Nightmares and Insights in Book Six: Trying to Hold On 2019

  • Nov. 11, 2019, 9:50 a.m.
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Today is Veteran’s Day. Which means it was an optional work day for me. Which is to say… it is supposed to be a day where I am not supposed to go to work; but my boss scheduled something for today so… I could go in but I wasn’t required to. Honestly, I had planned to go in. But then I had a nightmare so upsetting that I didn’t. I’m not proud to admit that. But it is the truth.

I was following up on a corruption investigation into our local police officers. Apparently, the allegation was that our officers were being paid per individual “forced” into a Residential Treatment Facility. That would be… very bad… as RTF placement should be for people who HAVE a drug addiction and WANT to get better. Not just “where we put people because we get kickbacks.” So, with makeup and costuming, I disguised myself as an average homeless bloke. Someone that could be a candidate for RTF but would need additional screening to make sure. The police never even addressed me. So, we scaled it back a bit more. I was a “teenager breaking curfew by walking his dog.” I thought that was insane… what police officer would arrest a kid and put them into rehab for THAT crime. Well, I was wrong. I was walking Nala and got arrested. Immediately sent to Rehab. No jail, no bond, no hearings. Just instantly sent to a Residential Treatment Facility. WITH the dog. No phone call. Throughout the dream, I’m given a tour of the facility and told the rules and I keep repeating “Will I get to keep my dog, will she be sent home, or will she be terminated?” I’m begging people to tell me. Finally, I get to the end of the tour and I’m told that the facility “doesn’t have the resources to house or re-home vermin” and Nala is literally ripped from my arms and thrown onto the street where she is killed by a semi-truck. In the dream I’m SCREAMING AND SOBBING and just repeating her name “NALA! NALA! NALA!” When I woke up… I honestly thought I’d been doing that IRL. Like… I had to check to make sure Wife hadn’t woken up because of my sobbing and screaming. I instantly went to Nala in her doggy bed and set up my own little nest so that I could sleep with her close by. The very idea… the memory… of seeing her thrown into the street with such callousness and then destroyed? Oh, that gutted me!! She may be annoying and problematic sometimes; but she doesn’t deserve THAT. She doesn’t deserve THAT.

So… after that? Another reality set in. My Wife is super upset about how much I’ve been drinking lately. And… sure… maybe she is right. But I really wanted to understand WHY I’ve been drinking so much more. And… the truth is simple, thus upsetting. I hate being simple. ALL of my sexual experiences are connected to Pornography. That’s certainly not my preference; but it is very much the truth. And growing up? I was pretty much told that having pornography in your life meant that you were an evil failure of a human being. Now, add to that the fact that I waited for my Wife in order to enjoy the pleasurable delights of sexuality and explore the vast world of carnal pleasure.... and her response to all of it is essentially “Ew, why?” I mean… is it any surprise why I’m drinking and depressed?? I mean… I passed up numerous opportunities in my lifetime in order to be THE Husband. But so far… I just… feel like a failure. Yeah, I’ve emotionally and financially supported my wife in a way that should make me feel like a successful husband. And I’m respecting her emotional and physical wishes; so AS A HUSBAND I’m actually NOT a failure. And I should embrace that. I’m doing PERFECT HUSBAND routine by being a Provider, supporting her emotionally, and respecting her physically. I am 100% being Perfect Husband. But that is actually the fucking problem. I bought into a world that included justice… but there is no real justice. The guy that goes out of his way to be PERFECT HUSBAND doesn’t get rewarded with PERFECT MARRIAGE. The guy that saves himself for his wife doesn’t get rewarded with SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP. The brutal truth is… I can be anything to anyone and I’m good at that. But I have never met someone that was able, willing, or capable of reciprocating that. You want me to be the superhero that listens to an 8 year old girl recite her violent, brutal sexual assault… and then win the day for her? GRANTED. You want me to be the kindhearted counselor that listens to a broken woman finally ask for help? GRANTED. You want me to be the guy that sacrifices his time to help others heal and grow as people? GRANTED. But… when that guy turns around and says, “Okay… who wants a romantic night on the town followed by a few hours of sexual exploration?” Everyone turns their back.

So… yeah. That is why I’m drinking more. I’m giving more of myself every day for everyone else. And all I ask is for someone I find attractive.... someone I care about… to find me attractive… to care about me. And, honestly, it is the very specific reason I wanted to get married before I went to Law School. I knew I was signing up for a job where I would deal with the worst of the worst in this world. And I wanted my home life to be squared away first. A home life where, no matter what I put up with at work, I could come home and find refuge. Well… certainly managed to fuck that up. Because I don’t have that. I can empty myself out entirely at work… come home… and, true, Wife doesn’t require anything from me. So, there are days where work drains me and my home life does NOT. But it certainly doesn’t help to fill me back up. So, at best… my reality is “At least home doesn’t kill you faster.” Is it really so selfish… so cruel… to want a home life where occasionally I’m filled back up?? Where my emotional, physical, or spiritual needs are supported, met, encouraged?

And honestly… before you rush to say “Oh, you aren’t asking too much” I would encourage you to analyze the world at large. Toxic Masculinity is fed by both men and women. Have you ever complimented the man in your life? Have you ever bought him a small token of your affection for no reason? Have you ever shown him affection without expecting something in return? Because truly… men are raised to believe that they are required to “care for their woman” but they aren’t raised to believe that a “woman should care for their man.” AND you can certainly argue that… but I want you to really understand the word choice there. CARE FOR. Not “serve.” Any ass can serve. If your man says, “Bitch, make me a sandwich” and you do… that isn’t “care for” that is “serve.” If your man comes home from a 15 hour day, and you have food waiting for him because you know he’ll be hungry? That is care for. If your man has a birthday, so you buy him a Sports Illustrated… that is serve. If you see something in a shop window that makes you think of your man, so you buy it and surprise him with it? That is care for.

And that is my current struggle. Honestly… as far as how I was raised? I do have the perfect marriage. Wife doesn’t cheat on me, she doesn’t seem to hate me, and we cooperate decently as far as keeping the house from falling apart. But I want more. I want a wife who genuinely openly cares about me. I want a wife who thinks that an honest, emotion-backed kiss should be an every WEEK ordeal; not an every MONTH ordeal. I want a wife who sees me, physically OR emotionally, and understands what I do and what I build… and wishes to have sex at least once a month or more… as opposed to once an EQUINOX.

What is my breaking point? If you haven’t asked that, you should. If you have asked that, I wouldn’t blame you. And the truth is… I need Mike. There is a man in my life whose opinion I respect above all. He is compassionate, realistic, spiritual, and kind. I have known him since I was 12 and he has always shown me the kind of intellectual respect that makes me care about his opinion. Because there are people in this world with whom you may feel “equal” to in spirituality, but not intellect.... intellectually, but not emotional.... emotionally, but nor spiritually. Mike… I find to be either my equal or my better in all categories. I have yet to specifically seek his advice. I can lie and say I have not sought his counsel because his flock is over 10,000 strong. I mean, it is a good enough excuse and it is factually accurate. He is a pastor at a Mega Church and I imagine he hast literally thousands of e-mails a day. But the truth is… I’ve known him for almost 25 years. I certainly hope that if I sought his council, he would offer it. Though… perhaps THAT is the fear that stops me. Not the fear of what his answer might be… but the fear that he would not answer at all. THAT would be… more disappointing than anything. If I sought his advice and he essentially did not answer or responded with “too busy”… that would be soul shattering. There are few men in the world that I can confidently say know more of the Bible, Psychology, Ethics, Philosophy, and Empathy than I… he is one of those very few men. If he didn’t have time for me, that would be devastating. I should reach out to him. BUT… as mentioned… there is a lot of fear. He could say, “Keep trying”; he could say, “Rest easy”; he could say, “You’ve tried enough”; or he could simply… never respond. And each and every one of those possibilities carries with it a giant life-impacting emotional weight.

AppleGirl November 11, 2019

I'd reach out to Mike at this point. You need an outside person you trust to tell you it's ok to want the things you talk about over and over.
Thinking about my own marriage, I very much "take care" of my husband, and he reciprocates. And we both feel "cared for" differently. Making a cup of coffee for him on the weekends when he is perfectly capable of doing it himself and then sitting together enjoying it is caring. A backrub after a long day of work at a computer - caring. For me, it's him taking the garbage out or putting up the chickens at night when I don't want to go into the cold. I relish acts of service, he relishes quality time or touch.

You are not in a marriage right now.

Always Laughing November 11, 2019

If you need Mike reach out to him. As for your question I am a significant other who cares. I do those little things for my partner when I have one because I know how special they make me feel so want him to feel that too.

stargazing November 11, 2019

From where I sit, you do not have the perfect marriage. You keep saying it is, but your needs aren't being met. Thinking about my own marriage, I used to take care of my husband. I'd do little thoughtful things. See something I knew he'd love and get it for him just because. Leave love notes for him on the table when I was gone for the day. Send him text messages to let him know I was thinking about him. But I'd say over the last 5 years or so, I've stopped doing that. As I started feeling more like his mother than his wife...and he started blowing up at me more and more the desire to care for him has diminished.

Amaryllis November 11, 2019

it sounds like your unfulfilled desire for sex is seriously damaging you as a person, if it's making you drink that much. It's triage time. the question becomes, will you get a caring and sexually satisfying relationship faster if you continue to believe your wife's mental health will improve, or will you get it faster if you divorce and look for someone else. Time to act. Not acting is acting, as you well know.

Perpetually Plump November 12, 2019

Obviously there is just a ton going on here. A lot to work through. And a lot of notions to be disabused of (your marriage is awful. Even if you had sex, it'd be awful. You are being emotionally and mentally abused.) But also, you have this weird sense of entitlement. You don't get a perfect marriage because you are willing to help people. You aren't entitled to certain aspects of life because you defend those who need it. I think these are thoughts deeply engrained in religion, actually. You can't have something just because you prayed for it. You don't get to live through a deadly cancer diagnosis be you go to a mega church and the entire congregation is praying. (This notion offends me to the core of my being. To think God would value someone's life based on the number of prayers or votes a la American idol). I don't support the idea that if you follow some basic tenants, ie no sex before marriage, you'll be rewarded by God with someone who is also virtuous and has the same views as you. Life just doesn't freaking work this way. If anything, I see it as you have been given the tools to have the life you want, but it's now up to you to leverage them and use them to your advantage so you can have all these wonderful things god promised you. Because freewill is a thing, and if God promised you a perfect wife, she'd have been stripped of her freewill. Because she, too, has to work the tools given to her to see the promises delivered.

I do take care of my boyfriend. In so many ways. If he's had a long day at work, I will show up with dinner and beer. If he can't find something he's lost, but is late for work, I will go find it and bring it to him at work, plus some food so he will eat. If we're sitting on the couch, and he gives me the look, he squishes into my lap, and I will hug and kiss and hold him as long as he needs. If his hands hurt, I massage them. If his back hurts, I will rub it. If I'm at the store and I see his favorite chocolate, I will buy it. I drop in for a few minutes of cuddles or some quick kisses. I love and care for his dog as if it were my own. I frequently ask what he needs, and ask how I can help fulfill that need. so, yeah, I really take care of my boyfriend, physically and emotionally.

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