Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Enemies & Excuses

As I was posting to a dear friend of mine (we'll call her A) on my most favorite Army Spouse Board, and to my other dear friend of mine (B), it came to dawn on me how much I have pushed away my friends in the past few months. I would not say I was depressed, as I am neither down or completely at a loss with what to do with my life, nor did I wish to exclude them in any manner...but I would classify myself as having a slight case of mid-life crisis. Seems here in the past year, that I have been a mother, a wife, a cook, a maid, a volunteer, and an FRG leader. Not to exclude the resident peace keeper, the monster shoo-er from bedroom closets and beds, the dog walker, fish feeder, advice on girlfriend giver to a pre-teen son, and on top of everything that I must do to hold a family together. Stay at home moms have the hardest jobs in the world I think and no amount of money could ever compensate us for everything that we do. To do all this, and in turn also keep up with my "pod person", it's amazing I am not a full fledge alcoholic or a lunatic locked up somewhere! To my friends, especially A and B....I am truly sorry I missed so much in your lives. I love all of you dearly and didn't mean to push you away. I just didn't want to bring anyone else down with me.

I used to talk with my husband in the "honeymoon phase" of our relationship and what it would be like to be older and care for each other. We both decided then and there, no nursing homes unless we just are too bad that we can't care for each other. We would sit in rocking chairs, clean each other's dentures and keep an eye out for the white flag coming up the mountain side notifying us of our grandchildren so we didn't shoot. Sigh...now I don't see that as I am the primary caretaker of my family. While my husband may make the money, it seems like a lot of extras have fallen on my plate here in the last two years. I find myself apologizing more and more for silly things, and some not so silly things. When he is wrong, somehow things always get turned back on me...then I am the one in the wrong as always and therefore apologizing. It's frustrating and defeating when I walk away thinking to myself "was this correct? Did I do something wrong?" . I defend him no matter how wrong he is and no matter what he does...I come up with tons of apologies at the drop of a hat and make excuses if his attitude or anger has made a situation such as a get together gone bad.
I can come up with some pretty good excuses for not going places when invited, or turn down a girls night out because I am afraid to leave my kids with my husband out of simple fear that their noise or whining might irritate him. I have mastered the art of keeping the house quiet in fear that any loud noises are triggers. I learned to keep family members and problems at bay out of concern that I would get the backlash. I try to keep in the background always waiting with an apology to keep the backlash from landing squarely on my shoulders when I can see it coming. The only thing I have yet to master and probably due to my stubbornness is learning to accept every bit of his problems. I get frustrated with the memory loss, the attitudes and most time when he is angry I become angry. I am angry at him, angry at the military for expecting us to deal with all this alone, and most of all at myself. Angry mostly because no matter how hard I try, there is no pleasing him. No matter of the amount of time I corral, defend, delegate, and blanket is ever good enough for him. There is always something else he finds to get mad at.
I have sacrificed so much in the last two years, given up precious moments and special memories that are forever marked by a bad mood or outburst. I gave up romance, a fantastic sex life, and most of all....I gave up my rock to lean on when times get rough. If looking back on all the things I gave up, or lost...that would have to be the one I miss the most. I take care of it all, make most of the decisions, leave all the issues on my shoulders so not to burden or stress my husband out, and no one is there to take away my problems. I feel like I really don't have anyone to lean on to or a rock to shoulder some of the responsibilities that I must every day wake up to. Some days just coming up with supper ideas is daunting or knowing that I must once more deal with a sick child on my own while being sick myself. Some days my toddler who bless his heart, asks "why" to every little thing, seems as excruciating as answering the question of life itself. How I get the strength is always a miracle because some days I just want to shut down me and be left alone. I push and drive on though...hoping that the day will get better, or the next. Before I know it, the time is gone and all I can hope for is a better new year. I've gotten quite used to let downs and disappointments, and I know it's not my husband's fault...but he just gave up and left us behind. I sometimes resent him for that and so much more.

Sure I have friends, but most of who are friends with him. Almost all of them have noticed small things that have changed and I hear "he hasn't been right since he's been back". No one says anything though and occasionally when something happens outside of home, I hear "Not sure how you handle it all by yourself". His side of the family chooses to ignore it and looks at me like I am the one who is at fault. My family doesn't know too much about it due to my embarrassment. Counselors really mediate and therapy support groups only escalate the issues at hand, but not much help in finding a solution. No one knows my side, my story and sometimes that's the loneliest place to be.

You may read this and say, "why not divorce?" I can say this, I love my husband and when I gave my promise to him, I meant it for the long run. Occasionally I see a glimpse of my old husband and God, what an absolute thrill to see that. I could go for a million years broke and no clothes on my back and be just as happy as that one single precious moment. I wish for once he could see that. Everything I do is for him, and I just want him to be proud for once of me without having me to ask "are you proud of me?". Mine is a man of very little words, and I knew that...but he just shut down period. I wish he would see that saying nothing at all says a lot. He made a comment last night that we have just drifted apart, but I don't know how or how to get it back. If anything, he pushed himself away and refuses to see the path I am lighting up for him. How come I feel like I am the enemy here or the one at fault?

I will be selfish here ladies and even gentlemen, if anyone reads this.....I want so much to be taken care of. Not just be provided for as he claims is proof he loves me. A roof over my head or bills paid, is not love...it's just bills and a roof. I could be homeless and happy if I knew no matter what that man had my back. I guess I am more afraid that one day, I will be the one who gets hurt the worst and left in the cold. Alone with all the heartache I have endured and hard work trying to piece together what we had. What happens to me then? Yes I could move on and live my life, but will the scars ever really heal and will I ever find that same love? In the meantime, I can only hope that this doesn't change who I am as he is bringing out the worst of me in every possible way. I hate the person I have become and I hate that I am even in this position to begin with. Would I walk away and feel better, or would I walk away and be eaten up with guilt that I didn't keep my vows? Is there really a right or wrong answer anymore? Worst of all, am I the enemy in his eyes and how did I become that way?

Until then,
My Own Worst Enemy

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