DNA

Last year H and I visited the country where my parents were born and where they lived until WW2 disrupted them.

It was so wonderful to experience the language of my upbringing as well as the customs in real emmersion. Even though I was born and brought up in Australia the traditions of my heritage were kept close. I went to Latvian Saturday school. I went to Latvian Brownies and Guides and I played for the Latvian basketball team from age 10 to my twenties. Summers were spent at Latvian camps where we were not allowed to speak English and most of my friends were Latvian.

I remember my parents feeling a bit sad that I married an Englishman and saying I would lose my traditions if I did not nurture them. I did not nurture them and for that I am really sad. I do remember my first born daughter not sleeping well and I would sing her the only lullaby I knew which was in Latvian. I used to feel self conscious about that and I just do not know why. It is almost as though I was embarassed to be different.

As my daughters grew up I tried hard to celebrate certain Latvian traditions but I really do not think I tried hard enough. For that I am sorry. They both have Latvian traditional jewellery that they wear but neither really knows too much about Latvia.

Before our trip last year H surprised me by trying to learn the language. It is one of the oldest and more difficult languages to learn and he did a wonderful job learning his vocabulary and use of verbs. When we stayed in hotels and the staff would speak to us in English I would ask that they only speak Latvian to us. I was so pleased to share my love of everything Latvian for the first time with my H.

He fell in love with the country. He adored the capital city with its cobbled streets and art deco buildings and getting out into the countryside was even more spectacular with forests of birch and pine and beautiful villages and coastlines. The country has done so much restoration since escaping soviet rule that it was hard not to love everything.

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H fell in love with everything. He loved the beer, he loved the food, he loved the nightlife, he loved the flowers, he loved the ballet, he loved our hotel, he loved the markets, he just loved every single aspect of everything and I just loved that he loved it.

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The trip to Latvia was something I had been wanting to do for a long time but it was a trip that previous to D Day he threw on the back burner because his list of countries to visit was a priority over mine. Even at the times when we were visiting his family in the UK and I mentioned I might duck to Germany to see my Aunt or even visit Latvia it was met with constraint by him and seemed just too hard to start arguing. Just before D Day my two girlfriends were talking about the three of us going there as one of them had already been and wanted to go again. Well, that trip never eventuated.

I better get back to the subject of why I wrote this post and that is I had my DNA tested for ancestry and it appears my roots are well and truly Latvian with a tiny 4% Finnish thrown in. Good to know. I was dissing Russians whilst in Latvia. I don”t know, there is something about them that just annoyed me. They appear rude and arrogant and pushy as well as loud and overbearing and they smoke and throw their butts on the ground. Seriously?????…in a beautiful cobbled street? Who does that? Anyway as our sightseeing progressed and we visited museums and galleries I would often get into a conversation with the people working there. They were fascinated with meeting Australian Latvians and hearing how we worked hard to keep traditions alive in a foreign country and they would then start on dissing Russia and Russians. It was all very interesting but soon I could feel I was thinking about Russia just like them. Before I sent off my DNA I was hoping I did not have any Russian in me….so phew….a great sense of relief when I got the results.

H enjoyed teasing me about my ‘possible’Russian heritage as my father was actually born in Russia. It was Russia on his birth certificate but the borders were forever changing and it is now Latvia. Anyway, last laugh on him. He was told by his father that he was of Scandinavian descent. Sadly his DNA shows British Isles 90% and France 10%.

Every  Sunday H makes me a Latvian breakfast. We have to travel 2 hrs every month to get the food as it is a special hot smoked salmon he serves warm with a dill sauce. There is what we call Rupju maize which is a dark heavy rye bread ( which I make ) A boiled egg, some special smoked ham and a mild cheese scoffed down with a glass of kefir and followed by a good coffee.

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We are heading back to Latvia at the end of the year to see the city in snow and lights and bringing my youngest daughter with us. She is excited to see the sights and being a foodie she is going to have a ball eating everything. We have even planned to spend a greater length of time in Latvia, perhaps a year or two somewhere down the track.  I wish my parents had got to see how their country has been restored. They never wanted to visit because they said it would have been too sad to see soviet life everywhere.

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Another year gone……wow!

Where does it go? It is now four years since I discovered my husband was not the man who I thought he was. This past year has been a lot easier than the previous three years. This is not to say it is all fairy lights and unicorns and pixie dust. If life were like that then it would be pretty boring as I have always felt we need the good and bad times and especially the bad times to appreciate the good.

One of the many things I am grateful for is that H has not stopped working to better himself. In the past year he has not wavered. He has been relentless in learning empathy and I see examples of his understanding his new thought patterns in every day situations. It is like he always knew what the right to do was but his selfishness and self righteous attitude would win over him. I did not really see this side of him as it was what he kept secret and hidden from me. All of what I saw in him never made me think he was a lying cheating arsehole.

So, how do I know he is not still the same man? How do I know he is just not better at hiding ? We are more connected and closer than we have ever been. When I really think about it I can appreciate the effort he is putting in every single minute and I see it in everything he does. I can feel he thinks of others first and foremost. He is even starting to do things without thinking and it just feels at times like it is the natural thing for him to do. There is no hidden agenda.

How do I know he really and truly changing and evolving? For the past four years I have watched every interaction he makes with others, I listen to his comments on life, I notice how  he reacts with family and I can see how open he is with his feelings and I can refer back to the H of pre discovery and note the change. It is almost similar to watching your children grow up. I am watching my H become more mature and a nicer human.

On the occasion that his infidelity is brought to light I see the remorse in his eyes. I see how sad his past makes him feel. I see how shameful he feels. He tells me he hates who he was. He can’t even look at old photos as he says it makes him feel so much hate for the man in them.

He is more than happy to look back on memories of the past four years and enjoy those photos even though the first two years were filled with struggles, anger, sadness and uncertainty. The past two years have seen a lessening of those aspects and have been a positive rebuilding experience. It has been a long and winding and bumpy road but it has been forged with strength and conviction from us both.

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In looking back I feel that yoga has played a large part in helping him heal. Where once he would make fun of my yoga (which I have been doing for over 15 yrs)  now he has a completely different opinion of it. I hear him in conversations explaining how he has benefited from the practice and his enjoyment of many aspects. Pre discovery he would never have come on a yoga retreat with me but now it is a yearly event on our calendar where we spend a week reconnecting our bodies and our minds and our spirits. We both love that feeling of working our bodies hard, sleeping so well and eating light and clean and loving the fresh rainforests, the bird life, early mornings, early nights and waking feeling so refreshed. It is well worth the 1000 km drive to get to our rainforest sanctuary to revitalise ourselves.

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I have always done some form of charity work or volunteering but since retiring and moving from the city to this small little outback town I was having some trouble finding something to do. I found it hard at first because my normal Avenue when in a new place is to make friends through my children, their schools and activities. Without my children I did not know where to start but slowly over the last year it seems to have fallen in place. It is a funny little town and newcomers are not really made to feel welcome because we are associated with the mine and we are classified as itinerants and not locals. I have slowly infused myself into the community and met some really wonderful people and I am actually starting to feel more at home here and find myself travelling less and less back to the city. Charity work as well as community groups I have joined are giving me a wonderful small town experience and I find myself embracing outback life. Who would have thought?

Wow…….time flies.

So long since I blogged. My computer died and I exist with an iPad. Not so jolly to use….very very slow.

we are still living in the tiny town. We are still together. We did a lot and I mean a lot of talking about his actions with desperate single bitch. While I was gone for months he did a lot of therapy with a great no bullshit therapist.

Since Christmas we seem to be on a vastly different level from where we were when 2016 ended. It feels to me like he is finally accepting his issues. He no longer defends himself and we are able to talk about everything in a much more calm manner. We talk about everything and anything. It has given us freedom from guilt and anger as well which feels like a great constraint has lifted.

sadly I have lost my beautiful border collie who was 14 and still chased a ball like a pup but her time came. Yesterday I lost my 17 yr old three legged black cat whose life was no longer viable. Sometimes I wish I never had pets as they give me such heartache when it is their time to go. On the bright side I have a new kitten, I think she is a rag doll x and she is tiny and cute and I hope to have her for a long time.

vale poppy……vale otta.

 

i am relearning my native language and it brings with it so many memories of my childhood……the language I spoke as a baby and toddler before learning English from my older sisters. I keep so busy with the garden here where for the first time in years and years I am able to grow roses. I love them.

I catch up a lot with girlfriends and as they live far away it means Travel but who can resist Sydney? I still have frequent trips to go to my home city to see the oncologist etc…….btw 4 years cancer free………

 

seriously sorry about spelling…grammar etc but iPad hates WordPress for some dumb reason.

He Sucks.

One of the good things about having moved to this desolate part of Oz is that one of my oldest girlfriends lives a mere three hours drive away and in a very beautiful region of this state. Think wineries and foodie restaurants and in winter it is bitter cold. Snow cold. I was dying to visit her as it had been nearly a year since we had seen each other and we had some catching up to do. Husband and I headed over there for a few days.

One morning as we were having breakfast in a beautiful lakeside restaurant my friend looked at me and asked me how am I really doing? I looked at her and thought a moment and then the tears started slowly falling from my eyes. I am fine I tried to reassure her then I started to tell her how much I miss my daughters and my house and my garden and how much of my city life I have given up to accompany the husband to the middle of nowhere. I just had not really given it much thought until that moment but the floodgates opened at this realisation.

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That night an unexpected guest arrived at my friend’s house for dinner. I had met her before and knew she was quite a dominating woman who was mainly interested in talking about herself. No sooner had she walked in the door that she announced she was on match.com and elite singles and desperate for a man. Husband sat next to her at dinner and soon they were having an exclusive conversation which carried on THE WHOLE DINNER LONG. Even as my friend and I were clearing the table there sat husband and desperate single female chatting to each other.

At first I was thinking he was just being sociable but then I noticed he was flirty with her, telling her jokes, then arguing about feminism but what really struck me was the exclusiveness. No one else at the table was invited to join their conversation. I started to feel humiliation creep up, I started to feel disrespected. I started to think how the fuck dare he flirt right there in front of me. I got angry and went in the other room at which point she left and then I went to bed.

H comes to bed and realises there is something wrong with me. Really????? Are you fucking serious? I did not want to have an argument with him in my friend’s house so I tossed and turned all night and then woke up early in the morning and decided to leave. We drove three hours home during which time I could not speak to him, nor could I even look at him. All that was going through my mind was that he was a true utter bastard and no idea what he had done to me and was so selfish in his behaviour. What an arsehole!

We got home and I started to pack my clothes and belongings. I also started to tell him why I was so upset and he just started to defend his actions. I even asked him if he got her phone number at which point he just walked out the room. The boundary we had set up was if he fucks up in any way then I am gone. Rules is rules. Trouble is he did not think he had fucked up. He was just chatting to an overbearing woman. His defence at this point was that he had no intention of any liaison with her but she was hard to get away from and that he did not want to hurt her feelings by being rude. ( Of course it was quite alright to hurt my feelings.) For me, it brought back all those feelings of being ignored and disrespected especially if we were out socially and he just had to be the centre of attention with a bunch of women. I would always get pissed off at him and ruin his good fun and no matter how much I told him his flirting hurt me he would argue that it was just harmless socializing and that he could not help it if he got on with women better than men. Fucking Douche. Of course now we both know how that harmless flirt can easily be the first step to something more serious.

He went off to work the next morning and I got into my car and I drove for 11 hours. I  headed home to my house in the city. I cried so much on that drive. I only stopped for fuel. I could not even play any music. I hated what he had so effortlessly done to me and I hated it even more that he was such a retard that he could not even see it.

He has an online therapist. He started to work through what had happened and finally saw that his actions truly sucked. How stupid can he be though?  How could he not see that what he was doing would be perceived by me as a reversion to his old behaviour? How could he not see that to talk exclusively with a single woman at dinner was offensive to me. The trouble is even though he may not have had any future thoughts on this woman his actions to me showed otherwise. I can’t read his mind. I judge by his actions. Where he thought he was being nice and kind to her he did not think how I would be affected. What a fucking idiot.

I was in the city, back in my house and living with my youngest daughter who is house sitting for us. Thank god we kept the house. I could not speak to him. His defence just wore me out. I filed separation papers. It felt good though even though it was quite traumatic. I felt I had to make the stand. For heavens sake, it is two and half years since I found out he was a lying deceitful bastard and I had given him two and a half years of trying to rebuild a shattered marriage and he thoughtlessly in his own innocent mind fucks up. See how it is still all about him first and not a thought given to think about me?

I left to give myself some space. I needed to be away from him distracting me. I needed some time to think. I loved catching up with people and more so with my daughters. My time away was tinged with sadness. No matter how hard I tried to show everyone I was happy and doing the right thing I was deep down suffering sadness and pain and no amount of distraction would help me.

I did however, spend some time at a health and wellness retreat in the gold coast hinterland. It pushed a big reset button for me. It affected me in Mind Body Spirit but my time there deserves a post all of its own. I have been without my computer these past months and I just can’t post on my ipad so I have some catching up to do.

I had stayed away for two months. I am back. He has a lump. He has had ultrasounds, biopsies and now needs surgery. I came back because I know I could not. I came back to help him drive two hours back and forth to the nearest doctor. I came back to hold his hand while we wait for results. I came back because I had a gut feeling he was desolate. I came back because I know he was devastated when I left. I came back to help him.

I do not think I will stay. I will stay long enough to help him after surgery.

 

Nonchalant

Life in a remote part of this huge country is interesting. We have lived in remote towns many times but never a town as small as this. Everyone wants to talk to me, where am I from, what do I do, where do I live, how long will I stay. It is so different from the city where no one gives a care or even notices you. I find it a little invasive but not in a bad way.

I know I will have some issues when the newness wears off but I will maintain to choose to take life with a more grateful attitude. Each and every day. My new house is so small and there is no garden but on the upside I have less to clean and I will grow things in pots. I miss my volunteer work with horses and disabled kids but I will find something just as rewarding here….I hope. I miss my yoga community so much but I find I am getting mindful meditation from yoga practice on my own. I miss my daughters but we speak and text and snapchat every day and when I do go back to the city next month we will have some good quality time hanging out.

I was just thinking this morning about missing some of my friends and suddenly remembered an incident that happened just as we were leaving. It was a comment from a really lovely lady who was more of an acquaintance than a friend and when I told her we were leaving town she said she will miss seeing me and that she will also miss my H because she has a huge crush on him. She then went on to say how boring and serious her husband is and that whenever she sees my H he is always friendly and smiling and loving and she thinks he is so funny. Really? Really? Really? It floored me. Is it that easy for him? Must be……I guess ……because he is no tall handsome devil, he is short, he is cute and I guess he is friendly and funny and maybe that is all that it takes.

So then I start to think, sometimes this is not a good thing but today I think it is therapeutic.

H catches the mine bus to work every morning. There are two busses. One is for the miners and one is for the admin staff. H catches the admin bus and they have an hour trip to the mine site. There are a lot of women on the bus. ( whore lizard was a bus friend) H also works in a very close knit team of three people. They are the exploration team and spend hours together either in the office or out in the field. One of the team is a young woman. (H has had crushes and an affair and attempts at affairs with colleagues.)

I was thinking how nonchalant I feel about these situations. I actually do not give a damn about his close proximity to females.  So this leads me to wondering why I don’t feel an instant dread or threat or a trigger….why? Could it be that I trust him?  Bhahahaha……no, I don’t think so. I don’t think I will ever trust him.

So what is it? What makes me feel like this?

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Moved

I have not posted for a month because so much has been happening.

H was offered a job in a remote mine in the outback. For a week or so I kept thinking this could be an opportunity for us to have a break. He could go off to the never never and I could stay in the city.

To be honest I just could not do it. When I sat down and had a really good think about us and how our life is at the moment I came to the realisation that our relationship now is really very strong, honest and fun. So, why not go off and have an adventure?

We called the removalists and packed up some furniture and we hopped in the car and we drove ten  + hours into the middle of Australia. We left a daughter at our house along with the cats and dog as I still need a place to stay when I go to the city for doctor’s appointments and checkups.

We now live in a a tiny little duplex in a town of 2500 people. I quite like the smaller space for a change and it is warm and comfortable. H is picked up every morning at 5.30 am by a bus and taken to the mine an hour away. H is dropped off every night at 5.30 and works a nine day fortnight. He is pretty happy as he is right back to grass roots exploration which means to me he is playing with rocks and coloring in maps. A far cry from his corporate life in the city. He is actually very happy. He is stress free and loving the work.

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The town is tiny with a smattering of the usual suspects including a small supermarket and the butcher and a couple of pubs. Fresh fruit and vegetables are a thing of the past and do you think I can find coffee pods? My daughter sent me a ‘care’ package which included coffee pods when I told her I could not find any. There is a town two hours east from here where I will be able to stock up on fresh foods and coffee and I think it might be a fortnightly trip.

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The other interesting thing here is that it is bloody cold. I could say almost freezing with day temperatures around 10 to 15 and nights at 4. I was used to days at 25 and nights at 15 so it is a bit of a shock to my system. I am a sook when it is cold and I have the heating going full time at a balmy tropical 23.

The interior of Australia has had a real drenching and so everything looks green and lush. The river that flows through this town is flooding. I don’t know if anyone knows the term we use in Australia for a redneck type of person but it is ‘BOGAN’. Guess what the river is called that runs through this town? The Bogan river! Bogan is actually an aboriginal word meaning ‘the birthplace of a notable headman of the local tribe’. I did not know that.

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The countryside here is sheep farming. Not the cute green sheep farms with barking collies but huge big stations running massive flocks. Farmers are called ‘Cockies’ and come into town with their muddy four wheel drives and a thirst for the local beer.

It is such a change from the city lifestyle we had but so far I am enjoying it. It took a while to get internet connected and it is much faster than what we had in the city so there is a bonus around every corner. I have set up a sewing room and have brought 5 unfinished quilts with me so I am on a mission.

It really is a DIFFERENT NEW LIFE.

Healing

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Husband simplistically thinks that now everything is out in the open and having decided he is going to be the good and honest man I always thought he was that we can just happily reconcile. See how silly he can be? I must admit that I had not encountered much infidelity in my life. No one in our immediate families had divorced or separated and occasionally we would hear about friend’s marriages breaking up but there was no one close. We had no exposure to adultery or infidelity.

I start to read and educate myself and this takes up a lot of my time and also many different avenues. I am actually interested in finding out what goes on to make someone risk their family for short lived adulation and pleasure. I am one of these people that will dig until I am happy with the results and then just dig a little more.  Husband seems to me to hide his head in the sand. He says that thinking of what he has done makes him feel really bad about himself and he becomes very sad. If only it were that simple as his thinking that he was bad but now he is good and everything will be fixed. In conversations he would start to repeat what the psychologist spewed at him. I called it therapy waffle. After six months of intensive sessions his psychologist felt there was no more need to see husband. Psychologist was a silly simple man as well. His diagnosis was that husband was a very immature young adult with selfish traits that led to his infidelities. He then went on to say that now that husband had been caught he was able to confront his wrongs and he had immediately matured. All fixed.

Um…..No!

He ditches the therapist. Husband still thinks he doesn’t need to do anything. He still thinks he is now on the right path and that he will never veer off it. I am feeling continuously frustrated with him accepting he is fixed. Husband starts to go to Sex and Love Addicts and he also starts Sexaholics meetings. He spends six months going to the meetings and working his way through steps. He likes the theory behind the concept but he tells me he feels like he is a fake. He feels he does not relate to the traits that his fellow addicts have. He is an analytical scientist and he felt that giving up his power to God just did not sit right with him. He knew that every choice and decision he made in his adulterous life was on him. He knew he was self-centered and selfish and his first thoughts were always what were best for him. His priority in life was him. He did not suffer from low self -worth or low self-esteem. It was the opposite. He loved himself so much that nothing else mattered. He was the most important thing in his life.

The exterior façade that he showed to the world was a happy friendly confident and intelligent man.  He was the man he knew he should be on the outside. Inside him his very core was a molten mix of self-love which fueled his secrets, lies and fantasies. It consisted of the things he felt he deserved because of his self -righteous attitude. I rarely glimpsed this evil core in the first twenty years of our life together but when I did we would argue the point and mostly end at an impasse.  He has always been a difficult man to argue with and analytical people can be very manipulative in their conversations.

I am the complete opposite. I dislike arguments and I feel I have a more Zen like approach to life. It is also a very simple code that I live by. I try to see the good in everyone. I believe in honesty and self- reflection and empathy is foremost in my thinking. He damn well took advantage of me and my nature and he said that if he thought about it then he felt guilty but he preferred not to think about it.

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What is the right path to follow? Which direction do we take? How the hell do we heal ourselves?

There is so much information out there. I bought many books, searched the internet for articles, found websites, read blogs and forums and talked to people. It was an overwhelming task.