Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum


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Sweetness and light

So, C sent me a message in the middle of the night. Her wee baby is like my second. Insomniac, hungry hippo! I was wide awake 3am to 6am anyway.

I love her care.

So much.

I haven’t said a lot to her. She knows that Roger serial cheated on me. And sold our farm, our means of earning a living, our home, and ran to the last AP. C was taken aback when she first heard this, about two and a half years ago. But she has not joined the flying monkey troop. She has shown a lot of care and loyalty to me. She didn’t have to. But gets it. Is a very loyal, caring woman. She knows enough, to know I didn’t deserve to be cheated on and abandoned. That I was an exceptional partner, mother, lover.

I do find it a bit sticky when people use the phrase, “moving on.” We are all moving on. Can’t stop time. But it suggests that it no longer hurts, etc. I take no offense here. I understand the loving way she has considered it. But just internally, I know it isn’t quite what people imagine.

It feels good when old friends are empathetic, but not pitying. She sees how I am rebuilding. Expressed admiration for what I have achieved with a broken heart. Two degrees. Five properties, a new business on the horizon. And finally, I told her that I was seeing someone. Her eyes. She melted.

“Oh, Paula! That’s so cool. Is he a nice guy?”

I grinned widely, “well, it’s been a while, and no red flags yet, so I hope so! He’s really good to me. Kind, considerate, treats me as an equal, never dictates how life should be. And we have a lot of fun. It’s different. Completely different in almost every way. And instead of being love bombed and rushing into anything, it’s a slow burn.”

She hugged me hard, tearing up.

Hormones, lol.

Anyway, she is sweetness and light. Which is how BG refers to me most of the time. And I love the synchronicity.


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My first baby

My first baby, was Roger’s nephew, N.

I was never particularly maternal. But I loved him and his little sister so, so much. I looked after them often, from birth.

He was a real character. Still is. Was his 32nd birthday yesterday, and I always check in with them.

He has never called me Aunty before. I was always Paula. I am also just Paula to my own nieces and nephew, too.

But I just loved this. Made my day.

BG and I visited him last August in Queensland. He was playing some pre-season polo after recovering from a smashed arm. First game back. Roger’s cousin and his wife (a couple I absolutely adore!) took us out to the polo. I hadn’t disclosed BG to anyone, and I was worried it might be a bit awkward.

BG took this pic of us…

It wasn’t weird. They were divine.

Love this ‘kid.’


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A few lighter moments. Coming to a screen near you

Realise many readers feel I am a miserable cow. That I don’t have a life. Or kind, loving friends. That I don’t enjoy anything. I’m gonna post a few vignettes. Of mindfulness, gratitude, fun. Things that fill me up, or bring a smile.

Because I’m a fuck load more than a traumatised, grieving betrayed.

So. Instalment One.

Calved a cow last thing at work today. I’m the business manager, so, quite off task.

Sorry for blurry. I was quietly thrilled. A gorgeous, beautifully marked Holstein Friesian bull. The broodmare manager was panicking with the the boss (a vet) and her husband away. I just threw on some overalls over my office skirt, shoved my feet in my gumboots, told her to calm the fuck down, and put some makeshift calving ropes on that wee guy, letting Stef, the cow push as I pulled, and let her rest between monumental contractions as my guy slid into the world. Filled my heart. Helped me recall a beautiful former life. (And all on fresh, green grass, no mud, 260 other cows to milk, or their calves or tired kids to feed later!) 😍🐄

Should I add that skill to my CV? Was like riding a bike.

Muscle memory.

Not sure if cow would agree 😜


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Ouch!

Having the kids home is great. But my God, it also hurts.

WTF?

It’s the damn complicated grief. I can’t find any decent help for this. Desperately trying to find the right therapy.

And I know this is why Rog refused to be alone. To avoid this. It is fucking awful dealing with loss alone. He has Trinket to keep him occupied. To comfort him. I am very much alone.

My babies remind me of our intense love and my deep, deep grief at its loss. I am sick of the pain. I know it needs to end. I wonder when? I keep working at it…

I feel particularly damaged right now, as I bite my tongue, trying to stop thinking about my kids spending time with Trinket. Sharing my kids with that cunt is the very hardest part of this journey right now. And I totally see how fragile I am. Walking on eggshells so as not to look damaged to my kids. To look strong, healing, resilient.

I’m tired. Tired of the fight.


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A baby photo. Or three.

Tempted asked me to post pics of my animal babies. I have been so flat out, I have forgotten to take my phone so I can get any shots, and Lambie is going to a new home this morning. An old friend messaged me desperately last night, her little girl has been patiently waiting for a calf club lamb, and it has been such a mild winter, not so many deaths of ewes (thankfully) around the district. We are a dairying and thoroughbred district, not a sheep one, so us weirdos out on the hills are her last resort. I told her Lambie has not had the special care and attention that a coveted calf club lamb usually does, but her daughter is undeterred. She was vaccinated yesterday – will go to her new home with instructions about her milk bloat – and to keep an eye on her, it took her a good week to overcome that, and only just now on “normal” rations, so she is looking a little unloved and scruffy in my extreme closeup of her face trying to escape the stable I have popped her in to wait for her new mummy.

 

Anyway – very bad photos of the team: Lambie, Louis and Lashes. BIG apologies for the (lack of) quality. Just a glimpse into my morning.

 

2014-09-02 09.07.41Louis20140902_084338


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Babies, cows and life happens

We have a baby.  A long labour, with an ambulance transfer for an emergency C-section, that I refused on arrival.  A baby girl.  Tears seep softly out of the corners of his eyes, the first time I ever see those, it will be a long time before I see him cry again.  We bring our little critter home, and our new little family thrives.  In the next year, he and I make plans to buy his parents’ farm.  The only way we can manage the mortgage is if we convert it from stud beef to dairy.  No problem.  We re-mortgage, stretched to near-breaking point, until the next year when our lovely neighbour buys our farm, after we subdivide the house and five acres and sell to a young family.  A new adventure awaits, I do make some noises about how is this going to work with his other siblings, are they all on board, will this cause family strife later on down the line?  He is adamant that we have got it all under control, the sisters have been informed, and are in agreement.  His eldest sister and her husband bought nearly 50 acres of the front of the farm a few years earlier, and they had a lot of financial help from their parents to do this, our buying the main farm will pay their mortgage off and the other sister was going to get a large payout when we bought the farm, so large that it paid off her mortgage on her enormous house in a million dollar suburb in our largest city – they are both mortgage-free in their very early 30s.

We built a cosy little house, his parents stayed in the main home, and we embarked on a new phase.  We ran the farm together, I started a Holstein-Friesian stud (can’t stop me from breeding things, lol) and we went from strength to strength.  We were very interested in organics, adding value and sustainability from the word go.  We never went fully organic, but we used far fewer chemicals, drugs and artificial fertilisers than our contemporaries, all the while growing our production, planting riparian margins, developing wetlands and generally loving our environment, and our lifestyle.  We added two more babies, four years after our daughter arrived, we had a son, at home, with no midwife in attendance, just my darling and me (the midwife had visited three times, the last part of my 22 hour labour went so quickly I didn’t even have time to get back in the birth pool!  He was AMAZING! Calmly guiding our son into the world.  As soon as he had ensured he was breathing (he was worried he was very blue) we were both wrapped up warm as we awaited the midwife who was speeding to us – arrived twenty minutes after our baby – he poured himself an enormous single malt scotch and started phoning his friends.  I did suggest between my shakes (my body went into shock) that family might want to know ;-).  Two years after that, we had another, after a 34 hour labour at home, to complete our family with another little girl.  Hey, I give up, these labours were getting longer!!!  We were so happy.  He loved me pregnant, he loved me post-natal, he loved me fat, skinny, flabby, toned.  We were just so into each other.  And he was so supportive and kind.  We laughed and fought and laughed again.  We worked damned hard.  I milked up until the births of the kids, and I was back in the shed within days.  Springtime could mean 20 hour days sometimes.  We built a nursery onto our cowshed, and the kids and babies would get carted over there in the dark, and snuggle down to sleep in their warm little beds there until the pulsators in the shed were turned off, the rhythmic sounds soothing them.  That’s not to say it was all plain sailing, our middle child never slept more than two hours in a row until he was fourteen months old, often half an hour would have him up and at ’em!  It was exhausting, and we formed a fantastic team.  He could always sense when I was about to lose the plot, and step in to relieve the pressure.  He and our son (in his pushchair) must have run several marathons around the outside of our house at 3am, 4am, etc, to help him sleep during that first two years!

As our family grew, we both got involved in the kids’ activities, and the local school, both of us serving on various committees.  We had become traditional.  My friends were mostly still travelling, partying all the while climbing their corporate ladders, I was up to my armpits in nappies and cowshit!   It was those busy sports, music, drama years.  But we always found time for each other.  We love quality film, literature, music, the outdoors (tramping for both of us, and hunting for him) not to mention fabulous food!  Oh, and I have a serious fashion habit!  But always knew what I could and couldn’t afford.  I would buy one special, precious piece, maybe a gorgeous pair of shoes, and dress them with loads of chain store and op shop finds.  And then there’s our shared love of horse racing.  As we got more financially secure, we bought a couple of fillies and raced and bred from them.  A lovely interest, and a great excuse to get out and about.  We followed our horses racing all over the country, and loved having our young stock at home, nothing like seeing a couple of gorgeous mares and foals in your front paddock, knee deep in lush, green grass.

Seven years ago, I saved up for eighteen months and took my children overseas to my brother’s wedding, a two week excursion. When I came home, he announced he had bought a dry stock farm that he had inspected while I was away.  I was gobsmacked.  He had fought tooth and nail to get the farm we had, the third generation farm, his 78 year old father had never lived anywhere else. Literally.  Same house.  His whole life.  We had added some more land to it over the years, and were through the hardest financial years.  Things were getting more comfortable, I was no longer required fulltime on the farm, although I was still very involved, rearing all calves, and still milking several times per week, I made all the breeding decisions, and did all the artificial insemination, etc. I bred them, and he fed them.  We had recently employed staff and life was good.  Then, BAM!  We had five weeks to move.  We hadn’t sold the home farm, and had bridging finance for the whole thing, millions, and millions!  Whoah!  I admit I was a little unnerved, and worried that we would lose one of the farms.  He never asked my opinion.  WTF???  Who was I then?  Stock?  Did I not get a say in my own life?  I, uncharacteristically was fairly quiet.  I told him I was shocked, a bit disappointed, but he told me that he had been struggling with how to get separation from his family for the past few years, he was in his 40s, owned his own very successful business, but was always thought of as “the boy.”  For example, his father had never owned a dairy cow in his life, we had been running a highly successful dairy stud for about fifteen years, and yet, if we were at a sale, or the like, it was amazing how often his father was asked by the stock agents if the reserve had been met – NOT US!!!  It was frustrating.  I didn’t even know it annoyed him.  But he told me he was pretty unhappy, and needed change.  How could I possibly protest?  So, I went along with it all.  On the first night in our new house, I got into bed with him, and talked.  I told him how hard I had found this whole thing.  He just said, “but you’ve always supported me, you’ve never not believed in me, I just never thought you wouldn’t support this.”  He had bought the farm in his family trust’s name, so I hadn’t even seen a lawyer, or been involved.  It immediately became apparent that both of his sisters were very unhappy, and were threatening to sue us.  This despite the fact that they had both had high society lifestyles due in part to the moneys they had received when we bought his parents’ farm, and so much of the proceeds were distributed to them.  We worked our butts off while they partied and travelled.  We worried about whether our old banger of a car would get another year out of her, while they swanned about in new European models.  We slogged through mud and rain with small children attached to our bodies, breastfeeding on test buckets, while their children were tucked up with nannies preparing them warm food!  His parents were very supportive of his choice.  Barristers came down from a large city, all guns blazing, and I WAS NOT ALLOWED TO GO TO THE LEGAL MEETING!!!  I was furious!  How to be completely discounted and dis-empowered.  (The barristers were only ten minutes into the meeting when they took the sisters aside and explained that they had absolutely no case, that they were dreaming, we had done everything completely above board, and informed them every step along the way!)

When I suggested, that first night, that maybe I needed to go “home” for a little while – I was commuting half and hour to milk a lot anyway, as our staff were not coping with the animal health system I had in place – until I got my head around it, but that I was not leaving him, no way, just needed a moment to breathe, and think it all through, shared homes for a little while.  He cried.  For the second time.  He said, “I did all of this for you, to get you out of the family situation we had got embedded in, to get OUR independence properly, at last, PLEASE don’t leave me!”  I immediately said, “okay, of course I won’t do that, I am always here for you.”  

I stayed.  I let him know how committed I was to us, even if I didn’t agree with what he did.  I loved him.  We made love, urgently, and I thought it was dealt with……..

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My girls, how I loved them so!