Thursday, January 3rd, Day 121, Bedroom Duty
If you would like to join me in this journey from the beginning, please start with Day One.
For the past while, my husband has kept me in the bedroom almost all the time, day and night. I want to have a life!
Getting Rid of Moving Materials
The task most pressing is getting rid of our moving boxes and packing materials. Yesterday, the dumpster for the condo was stacked above the top of the container. Getting to the dumpster was unsafe because of the snow pack. The unload did not get done this past week, maybe not for two weeks. The dumpster enclosure is also scheduled for repairs, which the cold weather delayed. So for now, there is nowhere to put the moving materials. Hopefully, the wait for the dumpster will not be long. I have also asked my husband to cut and flatten the boxes as required by our condo association, but he has not done it.
Secondly, I have wanted to get a computer desk for our computers. I have proposed solutions, but my husband has said no. He said he would go somewhere with me to look at desks, but I cannot get him out the door. It has been very cold, so that may be what is stalling him. I feel frustrated because I have not had my desktop computer for three and a half weeks.
Fortunately, our TV is working again. My husband’s son came over and got it reset and mounted on the wall. He also set up the antenna. If the TV stops working again, we may only need to unplug it and re-plug it in to reset it and get it working again.
Where do I start from here?
I was just about ready to restart my Big Four (meditation, JV Life Tracker, Cronometer, blog/journal) a few days ago.
How can I do all these things when I am in the bedroom almost all the time?
The mobile meditation app I was using, Insight Timer, now nags for payment. I realize the app’s creators need to make money, but to ask for it suddenly, the way they are, is cooling my enthusiasm for the app.
Perhaps I can meditate with mp3’s I recorded myself. I even put one online. Let me see if I can find it. I found it in the entry for November first. I want to listen to that recording every day. It is:
- does a conscious breathing exercise
- guides you through a relaxing body scan
- has you visualize a trickling stream to release anxious thoughts
- reminds you of the six habits of success
- reminds you that my self-worth is independent of my performance
I will need time away from bedroom duty to do meditation at my computer. I wonder if that will be possible the way things are going,
Computer Desk Impasse
Just now, I tried talking to my husband again about getting a computer desk, and again I reached an impasse. He will not go to look at desks with me today, and he will not tell me why he will not. He will not promise to go any day in the future.
I am tired of asking him about it day after day. On the nineteenth of December, when I was talking to him about it, he asked me to leave the condo and get a motel room. I left and stayed with a friend instead and was away for three and a half days. I even decided to go back to Utah, but I changed my mind and came back to my Colorado home. The problem remains of having no computer desk. I have a possible solution that can be accomplished without my husband’s intervention. I am just about ready to do it. My husband said not to do it just yet, but I may go ahead anyway.
Opposed to Electronics
I went ahead and ordered the desk and arranged for the assembly. Everything seemed to work out, but now I am catching on that my husband is opposed to electronics in general and does not want me out of his sight in a second bedroom working on a computer. I started talking about all the things I have accomplished for him using the Internet, and he stopped talking to me.
This is hard for me to deal with because I majored in computer science in college, and since then computers have been my life. If he is opposed to the whole thing, what am I to do?
Last night in the bedroom, my husband said he wondered if our marriage was a mistake. I wonder if the time is coming when he will ask me to leave the condo again. Just now, he said I could go anywhere, but I could not take his car, and my car is in Utah.
I suggested he get up and get dressed just now, but then I remembered his sweat suit was in the washing machine. Not only was it in the washer, there were pieces of Kleenex all over it and the washer. I cleaned up the mess as well as I could.
Emotions Gone Wild
My emotions are running wild again. A few days ago, I planned out what to do to return to Utah with all my things. It will cost approximately $800 to move my stuff back and then some more money to move myself.
So, what am I to do? Sometimes my husband seems so enamored with me. In the bedroom, he tells me how beautiful, gorgeous, and intelligent I am. Later, he seems to hate everything I stand for. When I ask him to explain himself, he says, “You figure it out.” So I have to guess what is going on in his head. Part of the time he is one way about me; part of the time he is the opposite. One thing he is consistent about is his drinking. I know if I oppose that, the marriage is over.
Just the day before yesterday, my husband said he loved me just as I was. It is possible that he really means he opposes the self-improvement projects I do. I stand for never-ending transformation. Of course, he has never read my book.
So, what can I do? In the past, I called my mother and my friends and talked things over with them. When I did that before, my husband asked me to leave the condo. It is best to keep quiet and pray in my head. Even writing about it is a little dangerous, but I need a way to organize my thoughts. I have a counselor, but I do not see her often. When I am in crisis, I do not have the chance to talk to her. When I do visit her, I have things resolved, so she thinks I am doing well.
I had trouble starting the dishwasher just now, but it only needed to be canceled and drained. Then it started normally.
If my husband loves me as I am, he should be okay with my computer “addiction” as he calls it. Lately we have been spending a lot of time in the bedroom. I want to get out and do other things, including my writing. I do not know if my writing is really a computer addiction. It is more like a writing addiction. The computer is just a tool to get the job done. There are other computer related addictions like a Facebook addiction, a gaming addiction, etc.
So what is an addiction? There is the informal meaning of being enthusiastically devoted to a thing or activity. The formal meaning is, “being physically and mentally dependent on a particular substance, and unable to stop taking it without incurring adverse effects.” I know I am dependent on computers to a large extent, and I have adverse effects when I stop using them.
Much of my life involves activities for which I use a computer. Unfortunately, there are a great many things I do not know how to do without using a computer. I do not know for instance how to reserve an airline seat without the use of a computer. Using a cell phone is a possibility, but that is still using a computer because a cell phone is a computer. I can write with pen and paper, but getting that posted to my blog requires a computer. I am addicted to the use of electricity because I seem to need electricity to do everything and going without it very long is not too fun. So my husband is right. I am addicted.
However, doing everything without depending on anything is virtually impossible. I read much of Robinson Crusoe, and he depended on what he could salvage from his ship. Some marriage partners complain their partner is addicted to them. It is virtually impossible to have a marriage without becoming dependent on something the other partner has, is, or does.
We cannot prevent dependencies, but it is helpful to acknowledge them. Sometimes it is good to build redundancies, where there are two or more solutions, using different dependencies. Even this laptop came into my life as I thought of what I would do to keep my blog going, if I did not have my computer. I came up with a solution, and now I am using it. It still depends on using a computer, but this one is portable.
I may be even more addicted to my shelter because I do not have a good alternative to this condo, and I have many adverse reactions to not being sheltered. Robinson Crusoe spent much of his efforts on his shelter. His climate was warmer than Colorado but more rainy. I can possibly live in the jeep, assuming my husband lets me use it, though it would not be much of a life. There are motels, but they are expensive, and they are still not much of a life. I could stay at a friend’s house, but how long would that friend still be my friend? I could go back to my place in Utah, but that is 500 miles away. So the condo is the best alternative. What if my husband says to leave?
No Right to Evict Me
Since we both own the condo and we are married, my husband does not have the right to evict me. I can call the police if I am in danger. So next time he asks me to leave, I can just refuse to leave. If he threatens me, I can call the police.
Too Much Bedroom Duty
For the past while, I spent many more hours in the bedroom with my husband. Now I want to do some more writing. My computer desk came, and I dragged it into our second bedroom. Now my husband is upset with me because I will not go back in the bedroom with him. What can I do? I have been in the bedroom with him almost all day for several days. It is almost 5:00 PM. I have been in the bedroom except for a bit of time to eat, go to the bathroom, brush my hair, clean up the laundry, drag the computer desk in, and add to this entry. I have not had time to do hardly anything else. I fear my husband is going to ask me to leave again.
I do not have to leave though.
More Bedroom Duty
It is now almost 11:00 PM. My husband is sleeping. I have been in the bedroom with him since dinner. If I do not find a way to end having to spend all day in the bedroom with him, I will have to leave the marriage. I think I will start by saying no, even though my husband will try to make me feel guilty about it. He does not get violent, but he can be very persuasive. Today he threatened to not let me use the jeep. I reminded him that he said I could have the jeep and that I have power-of-attorney for it. I did not go anywhere with it today, however.
I just called the crisis line. The male worker said my husband was being irrational. We decided that my next step was to say no and to call the police if my husband becomes violent. I spent some time today memorizing the police non-emergency number. If it is an emergency, I can call 911.
I wish my life was not in crisis so much of the time, but it has been that way for much of my marriage. Things were just starting to settle down here at our new condo. I was feeling very happy about being here, and my husband asked me to leave. Now I am becoming a slave to his passion. At least now I know what I am going to do. I am going to say no more often. I cannot be in the bedroom with him around the clock. That has to end. The crisis worker asked me about other duties my husband might have. Since my husband is retired and he leaves almost everything to me, he does not do much. Today I mentioned to him that he should do other things, and he just got angry.
Is There Hope?
Can this situation work out? I think there is hope. It does look a little bleak though. My husband does not appear to learn. I am not an expert on alcohol, but it does seem to have awful effects on people, even those who are as intelligent and calm as my husband. It definitely adversely affects how the brain works. My husband says he uses alcohol to remain calm, but it may not be as good a remedy as he thinks it is. If he gets stirred up again like he did the night he asked me to leave, I may have to call in outside help. However, when the police escorted me back to the condo that night for my medicine, he seemed rational and calm when he talked to them. Because he can be that way, they may never arrest him. However, if they ever do, they could dry him out.
The crisis worker said to take this a day at a time. Perhaps my husband will start accepting my refusals, realizing that being in the bedroom around-the-clock is irrational and it is irrational to expect me to be in the bedroom around-the-clock when I am busy taking care of him. I also want time to do my writing and otherwise have a life.
Yesterday, I pulled a muscle in my shoulder while lying on my husband’s arm. Today, the pain is more than annoying. I have a hot shoulder pad on it. Maybe this is a good excuse to not be with my husband for a few days. I wonder if I can even type.
To Post or Not to Post?
It appears I can, though not as easily as usual. I wonder if I should post this entry. I do not like having marital difficulty. Probably no one does. However, if I can help others, it may be worth it to share my struggle. Right now, following all his therapy, my husband is more independent than he has been for awhile. He can walk around the condo without the aid of a walker and get to the bathroom by himself. He still depends on me for taking out the trash and getting the mail. My husband depends on me in many ways, including for all the driving. Sometimes he realizes how much he needs me. Sometimes he does not.
I am just rehearsing the number for the police in my mind. I think I will put it in Google Contacts. There. It is there. I hope I will not have to resort to their help, but having that back up may embolden me to say no to my husband when he is being irrational.
Perhaps It Is Not So Bad
So far this morning I have not had bedroom duty. I have been nursing a torn shoulder muscle. Starting to unload the dishwasher, I stopped. I think I will wait a while before I finish. My husband got up for a few minutes and went back to bed. Despite the trouble I have with him, I really love him. Most of the service I render him I do gladly.
Last night I fixed his favorite: hamburger with potatoes and onions. It had a huge amount of hamburger with a small amount of gravy. Even though it was heavier than I would have liked, it was enjoyable to eat with him because he liked it so much. Most of the service I give him he highly appreciates.
Last night I was thinking things were bleak. Today, maybe there is more hope than I thought. My shoulder is starting to feel better with all the hot packing I have done for it.
After some time in the bedroom, I have been able to do a few things, including get toilet paper for the bathroom and shop for covered toilet bowl brushes. Now my husband is trying to persuade me back into the bedroom. I would do it if it was just for a while. However, I do not want to do bedroom duty again all day every day.
I ended up sleeping in the bedroom, a long time. My husband brought me a piece of cheese for lunch. Then he warmed up my hot pack and brought me that. He took care of me. Then he spent some time silently watching Crocodile Dundee.
I am weak and tired, but my back is healing quickly. Maybe the extra sleep is helping it. I am happy my husband has found some other way to occupy his time.
This journey goes on and on and on, does it not? I guess that is how life is. Stories begin and end quickly. Real life goes on.
I am going to follow the crisis worker’s advice and take this one day at a time. At least right now I am up writing rather than doing bedroom duty.