Posts Tagged ‘therapy’

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Ceecee ran a 5K called the “Run for Rediness” this morning.  I chose to sit this one out and just support her.  I’ll be doing a sprint triathlon next weekend and I don’t want to take any chances with my knee.

I haven’t pushed too hard and I don’t know for 100% certain that it will hold up for the tri, but I’m going to give it my best.

It’s funny,  I went to a physical therapist, did exercises and tried a bunch of things and the only thing that really seemed to help was a cheap elastic brace that I got at Walgreens.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The prevailing conclusion among the physical therapists about what’s causing my knee pain is my feet. They are blaming it on a combination of my being flat-footed and having a left leg that is slightly shorter than my right. Custom orthotics is the proposed solution, so I got fitted for them today.

They also have suggested that when I got a video analysis of my running gait done and changed both the types of shoes I was wearing and the way I ran, that I may have messed myself up that way. Bottom line is that I still haven’t and probably never will get a definitive answer to what the problem is. They’re just hypothesizing and trying things.

I’ve gotten new shoes again, custom orthotics, and instructions to try to forget everything I was trying to change and just go back to running without thinking about it. It’s frustrating, but maybe it will all work. I haven’t really been trying to run while doing therapy, but he wants me to start with a half mile or so and try building up and see whether it hurts.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Well, we survived the short night and getting up and going to work this morning. Afterward, I had my first appointment for physical therapy on my knee. The MRI apparently was inconclusive, so the doctor sent me to a rehabilitation place. They did a bunch of strength and range of motion tests on me and now it’s really confusing.

They don’t seem to be in agreement on what the cause is or how to proceed. The doctor had told me he blamed my hips. The one guy who examined me today said I have flat feet and thinks that’s what’s causing the problem when I run. Another guy says my left leg is shorter than my right and that’s the likely problem. It’s frustrating, because back when I was 19, I had a chiropractor diagnose me with a shorter left leg and had me wear a lift inside my shoe. Since I moved away from there, other doctors have said that wasn’t true and I’ve always had chronic back problems without ever being certain why.

Anyway, we’re going to start p/t and they want me to get fitted for custom orthotics. I don’t’ really care, as long as I get better and can get back to running and doing the things I was. I’m glad not to be having surgery, but these guys don’t give me lot of confidence that they are doing more than guessing and trying things out.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Rather hilarious place we found ourselves this evening. Let’s just say that lately, our physical relationship has been off the charts and we were “otherwise engaged” when the tornado sirens went off. I was hearing them in the back of my mind, but not enough to comprehend what they meant.

When we finally realized that the sirens were sounding, and had been for some time, we jumped out of bed and frantically began trying to figure out what to do. We were in the loft building on the second floor and had no idea where to go, or even if there was any kind of shelter.

You’d think we would have been scared because of our past and my PTSD, but I had been getting treatment in therapy to overcome my fears of tornadoes and we found ourselves laughing and treating it like a silly adventure. Of course, it helped that the radar showed us to not be in any real danger.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Not gonna lie. I saw last night coming. Yes, we fought again and it was awful, but there’s a difference this time. A couple of differences actually. One is that I came to a realization while I was in Kansas that I still need to change in one area. I need to value myself more.

I realized that if I can’t respect myself more than I do, there’s no way I can ever expect Ceecee to respect me the way she should in a marriage. I’ve been letting her call all the shots. When she calls, I jump. When she wants something, I get it. I don’t mind. In fact, I like doing things for her. It’s just that it’s out of
balance and I realized that I’m worth more.

That’s pretty new for me and pretty revolutionary for me to actually believe it. Part of it comes from my therapy which has really been amazing. Part of it comes from the knowing that I do have something to offer a woman. I guess the simplest way to put it is that I realized that I need to stand up and be the man that I am and Ceecee will either respond and be drawn to it, or she will reject me. Either way, I’m worth more.

The other thing is that I knew this fight would happen. I know this sounds weird, but I have been hearing God’s voice pretty clearly for a while now. Earlier this week, He told me some things that I need to say to my wife. He pretty much dictated to me exactly what to say and then He showed me that she wasn’t going to react well to it.

She’s always been that way. She doesn’t want to be confronted and doesn’t want to be made to talk about things that she doesn’t want to talk about. She gets mad and throws it back in my face, but she does think about it and usually takes it to heart.

What I’ve had to learn to live with and decide in the past is whether it’s worth it to take whatever pain is going to come to me in retribution for the hope that my words will bring about a positive effect after the first reaction has run it’s course. For the longest time, I’ve usually decided that it isn’t and just let everything go. That frustration has been one of the factors that led to the demise of our relationship.

In this case, I know the risk is great. In fact, I know I risked everything last night. I have no idea what she will do because of the things I said, but it could be beyond bad. On the other hand, it needed to be done. I needed to establish that things can’t go on like this forever and that she will need to choose at some point or I won’t always be waiting. I don’t want to face what may happen, but I’m holding on to hope that, as in the past, after the initial anger subsides, she will come to her senses.

She actually said last night that she doesn’t love me. She said it twice and it almost seemed like she was trying to convince herself of it more than she was trying to convince me. It hurt, but I don’t really think it’s true. I do think that we’re going into a dark time and I’m not looking forward to it.

I don’t know how long. I don’t know anything except that I still want her more than I want my own breath. Tonight, I’m at an outdoor concert by myself that we should be at together. It’s downtown on the square and I keep hoping that when she gets off work that she’ll show up. A part of me thinks she will and a part of me wonders if this is the first night of the rest of my life without her.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ceecee told me that she bought a martini set from Dillard’s yesterday and she carried it home on her bike. She gets these amazing deals there. I can’t believe some of what she brings home for so little money.

I have so much going on today. I had a job interview this morning at Macy’s. I had been looking for a Summer job, but it’s been getting so far into Summer that I don’t know how this is going to work. They only had a daytime position and since I’ll be going back to school in about a month, I obviously can’t do that. I told them I could do nights and weekends and maybe stay on after school gets started, but they said they didn’t have anything.

Then, late this afternoon, they called back and asked if I wanted to come back to interview for a nights and weekends position. I don’t know how well run I think the place is, but I went back and they hired me as a part-time furniture salesman. I’ve never done that before, but it’s not just commission. It will be an hourly wage with potential commission.

I also had my second session with Dr. Black and it was really incredible again. It’s not like going to counseling and being asked, “what do you want to talk about today?” It’s more like going to the doctor and he checks you all out and tells you what he thinks is wrong and what to do about it. I guess this is “therapy,” not just counseling.

While I was in Republic, I went and talked to the pastor of the church there. I couldn’t believe his reaction. His non-reaction, I guess I should say. At least twice while we were still attending regularly there, we put prayer requests in for our marriage and no one from the leadership ever even acknowledged anything. No one reached out, asked if we were ok, or tried to help on any way.

So today, I went in and told him what was going on and what had gone on and he just acted like it was nothing. He didn’t seem shocked, surprised, concerned, or anything. It was just like, “Oh well, it happens.”

On her Facebook today, Ceecee wrote that all she needs now is a car and “all will be set.” I’m not sure what that means, but it doesn’t sound good. If we’re going to get back together soon, we don’t need another car. If she feels that she needs a car, then maybe she’s not thinking in terms of the separation being over anytime soon.

The best thing that happened today was that Ceecee wants to see me tomorrow! She finally has a day off and she wants to work out and then try out her new martini stuff. She says she wants to get ingredients for “Turkish martinis,” whatever that means. I don’t care, I’m just pretty stoked that after that fight, she seems to be more interested in staying in communication when I had pretty much pulled back.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Tomorrow I’m picking Ceecee up and we’re going to have tapas night at her place. I went to Spain one summer and loved the food, so since I’ve been back, I’ve learned to make all kinds of Spanish tapas. I pair them with different Sherries and we haven’t done it for quite some time. I’m so excited that I started making some of the cold stuff today so it will be ready.

Tonight she’s letting me take her to Branson to eat at Famous Dave’s on the landing. Things have gotten better again and we haven’t really talked about what happened Tuesday morning. I’m just trying to show her that I’m changing and trying to love her in the way she needs to be loved. I know I used to be too needy, so now I’m working on getting my needs met by God, so I can just give to her without needing anything back.

It’s so frustrating, though, to have so much love that I want to give and not to be able to give it. I’ve never known this kind of love, but now she doesn’t really want my love. The verses that I wrote down about love, I’m still saying every day, but now I’m turning them into a kind of a prayer and declaration of faith. I dont’ just say the verses out loud. I put our names into them and speak them out as prayers.

Yesterday, I went to my first counseling appointment. It was amazing. I spent the first 45 minutes thinking it was a total waste of time and money and the last fifteen just completely blown away. He sat at a computer and just asked me questions off a list and I didn’t get to talk about anything I wanted to talk about. He was asking me about my childhood and how I got along with my Dad and all this stuff and I was thinking that this was a stupid idea to come here. Then he just kind of connected the dots with everything I had told him and I’m pretty sure my mouth must have dropped open.

I don’t know what any of it meant, but he sure showed me a picture of myself that made me realize that I do have some issues and some things that need to change. I was pretty eager to make the next appointment and I really want to talk to Ceecee about it, but I’m afraid she’ll just think I’m trying to tell her that I have an excuse for why I was the way I was, or that I’m all fixed now because I went to counseling once. I called Joe and told him that either this guy is really good or really lucky or God just directed the whole conversation.

Intimacy implies so much more than sex, but that’s what most people think of when that word is used.  It’s the part of a relationship that should be reserved for marriage, but without emotional intimacy, a sexual relationship, even between spouses, can be hollow and dysfunctional.  Sexuality should be a loving product of the relationship, not the point, or the driving force to it.

Mort Fertel, who I’ve previously referenced in this blog, says the two most important keys to a good sex life are physical condition and emotional intimacy.  The physical part is a pretty easy fix.  If you’re not in shape, get to work, and you’ll get there.  Anyone who commits to physical fitness can achieve the results.

The emotional part can be more elusive.  One thing became painfully clear to me during our separation and it now seems so obvious, I don’t know how I missed it.  Two unhealthy people can’t have a healthy marriage.  It doesn’t even make sense.  If the people in the marriage are struggling with personal issues, those problems will be part of the relationship.

If these are significant issues, then each person will have to get well as an individual. This may mean therapy, as I needed, or being healed by God’s love and grace, which my wife experienced.  Whatever problems you have apart from the marriage, you will still have within the marriage.  Finding someone to love does not make these go away. It may temporarily take your mind off them, but they will still be there, and they will affect you.

For the small stuff, and, to dismiss another popular cliché, it’s not all small stuff, the secret is incredibly simple.  It’s communication.  You have to tell your partner what you think and feel.  He or she can’t read your mind, and it’s selfish and immature to assume that your spouse “should know.”

I used to keep everything inside, and resent my wife, who not only hadn’t done anything wrong, she didn’t even know there was anything wrong.  Then, at some point, I would blow up.  Whatever was going on at the time would usually have little or nothing to do with what I was upset about.  It just reached a certain point and I unloaded.  Nothing was accomplished except that my wife would get hurt, and I would feel bad.

During those first few days that my wife and I were back together,  and before we had talked everything out, the stress of the uncertainty about our relationship was affecting me in the bedroom.  I’ve never had issues there before, and it really caused me some anxiety, which only made it worse.  I decided to talk to my therapist about it.

He told me it was very common under the circumstances, and that it almost certainly wasn’t a physical problem, but an emotional one.  He said that we should take things slow and talk everything out, and that the problem would most likely go away on its own.  At my next appointment, I told him, “I took your advice about talking everything out, but didn’t follow the advice about taking things slow, and as far as that problem going away, oh yeah…it did!”

It was the open, honest communication that created the emotional intimacy.  That led to a new level of physical intimacy that wouldn’t have been possible without it.  We began applying that same communication to every area of our lives. If I had a question about something, I asked.  If something bothered me, I said so, instead of telling myself it wasn’t important, and my wife started doing the same.  We were careful to say it in loving, non-accusational ways, and it created a mutual trust and understanding that kept the air clear and brought us closer than we’d ever been.

As an example, my wife likes to play video games and I don’t.  For her, they are a way to “disconnect” for a time, especially when work has been stressful.  I used to see it as her disconnecting from me and I would resent the time she spent playing.  We had never talked about it.  Now, I willingly give her time to play because I know it blesses her, and she willingly limits her game time to make sure to give me the time and attention I need.  Additionally, we discovered that I do like to play kinect and we bought one so we can play together.

Just last night, my wife was talking about something and she stopped herself and said, “That’s the old way of thinking.”  I asked her what she meant and she said, “Hoping you’ll figure out that I don’t want to go instead of just saying so.”  It really is a new way of thinking, and it leads to a new way of acting.  We communicate openly about everything, and we’ve never been closer.

I can’t emphasize enough how much the support of a few friends means when you’re going through a tough time.  It’s not so much what they do, but more the knowing that they are there.  Knowing that you’re not alone, and you don’t have to face it by yourself can get a person through some of the longest days and darkest nights.  I don’t know what I would have done last summer, had there not been several people who stood by me. 

I’m a teacher, so I didn’t have work to keep me occupied. This was a two-edged sword.  On the one hand, it gave me lots of time to read, pray, attend my therapy sessions, and be there to show love to my wife as much as she would let me.  On the other, there were many long hours of unscheduled time where I had to fight the loneliness and pain that threatened to overwhelm me and pull me under.

The pattern of me staying with my wife on the weekends, then being sent home to my apartment on Mondays or Tuesdays continued, and it never got any easier.  We would have a great time for two or three days, then she would tell me good-bye again.  I desperately wanted her to say or do something to give me hope at those times, but she didn’t, and it always seemed like everything that had just taken place hadn’t mattered.  I respected her boundaries, but also took advantage of every opportunity that presented itself. 

Sometimes she would call during the week and ask me if I could give her a ride, or help her with something.  I always did, and I tried to not expect anything in return.  I wanted her to see me as someone who was able to give without taking.  I figured that any positive interaction between us could only serve as a building block to repairing our relationship, so I tried to be very careful not to push.  I failed at times, of course, and did push her to talk about things she didn’t want to, or deal with my pain, which only pushed her away.

Many times, when I would return to my apartment with no assurance of anything in regards to our future, I would seek God’s comfort through prayer, but also that human aspect of a friend who would listen and be there in whatever way I needed.  There were a small number of such people, and they may not think they did much, but their willingness to give me advice, come over and sit with me, listen to me vent and cry, and spend time with me made an immeasurable difference. 

My primary source of strength was God, and I spent a great deal of time crying out to Him, reading the Bible, and listening to His voice.  More than at any other time in my life, He was real to me in tangible ways.  I would read verses and I knew that they carried a message for me.  My thoughts would be all out of whack and He would help me to see things in perspective and get a grip.  Beyond that, He spoke to me, clearly and unmistakably during this time of need.  Hebrews 11:6 says, “Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.”  I was seeking Him more sincerely than I had for a long time, and probably ever.

He was proving Himself true, and showing me that He was deeply interested in what I was going through.  I understood that my wife had the same free will that we all do and that nobody, including God Himself, was going to force her to love me against her will.  I also was greatly encouraged by the knowledge that the creator of all things wanted our marriage to work out, and was helping me on my end.  If you’re reading this and you have a difficult situation in your life, draw close to God and spend time with some true friends who will support you and lead you in the right direction.  They are truly worth more than gold.

There is one major difference between auto restoration and restoring older homes.  When a car is being restored, it’s all about original parts.  The focus is on replacing worn out and damaged parts and making the finished product exactly like the original.  No changes, no artistic license.

It reminds me of an experience I had in Spain, during a luncheon sponsored by a winery.  We were served a traditional soup, but it had been made differently than it normally was.  Our host became quite upset and had an animated conversation with the waiter about why it hadn’t been made in the traditional way.  The people of southern Spain value tradition and are resistant to change.

I was all about change at this point in my life and my marriage.  Mostly, I needed to change myself.  I was going through the process of allowing myself to be changed by God, and also learning to change with the help of my therapist and others who I opened up to and accepted counsel from.  I was listening, and that was key. 

I had never realized that my wife felt smothered and controlled.  It was a case of an unintended consequence.  I always wanted to do things for her and help her, but I was unintentionally sending the message that I didn’t think she was capable or competent.  We also had an issue regarding something she wanted that I hadn’t thought was very important.  She had talked off and on for years about wanting a tattoo, and I had always told her that I didn’t like them and didn’t want her to get one. 

She had understood me to be forbidding her and now she was intent on getting one.  It was an opportunity for me to show her that things were different, and that I would love and accept her and allow her to make her own choices.  We looked at designs and chose a tatoo artist together.  I sat with her and held her hand through the entire application.  The tatoo artist never suspected that we were separated, and I hoped and prayed that my wife was receiving at least a little bit of the love that I was desperately trying to show her.

Sometimes, the restoration of a house involves making some changes.  There is a certain amount of updating that is not only acceptable, but often necessary.  A house that was originally built with no bathrooms and little or no electricity probably shouldn’t be restored to be exactly like it originally was.  So it was with our marriage. 

I was sharing the story of the vision with a colleague and friend one day and he made a most astute observation.  He said that it sounded like the original “house” was never entirely adequate.  He pointed out that it not only needed to be restored, it probably needed to be added on to.  He hit the nail right on the head.  Even though our marriage started out as a beautiful thing, there were aspects of it that had never been healthy.  The curb appeal was amazing, but underneath, it hadn’t been built right.

Not fighting my wife over her tatoo, but accepting it and being part of it was a tangible act that showed a change in the way I responded to her.  The tattoo itself was also something tangible that showed that her life was changing.  She had told our oldest daughter that if it was going to work out between us, I would have to love all of her.  If I couldn’t accept all of who she was, we couldn’t get back together.  What a person wears, the way they style their hair, or what they put on their skin isn’t who they are.  It’s just self-expression.  True love sees the person beneath the skin and listens to the heart.