Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum


2 Comments

So clever

It’s the ultimate mindfuck. You literally think you might be going insane.

So sneaky.

So clever.

To have someone who loves you very deeply convinced of how fabulous you are, when you’re really a shitty person.

And if my attention was elsewhere, he’d do something hurtful. Break something. Find a new woman to fuck. That kind of thing….

I’m fairly convinced he wasn’t even aware he did this. During our counselling, I started to realise how his behaviours were never examined by him. He never thought, “why did I do that,” about anything. Just quite selfish. I did it because it felt good.


Leave a comment

Trauma. How not to repeat the mistakes of the past

This!,👆

I need to make good decisions going forward. I know my trauma caused so much indecision previously. This meant I stayed, in good faith, and got further abused.

I always thought I was strong, and fairly intelligent.

But I stayed. Thinking I could fix things. If only I tried even harder. Loved him as much as ever. I really did love him very, very deeply. That he would see my efforts and “reward” them with deep, faithful love.

Yeah, right. Dumbass.

I felt like the weakest, most stupid person.

But, trauma makes you this way. Rog never understood or accepted that I was deeply traumatised by his actions. By his lies. By his making my life’s work, love and commitment a farce.

I AM strong, and do have half a brain. Apparently. Validated for me by the academic achievement. It’s pretty sad that I needed that, and I’m very aware that there is “book smart,” and “street smart.” But I did need a way of saying to myself, you’re not as stupid as you seem. So, one man made a fool of you. But that was because you gave yourself to him. You trusted him implicitly.

Never again.


Leave a comment

A bit of fluff. Or is it?

Last night, one of my oldest friends, Bella, invited me to a function, to celebrate both of our recent birthdays.

Well, she invited me, to celebrate mine, but hers was a couple of weeks ago, so I was celebrating her, too.

It was an industry do. And that works, I’m currently in a parallel industry. We, as kiwi breeders, were being wooed back to Flemington, to the Melbourne Cup carnival. The 18 carat gold Cup, worth AUD275K is on tour.

Yes, we got to hold it and pose for photos. I hate photos, so here it is, without my ugly mug (see what I did there?) to ruin the shot!

Chit chat, champagne, and lots of discussion regarding her wonderful work trip to the UK ensued.

Then we two left the function room and ate at the Italian place the function had been held at.

It was a nice midweek diversion.

I asked Bella how her and her husband’s new venture is going. They recently had a nasty, tricky “divorce” from his brother’s family, and their joint business of many decades. I’m so pleased for them, especially her lovely husband, who, after so much hard work, gets to steer his own ship, finally.

Then Bella asked me abiut BG. “You guys good? He’s such a nice man. I’m so impressed with how he just fits in, and thinks the world of you.” I was understated in my reply. Saying we are good, just work in progress.

Then she enquired how my business is getting on. So I filled her in on the latest news.

Which is that I am viewing a probable temporary lease for premises near my under construction permanent base, and have also taken the bull by the horns and approached a local franchisee to chat regarding her experience running a pop-up prior to her new premises becoming available, on Friday. Things are moving fast. I am going to have to pull finger and get my budgets sorted. That part is quite daunting with smaller, less luxurious, temporary premises throwing my plans a bit. All a work in progress.

Bella leaned back in her chair. “Wow Paula. Just wow. I’n in awe of you. Look at you. Just growing and glowing. Not many women I know have been through what you have, and come out the other side so positive, so quietly driven to succeed and take a risk, but also, just so up for anything. Most at our age just sit licking their wounds. But you. You’ve never let this stop you, or make you bitter. Quite the opposite. I’m so proud of you! I know you’ve been through hell. But you are always up for a laugh, with a big smile on your face. You’ve been really brave.”

Bella knows. She knows how heartbroken I am. How I truly, deeply, madly loved Roger with everything I had.

She also knows he never loved me like – in her words – I deserved to be loved, in return. She probably has no idea that I am still utterly broken and ache so badly inside. I hope not. I try to present well in public!

This is a woman who is an ex fuck buddy of Roger’s.

Before me. And later, whilst we were separated briefly, before our children were born. She is still in touch with him. I avoid talking with her ever, about him. Or even alluding to him. I know she catches up with him and his whore when she is down their way. They are old friends.

I am one of those people who has had to learn to accept praise graciously. I used to cringe, downplay, twist myself to avoid that kind of spotlight. However, now I try hard to sit gently with it, attempting to accept praise, squishing my inner “you’re really not good enough, you know,” voice down.

I don’t need her praise.

But I am aware that it is given in good faith.

That when she hugged me (we’re really not big huggers – especially her, I’m learning to try to accept physical touch) that it was genuine, warm, and not just something you do. So many huggers are just being polite. That isn’t us.

I know I sound like a cold fish, by saying that. But I have a very strong startle reflex. It started after I was raped. I don’t love being touched, especially unexpectedly, by people I am not close wirh.

During the weekend, BG came into my room as I was in the bathroom. And I nearly hit the ceiling. He got a fright at my extreme startle response, laughing and apologising. And it zoomed my body’s memories back to the startle response I had to Roger surprising me with unexpected touch at any time after his affair with Leanne. I was so on edge. He thought it was funny.

It didn’t feel funny.

My flight response was turned up to max. I didn’t trust him not to hurt me.

Within all of that personal fuckedupness, I am incredibly tactile with the people I love. Physical touch, skin to skin contact, sensual kissing and sex in every excitng, mildly depraved form, that works for me.

And that is my current struggle. BG loves to touch and be touched. Skin to skin. Head and shoulder massages, etc.

But even our kisses don’t have any real fire or depth. Rog was such a good kisser. BG is quite chaste in his. And, he’s a receiver. Not a giver, sexually, and with touch/massage, etc. His Madonna/Whore thing hasn’t improved at all. He never makes a move on me.

And I’ve started to stop initiating. Therefore we are sitting in a sexual void.

I don’t know if this has a solution. I don’t know if I have the energy to try to convince him (anyone?) that I’m completely fuckable. That I am sexy “enough.” I felt that so much with Rog after I knew he is a cheater. That I am not sexy “enough.” It’s all bad karma for me. I’m the fat, ugly girl no one lusts after….

Why should I have to try so hard? When he won’t even make an effort to make me feel desirable?

I’m tired of this dance.


Leave a comment

What if he changes? For her.

It’s something every betrayed seems to fear.

What if he changes, and stays faithful, is genuinely lovely, as lovely and loving as he appears, for the affair partner?

That must mean it was all my fault. I was so unlovable, he just HAD to keep cheating on me.

I have even had this suggested to me by former friends. “Oh, it’s okay, you are both happy now.” Translation, he found his twu wuv. You were but an inconvenience, swatted aside for the sparkly glitter, the burning amazingness of his soulmate(s). 🤢🤮

FML.

The reality is, it is extremely uncommon. Very rare. These people don’t change.

But. Even if they do, you have to try to remember, they treated YOU like 💩. Even if they are God’s gift to Schmoopie.

So why does it matter if they treat Schmoopie like a queen?

Because it feels personal. That they didn’t love you fully. Therefore you must be seriously lacking. It stabs my heart even typing that. I did everything I possibly could to love that man well. I put him first. Every time, until he was exposed as a cheater. He was who I invested in. I saw that as my primary, most important relationship. Yes, the kids are important. But they grow up, have their own lives. Your partner, your love, is forever.

Ha! Yeah, right.

This research shows it’s all smoke and mirrors anyway. Once a cheater, always a cheater, proven by peer reviewed research. Someone who cheats is far, far more likely than not, to cheat again. And a proven cheater is three times more likely than a previously faithful partner, to cheat. Remember, Roger cheated on me on more than one occasion, with more than one woman. Hookers, exes, online hookups, whomever he could get easy access to. This was not a one time, sorry cheater.

And someone who is betrayed, is twice as likely to choose another cheater.

Far too many of us don’t ever fix our picker. Roger specialised in seeking out single women. He knew their vulnerabilities. Easier prey. No husband to out perform or have any guilt about. Just a little mouse, to sweep off her feet. To pour that sweet, sweet love bomb gunpowder into.

I’ll never forget the time he told me that he felt no guilt about Leanne, because he wasn’t stealing someone else’s wife or girlfriend.

My jaw still hurts from hitting the ground so hard!

Anecdotally, I knew this, from childhood. I knew that if someone feels that boundary, that hard line, is so easily crossed, it no longer holds any meaning. Any power. If it ever did. It’s just a line to step over. Not any kind of force field, protecting the relationship. If you put your dick in someone else, the primary relationship is no longer (or never was) sacred. You and your stupid faithful body and mind are forever desecrated by that act. I’m not, nor have I ever been, anyone’s special most precious thing. Worth protecting at all costs. The fact he had zero interest in any of my medical procedures, for the HPV and cervical cancer it created, tells the full story of how valued I was to him. My value was as a free labour unit, a broodmare and nanny, and a convenient sexual outlet. That is all.


2 Comments

Bruises

I got a migraine late in the afternoon at work, yesterday. So frustrating as my girls are here, and were planning on making me a wonderful dinner and cocktails.

Instead, I came home and lay on the couch, planning on trying to sleep it off.

I didn’t sleep. My thoughts swirling about the day my boss saw I was wearing long sleeves and a high neck, at the height of summer and took me aside, questioning me gently. “Has something happened?”

She knew what I was going through. She had been engaged to a cheater. She told me years earlier that it made her crazy. She would drive by his house, late at night, stalking him, etc. She knows the mindfuck.

That day was after Roger ripped my dressing gown off my emaciated body, and I was knocked unconscious briefly, on the bathroom floor.

All because I called him on his lie. About having Trinket stay the night in my home. When I had issued a legal letter stating that she could not set foot on my properties.

The clothing was to cover the bruising.

She insisted on photographing the bruising to document the abuse. I found the file yesterday and choked back tears. She wanted me to press charges. But I was traumatised, shaking like a leaf, terrified.

I am shocked. Shocked I let him scare me, hurt me like that. And related to this comment about safety. “Home.” (Hell, I wrote a Masters thesis on this topic!)

“I just happened upon the final scene of the final episode of Outlander after having been on hiatus from watching since DDay OCT 2017. Jamie and Claire are lying in bed at night during a thunderstorm. He rescued Claire from her kidnappers and she is visibly covered with bruises. He asks her how she feels and she says, “Safe.”

I realized that is all I have ever wanted in a relationship and something I never had, and could never have, with someone who
lies and cheats.

I also realized I am covered with bruises, from my former husband, but they are invisible.

Yes.

The far more damaging bruises have been the invisible ones.

Those physical ones were nothing. I think that was part of my psyche in being unwilling to press charges. Like, hey, so I’m black and blue, but take a look at my heart!

I only want to feel safe. I’ve been seeking safety my whole life.

After my childhood “home” inploded.

After I was raped by a “friend” in my home.

After my “friend” fucked my love for a year and a half in my homes, sometimes while our children were also there.

After I was diagnosed with STIs after only ever sleeping with my darling, forever.

After he cheated again.

Trinket, and all the other online dating hook-ups over that two year (give or take) period he was secretly shopping for my replacement, as I worked my brain off, studying. Trying to heal from his treachery. Thinking he’d possibly had a character transplant and a douche tuck…

After all, going back to an cheating ex is like vomiting and eating it back up.

I think I always felt that. During those years we were trying to fix what he broke.

Trying to find how home could ever be “safe” again after his taint. After he broke me.

After we lived in homes that his family believed they were entitled to, that I was the interloper in.

After he moved me to a home that ultimately was our downfall. That I NEVER felt safe in.

My home here is the first “safe” home I have had in my entire adult life.


Leave a comment

The mindfuck channel

Or one of them.

After Leamne exposed Roger’s affair with her to me, he went into mourning.

He was openly grieving losing her.

And I almost felt sorry for him! Poor, sad sausage. The mindfuck was complete.

Maybe she was the love of his life, and I – all Bambi innocence – wandered into the middle of it all and fucked it up??? Maybe I was an OW??? Shiiiiiit! Were they still dating when he started love bombing 20 year old me??? I didn’t think so at the time. He told me they’d been over for AGES. I still don’t know the truth. I honestly believed she was crazy.

He told me she was. So yeah. Okay. I know he tells people that about me. “But she wanted to leave ME! Crazy bitch.”

Had he lied??? I’d never considered that before. Was that why she was so nasty and evil about me? Told him he’d catch AIDS from me (in was mid 80s, okay) and that confused the hell out of me. I had only ever been with him! Ahhh, was it because my Dad is gay? I didn’t get it. Had I inadvertently done something wrong? After all, he fucked her right at the beginning of “us.” Just a few weeks into us starting to date – read that as weeks after he started love bombing me daily. And I’d made excuses about that. He was getting her back for cheating on him. We were new, maybe we weren’t exclusive yet? I didn’t lnow the rules. I was 20, FFS! He was my first lover.

Yeah, he was punishing her.

By making love to her.

FML. Riiiiiight.

What a damned idiot.

He played me from day one.

He was open about his “grief,” over Leanne. He said, “she was my friend and confidante. It’s hard losing that.”

Me: nods head in sympathy. Poor baby.

When Trinket started cheating with him, I got the sad sausage tales again. He was rescuing a poor betrayed woman from her past of being cheated on.

I mean WTAF???

He actually thought I’d be sorry for her.

And chumpy me, I actually was.

The empathy chip is embedded deeply in me, and therefore malfunctions a bit. Other people’s (historical) pain is more important than my (current) agony!

The day my daughter told me, after refusing to see her sperm donor for over a year, that he told her he was still mourning the loss of me…🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️ I mean, WTF! He had his Marvellous Trinket! Whom he just HAD to sell our life up, split thirty years of assets, wipe out my loving heart, to move away to be with!

And he wanted to convince our child that he deserved sympathy because he blew up our lives??? Utterly broke her mother’s heart, shattered her world, gave her cancer due to dipping his dick in filth?.?

Yeah. It must be hard. Honeymooning. Wooing her kids. “He makes my Mum so happy.” Poor baby.

Fuck. That. Shit.

You don’t get to grieve what you exploded, FW.

My daughter was rightfully furious at his sad sausage routine. My other daughter was rightfully pissed at Trinket’s daughter’s gushing about how happy her cheater father made that girl’s cheater mother.

At my daughter’s mother’s expense.

No one seems to see the irony or think critically about the cheating, lying, theft.


Leave a comment

Therapy

Sleep has evaded me again recently.

I haven’t slept through the night since DDay #1.

Not even once.

Lately, really bad again. Once I finally fall asleep, usually around 1am, I usually don’t stay asleep past 3-3.30. I might doze a bit. But never fall properly asleep again.

As I lie here, I draw on some of the tools I have in my kit. Things I was taught, or had reiterated in my multiple goes around the therapy merry-go-round.

No shit, Sherlock!

Anyway, it also kind of amuses me. That I was incredibly loyal, faithful, loving, and honest-to-a-fault (he didn’t like that I didn’t love the way he made unilateral decisions about our business, home and future, I was supposed to just shut up and accept that.) I was the hardest working, most selfless partner I knew. I was dedicated to “us.” I never wavered there. Even during the pre-affair (that I knew of, anyway) times. When it was hard, I never seriously considered leaving. I certainly never considered fucking someone else!

We knew. We knew I was loyal and hard working.

He commented on it often. Talked about “the spoilt bitches,” the women around us who were kind of like trophy wives. Entitled. Not required or encouraged to have careers. Certainly not waking early in the morning to milk cows, feed calves, carry heavy loads, while parenting and maiding! He said he had the real deal. That I was the best. Great way of embedding my work-ethic-that-worked-great-for-him! Dance prettier, bitch!

For the last year or so I have had a cleaner come to my house once a fortnight for a couple of hours.

And I still feel massive guilt about it. I’m not supposed to have that kind of privilege. Do it yourself, Paula!

I’m the one traumatised and having to work daily on healing. On trying to recover and lead a meaningful life.

While he got to just turn the page.

Next!

Living his best life…having a Trinket to suck his dick, no doubt clean, shop, etc…after annihilating mine.

Life. She’s a funny bitch, right?


2 Comments

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.


4 Comments

Why won’t s/he just get over it?!

Chump Lady addresses the narrative from the cheater. Why won’t my betrayed spouse just get over it?

Until the person you trust with your life shatters your heart and your world, you haven’t a clue.

About the PTSD. The dealing with the health fallout. About losing yourself. About the traumatic, nightly nightmares. About the loss of your world as you know it. About the battle with self harm and suicidal ideation. Home. Job. Friends. Peace. Joy. Security. Safety.

Your ability to trust anyone ever again.

Gone.

The reality is, the cheater thinks they made a booboo.

And now everything is okay again.

Right?

“I had no idea my wife cared so much about our lousy marriage! It means nothing to me and I thought I could just fuck strange and brag to her about it and she’d go back to cooking for me, raising our kids, and washing my shit stained underwear. But she isn’t functioning correctly now! I don’t want to have to get another wife appliance, how do I fix this one?”

That’s not how it works, dude.

Your spouse is now affected by your choices, your actions, your sharing of STIs, forever.

Forever.

Yes. Forever.

We do so much work on ourselves. We heal a bit.

But the effects are permanent.

I was told last week by one of our mutual friends – who nonetheless does see Roger for who he is. Does understand that he is a cheater and a liar – that she is so impressed by what I am building. How far I have come. Her: you have a better life now, Paula. You’ve shaped your own destiny. You have surrounded yourself with empowering, supportive, interesting, fun, educated friends. The (name of small hometown) detritus. You’ve shed that. All those small town entitled bores, you don’t have to deal with them anymore! Yay! Roger’s friends are still in the same mindset. He still operates the same way he always did. You, on the other hand, have completely reinvented yourself, keeping the parts of you that are unique and admirable, and shedding all the crap that came with being “someone’s wife. Someone’s small town mother.”

Yeah. I think I mostly have.

But it doesn’t mean I am healed.

Or am “over it.”

Because you never really recover fully. You just learn to live around the pain and reconfigure your life to cope.


Leave a comment

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.