Tag Archives: home

A couple of things

screenshot.13

Sorry if the pic bothers anyone. It’s just a relief to see so many more in such a short time. If you’d rather not see it, just comment and I can remove it.

For a long time I’ve called this 30-something guy’s journal – mostly about bipolar II. In less than a month I’ll no longer be in my 30’s and I don’t write mainly about Bipolar II anymore, so I need to come up with a new name for this little space on the net’.

On another note, my wife and I have been trying to conceive based on her fertility tests and we’ve been doing pretty regular checks to see if I have any sperm with the microscope. Tonight was the first night I didn’t need to hunt to see sperm, but they were all dead. I’ve read up on it, and this apparently isn’t unusual. If I were to guess, in the 11 minutes I looked at the slide, I saw well over 200 sperm, which is a huge improvement from a week ago when 20-40 minutes of searching showed only a few. For proper lab testing we need a centrifuge and an incubator. Neither of those items are cost prohibitive. I’ll talk with my wife and see if she’s willing to wait long enough to just decide to go the IVF route to make the extra lab equipment worth the investment. It’d get used after this.

If someone did a tag search and found this blog about having a vasectomy reversal, please feel free to contact me to talk about the process. I did have one of the top surgeons in the country perform mine, even after 18 years of the original vasectomy. I can tall you about recovery times, pain, other things to expect and at least what the cost was for us (it was not covered under insurance and required general anesthesia). I know when I was researching online most of everything I found was very clinical in nature, but didn’t get into the actual reality of the procedure and recovery.

So, this is real. This is going to happen. Even if I can’t produce naturally, the surgeon that performed the reversal said as far as production and quality of sperm I may as well be in my 20’s. Extracting it would be less than pleasant, but nothing I’m not willing to endure to move the process forward. This is really happening, and likely within the next year, barring any complications. I’m equally excited about it and terrified at the same time. The terrified part is mostly the reasonable things people that are going to have a first child have. To summarize; I just don’t want to fuck up too much and to be a good father. The other part that scares me though is the crippling depression that I go so very often. I’m high-functioning when I’m depressed and to help with focus I have Adderall which has been a godsend. Out of the group of 20 of my position in the country, only two other perform consistently at my level with errors being extremely rare and missing deadlines being unheard of.

I’ve been researching online again to see if I can find a therapist that we kind of hit it off as far as being a good fit for working together that can allow me Skype sessions when I’m traveling. Our health insurance will cover it, but there’s a specific code that needs to be used and I need to see the therapist in person every so often as well. It’s the suicidal ideation and urge that I need help with. It’s a constant. I’m used to it. I’m in no danger, but it’s a constant thing running through my mind. I feel guilty about it. How shitty would it be to everyone around me if I were to check out early? How shitty would it be for me now that I’m living a life that I never thought possible? Why won’t this constant nagging desire..no..need, go away?

I go through the mental gymnastics centering around that and starting a family. I can live with the depression. It’s tolerable with medications. I’ve no doubt I could endure well into old age. But would having a depressive parent be selfish, even if I’m good at compartmentalizing it? I don;t know.. It’s late and I put in 70 hours this week. There are things I should work on this weekend, but I think I’m going to go do some photography with an old friend. If time allows for work I’ll do it, but I need downtime. I’ve earned it.

Advertisements

Not coping so well today. I did well at adult stuff – I bought a leaf blower and did yard work. Since this is our first home, this is a new thing. My wife is home, but working on her college project due at midnight, which means I have to leave her be.

Since I’ve not been coping well of late, mainly because of the loneliness of work travel, I’ve managed to find a therapist who’s local that can also do sessions via Skype and insurance will pay for it. I’d of went with her anyway because she seems to be a good fit for me, but that’s a bonus. I’m going to try to meet her for the first time this Thursday as my scheduled appointment out of state cancelled. Otherwise, I see her in a couple of weeks when I’m back in town.

What I need to work with her on is how to cope with the crushing loneliness of travel. I’m someone who needs physical contact. Not so much sexual contact; I can wait until it’s possible for my wife and I to be together in that way. It’s the other aspects. Basically touch and holding/being held. I’ve gone so far as to look into professional cuddlers and checked the areas that I frequent. It’s a possibility, but if I were to guess my wife wouldn’t want my to have anything to do with that, so I’m going to trust my instincts and not hire someone, even though it’s completely non-sexual.

The other thing I need to work on is that we’ve decided to start down the path of having a child. Since I had a vasectomy 18 years ago, the chances of a reversal being successful is a whopping 2%. Since those odds seem pointless, I’ve found a fertility clinic that has other surgical options to extract sperm and do in vitro, or freeze the extracted sperm if time is needed between extraction and fertilization.

So, why therapy over this? I grew up in a horribly abusive home. I literally don’t know how to interact with children. I’m the guy that if you hand a toddler, I hold it at arms length in utter terror. I really, truly, honestly don’t know what to do other that generically “don’t hurt it.” The vasectomy at 22 was because my depressive episodes were so severe that I was certain I’d not make it to 30. I also liked sex. Well, I still do, but that’s beside the point. Either way, I didn’t want to father a child and be the dad who killed himself or was too emotionally absent dealing with their own shit. So.. Yeah. I want to do this. I need guidance.

Lastly I need to talk to someone about the crushing depression that seems to be setting in. I’m not going to harm myself, but the thought of doing so is there every waking moment of every day and the urge is strong beyond words.

Anyway.. I guess that’s all I’ve got. I’ve drank a lot this weekend. Fill a large coffee mug with a couple of types of liquor and no ice, and you have one of my drinks. I’ve had two of those this weekend, and a shot of Diserono this morning with brunch.

The search for home

I grew up in an extremely abusive home. I’d get into details, but it would serve no purpose other than to give context. The short version is that there was physical abuse, rather severe in my earlier years, constant verbal and emotional abuse, and when that didn’t seem enough, there was neglect. Malnutrition level of neglect, not for lack of food, but as a method of control. I was 6’1″ and weighed 140lb. That last part lasted consistently for 3 years.

We lived on farm land which hadn’t been actually farmed for a number of years. The fields had overgrown with grass, weeds and saplings when I was little. There were also about 18 acres of woods, which I’d go hide in when things got real bad at home. When I was a teenager I started staying out as much as possible. I was perpetually forbidden to go anywhere, but if you’re going to suffer the same level of punishment for some other failure or imaginary slight, you say ‘screw it, I’m out of here’ as often as possible. The few friends I had in school were also in abusive situations at home, so staying at their places couple expose you to some level of the same type of situation. Basically, the only downtime was in the woods.

It was made very clear that I was a mistake and that I wasn’t welcome rather frequently. My stepfather would suggest rather frequently that everyone would be better off if I were dead. Home, never felt like home at all.

I left home when I was 17. I had started working under the table at a local roofing company and found a lady who was at the time renting out rooms in her house for $150/month and was willing to let me stay there. I didn’t tell her any of the situation at home, but I didn’t need to, either. If you’ve been abused for any amount of time, you can see it in others rather easily. It’s unspoken. If they haven’t started to repeat the cycle themselves, they know the rules of how to treat each other – the things not to say, provided they have any sense of empathy after such a thing. Anyway, we saw it on each other and never spoke of it other than a passing mention without any details. I was living there, but still felt very much like an outsider. There was the guy whom had just gotten out of prison in the other room that was rented out that had a rather extensive knife and porn collection. We didn’t talk.

When I was able, I got my own apartment, got married to the girl I had dated all through high school and had a home, at least in the technical definition of what a home was. Still, I felt pretty out of place. The PTSD has really set in by that point as well. Who would have figured – I didn’t know how to not live in constant conflict. Calm actually freaked me the hell out. I didn’t create drama, but rather became very anxious all the time and paranoid, just waiting for something to happen. I saw potential everywhere for everything to come apart at the seems. It’s exhausting living like that. It was exhausting for my new wife, too. She demanded to know exactly how long it would be before I’d be ok – specifically, how many therapy sessions and how much medication it would take. We’d be divorced almost two years to the day of when we got married.

After the divorce I moved around a lot. Usually as each lease came up at each apartment, I’d move to another community. Not being the most social person, it was usually chosen based on location and cost. I always wanted to be near woods and water, if possible. In a lot of ways, I felt like a nomad. I guess I was in some sense. Either way, I never had that feeling of getting home from work or somewhere and feeling like the place I walked into was mine, if that makes any sense. It’s not about ownership, but rather about belonging; hell, maybe even deserving of having a home. Likely the latter, but I’ve not reflected on that possibility much.

So what is home, anyway? Aside from the technical definition, what is the feeling of home? Is it a sense of belonging? Is it a feeling of having your own space? Is it a sense of safety? Is it all of those things? When I was in my early 20’s I moved out to Seattle for a year. It felt like home – a lot of forest and water around.. Stunning landscapes.. Mountains. Loved it. The job there fell through, so I was back in the midwest and not too happy about it. A few years later, I moved to Boston and spent up until late 2013 there. I got remarried and I finally felt at home again, at least for the most part.

Each place I’ve lived have had some combination of the criteria for what constitutes home for me. Seattle had shelter, safety and my preferred surroundings. It didn’t have security, though. The company I worked for made it difficult to pay bills since you received your pay sometimes weeks late, and even then, you had to hold your breath until it cleared. It was never for as much as you were owed, either. So, with nobody around that I and my girlfriend at the time knew that could help if things fell apart completely, we were both on edge at all times and fought about money. Boston had pretty much everything, but things happened and we relocated back to my ‘home’ here in the midwest. I felt so out of place when moving here. I was around family and old friends and felt so like I didn’t belong. I still feel that with most.

My definition of home has changed, though. I’ve always been looking for something I couldn’t put my finger on, but I knew was missing. Then it hit me – I wasn’t looking for a specific place, or even the needs beyond shelter and relative safety in the place where I lived, it was a sense of safety. A sense of being welcome and wanted, which to some degree can be taken as being codependent, which it very well may be, but it’s not severe. I don’t need someone else to dictate how I feel. Psychologists will say that others can’t make you feel anything. As philosophically correct as that is, have someone berate and beat you regularly and see if you don’t feel something as result of someone else after awhile.

So, now, I’m starting to feel that sense of ‘home.’ Given where I live though, I am getting the nightmares back about things that happened as well as things that a psychoanalyst would likely have a heyday with interpreting. I have the sense of ‘home’ in my waking hours, at least. My nightmares pretty much all center around being helpless to protect myself, or my wife, or both. They’ve been so visceral lately.. They’ve not been that bad in over 15 years. I’ve always taken some comfort in renting because I could always just say ‘fuck it’ and move elsewhere, but now we’re looking at setting roots here.

So, now I feel like I’m actually ‘home,’ by my own definition, and I think it’s scaring the bejesus out of me.