Friday, October 20, 2017

Things I've Learned This Week

Good morning! I figured I'd write my post early this week because some things have come up that I felt I should blog about. Part of the reason I blog is so that I can look back and reflect on things, how our dynamic is evolving, challenges and successes that we've had, things like that.

This has been a tough week for me. I haven't been feeling well and it's really been affecting the way I function nearly causing me to have a panic attack, definitely causing irritability.
So something that I'm not happy about that I have to deal with in my daily life is that I have structural sleep apnea. When I sleep I actually stop breathing because my nasal passages are narrow. I hadn't found this out until about 3 years ago when I was literally so tired at one point that in a one week period I had minor fender benders while driving, I think three of them. I was so tired I felt like you would have had to scrape me off the floor by midday. It was beyond normal fatigue.
I also struggle with thyroid and celiac disease so I have to avoid gluten like the plague and take medication to replace my thyroid hormone.
So I'm mentioning all this because lately I have been having a struggle with wanting to cooperate with my medical regime and stick to wearing my oxygen at night. I really don't like it. I hate that I have to wear nasal prongs attached to a hose. I feel like an astronaut coming to bed beside my husband. I want to lay down next to him and feel sexy in a little nightie or something, not have to wear oxygen and lift it up to kiss him goodnight. Hey I know it could be worse but you can understand, right? I'm in my mid- thirties and I feel like an elderly woman. It's just not the last impression I want to give to my husband before we go to sleep at night.
Anyways, staying faithful to my prescribed health care has been hard on my self image I guess. I even looked into surgery at one point to fix the passages in my nose and broaden them or something but when my doctor described the procedure I cringed and chickened out. He bluntly stated then that I had to wear the oxygen because it was literally saving my life.
So because I really didn't want to wear the hose and because I rationalized it would be easier to get up with the baby and back down again without needing to take it on and off I asked J if I could try these nasal strips that I'd heard about. They are suppose to help open the nasal passages during sleep so one breathes better. He agreed and so I tried and felt ok for a while but then lately I've ditched those too thinking that I'd be fine without them. Not good.
Anyhow, this past week after not having oxygen for quite some time, a couple of months now, and not even using the nasal strips I have grown so tired that I was fighting migraines everyday and popping Excedrin's for that which haven't really been helping. I found myself growing short with J and my poor children that have to put up with me not only as their mother but now as their teacher, sigh, and I'd reach inside of myself and try to pull out more patience, more endurance, sometimes successfully and other times not. Just yesterday I hollered at my daughter for not taking out her whiteboard when I directed...
So anyhow, I say all this to say that I realize that I need the oxygen and J, after noticing that I am not using the nasal strips like I should be has insisted that I wear it. So last night I did and I feel so much better! It really is a small price to pay to feel well and be able to function efficiently.
I realize that our dynamic helps me for reasons just such as this. Honestly, I tend to wear my emotions on my sleeve, something I don't like about myself but it's the truth. I have a hard time sticking to things that I really don't like even when they are necessary. Heck sometimes I have a hard time sticking to things I do like and completing my goals. Like my writing...
Well I can see now that a lot of it had to do with not feeling well but I so often will start a project and not see it through to the finish line. I have a writing project that I am pursuing now and was ready to call it quits because I couldn't understand why I was so tired all the time. Well...duh!
I mean how much more clear could it be y'all!
So yeah, see what I mean. Our dynamic literally helps me keep my head on right!

Originally my post was meant to be an update on my post from last weekend. I had talked about a heart to heart that I attempted to have with J that got unexpectedly interrupted. Well we finally did have that talk the following evening and his reply was this...

We began DD because of my need. I was dealing with a lot, shouldering a lot of the burdens that my external family members were going through and I was worn out from all of it. Aside from dealing with my own feelings about some things that were going on I was trying to be a support for others in my family. DD helped me cope and keep myself together. I found comfort in it and in the strength and protection of my husband. Even his protection from my own self and my tendency to get overwhelmed and shut down emotionally or just lose it all together and panic.
That first year for us was all about him being a support for me and giving me what I needed from him. He wasn't comfortable with it at first and had a lot of reservations. He went into this with a lot of questions that needed researching on his part. He wanted to be sure this was ok, that it wouldn't hurt me, hurt us.
It has been a little over a year now that we have been practicing this. He feels that there are benefits for us both and that these practises help our connection. He does not however feel that this lifestyle choice is the be all, end all and I would agree. While it has helped us with some relational goals that we had, it wasn't the only means we could have used to reach those goals. We chose this, however, because I expressed a need and he could see that my need was deep.

What about him? Does he need this.

The short answer to that is, no, not like I do.
But he is willing to embrace this because I do need it. He finds benefit in it and is beginning to notice that DD helps him as well. It creates a platform for him to fine tune his own characteristics, his own habits both good or bad. To be an accountability for me means that he has to keep himself progressing in character as well. He has to display what he requires of me and in turn it creates an internal accountability for himself as well.

Will he ever need this like I do?

That is a tough question to answer. We are coming at this from different angles. I am needing this because I need him as a support in my life, in a much deeper and more profound way than most wives need their husbands, I think.
He is coming at this to be a support so the neediness piece really is more mine.

I know he needs certain things that DD helps us find success with. He needs my respect, my submission to his lead, he needs to be able to guide and lead our family. DD helps me to respect his lead and let go of the reigns by reminding me my place and helping me feel my submission in a way that I couldn't before. DD helps my husband express his authority and his right to have a voice, the final voice in our home. It doesn't mean my opinion isn't counted. It just means that he gets the last say when a decision needs to be made. Left up to me, I tend to over commit myself and deal with many things from an emotional standpoint until I wind up overwhelmed. J on the other hand takes a mindful approach to decisions that need to be made. Is there enough time to accomplish tasks to make that commitment? Is the money available for this pursuit? Is it the right time to accomplish a certain goal or does it need to be put on hold? Things like that. So it really helps the situation when I am agreeable to submit to his final say especially being that he is better suited to handle the leadership of our home than I am. I mean I could manage if I had to but the ball is definitely better off in his court.
Other aspects of our home life are better left up to me, like what we need at the grocery store, what needs to be done pertaining to the care of our kids, educationally, medically, materially, and so forth.

So we each have our roles and this helps us to flesh them out and so for the benefit that our dynamic provides, yes J needs that. Does he personally need to dominate me to feel fulfilled in our relationship, no. I however do need that from him because it helps me submit myself. And even if the tool we use to achieve our goals is more my need than his, it's ok. I mean really. The man is willing to help me in whatever way I need him to and really that's all that matters.
Anyhow, I hope you all have a great weekend and take good care! Thanks for putting up with my ramblings...




  1. Hi Jlynne,

    I'm sorry you had a difficult week and am so sorry you have to deal with sleep apnea and thyroid issues. While not the same I suffer badly at times with insomnia so can relate, at least in some small way. I can understand you not wanting to wear the oxygen at night.

    This post is a wonderful reflection on what your dd dynamic means to both of you.


  2. Thank you Roz!
    I'm sorry you suffer with sleep apnea. I have experienced that briefly in the past and so I sympathize.
    It really does help us to understand why we live this way when these questions come up from time to time and I am begining to look at these moments as an opportunity for growth.
    Thank you for your comments. It is encouraging to get feedback!