Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum


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No contact

I recall the long journey that ultimately culminated in me going no contact with my alcoholic, narcissistic brother.

I had absorbed decades of abuse from him.

All in the name of family loyalty. To honour my dead mother.

Once I decided, for sure, to go no contact, it got better.

I didn’t have to endure being called names, being put down, being used as a bank. Trying to be supportive to try to help him. I just said, no more. I can be civil if we need to be in the same place. But nothing more.

Tough love. I guess.

He has since had moments of begging to be in my life, always followed by verbal abuse when I don’t respond. Or in the one case where I did, to try to explain it was best for both of us, some very nasty, really immature name calling, trying to shame me into further contact. He’s used family members, friends, his partner…all to try to engage me. Guilt me into contact.

I have stayed stoic this time. It’s been years now. He was around a bit last year, as we dealt with our father’s ill health. We were civil. Until he wasn’t. Micromanaging me (the lead carer for the father.)

I have him blocked everywhere now. Opened communication via phone/text for that period. It was closed again when he abused me for leaving Dad at home one night for a couple of hours, him much recovered, curled up by the fire, with soup, toast and plenty of Wifi and TV access.

I blocked him again.

No contact is the most peaceful way of dealing with toxic people.

I read Don’t Lose Hope’s insightful post about trauma responses.

And whilst I didn’t fit the fawn response entirely (because I did ALL of them, fight, flight and freeze included) I did include a lot of fawning. A lot of puck me dancing. A lot of, look how fkn marvellous I am, Pick Me!!! It’s pathetic. I felt pathetic.

Last week, I looked back over my communications with Rog, during that period we lived together, while he was eating my cooking, wearing the clothes I bought and laundered for him, having sex with me, all while he was eating cake by doing the same with Trinket.

I was sweating reading the messages. Totally embarrassing. I knew I was being desperate and pathetic. But I was fawning all over him, hoping he’d wake up and see me! Ugh. I feel dirty even recalling it.

Shudder.

So not who I imagined I was! But I was desperate. Desperate to wait this whore out. Desperate not to lose “my man” whom I really, truly still loved completely, and all we had worked so hard together to achieve.

Desperate not to have “failed.”

My stomach is literally churning now, gutted at my needy grossness. The words I read – I can-but-can’t remember being that sad, sad, pathetic person. Your love leaving you for fresh meat does terrible things to your self esteem. To your values. It deconstructed my picture of who I am.

I am often asked if we are friends now. Now that our lives are divided. I’m told regularly that we were the couple that appeared to be such great mates. As well as very into each other.

Sadly, no.

No, we are not friends.

Neither will we ever be.

I have had to learn the hard way, friends don’t treat you like he did me. I was just collateral damage to his wants, needs, desires. He had to fuck me over to get to the wonderful Trinket. I have zero worth to him.

So why would I accept that in any friendship?

I don’t anymore.

I don’t accept it from the Switzerland friends. My abusive brother. Nor Roger, the man I still love, but know he doesn’t value me in any way whatsoever.

I got pushed too far.


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All the hard

Had a really hard conversation with BG last night.

I had found he had “liked” an article about an ex on LinkedIn.

And somehow it didn’t feel right. Didn’t fit the story as I know it.

He rarely uses LinkedIn. They only dated for a few months, and I only heard that she was “needy” and it ended fairly badly. All about him being in her city when he knew she was busy, so didn’t contact her and she got seriously pissy, blah, blah, blah.

So, the “like” was only nine months ago.

Hmm.

Gut was screaming, “Paula! Remember all those red flags you ignored with Rog, because he would never cheat….wake up girl! This is a bit weird. Talk to him.”

Eff you, gut. I like burying my head in the sand!

So, I made myself call him last night. I also needed to communicate with him that I am missing our daily good morning texts.

As expected, he got on the front foot. Defensive. A bit loud and blustery. That is him. I know this now. So, disappointed, video chatting, I sat waiting for him to run out of steam.

And listen.

I quietly explained that it felt off. Asked if he is in touch with any other exes, other than the ones I know about. The mother of his adult stepchildren, and our now mutual friend, Colleen.

No. He said Chrissy (his “big love”) contacted him last year on his birthday. I knew that. He told me at the time. I saw no replies. I believe he didn’t respond. His actions have indicated he is not in touch with her.

But Rog had an exGF he apparently didn’t like.

Except to text multiple times a day. Oh and to fuck as often as they could manage to get together…

So, I am now the suspicious girl. Neat, eh???

I HATE IT SO MUCH!!!

But, the chat went well after his initial defensiveness. He understood why I had to ask. He was surprised, as he couldn’t recall liking the article. And said he thought I had stopped the good morning messages, so he stopped, not wanting to look the needy one.

I said to him that we are at the hard, meaty part of a relationship. When shit has got real. The honeymoon is over, and we are trying to work towards a way to be together. He said it worries him, as “all he has to bring to the relationship is earning power.” His decent salary. And he is trying to give that up, and reinvent himself. It’s risky. And scary as hell at nearly 57.

Of course, it isn’t all he has to bring. But I get what he meant.

I quietly explained that communication and trust – things we have been pretty good at – are more important now than ever. I am finding separation harder and harder.

So is he. He physically exhales when he sees me and has become quite mushy about me, something he held back for the first years.

But I can and will continue to do it, until we both get on our feet, securing our respective financial futures as best we can.

I told him that me asking him that question was extremely hard for me. He doesn’t know the old Paula. He’s only ever known the post apocalyptic version of me.

I used to be so chill.

I told him that.

He threw his head back and roared laughing, “you are sooo chill, babe. You must have been practically catatonic before!”

But I NEVER had to ask Roger, “why did you like your ex’s article,” like a whiny, jealous bitch.

Did I tell you how much I hate it???

There are other, personal things we talked about, too. I didn’t bring it up, he did.

I’ve shared before about our mismatched libidos.

I have kind of left that conversation for now. There are more important things. And I have assured him that the lack of sex is not a deal breaker. I love him for being a good, honest, fun human. Not for how he can make me writhe in bed!

I had one of those. He made me very sick.

He broke me.

He shattered my ability to trust people.

He stole my joy. My peace. My ability to sleep through the night.

My financial future is much harder since he left.

I think I can manage without constant, passionate, mind blowing sex, with this kind man. Doesn’t mean we can’t be more mindful of each other’s needs.

And I know he feels this, because he brought it up.

“I thought distance would make me hornier. Seeing you irregularly, it’s such a delight when we get together. But then I get all anxious. That I’m not pleasing you.”

So, performance anxiety. We all know about this. I never thought I would cause it, lol. Me. So intimidating! Lol.

I just said, “we’re okay babe. As long as we keep communicating. Keep being kind to one another. You have nothing to prove. It’s just me.”

He has struggled when I bring up hard stuff. He tends to catastrophise things. “Oh, you have a problem, that must mean you want to leave me!”

I spoke to that. After he wound himself up.

It’s not relationship ending, to talk about problems, or question things. We talk so as to try to prevent the relationship ending.

He has never had decent relationship last past four years. So he’s always assuming he does everything wrong. That it’s just a matter of time before I walk out on him.

And I continue to blog, to help me stay accountable to myself.

And to try to overcome my triggers, blocks, fears. To try to reinforce my recovery from abuse and trauma.

It’s important. To de-stigmatise the traumatic effects of infidelity. Of being thrown on the rubbish pile after giving yourself to another for decades.

Until he used me all up, believing I was worthless now.


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Traumatic birth

I was lucky with my birth stories, really.

However, I just read an article on traumatic birth, and I know that there is stuff that I gloss over.

Our first was born in the main base hospital in my region. An ambulance transfer, as my waters had broken prior to admittance to our local birthing unit, and I laboured through the night, requiring lots of pethidene for the pain (posterior presentation, spine on spine, so painful) and was only 2cm dilated 12 hours later. I vomited constantly. So was dehydrated and so drugged I couldn’t think straight. My birth plan was abandoned because I had no lucidity to remember it.

I was admitted via ambulance staff, alone, definitely not lucid, and scared.

Things went reasonably well. Lots of people in and out of the delivery room, I avoided the Caesarian I had been admitted for.

But was left with an enormous episiotomy to repair.

And yeah, that repair caused sexual problems for me for quite some time, probably up to two years, at least.

I couldn’t bear any pressure on the back of my vulva, so rear entry positions were an absolute nightmare for me. I had extreme pain if I needed to insert even a tampon. I thought I was sexually damaged for life. Only just over five years into being a sexually active person.

I now believe it may have been the scar tissue being reopened and repaired again, from the very messy rape injuries I had. I was stitched up then, from the gaping tears my rapist ripped into my genitalia. Maybe the cutting through that caused difficulties in the healing from the episiotomy?

And so, reading this, made me want to vomit.

And admit to myself that I did have some residual trauma from birthing. I have mostly told myself I was lucky. And I was. Three healthy, great kids. And nothing compared to some of the stories I have read!

You don’t hear much about birth trauma until you’ve experienced it yourself, then all of a sudden, women you’ve known for both minutes and years open up about the horrendous things that happened to them. Some are too terrified to have another child. Some have suffered crippling post-partum depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Some can’t even use a tampon without experiencing a visceral reaction.

That tampon reference got me. Oh fuck. Yeah. That made me tear up, and the hairs on my arms and the back of my neck stood on end.

And people wonder why I wanted home births. I had the second and third at home, without the trauma. I am not advocating this for everyone, but it was what I needed, and I’m so grateful I did, as I think those birth stories were healing for me. I never required another drug, nor vaginal stitch, birthing at home. I had PND after the first, but never again, after my home births.

And then my blood ran cold, thinking about the terror I had about large penises.

And how I nearly passed out in fear, seeing BG naked and aroused for the first time. The very strong urge to literally jump out the window.

When you put the pieces of the puzzle together, you start to see the patterns so much more clearly. The veins of trauma that run through my life.


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Pick me!

Winning the pick me dance is generally the aim during the immediate aftermath of discovering your life partner, the love of your life (cough) has been cheating on you.

Although, many are far better than me, and walk away straight away.

With dignity.

And strength.

But then there are those of us who are pretty pathetic, and “try harder.”

I’m ashamed of who I was then. I just loved him so much, and was convinced he loved me, but had just “made a mistake.” He sounded so remorseful. I felt really sorry for him. He’d made such a terrible mess of things.

Poor sausage.

Ha!!!

The mistake was his AP telling me about their affair. Not the actual fucking her part.

I always imagined I would leave a cheater.

Immediately.

That was some serious disrespect, and a faithful, loving partner deserves better.

But I stayed. What???

And danced as pretty as I could! I had “friends” tell me I wasn’t sexual enough (despite a very fulfilling sex life, and that “friend” being a cheater in her first marriage, and having little sex in her second…hmmm.)

And I upped the ante.

It wasn’t hard. Hysterical bonding was immense for me. I really did love and desire him. I couldn’t keep my hands off him. I tried to prove how wonderful I was, in so many other ways, as well.

Ugh.

How degrading.

I know that the scenario in the linked story will never happen to me. Roger is disgusted by me. Disgusted I stayed, degrading myself. It was humiliating. For sure. Begging him to “pick me,” over the other two whores.

But, it did make me snigger, reading it.

I often wonder if he learned anything throughout this whole caper. He insisted he never wanted to “be alone.”

So, what would happen if Trinket tired of him? Or he her? If he tired of her, I am fairly sure he’d just start up with the online dating again, securing new supply before dumping her.

But if she dumped him, and he was still wanting to be with her?

That intrigues me.

After all, he’d never wanted to live in the region he does. He only moved there because she wouldn’t move to where he had sent me to look, for a new venture/life for us.

I was tidying up my Google files today, and came across all the saved real estate information from that time. Lifestyle properties and businesses. The dates they were saved to my Google drive totally made my stomach hurt! He was already seeing Trinket. And I didn’t know. I thought we were considering a move together. But when I returned, having done early research, he told me about her, and that he was going to take her there, not me!

I looked at him like 🤦‍♂️😲😳

I deleted the files.

Better sleep, the coughing fits are less, and I’ve eaten my first solid food all week, tonight. I’m fighting fit!

Lol.

Or I will be, if I finally manage some sleep…


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This guy…💕

I just told BG.

He’s recovering from a very heavy cold/flu. I came over with soup and cuddles yesterday afternoon.

The drive over was when I got the call about my abnormal smear and referral to a gynaecologist for further investigation, including that HPV has been detected again.

I didn’t say anything.

Tonight, I asked how his latest round of blood tests went. He got a big tick from his GP. So I braved up and told him about the call and that I am heading back for another colposcopy, and why.

His reaction has absolutely floored me. He hugged me, and immediately said, “I’ll come over and be with you.”

What???

I am stunned.

I have never had anyone come with me to a doctor’s appointment. Not through seven pregnancies, three live births, children, sexual health, multiple gynaecological procedures after Rog infected me with a cancer causing virus. I don’t think he came to any pregnancy scans??? Definitely not for either of my daughters. Maybe for our middle child? Not for any medical appointments, if any, for the four miscarried babies.

I went to my hospital admittance for my lymphendectomy alone, two and a half weeks after he left me. And all the daily radiotherapy appointments.

This is the first time I have had a smallest health hiccup since I have known BG.

It totally made me want to cry, my heart nearly exploded, when he just immediately stated he’d come.

For a start, it would be a two hour drive for him. Time off work, etc.

I snuggled in, and just said, “thank you. You’re the sweetest. I’m so touched. But I’ll be okay. Just a new early investigation.”

Where did this lovely, lovely man come from? 🤷‍♀️😍


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Feels

I’m feeling it.

Thought I was okay, with the new health news.

After all, I’ve been here before.

But more HPV. More abnormal cells. More fucking shit to deal with, because of men and their dirty dicks.

So sick of feeling diseased and dirty.

How damn hard is it to be faithful? To not stick your dick in diseased whores.

I loved and slept with one man ever. Into my 50s. I had a clean bill of sexual health until he had an affair.

Since then, disease. Me. Full of sexually transmitted infections.

I don’t blame BG for this. He lived a life. Which included sex with lots of women.

But, if Roger had been faithful to me, I would never have got the diseases he gave me. And we would not have separated. And I would not have slept with another man, with a long sexual history. It’s not that Rog didn’t. But he was 23 when we first slept together. So a lot less than the 54 year old man I next slept with.

Roger’s cheating exposed me to sexual health risks I had previously been able to avoid

I’m sad today. Grieving for my innocence. For my previous clean bill of health.

There are worse things. But I am having a moment to lick my wounds. To mourn my losses.


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It’s back

Just found out I have HPV again.

Triggered.

I don’t know which strain yet. Got the call from my doctor’s nurse late Friday afternoon. Another abnormal smear, and yes, HPV included.

I think most likely a new strain, from BG.

I was told it was gone at my last smear. I’ll know if that was a false negative when I find out which strain I have.

FML.

A new referral to a specialist for another colposcopy.

I’m not sleeping. All the memories of all I went through with my cervical cancer journey. I thought it was over. I’d beaten it.

The fear is real. Cold sweats.

Don’t ever date again, people. I have had sex with exactly two people.

And it looks like both of them have given me HPV.

The risks just are not worth this drama.


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Telling your story

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…


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Another anniversary. This is getting confusing! 😜

It’s BG’s and my anniversary.

Um, which is weird. Because we went on two very chaste dates nine months earlier 🤣

He left his phone charger at work last night, so I sent him an email, to his work, this morning…

His reply was super cute. And x-rated (after the cute part!)

Basically saying how much he appreciates me, and that he can’t believe he finally found someone to share his life with, who he yearns to be with every day.

We are idiots. And it’s so nice to be appreciated by another similar idiot!

Happy anniversary us. We are so very, very lucky 💕👍


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Ignorance was bliss

They weren’t sorry when you didn’t know.

I can’t think of truer words.

Rog was all blissed up, saying over and over how happy he was, during that six week window, between “ending” his 18 month long affair with Leanne, and Leanne telling me about their affair.

Not once did he consider coming clean.

He was getting the very best of me, my full attention, as I had just resigned from my job, to come back on the farm with him. We were honeymooning. And I had no clue about the real reason why. I was just basking in his oh-so-addictive love bombing.

Ugh.

I feel so stupid.

I honestly didn’t have a clue, and certainly thought I knew him better than anyone. Would have given my life, swearing he didn’t have a cheating bone in his body.

I am so mad at myself. Even now. That I believed his lies. I thought I was astute. Intuitive. That we shared an amazing bond, he couldn’t lie to me. We were still madly in love.

FML.