Archive for May, 2008



It isn’t simply that I am eating misery, and little else, for breakfast, lunch and dinner these days, but also that it is eating me.


From the moment I gain consciousness in the morning, the awareness that the fact that the life I had been living so happily is over, gone for good, forces itself down my neck and I snack on that revolting bile in a day-long venture in hell. I keep waiting for it to slack off, but that hasn’t started happening yet, and although somedays are less densely packed with anguish and anxiety, many come with the full force of the first minutes.


I am more able to see the weak links in my husband that led to his total and complete betrayal, but remain baffled by the turnaround, its speed and its cruelty, and my lack of understanding may be part of what is blocking my healing.


The “How could he do this to me and our family?” question haunts on a minute-to-minute basis, and although on some level I realize that his horrid choices and worse behavior have nothing to do with me, it’s seems only womanly to attempt to find some blame to carry on my shoulders.


What it is about us, the females of our species, that needs to claim faults not ours, to apologize for foibles merely human, to gather guilt over the fact that humans age and occasionally lose focus and are sometimes not in the chipperest of mind sets? Where does it come into our consciousness that it is our responsibility to keep the ship afloat, to be ever-vigilant, to anticipate every reaction to any action; then to look inwards for our failure when our men decide that all their thinking will be done with their little heads, not their big heads, and that nothing else matters in any case?


Because Mark was so good at giving the impression that he was the happiest married man on earth, wedded to his best friend, continually conversing on every topic … except, of course, the one that was mattering the most to him at the time; how to keep his girlfriend happy … I am still reeling from the shock of my supposedly solid ground suddenly falling away.


Should I have seen this coming, even though he freely admits that he gave no hints, no clues, no reason for suspicion? Or is this just another way I beat myself up?


I know that it’s grief I’m dealing with and that there is no short road away from it. Getting on with my life, moving along, adjusting, are all goals, but it is consuming, from the hole in my heart, to the steady diet of regrets, to the loss of so much hope and so many dreams, I can’t yet see what will be left of me.

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Being an activist and a “take charge” kind of woman, a lunch yesterday with two of my friends here has me fired up and chomping at the bit to get something going.


Both of these woman are beautiful, funny, talented, dedicated woman, and both are married to men who screw around … a lot. Their husband’s haven’t completely bailed, yet, and the women have been reticent to kick their sorry asses out of the house because … well, because they have kids, families they hope to hold together by their fingernails, and also because they have been so undermined by the processes their spouses put them through that their self-images have suffered terrible blows.


Given my present circumstance, and my past, as well, I am sick and tired of finding myself and so many other admirable women mired in misery and feeling alone with it.


I am now seriously contemplating starting a club here: The Fabulous Women With Philandering Husbands Club. (Or possibly, reducing the last bit to “crap husbands”.)


I’m imagining the force such a collection of determination, a sharing of experiences, a system of mutual support might generate, and the fallout from such a group. For one thing, I can envision a large contingent, dressed to the nines, descending on one of the more popular night spots where cheaters and whores congregate and the palpitations that could cause. And simply the fact that we would be public about our personal dramas instead of hiding ourselves away as if the fact that our husbands are slimy cheaters is somehow our fault might actually have one or two of the men experience just a bit of appropriate shame over their behavior, rather than the chest-puffing that comes along with thinking they and their friends know something we don’t know.


One of my lunch companions said, when I mentioned this, “Well, everyone I know would want to join.” That, sadly, is a statement on the acceptability of unfaithfulness of men here … and perhaps everywhere … but it might also cause some pause for thought among some who are contemplating infidelity.


After all, how much fun could it be to know that once a week your wife gets together with her friends, compares notes and info and laughs their head off at how incredibly stupid you are and how trashy and used your ego-boosting blow job queen really is?


“Her? Oh, yeah. My husband did her a couple of months ago and thought it was love, too.”


Just a thought at the moment, but there seems to be support for the idea rallying. I’ll put out a press release locally if I can manage to pull this off, and I’m betting we get quite the response. As small as Seychelles is, it could become quite difficult very fast for any guy to get away with much without someone knowing and passing along the info. A little fear in the heart does no man any harm. 


There is power in information and in numbers, and no reason in the world for all of us dealing with this to suffer in silence and alone. This added as yet another consequence of irresponsible and selfish acts sounds good to me.



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Readers now know the past few months have had me in a personal hell that I’m finding very difficult to rise above, to move along, to get myself back into life and seeing colors again.

Food, sleep, concentrated thought, energy of anything but the nervous type escape my abilities almost completely, and I’m perpetually frustrated by how easily confused I am about the simplest of things; I can’t even seen to keep track of my phone and my keys without relying on an energy-sucking system of constant double checking and everything requires a vigilance that used to come effortlessly as a matter of course.

I’m shaky and constantly exhausted, terrified of eventualities that may or may not occur, but certainly hit me like a ton of bricks throughout every day, and especially at night.

Spending some time contemplating the weak state I’m in and all the physical and emotional stress my present reality has presented me with took me on a mental spin around the world, and with a bit of forcing direction that trip outside my own misery has pushed my puny problems into a rather tidy, if bitter, pill I am able to swallow and manage to keep down.

As most know, two of my kids are Cambodian born, and anyone with a grip on recent history is familiar with the what happened in that country in 1975. 

Quick reminder:

April 17, 1975, the Khmer Rouge forced every citizen of the city of Phnom Penh to leave their homes carrying only what they could on their backs and head into a blankness that would not be explained. For the following three years, these people and others from other towns were starved, beaten, murdered, separated from their families, forced into slave labor building damns doing other such demanding labor that anyone well fed would suffer greatly, and almost 2 million people died. Many were tortured mercilessly, and there is no shortage of the evidence of this horror still to be seen today in Cambodia.

Today, millions of people are suffering in the same ways every single day, watching their children die, living as sex slaves, working until they drop with nothing but a lash at their back and very little food in their stomachs.

So, what the hell am I bitching about?

The love of my life has lost his mind and left me for a whore, tearing apart my lovely little family and leaving me scared and lonely. The way I’ve been feeling, the impact this has had on me, makes me question just how long I could survive … how long I would choose to survive … a horror of truly immense proportions like so many must.  

I’m a wimp.

It’s time to remind myself just how wonderful my life still is. Sure, my husband is a sleazy creep who has lost his mind, but I know that my life will be just fine, and I need to buck up and keep in mind just where it is in the scheme of things I am lucky enough to inhabit.

Perspective is a good thing. It doesn’t take away pain, but it sure gives it context.

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While I’ve been spending the past two months in the Mark-induced horror of betrayal and deceit, others in my life have been experiencing such wonderful wonders of life, and although they are deeply sympathetic, they are not, thankfully, having their happiness dented in any way by my misery.


My dear friend, George, who is actually the closest to a first foster child Mark and I took in … he was 18 at the time, just out of school, with no parental supervision and an open bar tab at his absent father’s hotel and was well on his way to spending the next 20 years or so not moving beyond the bar … now holds a Masters Degree, is close to 30, married, and just witnessed the birth of his first child, a son.


Martin and Caroline, those of one of the homes that put me up on my recent trip to the UK that was so meant to give me focus and support, are moving to Fiji after Martin had secured “the perfect job”. He’s a marine biologist and was unhappily back in England for five years after a stint here working in a far too political job to actually accomplish any of his goals and was almost as depressed as I was when I arrived. In the time I was trying my healing, he was offered the job of a lifetime, and they are now preparing for a whole new life in a place they’re so looking forward to living and working in.


Others, of course, have also been hitting high points, and although all have been excellent at boosting me where I need boosting and helping me through this miserable time in my life, it is so good to know that ups and downs don’t happen to everyone at the same time, and that friends are there for the highs and the lows.


My thanks to all who have given so much of themselves to me lately, and I very much look forward to celebrating all joys that may be coming to others. Someday again, the joys will be mine, and knowing that I have such a broad and fantastic foundation of friends makes life worth living.


I am a very lucky woman, and even in the depths of despair my friends don’t let me forget that. 




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I’ve been trying to figure out a way forward for Paradise Preoccupied … and for much else in my life at the moment … and have been finding it hard to even compose a follow-up to my last post.

I do not want to turn this into a litany of Mark’s almost daily screw-ups and petty cruelties, no matter how much of my energy is sucked away in the process of him being the “new” him, nor do I want to compete for the title of “Queen Whine of the blog world”.

I’ve considered composing long diatribes on my misanthropic tendencies … life-long and only getting stronger as man proves time after time his weaknesses and base nature … and have even thought of writing on just why it is that humans are my least favorite primate species.

That could be quite an interesting topic, actually, and I may put some time into it. The facts being that non-human primates, in all their various versions of societal behaviors, have worked out how to demand the most of the males in their species before they’re allowed to have sex. 

Unlike in humans, subadult males … the teens and twenties types … inhabit the bottom rung of other primate societies. They get no respect from anyone and are ignored as often as they are chastised for obnoxious behavior. 

The thought of a gang of young chimps or baboons starting wars, raping and pillaging is totally negated by the fact that everyone else in their groups, from adult males to their own mothers and aunties, would nip any such tendencies in the bud, and slap the shit out of them in the process, gives their cultures an advantage ours has lost.

Males in other primate groups have to prove themselves, and much of that proof involves developing into the type of grownups that have the power, grace and fortitude to make damned sure their children reach adulthood under the safest circumstances possible. Females base their choices on granting sexual favors on these factors and wouldn’t touch a flakey good-for-nothing, no matter how pretty or smooth, with a ten-foot length of bamboo.

Gibbons are monogamous. Marmoset fathers are primary caregivers, handing what is usually twins over to mom only at feeding time. Gorillas live in harem groups with the Silverback, having earned every one of his rights of reproduction the hard way, having his way with all the females in his group and taking care of everyone everyday in every way, including providing a vast and hairy playground for his youngsters.

Orang utans are solitary dwelling creatures and tend to mate with whoever they happen to run across in their foraging … they are also the only other primate species that rapes … and little but the genetic contribution is expected from fathers, but at least those rules are clear from the outset.

Chimps are the closest relatives we have in the non-human primate group and the most likely to experience violence and confusion in the social grouping. Multi-male is the standard, and although Top Dog usually gets some sexual action, females aren’t as picky as other primates are, and this causes friction, but usually only among the males competing for some action.

We humans are the only ones whose females will fall for any old line and with males who invest nothing but a few minutes of what is often copious amounts of spare time spent doing nothing else to experience the act of reproduction. We are also the only ones who are rejected out of hand once a relationship has developed, especially when there are children involved.

Loyalties are vital in primate communities, and although the width and depth of those loyalties vary from species to species, they are ignored at the peril of all.

Can we imagine a human world where young men are kept in line, children and women are valued for their very being, and where only men who have earned the right can not only breed, but have any sex at all?

Perhaps monogamy isn’t meant for humans at all, but it would be easier on all of us if we could figure out a system that doesn’t so often end up causing so much damage to so many.


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There are at least a bazillion reasons I hate to admit what I’m about to admit, all but one having to do with a tragedy my family has been suffering, but it’s been two months today and time I got this out of the way and began to prepare to move through this crisis and ahead.

Ready for it? 

Miguel was right. (Read back a few posts if this doesn’t ring any bells. WordPress has changed format lately and I can’t be bothered to figure out the html for a link right now.)

No, not about anything having to do with life in Seychelles, me as a person, or life in general, being so clearly an ageist, sexist, racist bigot who probably beats his wife, but he did nail one thing … my husband had been “hitting something much younger”.

Yes, my dear Mark, the love of my life I’d left all other lives behind for, the kindest, most gentle and honest man I’d ever known, has been having an “affair” … if that’s the right term for banging some whore during lunch hours.

Home every night, calling six times a day just to say “hi”, fully engaged as a father and husband (if you catch the drift), giving no sign whatsoever that anything was amiss, his skills at duplicity were completely unsuspected, and his “confession”, delivered on what is Mother’s Day here, the 2nd of March, shocked me to my core.

The girl is from the slums of Antananarivo, Madagascar, and came to work in Seychelles because the pittance she makes here is many times what she could bring in in her own country. Of course, it’s also much easier to supplement her tiny wage at the factory that makes tin cans in a place where professional prostitutes are few and far between, so she’s done fairly well for herself. Having broken up one marriage already … and she’s still married to that poor slob …  she’s ready to move on to fresher … and, she hopes, richer … meat, and Mark must have given the impression of one tasty chop ready for the flame.

For Mark, being a long-term faithful husband set him up nicely for this, and since the factory he works in (they put tuna in those cans) is right next door and both companies share canteen facilities, easy pickings.

Mark will be 42 this year, so fits the profile of the aging male perfectly … not as young, fit or cute as he used to be, and in a relationship that has been solid and reliable for many, many years. In other words, totally impressed by and with no doubt in his mind … or much of anything else … that blow jobs are what life is all about.

I’m sure hers are impressive, as a pro’s would be, and that she is more than generous than I have been with them over the past decade. It’s been years since I would drop to my knees in an uncontrollable outbreak of passion or as a congratulatory gesture for some slight benevolence, but I well recall those days, and remember them fondly. They were not, however, the foundation of the love we developed … more like icing on the cake, if you can forgive that image, and with two kids and hours of hard work, there’s been less time for icing.

Bestowal of such favors limited over stolen moments can only have heightened the excitement, and Mark, being a man and therefore stupid, has actually confused this for love.

Yes, he’s chucked our family life and is now living in a dirt bag hole with his dirt bag whore and thinking that all that he has lost is worth it for the sex.

The kids, of course, are impacted, and having been the child of divorce myself I know how deep and permanent the effects of such betrayal and the processes that follow are. He insists they’ll adjust just fine … but, then he would have to, wouldn’t he? He doesn’t do well with taking on guilt or facing consequences — surprise, surprise.

I have been grieving. Not only was Mark, until the 2nd of March, considered my hero, the best husband in the world, wonderful father, and so on, I had also always been under the impression that he was my best friend, and I miss all those people he used to be.

Apparently, his body has been invaded by a pod person that rather looks like him, but who I otherwise don’t recognize at all. His trail now leaves lies, disloyalty and treachery,  and his chosen path is now trashy, tacky and common as muck.

Friends and family are stunned, and we are all sad … me for so many reasons, but everyone for the loss of the man we respected and admired. Even he has the good sense to be embarrassed by how far he has fallen, but seems to be compensated by her efforts to keep him inflated.

So, like so many other women whose husbands proved not to live up to their best or their brightest, whose honor ebbed when the ego took the hits all egos do with age, I now have to leave Mark to the life he has chosen. I doubt it will be rife with engaging conversation, shared visions for a greater future or long lasting, but it’s his life now, and I need to get on with mine. 

Being a writer and a blogger of material that often included personal experiences for a long time now, composing and posting this needs to be part of my healing process, a practice in catharsis. After a two-month break in a career of prolific writing, it seems I should give some idea to those of you who read me often and have been wondering where I’ve gone. I’m sure there are some who will take joy from my pain … there are a lot nasty people out there in Blogland … but perhaps there will be someone reading who’s riding in this boat, too, and needs to know they’re not alone.

My dear friend Lisa shared with me that there is a Hebrew term: soog bet. It translates to “damaged and inferior” and has to do with an innate shallowness in men that takes little to bring out.

Not that I ever thought I would have to admit this, but now Miguel and Mark share the designation … not just as men, but as soog bet. As I said at the top, it takes one to know one, and this one was well spotted.


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