And I must slay them
Published on March 7, 2006 By stutefish In Life Journals
So S has a fantasy.

No, not that kind of fantasy.

Well, she has that kind, too.

But that's not important right now.

What is important is, she gets depressed, sometimes. It's like her kryptonite. We all have our kryptonite: that little radioactive rock we carry around with us. Every so often the shielding slips, and we get a big does of our own greatest weakness. Hers is depression, and when it comes on strong, she escapes into this fantasy.

In the fantasy, I wake up one morning and realize that, in reality, I hate her.

I guess it's really more of an irrational fear than a fantasy.

But sometimes, when she's depressed, she totally indulges this fear, lying in bed, moping, worrying, crafting this whole huge alternate reality where her husband finally figures out what she's known all along, and then acts accordingly. In the fantasy, I'm a total asshole. When she's really into it, I'm not even an asshole--just a guy acting reasonably, now that I've come to my senses.

Naturally, I battle this fantasy in all its forms, whenever it rears its ugly heads. It's like a hydra; I can usually chop whatever head is trying to put me in its mouth right now, but sooner or later it'll just grow back and I'll have to chop it again. The good news is, she's gotten waaay better than when we first started dating. When we first started dating, she got depressed and extremely self-hating on a regular basis. Hid it well, though, and most of her friends (including me) didn't have any idea how bad it was. Then, as we got closer, it became harder for her to hide it from me, and we had a couple really rocky years. The hydra was in full effect, and I had only begun to grasp the extent of the beast. Nowadays, thanks to a combination of good drugs and--if I may say so myself--tireless and valiant head-chopping on my part, the hydra spends most of its time hibernating. And when it is awake, its heads are weaker, more sluggish. We've even managed to cauterize a few neck-stumps, I think, mad Hercules-style.

Anyway, last night she took a trip into fantasy-land. In fact, last night was when I formulated the fantasy theory. She's getting over a cold, and night before last I had trouble sleeping because the congestion was making her snore so much. So yestreday morning, I told her that I might end up sleeping in the spare room, if the snoring kept me awake. As usual, I was totally non-accusatory. (We have a mantra that serves us well, my queen and I. We got it from one of those emails that makes the rounds; this one a list of things men wish women understood: "whenever I say something, and I could be interpreted in two ways, and one of those ways is really negative and depressing, assume I meant it the other way". Since ambiguous statements tend to wake the hydra up, and since it lives to put the worst possible interpretation in its mouth, this mantra is an important weapon in our Arsenal Against the Blues. But it doesn't always work.)

I caught her in a low mood, and by the time I got home last night, she'd built out the whole fantasy world. One popular event in her fantasy is when I make her go sleep in the spare room, because I hate her so much. Normally, I reject out of hand any suggestions along those lines. Every so often, she'll go fishing for confirmation that her worst fears are true, and her fantasy is about to become a reality: she'll offer to sleep in the spare room, if it's too annoying for me to share a bed with her. Like I said, I categorically refuse to consider such ideas.

So we get home, she's all mopy, decides to go to bed early. I hop into the bathroom for a few minutes to "read up on the ships and aircraft of the U.S. fleet, circa 2001". When I get out, I head into the bedroom to check on her, remind her that even though she's feeling depressed, that doesn't mean I don't love her, etc.

She's not there.

She has, in fact, moved to the spare bedroom.

So I go in there, tuck her in. She's half-asleep already, mumbles all of the fantasy's high points while I reassure her of my unconditional positive regard.

I think maybe I shouldn't let this shit slide, though. Wake her up, drag her back into the bedroom, make her sleep in our bed. I strongly believe it's bad policy to reinforce these negative and inaccurate perceptions.

There's some things I just will not tolerate in my household.

But then I got to thinking, maybe sometimes it's best just to indulge the fantasy. Let it all out. She wants to make believe everybody hates her, nobody loves her, guess she'll go eat worms? Maybe she should be allowed to play that out, every once in a while. Relieve the pressure. Let her worst fears come true. "Oh noes! He really does hate me! I have to sleep in the spare room! Woe is me! Woe, woe, woe is m-zzz..."

As perverse as it may seem, I think some times it actually helps to fulfill the self-fulfilling prophecy. There's obviously some pressure in her soul that I can't relieve by opposing the bad thoughts. After several years of me diligently doing just that, maybe she needs a vacation from my constant opposition, right?

Maybe, every once in a while, she just needs a husband who will validate her--who will validate even the stupid, wrongheaded, depression-fantasies, even if only for a little bit.

So it worked out really well.

She woke up around five, came back into the master bedroom, crawled into bed and snuggled with me until about 7:30, then woke me up and took me to work.

Cheerful, confident, happy--the S I know and love, and that I've been working on revealing for over five years now. She apologized for getting all crazy last night. I told her about my fantasy theory, and how last night I decided that sometimes it's best to let the fantasy play out. She laughed and agreed with me.

Don't misunderstand me: She is the Queen of my world. She's a wonderful woman. She gets my back, backs my plays, and even laughs at my jokes. She inspires and fulfills me. It's an honor and a pleasure to face off against her dragons, and the rewards have been incredible. She is my Queen. There is none higher.

on Mar 08, 2006
Nice chunk of writing. Continue to give validity to your Queen.
on Mar 10, 2006
She's a very lucky Queen indeed