My friend tells me I’ve been going through emotional abuse from Little Red Riding Hood. Now, I’m not one to focus on emotions, in fact I consider emotions to be hard to control and easy to stifle. I have to remind myself that this is not my “Bitch Book,” the secret journal, my little black notebook full of the emotional overflow that I cannot process in a public way. I let it simmer, reducing it to the simple emotions of fear, passion, and utter confusion. Then I fill pages with vile rantings and expressions that would probably land me in a mental health ward. Since most of my impressionable life has been accompanied by my bride, I won’t try to separate my life and my marriage.
I thought I was being sweet by booking us a honeymoon to Mexico. After all, I got what all guys want: a clear and explicit way to make my girl happy. I had actually paid for flights and a room in NYC, secretly of course, to be romantic. Then one day I asked what she would like. “Somewhere warm and beachy!” Done. Easy. Right?
Apparently not. Our first night as a married couple basically became Netflix and chill minus the Netflix, and almost minus the chill. When we arrived at our destination she immediately began complaining. I felt like our trip was a disaster from the first flight on. I had spent a lot of money, and had worked well over 60-70 hours a week to even get us to her beach. I wanted to show her I loved her, but it became one of those awkward weeks where you know you have a fight brewing, but you both avoid it. Little did I know that the rest of our lives would be like that.
I’ve had good times and bad times with my wife. The bad times seemed like “rough patches” and “bumps in the road,” or that’s what I told myself. The good times came at the cost of truth and honesty. We would hit pause on our stressful relationship and try to do things with each other, lying to everyone, “Our relationship is so good, look at our Instagrams!” Honestly, I would have rather been doing 100 other things, and the sacrifices I made went unnoticed. Sometimes she has mocked my efforts, putting me down as though I was the one to blame for her depression. I’ve grown, and I’ve been more honest when I look at my life. This sucks, and I am worn thin after years of hearing that I am not good enough to earn sex, love, attention, or a friend. She may be going through her own personal reformation, but she doesn’t see the pain and self-doubt that has grown in me.
At one time I would say I was confident, fairly outgoing, and determined to be an example of a good man. Contrasted with today it seems like the rug was pulled out from under me. I have bad enough social anxiety that I get physically ill before forcing myself into meetings, hang outs, or any group of people. I am confident in nothing, I am defensive and standoffish. Every day I struggle to drive home, knowing that I could check out, get high, get drunk, get lost and be alone. My faith once comforted me in depression, suicidal plans, and my relationship with the world. My faith is dying. But hey, on a good note: the first step is to identify your problem right? Obsessive compulsive, socially dysfunctional, addict, apostate, and angry; that’s the example of a man you see here.