Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Where Oh Where Does The Time Go?

Here we are, a week and a half from the biggest celebrity wedding in the history of Planet Dre, and I haven't been updating all of you faithful readers out there! Things have been unbelievably hectic in my world. Weddings are a bitch to plan, of course, but throw in my fiancee and I still getting to know each other and having a major blow-up a few weeks ago, and no wonder I haven't found the time to write. Oh, I've been writing somewhere else, though. The football blog that "Jacob" and I started last year, In Much Less Detail, is chugging along, displaying our terrible football analysis and picks for the world to see. So that takes up a lot of the time I could be using to blog here at the place where my fiancee discovered me, Planet Dre. But time is so precious now that I'm not living alone. My fiancee and I actually spend less time together when we're at home than a lot of couples who just moved in together, but we're both accustomed to our own space, so I hang out here in her spare bedroom on the computer for an hour or two after a long work day and dinner. But we do have to carve out time for each other as well.

So here's what I wanted to do on this blog before the wedding: I had always envisioned myself hunched over the computer banging out a post describing in great detail the story of the lady that I loved the most before I met my fiancee; Tammi Todd from junior high. I briefly referenced how I felt about her in this post, but I intended to sit down with my diaries from that time period as a guide and go over every little piece of that story because it was such a big part of me at the time. I didn't think I would ever go a day without thinking about Tammi, and for a couple of years after the last time I talked to her, I didn't. Well, I'd have to make a special trip to a storage facility to dig out my diaries, and with all the wedding planning and errands, that seems like a selfish thing to do. But I may do it anyway because I'm going to have the car next week, the week before our wedding. And I really want to read the diaries and capture what I was going through because to try to recall my feelings about this girl right now wouldn't do justice to how I felt. (Hell, I'm still intimidated by her--I found her profile on Facebook, but I didn't try to friend her because I assumed that she would just reject me again, like she did in 1990.) I also wanted to update the blog regularly with all the little minutiae about planning a wedding, the ups and downs, but it's a little late for that considering the wedding is ten days away. I also need to write a post about this past weekend. My uncle invited me back to Chicago for a bachelor party, but because I'm a loser and have like 2 friends, he decided not to hire adult entertainment for a room full of 3 or 4 men, so we went out to a strip club. The weekend turned out to be totally fucking awesome, and the event that happened Sunday evening was fitting for a bachelor party because it's nothing I've ever experienced, nor am I likely to ever again. But that should be a post for later, because some serious shit has been happening with me and the fiancee which needs to be chronicled now.

So instead, I'll talk about the "worse" part about "For better or for worse," which describes the hell my fiancee and I have been unintentionally putting each other through. The problem is sleep, or lack thereof, or what one thinks is happening during sleep while the other is convinced that it couldn't be happening, and the resulting shitstorm.

It started around the end of July, when she complained one Saturday morning about the bad night of sleep she had next to me. I expressed empathy for her, and then after we got in the car and she started driving me to work, she said that we should talk about the reason she wasn't getting good sleep lately. I had no clue what she was going to say next.

"We have to talk about you masturbating while I'm trying to sleep." Wait, what?

Here's the deal: I have undiagnosed sleep apnea. The handful of women that have slept with me have always told me that I stop breathing when I sleep, and it's worrisome. I'm aware that it can be curtains for me one night, only because I'm a big sports fan and I'm well aware of an all-time NFL defensive player named Reggie White, who died I think before he turned 40 because he stopped breathing in his sleep and never woke up. So I'm not totally ignorant of its severity, I just hate doctors so much that I've never had it checked out. But I have never gotten a really good night's sleep, because I'm always thrashing around in my sleep, presumably gasping for air. I've awaken on the floor sometimes, I've awaken with my head at the foot of the bed, and almost every morning of my life, my sheets aren't where they were when I went to sleep. My fiancee has slept with me before, so she knows all of this. But for some reason, she took my movements and grunting as me jacking it right next to her while she was trying to sleep, which I would never ever do.

So when she threw this accusation at me, I laughed it off because I was genuinely stunned and didn't know how else to react. This led to a couple of weeks where we were not exactly communicating well with each other. She thought I was lying to her face, and I thought she was crazy, and we weren't getting along too well. Then one night, I woke up to hear her sniffling and walking out into the living room. I asked if she was alright, and she let out a wail. I got up and followed her, scared that something was terribly wrong, and when she finally spoke to me through her tears, she said, "You were masturbating again." I didn't react very well to this, because I thought the issue was past us the moment I said that I wasn't masturbating. I told her firmly that I loved her and wasn't trying to minimize her feelings, but she was dead wrong about me jacking off and it didn't feel good to be called a liar. I then went back to bed, only to have her tell me that she thought maybe I should sleep in the guest bedroom. That's what I did, although I was steamed. She was contrite the next day as she explained to me that no matter what I told her, she had to listen to her gut, and her gut told her that I was masturbating. It made for a terrible feeling on my part. After all the lying I did to past girlfriends, here I was actually telling the truth and not being believed. It really hurt.

Her solution was to "put it behind us" and move forward, because after all, me getting off in bed with her was kinda hot to her, and she said that she'd join in next time. The problem is, I was never jacking off. There was nothing in which to join. I even begged her to turn on the light next time I made these noises and movements so she could see that I wasn't doing that, but she didn't want to play "Gotcha!" with me. We tried to move on, but there was another evening when she left the bedroom and I got up and tried to convince her that I was asleep and had no idea if I was moving or making sounds. She tried to play "Gotcha!" this time and asked me to pull my pants down to show whether I had came in my shorts or not. I immediately did it to show her that not only had I not came, but I wasn't even aroused. She asked me if that was humiliating, and I told her that it didn't matter. All I wanted to do was convince her that I was telling the truth. She sobbed that she was sorry for ruining the relationship, and I told her that she wasn't doing that. And the reason I didn't think she was ruining the relationship was because I was 100% sure that once I proved to her that I was right and she was wrong, all of this bullshit would go away and we'd go back to normal. But this woman was not letting go. She refused to believe that I was telling the truth. She wouldn't even refer to it as a possible truth, just "what you claim to be true" or "your version of things." We even went to the reverend who will officiate the wedding for an emergency counseling session. But we were at an impasse.

She said at one point that it was up to me do something about this problem if it really was being caused by my sleep apnea. I put a Band-Aid on my nose one night in an attempt to keep oxygen flowing through my nose. It didn't work. I thought that maybe I needed a product specifically meant for this problem, so I sent out for free samples of nasal strips, which also didn't work. It finally got to the point where I made an appointment with a sleep clinic to get an overnight test done so I can get my sleep apnea diagnosed and solved, because I kept moving during my sleep and she kept assuming I was doing it on purpose. But the sleep clinic was very unorganized and kept putting off my night to come in and do the test. Meanwhile, the fiancee and I kept getting on each other's nerves. I kept insisting that we don't have an issue because the moment she accepts that I've been honest this whole time, everything goes away. She kept insisting that even on the slight chance that I've been telling the truth, I need to get over how she basically called me a liar for a couple of months and just put the whole thing past us. But I was having trouble connecting with her emotionally, physically, in any way, because she hurt me so much by insisting that I was being dishonest. I didn't even want to go to sleep at night because I was losing trust in her mental stability. I was wondering if I was going to wake up one night with her standing over me holding a knife or something. She did turn on the light one night to try to catch me in the act, but I was not totally asleep, so I woke up fully when she hit the lamp. She assumed that I once again stopped jacking it for fear of being caught. But I didn't even remember moving much before she hit the light. I may have turned over, but that was about it. She went back to our reverend for another counseling session, this time alone, and she came out of it resigned to not bringing it up anymore because--again, even if I'm lying--the issue isn't worth fucking up the relationship. Basically, she refused to give me the satisfaction of her saying she was wrong, and she became the hero, saving our marriage by being the bigger person and letting the issue go. I'm still not totally over the whole fiasco, but we haven't argued about it in weeks. Plus, the sleep clinic did indeed diagnose me with moderate-to-severe sleep apnea, though they didn't capture those sounds and movements that my fiancee accused me of making. I go back this Sunday night to figure out how much pressure I need for a new mask which will force oxygen into my nose during sleep, ending my breathing problems and (we pray) ending my need to flail around.

Throughout this ordeal, she has been fond of telling me that this is how marriage works, that it's not always flowers and sunshine. Look, I'm well aware that there's no such thing as a perfect relationship. But I absolutely have no idea how I'm supposed to react when I tell the 100% whole truth and get totally shot down. I called my uncle for advice, and he just said that I have to be willing to not get the win in this battle because it may cost me the war; in other words, stop pressing her to say that I wasn't really masturbating because I may do irreparable damage to our union trying to force her to admit she was wrong. To an extent, this is also about my competitive streak and how much I despise losing. It really could be easy to let go and move past this thing if she's willing to do so, but part of me hates just throwing my hands up and moving past it because I never willingly disrupted her sleep and I'm willing to do absolutely anything to prove it. Videotape me sleeping. Audiotape me sleeping. Hit the lights every single fucking time I start moaning and shaking the bed. Whatever it takes, just give me the win and admit you were wrong. But it looks like that's not gonna happen, not unless I totally stop moving once I get this oxygen mask. And even then, I can't press the issue and throw it back in her face if I stop moving during sleep, because she could take it the wrong way and have another mental meltdown. The whole situation has left me feeling rather helpless, and if anything similar happens in the future--where I tell the Goddamn truth and get figuratively spat upon in response--I don't know what the hell is gonna happen.


GrizzBabe said...

No one likes to have their integrity questioned, but it sounds like your fiancee is doing her part to be a better partner, with seeking wise counsel and all. Cut her a little slack and give her the grace and the space to be a person in progress.

Dre said...

I have eased up on criticizing her, and she's done great not bringing it up lately. I still wonder when the next blow-up is coming, but we're all good right now.