Direct Answers – Sleepless In, Dark Fantasies

Sleepless In…

I am in a terrible situation, still stunned I ended up here. My boyfriend of one year, the only man I've been madly in love with, began displaying signs of verbal and emotional abuse seven months into our relationship.

As I write this he is asleep in my bedroom. Last month alone I tried to end the relationship five times. I always go back to him and hate myself for it. I am working with a therapist to understand why this keeps happening.

The biggest reason I cannot end it is a longstanding battle with severe insomnia. The chronic lack of sleep is debilitating. Paying my bills and getting out of bed in the morning can be challenging, much less finding the inner strength to break a powerful addiction to a destructive relationship.

Yet that is precisely what I must do. I feel someone asked me to climb Mt. Everest with one hand tied behind my back. The lack of sleep brings me to my knees, and my boyfriend is a comforting presence in spite of his episodes of ugliness.

My family is far away. I am not close to them. I have little support in my city, where the culture is unfriendly and standoffish towards strangers. I am so tired, just getting through the day is often all I can manage.

I've been following your column for a decade and would appreciate words of wisdom to see me through this dark chapter in my life.

~ Deana

Deana, you mention two problems. One, insomnia, and two, a boyfriend. You're working on number two with professional help, so far without success. You don't mention receiving professional help for problem number one.

Insomnia distorts reality. It can make a friendly culture and friendly city seem hostile and aloof.

So first, get thee to someone who deals with serious sleep disorders. It doesn't matter if you don't have money, you have to find someone you can go to. You have to get the insomnia, which is a physical condition, under control.

It doesn't matter what it costs. A good night's sleep is priceless. Work out a payment plan, see someone and get treated. Be totally honest. "I am debilitated. My lack of sleep has put me in harm's way."

Your insomnia must be treated first because it may be the cure for everything else in your life.

Insomnia colors everything: your view of the city, your view of your support system, your view of your boyfriend. Sleep is the foundation of good physical and mental health. It is the time when the body repairs.

It would be no different from: you've broken your femur and you want to talk about your boyfriend. The first thing is to get your femur fixed. Which came first, your boyfriend acting out or the insomnia? Deal with what came first.

~ Wayne & Tamara

Dark Fantasies

My best friend of 20 years and I, and our wives, went to a bar last weekend. As the night went on my friend's wife flirted with me, nothing out of the ordinary. The thing is, at the end of the night she kissed me passionately and I liked it.

I've had a crush on her longer than I've known my wife. I can't stop thinking about it, but I don't want to mess up our lives.

~ Patrick

Patrick, perhaps you can't stop thinking about robbing a bank either. But if you are, what would we suggest? Stop thinking about it! Instead think about prison and all the nice people you'll meet.

If you love your wife and love the life you have and things are good, that's what's real. When you play with what's in your mind, all that disappears.

It's a double bad. Try replacing your fantasy with how your wife and your friend will react when they find out you betrayed them.

~ Wayne & Tamara

Column for the week of August 17, 2015

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