For those that have been Betrayed

I see you, even though you feel invisible. You are trying desperately to hide, even whilst yearning to be found. I sense the psychic wounds; the blood-letting you have endured. You are surrounded by pretty photos of pretty times by pretty lakes. There were pretty hotels in pretty, faraway lands. You have retreated from Instagram and Facebook, feeling you have nothing to contribute by way of pretty stories… Not anymore.

You had hoped that none of this was real. It can’t be real, for that would be intolerable; unthinkable. Your heart is pierced with wire, barbed and cruel, another searing pain striking whenever you think of him, and what transpired.

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Pain that sees you crawl into a ball in the shower, undone by wracking sobs which seem unworldly. What to do with the pictures, strewn about your home? The albums filled with memories? Hell, you even learnt the art of scrapbooking, so the stories were inked on pretty paper, in an orderly fashion. Each chapter had it’s own album, as great stories should.

I can see your collarbone, your flesh receded, along with your appetite. When did you last eat? I can see you haven’t slept, your eyes hollowed and red.

Next we have anger. Why didn’t you see it coming, you rage at yourself? Why did I believe their lies? Why did I think it was possible to retrieve our life together? It was concealed from you, dear heart. They only reveal what they want you to know. Lying is a game for one, and you weren’t privy to the rules. Anger extends to the partner. How could they take your family and carelessly shatter all that you had? They aren’t there to deal with the aftermath.

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I see you trying to adapt to being a single parent, and a single person. I see you having to navigate the legal system, locate counselling, and deal with financial matters. I know it feels overwhelming. The evenings are lonely, but then, so are the mornings. There shall be many firsts. The first time you attend a dinner, where you are the only one solo amongst your friends. The first walk, the first Christmas, the first mothers day…

There will be immense sadness and there will be grief. You wonder if the whole of your relationship was a lie. How much of it was ever real? Hindsight is a cruel teacher. It is only through it’s looking glass that we are able to see the complete picture. How can they love you like you need and like you deserve, if they don’t know themselves? If they came to you as an incomplete person, the union had to break. You aren’t responsible for filling up the mental and emotional needs of a partner who is punctured. It isn’t your job.

Your job is to tend to your own wounds. To discover the simple pleasures of a bubble bath or a solitary stroll. The kids are at sleepovers and you are alone. Now is the time to discover how decadent it feels to prepare a nourishing meal for one. You can curl up with a novel, or Netflix, unimpeded. You can play whatever music you desire. You are free now. Free from betrayal, and from the years of subterfuge. No more deceit, and no more wondering. You are worth far more. Now it is time to heal.

Go gently into your new world, and lean on your inner circle of friends. Slowly, you will begin sleeping through again. You will start eating more and cry a little less. You are going to show this world what a single woman can do. Right now, if all you did today was  go through the cycle of bewilderment, denial, anger, hurt and sadness on a continual loop, you did okay. You are still here, and have much to build on.

Remember the young woman who lived before this relationship? Open that photo album. Find her, retrieve her and offer her revivification. She has been there all this time. What does she want? What did she sacrifice or put on hold? Take all her dreams out of mothballs, and bring them to life.

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Update from Raphaela

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I received some devastating news last Friday. It came in the form of a group email, stating that my publisher had gone into receivership the previous Monday. I read and re-read the email, unable to take it in. I worked hard for two years, promoting my book and also planning eight further titles. The room spun as I tried to gather my thoughts. It meant that I wouldn’t receive royalties, and that the income I hoped to receive whilst home schooling my daughter wouldn’t be forthcoming. Life had to continue, even as I struggled to process what had occurred. I took my daughter to a friend’s home, as she was going to go to an ice-skating party with a bunch of girls. I didn’t talk about what had occurred. Instead this mum and I laughed about all manner of things until tears streamed from my eyes. It was such a release. I found it hard to leave and go back home to try to do the practical things necessary in this crisis.

On the Saturday, I attended a 40th birthday party for a courageous friend. I have watched her create a wonderful life for herself and her girls over the past eight years. It hasn’t been easy, but she has done it. There was a fire pit, and I sat mesmerized as the flames danced. I haven’t been sleeping since this occurred, feeling as though I am in limbo. I can’t do anything until the receiver’s get in touch and let the author’s know about their books. I am stunned that we were told in such a manner, and angry that the publisher didn’t live up to many parts of the contract. I had to trust that they would, as we have to do on many occasions. Trust a person’s word. Trust them on face value.

My daughter was asked if she could climb a glorious tree in a friend’s backyard and thread through lighting and mirror balls in preparation for a house-warming. She is an avid climber and had a ball helping out. I sat underneath this beautiful tree, and it reminded me of the one in The Magic Faraway Tree.

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The light shot out and changed colour every minute. It turned the tree into a kaleidoscope of luminescence. The kids chased each other and threw water balloons, and I listened to the band singing ‘Blackbird’ by The Beatles. At that particular moment, all was calm in my world. There were tears as I talked with friends, but there was also laughter. I feel the need to display to my daughter how one can bounce back from betrayal and disappointment. It helps to sit in a lush backyard with a beautiful community of people on a Spring evening. A galah joined us, and to our surprise, regaled us with a stream of profanities! It was perfect in its whimsy. I am so tired that I can’t think. I am so anxious that my stomach is in knots and my body is shaking. I feel a cacophony of emotions and dread the thought of starting again.

Start again I must, for there is a little girl watching; a child that I have to provide for. There are friends and magic trees and visiting galah’s with rude vocabularies. There is music and sunshine and giggling and water bombs.