I am so tired of hurting.  It seems to be all that I do anymore.  When things quiet down and I have only my self to contend with, I am amazed at the number of physical pains going on.  My headaches have increased in both frequency and intensity the last couple of weeks.  My right ankle has hurt practically non-stop for eighteen years.  I have arthritis in my knuckles, knees, and all up and down my spine.  My lower back on the left side has been bothering me to the extent that it is sometimes difficult to get up or to sit down.  There is no such thing as a comfortable position laying down.  Somewhere in the last month I have pulled a muscle in my right forearm.  I have know idea what that's all about.   I occasionally notice that I am clenching my teeth, which sets my jaw to throbbing.  My head is abnormally large, so my glasses bite into the sides of my head above my ears.  Perhaps strangest of all is the ongoing ache in my left butt-cheek.  It feels like I have a huge bruise exactly where my wallet presses against my ass.  I've stopped putting my wallet in that pocket, but it hasn't made a bit of difference.  My acid reflux is triggered by stress, so I have almost constant heartburn.  And all of that is just my regular day-to-day pains that have nothing to do with what's happening in my life.

Emotionally I am exhausted.  My wife seems to be making a very conscious effort to avoid me.  It's kind of amusing since the last thing of substance she actually said to me was that, if I felt we needed to talk, she would be available.  I see her and my heart clenches.  As long as she isn't looking at me she's amazingly beautiful.  I have assume she's gotten into shape for whatever piece of dung she's seeing on Thursday, but she looks better than she has since about 9 months before our son was born.  Interestingly enough, that is almost perfectly coincided with our daughter's fifth birthday.  We have pictures of her at Chuckee Cheese's looking absolutely stunning.  Anyway, she doesn't look like that when she's looking at me.  Once I come in to her field of view she just looks tired and irritated.  I spent years devoting my life to the simple task of making her happy.  No matter what was wrong with anything else, everything was just fine when she was smiling at me.  Now just having me near by makes the smiles go away.  Luckily, she does as much to avoid me as she can, so I don't have to see that happen too often.

Of course, not having her around isn't any easier.  All I can do is fixate on what she may or may not be doing.  I can't function without her, and I can't function with her.  I sure as hell can't sleep with her. 

If she's home and I go to bed, all I do is lay there in the dark, awake, wishing I could hold her.  Wishing I could touch her.  If she's not home there's no sense in my going to bed at all.  Sleep is an impossibility.

I actually got the most sleep I've had in a long time on Tuesday.  Of course, she has been going out a lot lately, so she went to bed fairly early Monday night.  I couldn't sleep, so I stayed up until about 4:00am, then I lay down on the couch to sleep.  I didn't want to risk waking her up when I went to bed.  I got up when our daughter was getting ready for school.  Then I awoke our son and got him ready for school as quietly as possible, in the hopes that she would sleep in.  Unfortunately, he didn't know we were trying to be quiet.  She's gone so much that he didn't think she was home, so he started making a racket which woke her up.  I took him to school and she re-attached her cell phone to her hand and started checking her email.  About an hour after I got back I decided to lay down for a bit and went to bed.  I gathered myself up in the quiet of the bedroom and just ached.  I don't really notice the pain much when I'm doing something.  It just really makes itself known when everything else is calm.  I covered my head so she wouldn't have to see me if she came into the bedroom.  I don't know how long I laid there, hurting.  I do remember hearing her come in to take a shower in our bathroom.  I also remember moving across the bed and shoving my face into her pillow.  My head and lungs filled with the scent of her.  It made my head seem bouyant, and my muscles relaxed.  I drifted off to sleep.

The next thing I know, it's 2:40pm and the bedroom phone is ringing.  I answer and it is her.  She can't make it back from wherever she's been all day in time to pick up our son from school, so could I please get him.  Of course I can.  That afternoon she made it home just long enough for me to run out and grab Chinese food.  Once I was back she got fancied up (not that she needed to.  The outfit she wore when she ran her errands was pretty damned nice.), and headed out to a Christmas party.

Anyway, I got just over 4 1/2 hours sleep that day.  That's the most sleep I've had at once in several months.

It's not any easier dealing with the kids.  Our daughter is 13, soon to be 14, and she is at that stage of her life where she's convince she has the whole world figured out, and that parents are merely a formality.  She pushes every boundary she can find just as far as it will go.  If we aren't screaming it at her, then we must not really mean it, so she feels just fine with ignoring whatever it is.  The boy isn't any better.  He turned 8 a week ago.  He's potentially very, very intelligent.  Unfortunately, he reminds me of myself more and more each day.  He looks like me (with better skin and with her eyes), so he's going to have a weight problem when he grows up.  Hopefully he will managed to take care of his skin.  Life sucks when your head looks like a basketball.  He keeps getting in trouble at school because the coursework is boring.  He picks it up very quickly, then gets bored and stops doing the work.  The class moves on and he ends up in trouble.  He's actually had detention for not getting his work done.  Twice.

I've never struck my children in anger, but he reminds me so much of myself that it is very difficult.  Last Thursday he spent the day following me around asking me to give him his swats (2 for detention, 2 for lying to his parents about getting his work done) because he wanted to get it over with.  I couldn't do it for hours because I was too angry.  How can I trust myself to punish him without causing harm if I'm wrestling with the desire to choke him out?  I love him as my son, but the desire to push him away is growing on a daily basis.  He's just too much like me to stand.

I'm just so sick of everything.

Someone told me once that I was his hero, because I was the only person he had ever known who hadn't, to some degree or other, settled.  He remembered me before my wife and I were even dating.  He remembered how positive I was when I said that she was the one, and that I didn't any interest in "other fish in the sea."

I still feel that way about her, but I am no longer the man who makes her happy.  I am now the man she has to tolerate while he's still useful, and then only hear from occasionally until her younger child turns 18.

I hate my life.  I used to be so incredibly happy.  Now it's all shit.


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