A Little Panic, A Little Lack of Love

Dear Reader, I need your help, if you’re so inclined. I actually started another blog post, describing the e-commerce biz we recently established. But I had to abort and shift gears, because…well, you’ll see. Bear with me a bit and I’ll eventually get there.

Why’d I abandon the half-finished blog and start this one, you ask? For the same reason I started the other one: the business. At least, that’s part of the reason. The other reason? My past, my fucked up brain, my insecurities. In short, me.

Before we ventured into entrepreneurship, our lives were pretty magical. And they still are. My wife and I are deeply in love and just being in her presence is sheer joy. But we also have our aspirations. We’re going to travel the world and relocate to Portugal. None of the, “We want to travel,” or we “want” to do this or that. No. We are going to achieve our desires, and we are making it happen.

If you could hear me now, Bitmoji. I’m actually growling at you in response to your obvious sarcasm. Let’s ignore the douche and continue, shall we, Dear Reader?

Here’s where it gets sticky; here’s where I need your help. Low-key (or medium-to-high-key), I had this concern that accomplishing our goals would impact our relationship, and not necessarily in a positive way. I feared that the time commitment would force us to sacrifice our time together. And it has, more dramatically than i previously imagined.

Moving to Portugal requires a lot of prerequisites. We’ve got to fix up the house and sell it. Not easy, but certainly not insurmountable. We’ve also got to get full custody of our kids, which requires either a willing agreement from the biological father or a court action. More difficult, considering the father is non-responsive and lives at an unknown location in Texas, thousands of miles away. Ok, we can handle that one too. Might be a little expensive, sure. It’s also gonna be time consuming and will likely require private instigator services. But hey, we can handle it.

Now for the even more challenging part: I need to find gainful employment. I’m 54 years old, not in the financial position to retire early. And my current job is less-than-ideal. Ethically, I have a problem with our industry, I feel like a fraud due to incompetence (The dudes I work with are f’ing smart!🤷‍♂️), and even if I liked my job, my company doesn’t offer remote opportunities. Bottom line: moving to Portugal and staying at my current company are mutually exclusive. The problem is that I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I grew up. With the e-commerce thing, that all changed.

Agreed. Moving + legal action to acquire parental custody + quitting my job and switching careers = a fucking lot. Doable, but lots of lots of moving parts. Lots of focus, keeping our eye on the ball, and lots of time and effort required.

In my heart, I knew all this. Change isn’t easy. But neither is regret and neither is dismissing your potential; the price of those is substantially higher. Unless you also lose yourself and the one you love in the process. That was a price I was unwilling to pay.

In the back of my mind, I was concerned that we wouldn’t carve out time for each other. That we’d drift apart as we built our future. That my snuggle time would be reduced. And before you think I’m being overly sensitive—a baby, if you will—, my Love Language is physical touch. Moments of physical connection are vital to me. They invigorate me and make me feel alive and worthy. Without hugs, caressing, making love and little touches of intimacy, I feel lost. I feel like the little boy that needed his parents’ love, when they weren’t capable or didn’t desire to give it. Which was all the fucking time.

Go play in traffic, Bitmoji.🖕🖕🖕🖕

A week ago or so, I expressed these concerns to Keeda. I opened up a bit, even though I struggle with basic, mature communication. But I let me wife know that I “didn’t want to lose ourselves” in the process. Several days later, the angst I felt mounted. The first of two consecutive nights was troubling when we worked on our business for several hours, stopping at close to two a.m., with barely a word between us before going to bed. I attempted to chalk it up to the process of actually starting something new. We’d have these instances, from time to time. But a pattern was emerging; the following night was more of the same. This time, my mind wouldn’t allow me to shrug it off. Instead, the voice inside told stories of doom and gloom. “Are we going to make it,” “Is this whole thing going to be our downfall,” and “Does my wife still love me,” played over and over between my ears. I rolled over, sulking, wrestling with the sadness I felt for the imagined loss that surely was coming our way. The loss of a beautiful love story that we were throwing away for greed, and because I wasn’t good enough to satisfy Keeda, as I am. At least, that’s what my dickhead brain was telling me.

And instead of expressing how I was feeling, effectively I shut down. I wallowed in despair. And that’s where I stayed, for hours and hours, even my wife needed me most.

Keeda struggles with anxiety and panic attacks. That evening was substantially more severe than most. In the middle of this same night when I pouted myself to sleep, Keeda needed me. She was startled awake, an imaginary weight crushing her chest, with difficultly breathing and blinking, disorientation and brown fog, and complications in performing the routine task of walking down the hall and going to the bathroom.

She woke we, asking for help. And I did, putting my arm around her shoulder, guiding her to the toilet. I offered words of support, but to my own ears, they felt distant, cold and unloving. I helped her, but did it with a certain lack of compassion. I was uncaring, still hurting, not in a good state of mind, unable to snap out of it and fully be there for my wife. Even at that time when I was helping her, I was aware of my attitudinal negligence. Yet I didn’t do anything about it. I felt like a piece of shit, not worthy of what Keeda deserved.

I did, Dickmoji, I did. I’ll…

Umm, you mocked me earlier. Remember the implication that I was crying when I described my heartless parents and their lack of love? Or the countless other dickish comments you’ve made in previous posts? You might’ve been reminding me to stay on task in this case, but your history of acting like an asshole is relevant. So yes, you are a dick. And yes, Dickmoji is an appropriate moniker.

Don’t care. I’ve got a blog to finish, Dickmoji.😘😘

That said, the point about asking for my Dear Reader’s help is well taken. I’m not asking for a phone call or an email of support. Really what I’m asking of you is to just be an available set of eyes, to allow me to get my words out of my mind and into this post. That’s it. Because the very process of writing helps me wrap my head around my failings; y’all are like a virtual therapists that don’t say a word. And that’s enough.

I’m not proud of how I acted. But I’m not ashamed, either. I’ve been struggling a bit. The holidays were fucking hard. On two occasions, I was massively depressed, weeping in sadness in the middle of the night. My amazing Queen was there to provide comfort, holding and rocking me until I was better. It’s ironic that my wife was there for me, unlike how I wasn’t there for her when she needed me most. Even after my less-than-stellar offer of support, she was there for me again when I finally broke down and voiced my emotions and concerns associated with our business. For the third time in a month, I was weeping. I felt like I was having an emotional breakdown.

I felt so fucking gloomy. I could physically feel it on my face. It was like the skin on my cheeks was melting, flowing downward. But it wasn’t due to gravity, it was due to depression.

No, I’m not ashamed how I acted. I’ve come to realize that I cannot change the past. But I do want to be better. Now and in the future. I know we’re on our path, chasing our dreams. I know we’re going to have some hiccups along the way. This is a new venture and there’s going to be a learning curve. I get it. It’s a matter of talking—my responsibility, and keeping our eye on our priorities, something both my wife and I can improve upon. And what is the priority? Us. Our careers and our geographic location don’t mean shit if we don’t have each other.

So we’ll set healthy boundaries. We’ll get our shit done, but within a set time, allowing ample opportunity for togetherness. I’ll work on myself, just as Keeda works on being the best version of herself. Yet another thing I’ve learned from her, yet another reason I love her. I can be better. I deserve to be better, for those around me, and for the myself. Each of us are works in progress, after all. And that implies we’ve actually got to put in the work. Self-improvement demands effort, I’ve found.

Thank you, Dear Reader. Whether my audience is one million or just one, having your support, letting me vent, hearing my voice…it means more than you’ll ever know. I’m grateful, for you. Peace.👊👊👊

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