Thursday, April 25, 2013

Putting Some Spring Into My Spring

Where the hell did the time go? 

There isn't enough time to make any excuses, so I will just jump right into it. After my previous so called "pre-mid life crisis" (title given by my oldest son) which landed me tattooed, violet and magenta, highlighted hair and, a desperate need for change....that's exactly what I have been doing. Spring is in the air and the last five years? I have kept saying "This year we will do some serious cleaning out and do the ol' traditional Spring cleaning" which in all reality meant throw a few things here and there away, maybe straighten a closet out a little and just make the usual rounds of cleaning. A day later, that would be the extent of it. The house became depressing and mostly because I am in it much of the time. It was becoming so depressing that it just became deflating to even clean it. We had tester paint squares of color here and there, patches where the kids have hit the walls with toys that we fixed with joint compound, rawhide hoards by the dogs, and dust bunnies that were just downright scary way down deep underneath furniture you never move. You know how it is, once you start find all kinds of crap! With all the changes I wanted (and I stress the word "I") I decided paint job, a total makeover and some rearranging. We had clothing items that outdated the ages of my children and seriously? Who needs dress clothes which much of the time, we are in house clothes unless we venture out! Anything that didn't get worn in the last 15 years went out the door. That right there, sort of brought me down a little. Not only because half the crap I couldn't fit my butt in to but, it also reminded me of deployment, homecoming and the likes. Military shirts that showed things that had mottoes of "My husband hates camels and sand" etc, and work clothes which only reminded me of what has come and gone. I have decided though, it's time to let some things go physically and mentally.

So much of my time has been with a painter who in all reality, was super awesome at first. I rather enjoyed the adult conversation and company as much of the time, my husband gives me silence. Starved for different discussions and two days later, led me to believe this nice man is really someone who would be a perfect candidate for Jerry Springer. I thought we had bad luck but, he has far beaten us at the finishing line at life bitch slapping us in the face! At first, I thought he was Superman as he paints faster than a speeding bullet when he gets started but, I believe that would be all the Mountain Dew the man drinks. I don't understand how someone who can paint so fast be as slow as damn molasses getting the job done. I figured by now, we would have everything back up and running and here we sit. This has thus so far, led us to have a literal rat maze in which all of our stuff has been moved pile by pile for us to try and navigate and going on four weeks later? Has led us to not even finishing painting the first top half of a split foyer and let's not even go on the subject of trim.

Frustration right now doesn't even seem to be the right word to describe what I feel although I am grateful that he cut us a good price on the job and one that neither my husband nor I could complete. It's just clutter, chaos and things being out of whack has led my husband to be bitchy, aggravated and distrusting as he doesn't even like anyone in his house. He doesn't take to change and the worse the change is, like clutter in the seems to set him off more. I try to run a tight ship here because schedules, routine and structure seems to make the "PTSD Beast" more manageable but, this time it has been just a little harder. Anticipating that, I braced myself for the worse but, it has been manageable although stressful. I am feeling like I haven't accomplished as much as I want to. Clothing has been donated, pantries cleaned out, dressers organized, cabinets straightened and more. All those places that you think once in a blue moon "damn, I really need to probably clean that out?" but never do? Yeah, that's clean too. It's a pretty good excuse that has kept me from blogging and doing my regular Facebook rounds although I do feel guilty about being behind.

I've gotten a lot of emails, facebook messages and truthfully? I would like to answer every single one. It was suggested I hire a virtual assistant but, I am a broke ass and well, I feel if you write to me then I must get back to you because you did take the time and it should be from me. Time is a precious commodity these days and with the three boys and husband, house, Army and everything in between? I don't know when I have had time to schedule in sleep let alone anything else. Lately, I have found that the news on television/online not only sets my husband off terribly but, leads to more paranoia, talks of guns, politics and it all leads back to war with many. I don't mind listening to anyone who wants to talk but, sometimes I just get tired of seeing the same thing over and over again. It becomes depressing, redundant and I leave feeling unfulfilled. With the most recent news lately of the Boston Bombings, North Korea, Ricin letters being sent; I have decided to walk away from the computer and that was fairly easy since half my stuff is misplaced with this never ending paint job. Can't say I truly absolutely miss any of it.

Some on Facebook have taken the bombing so seriously that it has led to listening to police scanners, updating every five minutes and well, to be honest, it just all reminds me so much of the September attacks. Combine that with talks of nuclear warfare with Korea, and all the other bad makes me sort of panicky all over again and I don't like that feeling. I wish the news would equal out with negatives and positives but, I guess life doesn't work that way. My mind and heart is already unsettled at the moment dealing with our usual yearly bouts of "crap" that my husband pulls. Seems like we have arguments just like everyone else, we have issues just like everybody else but, just one time a year.....there is a time where the big guns come out and he wants to play hard. It's always something out of the blue, something I am never expecting or prepared for, something he never says he is sorry for and something he feels no remorse for. That part I don't understand and those are the times where I just can't cope that well, can't sleep any better and much of the time, I stay confused, worried and unsure of not just him but, myself. Sometimes I wonder if I am doing everything wrong and just not know it? Or is it him and I am just not understanding what's going on. With the recent changes, it meant some happiness for me and for the first time...I really did look forward to sprucing up the old homestead. I wanted our home to be pretty, clean, and nice to be in. I wanted to find comfort, peace and have that sense of accomplishment. One of those where you finally feel like you are at home home. Two weeks ago, my husband began to word vomit and although I have kept him in the loop and included him, the response was "It's MY house" which kind of took the gusto out of me.

Seems like since Iraq, everything is his and I really don't have that much that is just literally mine. I never really knew or understood why he feels the need to battle over things that should just be automatically considered "ours' since we are married and, I have never looked at anything I have or owned as solely mine. Along with the stupid mistakes again this year, hurtful word vomit, it made me just want to give up, throw in the towel and call it quits on trying period. I sometimes wish that you could Spring Clean relationships. Clean out the bad, get rid of some baggage, clean out some regrets, scrub some tarnished souls, bring in some good changes and just try and be happy. I always try to look at everything all at once and rationalize his behavior but, there are times where even I am at a loss with him. I know he is losing his therapist which only took us five years to find and one that he feels comfortable with and trusts. It will be hard to find someone else and, I know that starting all over again will be hard and uncomfortable too. He doesn't play well with others, so group therapy option is out of the question. The Vet Center has just a couple of guys here and the ones he like, now run a mobile van so they aren't in the office. Not sure what we are going to do now. I attributed much of his behavior due to the changes not just in the house but me as well, combined with the news of him losing his therapist.

Sometimes I wonder it because I have found happiness and he begrudges that? Was it my dancing in the house to some music, smiling while I mopped or perhaps the weariness was because of pure unadulterated progression forward and for once, not backwards? Sometimes I just don't have any answers and I doubt anyone does.

Then to top it all off, the unit calls because since they had to extend his time to get through the PEB, they finally give him a call in regards to dental and medical work up through the Army which all of us know is standard issue anytime you sign up, extend or re-up. They only extended us for six months because the Army claims that will be how long it takes to get completed. After five years of waiting, that last part should not even be words that is stated to us.

As the unit did their call to find out where the paperwork was on the med/dental, not one question of "So how are things?", or "how are you doing buddy?" nothing came up of the sort. I know it bothered my husband sorely because this Captain, used to be his LT and a good friend. It was just a quick "where's the shit we need and we are working on getting your shit together to get you out". That's it. Fifteen years of service, and not even a "hey, how are you?". There's that "Family" we loved so much. It's hard being the spouse with someone who has these injuries because you always have to try and find that perfect balance and explain things. Kind of like children when they run into someone who said something mean. It's pretty much the same thing and often, I try but, there just isn't anything that can help make the anger go away or as my husband says "the plague" which is pretty much how they act. We were told three years ago, that Wounded Soldiers are supposed to have a monthly check in by their unit or at the very least, quarterly. We haven't heard from anyone unless they need something then all of a sudden we are supposed to rush to get it to them. I laughed from the irony because as much as the Army has rushed us with everything over the past year, we get an email stating that the PEB finally now has his paperwork and oh by the way, probably won't hear anything back for another five months.

Five months?

We just went through hell getting our ID cards done, and then there was a mess up with DOD and our insurance, and now we got to go through this again because they only extended him six months.  My question was why didn't they just extend a year because pffft...hell we all know everything is back logged right now. Nah, they got this under control and work pretty quickly we were told. "You should be medically retired in three months"/ Uhhh huh. Somehow, the painter and the Army should be working together as much as I have heard of this "hurry up and got ya covered".

Shame on me for being so sarcastic. I blame the Easy Off Oven fumes, and Lysol cleansers that have probably soaked into my skin and is now in the blood stream. So here we all sit waiting. Can't transfer GI Bill until we get the PEB paperwork. Can't move my furniture or my stuff put back up until the paint is done. I can't rearrange my bedroom because all the overflow is in there and well, it's just a mess.When things are out of whack, my husband gets out of whack. When that happens, it doubles my stress load and well, then I begin to feel antsy. I also would like to finish because I spent ALL that time freaking cleaning to get ready for the painter and do you know how hard it is with three boys and three dogs to keep things that clean? Virtually impossible.

Today though. I am taking a day off. I have done nothing but worked in the house for the past month and the break from the internet has been nice. I needed to seriously get some of these things done and I realized that I sometimes just get so scattered that I end up here, there and then all of a sudden I realize I got nowhere. So I tackled one room at a time, and challenged myself to get that one room in particular done. Before I knew it, I didn't stray, didn't get on Facebook or the computer. I just cleaned. My next project is to rearrange the bedroom and I would like to start it soon too but, there again....everything that didn't fit in other rooms overflowed into the bedroom.

I have plans that I want to finally do this Summer like start that support group, write more and take more time for myself. It was one of those things I came back with from my respite care; just time for me and me only. I finally am reading some long overdue books, I haven't even watched that much TV except on Wed nights for my ghost hunting fix and of course, Duck Dynasty. I guess I am channeling my inner redneck with the latter but, I enjoy the sarcasm, humor and family issues. Makes me miss my brothers and sisters though, and all the drama, the fighting and the love bickering we did as children.

That's where I am right now. Trying to find me, trying to do things for me and deciding that sometimes my husband is just going to have to not control every aspect of our lives as a family. I hate doing things without him although he does things without us all the time. We, the kids and I though, feel guilty though if we do think about doing something knowing dad can't go for this reason or that. I think though it's about time we change that. Maybe I am impending because I am keeping things too scheduled, too expected and too predictable. I feel like it has brought me down and I don't like the person I am becoming. Spring cleaning is just an excuse to teach myself that self discipline, give me that sense of accomplishment and hell, even learn a few new things like caulking. Never done it before but, I figured it out and I was quite proud of myself! Silly I know but, it's the small joys in life that we are looking for these days.

If I missed messages or emails, it's not that I am intentionally disregarding everyone. It's just that for the last five years? I have been everything to everyone at every single time and that becomes tiresome. Things that need to be done or things I want to do, get put aside. I realized I am only one person and sometimes, I just need to be me. Even if that means caulking and shaking my ass to a beat of a really cheesy 80's song all while singing along as loud as I can. My husband will probably never let me go on respite care ever again BUT in all fairness? This need in me has been there for a long time. It's like a slow, burning flame that you just can't seem to tame no matter how much you stomp on it. I think once the house is done, I may just try to keep going on certain things for myself and stick to that routine so it sticks. I know that it's one of the hardest things we as caregivers learn in this life, is how to maintain ourselves so am still in the learning process. I have learned though, to put a list together to accomplish for the day and one that is not so high in expectations that I fall flat on my face. I figure if we do that for our Veterans we care for, it would only make sense that the same be applied to us. I learned to do one thing at a time and get that one particular thing done before moving on to the next item. This organization has helped me a lot mentally as I find I am not so frazzled out and not so confused!

I will try to blog more but today? I am taking the day off, have an Extreme Coupon Marathon (my little one absolutely loves the show. Don't ask me why because I have no idea!) and a nap is in order for the both of us until the rest of the younguns walk in the door! I will hopefully get back to my normal routine but, going to be changing that around too.

Change is in the Air,