I wanted to write this blog with everything I have to let go of the hurt and pain I am currently feeling. It's been a verbal WWW III here the last week. Assaults from left and right, from behind and from the front; never knowing where they were coming from nor could I run from it. There was no safety zone for either of us and when I began to come under attack, I finally broke loose myself. I let loose my frustrations, my concerns and all the things I needed to say but never did. If you ever owned a pressure cooker and have seen one explode? There you have my husband and I. Six years of built up pressure, exploding. He pulled an arsenal he has built apparently of many years, venom that he has stored and I never thought anyone could be so mean in my life. So many hurtful things were said, not just on his part but my part too when I couldn't handle anymore hits. I don't know what hurts worse.....saying what he did, or saying what I did. It was both our faults When there was silence, an Arctic wind blew from his direction and chilled me to the bone. I walked away with guilt hanging around my neck for finally letting all of it loose but, also because I am just not a mean person. He might as well stabbed me, because the sword of hate he swung so swiftly cut me to the bone.
I can't even remember when or how it started.
Stupid isn't it?
Until three days ago, there were no tears that would come. The past months I have gone to my bed alone, waiting for him to follow but, he never came. No response to my "Good Night", no "I love you" and waiting for something to come out of him. Something. Anything. My bed companion was confusion, anger, hurt and loneliness. I didn't understand what had I done? Did I forget to do something? Was it me? The questions just kept coming and I found I wasn't sleeping. Quite a crowd to sleep in one bed with, but in all honestly, its been that way a long time. The only comfort I had was the dogs, the shadows and noises from outside. Finally though, after the war started, ending with no winner declared; the dam broke and it seems I have done nothing but cry. Now that the tears have finally stopped, the smoke has cleared and all is said and done. I am finally understanding a few things and some I don't know what the hell it is or why it happened. I must write or I will self implode as the pain is just this much. I never thought anyone could hurt this badly. I didn't think my heart could never be broken into a million pieces because it was never whole for a long time anyway. I guess I had more there than I thought.
I had a LOT more than what I thought because the hurt just won't stop. The emptiness I feel is hollow and sickening. I guess I didn't do a good enough job of protecting myself, I didn't love him less; my walls just weren't built that high.
It's been a rough couple of years, there is no lying about that. Last year had some bumps but, more of it was me just picking my own battles with him; choosing wisely which ones to argue about and ones to ignore. Thinking back, perhaps I ignored because I honestly just couldn't fight anymore, maybe I just didn't want to know, perhaps I just couldn't add anything more to my plate. Some days I would bite my tongue til it bled inside my mouth, other days I would just think over and over again the day will end and maybe tomorrow will be better. Issues of avoidance became so unbearable that when my middle son came home one day and asked me if I was a single parent, I just crumbled inside. It was a question with a sharp edge to it. The kind that sliced you down to the quick. How does one answer that to a six year old? If it was just me, I could handle the avoidance much easier but it was to the point where the kids never would see him but maybe a couple of hours a week.
I thought my respite break would give us some time apart, some time for him to see all that I do and how stressful it can be. He was blinded and chose not to see anything, not even really missing me like I had hoped. Looking over the verbal assaults, the arsenal of hurtful things he set traps for, for me to fall in...it seems like my respite care has spawned some issues but, in all honesty to my readers....its been this way since New Year's Eve. There were days he could have been rightfully mad at me for telling him the truth. I said some things out of anger, I will admit it. Overall though? I think I have done more than my share to carry the burden without asking for help, without having someone to lean on for support and without anyone to catch me when I fell. I allowed him to use his injuries as excuses for things he could have helped. I fought so hard for him not to give up that I am tired. How does one keep a hold on someone who doesn't want to help himself? You just can't. As they fall, you see yourself falling further and further away.
Other days, he found things in his head to be mad at. There were days where I really resented his attitude, his verbal meanness towards me because I had given him everything and for what? To be drugged down with him? To not allow me to talk about my day or to smile? To feel guilt because we did something without him? With him, I will admit he had the right to be angry when some things were true when I pointed out the obvious. Others were colorfully pictured by I don't know what. PTSD? TBI? Some things he just made up or distorted just so he could be angry at me. How does one be so cold; so full of rage and hate, selfishness and anger that they create things to be mad at you about? I have run into some people that I dislike. I can also admit that. There are some people I just don't immediately like and stay away from. My grandmother called it the "knows" and said to rely on those senses because some people can just see the evil in others. It was a gift.
So how the hell did I miss this in my husband?
I pushed him forward to keep him from giving up. To not allow him to wallow in pity, worries about what the future will bring all while he pushed me further away.
So is this my fault? Did I just push him forward only to find an empty drop off a cliff?
I am not perfect. There is no one that is perfect. What I ask for in return is a marriage that is 50/50. While I know there are injuries that play havoc on his many moods and personalities, I ask that he cut me some slack because I carry so much. I ask for some communication, work together as a team but allow each to find their own niche. I don't breathe down his neck. I allow him room and encourage when he needs it the most. I do expect him to be with his family sometimes. Show his kids he cares, because right now? We are all under the same vote that he hates us.
Somehow, asking for some compassion that he can show others; he is incapable of showing me is too complicated. Attention he gives to others while he wears this fake mask of normalcy that he can wear with ease, is too hard to fake here at home. There are friends, people in town that would never know that he had anything wrong with him. He tries so hard to pretend, so hard to be the old person he was and it just can't be done. After a while, that mask is going to slip. What I don't understand is, is with my children and I? We don't ask for anything more than who he is now. We accept who he is, his injuries, we don't expect him to fake anything at all. The one small group of four, love him and care for him, even when he uses us to wipe his muddied boots all over. He doesn't have to overshoot and fake anything, doesn't have to hide, but at the same time....why is it we get all the run off?
Why is it just me? What did I do to deserve this?
Things were said by him. Much poisonous than any creature out there. The kind of venom that starts numbing, makes your heart pound, and your head spin. The kind that lingers for days in your system. It shuts down your system causing no sleep, your heart to hurt and shatter into a million pieces. Things were said by me, things I don't know where they came from. I am so ashamed of some of it. I am ashamed of him, of me and for both of us because we were supposed to "go big or go home". Some words were spoken from the heart and the truth. Was it right? Probably not, but with verbal warfare I think everyone speaks out of anger. His words stung much harder and has still left me with the bite marks and venom coursing through my veins. He can fake all he wants, trying to be normal. We aren't normal, we have a new normal. Doesn't mean life is over, doesn't mean everyone expects this normalcy from him, so I don't understand why he feels the need to overdo it but then not try at all for his wife and his children.
I have had to pick and choose battles with him. Much of the time, I never said anything at all. Perhaps a part of me just simply didn't want to know. There were times I got punished for absolutely nothing. If I was wrong, I apologized and either fixed it or made sure it never happened. Hey, again, I am not perfect or a saint. Never though, have I done or treated him wrong. There was never a time that I wasn't here for him, never a time I didn't clean up all his messes,and there was never a closed door that he faced I didn't open for him.
So many things he said, really just kicked me in the gut. I am going to be honest with you all, Readers. How can I help you by sharing our story, sharing what we learned and our mistakes, and our battles....if there is no happy ending? I have a radio interview on Tuesday this week and my heart just isn't in to it. I feel like a fake, because I can't even help my husband. I never claimed to know it all, never claimed to be a professional...just a person like all of you, going through the same steps day by day. The only difference is I write about it in hopes to save just one. I always had aces up my sleeve and maybe that's where I went wrong?
Maybe my full house has run out of cards. Perhaps I really have thrown the last Ace I had.
I know things are hard for him, and we have had a lot of blows this year. However, the people you push away aren't the ones who are always there to pick you up when you fall. I just need my husband occasionally. Sometimes I need a rock to lean on when days are bad and the stress is too much. If he can be there for others, what's so wrong with me?
The sad thing is, he made another mistake. Same one we have been dealing with since day one and while I am not nearly as upset over that as I am the nasty and hurtful things he said.....I just don't honestly know what to do. I usually have some type of answers, even if I pull out my Poker Face and bluff a few times. Sometimes talking with a friend helps, but how can I admit all this? Me? The one who is supposed to know better than to react to him, to let his shadow warrior reach into me and drag my soul to hell and shake it around? I would be too embarrassed.
I feel like blogging would be pointless from now on. Interviews, I kept thinking "if I do this, maybe just maybe, it will help another spouse or Veteran" but, what is there left to say? He took all my confidence away. My will. My drive. And for what? I have no idea. To push me away from what? Why all of a sudden did it all come out?
The worst part was that he said he never wanted to marry me to begin with. This past Christmas he bought me a gold band as my other was white and most of my other jewelry was gold. He took that band, wrapped it up in socks, stuffed it in a canister that was made to look like cleaning stuff. Even took the time to weigh it so it actually felt heavy like that of cleaning fluid. Hell, I was so tickled about the gift itself because it came from him, I didn't even care that it was cleaner. Turned out, it was a safe and hidden among the items he used for weight, and socks was that golden wedding ring.
I cried. Not just for happiness, not for the gift but because he took that much time and thought for me. It was my favorite gift ever. To hear those words, made the ring burn my finger. How can one say such things and expect them not to hurt? I know the answer to this but, to me I still hear it all ringing in my head. I want to cover my ears with my hands and just scream. I want to run away. I want the pain to end. What has left me now, is an empty shell of who I was, who I was becoming and what the hell has taken what was left of my husband. Now I am left with regrets, not knowing where to turn now, and what or who I am supposed to be. I was a fool to think I could stand in, ground in my heels and never let him knock me down. I was an idiot to think that my love would not fix him but just help him through the healing process. Damn me, for loving someone this much.
I feel like a failure.
I feel like I failed all of you.
I really don't even know how to end this blog but I guess I should have listened to the wise old words of "know when to hold 'em and know when to fold "em". I'd hate to see that there is no such thing as "love" that doesn't carry regrets, pain and foolishness.
Dammit, sometimes the house just completely falls down on top of you, and you have no way out......