Where I am, right now.


We’ve been back in reality for a while now. Back in the place where it all happened. Sitting in front of the computer where I first discovered the betrayal, the email that changed my life. Sleeping in the same bed that held so man sleepless nights. Sitting on the chairs out the back, without him. It’s so hard. It’s hard looking at photographs of my husband. It’s hard talking to him. It’s hard seeing him on Skype. It’s hard watching him watch Bo from another place in the world. It’s hard knowing that even though he is hurting, he’s back in his home town, doing what he’s always done. Hanging out with his friends. Surfing. Napping. Playing. He’s living his life, without us, and even though that was my call, it’s still hard.

He says he wants us back. He says he wants to fight for us… but I can no longer believe anything he says. His words fall on my ears and the bile in my gut rises. My walls are up, and I’m very much in self-preservation mode. Protect, protect, protect. For myself and for Bo. It’s hard. Because I love him. It’s hard because when I hear his voice falter on the other end of the line. When I hear his words and I feel his pain, I want to comfort him. But I can’t. Giving him comfort is no longer my responsibility.

Living without the love that I thought I would have for the rest of my life puts a little stain on my every day life. It’s dark and it’s putrid and it’s not something I can shift so easily.There are reminders everywhere. The discarded sandals by the garage door. The folded shirts in my cupboard. The little sparkle in Bo’s eyes when she laughs. They are all his.

There aren’t many hours of the day that I get to think without my mama-hat on. There are few hours I get to myself, just to be with what has happened in my world. What has happened to me. It’s hard to think about it all without first thinking of Bo. Because I always think of her first. She’s always my number one. That’s the beauty of being a mother. That unconditional love that changes us.That makes us selfless. That makes us understand humanity in a way that only a mother can. One who has bore the life of another.

But when I do think about my life in terms of me the person, not me the wife or me the mother, I find am more confused than ever. I used to have the biggest goals and I used to dream the wildest dreams for myself. And now, after a few failed relationships. After being disrespected and downtrodden I seem to have lost my way a bit.

Some of you have emailed asking me how I am. Because I seem to have it all together. I’m surprised I seem that way. Because I do not in any way, shape or form have-it-all-together. I live in a forever shifting mindset. I am forever bouncing between what-the-hell-am-I-doing-here, my inner voice that tells me to grow a pair, harden up and get on with it and my inner adventurer who want is to pack up Bo and I and move to central America, or Africa, or Laos, or backpack through Mongolia… all of which are possible (and some of which are even likely, but not in the next six months). And then it gets to night time, and I’m still in my pajama pants, I’m exhausted, my skins a mess, I have bags hanging down past my chin (and come-on man, don’t I have enough baggage already) and I can’t even remember if I’ve had a chance to shower or not today… and I realise… right now, we are stuck in survival mode. And that has to be OK, cos it’s where I am and even though I feel like I’m not moving forward, at least I’m not moving backward… even though sometimes it feels like I am.

Right now I’m trying to focus on little goals. On building Inked. On being the best mother I can be for my beautiful child. On finishing my Masters degree. On the beauty in our every day life. On healing my bruised soul. On finding peace, even if it is fleeting. I’m trying to focus, but often my vision feels blurred.

I am at a crossroads. I am searching for direction and inspiration and motivation… and I know I’ll find it, somewhere in all this mess… but first, I should probably attempt to find a pair of jeans that is not caked in baby-food and fingerprints…



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  • January 12, 2013 - 11:46 am

    Vickie van der Linden - Darling…………… when there is a fork in the road TAKE IT! <3ReplyCancel

  • January 12, 2013 - 11:48 am

    Bettina - You are doing so well. What are you studying your masters on? Stay strong Mama. XReplyCancel

  • January 12, 2013 - 12:50 pm

    Erica - yes, come to africa! we can be friends. i know too well the pain you are feeling. i can’t say if there ever really is an end to it. but i’ve learned to find happiness in what i have, and to try to look to the future rather than the past.ReplyCancel

  • January 14, 2013 - 12:07 pm

    Jam Panther - Offered:
    1. without any judgement or criticism intended;
    2. in the hope of suggesting an alternative approach to your current situation; and
    3. with love:
    Considering your commitment to “the unbeaten path” (see banner, above) I wonder how much your present pain is linked to your unexpected (to me, anyway) commitment to the beaten-to-death path of Christian sexual conventions like monogamy, marriage, and sexual fidelity. A creative woman like you, suffering because of her (perhaps unexamined) attachment to social rules she had no part in making (instead of using her incredibly fertile imagination to invent her own responses to her life’s events) seems to me to be a cause for sorrow far greater than one fallible human transgressing rules based on extremely unrealistic expectations of human behaviour. Have you never transgressed these rules? I’m not suggesting you forgive Ni, or invite him back into your life (though Bo will want to know him, I am sure, so he will never be completely out of it); I’m suggesting that if you can’t forgive him or re-connect with him, it should be because finding a way of doing so defeats your imagination, not because white, middle class Australia is roaring through your limbic system. If you can imagine a way to forgive me for being so insensitive as to suggest you might transcend your sadness with creative thought, surely you (especially you) can imagine a way to renegotiate your future with a person you once thought (and appear to still think) so much of. You might even owe it to yourself to try. But it’s your story. Don’t let someone else (including me) write it for you.
    Yours, affectionately (and parenthetically)

    • January 14, 2013 - 3:03 pm

      Sash - Jam, you know I love you… even if this did rub me the wrong way a little… and I do both see and appreciate your point. I’ll leave it for food for thought right now and wish that you and I were closer in space so that we could sit, over a beer and discuss the many intricacies of this that are not for public consumption. Then maybe your advice would be different? Or maybe it wouldn’t be… either way, I’d like to know. xoxReplyCancel

      • January 15, 2013 - 8:38 am

        Jam Panther - Dearest Sash

        It’s a different day, so I dare say my advice would be different, even without discussion. I certainly regret splitting that infinitive! I’d love it if we were closer in space, even without beer. Okay, maybe not without beer.

        Obviously I don’t know all the NFPC intricacies. And it sucks hairy arse to be cheated on. I mean, it’s devastating to have your trust abused. But, by way of (incomplete) explanation, it struck me that of the many public expressions of support I’ve seen in response to your public expressions of pain, none have suggested that you forgive Ni (saw your minor edit, took the hint) and I wondered about the reason for the absence of such a suggestion. I thought it might be a matter of convention.

        Sometimes it can be useful to think about how our responses to things can be conditioned by our culture, by values we’ve absorbed without noticing, and about how we’d respond if we had different values. I often think my own fidelity obsession is an expression of a value I really don’t want to have: the idea that another person can be owned or controlled. I think about how I might banish that idea. It’s pretty deeply rooted, though.

        You know me, so you know what a rabid patriarchy-blamer I am: it’s not as if I’m advocating allowing yourself to be mistreated. On another day I might have suggested ripping his nuts off. However, it occurred to me that just one suggestion that forgiveness might be possible, might even be permissible, could be worth having. Just as contrast, y’know.

        I might have got carried away with the unconventional, experimental beauty of such a course of action. I’m on a bit of an imaginative-engagement-with-the-world kick at the moment. But you said you were searching for direction, inspiration and motivation, so I thought I’d offer something from outside the box.

        Meanwhile, I’m very impressed by your circumspection and restraint. I fully expected to have my nuts ripped off!

        Love and love

        p.s. Regret over finishing a sentence with a preposition is on the programme for tomorrow…ReplyCancel

        • January 15, 2013 - 11:55 am

          Sash - Love you Jam. And I’ve been thinking a LOT about what you wrote yesterday… I think that we are absolutely conditioned by culture, and as out-of-the-box I am, I am still defined by the culture that I was raised in. There are things that I have been conditioned to believe are important that I will never be able to let go of… and others that I do not care for. I have had a lot of expressions similar (not quite as dramatic, perhaps) that urged me to ensure the decisions I make are mine, that forgiveness is always an option – but these expressions have (mostly) all come privately via email… maybe there is something in that too?

          I don’t think fidelity is about controlling or owning someone, at least it certainly isn’t in my world. I think it’s a matter of respect. Of making an agreement with another person and respecting the emotional stronghold that your behaviour has on that other person. I have no issue with relationships where sexual fidelity is not part of the arrangement… but that is not a relationship I want to be in. Fidelity and monogamy are (for me) very important, and whether those are a direct reflection of my cultural conditioning is perhaps to be seen. Either way, it’s not something I’m ready to let go of, and I doubt I ever will…

          Biggest love to you. I grew out of nut-ripping-off-feelings a few years ago… and I’m always ALWAYS open to being encouraged to explore the unconventional. Beer (or other acceptable alcoholic beverage) is always preferable when discussing matters of the heart…

          PS. Just come back to Perth for a week… we have a bed for you this time, you won’t even have to share with me… 🙂ReplyCancel

          • January 17, 2013 - 6:33 am

            Jam Panther - Ack! I *can’t* come to Perth just now, but I *will* write emails about this in future. Still getting the hang of what is public and and what is private when it comes to the blogosphere. Maybe you could do a post on that…

  • January 14, 2013 - 8:36 pm

    Claudia - hello there. coming through the 52 project. just a few words of encouragement from this end. having been where you are now (minus the baby), hang in there. take it one day at a time. i know, so cliche but so true. i too was once married to a man who i thought i would be with for the rest of our lives. it didn’t quite work out that way though. it hurt. it took time. only time will eventually help you heal. and before you know it, you will have overcome it. good luck. all the best to you and Bo!ReplyCancel

    • January 15, 2013 - 12:00 pm

      Sash - Thank you very much for your kind words Claudia. <3ReplyCancel

  • January 22, 2013 - 11:18 pm

    __________ - I know your pain. I am not sure how different out situations are (whether he confessed or you discovered). My husband confessed to me a year after it happened. (it only went on for a month) He ended it and he knew he wanted to be with me. It actually all started because I confessed a one-night stand situation and he realized he needed to confess as well. Both of us learned from our mistake and we knew immediately after that we wanted to be together. However, both of us having affairs did not lessen the blow. My husband’s affair only lasted a month but it was coupled with a new knowledge of the life he lived while he was at school, work, etc. (very flirty, gave a lot of attention to specific girls, tried to get things going) for the first years of our marriage. I lived very much the same way, not realizing how much we were both ripping ourselves off.

    Im not sure what your exact situation is, but I do know that it gets better. I know that time heals wounds and I know that you will begin to trust again.

    Here I am 7 months after finding out, our marriage has dramatically improved. Like I said, I have no idea specifics. I do know if I had caught my husband in the month that it lasted I probably would have left him. I think that it would be much harder to make things right if you didn’t see real, honest conviction making the person confess…if that makes sense. I mean, If I had caught him…he would have been ending it because he had no choice…but who knows if his heart would have been back on track.

    I would recommend John Gottmans books on betrayal. It helped us a great deal. I can now say that we are happier than we have ever been and I believe the same can be said for any couple if both partners want to make it work.

    I wish you all the best. I hope your heart heals and begins to grow into love again.ReplyCancel

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