Today is my birthday, #42 for those of you who are counting, which I have always shared with Dr. Martin Luther King, much to my delight over the years. I have had, as many of you know, one hell of a year, at least emotionally speaking. It started out badly, with the Staunton debacle — a case of being too high, too angry and bitter, and I managed to forever alter several friendships that I thought were lasting and loyal.
The ugliness continued throughout the year, as my relationship with my wife deteriorated once she began to make it clear that she doesn’t respect me for a variety of reasons — primarily among these is my addiction to celebrating 420. Look, I have a good job, a beautiful home out in a beautiful area in the country outside of town, some wonderful small animals I care for and share my space with. If I’m a head, on my own time, outside of work, and in a way that does not interfere with my day job, if I keep my stuff picked up, if I meet my responsibilities at home, and in every other aspect of my life, then I feel if I choose to smoke, that’s my choice. If I was a drinking man, and I wanted to take a drink, and it didn’t make me mean, or brooding, I’d feel the same way. She doesn’t want to be around it at all, and I respect that by keeping it away from her, and mostly out of her sight. But her feelings on the subject are strong, and she has branded me a loser, and someone not worthy of her respect. More than that, I deserve harsh, unforgiving, inconsiderate, and disrespectful treatment by my spouse because I have this little addiction issue. Things have reached a pretty serious level in my book, because I have found in recent weeks that I am losing interest in this woman I have spent the last 15 1/2 years of my life caring for, and loving – showing my love in so many ways, large and small, moreso than telling her how I feel about her. I think once they lose respect for you, whether it’s your fault or not, it may not be possible to get that back. Honestly, once the respect side of the equation is gone, I’m not sure anything can be done to restore the respect, and rebuild the relationship. There’s a danger that the relationship will always be partially false, a lie we tell each other to rationalize remaining in the same house. I think part of my emotional upheaval of this year has been dealing with the slow death of my marriage from the thousand cuts it has suffered this past year. It’s affected my outlook on life, caused distractions in my work, and has led to my isolation, in large part, because I have lost a certain trust in people for all my tribulations. If a spouse, my soul-mate, can lose respect for me, and breach trust, and if she looks at me the way she has expressed she does, is there any hope for a straightforward relationship with any acquaintance? I’ve known my wife for nearly twenty years, and I have been married to her for 15.5 years — I am her best friend in the world, I know her better than anyone. She thinks I’m a complete shithead cuz I dabble in the Kush in my downtime.
Being something of a narcissist, I probably spend too much time thinking about myself, and not thinking of others. I think it can be difficult to strike an appropriate balance between looking out for one’s own interests and taking every opportunity to enjoy this one life with which we have been blessed, versus becoming introverted, and isolated from others, and losing sight of the undeniable fact that we are all members of the human family, interconnected by our suffering as much as we are our triumphs.
I found myself this past year becoming more isolated, more introverted, and feeling more and more often like it’s barely worth the energy to resist choosing a path that leads to something close to a hermitic life, with minimal contact with others beyond the polite, arms-length “acquaintanceship” that we most often share with our work colleagues. You see, it takes energy, commitment, and desire to participate in a group activity, to go out and spend time with other people, to make small talk, to go out to lunch with the fellas from the office, to visit a family member. I find myself spending more and more time alone — alone in my own thoughts, doing things that I alone enjoy, much more so than being with others.
As far as I know, my wife is ignorant of my cross-dressing. I’ve kept it secret, hidden it from her as best I can. Occasionally, I’ll wash my panties and other dress-up clothes in the washing machine at home, and I’ve accidentally left the settings on “delicate” for washer and dryer. She’s probably noticed, but has not, as far as I know, figured out why I washed a delicate load while she was out.
The greatest blessing this year has been P’s trips to Danville, Virginia once per month to get her hair done at her favorite salon, and to visit with and dine out with her friends back there. I usually jet out of work close to 5:00pm (unusual for me), and skedaddle my ass back home for a few hours of dressing, makeup practice, and luxuriating in my feminineness. While I had questioned her about the need to travel 180 miles round trip every month to go to a hairdresser that she thinks does a “decent”, but not bang-up job on her ‘do, I’ve come to enjoy (even long for) her scheduled absence, and I hope she never changes hairdressers . . .
So, with that and with my constant nagging concern about the impact of the gyrations of the global economic mess on my IRA account investments, you have the lions’ share of my problems in this life. Not too long a list of the bitch for 42 year, eh? Well, we haven’t yet talked about my mother and father, so there will be more to discuss on this topic later.