13
buildingboats

Today I undertook some major projects at home. The biggest one…which is taking a lot of time..and energy is finding places for the boxes in our closet to make room for the closet to be a place for dirty cloths…and possible an ironing board for when Katie comes home. In addition I put up the white board…which I already LOVE…and a number of other small things which I know will make Katie smile when she comes home.

I couldn’t help but tell Katie some small surprises…like about the pillow’s and whiteboard…but I kinda planned on it…because I make a lot of suprises for her…so telling her some of the small ones won’t take away from all the other things I’ve worked on.

In The Superior Man today I read about how “woman are always testing their man to find out how strong they are”…I can certainly relate and feel the truth of this. The thought of it is only painful because I feel that I’ve failed so many of Katie’s tests…but I’m going to stop failing those tests…because Katie needs to know that she can trust me. I’m constantly thinking of new ways in which I can show Katie why she should trust me…because I know that this is going to be a major issue when she comes back…I think the small things I know I can do are to keep on journaling…reading…piano…dishes…teeth…showing her I can commit and follow through with those parts of my life will be actions that Katie and look at and see trust.

The other big one is exercising alone…and with Katie on a consistent basis…I’m looking forward to this one…to feeling my body change…to be proud of my body changes…to feel like I’ve earned it…

I saw a commercial that REALLY disturbed me on CNN today…it was for an agency that creates “casual sexual hookups” for women who “can’t get a divorce”…it just sickened me so so so so so much…I couldn’t believe such an agency existed…much less that CNN would be in such desperate shape financially that they would run an ad for such a business. I wish Katie could have watched it with me…so I could have voiced my disgust and heard hers as well…

Other than that it was a pretty slow day…I know that tomorrow is going to be a lot busier.


12
buildingboats

This is the first year in…probably my whole life…where I successfully stayed away from the Go Fourth festival. There was a temptation on my part…to go see the “spray paint” guy and get a small painting for our bathroom. I feel like our bathroom is missing something…in particular…something artistic…my only worry is the bathroom isn’t the best place for “art”…because it becomes a steam room for showers and baths.

I woke up at about 10am and decided I had better practice for Edgefield because any golf course that is “sold out” of slots must have some pretty good players…so I had better get my “best game on”…so I woke Drew up and we went to Mint Valley and hit a small bucket of balls and played the par 3 course. I am very grateful for this practice…it helped me to find all the clubs I needed…as well as some of the supplies that help me not injure myself (golfing glove). Going to Mint Valley brought up some tough childhood memories for both Drew and Me. I can distinctively remembering Dad taking Drew and I to the course…and being frustrated with how bad Drew was playing…Drew on the other hand…couldn’t believe how small the course was…because he remembers it being “huge” when he played. Either way…I think it helped for both of us to both practice…and reflect on the past a bit. Drew’s a much better golfer than I remember…he really impressed me with his play…I think he even impressed himself…so much that he invited me golfing in Rome if he can find a course :p.

Eventually Dad bailed on Drew and I to go golfing because of his back…which is OK…I was a little disappointed…and probably more judgmental and pissed than I should have been…but it’s something I’m working on. We had to speed a bit to get to Edgefield…but we got there…put on a load of sunscreen on and went to golf. While golfing I had 2 “Ruby’s”…which were extremely expensive…but it was worth it…to feel “adult” and try to golf while slightly tipsy. It turned out that the people we golfed with Randy and Chase were horrible golfers…so the practice at Mint Valley wasn’t necessary…but it certainly helped us to enjoy our time at Edgefield. I made 1 BIRDIE!!!! I couldn’t believe it…that one birdie…and another 11 foot put made the whole experience worth while. Drew said it’s the most fun he’s EVER had while “tipsy”…which I think is an incredible compliment considering some of the stuff he did in Slovakia…

This kinda is jumping ahead to what I wanted to talk about later…but I think that Katie leaving has allowed Drew and I to connect on a brother to brother level that didn’t seem possible when Katie was around. I think that on some level…Katie knew this…and pressured me to try to connect to Drew on that level again. I’m not sure why I resisted so much…I guess when I think about it…I didn’t realize how much I missed it. I also think that one of the best things you can do to bring you close to someone is to confide in them…and I think that confiding to Drew my problems with pornography is something that has brought us together closer…so I don’t think that Drew and I growing closer is all about Katie leaving…and I certainly don’t believe that the opposite is true that when Katie comes back it’ll decrease my relationship with Drew.

I finally got a response from Nabil today that he agree’s with my decision to focus on my Qualifying Exam. I had a feeling that I handled the situation the best way I could by stating my belief strongly…Nabil responds the best when you are sure of yourself…which is something I’m working on professionally and personally.

Later when Drew and I came home…and I spent some time catching up on journaling…Katie called and was very distraught. Mostly because of the conversations that she had with Nana…but also because she felt that I had been neglecting her. I take full responsibility for neglecting her...when we reconciled on Thursday…I wasn’t exactly sure how we wanted to move forward. While I was excited that she was coming back…I still felt separated and distant…and wasn’t sure if talking on the phone would have made those feelings better. Katie on the other hand felt that if we reconciled then we should be talking together more often…almost everyday.

If I had asserted myself…and asked her what she envisioned for the interim period before she will be back in my arms…then this part of the conflict wouldn’t have happened…but it did happen and I feel pretty shitty about it.

But beyond that…Nana asserted her strong belief to Katie that she feels I’m a shitbag husband…and always will be for the rest of our relationship and that Katie must have shit for brains if she thinks that she can ever trust me again. The last sentence might have been a slight exaggeration…but its certainly true to the spirit of what Nana told Katie.  Am I pissed off at what Nana said…YES…can I understand where she is coming from…yes…Nana is doing her best to be protective of Katie…which is something I very much support…but I think Nana is taking her role as a grandmother a bit too far.

Nana’s part of this story is the bad part…Katie’s part is inspirational. I feel so so so so blessed to have a wife who not only can stand up for herself and her own decisions even if her family doesn’t support her…but that she can stand up for me when I’ve just made a major mistake compromising our relationship. It really brings me to tears when I think about it…how much courage and inner strength my wife has…I can only hope to show her the same sort of strength if my family ever pulls a “Nana.” I think there is also a sad part of this story…and that is Nana and Katie’s relationship has suffered…which is something I never wanted to see…I wish I could just call Nana and let her vent her frustration on me…and tell her how lucky SHE is to have Katie in her life…and that she is putting that in jeopardy by not listening and respecting Katie’s feelings.

After feeling helpless to make Katie feel any better…I went and watched fireworks with Drew. Was it enjoyable…kinda…but most of all I felt a tremendous absence…that of Katie in my arms…sitting on some stairs…watching fireworks…while she videotaped everything. I feel incredibly guilty…guilty that I took this holiday away from us together…guilty that I took away showing Beth and Andrew Seattle…guilty that for a lot of things…and contemplating these things…really ruined my 4th.

Next year this will change.


10
buildingboats

Today Katie and I reconciled. Better then I think I thought possible. I think it’s a testament to both how much we love each other…and desire a future together…as well as a testament to how much Katie and I have worked separately to be together. I had no idea that Katie would be ready to get together after a week…I didn’t know that I would feel ready after so short a time…but I do feel ready…ready to be together…even though I know I have a lot of personal healing to do. Katie understands this…but I don’t think it means that we need to be separate…it just means I still have work to do.

I think a lot of the work I have to do is going through therapy…continuing to journal…continuing to make lists of things to do and follow through on them…especially finishing the books I’m reading, playing piano, and exercising at least 3 days a week. But these are all things I can do with Katie…as long as she knows that it’s my responsibility to hold myself accountable to my goals…and not her. I think she definitely has a place to explain how worried she might be about me if she doesn’t see me accomplishing my goals.

I was so relieved after our conversation that I ate dinner and then slept for 14 hours…sleep I desperately needed. I feel such a strong sense of relief…and accomplishment having successfully worked through speed bump in the relationship journey that Katie and I have taken. I think that this is the best journey and resolution that Katie and I have ever gone through. Of all the other times of conflict…this feels like it was handled and resolved the best…the most mature…well thought out…and I think one of the most important factors in why this was handled so well is that Katie and I were so vulnerable to each other.

Even though Katie is the one who took charge and decided to go stay with her mom…I know that she must have felt as vulnerable to me as much as I felt vulnerable to her. She was vulnerable to me loving her so much that I would spend all the energy that I had to fix my pornography addiction just as I was vulnerable to her finding healing and mercy when it came to my betrayal.  If we both had not been vulnerable of been so motivated to heal separately for each other then we would not be getting back together so fast.

I can’t wait for Katie to be back at home…for our first embrace…for our first sleep…for our first almost everything.


7.1
buildingboats

Sleepless Night

I sit straight up in bed
Eyes open in the dark
My shoulder feels empty
Your head is absent
So is your smell
My eyes begin to water
As I contemplate
How undeserving I am
Of your head
Of your soul
Next to mine


7
buildingboats

Today I couldn’t wake myself up. I was so scared of what I knew I had to do. Eventually I did it…I emailed Nabil and told him that I couldn’t submit my NRSA this summer…that I would do it in Winter. I did this for a number of reasons. First, I think the NRSA was causing an unhealthy amount of stress in my life, second, I already have to write a second grant to pass my 2nd year PhD exam, and thirdly, I need time for myself to heal and work on non-work related things…exercise…therapy…reading…It was very hard to write Nabil the email letting him know that I have reached my limit…and I need to focus on my qualifying exam right now…instead of the NRSA that I know he wants me to do…

I think that acknowledging my limits is something that I need to work on both professionally and personally…so I think that this email was a step in the right direction. As of now…I haven’t read a reply from Nabil.

I also called and made an appointment with an addiction therapist. It was hard to talk with the secretary about why I needed to see him…but I did…again…I think this is a “walk of shame” that I need to admit to others…and face in order to heal. The therapy is going to cost more than I want…but I don’t think I could put a price on how much I want to heal.

Today I thought a lot about getting my tattoo. More than ever it means something to me…exercising is something that is so important to my healing…and I could never be reminded enough that “exercise defeats my addiction”. I’m still debating where I want it…I think I should put it somewhere I can see it…like my inner wrist…but I’m worried about how this would effect me professionally (which seems to me a silly worry).

Today I also read the first few entries of Katie’s journaling. After she texted me…I basically ran to the library to read what she sent me. I didn’t have my laptop…so I had to read them on the public computers…this was a BIG mistake. I underestimated my emotional response to what she wrote. I was both amazingly happy…and amazingly saddened by what she wrote.

My first overall response to her was fairly typical of me…I worried that she worried about me not writing enough about her in my journal…that she might think that if I don’t write about her in my journal that I’m not thinking about her…that I don’t miss her…that I don’t want to get back together. She should know that there is nothing farther from the truth…and that my journal writing is a reflection about me…and I purposely try not to write about her so that this doesn’t become an indirect way to talk to her (like this paragraph is). I could not keep track of the number of times I think about Katie…whether its waking up in bed…eating the foods we ate together…walking down the roads we walked together… getting undressed In the same gym…even right now I’m thinking of Katie as I listen to Oliver Sacks on The Dailiy Show.

I had a lot of fears about when Katie left…I feared (much like she did) that once Katie left that she would lose her desire to be with me…that she would be very happy without me…and full of regrets for about why she stayed with me so long.

But as much as I can tell quite the opposite has happened…which made me very happy. This doesn’t mean that there isn’t a lot of pain…and a lot of hurt...a lot of questions to work through. The questions are always so sad for me to read…but I know that they are natural questions to ask.  

I don’t want to talk much about the entry’s…because I think they will be talked about on the phone this Friday…but I do want to say that I was very emotionally touched by Katie’s list of hopes and goals for JWNMKN. I want to do each and everyone one of them with her…

The one that struck me the most…and which I think will make the greatest difference in our lives as a couple as we grow closer and closer together is having dinner at the dinner table once a week. It became so clear to me all of a sudden that we (mainly I) chose a very shitty and unromantic dinner table. I think I chose our current dinner table because I wanted to think of the times when we’d be having guests over…but since Katie and I haven’t really done that…I think it is time to get a new dinner table…in fact…I was so inspired by this thought that I almost called Drew up to go to IKEA and get a better dinner table…a small round table…with space for just_two.

But I resisted…but I do think that one of the first things that Katie and I should do when she comes back if she comes back is to go to IKEA and buy a loveseat (for sleeping health…back health…and better snuggling)…buy a new table (just_for_two)…and two new chairs for the dinner table.

My only worry is that Katie uses our table for doing homework…but I guess the best solution to that is to make our desk more functional…but the easiest solution seems to be to buy a new desk chair.

There are a lot of changes I’d like to make in our home…but I want to make them together.


6
buildingboats

There are so many ways I want to improve myself…so many things I want to change. At first it’s overwhelming…saddening…maybe even a hint of depressing…but then I force myself to think that this IS life. Life is the journey of improvement…and I constantly am fighting my “A personality” assumption that improvement is a straight line from “point A” to “point B”. Like in the way that life is more an unstructured poem than a song that has a verse followed by a chorus…followed by another verse…a chorus…a bridge…and another chorus (at least most of the time).

Life has a theme…and it’s up to me to choose the theme…I want it to be “Love”…I want to ooze love…love of work…love of my wife…love of my life…love of my future children…love of my future pets…

Maybe it’s stating the obvious…but life has ups and downs. After talking to mom about dad’s problems in the past with pornography she told me something that somewhat surprised me…but it mimics my own experience. She told me that after everytime dad has confronted his problem with pornography…he has learned something new about himself and become a much happier person. (For the record…this is not an endorsement of learning about yourself by engaging in self destructive behavior).

I think that when you confront a bad behavior in your life…you are forced to learn something about yourself that you were ignorant of before…namely why you were engaging in the bad behavior….the triggers…and how to avoid those triggers. In my life…I’ve learned that I love exercising for many reasons…it keeps me healthy physically…it shows me how I’m improving myself…it relieves my stress which reduces the urge for pornography…it improves my self image…and it’s a joy/lifestyle that I can share with Katie.   

As much as I know that exercise is healthy for me…I know that I need to try to find deeper reasons why I look at pornography and better ways to prevent myself from looking at it. I think this will be both a painful and shameful experience…both of which are reasons it will be healing…healing of all the scars created by pornography in my life.


5
buildingboats

Today I tried to ponder fear and suffering. Last night Drew and I talked about how if you recognize and acknowledge that you are suffering in your life for things in your life that you hate…then it stands to reason that you should accept suffering in your life for what you love.

It makes so much sense to me…pornography is nothing but suffering for me. It’s caused absolutely nothing but bad things to happen in my life. If I spent so much of my life suffering through the consequences of pornography…then I should equally be willing to go through any “suffering” that comes from eliminating pornography from my life. It’s weird to think of eliminating pornography as “suffering”…but obviously there will be some pain involved…because if it was easy…I would have quit it long ago.

I also pondered fear. I think I could benefit a lot from spending each morning pondering my fears…acknowledging them…so that I’m always aware of my weaknesses and am able to steer myself away that which I fear. When I’m aware of my pornography addiction…right after I’ve been caught…then it’s not difficult to keep that urge under control. However, when I’m not aware of it…when I’ve let my thoughts slide away from thinking about pornography…that seems to be a time when I’m vulnerable.

I think this might be a place in my life where meditation/prayer could really benefit me. Just a morning…where I can read aloud the statements in my life which I’m afraid of…so I can use all of my energy to avoid them.

Right now I can think of some short term and long term fears I’ll start meditating on.

Short Term

I’m fear not completing my NRSA grant
I fear not passing my qualifying exam

Long Term
I fear looking at pornography a year from now
I fear weighting 250 lbs a year from now

Both of my long term goals…are really longer than a year…but I want a year to be a bench mark for me…a time to be proud of.

A lot of things happened today. Drew and I started by conquering my fear of running in the sun. I was able to run 2 miles in 85 degree heat…which is a good start. It’s amazing how much slowing I feel like I’m running…and I don’t think it’s just me…everyone seems to run slowing in this heat. I couldn’t help but ponder that today I would have been running 13 miles in this heat at the Seattle Marathon. Next, Drew and I shopping for a dirty cloths solution for our closet…and Fit Right NW for new running shoes . Then we spent the rest of the day at Edgefield. We enjoyed pub hopping while talking about overcoming challenges in our lives…mainly about my issues with pornography. The “self help” book I’m reading has been emphasizing the importance of having a strong masculine identity to have a sexual health…and I’ve been spending a lot of time ponder things…I’m sure I’ll write about it in the future. Afterwards…we came home and I cooked Whole Foods Salmon burgers and drank a $40 bottle of Borolo which didn’t taste that amazing. We watched SNL repeats and he stayed the night. It was very hard for me to have someone other than Katie in my bed…but I didn’t want to put Drew on the floor.


4.1
buildingboats

A Mourners Music Prayer

Let music give me strength
Let music be my shield
Let music hide my pain
Let music help my sadness yield

Let music remind me of the past
Let music fly me far away
Let music help me find hope
Let music be my companion today

Let music overpower my hearts feelings
Let music calm my sporadic breathing
Let music mute bad thoughts in my mind
Let music start my healing


4
buildingboats

Katie left at 3:30 this morning. It took so much strength to let her go…to make it through the night…a night of what seems infinite tears. I’ve never felt so out of control with my breathing…with my tears…with my thoughts. But I think that Katie and I said exactly what we needed to say to each other…and started healing…started talking about issues that I’ve suppressed…I was especially happy that we talked about issues of identity.

I go back in time and read my mind…and this is what it tells me. “I wanted Katie to be my wife so much that I would do anything for her”…and when I did that I think I suppressed parts of my identity…to make us match up better on a superficial way. I don’t mean to say that Katie and I aren’t matched…I think on the deepest level Katie and I belong together…forever…but I found it hard to bring out that deep connection with Katie…and make it seem real…physical…and so I settled for trying to match up more superficial connections.

Right now…I’m trying to bring out the deepest…most elemental…most raw parts of me...the parts that matter the most when connecting with my wife…the way I want to connect with my wife…but struggled with in the past…I struggled in the past with failure…now I’m going to struggle in the future with constant attempts.

I woke up this morning at 10am in an ambient induced haze. I masturbated three times and instantly regretted it. I wasn’t thinking straight…when I masturbate and think of Katie…I want it to be in total consciousness…not in some hazy phase…some fuzy memory.

I went out and bought some art supplies today…and enough hard alcohol to get wasted enough to forget my pain for a while…I think I bought the alcohol to tempt me…and to see that I can overcome temptation…I know that getting wasted isn’t a healthy coping mechanism…but I need to feel like I’m strong enough to avoid it…even at my saddest…and I was at my saddest today when I came home…to an empty house at the end of the day for the first time…I truly wanted to get wasted…but instead I called Drew…and it helped…

 


3
buildingboats

I used to think that compartmentalization was a good thing….was a strength of mine…but the more I think about it…the more I’m good at compartmentalizing the things I shouldn’t compartmentalize…and bad at compartmentalizing that which I should compartmentalize. When I have a bad day…I think it’s pretty easy to tell…at work…at home…at school. That’s something I wish I could compartmentalize… when I’m at work and school. But what I’m really good at compartmentalizing is my desire to look at pornography…which I shouldn’t compartmentalize at all…if anything…my desire to look at pornography should be the least compartmentalized thing about me…so that when I get the desire to look at pornography I can deal with it in a healthy way…by talking to Katie about it…by talking to a counselor about it…by exercising…

Today I had to admit what looking at pornography means…what I’m doing by looking at pornography…and it made me so sick…I cried…and I got quiet.

I’ve never thought about looking at pornography as fantasizing about having sex with someone other than my wife…but that’s what it is…that’s what I’m doing…and it makes me so so so sick. I don’t want to think about it like that…but not thinking about it like that is what allowed me to compartmentalize it. I think to myself now…if I ever looked at pornography again…and told myself…”you’re thinking of having sex with another woman”…then I’d throw it away as far as I could. But I don’t think about it like that…in fact…it feels like I don’t think at all…which is how I ended up living a dream world…not confronting the conflicts that I need to confront….not dealing with the problems that need to be dealt with…not telling myself the things that need to be told.

But I’m telling myself them now…I’m confronting them now…even though it hurts…I already feel like I’m getting better…but I know that more pain is yet to come.


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