Looking for feedback

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by Doofus, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Well-Known Member

    Please speak you're mind, as far as I am concerned that is what we are here for. Yes, we are here for ourselves but here also to hear each other......brothers in arms so to speak.
    Doofus likes this.
  2. Doofus

    Doofus Active Member

    Thank you, @Bobo!
  3. NCBob

    NCBob The 11th commandment: Thou shalt not peek:-)

    Hey Doofus (I chuckle when I call someone that, lol), thanks for sharing your thoughts and good job in moving forward in the middle of all of these moving (and sometimes conflicting and contradictory) parts. Reading through your post reminds me that life is not easy, and elevates my belief that the fact that we are on this journey, however imperfectly, is a testament to all the good stuff inside us. Thank you for this reminder:)
  4. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Glad your son is doing well!

    Don't beat yourself up about not being with N. There are two parents for a reason. Sometimes our loyalties must be divided and that's just life. We don't have to do these things perfectly, my friend. We take our best stab at it and then let it go. Holding onto feelings of "what if's" and "shoulds" only keeps us stuck.

    Writing consistently in your journal, as you do, is huge toward recovering fully from PMO. Big props!
  5. Doofus

    Doofus Active Member

    Wow! Thank you @NCBob and @Saville for your kind words! It makes such a difference to have this kind of support as I fight through temptation.

    So, I'm feeling a little better, but, like yesterday when I felt dead after cleaning the kitchen, even a little effort tires me out - it's a weird disease whatever it is. In fact, if I hadn't had mono already, I'd say that that's what it is - swollen glands, mild sore throat, fatigue, headache.... The good news is that I'm sleeping through the night. The bad news is that I'm sleeping through my alarm. Luckily I got up in time to get T to school. Unluckily (actually luck has little to do with it..) he did not. Hopefully, the agreement we have with his Principal still holds: Since he's out of classes he can take at the high school (he could have graduated last year, in fact...) he's taking only online classes. He is really bad at mornings so he accumulated a ton of tardies - and absences, taken because he was out of tardies. This was galling for (at least...) two reasons: one: he just sits at a computer all day, there's no reason he couldn't do the same here at home, and, two: He is consistently like only 2 minutes late. As he was today. If he just got out of bed a handful of minutes earlier.... and he's so dang stubborn about it. Grrrr... Anyway, I met with the principal at the end of the semester and he,the principal, agreed to no longer count absences and tardies against T. T is taking an actual class this semester, but it doesn't start until 9:30. Hopefully, as long as he's on time for that he's on time. I'll talk to the principal next week, I guess.

    Talked to my wife this morning. N feels he isn't doing well post-surgery, but he has, for a while now, had a habit of catastrophizing (sp?) things, especially things related to his health. I think both boys have probably inherited from me a tendency toward depression and generalized anxiety. Really inherited from both me and my wife. Or learned it from living with us. I'm thinking today that it might not be so bad if N has to leave school. He's struggled there both academically and socially. He was home November 17 through last August with us. I really didn't think he was depressed while he was here, but, the truth is, and, in this way, perhaps, the assistant dean is right, he's not really ambitious. He came to work with me and sat in some classes, but he didn't really engage with those classes, and, like his time at his college, he bounced around - a lot. I mean by that that he'd sign up for his classes, then change to different classes then change again usually right up to the withdrawal deadline, which meant he was starting classes having missed the first two weeks! I don't know if that's a symptom of depression (although I know finding something wrong with everything, which he tends to do, is) but it's certainly typical of people with anxiety.

    N was a star athlete in H.S. He finished 4th in the state meet his senior year. He ran that year a lot. It was also his most successful year academically. Having seen the positive effect of exercise on anxiety in my own case, I think this is a factor. Basically the state meet was the last day he ran, or swam (he was also a very good swimmer) for quite a long time. He spent almost the entirety of the summer before he started college in his room which he kept perpetually dark since he thought that would help him recover from the concussion(s) he had suffered back in January! (This is a whole other story...)

    Anyway, I am now much more worried about his mental health. As part of the agreement to return to his college he had to see a therapist. In fact he had had to see one before he could go back. He did for a few sessions and the therapist thought he was fine. Which he seems to be most of the time.

    While he was home last year, I pushed him to get out and run occasionally, which he did, but never very far, because, he believes, that running for more than 30 minutes, or, on consecutive days, inevitably leads to him getting sick. He has some other crazy ideas like this, too. I think now it might be an example of the depression fighting back. Sometimes the depression makes people do things that keep them depressed. It's almost like a living thing. Kind of like resistance in The War of Art (good book if you're looking for quick inspirational reading material).

    Anyway.. I could write a lot more about this and other things, but I should get to work now that I'm recovered a bit and feeling a bit better myself having written all this down here on day 61.
  6. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Wow, that's a lot of worry about your kids. Here's what I've found out: people like us bury ourselves in helping others (and PMO), because then we don't have to deal with ourselves.

    Of course, kids need us and we have to be there. Sometimes they just need our company and sometimes we are figuring out positive interventions in order to help them over a rough patch. However, our first job, and most important one, is to take care of ourselves. When children see a healthy parent they tend to emulate them. The further we remove ourselves from PMO and P, the greater chance our kids have at having a good life. You are doing this now. :)

    Putting ourselves first sounds contrary to everything inside us. We are the givers, the helpers, the peace-makers, the good guys. In other words, we are the doormat, the pussies, the powered down ones. We've never done our journey. Early on we were taught that our place in the world wasn't important unless we were subservient to the needs of others.

    As we fix ourselves the world around us changes. Our children change, our spouses change, as well as friends and colleagues. Being ourselves, our true selves, is the greatest gift we can give to the world. When we put ourselves first we have the clarity of vision to know when and how we should intervene to help others.

    Glad you're feeling better!
  7. Doofus

    Doofus Active Member

    Thank you for your thoughtful feedback @Saville . I'm an old kind of Catholic Worker. Self-Abnegation in the service of others is built into my DNA. Especially when it comes to my children. You are right, though. I started therapy, because, basically, during the summer I had a slow, but dramatic nervous break-down. That was caused by me feeling I was killing myself on my family's behalf and that my family didn't really appreciate it. Which jives with what you're saying. I wasn't taking care of myself. In all sorts of ways, including the fact, as you noted in another post, that my wife and I weren't having sex and she didn't really seem to care, and, that, I , didn't have the balls to demand it (at least until August... I think I wrote about this a bit above). Or, even, to have noticed.

    On the other hand, I often think this was a spiritual failure on my part. A gift of service is only, truly, a gift if it is given with no expectation of reciprocation. The fact that I was so upset about busting my ass for so many years with little appreciation or respect, shouldn't have angered me, or saddened me or all of the other emotions that I succumbed to. The work itself should be its own reward. Even if it doesn't get me into heaven.

    The funny thing about all of that is that I'm not sure I'm a Christian anymore.

    Anyway, your comments are really incisive, Saville. They've got me thinking about things I need to think more about.

    You know, yesterday was supposed to be a therapy day, but I canceled because I thought I'd be out of town with N. But, I'm thinking more deeply about my situation, my life now than after any therapy visit. Thank you.
    Saville likes this.
  8. Doofus

    Doofus Active Member

    So, due to some sort of problem with the html, I can't post on many threads, including, maybe, my own. (I get the irony if this is posted...). On every page except 3 of my diary, there is a message at the top that says there's an error with the code and I've been unable to post. I messaged the board moderators, hopefully they're fixing it. I think they may be since, before I had no pages without that error, and, in fact, could post to any thread in 40+.

    Anyway, I'm here laying in bed and fretting about many things on the morning of day 63.
    Mad Dog likes this.
  9. Doofus

    Doofus Active Member

  10. Doofus

    Doofus Active Member

    Beginning of week 10:

    I'm going to write here to help myself resist temptation. I woke up at 4 and actually got up with the light alarm, as I had pledged, at 5:30. Stretched and ran and got my younger son to school - eventually.... Even though school doesn't start for 1-2 weeks (depending on what happens with some things I may describe below), I had also pledged to treat this as a work-day. I am very sleepy, though and, while I've managed to stay awake, I don't feel quite up to working. So, I was surfing social media (the addiction I'm going to try to kick after PMO and then alcohol..) and, of course, there's pop-ups and ads of beautiful, scantily clad women, so here I am, writing.

    I guess I drank too much last night. I didn't feel like I did, and, though, I remember, I think, everything from last night, I'm not sure. This is bad. Once I stopped drinking vodka I really stopped having black-outs, but I'm a little paranoid I had one last night and fought with my wife over some slight I imagined. I remember imagining the slight and, I think, I remember deciding not to do anything about it and do the dishes instead, but..... damn it. This morning she seemed only cranky about not sleeping well last night and having to start work again (she's a public school teacher). If nothing else, I want to kick PMO so I can focus on the other unhealthy ways I've fallen into to deal with my anxiety and depression.

    I'm laying on the couch while my older son - the one who had the surgery - sleeps across from me in a chair. He's not on the couch because he's convinced that getting up from a lying position will pull the stitches/staples out. This is a near-constant worry for him . As I said above he's a catastrophizer. A big part of my day, I'm afraid, is going to be spent trying to convince him he doesn't need to call the doctor every 10 minutes, or be rushed to the emergency room.

    A little ways up-stream, Saville made the point that I need to take better care of myself, to be a better myself, so I can be a better role model for the boys. I feel the boys mostly got their hypochondria from my wife, but the anxiety, to whatever extent, they got from me. I am going to work on that.

    Though I woke up before 4, I did sleep until that (fell asleep at 10:30...). The last few days, I've been using zinc and though because I've also been sick, I can't be sure, it seems to be helping me sleep through the night

    I have been reading the sleep book, as I said I would. Right now I'm going to focus on the author's first set of suggestions which have to do with improving my 'sleep hygiene'. Living like a clock is part of that and that's why I'm getting up so earl- it's what I'm going to have to do in a couple of weeks - or less- so, re-setting my clock and establishing an early bed-time, when I actually get to sleep, hopefully, will occupy me this week. By the time I'm back to work, I should be sleeping 10-5:30.

    More later as I try to stay awake and away from PMO, here on day 64.
  11. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Our society wants us to feel like we should just do things for the joy of giving. We put up on pedestals anyone who seemingly devotes their life in service of others. Mother Theresa is a good example of that. However, imo, she was self-serving, and I don't mean that as a slight. She wanted to live the life of an ascetic and so it served her well to help the impoverished in India. Initially, as I'm sure you know, the church did not want her to do what she did. They only came on-board once she became famous and her "deification" helped with the optics of the Catholic faith.

    However, work is its own reward, if that work is done in service of ourselves. We build our characters, our stamina, and our understanding when we reach from within and then do from without. How can we ever truly understand what service is unless we've serviced our own practical and spiritual needs first?

    64 days is great!
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  12. Doofus

    Doofus Active Member

    Thank you so much for your very thoughtful replies, @Saville ! I was also a philosophy major in college, and, perhaps tellingly some would argue, the course I struggled with most was ethics. I sometimes say today that that's because none of the questions in ethics are answerable. In fact, there's a school of thought now that ethics don't really exist. And - no not all of them are government officials! :)

    When I was on sabbatical last, I tried to non-mathematical reading on the train ride in to the place I was visiting. Much of the reading I did was about ethics: Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Rawls..... didn't help me at all :) No it did. I'm going to think about what you've written. I'm actually a fallen away Catholic, who, still mostly believes in God but not much else that I learned in Catechism, and who still retains much of the belief that good works are still necessary to enter the Kingdom of God. (To be fair, it's not only Catholics who believe this).

    I'll think about this all some more and maybe type my random, 'B-' ethics thoughts. For now I'll say that I certainly agree with you insofar as the self must be one of the things which is optimized, even if it's only so that one can best help others.

    Anyway... thank you so much for your support. 64 is feeling like an accomplishment, though I know I have a long way to go before I'm fully recovered, if I ever am. But, regardless of the count, I don't plan on going back to P ever again. M? That's a different matter. I'll re-evaluate at 90.
    Saville likes this.
  13. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Well-Known Member

    M is very dangerous----- it's a softer situation---- a another way if avoiding piv---- a way to stay safe to stay aloof to stay protected.
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  14. Doofus

    Doofus Active Member

    I know. The problem is that I'm married and that, for a long time now, PIV is avoiding me! heh....

    You're right, of course, @Bobo . And I'd much much rather have actual sex. I'm working on ways to do so. Or, forcing at least. As I tell my students, in physics, work is equal to force times distance. Hopefully there will be movement soon. In the mean time, I'm feeling kind of frustrated. Regardless of what I decide about M, there's no way I'm going the rest of my life without O.
  15. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    I've written about this many times. When I first found YBR, and realized the magnitude of my problem, my wife and I did not like one another. We were together, but we operated independently. We never had sex and had gone through a dry spell of over two years. Before that sex was something we did once a year, if that. After my cheating we ended up sleeping in different beds. I hated how she had bullied me, how she never cared when my health and career started failing. I resented how she did not want to have sex, not ever. From her point of view I was a despicable cheater, a liar, someone not to be trusted. The lovely man she married had morphed into an unrecognizable, powered down, monster.

    Upon finding this place I decided that I would not only stop PMO, but I would woo my wife back. I had no idea how I was going to do that. I began with more touching, more hugging, and more compliments. She eyed me with suspicion, but my attention was not unwelcome, well, mostly. lol I kissed her on the lips more, just little pecks, something to break the ice. I wasn't attracted her, so I wasn't sure where all this was leading, but, like you, I didn't want to not O ever again in my life. The death grip had to die. A holiday was coming up so I decided that I would make my move during that time. In preparation I bought some lube, as I remembered that two years previous, when we had tried to do the nasty, that she complained of being "too dry." Once on holiday I started making overtures, rubbing myself up against her, etc. We both felt embarrassed and awkward, but it happened.

    My point is that we must treat getting our PIV like a job, of sorts. Once the ice was broken it became easier and easier, until the expectation was we would do it once a week. She tries to get out of it once in awhile by offering hand jobs, but I almost always turn those down. Yesterday I asked her to check the printer for a document. I had sent a message for her: "I'm horny. Let's go upstairs!" This made her laugh. I never let her forget that she "owes" me a fuck. I talk crudely, because my brain needs to see all this in stark terms. I'm not sentimental about it at all, anymore. I don't care about making love. I want my bone taken care of and she has to be game. Otherwise, what's the point?

    Pursue her. Make it your job!
  16. Doofus

    Doofus Active Member

    So, failure last night. While I was able to get back to sleep at 11:30 when I woke up, I was not when I woke up again at 1:30. Ended up drinking to get back to sleep. Which I didn't do until 4:30. Light alarm did wake me up at 5:30 and, while I did get up to make sure my wife was up (she's sleeping downstairs with N to help him has he recovers from surgery), I was not sober nor did I do my numbers or run. I went back to sleep. I did get T to school and I'm drinking coffee now, but..... grrr. This is not how I wanted - needed - this day to start off!

    I got a reminder that I have a therapy appointment on Thursday. I really don't want to go. The principle reason is that he wants me to see a doctor, a specific doctor, to get my hormone levels checked. For some reason, though that's probably a good idea, I do not want to go to a doctor. What's worse, I lied to him about having made an appointment. I'm also not doing many of the things he has suggested I do to get myself turned around. I've kind of done them, but.... I'm also paranoid that he will have checked and learned that I don't have an appointment with the doctor. Ugh.
    It's also the case that I'm not sure the therapy is helping. I do feel better, but I'm not sure it's because of him or it. I'm just busier now than I was during the summer and so don't have time to wallow like I did during the summer.

    We haven't met the last two weeks because of the holidays and because I thought I'd be with N for his surgery. Next week, ostensibly, I'll be interviewing people for my sabbatical fill-in position. I guess I'm afraid that Thursday will be only him scolding me and, since it's only one meeting in 5 weeks, it can't be beneficial.

    On the PMO front, though, I'm hanging in there. I'm writing here, because, depressed and stressed about my various failures last night, I twice starting typing search terms into google that would have produced P links and pictures. I stopped myself both times, but I'm wavering. Weird how feeling bad about being undisciplined and disappointing myself leads to even more of disappointing behavior.

    Anyway, feeling low, but still abstaining (barely....) here on day 65.
  17. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    You're doing great. You are going to have days like this. It sucks, but it's also life. Remember: you are in the driver's seat at all times.

    I suffered from terrible insomnia at the beginning, as well as constant fatigue. I didn't think I would ever not feel tired. It's worth it, you're worth it. Keep plugging forward. No one can do the work but yours truly.
    Doofus likes this.
  18. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Well-Known Member

    I suffered from massive and I mean massive headaches as well as fatigue like Saville. You can push though it. Later on you will have other things. Years of abuse you must even up. You will be ok you're doing GREAAAT !
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  19. Doofus

    Doofus Active Member

    So, mixed bag so far since yesterday.

    I ended up sleeping on the couch across from N, who is progressing well with his recovery, but still needs a bit of help getting around. He woke me up a couple of times but I was able to get back to sleep pretty easily and without booze. So victory there! I'm not sure if I took zinc last night though.

    This morning, I finally summoned the courage to get into our bank account. I'd been avoiding it for lots of reasons. We sold a house we had been renting a few years ago, and, as a result, had a nice sum of money in the bank. That sum has been dwindling steadily for reasons I haven't had the time, and, then, the courage to examine. I still haven't, but since last summer, I hadn't looked at it at all! Another reason is that my wife has been changing the passwords every month and the ones she gave me back in September didn't work. Ugh.

    Anyway, all of that money is nearly gone now, but not only nearly. It was a big deal for me, first, to get correct passwords from her (to be fair, if I had been persistent before I probably could have gotten them...) and second to actually use them. It's good, too, in that I discovered that money for an overload I did for the college last semester still hadn't been paid me. It's not much money, but it'll help.

    We have money in other places, too. I just checked on a mutual fund. Same amount as the beginning of the year, so that's good (and a little bad, I suppose). But not a lot. Given my age, it's really time to start working on our finances if we ever hope to retire.

    I didn't run this morning. Too sleepy too cold, so that's not good. I'm getting new tires (part of the reason I checked my account was I was afraid I'd be paying our mortgage money for the tires... I really had no idea how much money we have!). I'll run while they're replacing my tires. That way, I minimize the time I'm leaving N alone. Like I said, he's doing better, but it's still only 6 days post surgery. I'm still a bit worried he'll rip open the sutures tripping over a rug or slipping in the bathroom and bleed to death (irrational, I know, but well, can't help it..)

    Doing OK on the PMO front, but.... well stop reading here if you're worried about the postibility of being triggered:

    I'm reading Sex at Dawn (SaD). I think about how men and women interact sexually quite a bit. I find the whole thing exasperating. I've been reading some of @Saville 's take on the matter, and, though I can tell he's put much thought into his positions, they don't feel right to me. I decided to try to deepen my own knowledge/thinking about human sexuality and remembered a friend had told me she thought SaD was a good book about it. I'm only a few chapters in, so I don't have a definite opinion about their hypotheses yet, but it's at a minimum provocative and good reading. It's also about sex, so, though it's not P, it's increasing my temptation to look at P.

    Anyway, I'll write about what I learn if anyone here is interested. I think it's important and, I hope, appropriate for this forum in particular because it seems so many of us became PMO addicts because of sex-less relationships. It's why I relapsed after my previous recovery a few years ago (documented here at the beginning of this diary) and why I'm struggling with my recovery now. I believe in marriage, for the most part, but it shouldn't give your spouse the right to rob you of your sexuality. Which happens way too often. If your spouse isn't interested anymore, you're left with the choice of cheating, making them do what they'd rather not, or some subset of PMO. We know the damage the last does, I've done the first and was not up to the guilt and anxiety of it and, if for no other reason than the fact that a big part of the enjoyment of sex for me is the enthusiasm and pleasure of my partner, I'm not prepared to push the second. If she's not into it, it's hard for me to get into it too.

    This is compounded by the fact that it seems that one of the widely doubted claims about abstaining from PMO, that it makes you more attractive to women, seems to be true for me. It's like I have 5 or 6 women right now, who seem interested. If I/they were single I'm pretty sure we'd be having sex.

    Anyway, so far, if you're looking for a book about these issues, SaD is a good choice (at least the first few chapters). Especially if you want an provocative or iconoclastic take.

    OK. More later possibly, here on day 66.
  20. Doofus

    Doofus Active Member

    Thank you @Saville ! That's comforting to know actually! And thank you for the encouragement. It's very helpful!

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