Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum


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Worried

Had probably the worst evening in years tonight. My youngest daughter is not doing well at all. Anxiety. Tears. Numbness. Anger. Really took her shit out on me, but that’s okay.

Ish.

I can deal.

I am very, very worried about her. She’s been in therapy (I found and paid) but stopped now, and refuses to try again.

If I suggest meds, I am pushing drugs onto her. Her speech is about, ‘if I make it that far,’ there is self harm and dark thoughts going on. I don’t know what stone I haven’t turned… genuinely very scared about her, and at a loss as to how to help when she refuses help.

She said that when she was last at Roger’s, she went to Trinket’s and there was a sold notice outside her house. She very nicely asked Rog if they were moving in together and he said, no, no way, she’s buying somewhere else.

He told her last night that she has moved in.

D is furious he lied. And why??? As I said, it’s been two years and some change since the start of their big love story! Why would anyone be surprised? They co-hosted an Airbnb like a married couple. They are a couple. Why lie???

And she was talking to Trinket’s eldest, who said that her Mum is just a lovely lady who believes Roger’s story, and he’s so nice to her. Her Mum did nothing wrong.

D just bit her tongue.

So hard.

Wanted to say, “oh, okay, lying and cheating and having an affair with my Dad are acceptable to your Mum? Leaving a loyal, heartbroken partner because he’s Met Someone Else? After cheating on her before. Awesome. Glad she hasn’t had her heart broken, or had to battle a preventable cancer, like the one he gave MY mum because he fucked around without condoms on her. Glad she hasn’t got broken heart syndrome.”

But, she kept her mouth shut.

Good girl.

And what a weird thing to say, Trinket’s daughter! Defensive much???

D talked about how angry she is with him, and the daddy issues she has. And hates him for doing that to her. Proving so blatantly that he lies not just to me, but to her, too.

I tried to talk about how his shit is his, not to take it on. And she tried to tell me it is generational daddy issues. Both grandfathers. My relationship with my father. I replied that I don’t feel I have daddy issues. I’m at peace with my relationship with my Dad. I don’t love him. But I care about him, and don’t want bad things for him. She says she is still torn, thinking she has to love him, wanting to love him, but hating him as well.

Shit. And these cheaters think they aren’t doing any harm. I can deal with my pain.

But my kids. That is incredibly difficult to watch. What did they do to deserve this?

Oh, that’s right. Same as me. Just loved him, believed in him.


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Pain cycles

Big tears again on the drive to work.

Last night I had dreams about my friend, whose son was killed almost a year ago, in a boating accident. I dreamed that three of her four daughters were also killed in separate accidents.

And with my own nightmares still active, about my rape, and the other women, Trinket and Leanne together, poking red-hot pokers into my body, laughing at my pain, not a lot of rest was had.

So, I contained my sobs after a meeting with my builder (bathrooms…am I doing this right?) and dropping the dogs off at daycare, and let it all out in the car.

And the old questions swirled.

Why?

What did I do wrong?

Why did I love him so much, and he just kept lying and cheating? Was I so bad? Such a terrible partner to him? Why did I accept this stuff? All that ‘love,’ all that amazing sex. Dropping out of university and moving in with him after just five weeks???? Coming back to him, after he effectively dumped me and sent me to the UK??? Who even am I?

I’m better now, having let it out. I have to vent it from time to time, or else I hold it in my body, and the aches get too sore.

I read the quote below, about love bombing. To remind me. To ground me in the now. In the knowledge I have about how this wasn’t what I lacked, rather what he keeps seeking from other women.

And it was SO me. So duped by his words, his notes, his messages, his constant attention. What a total dumbarse I was to believe that shit! He was next level with the attention, messages, hugs, softness, ‘love.’ This is the heartbreak…it felt real. So, so real.

In the beginning you did not perceive this as β€˜love bombing’ or probably even heard of this term before. You were flattered that he/she was paying so much attention to you. There were all of those simple to complex gestures, be it compliments, love notes, many great text messages or phone calls, etc. – but it was as if it were a scene from a romantic movie. Guess what, basically that is all it was, a fictional scene with a role that was written personally for you by her/him that had no basis of reality. It was purely fictional to move you in a manner to continue to watch and allow the movie to play out in your life so he could receive the big payoff for his/her personal investment in you or to use you as the next source of supply.

Yeah. I still can’t believe that my life was a game. A lie. That he never gave a flying fuck about my safety or wellbeing. That he could leave me in so much pain, when I genuinely adored him.

Thirty fucking wasted years, supporting him.

Ugh.

Anyway. It is what it is. I did waste myself on a covert narcissist.

Who told me I was the only one for him. That we would one day find our way back to each other.

Damn. I ACTUALLY BELIEVED HIM! Thought we were special. That I was so lucky. Faaaark. It hurts so much still.

Can’t change it. Can only live well going forward.

I am practising mindfulness, and using the tools developed over the last decade to deactivate my trauma responses.

I’m exhausted.

Doing this ALL the damn time.

And I know it is just part of the work of being, for me now. This is how I must manage my life, my trauma, my emotions. It has not really got much easier with time, I’ve just accepted more, that this is it. I will do this forever, the cycles will never end, but my response is faster and more targeted now.

Anyway, and exhale, move forward, keep going.

I’m okay. I am going to be okay.


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“He just loves you”

Love is such a difficult word.

I mean, I can say I love my children, dogs, friends.

I said it every day to Rog.

But, romantic love, wow. It’s so damn loaded.

My boss said to me yesterday, “wow, BG. What a great guy he seems to be. Slotted right in.

And he just LOVES you!”

What???

Jesus. That is a bit far, boss lady!

Why would she say that the first time she met him?

I had nothing.

Romantic love is supposed to start with a honeymoon phase, red hot passion. The phase that lasted pretty much forever for me with Rog.

Until he cheated with Leanne. The rose tinted glasses came off, well and truly.

And he hated it. I questioned everything. He was no longer my hero, my partner in crime, my entire world.

With BG, there is a lot of affection. The sex is fantastic. But the passion is quite different. Cautious. So yeah, honestly? Less.

Because when you’ve been as wounded as we have, you hold back. BG especially has. But his walls are definitely crumbling. He shares. He treats me well. He worries that my past shit will affect this. That I am okay.

Also, probably, that his past shit won’t allow the good stuff to gel. He is very wary that he’s “not enough” for me, which I constantly reassure him is not a thing.

So, love?

Okay?

I dunno. Do you ever really love love again after betrayal? I think that is the thing you are robbed of. The naivety of full on passionate love. Without any filters. Maybe choosing a man who had been cheated on wasn’t such a great idea in Roger, Paula? Maybe Leanne’s cheating on him before he met me made him emotionally unavailable/less available to me. I thought it meant he would never cheat. I consciously chose that. I must have never had full access, as he did to me and my emotions.

I was just loved the absolute fuck out of that man.

And C added last night – his last with me before he heads back home to sort his life out – that he gets the impression, on first meeting with BG, that he’s a GC. And says he thought he was just a genuine guy, who appears to like me a whole damn lot.

And that I seem to be back. The fierce, strong, passionate, humorous sister he remembered from before Roger. Before motherhood. Before feeling like I was never good enough.

We talked about similar trajectories. With us both bending over backwards to please our partners.

So that we didn’t fail.

Like our parents did.

We became easy targets for willful narcissists. Because we would try harder.

And all our not good enoughs.

I explained mine to him. That I was not pretty enough. Not skinny enough. Not clever enough. Not rich enough. Not having a good enough career. Not good enough in any way.

When my sick daughter (who came over from her sick bed to a farewell dinner for her favourite uncle) intervened and said, ‘no Mum…his problem was never not clever enough. As soon as you started finding yourself again after he cheated, by going back to uni and totally NAILING both first class Bachelors, then Masters degrees, he felt intimidated by your brain. He hated you being recognised as clever. He was unbelievably dismissive and resentful. Congratulating you through clenched teeth, hating that he was no longer your sole focus.”

Whoah!

Shit. What an arse, if that is true.

C said K also hated that he graduated with a super high GPA. Higher than hers. And constantly tried to put him down by saying, “have you done the research about xyz? I have and you need to do this, this way.”

How awful is that? When the person you absolutely adore cannot only not be happy for you, but has to bring you down a notch?

They are often referred to as Hijackals, people who you pretzel yourself for, but whom you can never please. No matter how high you jump. They think, cool. That must mean they can jump higher, next time.

But, as C noted, his wife, K, was obvious about it. Roger was covert. Smooth. Calm. Cunningly manipulative.

C can see it. Wow. Not many do.

And I just had to sit quietly and shut up. It was hard. But, nearly two years later, many people who knew us have come to me and apologised for not being able to see Rog for what he did to me. To us. To our children. The lies. The secrets. The cheating. His running away to another region, to start over without the whole town knowing how he treated the woman who did everything for him, loved him to distraction, bore and brought up his children, loved his family completely…

One of his best mate’s partners just contacted me this morning, planning a catch up soon. She keeps in touch, and through another of his mate’s wives, I know she is deeply unimpressed with his secrets and lies. Her partner always embraces me warmly, telling me I’m the top chick. That he misses seeing me. In the past, he has told me he can’t believe he did this to me, that I a fab partner, the best, and was amazing for staying.

But, he’s his mate. And I respect that. It isn’t fair to talk about it with him, and there are no sides to choose. It just feels nice that I haven’t lost them, these friends of many, many decades, due to my partner being a cheater, through nothing I did or didn’t do.

And so, “he just loves you,” is taken with a grain of salt. The number of people who said that to me after Leanne. “But Rog adores you. He just loves you. He made a terrible mistake.”

Yeah, accidentally putting his dick in and out of that diseased … for 15 months, as often as he could, mostly when I was at work, in my home, that was “a” mistake.

Secretly setting up online dating accounts when I promised to get to the end of my degree and we would talk/reassess our healing – that was “a” mistake. Twelve thousand separate text messages to other women in (just – I never counted them further back, it became a pointless mission once he was walking out on me) the eight months prior to him announcing I’ve Met Someone Else, that was “a” mistake.

Gosh, it’s hard to be honest, eh?

Poor Rog. I was so demanding. But he just loved me so much.

Right?


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This week’s feelz

I moved my youngest daughter into her new flat last night. She’s been with me again since October.

I’m pleased for her to be getting back out in the real world.

And I’m now going to clear that enormous bedroom out and put an ensuite bathroom between our two rooms.

My wee house has one bathroom, one toilet…

And, a dear friend whose husband has cheated again, is in the throes of her dying marriage, in agony, but with her sense of humour intact. She asked me how the hell betrayed women ever got through this divorce shit without Florence and her Machine!

I know, right???

Guess where my screen name came from, after all? πŸ‘πŸ€£

She shared this link that we both scream-cry-sing to at the tops of our lungs…

Oh Florence. You’ve made my pain so much more bearable.

As I sat in the bath last night, tracing the scars of my self harm softly with my fingertips, I silently thanked everyone who has been here for me on this most hideous, most unbearably painful journey.

Those who held me.

Those who reminded me of my worth when Roger and Trinket made me feel nowhere near good enough to even live anymore.

To anyone whose “new love” tells them their marriage is over, their wife doesn’t love them anymore, they don’t have sex, but they are still living with them, please, just don’t.

The wife never got that memo.

Don’t put anyone through this hell. I know I’m doing a bit better, but the pain of believing a lie for thirty years will never leave me.

My brother and I were having a great yarn last night. And my wobble came out for the first time since he’s been staying with me. Because this is about him now, my heartbreak was yesterday’s news, so I’ve been strong and positive. The tears welled and he came in for a huge hug. He just said, “at least there’s no one else involved with K and me. I don’t know how you’ve been able to stand it. It would have killed me. I hope those cunts – both of them – are fucking proud of themselves, and what they did to you.”

Yeah.

That.

It nearly did kill me, bro.

But of course, he’ll never know that xxx


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Troughs

I’ve dipped again.

A familiar pattern.

Woke up bleeding, so yeah, there’s that. I never know when that will happen, and haven’t had to deal with it before, so, I’m aware it must impact my emotional wellbeing and safety.

I’m hungry, as with my period, I am feeling ravenous but bloated, and my IF is a giant pain in the arse really. But sticking at it!

And, although I’m fine with the distance, early in the week is always a tiny bit low, and I doubt I will see BG this weekend. He has a long Saturday meeting, I have a function to attend, and Sunday I have a work thing I need to attend. I have mentioned to him that I can get him a ticket to the event if he wants to come, but doubt he will. Industry boredom!

And, the 20 year old at work has turned up engaged. I did the right thing, “congratulations!” Big hug.

Inside I was cringing. “Run! Don’t fucking do it!” Her fiance has broken up with her twice. He is working for her parents, and needs a work/residency visa to stay here. Hmmm. And he bought her a wee ring without her input. Silly, sweet young thing thinks it’s twu wuv.

Ugh.

I wanna yell at my 20 year old self, to RUN!!! He’s gonna fuck with your physical and mental health! You’re so much better than being his mother/nanny/taxi driver/cook/nurse/maid/free farm staff/bookkeeper/etc…

Someone asked me the other day if I thought Rog or his skanky affair partner, Trinket, ever felt any empathy for me today after what they did to me. What could I possibly reply to that?

I know he doesn’t give a shit about what all of this did to me.

So, I just smiled and said, “what can it possibly matter anymore? They made their choice. I was just in the way, so ignored.”

Anyway. The troughs. They happen. I know this. And it will pass. With work, mindfulness, self care, appreciation.

Speaking of which, my brother cooked a huge meal last night, using some of my home killed hogget, slow cooked on my BBQ while I was at work. We invited friends and family, and it was a lovely night. C was beaming and sharing stories. He’s like me, loves to make people happy by entertaining. I’m so glad he’s doing okay. Definitely still on the early part of the emotional roller coaster of divorce, but with a focus and gratitude for all he does have, as he loses and grieves parts of his life, a lot of his imagined and longed for future.

Proud of him. He’s talked with the kids and K now, and everyone has calmed down and agreed to kindness and compassion as they navigate this yuck. He’s flown home today, just for one day, to see another concussion specialist, he’ll be back tonight. Going home to find a place to live, next week, before he goes back to work the following week.

He talked about how he is going to have to manage his emotions when his now wife, starts dating. They are lucky, there is no third party involved here, and that makes things far less fraught, that is for sure. The heartbreak of seeing your love with someone else is next level. Nearly fucking killed me.

Twice.

Lord, it’s so hard.

But I am also incredibly grateful for all I have and love ❀


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Social anxiety is linked to an empathy “imbalance”

Are you socially anxious?

I have always been.

The girl that never really ‘fit in,’ as such.

Mostly, I like who I am. The fact that I’m quirky, and a little bit odd.

But, put me in a room full of people, or a party, and my quirkiness translates into awkwardness.

Rog made me feel more at ease in those situations. Friends still tell me that they thought we were incredibly connected. The way he looked at me made several of my female friends swoon.

I now know that is just his charm. His persona. He does that to every woman he is trying to impress. None of us are special.

After Leanne, my social anxiety grew legs. I was intensely awkward and I felt sweaty and prickly if I had to go anywhere.

But now, instead of fear of fucking up and being awkward in front of new people, I had embodied terror reactions about seeing people I already knew. I would freeze with fear, and my whole body would ache. My heart clenched, stomach churned, felt intensely nauseous, and cold sweat would trickle between my shoulder blades.

My awkwardness, social anxiety, was never just worry about me. I would feel intensely concerned I would make other people uncomfortable, too, with my square peg, round hole shape.

There is new research into this phenomena that links social anxiety to an empathy imbalance. Our brains just feel ‘too much’ for other people.

Oh. Hell. Yeah.

My social anxiety, whilst still here, has changed. I seem to be slightly less sweaty and prickly. With new people, at least. People who don’t know my story. People who won’t be sitting there, in judgement, like Roger’s best mate’s maggot wife, who told me he cheated on me because I must be shit in bed. That I was a terrible partner, and caused him to cheat. That I was never good enough. Or other friends, who just pitied the fuck outta me. Poor Paula, so pathetic, she stayed with that cheater. No self esteem, that girl.

Meeting new people means no one brings their narrative about my life to the table.

For example, BG’s very urbane, old school friends think I am this amazing, funny, kind, interesting, party girl academic. That dichotomous farm girl, with the humanities Masters degree.

The more rough around the edges friends from his old town I met last week obviously saw me in my floaty summer dress, straw hat and precariously high gold heels at the races as a bit posh. One mate tried to shield me from a dirty meme he showed BG on his phone, but grinned widely at me, winked and bashed BG on the back with joy when BG said, “oh, don’t worry about Paula, she looks like a lady, but her mind is deliciously dirty,” and his friend showed me the meme, and I threw my head back laughing.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not magically cured of my social anxiety. I still get short breathed, and prickly. But there is a quiet confidence in the background. That confidence that usually comes with age, but certainly, in many cases, with singledom. I’ve never been the woman to hide behind a man. A quality my now departed mother-in-law told me she admired in me (she was a leader, not a follower, her husband never overshadowed her at all.) Unlike the way my eldest described her first meeting with Trinket. Where she could barely see her, and she “just hid behind Rog.” (The kids all refer to him this way to me, rarely calling him Dad anymore. Weird.) They all speak very dismissively of her. “Oh, that thing that Rog has hanging about. Right, we’ll mostly just ignore that.”

The takeaway message here is that cheating on the socially anxious girl is a sure way to make her condition worse. And please don’t then get constantly angry with her when she struggles to get out of the house, yelling, “YOU NEVER WANT TO GO ANYWHERE WITH ME!”

Better living everyone…


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Safely installed

My brother arrived at my place late last night.

Via Dad’s. We sat and chatted for a while there.

He’s calmer. We hugged and laughed a little.

And we talked. He says he feels calmer now that he has left the city for a few days. Things have escalated, and both parties are extremely hurt and unfortunately, the kids have been hurt too.

I talked with him very calmly and quietly about the way forward. About taking the higher ground. He is a highly reactive character, recovering from a serious head injury (exacerbating his reactions, etc.)

We talked about calm. Reason. Mindfulness. Keeping his emotions in firm check. I explained grey rock to him and that he has done something that K will understandably use as ammunition. She is hurt and extremely defensive.

Dad quietly said, “C, listen to Paula, I saw her keep her dignity, so much so that that arsehole kissed her fully on the mouth, holding her tightly, telling her that, ‘one day they’d find their way back to each other,’ as he drove out of her life, leaving her to clean the vacant house they were leaving, all alone. She’s been a tower of strength, and so damn gracious.”

In public, Dad.

I was a mess. A complete mess. Dealing with cancer and heart disease (not to mention – and I didn’t – suicidal ideation!) I just had to keep going somehow. My children needed me. And they needed to see my strength, my character, my broken hearted resilience.

I’ve just opened a LOOOONG email from my sister-in-law. Desperately trying to tell us her side of the story. It is as I suspected, a case of he said, she said, and I have no doubt he did some triggering and stupid things. K’s father committed suicide when she was five, so C’s attempt was extremely triggering for her. Lots of anger, rage and downright awful behaviour has upset the kids.

There was physicality, he smashed their wedding photo. There were raised voices, there was a lot of anger and fear. I know her well enough to know she will (understandably) hang onto all of this, and the words were fighting ones.

This is going to get ugly.

He will need a lot of support to negotiate it all, to keep his eye on the prize.

Roger and I took C in when he was 18. He’d got in trouble with the law, and had been causing my mother serious concern and drama for some time. She had to Tough Love him. He couldn’t stay with her.

It utterly broke her heart. But I still believe she did the right thing, and that it was the making of him in many ways.

He came down and stayed on the farm with us and hit reset.

He’s been a pretty good kid since. Trained as a chef, travelled the world, met an English girl, got engaged. She broke his heart, had an affair, and left. C told me last night he is so pleased for her. That although it was incredibly painful, she is still with the man she left him for. His view is, she made the right choice for her, which is pretty generous. And he believed he met a better match for him in K.

He went to university for the first time in his late 30s and graduated with an 88% average over his entire Bachelor’s degree. He has dyslexia, but he’s smart. First time he believed that. He has a great career, a fantastic boss, and that part of his life is good.

K has always been very…strong. Including headstrong. If you don’t do things her way, then fuck off.

Don’t get me wrong, I love her, but we all saw how difficult that can be to live with. C has made his needs smaller and smaller and smaller. This rage is kind of just repressed anger from 16 years of her.

Anyway, not here to sling mud. They have been in trouble for a long time. Guiding him out of it without him blowing up in anger is going to be tough. He totally accepts what I said last night, that calm/higher road is the ONLY way forward now. Whether he can manage that is the big question.

C, my baby brother, a kind man at heart, looked at me and said, “wow sis. You look absolutely amazing. Younger every time I see you! You got through the shit and are shining now, so glad for you!”

If only he knew the heartache that remains. I did tell him it’s still there, and always will be. Including my feelings of failure, as such. I just couldn’t be lovable enough to stop him from cheating on me. That I know that is bullshit, but still feel that way inside.

I reflected on my own divorce. And how most of my despair came out in rivers of tears, deep sobs, lots of being curled in the foetal position, as Roger drove to his Trinket over and over and over.

The utter heartbreak.

The complete anguish as I watched him love another. The physical breaking of my heart as Trinket told me I “chose this, to stay with him” as they openly dated. Because, of course, as the incumbent partner of thirty years, mother of his children, washer of his underwear, accountant, cook, maid…I should have just graciously stepped aside. Instead of trying to just be reasonable, and wait his “moment of madness” out. Surely he’d wake up and realise it was me all along. Only me. He was the only man I wanted. The man I adored and truly loved. Surely that can’t have been just me???

But, it was. A one sided love story. I ACHE as I recall all I did, all I wished for, how deeply I love him, how deeply connected my heart is to his, even with the full and final knowledge that he just didn’t fucking care.

There is no love left for C. Or K. I can see that.

And they will get through this. It’s easier once the love dies. I see it in all my divorced friends. When love turns to either disdain or complete nonchalance.

I wish my (broken) heart acted normal!

Enough about me. C (and K) need support and calm to get sorted.


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Turmoil

My baby brother rang me on Sunday. To ask advice.

His marriage is over. They’ve been working hard at it for several years now. Counselling, the whole nine yards.

But they just want different things now. My sister-in-law has made huge lifestyle changes, and my bro just couldn’t quite buy in. I get it, she’s become like a born again Christian. About health and wellbeing. Admirable, but intense.

K is awesome in many ways, but is an only child, ten years younger than my bro, C. And is quite spoilt, things always have to be her way.

C says he’s just had enough. We’ve seen how tough it’s been for several years now. He’s bent over backwards in many ways, but they are just too different now.

I thought it was a good conversation. He sounded like he was terribly sad for his two children (he wasn’t a lot older than his son, I was a young adult, when our parents suddenly divorced) but accepting and planning.

At 5am, I got a flurry of texts.

C had attempted suicide, and K had (rightly) called the police. He was sectioned, put in lockdown, for 72 hours, under the Mental Health Act.

BG was amazing. He held me tightly, and expressed his empathy. He added, “make sure you look after you, most importantly, here.”

K sent me a message around 6am, “please call me when you get this.” I was about to phone, when BG gently said, “just take a minute to think about what you are going to say to her.”

Ten minutes later, I phoned a very tearful K. She told me she just wanted him medically checked, had no idea they would put him in lockdown. But, he still had his phone and was sending angry, accusatory texts to her.

C was extremely agitated, and kept telling me he had screwed himself, that he’d lose his kids, and his job, and that was what K wanted.

I calmly tried to reason with him. “No bud, you’ve had a moment, we all have them. It’s what you do now that counts. Moving forward, with dignity, calm, be positive and sensible. Think of your children, and how much they need you. K needs you to be employed, and to help. She starts work at 5.30am, you’re going to need to do the same share of the parenting, as you always have. Teamwork, okay?

He was having none of it, and the psychiatrist reported him as being uncooperative, denying, fighting any help or suggestions.

Around mid morning, my Dad called, to say they had shifted C into another hospital, that C described as “prison-like.”

And they thankfully took his phone.

I alerted my boss on arrival at work that I may be required to fly down south at short notice. Dad and I talked about how best to help. Dad has just returned from seven weeks down there, looking after the kids as their parents worked, for the summer.

He wanted to go help K with the kids, but was concerned C would see that as Dad choosing “her side.” I explained that there are no sides, just us all, having to adult, and help everyone, especially those kids.

Anyway, tonight, they have discharged him, saying “not a mental health issue”!??

He rang me, to let me know he’s safe at a friend’s house, and he’s booked a flight to me for tomorrow.

We look just like this now…

K has taken out a protective order, she’s scared, and he was certainly not sounding safe or rational, he’s a bit paranoid and erratic.

I’ve just made up a bed for him.

I have spoken with K twice today, she’s worried, but relieved C is going to be out of her city for a few days.

C suffered a massive head injury last winter, snowboarding. He was wearing a helmet, but seven months later, he just returned to work fulltime last week.

Of course there is a lot more to the story, but I think there is correlation between his head injury, return to work, and all of this chaos.

My heart breaks for them all, but I’m glad everyone is safe, and hope I can help him get better, and see the way forward is with less anger and outright acrimony.

We are now five from four.

Four siblings, all divorced, one twice.

Eldest to youngest, 27 years, 30 years, 11 years, 14 years.

What the hell happened? My aunts and uncles all stayed married until death. I have about two from 25 cousins divorced. But us? We’re fkn special. All gone.

It breaks my heart.


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PTSD, betrayal and rape trauma

I knew my rape had affected me going forward in life.

But was convinced I had a handle on it.

I have been told that this was in part due to my secure attachment style. I met Rog around five months after the rape. At the time, I had done such a good job of “processing” what happened to me, that it felt like years earlier.

My secure attachment bonding style (makes me sound like a damn limpet, lol) meant that I found my safe person. Roger would never hurt me.

His deep, long term betrayal, that included defiling not only my sense of safety in a person, but also my safe spaces of both of my homes, totally ripped my carefully constructed safe world apart. Add in two STI’s, and eventually a cervical cancer diagnosis, and even my own body was now unsafe!

My thesis cover

As written here, in Psychology Today New Zealand

Betrayal is treachery, deception, and violated trust. It can appear as a broken promise, duplicity, lies, sexual affairs, and even affairs of the heart. The injury is so great that some people seem to never recover.

We are taught that to be truly happy in life, we must learn to trust others. So, sometimes reluctantly, we let down our guard and we trust. When relationships become psychologically intimate, we have put our trust in another. We have made ourselves vulnerable to another person. We believe this person accepts us unconditionally, believes in us, and β€œhas our back.” We cherish such a relationship because we believe our partner is understanding, faithful, and devoted in good times and bad.

In a psychologically intimate relationship, powerful attachments and bonds are formed. Not only does the bond let us know that we are understood, appreciated, and unconditionally accepted, it says we are safe. So powerful is this bond that there is evidence that the presence of a psychologically intimate partner can positively affect blood pressure and stress hormones. Psychologists have long known that the deepest cravings of human nature are the desires to be appreciated and to be safe.

I had all of my safe places taken from me.

And my Mum was gone. I don’t – or didn’t – have close, supportive relationships with siblings. My closest family had been Roger’s mother and sister, but the sister turned on him when he sold the farm, and I lost her then. I struggled with the relationship with his mother for a while after his affair with Leanne, as I felt she didn’t want to know me. Thankfully, we totally repaired it, as I loved that woman! I explained to BG the other day, as we were driving up the coast, that it was my mother-in-law’s birthday, her second since we so sadly lost her to Motor Neuron Disease.

He asked me what she thought of what Roger did.

Yeah. Well, when I told her about Leanne (which I only did because Leanne was threatening to turn up on their doorstep with her mother and tell Roger’s parents that they were destined to be together 😱😱😱 – yep, crazy bitch did that, and I didn’t want them to hear it through the small town grapevine either) she crossed her arms over her bosom, and asked if the children were okay.

I felt rejected then. Like, I dunno, I think I must have subconsciously wanted her to hold me. To tell me she loved me. I needed my Mum, and she been dead a decade. I was very hurt by her reaction.

Years later, I had repaired my relationship and feelings about her. She just didn’t know how to cope with her favourite child turning out to be a cheater, and hurting me so badly. We talked about it when she got sick. She was so lovely, apologised that I felt hurt and unsupported at that crucial time (it was two weeks after Dday) and told me she was so glad I was the mother of her grandchildren, that I brought love, intelligence (her words, typically hilarious, were, “well thank God for you, because you gave them a brain”) and class to their make up. I thought that was extremely generous.

So, to answer BG’s question, what did my MIL think of what Roger did? Well, she told me, shaking her head, in stilted speech (MND was quite advanced, and she was losing the use of her voice at this stage) that she didn’t know what he was doing, that she was very worried for him, throwing away the best, most loving woman for some skanky widow. He was selling us up, and moving away. From her. From his friends from his children. For a woman he barely knew, but was obviously so very madly in love with, he was leaving us all.

The second to last day of her life, I visited her before the races, and sat with her for nearly two hours. We held hands, she stroked my forearms, and we kissed each other’s cheeks. She ran her hands over my sequined dress, pointed at my jaunty hat, and finger spelled that she thought I looked very beautiful, but quite scarily thin. That Rog was making an enormous mistake. My eyes filled with tears (damn! Makeup!) And said, I’ve tried my very, very best to convince him not to leave, to be careful what he threw away. He just never loved me enough to believe in me. She told me she loved me.

The following evening, she passed, and I felt it happen. I knew she had gone.

And Roger was with Trinket.

Trinket never came to her funeral. Roger’s other sister beckoned me over at the church, insisting I sit with her and her family.

That, BG, is what Roger’s mother thought of her son at the end.

Not that Rog would give a damn.

And, on cue, as discussed in previous posts, Garbage’s Stupid Girl belted out on the radio on my way to work.

A way to scream sing out my pain.

And compose myself for work, after a weird night where my nightmares of rape and betrayal included BG for the first time. Ugh. I wonder if that is why I wondered where he was in my bed three times as I woke! WTF???


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What even is love?

Yeah.

This.

Trying to remember that every day.

That being TOLD I was loved, when he was shagging other women was such a total mind fuck.

I bought my wee watercraft today. Pretty damn excited.

And taking it to BG’s tomorrow.

He is gonna laugh. I only mentioned to him last week I was thinking about it.

I’m a doer.

I say I’ll do something, and bam! It usually gets done. Research done, contact with a seller made. Sale went through today.

Fast.

I am trying to watch actions and not be bamboozled by words.

And this came up, to remind me of how far I’ve come. How hard I work, every day, to be here. To grow. To improve myself.

Serendipitously, posted by BG’s friend who is having us this weekend.

I love her already ❀

I was just looking for my dogs’ vaccination certificates, which I saw somewhere last week, as trying to book them into boarding kennels for the first time ever.

And just quietly, found a stack of love notes from Roger.

ALL the words.

And just had a massive cry, as my daughter can be bloody self centred. Grumpy AF at me as I looked for certificates in her room.

She has no idea how hurt, how fragile I still am. Because I LOOK like I’m doing fine. It is a carefully curated facade.

As I still fight the suicidal urges at least once a month. Many nights are spent awake, talking myself down.

And I realised I shed tears on the second date with Rog.

Ugh.

I never used to be a cryer.

But, we were on his farm, and he got me to open a gate that was shorting out so badly that the shock I got threw me backwards.

And the tears came. I was utterly mortified.

I have never cried in front of BG. And I can’t imagine ever being that vulnerable around him.

Bring on the long weekend πŸ‘™πŸΎπŸ₯‚πŸΉπŸŽ