Journal: Aug 25 Thoughts

Next journal post. You can see her body image is an important theme and gauge of her depression. The key point here is that she is continuing to communicate to me that she is following my rules. She is letting me know how she feels, and that she is working out. Even when a bird threatened to derail her morning. 

—–

Well, I did yoga and meditation this morning. I was a little distracted during yoga because after meditation I heard a bird in the green room. I tried to help the little guy get out but he was too flustered and kept trying to exit via the window. Ultimately he ended up flying as fast as he could directly into the window and died. It was terrible. I saw him take his last breath… I’m actually upset enough to cry about it. I buried him in the garden.

In other news, I weighed myself yesterday and was super unhappy with the result. Yes, weight is just a number but it shows how depressed I’ve been. I’ve just been eating whatever sounds good with no control or thought. And so I now weigh more than I ever have before (including when I was 40 weeks pregnant). Blech. I do feel good about this new exercise regime and the journalling, but it’s kind of depressing that my body is SUCH a reflection of my emotional state. The good news is that it can go the other way too… and ultimately my goal is to be strong and have good endurance and feel confident – none of those things are weight dependent.

I am heading down to a work retreat this morning with my daughter. We’re both really excited about it. I LOVE the retreats. I can’t wait to be there.

Journal: 8/24 Thoughts

Meredith’s first real post. There was a lot of health related thoughts I shortened. This post was her way of telling me how she’s feeling and that she’s following my instructions. The part where she mentions it doesn’t come naturally to her what she means is that I told her the good parts. 
—–

Well, I feel a lot better than I did yesterday.I woke up spontaneously at 5:20 which is always a good sign that I slept well and should have a good day. I’m pretty nervous about H. [health problems removed]. It’s likely just a symptom of stress. He’s nervous, which means that it’s more serious than he’s letting on.

I meditated this morning and then did the 7 min workout which has me feeling a bit better. There is so much jumping in the 7 min workout for women app: seal jumping jacks, no rope jump rope, skaters, jumping lunge, squat jump, frog jump, squat thrusts, mountain climbers, superman exercise, and plank. By the time I get to the frog jump I can barely get myself off the floor. I guess that’s a good place to start from though. 🙂

I also took some photos of my current self. Honestly, I kind of hate them. A big problem is the light (H was still asleep), but I still can’t help but focus on my belly. I’m trying to see all the positive things: my skin looks nice, I have big brown eyes, my hair is getting long and pretty, my ass looks good, I like my wrists. I wish I could say that the positive focus came naturally to me, but it doesn’t. Again, I know this is just a starting point, but it feels pretty discouraging at times.

[photo redacted]

I’ve been thinking a lot about what my goals are in exercising and meditating and so on. I know they make me feel better mentally, but some days I’m going to need more than that. I think having a place to write down how good they make me feel – the endorphin rush and the clear head – is important. I also think I need to keep focused on the goals. My goal isn’t a specific number in terms of weight or clothes, it’s way more about what I want my body to be able to do. I want to have good endurance and be strong and feel confident. None of those things are dependant on a number, they are way more dependent on consistency.

In addition to being pretty distracted about H, I got an email from Jenny last night asking why I hadn’t responded to her. I told her the truth: I needed time to think about what I wanted to say and then I forgot to respond because I got busy. I also told her that the reason I needed time to think is the stuff she wrote about Becca. I don’t know what to do with all of that. She says that she’s in “Becca rehab” but I have a hard time thinking that it’ll stick any more than it has before. I’m not ready to be good friends with her again. Email is one thing, but seeing her in person sounds like too much.

I’m also bothered by my performance at work lately. I don’t have enough to do right now and it’s kind of frustrating. Luckily I have all those papers I can read for that new grant, but it’s still not quite enough to keep my mind occupied. I can’t wait until we start working with the consultants – that should help things pick up. And then I’ll have to implement all their recommendations which will be a lot of work too. So I know it’ll change but it just feels bad to have a lull. I know, doesn’t seem like something I should be complaining about but it’s just so counter to the way that I operate.

I’m really worried about H. I hope it’s just stress. This is going to sound terrible, but part of me worries about what it’ll mean for me if it’s [health condition removed]. What will that mean for my newly admitted BDSM desires? And what will it mean for my ability to do life the way that I want? What will it mean for us financially? And if it’s something more fatal, what will that mean for my daughter? How can I do stuff to make sure she knows her dad? I know, I’m getting ahead of myself, but that’s what’s going through my brain right now. I wish I could turn it off for a bit.

Honestly, before I meditated and worked out, it was all that was going through my mind. The morning routine really calmed it down. I should keep that in mind.

Ok, have to shower and get ready for the day.

Thursday Talk

Last night my wife and I had a good discussion. We each had a glass of wine and settled down to discuss personal things. We did not address the elephant in the room (sex), but we did talk about many of the things that are impacting our communication.

We started by acknowledging the positives. Then we looked at what could’ve gone better. Then looked at specific things we need  from each other. The positives were nice. The negatives were harder, as most of our negatives are really a lack of positives in certain areas. The specific things were also hard as I don’t know what those are specifically. My brain works more in theories and philosophies. But we mustered through it.

She is listening. She is actually listening to me on a deeper level without arguing with every point. This is a first, and she acknowledged it was work for her. This was  a different way of acting for her; to really listen to me tell her how I’m feeling. I need to be able to talk those feelings even if she doesn’t find them pleasant.

She is controlling her anger and reactions. This is a big one for me. Normally her intense negative reaction shuts me right down. For years this has been the case, where now I am just trained to avoid that which brings the reaction. Her newfound control allowed me to really tell her what she needs to hear. I’m sure I still wasn’t super open. Baby steps.

She is focused on us and loves me. This was clear and we acknowledged it. She isn’t going to attack me for how I feel. She is going to work on our marriage because she loves me. And I love her.

She needs me to tell her when I notice her improvement. She said she often can’t tell anymore whether she is doing anything right. Her world has shifted. I need to be extra appreciative when I notice a positive change. Fair enough.

She wants to change both for me and for herself. Much of the change we discussed was for me and our relationship, but there are also things she does that upset me that she does with others. She knows what they are – her mother does them. It bothers her to think she makes people feel invalidated the way her mother does. She knows that pain well. Part of this will help her in all relationships.

We talked about our communication styles. We are very different people, and we need to know that about each other. She knows now that she can’t wait for me to tell her things in the same extroverted style she would use. I also need to know that she is going to overwhelm me with her own feelings at times, and I need to discuss that with her. She also isn’t going to intuit my needs well. She wants help on how to navigate that. I will help, but I also explained that I don’t always know the answer. She’s going to have to work on figuring some of it out.

I told her that there is a whole world to me she knows nothing about. I’m not hiding it from her intentionally. It is just how my mind works. She can crack into it, but I’m not going to just deliver it to her. She will need to learn how to navigate and learn more about me. It’s up to her if she wants. I want her to know about me. That there is a lot under the hood. But I can’t force her to find it and I’m not sure she even can. It takes a type of mental connection we’ve never had.

We will keep doing these talks, and it seems to be getting easier for her. The more we have these hard talks the easier they get. That is good news. She was less anxious this time. She isn’t as scared of what is to come.

I told her that I need to know that she is interested in me. It’s important to me. After spending so much energy on her I need to feel her interest in my future and me as a person. It’s hard feeling invisible in your own marriage. She said she never ever meant to make me feel that way. And it’s true. She never meant any harm, but it happened anyway.

I don’t need a scheduled set of checking in. I need an organic interest from her. She often wanted some sort of action plan or checklist. I kept saying, no. That’s too much. We just need to talk about it now. I just need you to show interest. From the interest things will come. A checklist does not show me you care about me. It only shows you can follow directions. I need it from the heart. Genuine interest.

We both need some time to ourselves to work on ourselves. This we acknowledged together. I need her full support to be able to work on things for me, and she needs my support to do things for her. To be honest she has my full support already.

I need to be me again. I’ve been on hold so long. That is the essence of what I need in all its forms. She wants a list of what that is, but I need it to be a conversation, and an ability to know me. We will see how well this lasts. Perhaps I’m asking too much.

I think she could see that the equality she thought we had was not so. I feel very much like our relationship is focused on her and my role is to support her. She hadn’t ever paused to think about that.

She said she often feels like she is failing in every aspect of her life. She can’t spend enough time at work; or with the kids; or with me; or on herself. She is not failing, but she feels that way. As long as she has kids and a job she will always feel that way. I will help her look at ways to lessen that feeling. That may mean cutting back at work.

In the end will this be enough? I don’t know. It’s hard to say. At least we will give it a try. At minimum this will improve things. It will open us up to be able to communicate about sex.

Journal: Weekly Plan

Last summer when Meredith and I were apart I came up with an idea to help her. She was really struggling with losing me, and with life in general. I wanted to still be able to take care of her as best I could. 

In order to take care of her I needed to know what was going on in her life. I also needed to give her tasks to do so she could serve me. It was important for her mentally to be able to do that. She loved it and started immediately. 

The post below was her first post which outlined my expectations for her. It was written as a personal journal post because we could not trust her husband not to find it. He always found her communication. Yet, it was for me to read. 

I want to share some of these, not all of them, so you can get a first hand view into how Meredith thought and felt about our relationship. I think it will add another perspective, and I hope you enjoy it. 

These are her words directly – only editing to change names and locations. 

—–

To help me feel good:

– 5x meditating

– 4x workout (yoga or 7 min)

– write in once a week how I’m feeling, my weight, my medication levels, how much I’m sleeping etc.

Excercise Update

Lately I’ve been hitting the elliptical trainer. I strained my knee many weeks ago lifting weights, and have started running and stretching to heal it. So far so good. All the excercise has improved my mood. Right now, for instance, I’m feeling pretty good. 

It’s interesting to me how emotions, and thoughts are tied together. Today I don’t feel down, and my thoughts feel different. Honestly the conclusions are still the same, but I feel more positive about it. In fact knowing that when I’m having a good day I’m still very concerned about the future of my marriage is good! It confirms that my moods are not driving my decisions on something so life changing. One of my biggest worries is to make a life changing decision, and then regret it later when I’m not as depressed. 

Anyway, that’s an update for you. Spring is here. I’m excercising which is helping. My thought process remains the same. 

Counseling Update

Met with my counselor again today. Overall gist was a rather business like focus on me not enabling my wife when she overwhelms herself. She does this frequently, and the fallout is that I take on a bunch of work to make her feel better at my own expense. It’s so bad now I don’t feel I can even ask for things I need. We need to talk about it. 

Thursday nights we are going to talk about us. Our relationship. With a glass of wine. It will be our regular check in on how we are doing. 

My counselor asked how the communication was with Meredith. Well, it was amazing. Incredible even. Over three years she was always there for me. She understood my intentions. 

Personality types. My wife and I are so different, but we get along well at planning things. We just don’t communicate well otherwise. She is extroverted sensing and I’m introverted intuitive. Our communication methods couldn’t be more different. It seems to me that I spend much of my time adapting to her way of being. Which has left me out in the cold. 

Then there is grief. I’m really in the doldrums today. He honestly didn’t have much to say about that which was a little frustrating. He acknowledged it. That it feels much like the death of a marriage. But we didn’t go into great detail. I’m proud of myself for bringing it up though. It’s not easy to talk about. 

On TV

Some days it seems I will never get away from Meredith. Maybe I need to quit my job, and move to a foreign land with no TV or internet. Today I received an email from my boss. It was a forward of an email Meredith had sent to my boss and my boss’ boss about a local TV show she made an appearance to promote a fund raiser for her organization. Yeah. I got to watch her all bubbly for 10 minutes on a TV program, and then talk to all my coworkers about it. They were all so excited, and I had to act the same.

What was crazy is I could feel myself drop while I was watching it. I try so hard to be in control of myself and my emotions all the time, but there are some things you just can’t control. This was one of those times. I just crashed. Any work I had been doing was right out the door. Just sitting and thinking about her. Missing her. Not sure how my life is going to continue this way. Something has to give that will be bigger than just me not seeing her anymore. I need out of this job. Maybe this company.