Friday, February 03, 2006

Home alone on Friday night

This is a very rare occurrence -- to be home alone on Friday night. Hubby, a professional keyboard player, has a gig with a classic rock band and will be out until late. I didn't feel like being social, so I opted to stay home with his reluctant blessing. I got a chick flick (In Her Shoes) to watch, and received 2 discs of the first season of the TV show "Charmed" through Netflix to watch. I also have a lovely dinner I brought home from a local restaurant where I had lunch with my husband this afternoon, so I'm pretty much set. Oh, I also have new nail polish. :)

This has been a very busy day. It started with hubby saying he left one of his 'gig bags' at home and wondered if I'd be willing to meet him somewhere after he left work this afternoon to bring it to him. I volunteered to meet him for lunch and bring it then, to which he readily agreed. We had a great meal, and I felt good about getting to spend some time with him unexpectedly, especially since he'll be out late tonight. After that I hit The Avenue and bought a new top, 2 necklaces, and some new sunglasses. I had the women in the shop give me their opinions on the different styles, and came out with something completely different than what I normally wear, so that was cool. Then I hit Officemax, and picked up a few items we needed, and some we really didn't need actually. ;) After that, it was on to the movie store to rent a couple of flicks for the weekend. We're expecting snow tomorrow, which is great, since we plan to stay home and do some cleaning/organizing. Last, it was the grocery store, and then home. I'd been gone practically all day.

This is quite a contrast to a few weeks ago when I was content to sit here all day watching TV. Now that I'm feeling less depressed, it's amazing to look back and make comparisons with now and then. My head feels more clear, finally, and I'm not having panic attacks. I have been sleeping well, and sleeping through each night. I'm so grateful to have finally found a good psychiatrist who gets the complicated presentation of depression, panic, and anxiety. So many people, doctors included, do not understand the physical components of these conditions. Dr. William Kernodle, who has written extensively on panic disorder with agoraphobia (which is my diagnosis), maintains that panic and possibly other anxiety disorders should be classified as neurological conditions rather than psychiatric. I'm all for that! Anything that furthers acceptance and understanding is something I'm very much in favor of. I don't like feeling ashamed of my diagnosis because of what OTHER people might think, though I guess there's a part of me, too, that sees myself as 'crazy'. I try to readjust my thinking, but one of the worst parts of these conditions is the lying they do to you -- they tell you you're in danger when you're not; they tell you you're 'less than'; they tell you life is not worth living; they tell you you're completely alone in this world. Lies, all of them. It is sometimes very difficult to realize that.

Hubby is in therapy himself, and feels he's getting a lot out of it. He told me that his therapist confronted him, very gently, about his passive-aggressive tendencies. Though I haven't said this directly to him, I feel vindicated that someone else, a professional, no less, sees this. One of the problems with passive-aggressiveness in someone you're intimately involved with is that they can make you feel crazy. If you try to call them on their behaviour, they tell you nothing's wrong. This makes you wonder if you can trust your own judgment. An example: the other day he told me he had not slept well. I asked if he knew why, since he'd taken a sleeping pill and shouldn't have had difficulty. He replied that it was because he knew my mind was active (I was up reading in bed) so his mind was active, too. He said he felt what I feel, and that when I'm thinking about stuff, etc., he is affected by it. I told him immediately that that was not appropriate, that I wouldn't accept the responsibility for his not sleeping. I told him it wasn't fair to be so wrapped up in me, or to blame me, even peripherally for his problems.

I've had this issue all my life -- others telling me that my perceptions, my judgments were not correct. But they were. They almost always were.

I love my husband, very much, and I feel very grateful to have this man in my life. I also sometimes don't feel as though I deserve him, but then I also sometimes wonder if I really know him. I believe with all my heart that he's a good person, and I believe that our relationship is pretty solid, and has great potential for growth. I'm very glad he's seeing a therapist of his own and is dealing with his own issues. I want him to be able to let go of whatever plagues him or causes him distress and to recognize coping skills that don't work well for him. He deserves to be happy and free of old demons.

Hubby grew up in a very strict home, and is the older brother of a retarded sister, 4 years younger than he. She lives in a group home in another state, and we speak with her by phone pretty regularly. When they were children, he was always admonished to take care of her, wasn't allowed to have the normal sibling conflicts because she was different. He was not allowed to exhibit 'negative' emotions, nor was he allowed to disagree about anything with his parents. From what I've heard, he was held to a much higher standard, common with first borns and especially with those who have disabled siblings. He learned to cope by hiding his true feelings, his true thoughts, and trying to comply with the perfect child model his parents seemed to think appropriate for him. It's a shame they didn't realize what they were doing to him. I feel certain that, like my own parents, they never meant to harm him, but harm they did. I admire his ability to have survived, more or less intact, and his lack of hatred and anger towards his family. I hope his therapy will help him get in touch with what may be repressed anger and maybe shame. He doesn't deserve it.

Man, people have a lot of crap to deal with, don't they? It's a wonder any of us come out halfway sane. Maybe that's it -- we're at best half sane. The job we have, I think, at midlife is to find the other half of sanity and embrace it, let it wash over us and cleanse us of the sins of the father, so to speak. Here's to a thorough drenching, people. :)


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