Thursday, July 15, 2010

Patsy Cline, Chardonnay and Dusty Lingerie

There is a place you can touch
a woman that will drive her crazy.
Her heart~

It must be due to hormones, lack of sleep and lack of sex that has made me a little sensitive these last couple of days.....not that I am remotely grumpy, or hateful to anyone in my family....just little things irritate the piss out of me.  I have been somewhat saddened by my husband's latest comments in regards to ending his fight of PTSD. Well, to be honest, it scares the hell out of me. I have been drifting around the last couple of days in sort of a funk and not really sure the direction I need to be going. Taking my own advice, I have tried to concentrate on the past and what made me fall in love with my husband to begin with. I try to remember all the positive things albeit they are slowly drifting away from my memory as PTSD eats away at them.
So a few glasses of wine and fifteen Patsy Cline songs later...these are the things that have bothered me the most the last couple of days.

We have two elderly families right next door on the left, and one single lady to the right. Now the elderly families are very sweet although every time we work outside, here the gentlemen come a' running. The only time we have it safe is at 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday when Judge Judy is on in the afternoons. Sometimes it's ok when my husband is in an alright mood, but other times it can be very frustrating because I stand there hoping to detour any negativity from my husband. They are sweet, wise and friendly guys who dearly love their spouses. One regularly eats out on their covered porch together in the evenings. His wife is not doing too good health wise, so going out sometimes is not an option. The other couple always walks hand in hand with the other to check the mail or just around their yard. I know right? In unison: Awwwwwwww.
My husband: "hell, it's too hot to be eating outside".  While looking at the couple holding hands as they walk down the way to the mailman: "hmmmpf".

Single Lady next door seems to have an influx of boyfriends rotating out every couple of months. Once we get used to seeing one regularly, she gives him the boot and a new one comes in to play. Humorous I know, but at least she has some type of love life going on. Last night, we had just put the boys down to bed and were outside picking up toys that had been left behind. Outside, Single Lady and her new beau were on a blanket out in the back talking and looking up at the stars. She was lying down, he was laying beside her propped up on one elbow gazing down at her. My husband: "Can't freaking people do that crap in their homes? I can't wait till we get our G%$^^&&*^%$## fence up so I don't have to look at the slut next door all the time". First off, I kind of stared at him for this outburst and said "well it's not like they are having sex in the yard and I think it's romantic. We used to do that stuff all the time". Him: " Get off my f^%$#*&^ back". This hurt me a little because I didn't feel I was on his back in any way, and that one moment of romance witnessed was shot all to hell by my husband.

My husband was never a romantic, or made a huge show of loving me. What he did give me was enough during the dating period and throughout our marriage. Deployment made a huge show of love letters and phone calls of  love talk......those helped me thrive in my single life of turmoil while he was gone and gave me something to relish until he came home. Every Christmas found a small piece of jewelry from "Santa" with a lovingly written card professing his emotions and heartfelt love for me. Small things were enough for me and satisfied me in ways I could not describe to my past relationships who showered me with meaningless items.
The last three years have left me with an empty heart filled only with bitterness, hurt and anger. Gone are the days where rose petals were scattered on the floor that led to the bedroom with candlelight. No longer are birthdays recognized, holidays are filled with animosity and humiliation, and if lucky, the few cards for Mother's Day or some other special occasion leaves me to open it finding only a lone signature of my husband. Lost are the days where every little minute spent you could not get enough of each other and sex was something that meant something and the wants and needs could never be filled. Gone are the days when newly married you called each other Mr and Mrs for days because we just couldn't believe we were married. Completely lost are the sincere "I love yous" and just hearing "baby".

My husband yesterday grumpily stated: "We need to get away for a couple of days-like when we went to Florida". Me: "that would be nice". All the while in my head I am thinking of all the things that happened in Florida. The angry outbursts in public because we ran into a non-English speaking, Middle Eastern looking group at a restaurant. Having to leave a sudden busy place because he is going off and acting out. Humiliated and hurt because he cussed me and yelled at me enough to make me cry. The solitude of walking on the beach with no one and watching him walk out in the tide on the sand alone and staring out. I thought back to the moment when I realized I was utterly alone in fighting whatever plagued my husband as I watched him. I had to guilt trip him into taking the photo of us together for which he summoned a smile. He was happy....I was not. 

We don't have the extra money to go on such a trip because he is working less and less. Our savings which we invested in so eagerly for such trips or even a family trip to Disney Land. That savings account and one another has been depleted so low to make up for loss time and earnings. Such a trip for us would be like winning the lottery....ain't gonna happen. Then I have to think....would it be worth it to go somewhere alone together? Would it be worth the hassles and the heartache of disappointment? 

Today as I was going through my closet in search of a lost t-shirt that I have been looking for and came across some lingerie shoved towards the back. It saddened me to see a fine layer of dust (which I believe is probably construction dust in a brand new closet but nevertheless dust) on top of the sleeves and pretty hangar. The story of my life I do believe. I could not remember when the last time I had this outfit on, or when my husband had purchased it. Hell, I can't even remember the last time I had my hair done up or wore lipstick. 

I crave attention from my husband. When Veteran's speak about PTSD and this "adrenaline rush" they need often after coming home, they say we as spouses can't understand. I beg to differ. I would compare this to the little butterflies in the stomach when you see your husband suddenly turn around and smile or the rush of passion that you feel out of the blue for no reason for each other. The only difference is, is that I am not self-destructing in seeking my rushes because I would not know where to seek to begin with.  I used to think that his negative attention would be sufficient enough but now what I miss the most is just the romance, love and nurturing you have in a relationship within a marriage.

Out of all the issues, the symptoms, and the topsy turvy world we live in as Combat PTSD spouses, this has to be the hardest parts of it one must endure......One site stated that "you must grieve for what you loss and move on". How does one do this, really? Do you ever get used to not being loved in the same way? I just wish I could have my husband back, who will come to me and hold me when times get bad. There are days where I just am not strong enough for the both of us. Grrr....I hate days like this where I feel the need to hear Patsy Cline's mournful songs and shame on me for too many glasses of wine. Occasionally though, it must be done for my sake. Better to let it out than keep it in......

Knocking The Dust Off The Wine Bottle At Least,

~Uncle Sam's Mistress~


  1. My heart aches for you, it truly does. Such a wonderfully poignant piece of writing, mourning the loss of romance and love.

    This is one of those times when I have no clue what to say, how could I possibly offer any kind of advice, and I'm sure that's not what you're looking for anyway.

    In many ways I have it easier being married to a vet I met after he returned from combat. I've written about the "before" and "after" wives and it stirred up a great deal of emotion from readers.

    I am sure you will have plenty of wives who are going through the same thing nodding their heads in agreement, who (like you) would give anything for one more day with the man they kissed goodbye as he left for combat.

    You're in my thoughts,

  2. Aww D! Not looking for anything more than perhaps validation myself that someone else feels this way? I probably had too much wine and was rambling again. Just overlook my melancholy mood from time to time....Sometimes I think you have it easier meeting your vet "after" because you don't miss anything "before". However, I am sure you have things you miss and have lost just the same on top of all the issues you all have. There is no advice I think for these "love lost" moods, just comfort. Thanks are always in my thoughts as well.

  3. Hello, I am out here trying so hard to find information, I am not a spouse but significant other, I have lived with my vet for 13 months. Is it okay to ask you some questions, I feel lost and without being his spouse I have no one to turn to at the VA. He is 100% disabled with PTSD and just found out he has TBI, we spend 4 out of 5 days at the VA right now.

  4. don't have to be married to be jump in!! I try to remember not everyone is married and refer to them as Sig Others...but sometimes I forget myself. Ask away and hopefully we can help you some....if not, maybe we all can point you to the right directions....if all else fails, we can surely empathize with you and what you are going through!!! Hugs~

  5. Hi USM

    I hear you and feel exactly what you describe. I miss my husband even more than when he was deployed (over 5 years ago the last time) and he is sitting right next to me. Right after the adrenaline seeking/infidelity/alcoholism kick was blown up last summer, he promised me the before husband back and delivered on that for several months. But, now that he feels no more pressing threat, he is back to fully ignoring me except when things go wrong and he is seeking his proverbial punching bag.
    I've gotten to the point that I have declared it is what it is and life is just less than what I had hoped it would be.

  6. Anonymous~ You said it better than I could! It's really hard for "non-pod people" spouses to understand us because they don't understand what we are going through. It's like you are trying so hard to get people to understand that yes, your spouse is sitting next to you, but isn't really there. I have run into many of my active duty spouses who can snap your head off and say "well at least your husband isn't deployed!". Sometimes I wish he were. At least I would know a year top he will be back and life will resume. PTSD just goes on and on with no breaks.

    Your last statement of declaration is sometimes how I feel. I have too decided that this is as good as it gets, but I am not happy about it. I still fight it in hopes that one day it will return. That's all I have to look forward to anymore is that hope....thanks for the comment.


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