So our ten minute conversation on Monday night left us both frustrated and angry. I was on a mission and fully unprepared for deviation, and he was obviously both sweating it in anticipation and frustrated that I wasn’t listening to him.
Here I was giving him the evil eye while he was trying to explain to me that he was at this meeting because it included people who were giving him advice on immigration. He was visibly stressed out about his upcoming visa expiry and I was completely oblivious to it until I thought back on it yesterday.
It took me a while, but eventually through a lot of reflection and conversations with him last night, it was concluded that he’s been pulling away because he’s stressed out about his visa expiring next month.
Last night after our conversation, I entered full-on anxiety. Was he going to break up with me because he’s worried he has to leave the country? Is he considering marrying me, and if he’s not, does that mean he doesn’t love me?
I was freaking out. Terrified I was going to lose the most amazing man I’d ever met. Living in complete and utter panic, I couldn’t even allow myself to cry out of fear I would never stop. My world was crumbling.
I spent this morning feeling the same way. (I should add here that I have barely slept in three days.) I cried nearly the entire way to work and sat in the parking lot before I went in for at least 15 minutes, just trying to breathe and get myself together.
I had finally realized that his behaviour lately has absolutely nothing to do with me, but I was mortified that I might have already over-reacted enough to have permanently screwed up the whole damn thing. So, I did what any sane girl would do (FML) and I googled a bunch of immigration resources, scheduled an appointment for myself with an immigration consultant for Friday morning so I can be better informed, and I phoned Immigration Canada for information on extending his visa.
I actually found out some good information and took the liberty of forwarding it on to him in hopes it would ease his mind and let him know that “see, I can help!”.
…because what every guy wants is for his girl to solve his problems for him, right? Yeah…
I was pretty much in full panic mode for most of the day today. I recognized that I was on the edge of having a total meltdown, if I wasn’t already submerged right into the middle of one. All of my emotions had started compiling. I wanted desperately to talk to my Dad, I felt gross because our hot water was out and I couldn’t wash my hair this morning, I’ve been sleeping on the couch since Sunday because our carpets were being replaced and my bedroom is still full of furniture. Top all of that off with the fact that I’m terrified I’m going to lose the most amazing man I’ve ever met, and the result is pure hysteria.
So, I did something today that I’ve never done before. I marched into my doctors office and confessed that sometimes, I’m not sure I’m going to make it through the day. I’m pretty sure the “I’m desperately trying to hold it together” look I had on my face while we were talking was all he needed, because he practically through the prescription at me and sent me straight to the pharmacy, where I immediately popped an Ativan to take off the edge.
I’m worried a little bit. I don’t like the stigma that goes along with taking anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medicines, and my Dad was a major pill-popper… but I had to do something, and bless those itty bitty little pills, they’re working.
It didn’t take long for my mind to calm down and for me to be able to start thinking more rationally… and it was funny, nearly as soon as I did, it was like the clouds parted and I could finally see the sun.
Suddenly I could put together all of the things Y was trying to tell me and they made sense. I realized that this whole thing is ridiculous. Then I realized that hey, haven’t I been reading articles in magazines for years on how to handle your man when he’s dealing with stress?
So I googled it, and naturally I’ve got more hits than I have fingers and toes and every damn article says the same thing.
“Your man is stressed. It has nothing to do with you. Don’t try to help him, just listen if he chooses to talk, and give him space to figure it out.”
I knew that, and it makes perfect sense. But I have already failed at all of those steps, and I’m now trying to resist the urge to back-track which would undoubtedly make the situation worse.
He doesn’t want my help, he wants to do it himself because he’s a man and he has an ego. He told me that, but I wasn’t listening. He’s entered panic mode. He told me that too, but I wasn’t listening. Him and I as a couple are fine. He told me that too, but once again I wasn’t listening.
I know now that I need to back-off and allow him some time to figure the situation out. I’ve got to set the other shit aside for a while and just breathe. Focus on keeping myself calm, and being positive towards him so that I’m not another point of stress… and if I do that then hopefully, just hopefully, we can come out the other side of this… and both do it a little better the next time.
In conclusion: Men handle stress like retards, women handle men like crazy emotional bitches, and I hope these posts are coherent because I’m writing them on very little sleep.
And if you want some resources on how to handle your man when he’s stressed, here’s a couple. They really both say the same thing.