To Share An Emotion

Life can be filled with emotions. We constantly shift between various emotions and at different levels of intensity. For most of us we really only share happiness or nothing at all with the outside world. Yet our inside world is filled with anger, disgust, fear, sadness and surprise. 

Who do we choose to share all these other emotions with? That is the core of the question. When you find that person and you know you can freely share your true emotions then you have something special. 

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Journal: You

The last post from Meredith – which I’ve already written about. It was written almost two months after the one before it. There has been nothing since. The distance between us brought her to a place where she could let me go. She has let me go. It may not have been easy, but she has to do it for her family. She will always be a part of my history, and I will always be a part of hers. 

I miss you Meredith. 

*****

https://apatientman.wordpress.com/2017/04/19/you/

Journal: Residency

Anger. Meredith is angry about the system of residency for doctors. It is a fucked up misogynistic system that cares nothing for significant others. Her anger is directed toward that system and all the “help” she found about it. 

But really her anger is much deeper. Angry that she’s in this situation at all. That she is married to a man who doesn’t understand her. That she will never get the life she wants because when all this waiting is done, only then can she even begin to salvage her marriage. Everything she is reading tells her that she needs to give all to her husband at a time when she isn’t sure she even wants to be married to him. How is she able to force the conversation with him when she’s supposed to do everything for him? To keep him from having more stress? It’s that double negative that is crushing her spirit. 

As she said, this is bullshit.   

*****

I just looked up articles about being the spouse of a resident.

Barf.

Why am I not allowed to be upset?

Why is the expectation that I will lower my expectations so I’m never disappointed?
Why is the advice to pray and allow god to fill me up?

Why am I constantly reminded to think about how H must be feeling and how his heart is with us even when he isn’t?

Why are their COUNTLESS people suggesting that I should give up whatever is making me insane? What if it’s residency making me insane?

What the actual fuck?

So the advice is that I’m supposed to just give and give and give and give as much as I can. I’m supposed to have zero expectations. Be super understanding of what H is experiencing. And just know that it’ll be over soon? Seriously? That’s the advice. No. This is a fucked up system. I barely know my husband any more. I don’t see him. We talk about only the things that are necessary to make our lives work. I am drowning and no one is throwing me a fucking life vest. They’re just pointing out that I’ll only be drowning a little longer. And shouldn’t I expect the water to be this cold? And shouldn’t I expect that the life vest will show up as often as it can? Jesus. Fucking. Christ.

And yes, getting friends sounds great. With what spare time should I do that? And oh, by the way, you definitely shouldn’t complain to these friends because you should only put your husband in the best light possible.

And please make sure your husband gets plenty of sleep. That’s really important.

I’m so furious. I went out looking for help and all I got were a bunch of 1950’s housewife magazine peddling the same damaging bullshit.

You know what? I feel like I deserve to have high expectations. I am actually worth more than that. I shouldn’t have to wait until some arbitrary date when I’m suddenly allowed to have a decent life again. I shouldn’t just be ok with being alone all the time and hardly seeing my husband. That’s not normal. It’s not fucking normal. I will not feel ok about it. And I especially won’t feel happy about it. And don’t tell me that I need to pray about God is going to come wave some dumb magic wand and fix this. God treasures me. Fucking treasures me. And God treasures H and our family. God may help us work through this but it’s not going to be in some ridiculous reductionist understanding wherein I pray hard and then magically I see that I can just choose to be happy.

This is fucking bullshit.

Journal: Truth

Meredith was not doing well here. She really opened up about her own marriage. My heart breaks for her. 

*****

Things are not going well for me right now.

H is on his third week of nights since Christmas and I’m tired. I’m not eating well, I’m not taking care of myself. The only time that I really could exercise is first thing in the morning but I’m so tired I can’t get out of bed. I feel alone and stuck in all areas of my life. I parent mostly alone. I work mostly alone. Most of my conversations with H feel like I’m counseling him on how to deal with his emotions. I don’t know what I’m getting out of the relationship except stability which I guess is nice but mostly doesn’t feel like enough. I’m to the point at work where I need help with the parts that I’m not good at like selling. And no one is there to help me. I’m being as strategic as I can but I have so little support it’s hard. Mostly I just feel so alone. 

And I’m embarrassed that I told so much of this to Dave today. He is our pastor and a good listener and also a friend of H’s so that’s good because it’s not swaying him against H or anything. But it just feels inappropriate to talk about. Like I’m supposed to keep all this inside and be grateful that H is so amazing. He’s working so hard to become emotionally intelligent. He’s a doctor. He’s funny. He’s musical. Yes, I know all of that. But he doesn’t really have time to support me. And even if he did, I’m not sure he knows how. 

What I told Dave is true. If H has a thing come up with his schedule I flex and figure it out. If I have a thing come up mostly I have to arrange for my parents to watch my daughter. It’s not reciprocal. And I can’t live like this much longer. I can’t continue to give all the parts of me to other people and not have any time to keep parts for myself. I just can’t. I can’t. I feel like part of me is dying and I don’t know how to get it back. I feel so stuck in my life.

And so what are my options? Leave him? What will he do without someone taking care of him? He will eat shitty food and not see his daughter enough and probably have a bad rest of residency.

Quit my job? To what end? I can devote everything to my family but then I will literally have no ability to leave because I’ll be financially dependent. Plus I’ll become resentful that the one area where I felt like I could make a difference is gone.

I don’t see a way I can move forward. I feel stuck. I feel like I played all my cards. And like the house keeps winning.

I’m so tired.

Journal: Me

Another journal post from Meredith. She’s thinking about her sexual desires, and how she wishes they didn’t exist. I often feel the same way. Sex with my wife would be easy if I just wanted an emotional connection and vanilla sex.

The thing that really strikes me isn’t just the kinky desires, but the intensity of her desires. After H goes to sleep she takes time to get herself off. She needs sex. I’m sure there are a lot of women like that, but it’s not something I’m used to.

This post also feels a little like a dirty version of Romeo and Juliet to me. Here she is struggling with not being able to act on her desires. On my side I’m struggling with the same thing. Together we would meet them perfectly. Yet it is a dream that will never be.

*****

I wish I could turn off all my sexual desires. If I could do that, H would be a fine match for me. I could just have sex when he wanted.

Instead, I have lots of specific desires. And no one to do them with. And even when I feel emotionally close to H, I don’t feel sexually aroused. I hate it.

Why can’t I just be turned on by vanilla sex?

I came last night after he fell asleep. I read the third chapter of Raw. I skipped a huge portion of it and just went to the part where Malcolm calls her Lady Becca. I came as soon as I read that part.

I’m really down today because of it. I feel trapped by my desires.

Alcohol and Openness

While we were walking back from having margaritas my wife said “I wonder if I would have drank more in college if we would’ve had these conversations sooner.”

Let me give you a little context. My wife is the goody-two-shoes you’ve always imagined. She did not drink one bit of alcohol before her 21st birthday. She wanted to wait until marriage for sex (and probably would have if not for a multi-year engagement). She was a perfect A student. Sweet as sweet can be. No drugs, no tattoos, no cursing. She was a parent and a pastors dream. 

We met at one of the top 10 party schools in the nation. Personally, I took full advantage. My wife, however, did not. She did exceedingly well academically, but missed out on much of the socializing and all of the alcohol fueled parties. Not that I’m saying she did anything wrong. It was her choice, but she was looking back now and wondering if she missed something that actually would’ve been helped her future beyond just studying. She also missed out forming good friends during that period. There was a lot of bonding taking place outside of study hall. 

She continued, “We’ve been able to have these much more open conversations, and I’m not as anxious about them after a drink or two. I was just thinking that we might have been able to talk about sex more freely earlier in our relationship if I didn’t have such a hangup over drinking – and sex.” 

I mentioned “Well I’m sure it would’ve come up sooner. Alcohol has been known to lead to sex, especially at college.”

She replied “Yeah, I missed out on all that. All the socializing. The bar scene. Not joining a sorority because my sister convinced me not to. I think I missed out on a lot that would’ve helped us talk earlier. Possibly address these issues earlier.”

She’s not wrong. I have mentioned before in this blog how naive she is about life at times. She very much isolated herself during college. Most of the kids were out having fun on the weekends, including me, but my wife would study and not touch a drop of alcohol. She remained very uptight which inhibited us from opening up about topics that were happening all around us each weekend. 

Even when she did drink after turning 21 she was very controlled about it. There was no letting go. She would constantly say something like “It’s been two hours I can have a third drink now.” Really? It’s not a science experiment. Just stop and enjoy yourself. She can’t. She’s never been what I would call drunk. Buzzed is as close as she’s been. Even after one drink over an hour ago she’ll claim she can’t drive. I just roll my eyes. 

Could she be right about her hypothesis? Probably. Honestly, if she would’ve let her hair down and enjoyed a party or two she might have even enjoyed sex periodically. At least we would’ve had the mental lubricant for her to talk about it. 

What is your Kink?

My wife finally took the quiz to see her kinkiness level. She was afraid to show me. In fact she still hasn’t, but she did give me a preview. She scores 93% vanilla. Well that’s not too unexpected. I mean I was always hoping for something inside her she wasn’t aware of, but in the end it is what we both kind of knew. 

I scored 13% vanilla. We are a bit apart there. Now we have more to discuss though. One online quiz does not determine the course of a marriage. But it does give us another avenue to communicate which we sorely need. 

Over the past year and a half to two years I have done quite a lot of self discovery. Learning much about myself that I either didn’t know or didn’t really understand. For my wife I think she has begun her own self discovery process earlier this year when meeting with her counselor. But they don’t discuss sex. I believe my wife is too scared to bring it up. 

One of our biggest problems is sex and we need to discuss it. What I appreciate about that quiz is that is gives us a common starting point and a set of language to use beyond the very basics. Hopefully this weekend we will have time to delve further.