I was deeply ashamed.
Firstly, that I stayed.
After his affair. What kind of strong feminist, role model was I to my children if I stayed with a man who actively chose to hurt me every day? Who didn’t even care enough about their mother’s health, to roll a condom on when he fucked another woman?
I was embarrassed about staying. So weak.
Later, I was ashamed of him.
The man I chose. To love. To honour. To cherish. To breed with. To share my body and my life with.
So, I started to withdraw. From society. I wanted to become invisible.
I’m not an invisible kind of girl. I wear bright colours. I’m feisty. I stand up for injustice and against intolerance.
But, Roger’s affair with my so-called friend, made me ashamed.
I started blogging some time later. I had connected with a small handful of women, and read a lot of information and books about recovery from a partner’s infidelity. I started to feel safe with a select few, to tell my truth.
You can’t tell it out in the real world to many people. But I started to share it here, in the blogosphere.
Oh how it helped! Like unshouldering a heavy backpack. The shame shrunk, little by little.
I started to believe what I knew was true.
This was not my shame to bear.
It started me on a healing journey that was long and slow, but progress was happening.
Telling my story also eventually made it okay for me to do the kind of geographical research I did for my Masters, and for some postgrad papers. It meant I got to publish a chapter in an academic handbook. Things I would have never achieved had I not had to do the hard work of recovery.
Had I not become brave enough to tell my story.
I was thinking today that I should really thank Trinket.
For taking him out of my life.
Because he never believed in me. Even when I started achieving academically, it was better for him if I was beneath him. I did his cooking, cleaning, shopping, accounting, milking, feeding shearers, farm labouring….
There was such a power imbalance. I always knew it, felt it, but was given enough to make me think maybe he saw me as an equal.
So, those lovebirds down there, I wish I could just go, oh great. Good job. Be happy.
But I can’t.
Because I really loved that man.
He shouldn’t have been hers to take.
And it KILLS me thinking of him giving all that love – that I really believed was mine, all that charm, attention, touch all that incredible lovemaking – to that whore.
My stomach still aches, thinking about them together, all loved up. All smoochy and blissed up together.
Just like I used to be with him.
Anyway. It is what it is. I need sleep…