This is a two part post, bad followed by good.
Briefly talked to bRaving Bipolar tonight about how the upcoming holiday season is going to affect me, starting now. I’m already feeling a little raw, because I have a wedding anniversary coming up in December. I find myself subconsciously looking at the calendar and seeing how many days are left until the day she had sex with her first AP for the first time; a day that happens to be 2 days after Christmas and the day before our wedding anniversary. This isn’t me thinking I’m going to feel bad, this is me feeling bad. This doesn’t mean that my wife hasn’t improved, that our marriage hasn’t improved, that I haven’t improved.
Quite the opposite; since she started working days only two days a week, the time we get to spend together has increased dramatically to every night. Sex is still highly sporadic, and as much as I crave it and she doesn’t, it is better than nothing. I wish I had more time and money to go to my individual therapy, we haven’t been there in a while. It is unfortunate, but when you have a limited amount of money to pay for things, even “necessary, critical” things must be cut. So between the two of us, I’m stable enough to go longer periods without individual therapy.
I remembered looking at something earlier today and thinking back to how I felt during her manic episode, before and after DDay 1, but before I REALLY knew about the affairs and the bigger problem. I mentioned it in my last post, about how I was going to compromise what I thought our marriage should be to ensure that we still stayed married and I forced myself to ignore EVERYTHING my gut told me about EVERYTHING, and tried to condition myself to believe the lies she’d told me (about not having affairs, even though in my gut I knew she was, but I wanted to believe I could trust her), and what I thought her behavior would evolve to. I felt like I was on the bring of suffering a psychotic break. I may have, and just never been diagnosed.
My whole life was upside down, I felt like my consciousness was collapsing in on itself and nothing was replacing it. I was unable to deal with the stress, I didn’t have the energy to cope in healthy ways (due to some REALLY bad sleep), I couldn’t trust myself. The world around me appeared to be alien, and in my altered state of “awakeness” I wondered how much of what I was seeing and hearing was real, or imagined. Not like a “I can’t believe this is happening” kind of wondering, it was a literal “I’ve been having a conversation with someone for a few minutes only to find out that they never came to work that day.” When what I was doing to cope with the trauma I was dealing with every day stopped working, my next idea was to dive as deep as I could into a bottle and hope to drown the world out. That was before DDay 1, and that is why I started going to get therapy.
Overwhelming does not even begin to describe the loss of control and helplessness I felt. The only other time I felt like this was when I was a kid, and my parents weren’t really giving me the love and attention I wanted and needed. I wondered what was wrong with me that mommy and daddy wouldn’t spend time with me or play with me. I didn’t know what I’d done to make them not love me, and I didn’t know what to do to make them love me again. Take the same sentences, remove “play with me” and replace “mommy and daddy” and “them” with “my wife”. Throw on top of this the rape and abuse I suffered when I was 5 and hadn’t remembered or dealt with yet and we have a recipe for disaster. Through a little google and wikipedia reading, I could have been/currently be suffering from bereavement, with the loss being my perceived loss of the love my wife had for me.
Luckily, my wife had a “special” moment in which she was asking for help. I found out what was going on before she could really ask, sometimes I wonder how long this would have gone on, what would have happened to us if it kept going, what would have happened if she had never thought to tell her therapist the truth.
She is currently out at a local establishment of Hispanic cuisine with members of her bipolar support group; this is a weekly outing after the support group meets. We have both had to deal with a fair amount of stress this week, as I found out 2 days ago that I’m traveling to Camp Lejeune for a week, starting in 2 days. At least I was able to procure transportation other than the one vehicle we own that is legal to drive right now. We are traveling home the evening I get back, which is going to be a bit rough on me. I’m driving the 4.5 hours up to Hampton Roads sometime friday afternoon/evening, and from there the 5’ish hours to our hometown. At around 9AM on Saturday morning, I’m driving an hour away to trade my Glock 17 and an EOTech 552 for an HK45C. Then driving an hour back and trying not to become irritable for the rest of the day. This may be a challenge, as an in-law that bases his political views on personal opinion and “one-liners” with no factual support, who also acts passive-aggressively and makes himself out to be a victim, may be there.
The time I have been spending with bRaving Bipolar has been awesome. During the hurricane, which wasn’t that bad here, we were up late. I had the next day off so we really weren’t in a rush to get to sleep and she mentioned that she would love pizza at that time; on a whim I said fuck it, lets order. So we ordered, stayed up later, ate pizza and watched a movie. I may have described this in my last post, but I don’t care. The next night we ordered more pizza, and the following day we had pizza again at a friend’s house.
I’m starting Military Athlete again after a 3 month hiatus. I feel like my body is becoming weak, inflexible and prone to injury and illness; for over a month I didn’t go to the gym or train in any way. I’m looking forward to it. It will also be nice to get the kids out of the house. My wife has been doing a lot for me lately, taking charge of some things and really reaching out to help relieve stress on me without me asking. Our marriage has changed (obviously!) and when I look at how, considering only us and not the kids, we do a very good job at helping the other person cope with stress. I listen to what she has to say when she has to say it (I think I’ve always been a good listener), and I frequently massage her stress away. She listens to what I have to say, and we both give each other the space we need to decompress from life. We also do a better job of “taking over” when the other person is stressed from everything going on.
The only thing that bothers me is that she will get butthurt at how bad I beat her in Dice with buddies (yahtzee) on our phones/tablet.