Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum


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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.


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Ducks

It’s opening weekend of the duck hunting season this weekend. It was a big weekend for over thirty years of my life. Baking, prepping some food, in the early years, and back then, Norm would hunt every evening for two months. Every weekend morning, some during the week too. He was obsessed.

I was a duck widow.

Thankfully none of that now. BG has friends who partake, and one year we went to a friend’s maimai, for afternoon drinks.

Norm’s crew have had a steady core of four, forever. His two best mates, and one of their brothers. There have been others come and go.

Since we sold the farm, where the duck pond and main maimai were, they built a new one.

On my former best friend’s farm 😱🤦‍♀️😪

Anyway, that is weird.

And one of the wives, the longest running partner of the lot of them, by a year, then me, has asked me if we can catch up this weekend.

Naw. She’s sweet! Knowing it is a big trigger, we’re gonna spend Saturday afternoon at my place. She wants to see my new ensuite and powder room. I know she is subtly letting me know she is thinking of me. Us two were the originals. Yeah. There’s an ache. But I am so grateful to her.

I just got my first ever new carpet in an existing house, laid in my bedroom today. Am moving furniture back in. Woohoo! This place is really coming together now.

I also just made a batch of divine lime, chili and feijoa chutney. All homegrown ingredients.

Trying to destress. That Holmes and Rahe scale score of 923 is concerning me. BG thinks I am a chill chick, who doesn’t absorb stress.

Unfortunately, this is a result of being betrayed. I appear resilient, healed, chill. But the vast majority of my stress is hidden. My bottom lip is swollen and crusty with four cold sores, and I’m exhausted and feel like 💩. Trying to find ways to manage my stressors better.

I’ve already had cancer and a heart condition, and I’m a wee way off 55 yet. The age my mother died so suddenly. It was not from a stress cause, but I am mindful, nevertheless.

Just booked another cervical smear, as the last one had some changes AGAIN. I’ve been dealing with abnormal cervical smear results now (from the HPV I no longer have, but that I tested positive for) since 2009. It gets old…so over it


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Tell your story

There is a whole societal narrative that says you shouldn’t talk about being cheated on.

That makes you the bitter bunny.

I talked. I tell people my truth.

Not like the initial occasional emotional vomiting.

Not at all. I tell the cliff notes version of the truth. I loved a man for a very long time. He cheated. I tried hard. He cheated again. He left for Sparkle Pussy. I got sick because of his cheating. It’s been heartbreakingly hard.

“When you knew, I hope after disclosure, you dumped him. I hope you tell people WHY you dumped him. Same with your ex. If we want to challenge the Holy Right to Jizz Without Consequence, we have to talk about it.


Oh, they don’t want to be shamed? You don’t want gonorrhea. They can fuck right off.”

Thanks, Chump Lady.

One of my staunchest supporters messaged me late last night. She held my hand through this. Her husband cheated around the same time Roger did (the first time I knew he was a cheater – Leanne.) They are still together. She is an old classmate and friend of Roger’s. But steadfast beside me. “You’re such a gem, Paula. Funny, sexy, loyal and loving. He’s an arse who never deserved your class, commitment and style.” I didn’t tell many people when I had cancer. But C was there for me. We walked the dogs at the dog park together every Friday throughout my radiotherapy. And for the first years of my new singledom. They have a bach at the same beach BG lives at. So we catch up there, regularly too.

C has just been diagnosed with aggressive melanoma.

And it has spread.

They are operating on Wednesday. It’s pretty serious. This delightful bundle of love, is really, really scared. Lots of tears. She reached out to me, a cancer survivor, knowing I know how she feels. I feel sick with worry.

But positive. She’s got this!

Oh man. I really, really hope she has. She’s a mess.


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Movie night

Went to the movies after doing my first grocery shop in two months.

Saw Bergman Island.

The kind of movie Rog and I would both enjoy.

It’s hard, I’m good on my own, but we used to be such a good team.

And, got all my budgets and business plan sorted for tomorrow morning’s bank meeting. A tad nervous. Wondering what I’ve missed.

Mowed lawns, weeded gardens, and have bad period cramps tonight. Have come to bed early, with a hot water bottle on my abdomen, really tired and sore.

Bit stink I can’t spend my few days’ leave with the barman, with his dose of Covid meaning he’s in isolation.

His community have rallied. One of his lovely office administrators looked out for him today. Paige brought him coffee, delivered contactlessly twice during the day, and his head chef, who lives next door to him, asked over the fence if he could get him some groceries. Which he did. Nawww.

Tonight, the local doctor phoned him to check on him. How sweet is that?

BG is one of those people. He looks out for others’ welfare. Anyone of his members needs help, he sorts some. Personally drives older people over the hill to the bigger town for medical appointments, gets meals or groceries delivered to them, etc. He’s a funny bugger. Doesn’t take any shit, but would give you the shirt off his back.

I’m so pleased he’s getting cared for. It’s shit being apart right now, not being able to care for him in person. But I’m delighted his people are looking out for him. Proves that they know who he is. A guy with a big heart.

He’s also brightened up after his initial disappointment. Has enough staff to reopen tomorrow, and is enjoying the opportunity to work productively from home, not being interrupted by operational issues.

I have noticed this about him. He gets very upset, then picks homself up quickly, brimming with a positive attitude.

It’s refreshing. To see someone with this resilience. He video chatted today after I came in from some chainsaw work and stacking firewood. All perky and feeling productive.

I miss him.

But, I’ve booked an ebike overnighter tomorrow on the cycle trail between our two locations. My youngest is gonna come and keep me company. Looking forward to it, and the luxury accommodation and gourmet dinner to go with it.

Treat yourself! A reward for a big week at work, and in my new venture.

I still wonder what he thinks, the man who I shared my everything with.

About me. About where I am in my life. About what I’m doing.

Which is stupid, because he never thought about me, or my hopes and dreams when we were together! Why on earth would he now? 🤣😂

Today, his best mate’s sister-in-law and I were chatting. Planning a catch up over here. She likes coming to my town to shop, and wants to come over to buy a dress for her husband’s 60th birthday party. She’s one of my staunchest supporters from the old life. My caring friend, the person I called first and met her for coffee when I found out about Trinket, who told me to run, that “he’s just no good, Paula. Can’t believe he’s done this again to you. Don’t you dare look back. Run now. He’s not worth it.”

She made me dinner, delivered it, joining me, and also left me soup and sourdough, on the day I moved here. She’s quietly observed the shit show. And equally as quietly chosen to stand with me. I am so lucky to have her. Can’t wait to go shopping with her.

And also can’t wait to see them for the party. So grateful for the old friends who saw what really happened, and stayed by my side 💕


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Holding off

I haven’t posted about this today.

But today is four years since he drove out of my life forever.

My cat, my little dog, and myself, stayed at my darling friend, L’s. She had the biggest, fluffiest bed made up for us, and cooked me a beautiful meal. I was exhausted. Moving all my stuff, and doing ALL the cleaning as Roger just drove away…leaving one of his working dogs. I scrambled, thinking how I could overnight her as she was obviously mine now…

I politely picked at the food that night. Eighteen kgs lighter than seven months earlier, before I knew he was cheating on me again. I was too heartbroken to eat. For two years.

Thankful for her steadfast friendship. She held me when I was slipping off into the abyss.

And continues to do so, as I do her, as her husband did the same to her, two years later.

Precious, precious gift of friendship.

Yesterday, I got an invitation to an old friend’s 60th birthday.

It’s Roger’s best mate’s brother. His wife is a dear, loyal friend of mine. She cooked me dinner and made soup, the day I moved into my new home. She’s been incredibly loyal to me, whilst putting up with Trinket as my replacement. Disgusted by her.

The invitation didn’t come from her, rather him.

And that means the world to me. I love them both, but understand his connection with Rog. To think he invited me is really special.

Today, he sent me a message saying, “if the boyfriend is still around, please bring him along, too.”

He’s a man of few words.

But that meant so much. A silent, Paula, we love you, we love seeing you, we want your new man to be a part of our lives too.

Of course, cuntface will be there with Rog.

But fuck them. I’m going. I hold my head high amongst lying, cheating whores.


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Into another long weekend like

I went to my home town and had a glass of champagne and a chat with a girlfriend last night.

Fridays. Exhale.

K is a nurse, and mother of two young high schoolers, who runs an appearance medicine clinic from home, and lasers my facial hair (chin.) PCOS is a fun condition!

She (the second, younger wife) and her lovely, hard working husband (his first wife was really hard work, he knocked her up, a single mum of one, during a ONS when he was a very young man, travelling in the UK, and “did the right thing” in marrying her, and bringing her and her daughter to NZ. They have two adult sons together, as well) sharemilk for an old friend of ours. And bought some land next door some years ago. They have just built their dream home on it, and moved in. Including a purpose built treatment room. So exciting! She gave me the tour of their new baby after she’d zapped my face, champagne flutes in hand.

During the tour, she asked me what was new in my life. So I told her about my new business venture. I haven’t told many.

She was so excited! It was wonderful. Because I have been working on this for months, and probably felt a bit jaded by the time I signed the contract! Excited was fabulous. She hugged me hard, squealing “OMG! Congratulations! I never saw this coming. You’re such a badass, Paula! I’m so, so proud of you!”

We talked a lot. They shared the exciting news that they are about to become grandparents! K’s husband’s eldest (30) and his wife, are having a baby in July.

Three and a half hours later, I left to come home, my cup overflowing with her love.

She talked about our mutual friend, J. My bestie since I was 10 years old. The woman who lost her just teenaged son almost three years ago to a tragic boating accident. K lives pretty much across the road from her. She is a good friend to her, and has been very upset that J “friended” Trinket on Facebook all those months ago. I said, “yeah, that was incredibly hurtful, I never said a word, because I know she doesn’t understand.”

K said, “we both know that J is a sweetheart really, but spreads herself a bit thin. She just collects FB friends like stamps. It isn’t personal. She is oblivious, because she sees you having quietly survived cancer, with such fierceness and dignity, with a new life, a fabulous new partner, and checks a mental box. Phew, Paula’s okay, tick! Therefore nothing bad happened. She can’t grasp how painful, how permanent, what those bastards did to you is.”

I was speechless. My lip wobbled. Fuck. Someone who gets it! We hugged.

Thank you, K 💜.

As I was leaving, and she walked me out to my car, she thanked me for the housewarming gifts – a house plant and the champagne I bought as extra to the one we shared with her husband. And said, “there’s a black hole where that man you loved once was. He has dead, shark eyes. He’s an empty soul. I can’t believe who he turned into. You’re a good person, Paula, who never deserved all he dished out, all the grief he has caused. I see its permanence in you. I tried to explain it to J once. She can’t see it. Death is the only allowable grief, you know. Some people can’t empathise really. I think you’re brave, strong, sad, but incredibly vibrant and loving. Keep it up, it’s inspiring.”

Wow. I’m so humbled.

These types of friends hold me up. I am SOOOO grateful for their love and support.

I got home, snuggled into bed, and BG called for a video chat. He was all “up” and excited. His mate’s partner had turned up at his house, and they’d shared a bottle of prosecco I’d left in the fridge. Rach’s partner, Spud, is a art/commercial photographer, and he had an evening beach photo shoot happening. Rach is all excited about my new project, and invited us to their beach digs tomorrow night, to stay. They stay the next bay south. Sounds like a plan! Love these people! Liver, prepare!

The last long weekend of the summer. I’ve got to finalise some lighting, then the bathroom project that has lasted forever, will have all the ‘choosing’ completed! It’s been a damn marathon, and we’ve hit supply issues about some finishing touches. A small ensuite and powder room has cost $$$$$ and was started last June! I’ve been living with the building clutter for almost nine months! This morning, I will finish relocating some stuff from a standing robe in my room, move that up to the barn loft, where my brother is living, to hang his business suits and shirts, and finally sort the furniture placement in my bedroom. It’s been crammed in, and I’ve been pondering how to place things, with a hole (door with a cavity slider) in the perviously long wall, to the ensuite, taking up where my large chest of drawers and enormous, framed, full length mirror used to be.

I just need a tall hat stand, and I think I have it all worked out!

Then, off to the beach.

I’m so lucky. And I appreciate it all.


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Getting old is not for the faint hearted. Neither is being their kid.

My (our) friend Bella has aging parents who are struggling. Late 80s/early 90s, in decline.

Quite wealthy. 7 privately educated, wealthy kids.

Her father is a bit of a prick really. Been in and out of hospital for months. Bella lives 45 minutes away. She is CEO of an incorporated association. It’s a busy job.

She’s the sixth child and she’s been doing most of the care. The siblings are spread about the globe, but are on the same page. They organised a group of in home carers, as the parents (mostly prick dad) refused to consider residential care. I mean, these are wealthy people, with wealthy children who can get lovely care in nice places.

Dad sacked the help before Christmas.

Ugh.

So then mum got hospitalised again. Dad has been in and out a lot lately.

Anyway, mum has terminal cancer, and dad has been in and out twice in last few weeks. She’s exhausted.

Dad still refusing help. So has come home to Bella’s.

I called again this morning. What do you need? What can I do? Can I cook for you, bring groceries, feed horses?

I said, “I’ll bring dinner this week.”

Her reply was, “I just need a gin and a chat.”

I’ll be there after work Weds. With gin, lemons, and dinner.

There are Switzerland friends, and good peeps. She’s both.

I know a lot of people who say get rid of those who are still in touch with your abuser. But this person is a good person. She was always a bit in love with Rog. They have been fuck buddies at two different periods of life. I get it.  She also has understood, and expressed her deep disappointment in him. She plays nice. It’s easier when he lives so far away.

It does hurt that she is still in touch. But that’s her movie. Ours is still a good one. I don’t watch the other one she stars in anymore.

I know she knows who he is, and what Trinket did. She is dismissive of her.


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FIGJAM. Again.

Just a small moment of how fabulous are my people, guys?

Yesterday, I had a meeting with the representative of the franchisor I am dealing with – Hilary – regarding setting up my new business. I got some great news from them. Things are going to take a little patience, but it means I have more time to get my ducks in a row.

As we were about to sign out of our zoom meeting, Hilary said, “oh hang on Paula, you still there? I just wanted to say that in the 20+ years I have been doing this, your referees were some of the best I have ever talked to.”

I laughed and said, “thanks Hilary. Of course I chose people who were going to say good things about me!”

She replied with, “yes. But everyone does. These were warm, felt really genuine, and they both separately said some really wonderful things about you.”

Naw. How damn lucky am I?

I chose two people I knew are eloquent, successful, and who care about me – one who posted the terrible photo of Rog and Trinket recently, lol – but doesn’t everyone choose people you hope will blow smoke up your arse?

So blessed.


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Tough

BG just called me, driving back to his town from a nearby city to us both. He was bored without my company. So went over there, to get out of Dodge, and buy a new phone.

He was quite angry sounding. A bit of a political rant. I know where that came from. Frustration. I think the whole country has had enough. We are now being held to ransom by the inadequate investment by successive governments in our health system. If Delta goes rogue, we can’t cope. Late to receive our supposed early secured vaccine, we had a year without Covid and probably got a bit complacent, tbh. He can’t run his business this way. It’s awful, he is hating it. Supposed to be rebuilding, redesigning the spaces, and implementing a new vision instead, he’s ambulance at the bottom of the cliff. He rang annoyed at yet another staff member not showing up for their shift. He’s headed back to cover for that staff member. Always working.

And he said, he’s really on the edge. Ready to walk away. But feels he can’t, and keep me. I told him that if he wants to walk away from me, that’s fine, but he was being rash. Then he admitted he feels he can’t leave, and stay with me, because I need someone reliable, earning, not a drain.

The funny thing is, he would never be a drain. He’d pull his weight. He doesn’t get that you have ups and downs. That the support of a partner makes that decision a possibility. At 56, he doesn’t have to do it all anymore. I will share. I know he’d do that for me. Gendered assumptions are at play. I know that.

I’ve had a busy day. Started out with a trip to pick up three new queens, my hives need a new genetic injection.

Yesterday I spent two hours doing the click and collect shopping I needed. No pick ups for 24 hours. Ugh. Farm supplies. Hardware store. Groceries. I spent two hours contactlessly picking those orders up. Then realised the things I needed, that didn’t get included. I hate online shopping for these things. I usually see the things I need in store.

Home. Cleaning up my hives. Sorting a third hive, considering a split, perusing Facebook to see if there are any local swarms to collect (free bees!!!) Relaxing, noticing my mother’s wee rose is the first to bloom this spring

I’ve carted this wee cutie around three properties since she died. It’s still in the same pot!!! Twenty years later. Crazy.

I hate it. It’s a little bit lonely. I never feel lonely. I know it is missing being with BG. He’s struggling. I thought it was just me.

Then a long conversation with Roger’s best mate’s brother’s wife. A darling old friend. The first person I ran to when I discovered he was cheating again. Probably hoping she’d tell me it would be okay, he was having a(nother?) moment.

Instead, she shook her head and said, “oh Paula. He’s no good mate. You can’t stay again. He is a serial cheater. You are better than this. Better than him. Don’t devalue yourself again. Fucker. That utter prick.”

Today, she was asking about the kids. And my now stalled renovation. No building imspectors until Level 2. The builders can do no more until then. She’s a teacher. An amazing teacher.

And has resigned, effective end of this school year. A long, long career. She taught at my secondary school as a new teacher in my final year. She will be missed.

Then she asked some questions about how I helped my youngest daughter, gifting her a large sum, to make sure she qualified for a mortgage. Ick. I handled it well. Just truth, without mentioning money. She’s a good chick. I trust her. She is enmeshed in Roger’s oldest friend group.

But has been Team Paula all the way. She cooked me dinner the night I moved here. And left extra soup, and huge hugs.

While her husband helped Roger move to Trinket. She has always been quietly disgusted in what he did.

I’m so grateful for her genuine friendship. We had planned a catch up the day after I went into lockdown. We catch up regularly. I love her.

And miss all my peeps whom I can’t see right now. Everyone who is important to me, except my youngest daughter, is outside of this lockdown zone. Ugh.


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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.