Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum


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So clever

It’s the ultimate mindfuck. You literally think you might be going insane.

So sneaky.

So clever.

To have someone who loves you very deeply convinced of how fabulous you are, when you’re really a shitty person.

And if my attention was elsewhere, he’d do something hurtful. Break something. Find a new woman to fuck. That kind of thing….

I’m fairly convinced he wasn’t even aware he did this. During our counselling, I started to realise how his behaviours were never examined by him. He never thought, “why did I do that,” about anything. Just quite selfish. I did it because it felt good.


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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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Telling your story

I was deeply ashamed.

Firstly, that I stayed.

After his affair. What kind of strong feminist, role model was I to my children if I stayed with a man who actively chose to hurt me every day? Who didn’t even care enough about their mother’s health, to roll a condom on when he fucked another woman?

I was embarrassed about staying. So weak.

Later, I was ashamed of him.

The man I chose. To love. To honour. To cherish. To breed with. To share my body and my life with.

So, I started to withdraw. From society. I wanted to become invisible.

I’m not an invisible kind of girl. I wear bright colours. I’m feisty. I stand up for injustice and against intolerance.

But, Roger’s affair with my so-called friend, made me ashamed.

I started blogging some time later. I had connected with a small handful of women, and read a lot of information and books about recovery from a partner’s infidelity. I started to feel safe with a select few, to tell my truth.

You can’t tell it out in the real world to many people. But I started to share it here, in the blogosphere.

Oh how it helped! Like unshouldering a heavy backpack. The shame shrunk, little by little.

I started to believe what I knew was true.

This was not my shame to bear.

It started me on a healing journey that was long and slow, but progress was happening.

Telling my story also eventually made it okay for me to do the kind of geographical research I did for my Masters, and for some postgrad papers. It meant I got to publish a chapter in an academic handbook. Things I would have never achieved had I not had to do the hard work of recovery.

Had I not become brave enough to tell my story.

I was thinking today that I should really thank Trinket.

For taking him out of my life.

Because he never believed in me. Even when I started achieving academically, it was better for him if I was beneath him. I did his cooking, cleaning, shopping, accounting, milking, feeding shearers, farm labouring….

There was such a power imbalance. I always knew it, felt it, but was given enough to make me think maybe he saw me as an equal.

So, those lovebirds down there, I wish I could just go, oh great. Good job. Be happy.

But I can’t.

Because I really loved that man.

He shouldn’t have been hers to take.

And it KILLS me thinking of him giving all that love – that I really believed was mine, all that charm, attention, touch all that incredible lovemaking – to that whore.

My stomach still aches, thinking about them together, all loved up. All smoochy and blissed up together.

Just like I used to be with him.

Anyway. It is what it is. I need sleep…


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Togetherness

https://wp.me/p76I6R-2ac

The WordPress app is being a dick lately about links, sorry ’bout it!

Spaghetti Sam writes in the above link, about the affair partners being “still together.” And the pain of the imagining.

She’s right of course. The exterior shininess is usually not the whole picture.

However, my traumatised brain still imagines that Rog and Trinket’s perfect honeymoon is neverending.

Part of the reason for this is, that I heard that Trinket’s dead cheater husband was a total prick, and Rog and I were very loved up, he’s good at this shit, so I know that he will look like a total prince in comparison. He is great with the love (bombing) and attention. Trinket thinks she won the total prize package.

And maybe they are the loves of each other’s lives? Maybe I was just a piece of detritus in their way to each other.

That sucks.

Because he told me, made me believe, that our love story was incredibly special. Apparently I was the love of his life. Of course! That’s why he cheated on me, lied and lived a secret life! Silly me. True love. Ain’t it grand???

It’s so much harder being left by someone you totally love, than someone you already know is a POS.

I’ve been thrown in the cement mixer. My emotions are all over the place. And I’m really upset at myself about it. There’s no one IRL that I can admit this to. So, the facade goes on. Roger’s messages, despite being all business, have tipped me over. And I thought I had healed from being affected by him. I sat last night, tired after no sleep, doing bank reconciliations, tweaking my business plan, and the tears ran freely.

I’m also mildly annoyed by BG. He was in a silly mood this weekend. Purposely prodding me, trying to get a rise out of me. Partly because it’s amusing (hmm, yeah, okay) and partly apparently “testing” me. Can you live with me if I’m annoying sometimes. I know he’s all about self sabotage. Having told himself that he’s obviously not good partner material, he’s out to prove it?

And we talked. About how it might look. How we can be fair.

And I am sitting, doing due diligence about intimacy. Because he really has got himself into a bit of a panic about it. I think he thinks if he spends too much time, he’ll lose his (very hard, very huge!) erection. He tends to rush a bit, is very “appreciative” of me, but never lingers. Never takes his time, as such. I have talked. I have found talking about my wants and desires, with someonewhoisntRog, really challenging. That has been super hard. I’m getting slightly better. But it is touchy stuff. To risk hurting an already sensitive man about his “technique,” etc. I mean, I love being with him. I love that he wants at me, with such urgency, mostly. And there is lots of cuddles and touch. But even our kissing is not quite…doesn’t have that level of passion…and there are some other big gaps, for me, in what he doesn’t seem able to give me. Ugh. It’s mostly delightful, what we have, and I’m so grateful for him, but can I live forever without some key elements? I never expected perfection. But how much do you compromise? I know I compromised everything for Rog. Look where that got me!

Then there is the fact that securing the final finance for the business is getting tricky. Challenging. I’m reasonably confident that I can throw it over the line, but it’s definitely stressful.

So, I am trying to forgive myself for letting Roger affect me. For the overflow. For the tears. For the emotional turmoil I feel about him. He’s the thing that I feel most upset about. And that really irks me. Because he shouldn’t matter.

I will never really get “over” him. The abuse. The lack of remorse. The fact that despite thirty years of deep, deep love, work, loyalty, and total commitment to him, that he tossed me aside for some stranger he’d been talking to online for three weeks. Using me as his plaything.

It’s a total mindfuck. A clear indication of having zero value to him.

I wish I could stop all the damn feels…


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A silly movie. And a huge heartache.

Last week, I went to my local cinema to watch a lighthearted piece of gooey fluff.

Dream Horse.

My town’s wee arthouse cinema was well frequented by Norm and myself. Date nights. Wine, a good movie, and a snuggle. They were very special nights for me.

As I made my way to my comfy couch style seat with my glass of wine, the couple in front of me turned and said, “oh, hey, thought it was you, Paula. Great to see you. How are you?!”

Ugh. People from my old life. My hometown. Really nice people, but it feels really weird.

My life has changed beyond recognition.

In fact, I walked down the street with BG in his beach resort town, dogs on leads, this weekend, and a couple Normy and I knew fairly well from our kids’ primary school (served on committees with, etc) walked right past me. I turned to say hi, but they were gone. Didn’t recognise me at all. With not-Rog, I am out of place. The context made no sense to them, because we were so good together, no one imagines we could have split up.

Those moments ache. So badly. My heart feels like it won’t cope. 💔

This couple at the movies, I always thought were a bit boring and straight-laced. They had big glasses of red wine and spent the whole movie snuggled into each other. His arm around her, her leaning into him intimately. Lots of caressing and obvious love.

I can’t tell you how watching a movie with an enormous lump in your throat, and weight on your chest is like. It was hellish.

That was us.

We used to be (or felt, to me at least) amazing. Lord, I loved him so much.

The movie itself was uplifting and light. A fun bit of fluff that included a very Welsh soundtrack, which I loved. The racing syndicate, on a bus, going to watch the horse they owned, that the protagonist bred in her allotment, singing along to Manic Street Preachers’ A Design for Life made me want to sing out loud, along with them.

I can feel those joyous moments again.

Thankfully!

But there is an edge. It’s not the pure, unadulterated (excuse the near pun) joy I lived with before he was exposed as a lying, cheating stranger.

Libraries gave us power
Then work came and made us free
What price now
For a shallow piece of dignityI wish I had a bottle
Right here in my dirty face
To wear the scars
To show from where I cameWe don’t talk about love
We only wanna get drunk
And we are not allowed to spend
As we are told that this is the endA design for life
A design for life
A design for life
A design for lifeI wish I had a bottle
Right here in my pretty face
To wear the scars
To show from where I cameWe don’t talk about love
We only wanna get drunk
And we are not allowed to spend
As we are told that this is the endA design for life
A design for life
A design for life
A design for lifeWe don’t talk about love
We only wanna get drunk
And we are not allowed to spend
As we are told that this is the endA design for life
A design for life
A design for life
A design for


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Adult kids and cheating fathers

I read an article about what I have observed. L’s kids are furious with their serial cheating father. She’s tried to encourage a relationship. But they are all PISSED that he preached honesty, while cheating on their mother.

Their cheating father thinks their mother has poisoned them against him. She definitely hasn’t.

I know this path.

My kids were pissed, too. The youngest the most. She refused to speak to Rog for a very long time.

These men, they think they do no harm.

I’m the daughter of a cheating man. I know the damage done. I neither love, nor respect my father. I actively avoided marriage, and relationships, to try to avoid the pain my mother experienced due to a liar, and a cheat.

I vetted Roger like hell! I talked to him about my past. I told him clearly that cheating was a deal breaker, and would break me. He’d been cheated on. I thought he knew. How bad it was. I thought I’d found my soulmate.

So, from the article…

KEY POINTS

  • Adult children may become distant or estranged from fathers who leave their moms.
  • Disruption in the father/adult child relationship is worse when he leaves for an affair partner.
  • Dads often attribute the disruption in their relationships with adult children to moms poisoning the adult child’s mind.

When Dave left his wife, he knew that she’d be terribly hurt but he never, in a million years, anticipated that his leaving would cause a catastrophe in his relationship with his 26-year-old daughter, Marianne. He’d always been close with Marianne and although he knew she’d be protective of her mom, he assumed he’d be able to talk to her and explain what had been going on and his motivation for leaving. He knew she’d understand.

He totally expected that their relationship would just continue pretty much as it had been. After all, she’s an adult. He even thought that she’d be happy for him that he’d found the true love of his life, Christy, in spite of the fact that he’d been involved with her when he was married to his wife.

But that was not the case. Dave was naive.

Marianne was devastated. She watched her mother suffer profoundly, curled up in bed in a dark room, crying and losing weight. She couldn’t believe that her father, who had taught her right from wrong (e.g. don’t lie), could have been living a secret life with Christy these past eight months, telling her he was away on business when he was really spending a romantic week at an exclusive country inn. Her mind could not compute that the father who was a known quantity to her—someone she could rely on when the world was confusing—was capable of that.

Although Marianne could see that her mom had been betrayed, she also felt personally betrayed and immediately allied with her mom, who desperately needed her support. There was no way that Marianne could connect with her dad without feeling disloyal to her mom. She felt trapped and although part of her really did want to reach out to him, she didn’t know how she could do that.

Meanwhile, Dave felt desperate, afraid that he was losing an identity that meant so much to him: being a father. He tried very hard to connect with Marianne but she blocked him. He would send texts and she wouldn’t answer. He’d send birthday gifts and she’d return them. He even suggested that they go to family therapy but she declined.

He didn’t know where to turn next. He assumed that her mother had turned her against him and although Marianne knew all the intimate details of the breakdown of the marriage, it was not only her mom who poisoned the well; Marianne had come to her own conclusion.

I struggle, to this day, with a woman like Trinket. To carry on, knowing I’d given him my all, that no matter what HE said, we had never had a conversation about ending things.

Lord. I wish he’d left me for Leanne. Saved me all of this extra pain…why put me through this if he was always gonna leave me??? Why did I stay?

Because I still truly loved him, and believed he was sorry.

Blinded by the love.

I just woke up from a dream. We have no contact, but in this dream, he came and we had lunch. He told me he thought I looked beautiful. That he was so proud of me for the way I have lived without him.

And that he was truly sorry. And had enormous regrets for all he did. That he’d fucked up a really good life, with a really good woman.

Dreams are SUCH bullshit!!!


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Triggered. Ugh

A lovely night. Lots of horse racing banter in the club with the fishing adjunct men. They keep me on my toes!

A woman I have known forever came in with her family. We met in the middle for a hug. Later, I went over to where they were sitting and had a wine and a lovely chat with her and her husband. They remarked on my new life. Was I happy? I look fantastic, and BG is a great guy, right? (They know him a little.)

I wobbled a little bit with my answer, the words were, “yes, I’m pretty happy, C, it’s a good life I am rebuilding, thanks so much.” But my lip wobbled, my voice too.

Ugh. Stupid emotions, go away!

C said she got it. That what happened to me shocked her. But that she had a very low opinion of Roger anyway.

And proceeded to tell me something my traumatised brain did not recall! She said she remembers the night Leanne texted me to tell me all about her affair with Rog.

What?

How did she know the night? Of the start of my own personal hell. Crazy shit.

She said, yes, it was L’s 40th. I’ve always liked you a lot. You never tried to fit in with those bitchy girls. Always vibrant hair, and THE BEST shoes. You kept out of that awful competitive, gossipy, spoilt wife scene. You were such a damn hard worker!

I remember talking to you that night, and you said something had happened, but that you thought it best I didn’t know. I pressed you, because you looked glazed. I thought you were drunk. (I definitely wasn’t, we had a 45 minute drive home, and I was designated driver, did not have a single drop of alcohol that night.) “When I realised you weren’t drunk, I knew something bad must have happened. You looked like you were in shock. Pale and robotic.”

Shit.

I don’t remember that.

I just remember getting the text, early in the night, and having to pretend everything was okay. Rog never noticed anything amiss! In fact, we were half an hour into the drive home when I said, “what have you been up to with Leanne?” And he said, “what do you mean? Leanne M? Nothing. Why?”

I leaned over with my phone, screen open at Leanne’s text from five or six hours’ earlier.

“I mean this.”

He leaned forward and bent over, head in his hands. “Oh shit, Snooks. I’m sorry. I fucked up so bad. I’ll pack a bag when we get home.”

Yeah, cool memories.

Anyway, C went on to explain that when she heard I stayed, she had huge admiration for me, but thought Rog didn’t deserve it. That he was a skeevy, sly cheating see you next Tuesday.

When C heard he did it again, with Trinket, and ran away from our town to be with her, she thought good riddance. Fuck off, you disgusting loser. Leave my girl Paula alone, you POS.

I got a bit wobbly again and said, “thanks C, anyway, that was that, I survived, here I am, and loving seeing you guys!” and changed the subject.

She circled back around a bit later. Turns out, C has no time for L, one of her neighbours, and the awful cheating second wife of Roger’s best mate. Nor J, my disloyal friend, who used to be good mates with C. She said same story as mine. Quietly, she withdrew from her, just too much of a try hard, trying to fit in with the vacuous moneyed crowd (C and her husband are pretty well off, self made, with no airs and graces.) Also another L and her husband. This L cheated on him and left him with their small children, for her AP some years ago. When the affair didn’t work out, she slid back to him. C says she’s a user, and he’s spineless and scared. Then A. A haughty, better than everyone princess. Lol. C really pulled the cool kids apart. It actually wasn’t bitchy. Just statements of what she has observed, and chosen to also step away from.

Whoah. All the gossip. All at once, lol. But she just underlined things I mostly already knew. These people are not my people anymore. They never really were. She was very kind, and very real. We talked about our old friend, J, and how saddened we both are to see how she is living. How spoilt and entitled her girls have grown up to be. It is sad. Anyway, not my circus!

She hugged me, said, “you’ve got a top guy there, Paula. He’s a good man, and obviously thinks the world of you! So glad you are doing okay. Think of you often, and what they put you through. It was truly horrific. You’re doing great, chick!”

BG and I went home, and ate my homekilled leg of lamb I’d popped in the oven before meeting him for an after work drink.

Relaxing, the TV went on. I was reading, but caught the gist of an old episode of The Walking Dead, that he was watching.

I’m not a fan, but BG is. It was the episode where the guy was trying to find drugs to give the last few doses of chemotherapy to his cancer stricken wife, heroically avoiding the zombies.

I died a bit inside, as the episode went on. I was kinda reading my biographical book, but silently angsting.

I moved house. After being left for another woman. I had cancer surgery less than three weeks later. For a cancer that one of the STIs Roger gave me caused. I did it all alone, while he and Trinket honeymooned. Seven weeks of radiotherapy followed. I WORKED right through my cancer treatment! Having a few hours off every morning, to get the treatment, then going to work afterwards for a few hours. To be honest, I was exhausted.

I did the whole damn thing stoic as all hell, just putting one foot in front of the other, every day.

Alone.

While he fucked his Trinket every which way, upside down, inside out. Blissed out, as my heart was completely broken. My body was showing the scars of his abuse.

I haven’t slept. I got up at 2.30am and quietly left BG sleeping. I’m home. Home in my sanctuary. My own bed. With both dogs curled up beside me. I feel awful. BG kept asking me if he’d done something wrong. I smiled at him and assured him that no, definitely not.

The triggers sure can hit hard, still. My bloods are still off, and I have a chest infection. Just gotta get through this shortened week, and hopefully things will settle down again.

Trauma never leaves us fully. It weaves its way into our present, no matter how hard we work to alleviate its worst effects.


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Overwhelmed

Or underwhelmed?

So much happening. So much not happening.

I’m sitting, observing people.

And people are bizarre.

I see people desperately trying to impress. People not really connecting the dots.

Even about themselves.

Especially about themselves.

I see people who carelessly ignore how their choices and actions affect those around them.

I’m disillusioned tonight. With humanity. With how superficial many are. It feels cruel. Mean.

But mostly it is just carelessness. People are shallow. Selfish.

Will talk more when I’ve processed more.

I’ve been hurt again by more rotten disloyalty. And I know there is nothing I can do about it. It’s just humans being shitty humans.

I’m loyal AF.

I’ve never understood, nor tolerated disloyalty well.

It’s a yucky space to be in right now.


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Frozen in fear

That’s me.

BG’s PA rang me at work. “Please call him, Paula. He needs you.”

Holy shit.

I knew something was up. No good morning beautiful, or motivational message this morning.

I did call him. He did pick up. He did downplay what is happening.

I asked if he’s okay.

“Yep.”

“Are you, really?”

“Yep.”

“I don’t think you are, really. I’m here. It’s okay to not be okay.”

“I’m okay. Shit to deal with. I’m a too emotional guy. Not your problem.”

“I love that you’re emotional. Not always the cool, calm, rational person making me out to be the emotional idiot. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed. Just know I am here. It is partly my problem when you are struggling with anything, now.”

Radio silence since.

We need to talk. He needs to start believing he can let me in, be supportive. His idea of masculinity is obviously a bit toxic. To him.

I get it. My walls are there, too. Hurt. He’s been through a lot. And work is super stressful right now. Staff letting him down a lot. He thinks it’s his fault. Because that is what he does. Blames himself for everything. His staff and regulars tell me he’s amazing. Supportive. Hard working. TOO hard working. He takes it very personally if anyone is unhappy.

Ick. I’m frozen in fear. So, not my problem, right? Ugh.