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Slightly Broken: How to get a bad night’s sleep 1

This week started pretty badly for me on the snooze front. I’m going to partly blame it on my other half, the Lady M (anonynymity in this blog is by my discretion and whim).

I should say first that we had a great weekend – we both performed in a fantastic show on Friday which was an immense high and a really good vibe emotionally for both of us. The Lady M’s been quite down about our shows recently – not feeling she was hitting the peaks and consequently mentally spiralling about participating at all.

The Big Show is one of the things that we do which I most enjoy – unfettered creation (and horror) with an audience, and for me, doing it is very much tied in with The Lady M. We’ve done this together (with others) for about the last ten years and the idea of not doing it together is actually nauseating. So to have a really strong show was very important for her wellbeing, and mine, and our joint wellbeing. Ace. A nice quiet dopey Saturday and slightly busier but good Sunday.

Good that was until I recalled and mentioned that I was planning to join a workmate after work on Monday (yesterday) for a drink to celebrate his birthday. That conflicted with another plan we’d discussed, of going to the cinema. Now I must confess that i’d been dreading mentioning that there was something else I wanted to do. Not that I was desperate to go out with workmates, but it seemed like a nice thing to do, and I turn down such offers very often. The thing is that The Lady M reacts terribly to interruptions to what I think she perceives as ‘our time’.

For me, the time in the evenings is ‘our time’, but it’s also ‘my time’ and ‘her time’. I work 9-5 so it’s the time for doing anything and everything which isn’t work. That’s not quite the same for The Lady M, who is self-employed and work-seeking, mainly from home. I love spending time together and I have lots of interests and activities which I want to, and do pursue.

So – Sunday night. I knew The Lady M was annoyed, and i’d known she would be. The clash of events was not insurmountable, but that’s not the problem. So there was some stomping around, angry hurt brow and silence. I know these things. They are painful to me. And because I know they’ll come up – almost regardless of the event (invited out for a drink, family visit, a night out for open mic or a show, see some friends), I spin up an awesome weight of anxiety about telling her. Frequently I just turn people down, or choose not to even mention something, or try to slowly and distantly introduce the thing. It’s horrible. I get stressed, don’t get what I want, The Lady M gets angry and upset and it’s all kinds of fucked up.
So on Sunday I pressed the issue. Good idea? Maybe. We went to bed and she was clearly still furious. I’m quite good at ignoring these mood swings when I need to, but if it’s at bedtime it kills my chill. So I asked why she was so upset (bear in mind that this is strictly my account and recollection – bias!) and it all went to fuck.

The Lady M threw at me that we’d prearranged going to the cinema, that i’d previously dedicated Monday nights to her and the cat-beast. Now I don’t want this to sound silly or trivial – stuff does when it’s written down, but this isn’t silly or trivial when it’s about how we feel. I finally managed to snap, and get out how I am in fear of her reactions. It was difficult and it upset her.

We had a very long talk in which The Lady M said some terrible things about hating herself, all the time, and not being able to control how she feels. We’ve been together for a long time – nearly 14 years and we’ve both been up and down emotionally. But what The Lady M was saying horrified me – that she thought I loved her, but didn’t like her – couldn’t like her. I don’t think she’d realised how her reactions made me feel. It’s easy not to – we’re all focussed on ourselves. I know how The Lady M will react, but I didn’t necessarily know why. I can take guesses, but she confirmed many of them.

When your self-esteem and self-worth is at rock bottom, or lower it’s impossible to balance information with feelings, or to control how you feel, or even figure out that what you’re feeling is maybe a bit askew.

These were some of the things we talked about. We could have split up, but that would have been awful. It’s an easy way out, and would just throw two slightly broken parts away, whereas in fact we fit together pretty well. And what can you say when presented with despair and self-hatred? I have no idea. All I ever feel I can do is be there. I know i’m strong emotionally, incredibly resilient and what I can do for My Lady M is to just be here.

I don’t know if that’s enough, and I fear that it won’t be. But she knows she’s not in the right place in her mind. She knows she needs help, and if I can help for that to happen then I will.

I do love My Lady M, and I do like her. I don’t always like the things she does, but then I don’t like everything I do. I’m here to stay.
Something else she brought up was that she didn’t think I was attracted to her. I confess that’s a tricky one for me to answer at the moment. I don’t really know how I feel sexually at present, and my libido has dragged behind for several years. I don’t think i’m strongly attracted to anything. I’ve kind of fallen into an amiable companionship without ever intending to. I suspect in part it’s the fallout of very stressful emotional periods for both of us which turned us away from sex and each other, which have in turn confirmed and complemented each other in very negative ways. I would like to change that. Again, right now I don’t know how, but I know I want to stay with My Lady M and we can find each other again.

To be flippant – all of this is a terrible way to get to sleep. But it was for both of us and hard and painful way to be very honest with each other. And that can only be a good thing – we have a better sense of who we are and how we’re treating each other. But it did make for a bad night’s sleep. The consolation was that we went to sleep together, together in mind and together by our hands. I woke up tired but much happier, and My Lady M seems better too.

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