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.