Thursday, July 10, 2008

Happiness...through a mask

From my previous post, “Things start taking a dive” there is a big gap in my memory of this affair, however that’s not to say that nothing was going on. In this time, many people in the community found out about the affair just because Dad and Sam became so brash about meeting in public or ‘bumping in to one another’ at functions and always fell back onto their excuse of, “…but we’re just friends…”. How original…. Over this time my mum explains this bazaar routine as something along these lines: “I would notice things were changing, clothes, hair or just his behavior and I’d say to my friends, he’s seeing her again. My friends responded that I had now become completely paranoid and I needed to get a grip – it’s all over now. I’d ask my husband…are you seeing Sam again? He would flip, saying I had a psychological problem, I was sick in the head. What was wrong with me? I would settle down, knowing I have to deal with a psychological illness of dreaming up affairs between my husband and another woman and a few months down the line, he’d come to me, apologising profusely, saying that he and Sam had been seeing each other, he was so sorry but it was all over now – forever. Then everything would be dandy for a year or two then Sam would get bored in her marriage, I’d notice a change in my husband and the cycle would start all over again.”

You’re probably cursing my mum right now, thinking what a stupid person she must be, however that is not the case at all. My mother is one of those remarkable people that has the ability to see the best of every situation. She trusts and loves people and believes that everyone puts in their best efforts, speaks the truth and lives honestly; you can’t blame someone for thinking like that when they’ve lived their whole life like that. So pretty much anyone would be able to pull the wool over my mother’s eyes with this kind of attitude, however, she’s also very intelligent so she didn’t just aimlessly believe my dad over and over without thinking it through. You see, Dad and Sam are also incredibly good liars and manipulators; in fact they’re phenomenally good at it. I believe they lie to the point where they believe the point where they completely believe the stories themselves. One of my favorite examples of the manipulation and crap that Sam gave to my mum was one day (one of the many) that the most recent affair had just come out and she rushed over to our home, a common occurrence because my mum was such a good friend of hers (….?????????!!!!!!!!!) and over tea, calmly explained to my mum that she had to realize that the affair was a lot harder for her to deal with than for my mum to deal with. My mum was blown away by this and asked, “Really? Why is that?” To which Sam replied,
“Because I’m a much stronger Christian than you are.” I love it! It’s an absolutely classic example of how she operates. Self-centered and selfish down to the core. She never ceased to amaze any of us with her comments and her actions…

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Things start taking a Dive...

Now, because I am not sure what point the incident happened with my father, I cannot tell you when the next installment was only that I still had not yet started school. My parents started a diving course. This caused great excitement for my brother and me as we were introduced to the world of wetsuits, goggles, snorkels and air tanks. There was always a very social atmosphere afterwards where we’d all go to a nearby pub for a beer and the kids could play catchers or hide and seek outside. I was very excited but also cautious about the fact that Sam was doing this course as well. In diving, one has a ‘buddy system’ where you pair up with someone and you have to make sure that they are alright at all times thereby no one can get left behind or get into trouble without being noticed. I was very disturbed to learn that Dad and Sam were ‘buddies’ and I had visions of them making out underwater (5 year old logic here ;-)) – Ah, hated it – it haunted me.

Quiet some time later, once the relevant training had been done, all the divers and their families went up the coast to a resort where the diving is very good, to have a diving holiday. The beach was great, the kids were great, but I could not relax because I knew the two of them were going off on frequent occasions to “dive”. It was on this holiday that my Dad announced to my Mum that he was leaving her for Sam and that she and the children were going to move to the city. My mum has always said that it is so strange what one worries about in situations like this. She said this holiday was in the December before I started “big” school. That was her only focus, she said to my dad, “How could you do this? How could you do this now, to your daughter? She is so excited about starting ‘big school’, going into Grade one and having the same teacher that you had in Grade one at the same school that you went to? How could you possibly tell her she’s going to change schools a month before she is due to go?” She always says now what a huge thing this was for her, it was her first child going to school and she placed a lot of importance on it.

My brother and I knew none of this was going on, until we were told that the whole family was having an afternoon sleep – weird. Alarm bells were going off for me because this was very unusual. I could not sleep so I pretended to and listened to my parents whispering, obviously trying to sort things out but I could not make out what they were saying. When they thought we were both asleep they left to go and discuss probably what I’ve just mentioned in the above paragraph.

That evening we were lucky enough to go on a night drive on the beach to watch Leather-back turtles lay eggs. However my mum was crying quietly during the trip. This was the first times and one of the few times I would see her unhappiness as a result of my father. She did not let on what was going on but I knew it was connected with Dad and Sam.

After all of this Dad and Sam ‘nobly’ went to talk things through on the beach and came back to tell their relevant spouses that they were not going to leave them but they had some ‘rules’ about coming back into the marriages. I obviously don’t know what they are but I think they went something along the lines that they could give each other birthday and Christmas presents, they could call and visit each other etc. So that was how things continued between the four adults for quiet some time. Dad and Sam had their spouses and each other, pretty much, whenever they wanted. This, however, was not enough for them…

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Ah! I could kill myself sometimes, I’ve been going through a bit of a low patch with the Ex – Factor and missing him like hell. It’s driving me a little mad, to be honest. I know I was unhappy, I know I was controlled, I know I couldn’t be myself but at the same time, it was very real love and the connection we had was extremely close. He was my best friend. I am feeling very confused over this whole thing and because it was such a long relationship that I really don’t have that much experience in the whole break up thing. This is the guy I thought I was going to marry. All I want to do is call him and see how he’s doing and get that contact back. I miss what we had so much and it feels really weird because as soon as I got out that relationship, the feeling I had was one of overwhelming relief and freedom. I felt I had mourned the relationship in the last year (at least) that we were together. I knew I could expect sadness and to miss him and I was surprised when I didn’t. He took the whole thing really badly and has been struggling with it. At first he wouldn’t stop calling, emailing, visiting my mother etc and I put a stop to that because I didn’t feel it was helping either of us. Maybe it took a pace change, settling back into life etc for me to feel it. I don’t know. All I know is I want that friendship back. Mmmm what to do…. To call or not to call…? Help me out here please…

Monday, July 7, 2008

Going Back Wards

I think you readers will all get a much better idea of where I'm coming from if i give you a bit of history on myself and my family. Trust me - this is going to be a whole lot more interesting than it sounds. I will start as far back as I can remember and give it to you in installments and if i have anything exciting to say about my life now, I'll throw it in at the end. Prepare to be amused:

I grew up on a farm. My parents built our house and our garden from absolutely nothing while I was a year old and my mother was pregnant. Our house was nothing amazing because my parents weren't well off and they did everything they could to save money, including doing their own tiling (bearing in mind, my mother was pregnant). Once they had completed the job, they were very satisfied with their two bed roomed house complete with two bathrooms, kitchen, office and lounge. My brother was then born and we grew up in the house that our parents had built with two dogs and a lot of love. My family loved each other and had a lot of fun together but it's amazing how one takes these things for granted when all is going well. I learnt this lesson at an age far younger than most learn it.

I am not sure of my age when this incident happened, however, I know that I had not yet begun school so I was probably about Five years old. It was a Saturday. My mum was working in the city to earn extra money for the family as things had been tight for a while. A family friend came over, lets call her Sam and her three children who were younger than me. My brother and her eldest son were great friends and so we were thrilled to have company on our weekend. We were all playing in the paddling pool outside and having a marvelous time. It suddenly occur ed to me that we didn't have any towels and with my mum not being there to bring them out for us, we were going to have a herd of little wet footprints running through the house soon. So I went inside to get the towels. Now the towels stayed in a lockable closet at the end of the passage next door to my parent's room but it also had medicine in it, so the lock was placed at the top of the door so children couldn't get in there. I knew all I had to do was go into my parent's room, grab my mum's stool for height to open the cupboard to get the towels. I opened my parent's door - which was unusual as it was never closed - and hit a flexed foot, I pushed harder, not thinking and was faced with the sight of my father and Samantha naked on the edge of my parents bed. My dad asked me what I was doing and I told him I needed to get towels. He told me to ask the maid to open the room and that I must close the door behind me.

I didn't know what I'd seen. I didn't understand it. My mum was in the process of explaining the birds and the bees to us through a book called 'Where do I come from?' but I was so confused at that age because this book said that when a HUSBAND and WIFE love each other very much, they sleep together but Samantha wasn't my mother. You've also got to understand that I was a Daddy's girl. I adored my father - he could do anything, fix anything and make me laugh till I cried. So I didn't see anything wrong with what he was doing - I felt a little weird about what I'd seen but it didn't occur to me that what he was doing was wrong until I had fully processed the book that my mum was reading us. I thought all dads did this.

Once Sam and her children had left, Dad took me aside and told me not to tell my mum what I'd seen because "we don't want to hurt Mum, do we?" Of course I didn't want to hurt my Mum, that's the last thing any five year old would want to do. So I made this promise to my dad because I adored him and in my eyes, he could do no wrong and according to my knowledge, he had done no wrong. I made that promise with ease, not knowing that it would hang over me for the rest of my life. The betrayal of my mother. For years after this, I waited for the divorce, I waited for my mum to find out. I hated seeing Sam at any events, and there were a lot of them because of us being a farming community. I watched her whenever i could to see that she wasn't making a move on my dad in front of my mum but it killed me to look at her. She was awful looking. She had stringy dyed (died) orange hair and her face was prematurely aged from too much smoking and drinking. She was one of those woman that delighted in wearing short skirts and see-through shirts and "accidentally" leaning over too far in the bar in front of married men or letting her dress ride up too high. This chick was a beaut. Rumour has it that no one is sure who the father is of her third child that she had (when she was married) because of mismatched blood types that were discovered at a later stage. She has a smile which is more like a smirk. Its the smile that I grew to hate. She wore it when she saw my dad, or when she came over to "visit" when my mum was out.

For years after that Saturday, once I had figured out that what my Dad had done was wrong, I was subconsciously torn between telling my mum the truth of what i knew was wrong and breaking my word to my Dad or keeping my word and "not hurting Mum". I always felt the desperate need to get this situation off my chest so I'd open notebooks that I had to the middle (where no one would see it) and I'd write in my armature handwriting this story (obviously in far less detail) It basically just read ...and I saw Dad and Sam NAKED having SEX. I hated writing it but it always felt better once I didn't feel like I was carrying it all alone. Then I'd go off and do something and suddenly be filled with guilt and worry that my mum might see it, so I'd rush back inside and tear the page out and rip it into unrecognisably small pieces and the weight would fall upon me again. The burden was back and I was to carry it because I didn't want to hurt Mum.