Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum


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There’s no going back

My friends have told me I’m back. The vibrant, sassy, kick arse girl I was before I pretzelled myself to be Roger’s perfect tool.

And another friend explained it this way…

Trying to get back to who we were before this trauma is futile. I read something recently that thinking we can be the same as before is unrealistic. We have been through hell and it has changed us. We will never be the same. That doesn’t mean we can’t have a good, even better life. No, it is not what we planned or thought our future would be.

So, my two beautiful friends – one divorced by a fuckwit seven years in, young, but now an incredibly successful woman, repartnered and young adult daughter with lovely second husband, and one married to first husband at 34, 4 kids, husband a very hard handful – both tell me I am back.

I can’t explain fully to them that I am completely changed. My ability to love and trust is in tatters. My belief in myself as a capable, loyal, kind, loving good judge of character is gone. Everything has anxiety and self doubt attached.

My heart is broken.

Glass like.

Ready to shatter again, at any time.

Once I had a love and it was a gas
Soon turned out her heart of glass
Seemed like the real thing, only to find much o’ mistrust
Love’s gone behind
Once I had a love and it was divine
Soon found out I was losing my mind
It seemed like the real thing but I was so blind
Much o’ mistrust
Love’s gone behind
In between what I find is pleasing and I’m feeling fine
Love is so confusing, there’s no peace of mind
If I fear I’m losing you
It’s just no good, you teasing like you do
Ooh, aah
Ooh, aah
Once I had a love and it was divine
Soon found out I was losing my mind
It seemed like the real thing but I was so blind
Much o’ mistrust
Love’s gone behind
Once I had a love and it was a gas
Soon turned out to be a pain in the ass
Seemed like the real thing, only to find much o’ mistrust
Love’s gone behind
Lost inside
Adorable illusion and I cannot hide
I’m the one you’re using please don’t push me aside
We coulda made it cruising yeah
It’s just no good, you teasing like you do
Ooh, aah
Ooh, aah
Ooh
Aah
Ooh
Aah
Ooh
Aah

People – including Trinket – were told that I am a bad person.

That I did multiple things wrong that apparently deserved being cheated on.

The reality is, I had some doubts after Roger kept cheating on me.

He’d done it from three weeks after meeting me.

When the long affair with Leanne, was exposed, when he spent a year and a half comparing and contrasting what a life with her, versus a life with me and the three children I birthed and raised for him, would be like (great, I never knew I was being measured for the job I already had…) I had no idea.

No say.

G says, I hate my husband sometimes. But no other woman is getting what I worked my arse off for. And she showed me a text from their 18year old, nerdy, good girl, school Head Girl daughter, saying, “Dad is being a cunt, as usual, ” I just felt so sad.

We were never like that.

We loved.

Or I did.

Life is fucked.


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Last sleep in

Our covid alert level slides down a notch, from level 4, to level 3 as of midnight tonight.

That means I can go home and rebubble. I will pack my bag, get the dog stuff in the car today, and leave here at 6am to get to work by 8.30am tomorrow morning.

Then home afterwards. Our new bubble will be my younger daughter, my flatmate, me. Possibly my daughter’s friend and her Mum.

Then it will be another fortnight, at least, before we can move about a little more freely if it slides down to level 2. No one should come or go during that period either. So, time for the barman to work some stuff out a bit, and me to decide if he’s really worth it. He woke this morning after a big night of sleep talking and sleep apnoea – and me being up between 2am and 4.30am, which isn’t unusual for me post Leanne – he cuddled into me and moaned, “oh shit, I’m gonna miss you so much. How will I sleep without you in my bed? It’s coming right, I can feel it.” Referring of course to the mental thing he’s dealing with about relationships, sex, apparently-not-me 🤣

I will still be mostly working from home.

And I’m ready to get home now. I have so much to do. And I miss my daughter, who is sick and has really struggled, especially once level 4 was extended a few more days. I have a big renovation to plan and get done before winter hits. I have firewood to split and stack. I have sheep to shear and bolus and cattle to bolus and drench. I have to find a farrier who will be able to fit my horse in after lockdown! They haven’t been allowed to work for five weeks, so will be playing catch up, as they are overbooked at the best of times!

And it makes me realise – which I have known all along – that whilst I am very, very fond of the lovely barman – even feel some level of love for him – the level of passion is quite some notches down from what Rog and I had. I HATED to be away from him for even one night.

Even after thirty years.

Even after he had a year and a half long affair in our homes, with our ‘friend.’

I can’t wait to get home.

BG wants us to move in together. That isn’t on my agenda at present. There are some things that need to be worked through, and I have a plan for me that is a medium term one. To secure my financial future.

I mean, I know I miss BG when we are apart. He’s a lovely, loving, sweet, fun man. But, it’s not the deep yearning I felt when Rog and I slept apart. Unpopular as it is to say after being discarded and replaced by a “better” model, Roger is the love of my life.

And he changed that only insofar as we cannot be together, because he chose that for us, I had no say in the matter. Hasn’t stopped me loving him, the him he used to be. But I have enough self esteem and preservation to know that he is a selfish coward, who did whatever the fuck felt good. And fuck me. My use to him was gone.

The man he is now is not my Norm. My Snooks. My bear. My Hunk Lummox. My love monkey. Etc.

I used to think that this article applied, in our case. That one day, Rog would regret what he did to me. To us.

After all, he told me (bullshit) that the times he planned on leaving me for Leanne, he knew I would flourish, and he’d meet me one day, all glamorous, confident, glowing, and be pissed at himself for letting the best girl get away. For throwing her away.

The crap I bought! Jesus.

BG and I don’t really have stupid cutesy names for each other.

Or I don’t, for him. We have fallen into generic ‘babe, baby, sweets.’ I get the odd Josephine or Molly Whoppy.

He doesn’t know Roger’s various nicknames for our kids, our dogs.

For me. Those, and many others, were ours. Should have never been recycled to use for Trinket. I will never utter them to another man.

BG’s been so loving of Roger’s huntaway (working sheep dog) whom I ended up with, who has been our other bubble mate here. She goes to him for lovin’ always looking at me for permission. She’s very fiercely My Dog for sure. But he has taught her some new commands, and she follows them, looking at me every time she does. Very loyal.

We both miss my little dog, sequestered down the island at my elder daughter’s, to help keep my girls sane.

I don’t think you ever get another proper shot at The One.

That said, I’m not settling for “nice” and “companionable.” There is more to life than that. I would actually rather be alone than a convenience. Nice. Life is to be lived. Not settled for.

Without the passion, the deep connection, that wonderful, wonderful bond, you just have to find a different way forward, somehow. You do that being very gentle with your heart, very aware of your damage.

Time to go home.


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Shrinking the elephant

We finally talked.

Or, I finally grew some balls.

We started a conversation – or rather, I finally did – about 90% of what is needed to be talked about.

Adulting is fucking hard.

It hasn’t solved the issue, of course, but at least we have shrunk the elephant in the room a bit.

Yesterday, I woke and after some serious snuggling, rearranged my lady balls a bit, and asked this question, “what do you think you were looking for when you were on the dating apps? Were you looking for something permanent, or more realistically, perhaps, as a guy who has been single a lot, was that more for hookups, sex?”

He was a bit … offended? Not really, but he said, “no. Hook ups are not that easy once you get past a certain age. Young women are kinda into them, but generally, older women are looking for more than that. And so are a lot of older guys. You know as well as I do that for some reason women and men see love and sex differently. Women still tend to put them together, and men still tend to be able to separate the two out. I didn’t expect any women in my demographic, 45-55, to be interested in hook ups. Casual sex. And that wasn’t/isn’t my thing anyway.”

I posited that younger women might be available if sex was the goal. And he replied that even if that was the case, younger women only want to fuck mid 50s and older guys if they have money, as a rule.

Yeah, fair point, I reckon.

Anyway, his reply was that he was looking for this.

For me.

Well played, sir.

Then, I ventured into more new territory.

“So, when I returned after just fucking off for nine months, why did you decide to give me another chance? I mean, we’d messaged a bit, and two very, very chaste dates? What made you give the weird, psycho, ghosting bitch another try?”

He looked at me and shrugged. “I dunno? You’re a bit of an enigma, I guess? A beautiful, stylish, well educated, funny, quirky woman who was obviously extremely hurt and vulnerable when we first met. I knew you weren’t ready, and was cool with that. I liked you. A whole lot. Our banter was good. And you seemed like you knew your own mind, so I trusted that you felt more healed when we cycled back around, I guess? I never stopped thinking about you, where you were, whether you were okay, whether you would ever get over what he did to you, all that shit.”

Again, answer is earning great Brownie points, dude 👍😜🤣

This morning, I have been awake again since 4am, and up with a cuppa. He stirred about an hour ago, found me and enticed me back to bed for snuggling. Tracing my left nipple sleepily, he asked his first direct question about my body.

“This one is a bit different to the right one, I like that.”

I answered, “yes, you can blame G (my son, the middle child) for that. I had terrible recurrent mastitis when breast feeding him, and at one terrible stage, he ate off three quarters of my left nipple. It’s healed, but is a different shape. Sorry about that.”

The serial apologiser gazed at me and said, “um, now you need to stop apologising! That is not something you need to apologise for! It’s amazing. A war wound. From being an amazing, resilient Mum, who put up with so much pain for her child to be nourished. I like it, it’s seriously attractive.”

Ugh.

Why is he so damn cute?

Anyway, that wee morning segue, meant I was bolstered to address that elephant later in the evening.

It was and is an awkward conversation. He took it well. I did expect that, but it is a hard thing to talk about. He felt bad, like he is letting me down, and we talked about how this lockdown has thrown a bit of a spanner/grenade into our nice “dating” life. No one was expecting us to be living together, sharing a two bedroom house with a large dog, at this stage of things. I was and am hyper aware of his workaholism, his attention to a million things. That is just fine with me. He is reworking budgets, planning what each level of covid-19 alert means to his business and staff. Hospo businesses the size of his are unlikely to be able to reopen when we go down to level 3, and how long it is before level 2 may be reached is uncertain. He’s worried about his staff. His members. All that jazz.

I have another life, too. Shoving ourselves in each other’s pockets was not part of anyone’s plan. That said, we are both super happy to have the blessing of this time together. He’s so sweet with my dog, spoils her rotten, I’m sure trying to bribe her, lol. She is super loyal to me, but has started looking to him as a pack leader/collaborator now, too. It’s so lovely to see her puppy dog eye him. We both knew it would be an interesting challenge.

A commitment of sorts. There was no running back home if we fell out. That would mean I was breaking the rules. And besides, my house has a different bubble. I can’t break into the quarantine bubble of my flatmate and her friend. Even if I wanted to return home, and I don’t, here at the halfway point.

It’s interesting. I know I have a really good thing going here. And I am incredibly grateful to the universe for that.

But.

There’s always a but.

For all the lovely. For all the blessings of someone delightful, kind, funny, loving, etc.

It is unbelievably different, and not what I wanted/’deserved’/hoped/planned for. We don’t have a lifetime of memories, shared friends, experiences. And I know that is just what it is. But, like Roger told me about Trinket. BG and I can never have what Rog and I had. Built together. A thirty year cache of mostly fantastic memories. A truly special bond and connection (yeah, we really did until he fucked it, I didn’t dream that, it was real.)

These were the things I pointed out to Roger that he burned, when he chose to get into bed with Leanne.

Then chose to continue to keep betraying me over and over and over.

Different is okay. But it adds to the grief.

Of all the things we lost in the fire.

Except he doesn’t feel any loss, because he Band-Aided over it all with a bland, suburban widow.

Papering over our life together completely. Deleting it from his hard drive.

Things we lost to the flames
Things we’ll never see again
All that we have amassed
Sits before us, shattered into ash
These are the things, the things we lost
The things we lost in the fire fire fire
These are the things, the things we lost
The things we lost in the fire fire fire
We sat and made a list
Of all the things that we had
Down the backs of table tops
Ticket stubs and your diaries
I read them all one day
When loneliness came and you were away
Oh they told me nothing new,
But I love to read the words you use
These are the things, the things we lost
The things we lost in the fire fire fire
These are the things, the things we lost
The things we lost in the fire fire fire
I was the match and you were the rock
Maybe we started this fire
We sat apart and watched
All we had burned on the pyre
(You said) we were born with nothing
And we sure as hell have nothing now
(You said) we were born with nothing
And we sure as hell have nothing now
These are the things, the things we lost
The things we lost in the fire fire fire
These are the things, the things we lost
The things we lost in the fire fire fire
Do you understand that we will never be the same again?
Do you understand that we will never be the same again?
The future’s in our hands and we will never be the same again
The future’s in our hands and we will never be the same again
These are the things, the things we lost
The things we lost in the fire fire fire
These are the things, the things we lost
The things we lost in the fire fire fire
These are the things, the things we lost
These are the things we lost in the fire fire fire
Flames – they licked the walls
Tenderly they turned to dust all that I adored


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Sexual trauma

One of the issues – and I believe in our society this affects women a bit more than men, due to social norms that linger regarding chastity and monogamy, especially for women – is the total trauma we betrayed experience due to our cheating partners.

For me, Roger was my one and only. The only man I had been sexual with. I trusted him do to the right thing, to protect my already sexually traumatised brain and body (brutal rape, failed sex with my first love) and to cherish my sexually adventurous spirit, but especially to take heed of my fears, and keep me sexually safe from outsiders.

Bringing sexually transmitted infections into my body was one of the worst aspects of his complete disregard for me, and my safety. I had no way of even protecting my PHYSICAL self, let alone my precariously fragile heart.

Hysterical bonding gave me false hope that I had weathered his terrible betrayal.

Then the sexual shutdown five years later freaked the hell out of me. Where had I gone? That vixen who loved some adventurous and vigorous sex? And soft and loving tender lovemaking? Would I ever recover my sexual identity???

As Don’t Lose Hope posted recently

Betrayal leads to trauma, and betrayal shatters trust.

And … after the explosion, when the shock wave has moved on, the radioactive fallout still contaminates our lives. We’re talking endless triggers, and PTSD.

And like lingering radiation, these create a serious threat. They taint and disrupt life, and they corrupt relationships.

And this radioactive fallout … it takes ages to disperse.

One area that’s affected – but less openly discussed – is how we view and feel about our sex life afterwards. Betrayal complicates this in so many different ways.

So, after having trusted just one man with my heart and my body, I was severely let down.

The trauma of that lingers. There was no way I was going to be able to “just go online” and hook up with random strangers, like Roger was able to. That was an absolutely horrific scenario for me. My heart is beating a million miles an hour just typing that. It was what he suggested to me.

To go online and meet someone, as I am apparently “much hotter than any of the women I have met online. Seriously, it’s pretty dire.”

Yay me.

What a winner I am, right? What a backhanded compliment!

So, sex.

Sex was a need. Or desperate want. But how was I ever going to let another man ever touch me, when the first who just gently kissed me, I ran from in rivers of tears for months?

I am lucky. Well, no, I worked damn hard on myself, and got a fuck ton of trauma counselling, at enormous expense. But however it happened, I have finally somewhat managed to overcome the terror and reclaim my sexuality. But it hasn’t been easy. It’s not the same as with someone who you have loved your entire adult life, who saw three people struggle their way out of “there,” that part of my body that is socially constructed as a pleasure zone, birth deconstructing those discourses so violently, even if only temporarily. How do you fully communicate to someone who has been doing things a bit differently, who has not been with one person long enough to fully work them out? I am mostly incredibly happy with what I have. How our sex life is. But, it is not the amazing and passionate intimacy forged over thirty years. That trust takes years. Decades even. There is still trauma, the size of a fully aroused BG still sends shivers that whilst pleasurable, also contain intense fear down my spine. And there are tons of not good enoughs.

And, I am cognizant of the fact that BG hasn’t got to 54 without scars of his own. He says there are many relationships he feels he failed. Not that the relationship failed, but that HE did.

And, when he finally felt like he’d found “the one,” in his mid to late 40s, and he bent over backwards for a very beautiful, but very selfish woman, who he feels he was never good enough for, that also failed. Despite his best efforts. Despite knowing her cheating and lying was her shit, not his. It hurts. You internalise the message that no matter how hard you tried for the person you adored, you were cast aside like rubbish. All your efforts were in vain. YOU failed.

That is actually massive trauma, and all the self talk in the world doesn’t cancel it out. You learn to weave it into the fabric, to allow yourself the grief and the fear, and do it anyway.

Fuck, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, to try to allow someone else to hold my (broken) heart at least a little bit…💔