Monday, September 20, 2010

Responses to Don't Ask Don't Tell

I recently posted about the Don't Ask Don't Tell appeal/vote that has been in the news here lately. I didn't have any comments save one, and that's ok. I had stuff on my mind, this is my blog, and I feel like if something bugs me that is related to my blog...I should be able to write about it. The Don't Ask Don't Tell post I made had quite a bit related to my blog if you had finished reading it.

I received a total of 14, count em...14 emails in regards to my post. All of which were pretty nasty and amazingly enough...spewing stupidity forth like Mt. Vesuvius upon its eruption. Here are a few snippets from these emails:

"Wow, it seems to me you need to sit back and take a good hard look at what gays in the military would do to our military forces"

"People like you ought to be horse drawn and quartered because its ones like you that are causing all of this to begin with"

"Are you kidding me? I think your blog is ridiculous as you are in your opinions of being openly gay in the military. My son serves in the Navy and I would immediately have him out if I could if there were a bunch of gay people board his ship"

"I thought you wrote about PTSD and TBI? What happened? I am quite disappointed that this blog has turned political". 

There was quite a bit more, but you get the idea and for language purposes, I won't post the nasties that one Veteran wrote.

For clarification purposes...let me RE-LIST this particular blog under fire so those of you can go back and actually READ the freaking thing. READ HERE

In no way, does that blog pertain to politics, religion, whether Pepsi or Coke is better than the other, etc etc but MOST definitely pertains to every bit of my blog in its entirety. If you had read it, which is quite clear you haven't or even read the comment that was blog had nothing to do with gays being in the military but simply the amount of WASTED effort it took for the military to find out what we think about it.

Right now, my husband can't follow simple directions, forgets to shower unless reminded, has problems with long term and short memory loss, can't interact with society as he normally would or perform simply tasks such as making a grilled cheese sandwich because he forgets to turn the eye off and starts fires or burns my skillets up. I simply lost my husband at war and have equivocally added another child to our family. At which point of this, do I really need to be concerned about gays being in the military? Let's look at the cost of what was probably spent sending out thousands of these surveys which I can probably guarantee, half were thrown away. Even at bulk mail, those large envelopes were probably around .60-1.00. Now I got three of those darned things! Let's include the post cards which is probably around .20 and there were two reminding me to fill out the surveys. Multiplying that by probably thousands of households, not including the surveys they sent out to the military members themselves....that's a whole lot of money thrown away of our tax dollars. THEN you have to add in the cost of the survey company that charged I bet, a hefty sum to Uncle Sam for doing it and producing the results.

Funny thing is...never once did I get a survey or at the point of harassment for anything related to our Wounded Warriors, our Caregivers, services and/or benefits provided by the military, the government, or VA. I didn't get a survey asking me what I thought about any of this or how such services or lack thereof would impact our lives. No where did anyone send out a survey asking us military spouses whether we think it would be beneficial to have classes, training, or even help on post. Why should I be so concerned about a gay military member at an FRG meeting and whether this will prevent me from attending it? The worst case scenario is A. they will probably be much nicer than some of the spouses there and B. better dressed than I will be. I have more concerns about PTSD going untreated and one of our mentally wounded feels the need to walk in somewhere and shoot someone or themselves. To me, the soldier that is desperate enough to do this to gain someone's attention, is more of a hazard than an openly gay person at this meeting.

I find it insulting that they are willing to go to the extremes of holding training classes for our military families to cope with openly gay members but yet, we have spouses who can't come together and get the support they need for their families with PTSD in the household. I felt this survey was a slap in the face to all of us who have struggled and still continue to struggle because to me, this survey said "we are more concerned about having openly gay members in the military than our soldiers who are having severe issues and the families that are suffering with them".

If you had read the blog in it's entirety, the fourteen of you would have realized what I was saying as it's pretty clear at the point I was reaching.

For the first person with the comment of my needing to sit back and look at gays in the military; Buddy I have. There are a lot of negatives that come with some of the positives and I get that. Does this mean I can't have two friends in my past that were gay and truly like them as individuals? No. Is it written somewhere in the policy that I am not allowed to speak about such a friendship? Absolutely not. Am I not entitled to my own opinion which I never really pinpointed on whose side I was on, you're damn skippy I am. Just as you are with sending me an email with your opinion.

For the second, my blog may be ridiculous to you and that's OK, just as your opinion of me being ridiculous is fine too. However, I ask you to sit back and ask yourself if your son was wounded while serving and came home a different person, how would you feel about receiving such a worthless piece of paper? That right there is enough to change many of our caregiver's outlooks and opinions.

To the Medieval Knievel there..... DUDE! What century did you get lost in? Horse drawn and quartered? Really? I am not even sure really how to respond to that! I would have been embarrassed to even email someone that!!

For the last, READ the blog in its entirety before you jump to conclusions the next time. My blog is still about
PTSD and TBI. This blog will always be about my opinions, my thoughts, my stories and our family's struggles with these issues. If there is something that I feel needs to be brought attention to, as in this "waste of my time" survey when such time and efforts are needed desperately elsewhere...then I will most DEFINTELY blog about it.

Banging My Head Against the Keyboard,

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Trying Something New

After receiving so many emails, stories, and people wanting to share their blogs, I decided I would compile a list and do an introduction to individuals who have blogs that are related to what we are going through. The blogs will need to be something that pertains to PTSD,TBI, therapy of these issues, wounded warriors, sexual assault, parenting with PTSD and any issues that deal with what we are going through. If you are a soldier or veteran, even better! Many times, I learn more about my husband and his problems through other Veteran's stories.

I will be doing an intro on my blog and make a list for all of us. Many of the commentators have blogs themselves without knowing of the others. I thought it might be nice to compile and introduce ourselves. If you would like to be added, please comment below or send your email. The only thing I will list on here is Title of the blog, web address and what your blog is about. No need for names unless you just want me to state so. For those that I follow or follow me, please let me know if I may pass the information on. If I don't hear from you, I will email you individually and gain permission.

I thought this might be an online meet and greet among us PTSD bloggers!!!

Looking forward to it,

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Don't Ask- Don't Tell

So I haven't been feeling good the last few days....darn weather has my RA a mess and well, some of it I think is just the out and out blues. It was a horrible birthday for me, especially since I just recently discovered yet another wrinkle! In all reality, I probably just haven't had a lot to say....which is strange for me! The highlight of this week and next will be taking my children to one of the largest fairs in TN which I am pretty excited about. My husband claims he will be going and have a great time....more to come on that later. I hate to be a doubting Thomas about such events, but I think with TBI/PTSD we are automatically programmed for disappointment, bracing ourselves for outbursts, freak outs and let downs. I am also attending a Wounded Warrior Wives retreat the 24-27, which I super jazzed over too. I need to blog a little more about this group as I haven't yet, and just keep forgetting!

I promise this is not about this links to my blog in general.

So for today's blog...the mistress feels like I need to make a statement about the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy. I don't know about you, but it really irks me that we have so many issues going on in the military but, all we can really focus on is whether gays or lesbians can be open about their sexuality. I recently received a survey for 2010 military spouses from the government. I put it off to the side thinking I will most definitely fill this out, because hey...can't bitch about anything if you aren't willing to let them know right? I sat down last night when the kids went to bed, and finally opened it. Low and behold, the whole darn survey was about the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy! I sat there flipping through all these pages and one after the other, all questions pertained whether or not the appealed policy will have an affect on our family's lifestyle, military career, and so forth.

I was really pissed! Now maybe because I have a soft heart, understanding, and sometimes naive.....that I don't really understand the full issues here. I know why the military doesn't want everyone who is gay to be wide open about it, but now we are having to do surveys about it as if they are some type of sexual predator moving into the house next door? I don't know a lot of people who are gay, especially in this bible part, farmers and Minnonite laden community I live in here in TN.....but I did attend college. Two of my closest friends were gay and they were "life" partners. I loved those two to death and they weren't flamboyant, didn't try to lure me into being gay, didn't even really talk much about being gay. I remember when my friend sent me an email because he had lost my address, and letting me know his partner had leukemia. I didn't realize then at that time, that this man truly did love and adore the grounds the other walked on. He was devastated after his partner passed away. I try to keep up with him from time to time, because friends do that for each other.

I kept thinking about my friends while I filled that survey out. Now my husband, who is slightly homophobic, thinks this would be the end of the military if not the Apocalypse. Sometimes, he is so shallow minded I really want to smack him upside his head. I think my biggest concern would be for their safety, as I am sure there are many who are totally against it and some macho man would beat the hell out of someone. However, my thing is this: We have had gays since the hands of time began, many of whom served in the military. Did the end of the world happen because we didn't have a policy in place? No. The thing that bothers me is that the military had to sit down and think of some serious questions to ask families of the military. What? In hopes that we say "Oh God yes....having the policy appealed, would be devastating to my husband's military career!"

The questions on there were absolutely ridiculous. "If this policy is turned around, would this affect your spouse's option for staying in the military past his obligation" Uhhhhh no. What's affecting my husband right now is your getting ready to boot him out for medical problems stemming from war injuries that you aren't helping us with and we are having to fight you to fix. We will then have to fight for medical retirement and then hope like hell you give him a score low enough for us to keep our damn health insurance".

"Would having an open gay military member living in your community, affect your ability to live on post housing or change your mind to living in civilian housing". biggest concern is that my husband is getting ready to lose our only income due to his severe PTSD and his lack of ability to hold down a job" I am not really concerned with housing and gays on post right now.

I LOVED this one:
"If the policy is appealed, would having a support system, family readiness program, or classes be beneficial to you and your family". This was the point where I started banging my head against my desk. REALLY?

THEN I had to mark options pertaining to this support system. Key leaders, FRG, Commanding Officer, Mil One Source, and many others. Military One Source can help me cope with having openly gay military members, but they can't give me a resource or one damn referral? Are you freaking kidding me? You have discussed the possibility of holding classes? You can't even hold a class for training on PTSD or TBI, but you will hold one for this? What's wrong with having spouses come together on post for a PTSD support group?

Sorry Uncle Sam...but you really pissed me off by sending this survey to me. I can assure you that in cases like ours who are battling the war at home with our Veterans, probably could have used about seventy of those "remark" boxes. I filled both of mine out PLUS added a typed letter. What a crock of crap! I think I am slightly hurt too as silly as that sounds...but really? I can't get a survey asking my opionions of the military's programs that are supposed to be working? I can't get a survey asking about what we would like to see if our military personnel are wounded? Is this really what our military has gone to? Concerned enough about having gays in the military that they waste time and money sending out surveys?

I never received anything from the government or an outside agency concerned with my Reserve Family's opinions in regards to not having any support system throughout the deployment. Hell, I couldn't even get a deployment handbook! I don't recall anyone ever asking me if I thought classes would be a good thing for our wounded warriors until about two years ago when I started asking questions. I don't see the VA sending out surveys about their services and lack of, to our soldiers or spouses. The Caregiver Bill is another one...did anyone do a survey to see what was needed and what wasn't?

I guess I am just thouroughly disgusted with this because I am ranting now. Maybe I should be concerned about gays in the military, because obviously there are many who think this would be detrimental to their military careers and openly hurt military families....I don't know. I normally don't discuss politics or religion because you can lose friends and fight with family over it. I only speak about stuff that really isn't right or bothers me, and this survey in regards to the Don't Ask Don't Tell just really set me off. I filled it out and will return it today because if someone should say something, I can say hey, I did this survey. My opinion was hopefully accounted for. However, I really think the military should concentrate more on heavier issues with our soldiers and our veteran's, rather than worrying about whether a military's gay partner attends the FRG meeting and if this will prevent me from going to it. Seriously Uncle Sam.....You are killing me!

"Don't Ask Don't Tell" should be the new T-shirt slogan for PTSD,

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Families Behind the PTSD Curtain

A dear friend of mine wrote on her Army Wife blog, Married to the Army, about PTSD and the families that live with it. Her blog made me think about a few things and how the families behind the PTSD curtain aren't really mentioned that much in or out of the military communities. Is it our fault as family members for not speaking about our issues within our PTSD/TBI home? Or is it others like the Military, the negative stories on the five o'clock news, or the lack of support that shuts us up?

I can say that prior to my setting up a blog...I didn't say anything. There were quite a few that didn't even know my husband had problems. The ones that did, didn't say anything to us about it although talking about problems never was a problem before. I guess I felt more ashamed and alone when dealing with the problems and issues, never having a support system in place or acknowledgment from any military or VA personnel that I was indeed living in hell. When I did speak up at a counseling/therapy group, the other wives (all Vietnam Veteran Wives) belittled me and made it seem like I was going through none the worse than they did. Yes, I think there is a definite generational gap between spouses of wars, but didn't we all hurt the same? Don't we all experience the same type of hell and lack of support? Did we not lose our husbands to this unseen wound that consumes our soldiers to the point we don't know who they are? I think so.

It's very easy for older Veteran wives to tsk tsk our generation of spouses, because they have already been there and done that. It's like they forgot how hard it was at first to cope, and find a way to raise a family with a spouse with these types of problems. They made it through 25 years of hell, so therefore our problems that are just now occurring in a lesser time span, is no worse than what they have already been through. Perhaps I am just one of those that thinks that all war is the same, no matter how old, no matter how many years in between or how many years you were still hurts the same way and we all suffer.

When my husband and I started marriage counseling, it wasn't bad....for him. When my turn came around and I started was "let's not flood him with all the negative things" or " let's not worry about what he is doing, let's worry about getting him the help he needs". Uhhhh, isn't that why we are here? When you have issues that are slowly breaking up a marriage, aren't you supposed to talk about that and fix whatever? Why is it when, as a spouse, I bring up my side of the story, automatically the blame shifts to me and I am not heard? What is the point of "couples counseling" if there are not two involved? I sat for hours listening to her ask my husband the same questions over and over again, and not feeling like I had a say in it whatsoever. When she asked me why I didn't have anything to say on our 15th meeting, I simply told her " you kept shutting me up. What I had to say was not important enough for you". 

I sometimes get aggravated with society because in cases like ours as PTSD/TBI families, if our soldiers aren't missing limbs, horribly disfigured, or in a wheelchair....the look on their faces when you state PTSD and TBI are like Whhhhaaaat? I remember one time at the VA when a young clerk asked my husband what was wrong with him. My husband stated "I have severe PTSD and TBI". The clerk responded "so you are just mental". Wow. Really? I can only imagine how hard it is for our soldiers who suffer from invisible wounds to prove that they are indeed injured. Why should they even have to? The news story about the military who do have TBI, having issues of getting awarded their purple hearts shows how hard it is. While our military members suffer, trying to constantly not only battle outside and the government...they are also battling themselves in the process.

In the background, there are the families who stand behind them. We battle not only the disaster our families have become, but battling someone we no longer know. We sometimes battle addictions, physical and verbal abuse, suicidal threats, severe paranoia, and much more....Some days I feel like society has really shunned us to the back darkest corner. Like we are lepers being quarantined to a separate place as if PTSD is infectious. Other days, I wonder if the shame of what goes on behind our closed doors keeps us from talking more openly about what we are enduring. I know I shouldn't be ashamed because, hell it's not like our Vets are just lazy, alcoholic wife beaters and we the wife who just wears long sleeves to cover up. They can't help the angry outbursts, the lack of emotions or control some of themselves. They can't help what they have come home as and I firmly believe they don't fully comprehend what it does to their marriages or family.

When I began my blogging, I really thought no one would ever read it. Maybe I would get a comment from a spambot or two advertising free male enhancement products and how to increase my website traffic. It has definitely been an eye opener for me because not only do I have some participation on the blog, but the amount of emails I am receiving. I don't understand, even listing as "anonymous" why spouses feel like they have to hide behind the safety of an email? A few of them don't want other people seeing...I get that. But why? I know some have stated "I am ashamed to say in public my husband has a porn addiction, gambling problems, or is drinking himself to death"....why? Although we aren't all experiencing the same things, we know how it is. We have all been through the same hurt, the same losses, and trying to gain our footage in this rocky life of ours.

I wonder if all of us, who are spouses of PTSD and TBI, all came forward and spoke about what really goes on in our homes. What it's really like to live with our Combat PTSD Veterans? What we have lost, learned and dealt with? I wonder if the VA would increase our Vet's disability rating to what they are supposed to get, if the whole story was acknowledged? I wonder if some of these higher ups in the military would sing a different tune if they had to be forced to listen to us because we wouldn't shut up? Why does it take a soldier or Veteran to go in and shoot a place up, in order for PTSD to come to light on national news? If a soldier goes home and for unknown reasons, kills his family and then himself, then why does all of a sudden everyone scramble to make themselves look good? When they know damn well that everything will go right back to the way it is when the news channels find some other noteworthy story.

What's a real shame is when we have all these spouses on a military post who can't come together because they are afraid of their husband's getting booted out of the military. So many emails I have gotten in response to my statement of start a support group if there isn't one, stating that they can't because the military would kick their husband's out if they found out. You would think how much negativity about PTSD we see in the news, the military would already have one in place and be supportive. To me, it would make them look better that they are trying to put in support systems to prevent such incidents like suicides and the Ft. Hood tragedy.

I am pretty vocal about PTSD and the families who are behind it. I am not afraid to say My husband has PTSD and TBI. So what are you doing to for me? Not in the sense that I want attention, or use it as a conversational piece. It's "you broke him, now fix it!" statement. However, there are so many of us who would not admit that to anyone. Not even their families. I guess this blog isn't really making any sense right now...I guess what I am saying is, why do we feel the need to be quiet? If we all shut up and never speak....will this help in the long run or only hurt us more?  Is being married to a Combat PTSD/TBI Veteran give us a reason to keep our mouths shut and shy away from the world? Or are we shut up by so many obstacles the world places on us?

Just me and my big mouth,

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Mailbox Time

As in the past, I am going to do my long overdue "Mailbox Time" for this post. I am getting a lot of emails and try to answer as many as I can each evening. Some I feel are interesting enough to bring up on the blog so others can see, especially if that same question is one of their own. Names have been left off for anonymity.

USM, thanks for describing my exact feelings in so many ways through your blog. I find myself hoping you will post again and again just so I can see if what I have been through is something others are going through like you. I belong to a counseling group and it's ok, just seems like there is never enough time to really talk and release your frustrations. I wondered though, did you guys ever go through drinking spells or your husband have a problem with drinking? We are currently in this mess and no way out. He is getting help through the VA but not telling them he is drinking. I am somewhat ashamed to say anything to the counselor we see but it's getting worse........

Thank you for the kind words and compliments. I am glad that my blogging about our experiences is helping others feel they aren't alone, and in the process, it's letting me see I am not alone either. First off, good for you guys on getting counseling at the VA! I do know what you mean though on the counseling time and not having enough time to release all of it. Once a month just doesn't do us justice, does it girl! I was also in a group at the VA with Vietnam Veteran's wives, and man what a difference in generation. Never before have I felt out of place as I did with them in this counseling group. Second, let's give a pat on the back to your husband for getting help. That is the hardest part and at least we have a portion of his issues under control. Now to the drinking. This was actually going to be my next post but will address it now. Yes my husband had serious drinking issues, especially when he first came home. Now we are social drinkers most of the time, meaning we might have a beer or margarita while grilling out in the summer. Never throughout our relationship did I ever see my husband remotely tipsy or drunk. 

When he came home, it started out as a few beers in the evening which he was defensive about although I never really said anything. That led to booze like Jack Daniels. He would come home and sit in front of the house and down a fifth before he came inside. A few times, he would be so damned drunk it took me and three others to get him out of the car and talk him down. We lived in a town home complex at the time, and he was staggering all over the place and peed on our car's tires! I was so embarrassed not just because of him, but for him as well. However, I will say this.....his drinking led to a lot of rambling and major conversations which enlightened me about the reasons why he had PTSD. I gathered the alcohol somewhat numbed him as well as gave him that high....After a while though and being put on medications, he just stopped drinking. Now he is on a ton of meds and I had expressed my concerns on the drinking with his PTSD doctor. Made my husband madder than hell, but it had to be done. What his PTSD doctor does is make him pee in a cup every time he is up there to check for alcohol. If he is caught with it in his system, bye bye medications and treatment. My husband realized that this guy meant business and just stopped. He eventually got over being mad at me, and I see a huge difference in him after treatment and counseling. 

I don't have much advice in this situation especially for those whose soldiers/veterans drinking; I really wish I had the magic answer for you. I can only say if you are concerned, put your foot down. If you feel that you can say something to the doctor, then do it. I would not want to do it if your soldier exhibits violence or physical abuse. Bringing it up in counseling though would be the way to do it though with a mediator in the room. Because I took over the banking and checkbooks etc, my husband is given an allowance per two weeks. He learned really quick that I was not going to give him more money if he blew it on booze. With mine, I have really had to treat him like a kid in some ways because that is exactly what he acts like in some cases. If it were me, I would talk to my own counselor in your therapy group or talk to her/him privately and see what options they have to offer or maybe have a way to bring it to light. Sending you many hugs.....

I am so angry all the time, do you ever stop being so damned angry?

Dear Anonymous, I am angry every day. I can't remember the last time I wasn't angry about something. I think it's a very healthy and normal reaction to feel in our situations. I am angry about the fact I lost my husband and this person came home and lost all his fight. I am sometimes angry because this strong, rock of my husband wasn't mentally strong enough to fight whatever was going on in his head while overseas. I am angry everything fell in my lap, angry I am now a single parent with no help, angry that we are watching every penny because he just about broke us, and more angry that I have no one to talk to, share or be around that knows what I am going through. I am angry with my family, his family for not supporting or understanding. Angry at the military and the VA for not doing right by our Veterans. Some days I just wake up pissed off and not sure why or at who. I have become so bitter and one big walking ball of anger that I don't recognize myself anymore. I think it's normal for us caregivers to be angry, and although ashamed of myself for being so angry and resentful, I can't help it. If it was me, find someone to talk to. Whether it be a therapist, psychiatrist, someone. I don't have those options here, but if I could...all you would see if ass and elbows running out the door to blab it all to someone who could analyze it and make me feel better. I need that time to vent.

I wondered about your tabs you have on your blog-Are these things you have used?

Thanks for asking that! When I come across something that I find useful, relevant to PTSD or TBI....I immediately add it to my tab section up top. Things like the Physical Evaluation Board, which for most of us newbies that haven't experienced this process, I found it extremely interesting. Any organizations I find that I can use myself or has information that I think is pertinent is added. Some of those tabs are linked to me in a different aspect like Married to the Army, Caregiver Retreat through Wounded Warriors, or I have had experience with. Double HH Candles is my non-profit organization that I run most of the year making candles for military members and their families at no cost to them. Married to the Army sponsors my site and is a dear friend of mine. I also am a guest writer on her new site Living the Army Life. I know in the beginning I could not find anything four years ago except Family of A Vet (tab is there) which was really interesting and useful for me. Anytime I come across something that I think is helpful or provides some type of actual help...I will add this to the tabs above. Some of these are chat forums for spouses and ones I have signed up for. Sometimes its nice to be able to go and chit chat with others who are going through what I am. Basically it's just a hodge podge of links and resources I have either signed up with, used or found items that have helped me in other areas. I would not automatically put a link up that someone emailed me without fully checking it out and finding it helpful.

Do you know of any support groups for me to look up?

I got seven emails pertaining to this same question this week alone! I can't give you specifics in your area because I can only give you information based on my experiences. I wish I had the answers to this very important question because I am sure it echoes in many households with PTSD. I can only give you suggestions that I have used. 

  1. Check out your VA-They usually have a support group in place for spouses to join. If not, find out from your spouse's care manager or call the Mental Health Social worker there. They should have some type of resources for you or know which direction to send you. 
  2. The Vet Center- Most large cities have these especially in conjunction with the VA. These centers are pretty resourceful and helpful. My husband sees a counselor there and we were doing the coupling counseling they offer for free there. They might know of some local groups that you can join as well. Never hurts to call them and just ask.
  3. Operation HomeFront now has a Wounded Warrior Wives organization. This can be for mental wounds and not just physical. I just signed up not too long ago and thrilled with this group so far. Although fairly new, I think this group will do many things in the near future. They have a chat forum which you can find me there as well and you can talk to other spouses that are going through a variety of issues. The chat forum is: Once you have signed/registered with this group. Look on the forum and find a moderator, email/message them for access to the private WWW section of that board.
  4. Another Forum is: which also has some resources and chat forums you can sign up for. Another is Veteran Caregiver:
  5. If you have health insurance and it covers portions of mental health, you can always go privately and not even fool with the VA system. A few other spouses have told me that some mental health programs have PTSD coping classes for spouses and family members. Now most of these are NOT military related, but may help you none the less.

That is what I have on my list and maybe some of the other spouses can help me with listing resources for help. You can also always go to a minister/pastor of your church as well. Contact your unit's Chaplain. These guys/gals are awesome and have a ton of resources in and out of the military community. I hope this helps all of you in your search of the elusive support groups. I wish we had one closer for me but looks like everything I have is going to have to be online. It's kind of sad when that is all that is available and me having to admit that the only spouses I know going through this, are all inside my computer.

Always Welcoming Questions, Resources and "Just to say Hi emails",

Friday, September 3, 2010

My Scream List

I really don't know what is wrong with me this week but, I have been in a foul mood every single morning I wake up. A ton of things are bothering me and I just feel the need to get them out of my head and try to move on. So rather than being long winded and probably boring some of you, I am going to make myself a "Scream List"

  • I am tired, bone tired, and soul weary....So very tired that I can't get my brain to function correctly. I am getting less and less sleep, while my husband has done nothing BUT sleep for the past four days and sleeps all the time. His snoring is driving me insane, his CPAP machine for his unhuman like snoring helps, but now he is mumbling and even humming. Regardless of medications to knock him into a comatose state, he still suffers horribly from night sweats. This in turn makes him toss and turn, which leaves me to the edge of my side of the bed holding on for dear life and HOT. Knowing that he kept me up all night long, and after dealing with the kids and sickness, you would have thought I could have laid down during the day to rest. NOPE.
  • I am sick, two of my kids are sick, and the other is just fussy because his asthma prevents him from going outside to play. They whine, they cry, they scream and just naturally hard to get along with no matter what I do. Dad is no where to be seen or heard from, and if he is here....we get the deer in the headlight look if not the pissiness he gives me because they are, of course, driving him crazy. 

  • It's not OK for me to have an angry outburst or be upset over something like having no help with the kids, no help in the house, no help with the bills or laundry, clearing the supper table or helping with homework. It is Ok for him to get angry because he stepped on a toy soldier on the floor which led to a screaming match and an absurd reason to bitch about everything going wrong in his life.

  • He is having stomach problems probably due to half the junk he is eating and more than likely, from all the medicine he is taking. Totally get that and I can be very sympathetic. However, I have Rheumatoid Arthritis which some days, feels like I have someone pounding on my bones with a large sledgehammer. I can tolerate that he does indeed hurt in some places due to being hurt, I can tolerate the whining because hell I am used to it....I can't tolerate no sympathy for me or willingness to help me because I am sick or down. 
  • When he constantly forgets...and I forget to remind him, then its OK for him to be pissed at me. When he oversleeps because he won't get up and late for something...its OK to blame me. It's NOT OK for me to remind him because that is considered "nagging" nor is it ok for me to constantly try to rouse him from bed because that has turned into "getting on his back/case". 
  • Some days he sleeps until 1:00 p.m. in the daytime, other times he sleeps till noon. I haven't slept in past 7:30 a.m. in 13 years and that was on two occasions. When he is asleep, I keep the kids and house under control. I don't go in there and pester him to get up or ask where such and such is. I do not get the same in return. 
  •  Being sick and being tired, I haven't been in the mood to have sex and because mostly I am irritated with him so that plays havoc on the "wanna go get naked" moments. I don't complain when he leaves me "sexually stranded" in our bedroom while he sleeps away in his recliner. I don't complain because his PTSD has knocked every ounce of romance out of his body, and when he is not able to "perform", I never belittle or humiliate him in any way. It's obviously NOT ok for me not to be in the mood because then I hear "I am going to order you some female enhancement products" or he gets mad when he suddenly decides  he is in the mood during the day when the kids are running around or screaming. Sorry honey, I have the stomach bug and sex right now, is just not making me want to jump up and run with my knickers held high!
  • It's ok for him to leave and run around town....go to a friend's house, or the Volunteer Fire Dept for a monthly local meeting. God help me, if I need to go to the doctor or OBGYN because then I am dragging at least two of my kids with me. Then he wonders why I haven't seen a therapist in a while. Well, it's hard to bear your soul on a long black couch and really focus, when you are trying to keep your kids from yelling "Mommy gooooo, let's go....can we eat at McDonald's?" all through your conversation. 
  • It's give give give and never taking for me. It's being robbed of every single opportunity to have ONE freaking happy family moment. It's having every holiday and special occasion stolen from you and being the scapegoat for all that goes wrong in his life. It's listening to my little sister and feeling jealous because her husband wants to take her to Vegas for their anniversary this year when my husband forgot. It's knowing my 35th birthday is coming up and no one acknowledges it. My husband hasn't for two years, nor Mother's Day, or Christmas. It's "I forgot". It's NOT ok for me to be hurt. 

  • Some days I am ashamed of myself because although I truly do love him, even when he is absolutely the monster he can be and tests my limits; some days I want to yell, scream and hate him to the very core of my body. I resent him most days, I have absolutely nothing to look forward to in the future, and all he can say is "I can't help I am this way". Yes you can help some of it. You just don't try very hard. You can give a little and not take so much....he is literally sucking me dry to the point I just don't care anymore.
  • I can't look forward to tomorrow because its the same old shit over and over again. I find my children are becoming argumentative, hateful and have angry outbursts, but that's not my husband's fault he says. I don't even want to talk about the future because holy hell, its going to be like this only 20 years later and more freaking gray hair!

So there it scream bloody damn murder list of things that are bothering me this week. I should not be this way, I know I shouldn't. I just can't help it. I just feel sorta........lost. I don't know what's worse, the fighting with him, or the fighting within myself over who I used to be and who I have now become...........

Screaming on the Inside,