Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Tug of War

Since my last blog, if anyone read it; It's been mayhem around here as far as life goes. The stomach flu hit the house with the kids and "the Beast" reared it's head a few times. Spring cleaning for me, was much needed in more than a few ways. Sometimes, we get so caught up in our Veteran's lives that we really don't get to see much accomplishments made by ourselves other than what we do for them. While that still counts, I wanted to do a few things for just me. I have been spending some time cutting some baggage loose from the past, letting go of some old regrets and cutting loose some harbored boats of resentment I had been holding on to. I cleaned out the cobwebs but, at the same seems I really don't feel any better. Cleaning and scouring, made me feel like I had time to think, get my game plan together and try to figure out how to make sense of our crazy lives.

Our home is starting to come together but as we all know, family and love makes a home. So right now, I feel like I am working on a home but, am homeless. Things between my husband and I are...civil. I show my poker face and cover up the hurt, the tears and the anger I feel. He shows indifference, no acknowledgement of anything going on and we have had a few arguments which is a massive improvement from where we were before but God, I hate fighting with him. I make sure he is taken damn good care of, and I deal with all in between. Last night, it was another word argument and it just felt like I couldn't talk to him without a smart ass remark, a blame back on me, or figuring out ways to avoid. I didn't confront, didn't blame, didn't accuse...just wanted him to know how I felt. Yes, yes, and yes....I know that I will get comments or emails letting me know that we need marriage counseling, we need to try this latest pill to cure all or that we need to find another therapy process. While I appreciate all comments, I want to clarify to all that we have tried it all. I know often, new people come along and read the blog that is the latest or perhaps pick one from the "most popular" list and then give advice on how they worked things out or tell me what we need to do. However, when you don't read from the start and keep going, in all fairness, it's hard to say try this, try that when that's all we have try.

I know much of this is his injuries and PTSD but, no matter how much I educate myself it doesn't help heal the wounds, only band aids them. I don't want to give up on him but, it seems he has given up on everything including me. I asked him last night, if he asked himself these questions (Can I call my wife and she be there? Does my wife love me no matter what I have done? Does she back me up when I am right or wrong? Does she care about me and worry? Do I know that she would be there when I am sick, and take care of him?) what would his answers be? It would be a yes on all. On my end of the rope of this endless tug of war game? I can only answer "no" and "I don't know". There are days where I look into the eyes of a stranger and things that I used to know about him, suddenly has changed so much that I really don't know who my husband is anymore.

We all change. That comes with age, experience (good or bad), wins and losses, and all the lessons learned along the way. When you tie in all this, our life, it just makes it that much harder and sometimes we become jaded, bitter, leery and very cynical. I just wanted this year to get back to me. To be that person in Vegas who was singing as loud as I could and jumping on the bed. I have held my ground on the changes made and wanting to move forward. It just seems that I am wrong with wanting these changes. My children complain because of things being moved or having to help, my oldest son is in that girl phase with the goo-goo eyes and his head up his ass so I get the eye rolling and the huffing. Even Gunny, my husband's service dog, is upset with me over the movement of things in the home especially the cookbook shelving unit that held his beloved snack jar. You know it's pretty bad when the dog is pissed off at you.

I am trying so hard here because we have spent the last five years frozen in hell and lost in the shuffle. When we finally move, its a little forwards, then backwards and before we know it? We are in a full out tailspin.I just wanted to finally move on. No more looking back in the rear view mirrors, no over the shoulder, no waiting to cap our hands over our asses. Retirement is coming up soon, (guessing this year in the Fall if all goes well) and well, it's just time to cut some of this stuff that is toxic from our lives. I want to be able to breathe and for some just feels like I am more suffocated now than I ever was.

Since being diagnosed with PTSD myself, I have learned to walk away from things that are overwhelming. I know some of this is just my issues that I must learn to overcome on my own. However, wanting to move forward and not settling for this life we are living now, shouldn't be anything bad or unwanted. I would think it would be welcomed and with open arms. I don't know if its just because for five years, the tug of war we have been stuck in, has just become a normal for us? When I painted? I felt accomplished although I sucked at it. When I taught myself to caulk? Yeah, I was grinning from ear to ear although I had it all over me and my hair. It was just something different and new. New beginnings, which is what I wanted. I had hoped that if I led forward, then the others will follow. So I am just confused, little hurt and feel like I am on my own.

I am trying so hard to not give up but I just wish I could see one sign in my husband.

There are times where he touches me that it still gives me the butterflies. Times where he says something or does something small that warms my heart and makes me love him that much more. I am a woman though and I am one of those whose feelings are worn on my sleeve and one that yearns for that communication, touch and love in my relationship. My husband has always known this about me, still does. So when you spend weeks and weeks on end with silence, it just bothers me. Doesn't seem to bother him at all and that part I just don't understand. You would think by now, with all these books, with all the education, with all the work with other families, I would have at least a freaking clue on how all this works. The truth of the matter is, I don't know shit. That's the truth. I do know that time is slipping by, my kids getting older, and ahem, I am getting older. I don't want life to slip by and die with so many regrets on my last breath. Nothing wrong with a little excitement, nothing wrong with breaking a few rules and definitely nothing wrong with wanting to know my husband loves me. So why do I feel like I am always in the wrong and always the one to blame?

I'm just tired of being on the end of the rope that is slipping but dammit, still holding on......


  1. Hi Uncle Sam's Mistress!

    Over the past few weeks, I have read your entire blog, and it is absolutely wonderfully written- extremely compelling! Unfortunately, I know this is because of how much you have had to struggle and overcome so many things. I hope you find happiness, because you seem like such an empathetic and genuine person! I know you are probably sick to death of hearing advice, but just by reading your posts, your heartbreak is almost tangible. And, PTSD or not, no one should ever be treated like a non-entity or made to feel worthless! I think you definitely need to start thinking about doing what's best for YOU now. I'm glad you've had these times in Las Vegas and NYC in recent months-- but it feels as if your happiest moments (your only truly happy moments!) are when you are WITHOUT your husband. While I admire your conviction, sticking with him for so long, I also hope you can be happy yourself. And it may not be possible, if you are still playing caretaker to someone who, deep down, doesn't even appreciate your worth. No matter what you decide, though, I wish you the best!

  2. So far I have read two posts, and I am very glad that google found you for me. I understand everything that you are feeling, and going through. My husband is suffering from what I have no choice but to assume is PTSD. But he doesn't want to admit it. Your May posts illustrate how our marriage is going, and today was another "end of the rope" day. I am grateful for you putting my feelings into words. I love my husband, he was like this when I met him three years ago, and I fell in love with him anyway. This second deployment he thought would help him face his demons and get control of himself, but I'm sure you can guess how that has turned out. Thank you for sharing, now I don't feel so alone, or so crazy for not giving up hope.


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