Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum


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Platitudes

Don’t get me started on platitudes.

The things people say when someone’s grief, or trauma, is deemed “too ugly.”

When those not suffering try to squash the ugliness, to screen it from view, because it makes them uncomfortable.

Don’t Lose Hope lists some of the worst sentences people use.

Hey, look. I get it. Trauma (and/or grief) is messy. Everyone wants to look away.

But, these are things that people have said to me.

And they are incredibly invalidating, painful and uncompassionate.

“Just let it go.”

“Are you over it yet?”

“Try to focus on the positives.”

“It’s going to be OK …”

“You still have so much to be thankful for.”

“At least you can be grateful that …”

“Fake it till you make it.”

“Let me tell you what happened to me …”

“At least it’s not bad as what happened to X.”

“One day you’ll look back, and be grateful that it happened.”

“It will all work out for the best in the end.”

Yeah. The toxic shame that created about my trauma has been almost as bad as what Roger did to me over the period of DDay #1 to final discard – almost a decade.

Why can’t she just get over it?

Because I invested.

Everything.

He had my heart. My soul. My body. My identity was formed by being his partner, his children’s mother, his parents’ loving, only daughter-in-law, his free labour unit, by sacrificing my own hopes and dreams, and adopting and supporting his.

After he cheated, long term, giving me diseases and severe anxiety, I read everything, went to ALL the therapy, completed two first class honours degrees…and stayed with him. Because I loved him, and believed in him.

That’s why the pain is permanent. Why I work really mindfully EVERY day, to rebuild me. It doesn’t come easily. It’s constant, draining work…

And when you relax, or think you’ve healed, the panic goes off…


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A Deal with God

I’ll get on that bandwagon. Kate Bush’s Running Up that Hill’s resurgence after the makers of Stranger Things used it, has been phenomenal.

And I am always intrigued by songwriters’ explanations of their lyrics.

I get it, Kate. I get it.

How amazing would it be to swap lives with another person?

I mean, it’s one thing to empathise, but to actually live as that person?

As your partner.

Seeing things from their perspective? I would love that. Love to experience exactly how Roger justified his actions, and his eventual devaluation and discard of me.

His walking away, never looking back.

At someone who adored him. How is that woman who loved me, who bore my children and supported me now that I kicked her to the curb?

Meh. Who cares? She is nothing.

When he was my everything. Ugh.

Kate herself, explains,

“It’s about a relationship between a man and a woman. They love each other very much, and the power of the relationship is something that gets in the way. It creates insecurities.

“It’s saying if the man could be the woman and the woman the man, if they could make a deal with God, to change places, that they’d understand what it’s like to be the other person and perhaps it would clear up misunderstandings. You know, all the little problems; there would be no problem.”

If I had known what he was thinking. I wouldn’t have been so blindsided. I would have been able to talk with him. To explain. To reason.

And if he could have truly got inside my head – if he had any heart – he would have seen both how completely devastated I was, but also, how my healing was progressing.

And most importantly, that I still actually really, truly loved him.


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Heavy loads

I have the most fabulous friend.

Well, many, actually!

But this legend, is English, a vet nurse, an incredible mum, married to a lovely English vet. Senior partner in a large veterinary practice.

As well as running a large lifestyle property, raising three truly wonderful young women (just turned 11-15) she is a totally fabulous cook, who also bakes unbelievably. Better than any posh cafe. She does small scale catering, makes amazing, rustic wedding cakes, and used to also work with me.

She’s had a REALLY tough year. Away from family, no chance of going home to deal with aging, ailing parents and parents in law, with our very hardline border control during Covid, her middle daughter, often remotely learning from home after a tough diagnosis of autism (high achieving family, but loving and accepting, there were so many nuances) her eldest daughter was diagnosed with an ovarian cyst at just 13. She’s recently had surgery, a really tough thing for a young, not sexually active woman.

Her husband just had a serious accident at work, large animal practice.

Last week, the youngest daughter inadvertently ran barefoot through an old bonfire and has burnt her feet. She’s been in hospital since. Heavily sedated. Just home today. Nearly amputated both feet.

This kid! In enormous pain. But sucking it up!

S is amazingly resilient, but this is an enormous helping at the shit sandwich buffet.

I asked her to be real with me. What would help most. I know she refuses help.

I’m currently making an enormous moussaka, shopping to also provide a Greek salad and good bread. Will also do a beef cheek casserole. They are every day at hospital, an hour plus away, next week. More debriding. Monitoring. Dressing changes.

Women are fucking incredible. We really are.


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Awkward!

Just been out to a wonderful dinner over on the coast with my two besties and another lovely old friend and her husband. We all race a horse together.

Just had to share this awkward moment!

My two besties always have my back. Other friend is also friends with Rog. They are still in touch, have been to his house, etc. She and Rog have history. They were fuck buddies for years. Rekindling it when I was (unknowingly) pregnant in the UK. So I am cautious around her.

Bestie S started to make a couple of very witty, but rude remarks about a photo we all saw of Rog and Trinket! Cringe. I don’t do that, so shut her down with a distraction. The old friend who is still friends with Rog giggled and shared that our trainer stated loudly after our first starter’s race the other day, “at least we beat Roger’s horse home!”

What?

The trainer?

I said, “what?” And J said, “oh, he knows the story. And was chuffed we beat your cheating ex’s horse!”

How bizarre?

But how sweet are they? Occasionally people see behind Mr Nice Guy’s facade.

It feels good to be seen. To have some understanding.


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We mustn’t blame the OW

Must we?

Because they were totally innocent.

The reality is, yes, our partners’ chose to lie and cheat. And no question – whether it was once, or one affair, or if you have a serial cheater – they chose to betray, disrespect, disregard, endanger the very person who loved and trusted them most.

But not for one minute do I forgive or excuse either Leanne or Trinket.

They both knew.

That I was unaware of them. That I was deeply committed to the man I have loved. My whole adult life. That I was still sexually active with my only lover ever.

So I relate to this comment. The OW are also culpable.

And low. So low.

Not sure how they sleep at night. I do know they have zero empathy. And an empty elevator shaft where their soul should be.


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Regrets. I have a few?

I think most betrayeds have read “Jacob’s letter,” at some point of the journey after their beloved’s affair(s) was (were) exposed.

It’s kind of a wishful thinking piece of bullshit.

They never regret. They never feel empathy for what they put the loyal partner through. Roger just galloped off, white knight, rescuing his damsel in distress. Dick deep in the merry widow.

The reason I post this today, is that recently, I have had several people who knew us – admired our close, loving, fun filled (but bloody hard working) relationship – try to tell me that he will have big regrets. That he really, truly loved only me. That he felt driven into Trinket’s arms (and …) because of what he did with Leanne.

I can see how simple it appears from the outside.

But they don’t know the ins and outs. Just how embedded his lying was. Decades of lies. Lies about things I asked him directly about.

Lies about women he fucked.

Lies about how he was waiting for me. That he supported my important academic journey, post infidelity. That he would DEFINITELY not look for sex, or other women unless we were BOTH sure we were done. I was sure I’d done everything. That I could start trusting him again. That he’d be open and honest about EVERYTHING, going forward.

The relationship counsellor we saw together, eventually, told me he was concerned. That Roger appeared very remorseful, but in fact had zero idea how badly he had damaged me, or any clue what he needed to do for me. He just wanted me to sweep it under the rug, forget about it, and be the easy, willing, enabling partner I used to be. He had no clue that he needed to make big changes.

Actually, I don’t think it was ignorance, it was laziness and a complete lack of care for me. My agony.

It was far easier to just find another, sweet, willing person. Boot me out for a new sap. A new chump. Nic told me that he had little ability for reflection. Hardly ever looked back, just charged forward.

Yeah. And still I thought the love I felt for him was reciprocated. That he’d understand. Feel compassion for how badly it hurt.

We empaths tend to think others are the same.

I’m brewing up a cold, and my Dad just informed me that my siater had a pretty big stroke last week. Need a cuddle.


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Grief. Part Eleventy-thirteen

Feels.

It never leaves. This grief.

I envy Trinket for her cheater dying.

But mostly, I feel so unsupported. Losing your lifetime friends and the inlaws because HE WAS A CHEATER, is so unjust. Yes, I accept those were obviously not my people. But it’s the opposite of what happens when a partner dies.

It’s the worst kind of grief.

Unsanctioned.

Unsupported.

Misunderstood.

The heartbreak is literal, and permanent.

As one commenter puts it…

When you are widowed you are supported by the community. I was abandoned by the people I thought were my community. Widows get flowers and condolence cards. Chumps get blame and vulgar suggestions that if only you were a better wife/husband you’d kept your man/woman. Widows usually know where their spouses are, chumps are left wondering where the hell that cheater might be. Widows get Life Insurance Policies. Many Chumps are left struggling financially. No wonder I have occasional funeral fantasies….

The lack of understanding of how much it hurts is damn hard.


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There are no real excuses for not understanding

This made me think today.

About loyalty. How those who can’t be arsed making a stand, turning up for friends when they’ve been severely betrayed, are apparently just clueless.

Nope.

They are actually just lazy. And curious.

Rubber neckers. Oooo. What did he trade her in for?

They don’t ever go, oh shit, that must be terrible. Imagine if my husband did that? Long term affair with a friend, in my children’s and my bed! Then pretended he loved me, while internet dating, and eventually throwing me away because he broke me. That must feel shitty. I can’t even imagine the utter heartbreak and unending disappointment. The feeling of failure.

I know! I’ll just make friends with the homewrecker! Woohoo! What a fun time all of this is!

Except for Paula. It’s not much fun for her.

I never thought of that.

Oh well. Never mind. My name’s not Paula.

Oooo. A shiny new trinket. Yay.


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Weekend musings

We had dinner up the coast yesterday with my dear friend, S and her (second) husband Who is also called “BG.” Was a funny Saturday. I thought I had planned to help my daughter choose some eyewear. But we had mixed up the days.

So, I did farm work instead, which was great. BG has a love of pruning, and a few weeks ago, he pruned my orchard with me. We threw the prunings over the fence, and my cattle chomped away happily. Yesterday, I stacked it up. Making a bonfire pile. It was bigger than I expected!

Then, I mowed some lawns, and had a shower, ready to drive over to BG’s, as we were expected about an hour up the coast at around 6pm.

Before I left my place, BG rang me and asked if I could do a run over to my nearby city. His kitchen ran out of chicken wings! “Can you please go and buy 50kg of chicken wings? And another big lot of your lemons, if you still have any to spare, please darling.”

Good lord! Yep. That took up my entire boot! The dogs and I travelled over with the air conditioning on max, me freaking out about food safety!

At 5.45pm, on our way up the coast, BG said, “guess who that is?” as we overtook a vehicle towing a boat.

I was flummoxed. What?

But he didn’t mean the boat, he was looking ahead at who we were now trailing, in an expensive European sports car.

It was his friend, Andy. So, we called him and critiqued his driving.

Which led to us calling into a craft brewery, for a quick beer before meeting S and ‘BG’ up the road.

S has been incredible to me. She was friends with Rog, but isn’t now. She understands the pain and suffering he caused. I love her for her loyalty. And all her myriad of other fabulous qualities!

She has been stunned at the disloyalty of some.

There are people who can’t understand why I can’t be friends with Roger. And why I loathe Trinket so much. Chump Lady’s link above, clarifies why.

But my very sensible friend, S, says, “what the actual fuck?! He abused you, lied, made you sick, fake apologised, and made it all your fault. And they want you to be FRIENDS with him??? FFS. That’s insane! I have NO idea how that woman holds her head up around your children. Such a bitch. To knowingly fuck around with an obviously partnered man. I’ll never get it.”

Yeah. That. I would be dying inside if I was that cunt. But of course, she truly believes Roger’s stories about me. About us. I was an awful person who deserved multiple cheating. And we were separated, right? So separated I was dying with the pain as I watched him fall in love with her, up front and personal, and got a legal order keeping her out of my houses, to try to stop the agony of her existence.

It’s absurd to respond to abuse with friendship.

They completely broke me. My strength was severely tested. My world fell apart. I desperately wanted to die.

And I have realised that only those with huge hearts, and mostly those who have dealt with divorce, death, been the victims of horrific crimes, are the ones who get it.

I don’t subscribe to what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. You can fall apart permanently. You can be strong without being tested so severely.

But it is true that those with the most empathy often have been through hell themselves.

“Most people think being cheated on is a rejection on par with not be invited to the prom. They chose another partner! You didn’t get a corsage! Get over it!” Thanks Chump Lady. She outlines the way few truly empathize with the agony and devastation. And the societal narrative that minimises. Those of us who have lived it would NEVER do this to someone else. I have friends who have suggested Trinket’s story of betrayal must be a fabrication because of how she did it to me. I don’t subscribe to that, rather, I think she didn’t learn to fix her picker. And obviously never loved like I did.

Anyway, it’s been a delightful weekend. I harvested a lot of basil. Made pesto. Gave some to friends.

Made basil and coconut sorbet, which was insanely good!

And had the first of our (BG and mine) heritage tomatoes.

S’s BG was funny last night. He started interrogating my BG about why he never married. And BG, in his typical way just said, “never the right person, in the right place, at the right time. I missed the boat somehow. Didn’t plan on it. Marriage and kids were wanted, but they didn’t happen.” Then he and the others started in on, just waiting for this girl, our lovely, clever, kind Paula. And they all beamed at me. Oh god. How to make a woman squirm with embarrassment. Ick. But man, I do love them ❤

We went on a huge adventure today, on my jetski. The longest trip we have taken on it. Three hours up the coast and back. It had been out of the water since lockdown in March, when we were not allowed to use watercraft here in NZ.

I have a great life. But I’m exhausted. With my blood work showing signs I could have some immune system weakness again, and my infections this week, I know I need to prioritise my health.


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Cheaters. Narcissism. Empathy.

My post about Mr Nice Guy got me thinking about Impression Management 101.

How most people who meet Rog immediately warm to him. And why his love bombing is so attractive.

Why a former betrayed wife felt it was just fine to shatter another loyal, loving woman, and her thirty years of dedication.

He’s not obvious. It’s not cloying. He has great banter. A quirky – appealing – sense of humour.

But, the reality is, he lacks character. When the chips are down, and you have to dig deep, he looks for an easy out.

Total lack of character. Did something heartbreaking. Then did it some more, for good measure. See how I liked those apples.

Refused counselling. Dismissing it as bollocks.

After all, as Chump Lady explains, “the act of cheating is narcissistic. You cannot cheat on someone without suppressing empathy for them. Lack of empathy is the hallmark of narcissists. Maybe they overflow with the milk of human kindness in the other parts of their lives, but cheaters lack connection and compassion for their chumps.

Moreover, you cannot cheat on someone without emotionally abusing them with lies, gaslighting, and blameshifting. It’s not what you think! I’m not having an affair! You’re crazy! To cheat on someone is to devalue them. Worse, cheaters turn it back on chumps and blame them for the abuse.”

He chose to cheat on and lie to a totally awesome chick. He broke me. I was the sacrifice. Totally disposable.

Because all women are.

His mother. Every woman he has slept with. Even his own sisters were.

This is who he is. And it’s incredibly disappointing.

And why I now examine every moment of my life, scrutinise everything and everyone. It means I live with intense anxiety.

We had a horrific thing happen at work today. Almost the full day dealing with an animal in severe anaphylaxis. Vets, techs, all trying desperately to save her, stop her thrashing from killing herself, or one of us. The lead vet eventually requested the owner that we euthanize. The client refused. I spent the day supporting traumatised staff, cancelling appointments with completely shitty clients (a medical emergency, sorry, we can’t scan your mare for pregnancy today, and they all felt their world had ended…) It was actually quite hellish. Far worse than my description makes it sound. And I have been running on suppressed anxiety all day. I ran around the region collecting specialised drugs off various practices. I’ve just been stood down late tonight, on standby to run up to Auckland for more specialised drugs. The animal was finally stabilised enough to transport to a specialist hospital, nine hours after her horror ordeal began.

Once upon a time, prior to my traumatic discard, I wouldn’t have batted an eyelid. Today was a kind of sensory hell that I battled to survive.

But I’m hella proud of our team. Every single one went above and beyond today, risking themselves, working late, supporting our employer as she led from the front, but we knew how much she was aching inside for the poor mare.

These days take an enormous emotional toll on me now.

I’m so changed from the capable, resilient girl I once was, when I believed I was loved. I can still pull it off, as a convincing front, but the pain I felt today was deep. I’ve been battling nausea, and my gut is so twisted.

I need sleep.