Changes are subjective

I was talking to the wife last night in the shower and she happened to notice how I’d trimmed down in certain areas around my body.  This led to a wider discussion about how the world appeared very differently when she was manic, and things literally looked nothing like what they do when she’s not manic.  I appreciated her FINALLY noticing, although I didn’t really help.  After she told me that she wasn’t sexually attracted to me anymore because of my weight gain of 20 pounds, I started working out, a LOT.  Just as hard as I did when I was active duty and training 2 or 3 times a day.  I could see all these changes on myself in the mirror and I kept asking her if she could and the reply was always the same: no.  I got extremely insecure about my appearance and changed my dress habits at home.  Previously it was nothing for me to walk around in underwear and a tshirt.  After I realized that she would never see a change in me, I was never around her in anything less than shorts and a tshirt unless we happened to take a shower together (HIGHLY RARE during that time) or if she saw me in bed when she got home.  That time was a bad time, I was desperately looking for anything I could do to convince her that I was a worthy husband and that I could change to be whatever she wanted me to be.

Something else we talked about a few nights ago was open relationships.  We read My Year of Living Openly’s most recent post and I chose to describe to her something I had to work through during her manic episode, and that was her view on sex.  A very similar topic was just recently discussed on Samantha Baker’s forum After the Betrayal in the post “Just Sex”.  bRaving Bipolar had told me that she didn’t have a problem with her being with another woman and her husband/boyfriend and having sex with both of them (yes, read that as having sex with the man AND woman)  because there wasn’t any emotion involved, it was “just sex”.  After I got over the initial shock of what she had said, which was days later, I came to the conclusion that if she wasn’t cheating on me already that she would be, and that I could either allow it and have SOME control over who was coming in to our life, or suppress her “desire” to have sex with other men.  If she mentioned that she didn’t have a problem with it because it was just sex, not having a problem with it would evolve into desiring it.  So over a few weeks I force-fed myself lines of bullshit, telling myself that it was better to have some control over who she was sleeping with instead of stopping it and possibly pushing her so far away that divorce would be inevitable.  I could either adapt to a changing environment, or succumb to the laws of Darwin in regards to my marriage and be left behind as nothing but a memory in the history of bRaving Bipolar.  After DDay 1 in Feb when she was trying to expand her affairs into one-night stands with many men around the local area, my resolve was renewed and I threw all that false bullshit up; I would not sacrifice my views of what our marriage was supposed to be just to stay with her, that she needed to have a dose of reality.  At some point she gave herself a dose of it and realized that while what she was doing was wrong, she was unable to stop.

We had a really good night last night and I hope to repeat most, if not all (sex is not an easy thing for either one of us right now), tonight.  So we’re going to order pizza from our now favorite pizza place and watch movies, starting with the last 15 minutes of Coming to America (starring Eddie Murphy, fucking awesome movie) and probably something else.  I felt very connected to her last night, which has been a frequent occurrence since she moved to day shift on the weekends only and we have every night together.  Initially last night it was weird, because she mentioned the possibility of having sex, it created some weird tension.  The only way I can describe it is knowing you want to turn on the light, knowing how to turn on the light and knowing what it looks like when you do, but when it comes to actually turning the light on, you just stare at the light switch confused and wondering why you just don’t reach up and turn it on instead of standing in the dark.  Initially I said no, but through her persuasive powers (read: she is gorgeous and she mentioned that not having sex is worse than having weird sex) convinced me to, and I’m glad I did.

So, in closing for this post, Military Athlete Operator Sessions really do work (and I fucking hope to get access to those again soon, they’re $25 a month but so worth it for me) and my wife is sexy.

Blank mind

I had a brilliant post in mind, already outlined in my head; all that I needed to do was type it up. Then after some bedroom cardio I forgot the whole thing. Whatever, I’m making up for my lack of Words with Friends skills by kicking her ass in Yahtzee.

“I am the Master of my fate; I am the Captain of my soul.”

Why I started writing: construction of the Pillars

In late November/early December my wife started working at a local restaurant following a years long battle with depression, and feelings of anxiety. Over the length of December, my wife began to feel disconnected from me. She felt alien, unknown to me. She spent more and more nights at work, away from me. Just after beginning working, she started working out with one of her co-workers and her manager. Co-worker is female, manager is male. This was every Saturday morning, almost without break. She got a membership at a new gym, separate from the gym we already had a membership with. She stopped going to the gym with me and the kids all-together. She only went with her manager and co-worker; eventually her co-worker stopped going and it was just her and her manager. I wanted to trust her, so I suppressed any feelings that something was going on. As more time between December and January went on, she didn’t just emotionally disconnect from me; it was everything. I rarely saw her for longer than 30 minutes, including weekends and days off. The only thing we had in common, as far as daily activities goes, was that we slept in the same bed. Our room was upstairs, but she started showering and brushing her teeth in the downstairs bathroom. She stopped having sex with me; she even told me that she wasn’t sexually attracted to me anymore because of the 20 pounds I had gained between October 2010 and Jan 2012. Those words, exactly. During January I found a video of her manager masturbating on her phone, in her text messages. I thought, maybe it was an accident but thought a bit and remembered: I’m checking her phone in the middle of the night because I heard her take a picture with her phone but didn’t see it on facebook and she didn’t send it to me so, where is it? I looked in her phone and found a picture of her lady-parts. Great. I looked back at the text messages and didn’t see where she had sent it, maybe she hadn’t. BUT, the picture was taken 3 minutes AFTER she got the video message, and she did not text or call her manager back to tell him he inadvertently sent the video to her. 2 days before that she told me that she didn’t have a problem joining another woman and her boyfriend/husband/whatever for a threesome because it was just sex. I specifically asked if she had a problem with the man of the couple having sex with her during the threesome (which by the way I wasn’t ok with in the first place, just asked to clarify) and she said she didn’t see anything wrong with it. In five and a half days I found out that my wife wasn’t sexually attracted to me anymore, and went so far as to say that I turned her off, that she was at the very minimum exchanging sexual pictures/videos with her manager, and that she didn’t see anything wrong with being with another couple-absent me. Just for poops and giggles I asked her what she thought about me being with another woman-she said no.
Fast forward three weeks to mid-February. My wife is on her phone, and it is beeping A LOT over the day and she was acting VERY strange. I get on her phone while she is putting the kids to bed, do some investigation and find a secret email account and dating profile. She’s been tossing herself out there to men IN THE LOCAL AREA for one-night stands. I was not happy, I had never felt so low. She reluctantly gave me information about one of them and I facilitated the end of his career; bye to Army Capt Louis C. We began reconciliation and a period of hysterical bonding; or so I thought.
Sex was great, and was often, but I could not shake the feeling that something else was going on, that the worst was yet to come. This caused me MASSIVE emotional trauma, and even psychological trauma, because I was ignoring EVERYTHING my gut was telling me; I wanted to believe that she was still mine and committed to only me, so I forced myself to say it over and over to myself so that I would believe it. I took the kids out of town two weekends over the period of one month. The second time I knew that something bad was going on. She got drunk with a friend, went to where she worked and fucked her manager in the restaurant; then talked to me at 3AM, little more than an hour later and told me how much she loved me and missed me.
I woke up one night to her writing in her journal by phonelight a few times one night after she got home from work (I was always asleep at that point). The next day I didn’t see her journal sitting out, which is what clued me that something was off. She never hid it before, and she went to work so I doubted that she had taken it with her. I went looking after I put the kids to bed and found it in about 30 seconds; the first and only place I looked was behind the bed. She had started to write down what she had been doing, to tell her therapist, starting with the affairs.

I was worse than crushed. I was finished. Nothing in my entire life, even if you combined everything bad that had happened to me over the course of my life, made me feel as bad, as insignificant, as incapable, as unlovable, as undesirable, as BROKEN, as finding out that my wife had been having affairs. This was made worse because she told me I wasn’t sexually attractive, I offered to start clean if she had ever touched another man sexually (I made the offer the night I found out about the dating profile-she was adamant that she had never touched another man). She had been downright cruel to me; at least twice I considered ending my life during that time; I hated going home and being around her, I hated that I loved her so much but that she would treat me so horribly. I nearly started a fight with a group of men at a local gas station, with the hope that I would be shot and killed so that I didn’t have to go back home one morning.
Shortly after finding out about the affairs, I started this blog. I felt alone, tainted, my health had been jeopardized and I had been exposed to the fluids of other men without even a mention that my health was at risk (they didn’t cum in her, but if you know anything about biology you’d know that the penis begins to secrete semen and ejaculate fluid almost as soon as sex starts, to clear the pathway of anything inside the penis that might kill or interrupt the sperm and the delivery of it). I need to feel that I wasn’t as crazy as I had forced myself to believe I was for thinking that my wife would be unfaithful to me. I needed to feel validated; I needed to know that I wasn’t alone.
Most of everything from then to now is already written here for your reading pleasure.

Most of all, I started this blog because I love my wife and I just wanted to make sense of everything so that I could heal, and help her heal. Despite what’s gone on over the last year, she is still the only woman I love, the only woman I want to be with. We’ve made significant progress in healing and continue to do so every day. Growing old with her and seeing our kids isn’t a question of “if”, but “when”.

Massage and Bipolar disorder

So this is the easier of two posts to write, the other post being why I started blogging in the first place. Over our 6.75 year marriage, I have seen how my massages have affected bRaving Bipolar and maybe she will chime in and share her first-hand experience as to the effects she feels.
Massage does wonders for the body and the mind. About one in every day and a half I’m massaging something on her. I have spent considerable time looking up different techniques, employing Swedish massage and trigger-point techniques. The hardest part about massage isn’t actually massaging. The most difficult aspect is figuring out where to massage; either in response to her complaints of pain/tension, or by probing, or maybe even a little of both. Not only this, but one would need to understand the relationship between muscles, nerves and the vascular system of the body. For example, if your hamstrings are sore, rubbing your hamstrings ONLY will produce a temporary relief, but a much longer and deeper release of tension can be achieved by examining the other areas that interact with the hamstrings. The Achilles tendon, bottom of the feet, calf and “ass”. If you are REALLY serious about relieving tension, realize that it goes much farther than the sight of perceived discomfort.
Example 2: rubbing the neck will not relieve the neck. Why not? Because the muscles in the upper back and shoulder tie in so closely that tension in them will cause tension in your neck. So, the question is: awesome Pillars, how the fuck do I know what to massage first? Great question. Answer: get feminine with your hands and apply lotion liberally.
Whatever do you mean?! It takes a long time to really be “good” and I’m not really educated or licensed. So by the way, if you do what I’m saying and you get hurt or get someone else hurt, you are at fault.
What works for me is: gentle massage, almost just brushing the skin, feeling for tension. If you are familiar with your spouse’s body, you will tell what feels out of place as far as tension. Someone who is a body builder or competitive athlete will feel different from someone who is not. Probe with your fingers and hands, see what feels tight, or like a large boulder under their skin. This not only helps you identify what to massage, but helps the recipient of your massage help you identify what else hurts or is tense that they initially did not perceive.
After that, you’ll need to come up with your own “massage game” or technique. I like to employ trigger point techniques (which require you to memorize where the trigger points are-not necessarily all of them, just in the most-commonly tense spots for your spouse), which really get her loose, and finish up with a lighter Swedish massage and some light “pinching” to finalize.
Typical spots I hit are: bottoms of feet, calves (especially the area at the bottom where the calf muscle really balloons out from the Achilles tendon), hamstrings, butt, pants line, lower back, lats, and a more specific routine for the upper back and neck.
For upper back, I like to pinch the traps and apply a LOT of pressure on them between my thumb and first finger, holding for a few seconds and slowly moving my fingers together. This can be painful, but it shouldn’t be anything more than slightly uncomfortable. After that, move laterally and massage the area between the shoulder and neck, followed by the outside, then front, then back of the shoulder joint itself. Finally, massage the pecs (this is not a boob fondling session, should stay north of them, but south of the collar bone). Hit the back side of the neck in a vertical motion with the thumbs, on each side of the spine. Move them upwards towards the base of the skull, each thumb pressing forward and in, as if they’re drilling to the center of the spinal cord at a 45 degree angle. After that, do some pinching motions with the thumb and first finger positioned horizontally, so that the pinching is done against the width of the tendon and not the length. Do each side at the same time. If you’ve got time, finish up with some light Swedish massage on the sides of the head above and behind the ears, and the back of the head.
Other things you can use: gold ball, or other larger, hard. non-nonabrasive surfaced spherical object. This really helps to apply a fair amount of pressure in a small area with minimal effort and the “rolling” feeling across the skin and muscle feel different, but pleasurable, from the use of hands.

So, why is it so effective?
According to Leonard (2010) it releases several different neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, and dopamine, which can contribute to e relaxed state. This is in addition to the obvious physical benefits, which include reduced muscle tension, better blood circulation in the affected areas, better mobility and a generally “healthy” feeling in the now-relieved areas.
This can aid in reducing overall stress on someone for whom stress triggers symptoms for their condition. After talking with bRaving Bipolar a bit more about it, she mentioned that a person who is bipolar needs to be “present” to fully enjoy the benefits. All the massaging I did this year did not prevent her episode, nor help her come out of it. Watt (2012) quotes another professional as saying that massage in unstable bipolar patients can worsen symptoms, and possibly cause them to act out sexually; they need to be stabilized first.

Leonard, C(2010) How does massage therapy relieve stress? Retrieved from Retrieved on 21 October 2012.
Watt, A. (2012) Massage and bipolar disorder. Retrieved from Retrieved on 21 October, 2012.

Adjust fire, over. And a short paper on CT law in the UK that I wrote.

After marriage therapy with bRaving Bipolar this past week a number of developments have occurred:

1. Time together is much more pleasant-she used to work most nights of the week, so my evening/night routines did not account for her being here, and threw me for an anxious and annoyance-filled loop, initially.  I was more anxious about the money we were going to lose and annoyed at what I perceived to be my concerns taking a back seat to things out of my control, again.  I am really enjoying having her home every night, even on the weekends.  She works during the day on the weekend, but that isn’t too hard.

2.  I finally finished two classes I’ve been trying to get through since January 1st of this year.  I was “enrolled” in them through late Feb, when DDay 1 occurred, and I took a leave of absence.  DDay 2 occurred and I extended my leave of absence.  I was re-enrolled on July 1st and did almost no work; only quizzes, until about the first week of September.  I asked for a 30 day extension for both courses and was approved; I did almost nothing again until 12 October.  In 2 days and 2 nights I wrote 7 papers totaling 30 pages, and should have been 40 but for an active-duty Marine serving as my instructor.  He talked to me over the phone about my long paper-the one I couldn’t get done to the page limit.  After listening to me describe the structure, the major points, my ultimate opinion and where I was getting my source information, he decided to award me with an A (90%) and did not have me write the entire paper.  I had about a third of it written, and had the sources to back-up my material.  For the record, my topic was: The impact of UAVs on Counter-terrorism, and the legal circumstances of employing them to target American citizens abroad for kinetic effects.  If you think that’s a mouthful and huge in scope, you should have read my opinion and the supporting evidence.  I may eventually finish the paper and post all 15 pages of it.

3.  Emotional intimacy is high.  I can “feel” her emotions and I would assume she can feel mine.  During the day, I don’t have so many uncontrollable obsessive thoughts about the affairs; they still occur randomly, but not as long and not as intense.  We spend much more time together, and have little “routines” for things we do when we do.  Like watching a show or movie-something to drink, charged battery for the tablet, working internet connection for the XBox, whatever.

4.  Physical intimacy is leveling out.  The last two times we’ve been physically intimate, I have perceived her as being in to it, and enjoying it (as in, she is enjoying it because she can be in to it).  I asked the first time, and she initiated the second.  It was a bit funny, she was undressing feet in front of me and I averted my gaze so she wouldn’t feel pressured or uncomfortable; she said I had such a cute, innocent look on my face.  I replied that I didn’t want to look at her undressing and make her feel uncomfortable.  She said something else, turned on a light in another room, turned off the light in our room, and pulled me on to the bed with her.  *Fist bump*

Just for poops and giggles, here’s one of the papers I wrote this past weekend: a study of the United Kingdom’s CT law and how effective it is.  I haven’t written a paper in about a year, so for the grammar nazi’s: I don’t give a flying shit.  Additionally, this is a short paper-as required-so if you want a fairly general look at the UK’s counter-terrorism effectiveness, read below.

British Police

British Police

Terrorism is a strong force in the world today.  It became a primary issue in the United States following the media’s coverage of the attacks on 11 September, 2011.  In Europe, however, the United Kingdom has been battling terrorism since before the early 1900’s.  Over this time the United Kingdom has developed a comprehensive but ineffective policy with respect to counterterrorism.  To understand this, the policy must be examined to discern what the United Kingdom defines as terrorism, what agency is responsible for counterterrorism, and how effective the agency and policy have been against terrorist groups.

How does the United Kingdom define terrorism?

The two main laws with respect to terrorism are the Terrorism Act 2000, and the Terrorism Act 2006.  The Terrorism Act 2000 has two subsets for defining terrorism and identifying acts that will be considered terrorism.  The first subset defines terrorism as:

“the use or threat is designed to influence the government [or an international governmental organization] or to intimidate the public or a section of the public, and the use or threat is made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious [or racial] or ideological cause.”  (National Archives, 2000).

The second subset identifies actions that can be considered terrorism if it:

“involves serious violence against a person, involves serious damage to property, endangers a person’s life, other than that of the person committing the action, creates a serious risk to health or safety of the public or a section of the public, or is designed seriously to interfere with or seriously to disrupt an electronic system.” (National Archives, 2000)

The United Kingdom’s terrorism legislation criminalizes several other actions related to terrorism, such as recruiting for a proscribed terrorist group, and training one’s self or others to commit terroristic acts.  It also specifically states that “The use or threat of action falling within subsection (2) which involves the use of firearms or explosives is terrorism whether or not subsection (1)(b) is satisfied.” (National Archives, 2012).  The Terrorism Act 2006 expands and revises some of the provisions of the Terrorism Act 2000.

The Terrorism Act 2006 starts off with a revision of the original definition of terrorism, and includes other government organizations as possible criminal targets for terrorists to act against.  With the explosion of internet, and social media during the first decade of the 21st century, the Terrorism Act 2006 also specifically includes the internet as a medium for communicating terroristic threats.

Who is responsible for counterterrorism in the United Kingdom?

The United Kingdom places the responsibility for counterterrorism in the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism (OSCT), a sub organization of the Home Office.  According to the OSCT website (2012) their responsibilities include “Supporting the Home Secretary and other Ministers in directing and implementing CONTEST…deliver aspects of this strategy directly, through legislation, guidance and funding…set the strategic government response to terrorism-related crises through the Cabinet Office Briefing Rooms (COBR) mechanism.”  (Home Office, 2012).  The Counter-Terrorism Strategy that the OSCT is charged with implementing centers around four principles: “Pursue, Prevent, Protect, Prepare.” (Home Office, 2012).

Pursue is centered around detection and investigation, with a focus on stopping terrorist attacks before they reach execution.  The Regulation of Investigative Powers Act (2000) governs some of the investigation activities, such as covert surveillance, communications interception, human intelligence, and the protection and investigation of private electronic data.  (Home Office).

The organizations conducting counterterrorism operations within the U.K., and abroad vary between federal and local.  Within the U.K. the civil law enforcement generally investigates and apprehends terrorists.  The British Security Service has the authority under certain circumstances to gather intelligence surrounding suspected or actual terrorist activities.  The armed forces also conduct counterterrorism nationally and internationally.  Nationally, the British military engaged the various forms of the Irish Republican Army in Ireland and Great Britain.  Internationally, the U.K. armed forces are conducting counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan.  The Guardian (2012) reports that “Up to 200 UK special forces servicemen are expected to remain inAfghanistan as a counter-terrorism unit after the formal pull-out of British forces in 2014.” (Wintour).

Terrorism within the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom has spent a significant amount of the last 50 years fighting the various forms of the Irish Republican Army (IRA).  Alexander (2002) writes that “Irish terrorism in Great Britain (mainland Britain compromising England, Scotland, and Wales) began on October 31, 1971, with the bombing of the restaurant at the top of the London Post Office Tower.” (p 201).  The IRA, and later the Provisional IRA fought for the independence of Northern Ireland.  Catholics felt discriminated against and began acts of civil disobedience.  The PIRA began attacks after a harsh response to the civil disobedience from the local Constabulary.  The Council on Foreign Relations (2010) states that “Tensions rose and Britain deployed regular army troops to the province’s streets, ostensibly to protect the Catholic minority.”

Effect of Counterterrorism

The effect of counterterrorism in the United Kingdom has prevented attacks on the scale of what happened in September 2001.  The Olympic Games occurred in London in 2012 without any major incidents.  The military and law enforcement were placed on high alert, and anti-aircraft missiles were deployed around the city to prevent a sizeable passenger aircraft, or small aircraft laden with explosives, from approaching the area.

The counterterrorism policy has not been without incident, however.  The bombings in 2005 were conducted by four men, who died as a result of the bombs being suicide devices and killed 52 people.  Additionally, Hanman (2009) wrote about three men who were given unfair trials.  The men, and their lawyers, were not aware of what they were accused of, nor were they aware of the evidence in use against them.  These circumstances were created by the use of control orders, which grants a specific government official very broad power to act on intelligence to restrict a person’s civil rights.


The United Kingdom has good response organizations and methods, but is currently alienating the population by not being able to strike a balance between security and the threats to civil rights by the restrictions they impose.  While the United States does not have the perfect counterterrorism policy either, both countries would do well collaborating on prevention techniques, and integration of intelligence with law enforcement.


Alexander, Y. (2002)  Combating Terrorism: strategies of 10 countries.  Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press.

Hanman, N. (2009) Control Orders.  Retrieved from Retrieved on 15 October 2012.

Home Office (2012) About the office for security and counter-terrorism.  Retrieved from Retrieved on 3 October 2012.

National Archives (2012) Terrorism Act 2000.  Retrieved from Retrieved on 3 October 2012.

National Archives (2012) Terrorism Act 2006.  Retrieved from Retrieved on 3 October 2012.

Wintour, P. (2012) UK special forces will stay in Afghanistan in anti-terror role.  Retrieved from Retrieved on 4 October 2012.

Warning, and finally done

Ok, so whoever came to my blog with the search term “slipping ambien to my wife” you seriously, SERIOUSLY, need to reconsider what it is that you’re doing, and how much you care for your wife.  Unless you have a court order granting you conservatorship over her, you have no moral, or legal, right to medicate her without her permission.  I’ll be corresponding with WordPress on this matter, I hope it was a massive autocorrect fail and if not, I hope you are the subject of an investigation.  —mid-post update: I let WordPress know.  I’ll be assisting them in whatever way I can.

In personal news, I just finished up two classes that I’ve been dealing with since January.  In January, things in my life, mainly my marriage, turned to poop and I jusdt couldn’t be a student, so I got a 5 months leave of absence right before my semester ended.  Then After that, I got a one month extension right before the 2nd attempt through.  I don’t know if I passed one of the two classes or not, I could not muster the effort and intelligence to write a 15 page paper on a particular topic.  Pass or fail, I need to move on, even if it does screw up my GPA.

In good news, I’m active with the two classes I started on the first.  And we had a productive marriage counseling session this afternoon.  We sit on the same love seat and I put my arm around her; we did at the other therapist and this one.  At one point she put a pillow between us; bRaving Bipolar immediately made to move back close to me, and I immediately moved to put my arm around her again, so the therapist put ANOTHER pillow in between us and told me to take my arm down (it was a humorous thing, she was trying to illustrate a point).  Even more humorous was when she asked bRaving Bipolar what the two pillows meant; straight faced and confident, bRaving Bipolar responded “the two men I slept with.”  All three of us laughed at that one, it was actually funny.

Slipping under

Been a rough go the last couple of weeks.  bRaving Bipolar told me last week that sometimes she feels like I’m asking her to “buy” some of the time out of the house that I offer her/suggest with sex.  This came up when she asked to get her nails done before work, I suggested that she leave early and go to dinner before work, and subsequently told her if she was in “the mood” that I’d like to before she left or after she got back.  I can understand how she could feel that way; I did my best to assure her that I don’t do anything with the expectation that she’ll have sex with me because of it.  On the flip side, I tend to go above and beyond around the house hoping that she will reward me with sex.  Since she made that comment last sunday, my sex drive plummeted.  Then I had the most awkward sex (with my wife of course) I’ve ever had a few nights ago and it’s virtually gone.

She still has an emotional burden and flashbacks of things she did in her manic episode which prevent her from really participating or enjoying sex.  I feel broken and undesired, she doesn’t really pursue me, sex usually starts with a “do you want to have sex” or “we have to do this tonight, do that tonight, have sex, take a shower” in what sounds like a slightly annoyed tone that most people use when they verbally list out things that they don’t want to do before they go to sleep.

We were also incorrectly told by a VA representative to expect $650 the first week of this month.  When the money didn’t come I called the VA and the person I talked to informed me that it would be the first week of November.  We could have really used that money; our daily “meals” combined together equaled about what a single meal should be.  We’ve gotten really behind since I took my leave of absence from school and stopped getting the GI Bill benefits.

Last week I also stopped taking the Restoril because those nightmares and dreams were just getting to be too much, and the time it took to tell the difference between what I was dreaming and what reality actually is after I woke up was getting longer and longer, and arguably could have gotten violent.  I can’t remember posting about it here previously, but on Restoril I would have EXTREMELY vivid dreams and nightmares.  I was “aware” in them, in that I could control what I did, my thought process and how I reacted.  I could not escape the feeling of anxiety, fear, or a sense of lack of control.  The dreams/nightmares were always active with things that would cause anxiety, fear and a sense of no control, such as fighting, dreaming that my wife moved one of the affair partners into the house one day while I was at work and acted as if he had taken my place, losing my kids, losing my job, losing my health.  When I would wake up from the dream/nightmare, there would be a period of time that I could not tell the difference between the dream and reality.  Sound weird yet?  Let me continue.

When I opened my eyes upon waking, I could obviously tell that I was in my bedroom.  The bedroom then became part of the dream.  In that period of time, there was no house surrounding the bedroom, no back yard, no hallway; everything literally outside of my bedroom was the dream world.  I would eventually get to a point where something would “pull” at me and remind me that something wasn’t real; either the bedroom and the reality it represents, or the dreamworld outside the bedroom.  I would have to literally tell myself that my bedroom was real and everything outside of it wasn’t.  As time went on, the time it took for me to come back to reality increase; my phone was beside me and when in its dock it displays the time.  The worst transition I had was when I was up looking for someone that I was sure was in my house.  I dreamed that I came home to my wife in bed with another woman, and that after they were done I got in bed and we all went to sleep.  When I woke up and it was still dark, I naturally wondered where the chic went; so I got up and started stalking through the house, listening for sounds indicating she was there and looking for signs that she had been there.  When I covered every room and closet, I opened the door and looked out front; no car.  So I realized it was just a dream and went back to bed.  I think we’re pretty lucky that there wasn’t another woman in the house; when I checked downstairs and couldn’t find her, I went upstairs with the intention of being violent when I found her-only my children sleep upstairs and there would have been no reason for her to be up there.

Sometimes they were fun, enjoyable, fulfilling.  Imagine walking in a world that looks like this:

I did; it brought the kind of joy and peace that I’ve only felt from one other place in all of my travels.

Speaking of that place, I started EMDR in therapy last week and my therapist verbally described a “safe” place for me while I kept my eyes closed, imagined it in my head and tried to allow my senses to experience what I would experience if I were there.  I already have one, and I find it interesting that it was in one of the most dangerous places I could be at the time: Iraq, just outside of Saqlawiyah.  It may have something to do with the fact that I word protection, in the form of body armor, so I didn’t feel “naked” and I had the means and authority to retaliate against anything that I felt threatened by, and retaliate with the kind of force that brings finality with it.

Work is work, no harder than usual.  bRaving Bipolar is working only on the weekends and only during the day shift so we are getting good time to strengthen our emotional intimacy and in general enjoy each other’s company.  This is nice, because she has demonstrated the ability to take over things when I get overwhelmed from work, school and the kids, several times over the last few months, which is very relieving.  We are finding that more often than not, we maintain a balance between responsibility and tasks; whenever she’s feeling overwhelmed I find it easier to take over so that she can rest, when I feel overwhelmed she finds it easier to do the same.  I am very thankful for that.

I love her so much, I just wish we could be physically intimate now.  I want back what was taken from me and I feel as if I’m being punished even though I didn’t do anything wrong.  We’re working on it, and she tries very hard.  Thanks for your hard work babe.  I see it; it goes a long way.