Saturday, Apr 30 2005
View LYNNABEL's food & exercise for this day
To quote Amy, "Bah." It is 3:45am and I can't sleep. Obviously, or I wouldn’t be commenting on it. So I thought I'd write a bit to see if that helped.
Its been an un-fun last 24 hours. And I'm realizing that I'm embarrassed (ashamed?) and certainly self conscious to write about what made it so unpleasant. But I will, because. I don't know - its 3:45am? (“Its 3am, I must be lonely” to quote Matchbox 20).
Steve and I got in a fight of sorts because of what I thought was a ridiculous comment he made about a comment I made about a scene on CSI. One of the female characters was bribing one of the male characters for a date with work favors. Sexual harassment? - probably. Either way, when Steve said something along the lines of "Stud." (regarding the man) and then "Whore." (regarding the woman) I pointed out the obvious double standard in his comment. I had assumed he was joking and so I was less than vehement in my response - I meant it as a simple comment. If he had had hackles, they would have visibly gone up. He jumped on me with what I heard to be essentially "shut the f up about gender issues already. i'm sick and tired of it." I ended the brief discussion with a loud "I have a point and I don't like you saying that." And we proceeded not to speak to each other for the rest of the night. Not one word. Which is impressive when you share the same bed. I was at a loss - who was this person? a) to think a comment like that would fly with me and b) even if he is sick and tired of me and my gender issues, that is a HUGE part of me, so take or leave it. I've been interested in and sensitive to and yes, sometimes critical of, gender issues/differences/disparities since I was FIVE. This is a long standing trait of mine. One that he can't have missed in the 4 years of knowing me.
I woke up feeling horrible - nauseous and with a crashing headache. I called in late to work and tried to sleep in the blue room for a bit. He woke up, came out, and proceeding to raise his voice while telling me he wished I wouldn't get so frustrated with him, that he hadn't slept (which is a national crisis, as I have been made aware on several occasions in the past), and why couldn’t I just laugh at jokes about women on Family Guy? Random, I know - he must have been thinking about that one for a while. I told not to speak to me in a raised tone of voice and that he was the one who seemed frustrated. He then essentially stormed out of the house. I had taken all of the above fairly equinamitably (I insist on that being a word) until that point. And then I burst into tears and didn't stop crying for about a half hour. Went to work and wondered how to reconcile what I'd just experienced with a) the man I married and b) the father to my potential daughter who would apparently be a whore if she flirted with a man and c) my personality, passions, and interests.
He called later in the day and sincerely apologized. Said he couldn't figure out why he freaked out that morning. That he'd woken up with every intention of calling me at work to apologize. That he just didn't know what had gotten into him and that he is horrible at communicating when he is upset. It was genuine and I accepted his apology, told him I knew I talked about gender issues a lot but that my comments were never intended as preaching, only as comments about an issues I'm aware of and usually comfortable sharing with him.
So, instead of dreading going home, I was looking forward to it as usual.
And because I'm pregnant or chronically sensitive - and I am - I feel a like walking bruise sometimes. Which carries with it its own issues - we had another weird moment later in bed about me (not) brushing my teeth that day (since I‘d run out of the house in tears and upset). I know how ridiculous it sounds - but I am very bad at taking criticism, no matter how constructively offered. Which it rarely is (constructive, I mean - and I mean that with everyone. No one I know is good at giving criticism. Which I am fully aware most likely means the issue is with me. Big surprise.) But, it was a matter of the pot calling the kettle black which it would NEVER occur to me to point out. Why? Because its not polite? Because I'm a coward? Because I just wouldn't.
I must sound like a broken record about not feeling the best physically. I have to wonder if I'm using that as crutch? An excuse, maybe, to do nothing. I sit down when I get home from work and I just do nothing. Its not even like I think, "Oh, I could be cleaning the bathroom but I don't feel like it." Its that it doesn't even occur to me to clean the bathroom until I’m in bed and have imagined some critique of me and my lack of bathroom cleaning by Steve. And then I get jolted by the reality that I have a BABY inside me and I wonder what I'm doing with a) myself and b) my life. And then I forget a little bit about the baby and continue with my usual routine of working, eating, doing nothing, and sleeping. I worked out twice this week. Which is better than any week before, but hardly enough. I can't stop thinking about how fat I am, but I cannot restrict calories. I just can't. No matter how much better that would make me feel. And then I feel ungracious for feeling fat. Although, I don't know where I get the idea I must be gracious and graceful about all things pregnant.
So I’m fat and lack personal hygiene.
The thing is, really, that I don’t know where my self criticism begins and my assumption of Steve’s criticism of me ends. Is he as critical of me (unspoken) as I imagine him to be? Probably not. Is he more critical (unspoken) of me than he should be? I don’t know. The thing is - criticism isn’t generally a fun or even very loving thing to begin with so its hard to have a discussion about. And yes, of course, necessary criticism is one thing (you are drinking too much, wear a seat belt, stop playing with knives), but most criticism isn’t necessary. Really. And there is a difference between, “When you XYZ, I feel ABC.” and “You need to/should LMN.” Or is there? Maybe not. I am beginning to think I need to talk to Steve about my real or imagined sense of his criticism of me. If nothing else, I should probably tell him I am fairly constantly wondering if he is criticizing me internally. And give him a chance to tell me. I don’t know - what is he going to say, though? “Yes, I have running list of what-is-wrong-with-Lynn going in my head at all times.” ??? Probably not. And so I come back to the problem being with me. If I were more self confident, I say to myself, I wouldn’t have all these doubts about my husband silently (or overtly) criticizing me. I have a point. However, the incident yesterday does nothing to alleviate my sense of anxiety about being criticized. No matter how sincerely Steve apologized or assured me he understood how importantly The Gender Issue is to me, I will never now not censor myself. Which makes me sad and angry with him.
If I died today I think my tomb should read, “An absolute basket case. But she could laugh.” I am beginning to realize how much of a saving grace that ability to laugh it. I don’t laugh anything off - I just can appreciate the dark humour of things and I think that saves me.
I think I’ll try to sleep now.