Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum


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Anniversaries. A limited edition.

Some of our friends are starting to hit 25+year wedding anniversaries. Starting to catch Rog and I up.

We made it over 30.

But I will never make it any longer than that. There will be no celebration of long, deep, true love for me now.

Reading a friend’s post this morning, about their silver wedding romantic trip. Ugh. I want to die, it hurts so much.

I mean, these are really nice, really good people. I’m genuinely pleased for them. Not Fakebookers. Wished them well.

But sadly, my own pain is unending.

He stole it all. Stole my security and carefree happiness. I’ll never get that back, fully. I mean, you carry on, but it’s never the same again. Everything is careful, mindful, thought out. Spontaneous enjoyment doesn’t exist anymore.

I wanted the long, true love story, and genuinely thought I had it. I couldn’t have loved him more.


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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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Forgive. Forget

Wow! Yes!

Roger painted me as unforgiving.

The reality was, he wouldn’t do what I needed, to make me feel safe.

I asked him to please change his phone number. He argued it was best to keep it, as then he could “manage” Leanne’s apparent crazy.

This left me in a constant panic. That they were still playing me.

And yeah, well, after all his assurances that he was done, he went and fucked her again, two years after “he was done.”

He never tried to work out why he did it. Who he is and why. He never bought a single book, read a single article, or booked a single counselling appointment.

Oh, not true. He booked a psychologist. For ME!

Because I was the problem. My reaction to his actions. That was a problem for him.

Secrets are his stock in trade.

When I finally discovered Trinket, I started digging again.

Marriage fucking policing AGAIN!

And I got as far as online dating profiles on three different platforms (technophobe, riiiiight) going back at least two years. I gave up digging after that. No doubt it went on much further back. I honestly had no clue about this behaviour. Why would I, when he kept telling me he wanted only me, kept touching me, holding me, “loving” me, and “only” me. I was the only woman who got him, the only woman FOR him. He’d never have with anyone else what he had with me….

Sigh.

Played.

By a fucking maestro.

But, my gut knew. I knew not to let my guard down. I knew deep down what he was capable of. I wasn’t fully conscious of my own intuition, but I struggled with forgetting. I could and did, forgive … enough. Not complete “forgiveness.” Deliberately breaking the person who adores you’s heart is actually quite literally the definition of unforgivable.

Deceit. That was always him. While stroking you softly, he would plunge the knife in.

So, I was made to feel not good enough.

Not a good enough forgiver.

Despite staying (and he knew my stance on cheating) and busting my arse to heal us, from what he did. Despite all the time taken and paid for, in therapy. Despite four years of cramming in two degrees (to help me understand human behaviour, and to try to rebuild some absolutely shattered self esteem) whilst working, raising kids and running the accounts for our farm.

He did it again.

Sadly, proving all my intuition to be spot on.

He didn’t change.

He just got even better at hiding his duplicity. Better at the soul rape. Better at fooling me that he was only having sex with me. Better at getting non-consensual sex, because I never consented to share my body with others, to expose myself to the diseases I now carry in my body, because he shared his with others.

But, I still feel “not good enough.” Even with all of this knowledge.

That’s the terrible scar left by a cheater, on a loyal, loving partner. It never fades. You just learn to dress to hide it better.


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Sadly, I was right

I recall at the very beginning of my infidelity journey, saying to Norm, “I really need you to help me heal, but realistically, how can you help me heal when you were the one who broke me?”

https://www.facebook.com/reel/389676696370435?fs=e&s=cl

He promised to help me, to do whatever it took to undo what he did.

Hmmm.

I was right.

He was never capable. He runs when it gets hard. He broke me, then kept chipping bits off as I spackled and spackled, trying to mend the holes he smashed in us.

Would have been good if he didn’t waste another decade of my life, lying to me and dating other women.


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Disenfranchised grief

Have recently been talking to a couple of women, whose long, seemingly happy marriages, ended when their husbands cheated.

And then their ex-husbands died.

Their second time around, disenfranchised grief. Both say they are feeling it again, but that this grief hits differently. The cheating/leaving grief was never “final,” and this time is very confusing.

I can imagine. I have thought about this. A lot. I know I would struggle if Rog died. Whilst I know “closure” is a load of bollocks, there has been no “closure.” I always imagined we’d talk. Be close. Know each other. And take some comfort in that.

But I’m still completely heartbroken, wrenched from my love and life, through the actions and choices of others.

I lost my soulmate. My confidante. I don’t have another person in my life that I have no filter with.

Despite all the crap, he was my person. And I miss having a person.

I accept that.

But death? I just don’t know.

I do know that I am still waaaay too affected by him. I do know that him moving so far away was amazing for my mental health and healing. I do know that contact drives me off the rails of this healing journey.

I do know that being in the same room as him has pierced my healing aura. Disrupted the force!

I do know that I have, stashed away in storage, a mountain of love letters and cards from him. Love bombing words. From the very beginning of us, in the mid-80s. Raving about how wonderful, sexy, beautiful I am. Lol. Yeah, right. I imagine he saw a frumpy, old woman in me the other night.

I also know that I either couldn’t look at him, or I looked right through him. I don’t even know which it was. It was like an out of body experience. Except the experience has left more scars on and in my body.

I hoped he saw steel. Strength.

Because, I am different. Different from the soft, loving girl he knew.

I am a new woman. Forged from that trauma. The trauma he kept inflicting.

But maybe he just saw my brokenness.

It matters not. I’m trying to just get normal transmission to resume

Whatever that is.


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Startle response

I jumped so damn high yesterday.

I didn’t realise I still have Leanne’s number in my phone.

And she just joined Viber. I got a notification from the app. Her name was changed to The Skank in my contacts in 2009.

My heart nearly beat out of my chest as it flashed up. Briefly, I thought she had contacted me.

I still startle badly.

Like when Roger would touch me. I’d nearly leap out of my skin.

I am reading “The Body Keeps the Score” to better understanding my lingering trauma.

I found this part to be interesting and applicable:

“Being traumatized means continuing to organize your life as if the trauma was still going on unchanged and immutable as if every new encounter or event is contaminated by the past. After trauma the world is experienced with a different nervous system. A survivor’s energy now becomes focused on suppressing inner chaos at the expense of spontaneous involvement in their lives. “

Certain smells, touches, places… it’s all contaminated.

And the trauma is still etched in my body.

I don’t think it’s ever going to leave me.

Lord, I’m still wired as hell.


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Still a bit broken

https://www.express.co.uk/celebrity-news/1567580/Dawn-French-still-a-bit-broken-from-Lenny-Henry-divorce

This is real.

My experience of the deep grief, the brokenness that remains, is not unusual. I’m not a fuck up.

People who love long and hard, we are broken by disloyal, lying, cheating endings.

That is all.


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Still broken. Ugh.

For the first time, Ingrid asked me about my thirty years with Roger.

I steer clear of this topic with my new friends. For the closest, “I was with the father of my children for thirty mostly wonderful years. He was unfaithful and left me for her.”

Never any more than that.

Until now.

She dug a bit.

Ingrid and Andy started as an affair, more than twenty years ago. She was divorced. No kids. He was married. Two kids. They both say it was a terrible thing to do. But I have played my cards close, not wanting cheaters to know about my cheating stories.

“Tell me about your life. You are a woman who loves very, very deeply. Kind, intelligent, loving, giving. BG is so damn lucky to have you.”

“Not much to tell. You already know. I loved a man – my only man – for over thirty years. Four years ago, he left me for a widow he was cheating on me with. It wasn’t the first time. Eight years earlier, I discovered he had had a long affair with a single friend of ours. I was floored to find I didn’t want to leave him, instead, worked my arse off to heal. Loads of therapy. Tonnes of pain. Litres of tears. I slowly put the shattered pieces of my heart back together. When I sat him down, after submitting my Masters thesis, to tell him I felt healed, he told me he’d Met Someone Else. This was just a week after giving me a card, and a candle that said, amongst other loving things, “you are the only woman for me.” And “Love Always.”

He lied. And cheated. Probably most of those three decades. And it is only recently that I genuinely, GENUINELY, hope I never have to see him ever again, as long as I live.”

She tilted her head. “There’s so much pain still. I’m so sorry.”

I replied, “I now accept that there will always be pain. You don’t ‘heal’ you only keep healing.”

“At least you have thirty years of mostly great memories.”

Fuck!

I teared up. Dammit!

Shaking my head, “no. Sadly, I don’t. Because none of it was real. It can’t have been. Because you could never put someone you love through what he kept putting me through. It was all lies. I don’t believe, or feel that any of it was good. True. Loving. Connected. I made all of that up in my head, because I totally adored him. With everything I had. There are no good memories. Just tainted ones.”

She sat back, sucking in her breath.

“The births of your children? They must be good memories?”

“No. They are very painful memories for me. Of how easily I was duped. I know it sounds bitter. It’s not that. It’s just me seeing him for who he was to me. A mirage.”

Ick. I am all prickly even typing this out. I hate trying to explain. I hate new people peeping behind the curtain.

No one really understands. She tried. But to say I have good memories, shows how she has never lived this. Can’t understand.

Damn. I don’t want BG’s people to know how damaged I am! I know you know what I mean. I am a real person. With real feelings. But that felt really yucky.


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Flashbacks and triggers

I have periods where the flashbacks and triggers are pretty intense.

I am aware that this is happening a lot right now.

I know that my past, the violent rape by someone I knew and trusted, teenage experiences like sexual abuse and harrassment, and the emotional and physical abuse Roger put me through, for around a decade, have caused deeply engrained PTSD.

Trauma rears its ugly head more intensely, and more often when you are under pressure.

I have a million things going on right now. Doing due diligence, thinking about how to finance this business if it all checks out, going through the steps to see if I should sell a rental property (the one I wanted to sell, may not be the best option, these were 7-10 year plans, it’s only been three) worrying about how to keep up the pace of my frantic work schedule, and plan.

Add to that, the question a friend asked yesterday. “It’s been months. I bet you worry about BG being faithful to you when you can’t be there with him?”

No. I don’t.

Or, I didn’t. Until you asked that question! Cheers, friend!

Reality is, of course I do. I was duped for years by a serial cheater! How could I not think that it could happen again?

But I am a naturally trusting person (chump! See how easy it is to fool me!) I choose to believe he is not fucking around.

Yeah, I’m a special kind of stupid.

Roger hasn’t gone 8 weeks without sex, since he was 18 years old! He can’t. If we were apart for this long, he’d be fucking whoever he could charm long enough to get into their knickers.

That is an undeniable fact.

I know he has never been single. The brief moments he was, he was having lots of casual sex. He can’t be without his penis in a warm body for more than a few days. It makes me feel so used. I worry that maybe I was fooled at the beginning of our relationship. He said he was single.

So why did Leanne hate me so much? Hmmm. Why did he fuck her just weeks into starting a relationship with me? Yeah. Right. Face palm, Paula….

So very, very sad. That my six months in the UK (unknowingly, for most of that time) pregnant with our first child, I didn’t have, nor seek, sex with anyone else. But I know of at least six women he fucked during that time.

He had a new girlfriend the day after he left his Kiwi girlfriend, when he went to the UK on his OE.

I’ll never understand anyone who starts a “relationship” with someone whose spouse had no idea that apparently they were no longer a couple!!! It’s fucking mind blowing 🤯🙀🤦‍♀️

He just always had women. “Friends,” who I am now sure were often/mostly friends with benefits. Somehow, he has never gone more than a week or two without sex. He was fucking Trinket and me for those seven months we lived together. Despite seeing her twice a week, he’d be with me in between. (Yes, I was that desperate. That sad. I allowed that abuse. That disrespect. I’m immensely ashamed of how he abused me, my love, my trust, my disease ravaged body. My shock reaction to him cheating again was to keep making love with him. I’m really pathetic, ugh.)

So, because he is my point of reference, my one and only love, lover, the love of my life, my life partner (that really was how I thought. I had never been with, nor entertained the idea of being with another man, until BG) I do quietly, internally, doubt that any man will want me enough to be faithful to me.

Logically, I think I am worth it. I’m not unattractive. I’m (usually!) reasonably intelligent. I’m loving. I’m kind. I’m generous. I’m funny. There are loads of really attractive qualities.

But my heart is very broken. I feel unattractive, far, far less self confident, secure, because I was constantly replaced, so can’t possibly be what men want to covet, love, protect, desire…

It’s so fucked up.

Because how does a good brain overrule a totally shattered heart? A complete lack of belief that you ARE enough? That someone WILL choose to love you fully, and exclusively?

See why I was happy single???

I dunno. I work at it. Every minute of every day. I AM good enough.

You can say it. And say it. And repeat it again.

But, the damage of those lies, those broken promises, that faux remorse, those uber charming, insincere declarations of undying love…

They fuck you up.

For life.