And the doctor is back…
I have a lot going on in my head and if I cannot get it out then I will go crazy. The last time I actually wrote about what has been going on things were not going well. I had tried to have a good conversation with my wife and it went south real quick. That was last Friday. So I did what I do best. I pulled in and closed up shop. I was here and I was present, hell, I even had some meaningful conversations since then. They just weren’t meaningful for me. I have been emotionally unavailable.
I am seriously stuck. I am back to not eating and sleeping. It is not because I don’t try, I do, but I just cannot sleep. My counselor asked me what I think about when I am trying to sleep. I think about sleeping. I am not super focused on my problems. No, I just cannot sleep. Then I get up and am wired all day. I have been living on an hour and a half of sleep a night. Once or twice I got lucky and got a little more but it has not been very often. Food is a different problem entirely. That one is my fault a little. I just need to eat. I have zero appetite so I just don’t think about it. I just stay busy and then I don’t need to eat. I have been trying to eat because it is freaking out my wife, but food is really just gross.
Sunday was Father’s day. My only wish was that people would leave me alone. I put that on my post the night before and maybe she read it because not one of my kids told me happy father’s day. My wife might have in the morning but I don’t remember right off hand. We instead went to a movie and then came home and I cooked steaks on the grill. Once I went to bed, my wife had tucked a card into the covers for me signed by the kids. Then she gave me a present.
She was not supposed to get me one because we were splitting our mother’s and father’s day gifts and we have to wait until her leg heals before we can do it. But she got me one anyways. I am not mad. I have done it to her every year for the last 19 years. We agree not to get a present because we are sharing and I always do anyways. I guess she just returned the favor. Well, she got me a new wedding ring.
If you follow me then you know that I have not been wearing mine for almost a year. I cannot wear it again because to me it just represents the things I ruined, the bonds I broke, the promises not kept, the lies I told, it represents my failures as a husband, lover, and father. I just cannot wear it. So she got me a new ring.
She had asked me before to put on my old one and I told her why I could not wear it anymore. I told her that we can get me a new one and I would gladly wear it. We even went out and looked for them. So she got me a new ring and I put it on right away. I love it. It means a lot to me. It signifies a new beginning, an end to the old life and a fresh start in the new one. I know she was happy I liked it and that I have worn it all the time since. But all this was still over shadowed by my negative feelings squashed deep down. I know it is not good, but I cannot do it right now. I need things to be positive and then I can start again, hopefully.
Everyday I have been tracking my medicines and my moods throughout the day. Mostly I am just tracking my depression level, 0 is suicide and 10 is happy as Pee Wee Herman in a movie theater. I am usually hovering around 5, but since Tuesday, I am staying at a 3. The hard part is I am not showing it on the outside. I am being engaging with the family and my wife. I am staying extremely busy, but I am pretty dead inside. This is who I have become, hollow man.
Monday for some reason seemed to help my mood a little. I went from a 3 to a 3.5 and I really don’t know why. By Tuesday I was up to a 4 and today about the same. So I am getting better without any real changes and I don’t know what to make of that. Maybe I am just settling back into my old life and just going through the motions day in and day out. I just don’t know where to go from here.
She wants to open up and talk with me, which is good, but I struggle with my feelings when we do it. And when she has a negative reaction I go into panic mode and try and fix the problem immediately. I back track on what I want to say to keep her from having the negative reaction. I know this is not healthy but it is how I have always been. We never really fought, ever. We mostly had strong discussions and then came up with a joint solution. I think she hates this and because of this solution in dealing with our problems, while very good, is mostly a avoidance approach and completely unemotional. If she gets upset, I back track and try and keep her happy. Both our counselors think this is an issue because we have a joint identity. We both want to please the other person so we will sacrifice to our own happiness in order to do that. It is not the most healthy way to carry on a relationship. That is why we are supposed to work on ourselves, which we don’t know how to do. It seems like lots of people are good at finding problems just not ways to help us fix them.
Now today. I had counseling and he has actually given me homework. I have an emotion sheet I need to feel out everyday. It list 13-15 emotions then I rate each emotion for the day. He wants to try and help me identify my emotions. This will suck. I won’t have half the emotions listed. I wonder if N/A is an option.
Also I was asked to go to Colorado for a week next month. I am not sure I want to do it even though it will help me with my career immensely. What is the problem? Well last time I took a week long trip it was to Florida. If you don’t know the significance of that go back and read this post. So I need to go, but it will not matter what I say or do, this cannot go well. There will always be that doubt in her mind that I am not alone. And I do not blame her for it one bit. I did that, so it is my mess. I have asked her if she would like to come with me, but there are a lot of logistical issues we would need to work out, but I have to let them know by tomorrow if I can go. I do not know what to do. Do I go without her knowing it is the best thing for my career and in turn my family? Or do I sacrifice the opportunity and stay home? I think I am going to lose either way. I am being squashed under a mountain of bad choices and lies.
So now on to tomorrow. We will have counseling and since last week it was mostly focused on her, I am preparing for it to be focused on me. I am not liking this because I have my shell on. I don’t know how or what I will do. I can fake it. I know I can and neither of them would know it, but I don’t want to fake it. I want to get out of this mess. I want to be the person my wife wants me to be. It is funny after going back and writing about how we first met how much I can still feel like that naive 16 year old boy. He thought he had everything figured out and he really had nothing but his wants and dreams. They were not grand, but they did involve love. He did not know what that was or what it would feel like, but he wanted it. I am still that boy who does not know what love is, but I want it. In both cases I knew where I wanted it from, just the boy took a little longer to realize it. The difficult part is both my wife and I are damaged and I don’t know that either of us will ever be able to give the other person what they truly want or need.
I feel like I am rambling and that it is the same each day. I am supposed to open up, I can’t and then the day starts over. It is “Ground Hog’s Day” all over again. Now I just need to find a way to break this cycle. I need to find a way that when we have tough conversations I can speak my feelings, wants, and needs even if it may not feel good to her. I have to figure out how to know that sometimes love hurts and it does so that we can feel the highs of love. If there is never a down side to it you don’t appreciate the good times when they come. Instead everything just becomes complacent. As my wife puts it contentment.
Kid. You’ll move mountains. – Dr. Suess
You have a beautiful, thoughtful wife to gift you a new ring.
You have often spoken of not knowing who you really are and finding yourself. Have you written down the qualities you have, and the qualities you want to have. The things you are good at, and the things that are important to improve on. One of the things I found through my affair and then blogging is me. I found what my value system and integrity is based on (and I was failing badly), but the values I hold close to my heart ending up setting some pointers that helped me find ‘me’.
Be kind to yourself.
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I love that you have a new ring. Always look for the positive when ur negative thoughts want to invade you.
About Colorado… tell your wife what you just wrote (if you haven’t yet) come to a united decision regarding it.
Try eating… even if it is gross. Little nibbles at least.
Your depression won’t last forever… always remember there is light at the end if the tunnel.
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Okay first take a few deep breaths and dial back the crazy lol. Yes you have to go because it’s best for your family. If u have iphones u can facetime ur room every night. If android u can skype. I seriously doubt at this point your wife thinks you would hurt her like that again. If there are triggers u will identify n support one another. But GO TALK ABOUT THIS WITH HER!!!!! Forget the blog n just talk. Recite this post if u get stuck. Your moods are screwed up n crappy cause humans NEED FOOD N REST to feel good. Food is gross? Are u a 5 year-old? Lol Ur running on fumes n headed for a breakdown if u don’t start eating b sleeping. My depression gets exponentially more severe without sleep n nourishment. U are not superman.
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I may not be superman but I am in his upcoming movie. So that should give me some powers right?
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Um, nope lol
My husband thinks he’s Superman. Lol
You want love, but you don’t know what love is. You have a wife that clearly loves you, you have kids that love you – you have it. To have something be hurt so badly by your actions, but still care deeply for you, and willing to reconcile and forgive you… that’s love man. The problem isn’t that you don’t have love, the problem is you can’t accept it or feel it. I don’t know if that’s because you “don’t have that emotion” inside, your history, your depression, or your shame/guilt of what you’ve done. Or a mix of them all. Or perhaps your idea of love is something else – more akin to that passion and excitement you had with the OW.
I think you do love your wife – otherwise you wouldn’t still be here, and you wouldn’t be caring about her feelings and wellbeing. I don’t agree that having a “joint identify” is a bad thing at all. Is it so bad that you’re willing to sacrifice for the other person’s happiness? If you didn’t have that kind of relationship, then what happens when difficulty comes along and you have to choose? For example, an affair. Wouldn’t you want your spouse to rather sacrifice their “happiness” or “relationship with their AP” in order to protect you and your marriage, to keep faithful to your vows? I think the key is open communication, and a willingness to share your opinions and emotions. Making a choice to choose your partner’s happiness, even if it means sacrificing your own, is an honourable choice. And if you truly love someone, then their happiness would also be yours as well. Living for someone other than yourself – that’s love.
Our mood doesn’t always change because of a reason. one day we feel a 2, and another day we wake up an 6. This is human nature. I do think you’re struggling with depression, and this is something real. You’ll need to find a way to overcome it before you’ll be able to “feel” good again – and that’s beyond just avoiding conflict or escaping your current situation. As they say, the biggest enemy is yourself.
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Last fall I had my affair when I went away for work. Over the winter we dealt with it and I again went away in the spring. I felt that this was a good test for the strength of my convictions.
In the spring I was aproached by a young woman who gave me an opening. (She also saw some of my acctions, and was going through a tough time herself.) I can say I shot her down even before I realized what she was getting at. Later that night she was making out with my room mate. I was so focused on my marriage I didn’t even notice she was hitting on me.
I called my wife every day (or every other day). I told her all about this other girl and my obliviousness. Transparency and honesty has been the pillar of our marriage. Do what you have too for your family but don’t lose touch.
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