Mondays peak my anxiety. I believe it’s a matter of adjusting my energy to the energy of my workplace after a weekend respite. I feel the anxiety starting to mount on the commute and I focus on calming down, breathing, letting it go. Once I’m in my office, however, I know that at any given moment someone will knock on my door. I’m the main 1st Responder in a manufacturing environment, and people get cut routinely. They also come to me with HR concerns, health issues, you name it. If I could come in and know that I had some time to adjust, it would be so much better for my anxiety. If wishes were horses-well, you know the saying.
After a visit with my doctor recently, we upped the dosage on my Citalopram to 40 mg. per day. That’s the highest she’ll go with it. If after a month, I do not notice a reduction in my anxiety, then she wants to add Buspar to the mix. An anti-anxiety cocktail, as it were. I don’t want to take anything that will make me gain weight. See, with an eating disorder in my past and the fact that I’m finally back to my pre-pregnancy weight, I cannot and will not gain weight. It wreaks havoc with my self-image. If I keep doing my regular yoga and watching what I eat, hopefully it will not be a problem. Now for some good news-I’ve discovered that my life’s purpose is in healing. I’ve always gravitated toward jobs where I’m helping others. Part of my job title now is “Wellness.” The wonderful book “Destiny of Souls” helped me realize this purpose. I’m looking into reiki as an option. One day at a time, though. I’m not letting myself stress over change. I feel blessed to have finally found out what my raison d’etre is. Maybe eventually I’ll learn to heal my own chronic pain! One thing about the book that really resonated with me is that healers often have chronic pain themselves. It’s a way of really being able to empathize with others. This makes sense to me. Now, I still hope to cleanse myself once and for all of the spinal pain, but it definitely has brought greater empathy for those who are dealing with daily pain. It takes a toll in every facet of one’s life.
Things on the relationship front are much improved, thankfully. We’re communicating better/more, and communication has always been our biggest issue. I’m learning to let go of my anger and hurt over things he did in the past. You see, my ex-husband has held onto anger at me for my ending of our relationship. I hurt him, behaved badly and wish I could erase it. I’ll never be able to do that, though. All that I can do is make amends and be a better person in my life now, in this moment. That’s all R can do, too. I know he would erase the pain he caused me if he could, but there are no words he can say that will take it all away. So, I can hold it against him forever or I can accept his apology and move forward. I’ve chosen the latter. We cannot be granted forgiveness in life if we aren’t willing to extend the same forgiveness to those who have wronged us.
I’ve been pretty sociable at work this morning (yes, I’m writing from work), which is unlike me because I’m not a morning person. I was, however, here by 6:40 am so I’ve been here long enough to walk out of my office/cave and interact. I’ve noticed before that forcing myself to talk with others at work helps lessen the anxiety my work creates in me. Work is my anxiety trigger; I seldom feel the need for Valium when I’m home. People need so much here, and it wears on me. I have been here for 3.5 years now, and I’ve felt so worn out these days. I live for the weekends, and I don’t want to throw my life away doing that. Changes need to be made.
The ruminating has been happening this morning. Thoughts of one of the women R repeatedly cheated on me with. I sent her a message on MySpace (where the two of them used to interact), and she never responded. It was after I found out that he was with her many times when he and I were first together (and supposedly monogamous). My message to her wasn’t cruel; I didn’t blame her. She knew nothing of me. She never wrote back. I’ve always wanted to see a photo of her-a face to put with the idea of “Emily” from Guam originally. Seeing her image wouldn’t undo anything. I just want to know. So again I looked on Facebook and there are so many Emily’s, but none who seem to fit the bill. Once I thought of her, I thought of the other women and wondered what they look like. It’s crazy, unhealthy, and I know I should not put energy into those thoughts. Yet, they creep up on me, seemingly out of the blue. Would I feel better if I once and for all knew all the details about what he did with those random women, what they looked like, what they talked about, how many times they were together? Maybe. Maybe not. R isn’t one for giving away lots of details, and I’ve certainly pressed him for details in the two years since I found out. He says he doesn’t know Emily’s last name, or any of their last names. Most of the women were random women he met online, so I can understand that he may not have known their last names, but he was with Emily around 7 times (according to him), so I find it hard to believe that he does not know her last name.
It’s not like I’m going to bother her; I sent her an email and she didn’t respond, so that’s that. I guess I’m just looking for answers; some understanding of why and how he could do that to me. Maybe if I get those answers I will finally be able to let his infidelity go. Or, maybe life will just go on with my good days and bad days and I will have to find acceptance of that. Possibly, some days I will feel more enlightened, wiser, more able to understand the fallibility of humans, and then other days I’ll rage and cry and wonder why he didn’t love me enough to be faithful.
I need to quiet my mind now. There’s just too much going on in there for a Monday morning…
R and I are not doing well. We’ve always had an up and down relationship. We had a major blowout Christmas Eve, then managed to repair things for a week or so, and now that respite has been blown to bits once more. He says that I am not fulfilling him sexually. I changed anti-depressant medications because I noticed that once my dosage was upped, my sex drive all but vanished. I’m on a new medication and I’ve noticed some stirrings that weren’t there previously, so that is a positive. However, my lack of interest in sex also has to do with the issues between us. Lack of good communication, lack of trust. Why would I want to be intimate with someone who I don’t feel truly likes me/values me as a person? He will ask me to talk with him about my thoughts, but when I do it almost always ends in a fight. He becomes condescending and defensive. During our Christmas Eve blowout, he even called me a piece of shit. He said I’ve name-called him plenty during our relationship. I’ve called him an asshole from time to time, sure. I also have told him he’s condescending and arrogant (which he is when we’re arguing). There’s something about calling someone a piece of shit, though…
The constant up and downs, the lack of connection I feel at this moment-I’m drained on every level. I had never loved anyone as I’ve loved him, and when it’s good, it is so good. But when it’s bad, my God…it’s unbearable. So is the answer counseling? Is the solution to end it once and for all? Or do we keep hammering it out and try to fix it ourselves? Do I even have the energy to keep trying anymore? I really don’t know. I just want to crawl into my hole and stay there.
My anxiety has been with me steadily, like the beast who won’t go away. For a time now, it’s just been the anxiety. I didn’t feel depressed, and came to discover that the anxiety had been causing the depression all along. It’s similar to what comes first, the chicken or the egg? Well, over the past week, I have felt depressed. Some days I’m just “blah,” while other days I have felt really low. I’ve been looking at old emails from my husband’s account (not legally my husband but we live as husband and wife), one from years ago when we weren’t living together and had no children together yet. He was cheating on me then with numerous, random women but I was unaware. Well, my gut told me something was up, but I had no proof until a little shy of two years ago.
We went to counseling and have tried to get past what he did. So, why am I going back to that dark place and looking at the proof of his infidelities? Why am I tormenting myself?
I believe that people are our mirror, and I’ve been forced to deal with a really angry individual at work. This tells me that I have my own repressed anger that I must face, and that anger has a lot to do with R and how he hurt me so much. I’ll have enlightened moments where I see the situation for what it was-he was self-destructive and drinking a lot at the time, he had no hope in relationships working out, and so he had a secret life. He’s not the same person now, but still…those actions cannot be undone. I can logically know that people do in fact change and grow, but the fear that he’s still deceiving me is there still. I’ve found no proof of anything he’s done wrong since we have lived together. No texts, emails, posts, nothing. But still I worry. I never again want to be in the dark. These feelings create distance between R and I-they have to. I know that for me to dwell on the past is damaging to our moving past it, but I wear the pain around me like a blanket.
My doc and I agreed to up the dosage on my anti-anxiety/depression medication and since I did that, I’ve lost all desire for sex. There’s just no interest there at all. I used to feel such passion for R. No matter what was going on in our relationship, that part was always good. I know he must think it’s because I don’t find him attractive any longer. I’ve always found him beautiful. His job requires him to sit all day and because of that, he’s gained weight. I miss the body he used to have, but he’s still beautiful and sexy. I just feel dead on an intimate level. There’s a lack of connection, a wall. We haven’t really talked about it. There never seems to be enough alone time (I have 5 kids) and our work schedules are different. Plus, he’s just lost both of his grandparents, so I don’t want to add to his stress or unhappiness. So, we go about our days with the proverbial elephant in the room.
I so long to feel true joy in my life. Confidence. Peace. Security. Trust. Love. I try and try to grow and heal myself and I feel as if I keep running into that brick wall and it’s so incredibly frustrating.
Okay, so maybe not a lot of sun in the Pacific Northwest, but sunny in my soul. This week I consciously made the decision to focus on the positives in my life, the blessings. I’ve been so overburdened by anxiety and chronic pain, job stress and fatigue that it’s been difficult seeing all that’s right. Now, here and there over the past month I’ll start my day thanking the God I believe in for the beautiful sunset, or the changing of the leaves or the laughter and hugs of my children, and my family and friends’ well-being. But aside from that, it’s been so hard taking the focus away from my chronic spinal pain. It’s consuming because you feel like shit all day, every day and I have felt this way for over 3 years now.
Then there are the relationship struggles I’ve had with R-good days, bad days and times I felt I needed to just walk away.
My perspective has changed this week, though. Even though Oprah can annoy me, I had one of her “ah ha moments.” I was commuting to work and I realized that I can never undo the pain R caused me with his infidelity. I can only focus on all that’s wonderful in our relationship and move forward. Regarding my pain, I came to understand that I need to see my body not as my prison, but as a source of strength. This body has borne 5 children. I make it though hot yoga 2 or 3 times a week. I am on the go most hours of the day and only get 6 hours of sleep a night, but still my body keeps me moving. It’s hard to take the focus away from the pain because it’s so uncomfortable, but I’m working at shifting my energy to my crown chakra and heart chakra instead of putting my energy into my areas of pain. Time will tell if this works, but it’s worth a shot! I’ve also gotten back into meditating, which I’ve known for years I needed to start doing again.
So, in essence I’m vowing to return to the positive person I was, many moons ago.
Does that mean you won’t see another pain-filled post from me? I doubt it. All I can say is that I’m aware of a continual need for enlightenment. We never stop growing and I choose to become better, more loving, calmer as time passes. If I need to stay on anti-anxiety drugs to do this, then I damn well will! I see no problem with it. I tried herbal supplements but they didn’t really work for me (but do for many others and more power to them). I’m focusing on putting more love out there, and this week I’ve gotten more kindness back, even from someone at work who normally irks the hell out of me. So, something’s working here. My prayer is that it will continue.
Scraps and Graphics
It’s been about a year and a half since I found out about my mate’s past cheating. We went to counseling, we’ve tried to improve communication and I’ve worked my ass off to forgive him for his years of lying to me. Yet this morning I found myself thinking about it on my commute to work, and then when I got here I yet again looked through the emails of his old email account. I could not tell you how many times I’ve read those emails to and from other women. There’s nothing new to find, and I know that logically, but I looked anyway. Emails from women who responded to his ad on craigslist or matchmaker.com or whatever online website (there were many) he used to try to find new partners. He told many that he “hadn’t found anyone who excited him.” He wrote about his ex-wife and the girlfriend he had before me (who was married and cheating on her husband). In all those emails, there was nothing about me. And yet during the two years of his infidelity, he was texting and emailing me love poems, working with me daily, sleeping with me and promising me that I was the only one. I was a fool and he was a bastard who played mind games with me. Normally I would talk to my coworker and close friend about all this, but R had me promise not to talk to him anymore so here I am, alone and lost in my head.
He is not the same person now. We have two children together, have been together for 6 years and I have seen his growth. He has become a family man and is a truly wonderful, patient and loving father and he tries to be a good partner to me. So having seen his growth, why do I sometimes go back to that dark space in my mind and allow all the hurt and feelings of betrayal to creep back in? Will there ever be a time when it won’t feel like I’ve been stabbed in the gut? And how do you ever fully trust someone who has proven himself to be a skilled deceiver? Someone who can look you in the eyes and swear they have never been unfaithful when in fact they had from the beginning? Maybe I never will fully trust him. Maybe that’s the inevitable result of the destruction he caused. Maybe I can and have forgiven him, but that doesn’t mean letting myself be fooled ever again. I cheated on him a year ago. When he asked, I was honest about my having cheated once. Do I feel guilty about it? Nope. Quite possibly, I should but I don’t. He had it coming. He got a taste of the misery I’ve been dealing with ever since I found out, and really, long before I found out because I felt in my gut for a long time that he had been unfaithful. You reap what you sow in this life.
I’ve spent a lifetime often feeling alone, misunderstood, unappreciated. I had a friend who valued our relationship as much as I and now he’s gone and a part of me is missing. The sadness I feel is palpable and I don’t know that this is a wound time will heal. These connections are rare for me; that’s why I value this one so much. I want my relationship with R to to work-that’s why I agreed to end my friendship with my coworker. I just don’t know how to move through my life now without my friend.