A thing that seems to run our lives every single day. From the time we wake til time we lay our heads down, we seem to forever be imprisoned by Father Time. I haven't paid much attention to time, as it seems it keeps going by faster and faster. As it keeps etching further into my life, I am trying really hard to ignore it. I can't believe or even accept that my 35th birthday is rapidly approaching and time is starting to leave a few tell tale lines on my face.
I wanted to write about "Time" today because not sure if other spouses are going through this, or some of the Vets who read this on either blogs I write on. It's hard to balance out the day due to children, but add in a husband who needs medication, and locating him makes it one hell of a long day. My husband has an issue with disappearing. We aren't sure if this is something that is normal, a PTSD symptom or a part of TBI? I have sought out answers only to find that I seem to be the only one dealing with this.
My husband can make it to work on time if I get him up and out the door. Usually it's one minute before he is supposed to report in, often it's a few minutes after. Now I know the medicine turns his entire body and mind off, so waking him usually takes me an hour if not longer to rouse him from bed. Days off, like today, he is still asleep. Nights he comes in and eats, sits in the "almost ready to meet it's maker due to his wife" recliner and reads or watches t.v. until he passes out. It's usually the wee hours of the morning if he comes to bed at all. 3 a.m. or 4.a.m. plays havoc on the sex life, if not irritates the crap out of me because how much rest can he get with the lights on, t.v., and sitting straight up?
On off days, he goes to a friend's house who works on tractors for a living. Now this type of "quiet" isolation, I find is therapeutic for him. I don't have issues with him going over there to help this man out because here, you lend a hand, you can always depend on that hand to reach out when you need it.......
Unfortunately, I am not included in that "helping hand" offer because I normally can't find my husband nor does he make it home when I really need him to be here. I volunteer, help people, help my soldiers in my unit I am responsible for and their families...I help others anytime, hell, I even helped an elderly man find a certain brand of soup because he could not see the cans at the grocery store. Often, my son or I will help an elderly person load their groceries into the car. So where is the help when I need it? I do a TON for my husband and help him in any way I can, only to find that the help is not there for me.
My husband suffers from what I call "zoning out". Not even sure if that is the correct terminology for that....but it's like he leaves here, and just disappears mentally and physically. Often he can go somewhere and not remember how he got there. It's more like "Light's on but no one's home" inside his mind....where his mind goes, not sure. More times than not, he can go into a store for a simple thing like milk and be there for hours! Now, being the main shopper/chef/parent/doctor/wonder woman that I am, I know that some places such as Wal-mart can be literally a time warp if you don't walk into it with a purpose and follow strict guidelines. You know how it is...you go into someplace with one item or maybe even ten, come out with a whole buggy full and $200.00 later....you are wondering how in the hell you did that and look at the time! It's been an hour or more!
Him, he can go to the store at 9:30 in the morning for a few screws and bolts he is short of finishing a project, and not show back up until 9:00 that night. He isn't aware of the time even though he has a watch. Sometimes I can reach him on the cell phone and he is in Lowe's or Home Depot. "I'll be home in about 15 minutes" only to see that he, four hours later is still there. You have to wonder whether Lowe's or Home Depot is seriously watching my husband because he is there so long and possibly scoping the place out! I know how he zones out here at home, as if his mind is somewhere far away, so it must be the same way out in the world.
It makes me worry....I don't know if something has happened, don't know if he has flipped his lid and gone off somewhere....is he out there drinking? Is he having an affair? He has always been where he says he is, but a husband who is always gone for hours on end, the most natural thing a wife is going to wonder is whether he is screwing around. He doesn't understand the stress it puts on me, or how it lets me down when he doesn't come home on time. We make a point of sitting at the table for dinner, no t.v., and that is time for our family to talk about the day or just chit chat. He has missed more of those dinners than I can count on my hand and he doesn't have to hear "Where's daddy?" constantly from a 4 year old. Special occasions he is late....when I am sick and need him here, he is gone. I don't know how many times I have been hit with the 24 hour stomach bug and been so sick I could not handle the kids...and had to depend on my 13 year old to help.
When the hours slip by and he finally drags in, he looks at you with these empty eyes and says "I didn't realize I was gone that long"...how the hell can you not? He has a watch on, he has a cell with the time clearly updated every second! I want to smack him upside the head and say "Really? You have been gone for 10 hours! Could you have not seen that the sun was up and now it's dark?"
I get so angry and I don't mean to....I really don't. Well, I don't think it's anger as it is resentment. I am with my kids seven days a week, no help at all....I have to think as a single parent...as the primary caretaker of everything in a family and home....and what I would not give to jump in a time warp and be gone all day with no thoughts on what's going on at home...what will I do with my children, or what's for supper. He doesn't get that I worry about him because I don't get a phone call, or even a plausible excuse. Just "the time just got away, I don't know how".....is this really what's happening or is it just bull?
He doesn't realize that the one day he was gone for most of the day until almost midnight, was our anniversary. He didn't realize that I had to drag two little kids to get a mammogram done and the nurses had to help me with them even though I reminded him I needed him here at home....and most of the times, I feel like he is gone because he simply just doesn't want to be here. He goes and zonks out in his head, and I sit here watching the damn clock and jumping at the phones ringing.....
Some nights he comes in....and I really just don't have anything to say to him. It's almost like I just gave up on him. I think to myself, "alright, you are doing this on your own...you know you can't depend on him anymore". The ending on the thought is "I didn't sign up for this" and that thought scares me. The "empty" look he gives me when discussing my feelings on the subject hurts more than him not being here. I know he is in there somewhere...just can't reach him.
Does he even really understand or care that he is missing the little things that amount to large memories like bath times for the little ones, or finally, my four year old using the regular toilet all on his own....he missed the summer camp stories from my oldest, he is missing time with all of us. I was so ashamed the other day because I had to go see a Vascular Specialist for possible Peripheral Artery Disease. (yay me right?) and he promised he would be home to watch the kids so I would not have to take them.....the night before his best friend called me and said "hey girl...you can drop them off at my house on the way..I'm off...don't cancel if he doesn't show up". HOW SAD! It's embarrassing to me...but also saddens me because damn, he was never like this. When my husband said he would do something, he would go through hell to be there. That was one of the many things that made me fall in love with him. Now I look around me and all I see is the time slipping away and dragging my husband with it...................
Anyone else going through this?
Alone with the clock,
Uncle Sam's Mistress