Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum


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Why We don’t Talk about our Trauma

This post by Don’t Lose Hope, about our solo journey through this shitshow, yes!

We can’t talk about it. Most people don’t get it. Have never experienced it. Can’t understand it.

So, we carry our trauma, silently, putting up the happy, healed facade.

We don’t share, because we don’t think it would help (and it may even leave us feeling worse).

Because we know other people aren’t good at handling pain and suffering. They can’t deal with it in their own lives, and they certainly can’t deal with it in other peoples’ lives. So, they don’t want to know about our heartache or trauma.

Because what we are going through is bigger than anything our friends have gone through (as far as we know). It’s beyond their experience and comprehension. They wouldn’t be able to put themselves in our shoes. Even if they wanted to, they couldn’t really help.

Because we have picked up the message that: ‘What we go through is irrelevant to others’. Sadly, it’s a fact that many people are narcissistic, and are completed focused on themselves. So they don’t really care about what’s happened to you.

(Related to this) … Because we think there’s a reasonable chance that what we are sharing (which is huge to us) will be trivialized, downplayed, brushed aside – or ignored, by other people.”

I know my former, lifetime BFF has NEVER got it.

I also know she subsequently suffered a completely horrific tragedy, in the accidental death of her young, teenage son.

I naively thought she might understand a little better after that. I have enormous empathy for her tearing grief.

She has never, never got it.

After all. Her grief is acceptable. Mine is hidden, and you’re supposed to be pleased you got rid of a lying cheater.

I do get it. I do accept it. I still wish she got it, but I accept she never will.

I have a family event with her and her siblings next weekend. On the same beachy peninsula BG’s “adopted family” celebrate on. I am privileged to love this family as my own. Introducing BG for the first time. I think he’s gonna get it. He grew up with a very similar Irish Catholic extended family. I’m entrenched in their love now, too. I can’t wait.


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Gliding into the weekend like…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anyway. I avoid.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I think? 😜

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

I roll my eyes.

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

He didn’t want me then.

He certainly doesn’t want me now.

It’s all image management.

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

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

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

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

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

I’m not.

I was for a while.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m sure Roger found that very amusing.

Whatever.

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

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

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

Counting my blessings. This is such a good life.


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Embarrassment

Rog and I were one of those couples who had no embarrassing bodily secrets.

My only and “true” love, I was comfortable with him, he with me.

Long before pregnancy, birth, recovery, I was open with him about my body (taking my lead from him, I think, as I’d never been with a man before him) and he with me. (And I LOATHE that Trinket and he will be that close, too, now. 🤢🤢🤢.)

This morning, I had a really embarrassing moment. BG’s house is small, just two bedrooms, one bathroom.

He was in the shower, and I could feel my rumbling tummy about to explode. Ugh. I’d woken with a bad tummy ache.

I was not about to head into the bathroom to take what might likely be a less than “normal” healthy 💩.

Oh lord! The contortions and pain as I cooked him some breakfast.

Don’t fart. Don’t fart!!!

All the while thinking, how strange this life is.

Thirty years. We were so incredibly comfortable with each other from the beginning.

Almost three years with this man, and I’m more comfortable naked (feel less judged about my 50-something, three baby curves) with BG than I ever was with Norm. But the ease ends there. I don’t wear a lot of makeup, definitely not every day, and I don’t love BG watching me applying it if I do.

I obviously store tampons at his house, but don’t run around with them in my hand. I’m weirdly “coy” about bodily functions. Don’t let him know if I’m menstruating, etc. So weird.

When does this new life get easier? Feel real?

It still feels like a bizarre alternate reality.


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Shark eyes

In the thirty years I was with Rog, I always adored his lovely, kind eyes.

I can clearly remember the day I got the dead, shark eyes.

They were almost black. With pinprick irises. Usually, when he looked at me, his eyes were soft, full of love (or so I believed) with pupils dilating quickly.

It scared the fuck outta me. It preceeded the incident where he lied and lied and lied. Then lied dome more, about Trinket being in my house. I knew she was. Had proof. He knew how traumatised I was by him fucking Leanne in my homes. In my children’s beds. In our bed. I wrote a damn Masters thesis about the affect and emotional geographies of tainted homes.

Yet he denied it, many, many times. Culminating in him dropping me on the bathroom floor, on the back of my head, losing consciousness briefly. When I came to, my cotton dressing gown was in shreds. All the while, his shark eyes were lifeless. Black. I knew then that he’d become someone I no longer knew. My thirty years of deep love and intense loyalty, had been wiped from his affaired up brain.

Chump Lady talks about the dead, shark eyes in her latest blog.

It’s a phenomena most betrayed experience.

And it’s both completely heartbreaking, and terrifying as hell.


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Werk werk werk

I’ve always had an enormous work ethic.

If I’m honest, in these recent, single years especially, it’s been about fear. Fear of being female, living longer, earning less.

During my thirty years with Roger, it was about gaining his approval and admiration.

Look!

See!

I’m a hard worker!

Having half of my financial future being dissolved by other people’s (his and his whore, Trinket’s) choices has been quite terrifying.

Recently, I’ve been very aware of how ridiculous my work ethic is as an approaching mid 50s woman.

I work stupid hours. I stay enthusiastic and “over” help staff and clients.

I take pride in that.

But have an ever growing awareness that I need to forge forward. Take more risks. Get back in charge of my own ship.

It has come at a difficult time. I’m mid reno. I’m $70k in. And probably halfway.

And trying to buy a pretty expensive business.

Yes. I’m aware of budgets. I get quotes. But, post Covid, life has meant costs have increased. Sourcing materials has been challenging.

That’s a lot of money.

I’m trying to rearrange finances and, as RuPaul says,

Don’t. Fuck. It. Up!

Buying a business probably means selling an apartment. I’ve realised I’ve never done that.

My own farms.

My homes.

But never a rental property.

I’ve been surprised at my weirdness about this.

And I know it is about my risk aversion. I am always worried about change.

That I will mess up my financial future.

I so wanted to do this with my love. My life partner.

He didn’t.

Give a fuck about me.

Ugh.


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The pieces

Talking with my youngest brother last night was really enlightening.

I was heading off to uni when our parents separated.

He’s four years younger, so had just completed his first year at high school.

A kid.

I grew up in a happy home, a real farm girl.

He grew up with a mother who was recovering from discovering the man she loved was gay, and a cheater.

Off I flew.

To the furthest away university in the country.

Literally at the bottom of our long, thin nation. The southern-most university in the world.

Mum and I phoned regularly. I knew she was hurting, but thought she was healing well.

She operated and sold the farm.

Because Dad just buggered off. Not even sure where he lived then.

But C told me last night that Mum – whom I never saw drunk, maybe a little smiley and tipsy at the odd party, less than a handful of times – drank every night.

Quite a lot, often.

Nothing scary for him.

But she used alcohol in a way I didn’t know about, to self medicate for probably a year or two. He bore witness to it.

And blamed himself.

He was a “naughty” teen.

So. My perception of her doing so well, being so strong – and I admit my own searing, tearing grief, my suicidal weakness, was measured against my perception of her “strength” – was not a true reflection of how horrific infidelity, then repeated infidelity and abandonment (in my case, and to a degree, Mum’s, as Dad just disappeared really. For years) really is.

I am not insane.

Or weak.

Or unforgiving.

Or pathetic.

I’m The Boss Lady.

I’m human.

I loved VERY, VERY deeply.

And as we know, with great love comes great pain.

I loved too much.

I was “too much.”

For a selfish man-child who refused to communicate, to trust me with his heart.

I loved a liar.

Who learned to lie from his own father.

My fear is, what about my children? What have they learned? I was instilled with a pathological hatred of lies. Of liars. Mum drummed that into us. Liars were the scum of the earth. This was even before she discovered that her life was a lie, with a liar.

Roger couldn’t/wouldn’t trust me with his heart, because of his anxious attachment style.

Needy.

But is doing a magnificent job of displaying outer calm. Outer I’vegotmyshittogether.

Yeah. See how well that worked out for me?

Even our children know this about him.

Rog’s limitations.

I’m still quite bemused by the fact that not one of them have EVER referred to him as “Dad,” to me, since he dumped me and ran, to Trinket. Always, “Rog.”

He’s a liar and a cheat. That is who he is. There is no getting away from that fact. He didn’t do it once, and recoil in horror. He cheated. Found it easy to cheat. So kept cheating. Pretty simple facts.

I know they care about him. Mostly have at least surface “good” relationships with him. The eldest, especially.

Because, like me, she never saw the horror. She grew up in a very happy home, with two obviously in love parents. By the time it all started unravelling after her father was outed as a cheater, she had left home. Lived many hours away, in our capital.

But, like me, there’s little true respect for their cheating male parent.

I find it quite fascinating.


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Safe

BG was working last night. But when he got home, he messaged, sensing I was a bit off.

Struggling. It’s been five weeks without being with him.

He let me know that he is also finding it hard. In many ways. He’s not a verbally demonstrative man. And he’s covering everyone’s ass at work right now. Tired.

I always feel a bit lame, a bit needy. After all, he had a relationship where they lived in different countries for the first two years. So he can do long distance, and get on with his life. I thought it was just me, so have tried not to complain or indicate when I’m really struggling.

Last night, I hit the wall. Sick of this. Being alone in lockdown, when he’s only an hour and a half away.

Then he said that he is constantly amazed at me. At my openness. My softness (triggered! Rog said I have the softest skin he’s ever touched, so “soft” kinda stings?) My kindness. My care. My trust. My strength. How he is amazed at how vulnerable I allow myself to be with him. Letting him know I’m struggling isn’t complaining, or lame. It’s sweet, but yeah, hard for him because he can’t fix that. Knowing he doesn’t need to be the fixer, but wanting to do that instinctively. That he appreciates that I miss him, he misses me.

But, it’s different for him. Level 2 is hard at work, small gathering rules and a vastly changed service model to fit with those rules are hurting his business.

However, mostly life is otherwise “normal-ish.” I can’t even go to a shop. Everything has to be contactless. I spent two hours online on Friday, ordering feed, water supplies, an order from the hardware store, a grocery order all for click and collect. (Supermarkets are open, but the queues mean about a half hour to hour long wait before entry to the store is granted.) No spaces for pick up for 24 hours. Saturday, I spent three hours driving to pick up points, waiting for my time slot, between stores, etc. Of course, you always forget something you need.

I live alone. So no one to banter with. So yeah, Level 2 is testing, BG.

Sure.

But Level 3, where I am, is so restrictive when you’ve been in it for a while.

I mean yeah, I get that he is finding it hard. But he talks to people every day. I can go days without another human. Generally, without it being mandated, I have traditionally been good with alone time.

He has asked me before if I cope with the distance. That he worries at times that I might find someone else. Someone closer. Someone “more suitable.” Someone “better.” And that it must be hard for me, after a serial cheater fucked me over, to trust. The unspoken part of that being that he is being faithful.

The thing is, I’m a trusting person, by nature. Which is interesting, because I can be cynical too. But I do trust him. And that worries me sometimes. Because I 100% trusted Roger. And he used my trust to bring other women into my homes. Around my kids.

I recall so clearly looking Rog in the eye, and saying, at one stage – when I felt a bit weird about his “friendship” with Leanne seeming a bit “too close,” – “you aren’t doing anything stupid here, right? I hope you’re not making me the stupidest woman in the world, trusting you with her?” And him looking me dead in the eye and saying, “oh Snooks. No. Not ever. Of course I would never. You are right to trust me. She’s a terrible person, and I’m not even slightly attracted to her. If I was, we couldn’t be friends,” and he kissed me and held me, stroking my skin.

FML.

So, to keep busy last night, I started cooking a goat dish for tomorrow

And late, I thought I should eat, so threw this Thai inspired noodle bowl together with some cooked chicken I had in the fridge.

Then, despite it’s deliciousness, decided I wasn’t hungry.

Lockdown is messing with my mental health, and my ability to stick to any kind of wellness plan. I’m a quiet mess really.

What’s new?


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Move in already!

Got asked twice today – by a friend of his at lunchtime, then a friend of mine and Roger’s in the evening – when BG and I are going to combine our lives.

Lol.

That’s the expectation.

Actually, both people then said, “oh! I mean, is that something you guys are planning?”

I find it interesting. And somewhat amusing.

That people assume that. After all, we are early and mid 50s, that’s what is expected. Move in together please. It fits our expectations.

Especially since neither of us has ever been married!

Ingrid, BG’s friend, and I went shopping and for lunch, while the boys played golf. BG has defended the lads’ match play trophy for the fourth time. Becoming quite hard to knock off the perch.

We were having coffee and she asked. Her question came with the sweetest “he’s still so besotted with you, completely smitten. I love watching him like this, after knowing him for over twenty years. I’ve never seen him like this with anyone and he’s just the sweetest man. Makes me so happy for him, and you. You’re pretty special.” I blushed. And answered that we have discussed this. But honestly? I think he’s gonna take some moving. He’s a workaholic, completely committed to the job. And I’m okay with that. It’s who he is. I’m in no hurry. And I can see his words say he wants to. But his habits are such that his actions are what they are. I’ve seen enough of how people’s actions don’t always match their words. He hasn’t promised anything he’s failed to deliver. It’s more that he’s made noises about wanting to be together “in the future,” but not being in a position to act on that right now.

Rog and my mutual friend, Bella, asked tonight, too. We had a lovely maiden win with a horse she bred, and we race together, on Friday, and had dinner tonight to celebrate, with the trainer and our accountant and her husband.

When she asked, I was also a bit embarrassed. It’s quite hard to talk about. It still feels “wrong.” Like I’m cheating. Which is ridiculous. All my/our friends are supportive and happy to see me being treated so well after what Roger put me through.

They all like BG. Think it’s lovely to see him doting on me. And me him.

Bella said, “it must be hard, the distance?” To which I replied, “it can be, sometimes. If you’ve had a bad day, and just want a snuggle. If we get locked down apart, and our usual weekend catch ups are delayed by a few weeks. But there’s some up side. Having your own space. Doing your own thing.”

She nodded. It was quite sweet, she is married to a guy she rebounded from Roger from. (Yes, another of his fuck buddies.) And she and her husband are great friends, he’s been an incredible partner to her. Supportive and grounding. But I always wondered about the “love,” in a sexual/romantic sense. Last night, he put his arms around her from behind, and she locked her fingers into his, and leaned into him. It was lovely to see them so in synch. She’s not one for PDAs. It was very out of character. I’ve known her for 45 years. But she was the one who really leaned into it.

I just think, this is going to be the long haul. Nothing is going to change fast.

So I am pushing on with my individual plans. House renovations. Property investment. Business purchase. Etc.

Ingrid asked me why I thought he was reluctant to make it happen. Was it deeply ingrained bachelorhood? She had spoken to him, and he has expressed that he wants to be with me. Live with me. Build a life together. I just said, “I don’t think it’s reluctance. Just fear of the unknown. He has a lot of ‘should haves’ on his shoulders. Feelings that he did things wrong career-wise, financially, etc. The job provides some kind of stability for him. He cares about it, and the people involved. Staff, members, etc.” She nodded, “yeah. I’m not sure why he’s so down on himself. Such a great guy. Does he feel a failure? None of us see him as anything but a success – we all just hoped he’d find love, that was the missing piece, for me at least. And now he finally has. And what a fab woman he has now! At last!”

Jeepers! I laughed nervously, and told her the story about our recent conversation. “Funny! Thank you, too kind. He was saying the other day that he’d always wanted to get married and have children, but he was too slow. Mucking around, not paying attention. Partying too hard, when everyone else met women, got married, started families. Then he looked up and went, ‘oh shit, I’ve missed out! All the good ones are taken!’ Then I got older, and realised I just had to wait until someone fucked up and lost their good woman. And here you are! Thank that fucker for screwing up and releasing you back into the dating pool!'”

Ingrid laughed loudly, “oh God, that’s priceless! So BG. Funny bastard.”