next Not Good Enough eradication program!


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Anzacs

It’s Anzac Day.

And the first full dawn service I’ve been to at the beach. Covid restrictions have been harsh here.  We stood at our gates two years ago, in full level 4 lockdown. Last year’s service was remote only.

But the beach was serene this morning. BG had his arms around me as we watched the sunrise, and the Coastguard deliver the New Zealand and Australian flags to the local area school’s head girl, to deliver to the RSA president who was delivering the service at the surf club.

Lots of deliveries 🤣

An enormous turnout. People on the dunes and on the beach almost as far as the eye could see.

And, although I use this space for the painful, difficult parts of my post serial cheater life, this was a magical morning. The weather was beautiful and the beach serene.

As we walked home, my family’s armed service involvement was front of mind. At least three generations of my mother’s family served. Her grandfather WWI ambulance service, mother was a WAAAFer, father WWII active service – notably on the Kokoda Trail in PNG – and brother a decorated veteran of Vietnam. My Mum grew up as a self described army brat. Her Dad was regular army, after the war.

Also somewhat serendipitous, to me at least, as last weekend I was in the same spot, having coffee, reconnecting with a woman I used to babysit! This 40-something mother of two is the Commander Directorate of Seapower and Warfare Development – high powered naval officer in the NZDF! She’s also an amazing human, who was interested in my Masters degree in Human Geography, having done her Bachelors in Geography (human) and Psychology. My Anthropology and Geography double major thrilled her, and we discussed policy, psychology in the work environment, etc.

BG is big on this kind of respect for those who came before us, and sacrificed so much. He was fascinated to hear my mother’s family’s service history.

We’re tired. He has worked on the floor (not really his job, he is the General Manager) until closing for 15 days straight. Will do another week at least. So short staffed, and struggling to find people. At midnight, as he climbed into bed, exhausted, and frustrated, another part timer messaged her resignation. It’s a second job for her, and her apprenticeship takes precedence.

It nearly broke him. I could see his deep disappointment, and his self flagellation kicked in. Not doing it well enough. Etc.

Then, 20 minutes later, a phone call. He had to get up dress, and go sort out a jammed cash counting machine for the closing duty manager.

This is an unprecedented time. No travellers. The people who fill the gaps. Small resort town entitledness, whereby few are available/willing to work. It’s really an enormous struggle.

He wants out.

But his work ethic is such that he doesn’t want to abandon ship at such a difficult time, too.

Underneath all of this, I have personal things we really need to talk about. But I really can’t when he’s been doing 15 to 16 hour days. I’ve told him we have to talk. But I don’t want to do that until he gets a break. He got very down when I even said that much. I get it. But he’s going to have to stop that if he wants a mature relationship with me.

Yesterday we took a couple of hours off, and went for a drive to a neighbouring beach. We had a small disagreement during the drive. I went quiet. I’m not fighting with him over small stuff. He got all worried and upset. I just told him to calm down, that I was a bit pissed off, but that it wasn’t worth sorting as it was small, and I was okay. He knew what he’d done. I didn’t need to rake him over the coals, and I just needed a moment to be quiet and sit with it.

This stuff, the way we deal with conflict (there has been so little of it!) this is one of the things we need to have the time, and right mindset to talk about. We both know it.

But it is apparently up to me to organise this chat. Even that is a bit of a red flag.

BG hasn’t dealt with conflict in personal relationships well. I see it as the thing that him and Chrissy messed up. Their relationship appears to have been a bit shallow. She never got in deep with him. Never let down her walls. Never discussed her feelings. Her past. Etc. Just put big demands on him, that were not reciprocated. No friendships with his women friends allowed. He wasn’t encouraged to spend time with “the boys,” quite the opposite. He had to give her his full attention. She had full access to his phone, but never allowed him to see hers, etc.

He has said I am taking him deeper than anyone ever has. It’s more real. More loving. More challenging, than he has ever experienced. But, that means, while he’s great with conflict resolution at work, he avoids it at home.

We’ll see. When he gets a moment to have a break. He’s pretty damn worried the whole work situation is about to get worse. He can see cracks in the senior staff’s coping mechanisms. They are carrying too much. And he’s trying so hard to support and solve their problems.

Hospitality is a shit job!


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Fuck them

Having a bad anxiety period. So many unanswered questions. Quite a few tears. Lots of equations that don’t work.

Softness and love.

That is what I know he gives to his whore. That he stole from me.

You never fully have peace of mind again.


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Heavy loads

I have the most fabulous friend.

Well, many, actually!

But this legend, is English, a vet nurse, an incredible mum, married to a lovely English vet. Senior partner in a large veterinary practice.

As well as running a large lifestyle property, raising three truly wonderful young women (just turned 11-15) she is a totally fabulous cook, who also bakes unbelievably. Better than any posh cafe. She does small scale catering, makes amazing, rustic wedding cakes, and used to also work with me.

She’s had a REALLY tough year. Away from family, no chance of going home to deal with aging, ailing parents and parents in law, with our very hardline border control during Covid, her middle daughter, often remotely learning from home after a tough diagnosis of autism (high achieving family, but loving and accepting, there were so many nuances) her eldest daughter was diagnosed with an ovarian cyst at just 13. She’s recently had surgery, a really tough thing for a young, not sexually active woman.

Her husband just had a serious accident at work, large animal practice.

Last week, the youngest daughter inadvertently ran barefoot through an old bonfire and has burnt her feet. She’s been in hospital since. Heavily sedated. Just home today. Nearly amputated both feet.

This kid! In enormous pain. But sucking it up!

S is amazingly resilient, but this is an enormous helping at the shit sandwich buffet.

I asked her to be real with me. What would help most. I know she refuses help.

I’m currently making an enormous moussaka, shopping to also provide a Greek salad and good bread. Will also do a beef cheek casserole. They are every day at hospital, an hour plus away, next week. More debriding. Monitoring. Dressing changes.

Women are fucking incredible. We really are.


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Forgiving

I wouldn’t recommend trying to stay with a proven cheater.

I wasted ANOTHER 8 years, just to have him secretly online dating for two years. He cheated again, all while begging me to never give up on him.

Total mindfuck.

Absolutely hideously painful. I scratched and clawed to heal from him bringing another woman into my homes, to fuck.

And then he brought another woman into my home, to fuck.

I wonder WTF she was thinking, as she entered my holiday home. Knowing full well she shouldn’t be there, with my partner of over three decades. I just can’t begin to understand how she could do that? No matter how exciting his pussy eating is.

Ugh