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Sara bought a Toyota Highlander. Probably a joke in there about bi not necessarily meaning dtf or poly. lol Also, just to put a bow on this side track of relationships and cars… she said she is pretty certain the bi vehicle is the Kia Soul.

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Didn’t get abducted or eaten or murdered. Totally worth it. This place has a 360 view of the LA basin.

I am two of these women.

My day at work was really light, so I decided for some reason to hit the high points of my relationship past: I went on my first date as a junior in high school, and it didn't exactly go well. It

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My wife has a Rav 4.  I think it is too big.  I hate big cars.  I really like small, sporty (but not sports cars)four door sedans.  I love mini-coopers. 

I have a small Audi A4 and we can comfortably seat two adults, two car seats, a 40lb dog, and a trunk full of groceries and half full of miscellaneous ski gear and such comfortably.  Bonus, I can squeeze into almost any [parking spot. 

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We have a Volvo S60 and a Volvo V60 and pretty sure they are too damn small for us (the trunk space is decent in the S60, surprisingly, but that leaves no place for the dog). After driving a Highlander for 12 years, it feels pretty cramped. Waiting for that damn F150 Lightning for like 6 months now and they haven't even asked us to pick anything out for it. So I'm going to be a hippie lesbian eventually. 

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17 hours ago, Destiny Skywalker said:

We have a Volvo S60 and a Volvo V60 and pretty sure they are too damn small for us (the trunk space is decent in the S60, surprisingly, but that leaves no place for the dog). After driving a Highlander for 12 years, it feels pretty cramped. Waiting for that damn F150 Lightning for like 6 months now and they haven't even asked us to pick anything out for it. So I'm going to be a hippie lesbian eventually. 

I like the hippie lesbian style.  I say go all out and get a Subaru Forrester or Outback...I think Subaru will trow in a free pair of Tevas.  I went to the Lilith fair like 10 times and I had the biggest crush on Jewel--I owned her book of poetry, A Night without Armor, in both a hardback and audio editions!  Natalie Merchant, Indigo Girls, and Sarah McLachlan are still in heavy rotation in my life. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Not sure where else to put this--didn't feel appropriate in the family drama thread since it's not really drama, but here we go.

Katie's had a whole number of health issues the last few years. Nothing ever super bad, but enough to cause issues. She's been working really hard at eating well and losing weight, but things just keep happening that force her to stop for one reason or another. On top of that, a few years ago she had some serious anxiety and panic problems that got her put on Xanax. The main thing she panics about is her body, which she knows is irrational: the panic makes the symptoms worse, which makes the panic worse, and the original issues aren't even THAT big in the first place. After a couple years she went off the Xanax cuz she didn't want to live on pills. Understandable. But it brought everything back, and one of the side effects of getting back on the pills is it makes all those feelings WORSE before they get better. So with her latest health issue and the poor mental health, she can barely get out of bed.

We're pretty sure all the mental health issues stem from Lyra's traumatic birth nine years ago. I've tried to talk her to going to therapy but she doesn't want to do it, not yet at least. She's getting closer to the idea but who knows. 

While I can't say I've been the perfect dad through all this (the kids, Eli in particular, are an entire separate issue right now), I've been a pretty model husband. I'm not saying that to brag, but it's true. While I've tried my best to do take some time for myself and do things just for me, it's hard and makes me feel guilty. Last week I went to Temecula to go to a toy show and had a great time, but felt like shit later and have since (haven't said any of this to her because I don't want to make it worse for her, she was sobbing this morning about how I didn't sign up to marry a crazy person even though I told her I literally did lol). We haven't had sex in longer than I can remember, and again not pushing for it at all. I don't have any friends in San Diego to take off with, the only person we ever see is her best friend who he only sort of like anyway. I dunno. I'm an asshole for complaining because none of my issues compare to hers, but it's hard as shit. I'm looking at some new job opportunities someone has passed along to me, but it's hard to think about that with all this going on (I'm definitely taking it seriously though), plus Christmas, plus a trip with Katie's family for the holidays. 

Got a little rambley there, sorry. Our relationship is good and strong and nothing threatening it. Just a really hard period right now.

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Katie could be in postpartum depression, even years later, and or PPD could have just merged into a chronic depression condition. I hope she opens up to professional diagnosis and help, and in that area don’t be afraid of looking into it for yourself too. Y’all are under a lot of stress.

Light at the end of the tunnel wise, I can say from experience that PPD and chronic depression does ease with aids (meds, counseling etc) and learned HEALTHY coping methods (aka not compensating with typical societal coping methods like inebriants or manic behaviors like sudden hyper sexuality etc).

In regards to sex, dry spells naturally happen in all long relationships. Although sometimes it can be an indicator of needing help in other areas. Struggling with PPD or chronic depression would definitely classify there. Sexual identity examinations from a heterosexual starting point can also cause a retreat of desire, obviously naturally so if the concluding preference excludes the opposite sex.

As for feeling guilt because you took time for yourself, much like the other aspects of life mentioned above, this will likely be a reoccurring struggle.

A coping method I have adopted in this guilt area is using a list… by which I don’t mean a literal or physical list, just a general thought process. Have I done my chores that must be done today? How’s the wife and kids right now, as good as can be considering? Remember nothing has to be magazine perfect. Take a moment, find a joy, reenergize so that you can continue to be there for others.

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1 hour ago, Darth Krawlie said:

I'm an asshole for complaining because none of my issues compare to hers, but it's hard as shit.

You're absolutely NOT.

I held in a bunch of stress when I was working on my TV because I felt like my problems were the most first world bullshit ever. No one was shooting at me for the color of my skin, I was making money, boo hoo if it was hard and had a long commute.

My therapist told me I still get to have stress relative to my situation and I don't have to codify or scale it against anything else in the world. 

If your life is hard on you, that's legit. Even if it doesn't seem logical, you get to feel what you feel. Anxiety does NOT follow logic.

I'd stay on Katie (gently of course) about therapy. Is she afraid of it, or come from a family that poo poos it? I live in a city where everyone is proud to be in therapy, and I forget in a lot of the world mental health is still demonized so much. (See, family thread wherein my dad got a bipolar diagnoses at the age of 65).

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Dealing with someone struggling with mental illness is difficult. My wife and I have both had to deal with it with each other. Some important rules: self-care isn't optional, and it isn't selfish. People can be selfish and pretend it's self-care, and if your response was to go out every night, I'd be the first person to call you an asshole, but going out occasionally or doing other things to ensure you're taking care of your own mental health, including doing things that you love? That isn't selfish, that's actually allowing you to be more selfless. There comes a point for each of us where we can give too much, and it's obvious that you love Katie, and you want to take care of her, and the danger with that is always giving more than you have. Continue to take care of yourself, because that's what it takes to take care of Katie. 

An example from my childhood is there were times when food was a little more scarce. Sometimes there wasn't enough to keep me full through growth spurts, and I was always tall and skinny. I hit 6 feet by 6th grade. I didn't realize it at the time, but my dad would give me some of his food at those times, but he wouldn't give me all of his food. He would go without a little, but he also needed food to take care of himself so he could work and provide for us. It's the same thing with self-care. If we starve ourselves, we absolutely can't provide for others.

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All of what Torch said, especially about PPD and traumatic births. I'm a lazy SOB so I didn't quote it. And honestly, sometimes its hard being the strong one and it does take a toll on you. My husband is an anxious mess with untreated ADHD, my daughter has ADHD and anxiety, and my son has ADHD and who knows what else. Being everyone's executive function coach and the only one who has their shit together is exhausting, and getting bitched at for having a sink of dirty dishes because I ran on the treadmill instead is pretty unwelcome. I'm allowed to be pissed about that. You're allowed to be exhausted by similarly holding it together and just being weary of it all.

Also your friend who passed those jobs onto you says not to overthink it and just apply, because you're likely going to get at least an interview and can give you some pro tips on what to emphasize in the interview. 

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23 minutes ago, Destiny Skywalker said:

 My husband is an anxious mess with untreated ADHD, my daughter has ADHD and anxiety, and my son has ADHD and who knows what else. Being everyone's executive function coach and the only one who has their shit together is exhausting,

I feel this so hard. And I don't even have all my shit together. 

But I want to echo what everyone else said about self-care. I saw a meme thing the other day that called it "system maintenance" instead, and I really like that. The way some people talk about self-care can make it seem like a selfish choice, but in reality, you have to take care of yourself so that you can take care of others. You have to keep yourself physically and mentally strong to take on the weight of carrying someone through a hard time. 

And remember, we're all here when you need us. You can bitch to us. You can cry to us. You can be angry or full of self-pity or overwhelmed or sad or whatever you need to be with us. We're not going to think any less of you for it. 

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You guys are awesome.

It's really affirming hearing you guys say a lot of the same stuff I say to both myself and to others in similar situations. Once in a while I get something right!

I am definitely going to encourage Katie on the therapy track. I hadn't really considered the possibility of it being PPD related. It's been so many years (kids are 9 and 6), it didn't even occur to me. But that's an avenue worth exploring.

One good thing I'm reminding both of us about this is once her pills start doing their actual job again, she'll feel better at least mentally. We've seen it happen before. It's doubly hard right now because she just got her period, so that's affecting her both mentally AND exacerbating the physical issue.

Speaking of which--since it takes forever to get appointments with the specialist (2 days waiting now for them just to call and schedule the appointment, and they won't let us call them), it'll take quite some time before she can get any treatment, and the discomfort she's having is bad enough that it jeopardizes the Christmas trip we have planned. I've told her fuck it who cares, her health is most important and we can go on this trip anytime. But since it involves her entire side of the family, she thinks if she doesn't go, no one will go and CHRISTMAS WILL BE RUINED.  Again, though, fuck it, we can do it next year, it's fine. Definitely a disappointment if we don't get to go, though.

Oh and to that mysterious friend with the jobs, I'm planning to apply over the weekend when I've had time to go over the job descriptions more fully and polish up my resume.

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Everything everyone else said, Krawlie.  Speaking from the other end of the equation, I was the one who needed mental health help a couple years ago, and I am still being treated now.  It took my fiance to really sit down and talk to me and ask me to get the help, plus many of you guys here helped me come to that conclusion, too.  It is the best thing I did because I was going through depression and anxiety and I was near to the end of my rope.  It is not uncommon for people who need mental help to be reluctant to seek it (speaking from experience here), because it can be difficult sometimes to acknowledge you need help.  I personally felt like I had failed in life somehow, before I broke down and got the help I needed.  

I know that you are doing everything you can to encourage Katie, and my advice would be to continue to do so, but also do it in a way that doesn't sound demanding, because that can sometimes backfire.  Hope that helps a little, and things get better for you, Krawlie.

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Good news is her pills (Zoloft, not Xanax like I said earlier) are working and she's been mostly herself again the last two days. Bad news is, sitting for long stretches is too physically uncomfortable for her, meaning no 8 hour drive for our trip, so that's off. But she sounded pretty receptive to going to therapy at some nebulous time in the future, so that's good too.

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Finding a therapist is tough, not going to lie. Can you help her with that task? Just finding a therapist is overwhelming. Is she on your health insurance? Sometimes companies have EAP phone lines where you can ask for a therapist referral that is in-network. Its like a 15-20 minute phone call and much easier than hunting around.

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BetterHelp.com and LiveHealthOnline.com also both offer online counseling, which could be a better option. No need to go somewhere. I'm between therapists right now, but my company is adding free BetterHelp counseling starting in January, so I'm going to do that.

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The good thing is there are a lot of therapists that do virtual appointments now.  That is how I have been doing mine for about a year and a half.  That can be convenient when searching for a therapist/psychologist/psychiatrist because it makes it easier to switch from one to another, without having to drive all over town. 

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God, yes, hunting for therapists (and really any doctor, for that matter) is terrible.  My first therapist here had to retire for medical reasons, but I was fortunately just shifted over to the other therapist in his clinic.  She retired in late 2019, though, so I've been without one for two years now.  Other than covid-related anxieties, I was doing really well for awhile.  I've lost 35 pounds already this year by making far healthier choices in many ways, but I had to come off my anxiety medicine this fall due to some of the side effects from it causing problems.  My wife has also been dealing with some issues of her own, so I've also been trying to be there for her as much as I can.  This fall was one of my busiest semesters in a long time, too, and now I'm mainly staying at home trying to get research work done, go through books of various types to make more room in the house for a whole host of reasons, and continue to lose weight. 

I'm mainly by myself during the day now because my wife is still going into the office because she works better from there, which just makes it all too easy for me to fall into bad patterns again.  I've found myself getting more anxious frequently, which unfortunately sometimes leads to nasty nausea and more after some meals (whether healthy or otherwise), which, isn't exactly pleasant.  Fortunately, keeping meals smaller seems to help prevent that, at least, which is good for trying to lose weight, too.

I need this break from classes, but this is fucking mentally exhausting, too.  While my wife and I talk about all of this, it isn't always super helpful because my wife has always dealt with anxiety and depression issues by keeping herself busy and active, which is tough for me when I am already exhausted.  She also just never wants to hear anything about covid, which I understand not wanting to talk about, but she needs to be aware of how things are in our city and region, too.  I finally tried getting in touch with a therapist my psychiatrist recommended, but she isn't on my insurance and likely wouldn't have been able to see me for a month anyway.  I can search for a provider through my insurance's website, but it drains me so much.  Six or seven years ago, when I dealt with massive panic attacks all the time, a huge trigger was trying to find doctors.  Either not finding them or having to wait for a long time makes me feel like I have no control, so it just flares things up.

Thank god for karate, which has helped tremendously.  I also just bought an in-home punching bag, so once I get that set up this weekend, I will have a nice outlet to get nervous energy out easily and productively.

Sorry, kind of went on a spiel there, but I think getting that all written out will be helpful for me.  Sounds like may of us are going through similar things right now.  I'm so glad to still have Nightly and you all here to discuss things with.

 

 

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