Japan · Life · Mental Health

In the early morning hours…

It’s 11AM on Tuesday morning.  On Sunday night Mamoru did something that made me angry.  He shut off all the lights in the living room and went to sleep on the sofa.  He did this on purpose.  He didn’t fall asleep out there because he was working too much.  He said he did this because he thought I was going to stay up for a while.  Every time I think we’ve made great strides on communication, he backpedals like this.  He didn’t even bother to talk to me or ask me when I was going to bed.  Something so simple.  Naturally, I thought we should talk about this when he came home last night, how much his behavior angered me.  In the midst of the discussion, he got pouty and decided to mope around.  Instead of going to bed, I thought it best to try and hash this out.  That was a mistake.

What I wanted was simply for him to sleep in our bed.  He said he “can’t” as in he’s physically unable to do so because of the demands of his job.  Our discussion quickly evolved into an argument.  He said I didn’t understand his job.  There is a huge difference between understanding and acceptance.  I feel like I understand Japanese work culture pretty well, but I do not accept it and because I was raised in a completely different culture, I don’t know if I can ever accept it.  The argument furthered until his ultimate solution to my problem of him not sleeping in our bed was “I’m going to quit my job.”  This broke me.  It broke me completely until I was a sobbing heap on the floor who couldn’t move to the bed.

Here’s how I look at this proposed solution.  He quits his job, we pack up and move back to our old city, and everything that just happened the past four months was all for nothing.  The pain and anguish I suffered saying goodbye to everyone.  For nothing.  The home I built in our new city.  For nothing.  The life I’m trying to build here.  For nothing.  All the many many tears I cried.  For nothing.  The time I spent being verbally abused by my sister in America.  For nothing.  The time I spent away from my husband.  For nothing.  Not to mention that I now have a gap in my employment history on my resume.  It’s a gap that I’ll never be able to fill and as I can explain it away now while I’m in the new city (i.e. I can tell potential employers that Mamoru’s transfer is the reason the gap exists), I can’t explain why there was an odd gap and how poorly that looks to potential employers if we returned to our old city.  Then I thought I could just grovel for my old job back.  Nemesis is leaving.  I’m sure they need to fill her spot.  Then I felt ashamed at leaving only to come back so suddenly.  All this contributed to a massive anxiety attack, and I crumbled.  Finally, he was standing over me issuing an ultimatum.  He said I should decide whether or not he quits his job.  I’ll say it again for the cheap seats: DO NOT MAKE PEOPLE IN THE MIDST OF AN ANXIETY ATTACK MAKE DECISIONS.  They cannot.  We cannot.  I was physically unable to make any decision.  I just kept repeating things over and over.  Plus, I think it was incredibly selfish of him to ask me to make his decision for him especially since I already made one massive decision to uproot my life and move to this new city with him.  Because I was a heap and couldn’t form sentences he put me to bed.

This was my bedfellow all night:

That’s right.  I slept next to a box of tissue.  Even after all that, he didn’t come to bed.

I don’t know what to do.  I don’t know how to feel.  I can’t accept that all the emotional turmoil I have felt recently was for nothing.  I don’t know if he’s serious about quitting his job.  As much as I’d love to go back to our former city, I’m inclined to give this new city a try.  I think we should try to make it work here, and then if it doesn’t, go back after a year or so.  However, Mamoru says that it will be more difficult for him to change jobs after he’s 40.  (He’s 39 now, 40 later this year.)  Is that true?  That’s one thing I don’t know about Japanese culture.

So what do we do?  What’s the best course of action?  What should I do?  Do I continue looking a for a job here?  Do I pack up this entire house and go back?  This is making me sick with worry and causing so much anxiety.  I do know that I can’t make Mamoru’s decision for him.  He has to make it on his own.  I can be supportive if there’s anything remaining in me.  Right now I feel so drained.  I feel dead inside.

What would you do?

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2 thoughts on “In the early morning hours…

  1. I don’t know the full details of the situation. However, two years ago my husband and I confronted a similar situation after his company put him on a grueling schedule that left him getting less than 3 hours sleep for over a month and a half.

    I was lonely because my friends left and I’d quit my job and he was overworked. I cried a lot.

    We’d fight and feel awful after. He considered quitting and asked me. I said if he quit we’d have to move back to America and I could find work. He didn’t want to leave Japan, especially not the health care with our infertility issues.

    I told him I’d support him, but I said, “Don’t make the decision while things are at their worst. Let’s wait until thing are better at your work and have relaxed. This is an important decision that can only be made when we are not motivated by all that’s wrong.”

    We set a time for six months from now to make the decision.

    Six months later, things had improved and we decided we wanted to stay. The problems resolved themselves by that point.

    I don’t know if that’s a good solution for you, but perhaps at least wait until the weather is warmer and set a Decision Day for spring or summer. If things are still not better, then make the call.

    Like

    1. Thanks for your advice. Our situation isn’t exactly the same. If he were to quit his job, we wouldn’t have to leave Japan. I really agree with you about not making the decision in haste. I told him that many times last night and today he finally agreed with me that he should think about it seriously and we’d discuss it rationally. The bad thing is that he feels like he doesn’t have any time left since he’ll be 40 later this year, so I think if we did have a Decision Day, it’d have to be much sooner than I’d hoped.

      Liked by 1 person

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