Monday, January 30, 2012

Playing Catch Up

Where did the first part of the year go? Seems like I have been away forever....for that, I apologize. We have had a lot to deal with here and well, I just couldn't and didn't want to write. The blogging always gave me strength, encouragement and a safe place to say what was on my mind. Why I mentally shoved this away when I desperately needed it the most, is beyond me. It's been a little stressful here. Well ok, I admit....a LOT of stress going on. Husband isn't doing too good although I am trying as hard as I can to hold it all together. Seems like since New Year's rolled around, he has done nothing but intentionally start things like arguments, getting into trouble, and just being mean and nasty. The PTSD beast has not only arisen but seeming to be a house guest that is staying and we all hate.

A lot was supposed to happen during this month and I will try to play catch up with you all. For many of you, you all know its been hard to get to the point to ask for medical board. When we finally got the records in, papers filled out etc etc....we thought we, meaning I, could sit back and take a breathe. Instead, they have called and said now I must report with him in three months for seven to ten days for evaluation. I am struggling here this week because so much has been going on, now I must worry about my three children for that time period. The Lt Col that called us was rude, condescending about my husband's problems, and sincerely acted like a Miss Know it All when it came to my life and our life as a family. I was given the spiel of "well put an ad in the paper to bring someone in for those days and pay them well". Ok, I get her point on not having friends or family but do we really need to bring a stranger in our home and hope like hell they don't rob us blind, abuse my kids, or just do whatever? She acted like I should have forced my husband into making friends, bringing them over, and sponsoring play dates with other families so I would have someone to fall back on to when I needed them.

First off, my husband doesn't even like our only friend here or even his mother in the home. He considers it invasive as if they were complete strangers. His paranoia has increased over the past few months and he freaks out when we have to do the mandatory home checks required by the VA caregiver program. All I could do was to listen to this woman who knew it all, and tears fell silently. I guess it was a strong reminder of how lonely I really am here. A reminder that our friends just turned their backs on us here. God, what I wouldn't give to be able to get out and have friends. No one understands us and damn sure, wouldn't leave their kids here. My husband barely tolerates our children let alone someone else bringing theirs in. Hearing her voice in my ear telling me how I should be living my life just seemed so far away. I stood outside listening to her go on an on and all I could do was cry. If she only knew how hard it was........

On top of all this, we got the letter we anticipated stating that the VA requests a reevaluation for C&P which terrifies me to be honest with you. We knew his 100% was temporary, but we have always had such bad luck I can't help but wonder what we will do if they drop his percentage. I don't and can't think of a reason why they would but you always hear the horror stories. This as of now, is our main source of income and our only way to survive. If they drop it or reduce it, that is the end of us. Sounds melodramatic but its the truth. We can pay our bills, but can't purchase medications, pay co-payments on doctors bills nor could we buy groceries. If we had to cut things, it would be television, cell phones etc, and possibly repossession of our vehicle. Major items like having a cell phone is vital for us since we have to talk to so many people like our recovery coordinators so this worries me. I know we could appeal and honestly, I know I shouldn't worry but hell, you never know. This is our whole life as a family in one piece of paper and a stranger who doesn't know what all is going on. I don't even know if they will listen to me for a minute and let them know he thinks all these crazy things. Hell, I don't even know if that doctor will listen to him! It's on Thursday and I am scared. I don't have a back up plan and no safety net. More than anything, I feel like if something happens....its going to be blamed on me like everything else has.

Since the letters and the calls, my husband has been on a see saw of emotions and taking it out on me.

Last week I had the first of my surgeries and he stayed with me through the surgery. Once out of recovery, he left. Although I told him to go on home and didn't want the family to stay any longer than they had to...I guess the romantic heart of mine wanted him to say "I will be here for as long as you need me". I was scared. One of the infamous Mistress's weakness is hospitals, needles and any pain. Yes, I am a wuss. Not sure where it stems from, but anytime they put you to sleep it does somewhat cross your mind all the what if's and the pain, well I just have this fear. I only had to stay overnight so no big deal but I never got a call from my husband, no text message, no calls to the nurse on the floor to check on me. I have to say my mind says I shouldn't have expected all this but my heart still couldn't help but wish.

After a rotten night's sleep, my husband and family came and picked me up. He was so nasty to me rearing that ugly PTSD monster so badly that the RN discharging me was concerned about letting me go. I don't know if my husband just got scared, or it was too much stress on him having his mom there for him and my kids or just if he needed to vent. I don't know what happened to me that day, but readers, a part of me just shattered. I won't go into detailed surgery talk, but I had my breasts operated on due to blockages, a mass, and possible cancer. Rather than chance losing them both, I opted to have them operate which took me from a busty size down to a small B cup ensuring all the bad tissue and vein blockage would be gone. Being the boob man my husband is, he yelled and screamed at me. He was so bad, all I could do was sob hysterically. It was bad enough I had a doctor that should be someone's grandfather and didn't believe in pain medication, so therefore I had to suffer through the enormous pain and shock of the whole ordeal. The doctor said women were too weak and many centuries they used no pain meds, take some tylenol. I would seriously love to have his penis removed, sliced open, parts taken off, then reattached and let's see how he feels.

So for two weeks I am not supposed to move, drive, move around and just rest. I had the weekend with my mother in law and after that, my husband wouldn't help me at all. I know he is not capable, I know my mind is fully in the understanding that he just isn't "there" but damn...I so wanted to be taken care of and just well....helped and be taken care of like I have done for him. Since last week, its been fighting, arguing, accusations that come out of left field, paranoia kicking in to bring up things that don't exist and just heartbreak. I couldn't even have time to sleep a little. He let me down and for the first time....I wondered if this pod person loves me at all or is he just completely gone all together?

I kept thinking to myself while I sat there and watched him frothing at the mouth screaming and yelling, why should I care so much about someone who hates me so badly? No matter how much I matter how much I fight...I realized then for the first time......he will never try half as much as I do. I felt the scream building inside, and I felt like I was kicked in the gut. The mental pain overshadowed the physical and I just felt like giving up. I didn't understand why he was so angry with me when it was nothing I had done. Why I deserved to be treated so poorly when all I have done is tackle the world and done everything but rope the moon for him. He couldn't even say I'm sorry.

I am trying so hard and just once...I want to not worry about things. At this point, still no Social Security, we have no Veterans Service help and I have no clue what I am doing. It feels the world is sitting on me right now and its not helping when he looks to me for all the answers. I just wonder though, is how long will he continuously blame me for all that goes wrong or how long I will be blamed for things he thinks in his head and not responsible for? I thought I had become numb enough not to care anymore but its apparently not numb enough yet.

So we will wait and see what happens this week. All I can do is pray, hope and ask God to give me a little bit of break. I do wish though, that people that work on the other side and are nasty...could just have a little bit of sympathy, empathy anything. They should be so lucky they can have normal lives. They should be thankful they are blessed that they are not weary and worried. Somehow though, I think no one really cares. Most of all, I really wish people who don't know me, would stop telling me I am not trying because God knows I haven't given up for five years and all I do is bust my ass researching, writing, phone calls and finding reasons every day for my husband that gives him reasons to keep going. I wish they could have 24 hours of my life and see how hard it is for families like us to struggle to keep finding ways to "try".

I will try to catch up on emails and such...I am way behind and for that I am sorry. Thank you to all who sent messages and well wishes in my absence. I am indebted to you all for making me feel like I counted and my absence was noticed. Trying to keep my chin up here and will write more I promise.

No Rest for the Weary,

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The End of Old and The Beginnings of the New

First, I want to apologize for lagging a bit the past few weeks. I think mentally and physically, I needed a break and reduce some of the stress. It was rush rush all through the holiday season and man, did it not go by extremely fast? With two sick little ones through Christmas break and with my having pneumonia, just seemed like my world was starting to crack a little. My husband did really well through Christmas and for the first time in a very very long time, we didn't have to go anywhere on Christmas Day. I think that fact was the greatest gift because we got up as we pleased, ahem, when the kids chose to get us up; we stayed in our pajamas all day, rested and napped, and just played with toys. It was one of the most memorable Christmases in the Mistress's Book of Good. After that though, not sure what all happened. Seemed Christmas was over and done with, the stress had left me rung out and extremely tired and my husband? Well, he just started to egg on arguments, as if he was just looking for a fight.

After careful thinking and my constant strategic dodging of the PTSD bomb, I realized that much of this had to be because a close friend was back from deployment. When we got the call, we were both excited because we wanted him to come home safe of course! However, a part of me wondered a million thoughts. Will his family become like ours? Will his children fall to the way side of attention and fatherly love? Will his wife have to constantly follow behind to pick up all the broken bits? My husband mentioned to me that his friend was having adjustment issues since being home, which for all of us who are Reserve and National Guard, is another component we must battle. I had to ask my husband how his friend fared which got me the shrug and a "I told him to get into the VA system as fast as he can". Since his friend has been home, my husband has been visiting quite a bit which I thought was good. Now I am not so sure. His mood has taken a drastic turn, a bit on the melancholy side and well, he just seems so far away.

Arguments have been had and some nasty things have been said. Things he could probably never take back or say "I'm sorry for". I thought for a while there that possibly he was angry because his friend wasn't so messed up when he landed. Maybe its because he isn't disabled to the point like my husband is. Maybe it's a lot of things but right now? All I know is the last few weeks have sucked every ounce of energy that I had in me. The kids had a great Christmas or as my five year old said "Best Christmas EVER!" and I am super blessed that it wasn't the Apocalypse that it normally has been the past four we have had.

New Year's Eve drew up with my husband wanting to go fishing with some of his buddies from the Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing group, in which I figured might be nice for him to get out. We have been sort of cooped up with the kids the past three weeks of Christmas break, or rather I have......but it was easier to say it was alright with me than say absolutely not! It's New Year's Eve! I figured we never do much anyway but, he will be home later that afternoon. He never showed up. Never called. He just left me here with the kids wondering all sorts of possibilities. He told me earlier that day he would be home sometime that afternoon, so I waited only to have him never come home. 7 p.m. rolled around and he called to say he was running by his recently returned friend's house to look at his tile that he had just laid down in the bathroom. I must admit I was angry as he kind of left me hanging as far as supper went and the kids. I know there are a lot of questions that children ask that stump us parents or put us in the Hall of Shame. Ones that pertain to "Mommy, where's daddy?" always seem to haunt me. My husband told me that he would be home shortly and so I told him that was fine not wanting to start a fight.

Never called again and didn't show up.

At 10:30, I called him to let him know I would be taking my bath and just head on to bed. He acted so cold to me that I could feel the chill through the phone. He explained that he needed to talk to someone who understood...someone who had been there and done that. He just had so much to be stressed about and of course, this is the anniversary coming up of his suicide attempt. He was under so much stress and well, he just needed to be there.

I have to be honest. I was hurt. Extremely hurt. I know, I know...many of the Veterans will side with my husband and say that is where he needed to be but a part of me wanted him here. To bring in the New Year and be together. Maybe that is selfish and perhaps in the long run, that is where he needed to be. I didn't understand what he had to be stressed out about? I didn't understand why he could go there and talk to a friend who supposedly listened, when I have never not been there for him. It seems that has been my whole life these past four years, putting him in the center of the world. Listening to every word, even the rambling ones, trying to hold it all together....all for him. It was a slap in the face to me. I know there are times when they do need someone who has been there and done that, but this was a different deployment for our that differed so much that there is no comparing war scars. I can't seem to wrap my mind around why I got shoved to the back of the closet when all he had done all day, was fished with war veterans.

11:57 found this Mistress in bed crying awaiting the ball drop in NYC on the television. I sometimes say I feel like I am so lonely, and even with all of you readers and emails....that I have no friends. Never before in my life had I felt loneliness stab me so hard. It wasn't about the holiday so much as the symbolism. It wasn't about staying up and waiting for that clock to turn over to 2012, or having a party...nothing like that. It was just me wanting to lie with my husband in bed and forget the world for a little while. It was me wanting to have hope for the New Year....To forget about past arguments, and to let this year go and feel that closeness I had been missing the last few weeks. He left me here to await the New Year by myself with fears, worries and hurt feelings.

I have cushioned so much for him that I am becoming numb myself. I didn't understand what pressures or stress he had to deal with when all I had was upcoming stuff for him on me. His disability evaluation is coming up this month and we aren't sure of that at all. We were just told last January that his rating would be set at 100% temporary for one year with evaluation this January. We don't know how to survive if that falls apart and quite honestly, I don't know what to do to prevent any negative changes. Social Security appeal was filed with more paperwork coming over Christmas week that I must struggle with, and then upcoming surgeries in which I must figure out all the kids, dogs and husband in that. He had done nothing but fuss for two years about painting although he knew he couldn't climb a ladder to do it and neither could I since they are cathedral ceilings. A family programs person through the National Guard got us hooked up with a Church near by our home who are volunteering to come paint this weekend and get it all knocked out. With the kids going back to school, I must once again budget, pay bills and clean the house (like baseboards that are behind furniture so can be painted) and well, just a ton going on. Where he fits in, in all of this....I do not know nor can I count on his help.

I think a part of me just collapsed this New Year's and well, before Christmas. We haven't really spoken much to each other and neither one of us has addressed New Year's. I figured why bother? I am wasting my time and my breathe, only to have him give me a half ass sorry that he doesn't mean and he can't take it back or make up for it. He just didn't think enough of me to want to spend New Year's and that is a conclusion I have reached so far at the beginning of 2012. When I am sick, he runs away. When the kids are sick, like we have my little man with Mono, he is gone. When I really really need him to be here, I can count on one thing....him not being here. I am trying not to be so hard on myself, but it can't be helped. I keep wondering what I have done to make him push so hard against me. I keep praying for a little relief but I guess what I am asking for is my husband to come home to me back in 2007 normal and that's never going to happen. What is left is for me to do is to raise my children by myself and learn that I can't depend on anyone else but myself.

See? Even when I get emails from all of you...I tell you I don't have a perfect life. I always remind everyone that I don't have all the answers for anyone because I don't even know. All I know is it's one hell of a road we are traveling on and I keep hoping by raising the lantern, we can find our way. Sometimes these days though...I feel my lantern flickering out just a bit and wonder how much can I keep taking and how much longer can I keep going. I hope that doesn't disappoint anyone, its just the truth. I am a little lost myself right now.....

For all those who have commented and emailed, I will catch up. My little man has been on tons of steroids and God love him, he has been a monster on those meds! My pc has been acting up as well, so been working on having it fixed. I will catch up with everyone and respond to the emails. Looks like I wasn't the only one who had a bad end to the year of 2011! So this morning, I vote we raise our coffees, our juices, etc and wish each other a Very Happy New Year and hope like hell we can make it through another one......

Still holding on here in Moo-Cow Town USA,