Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The War That Never Ends

Sometimes the war is never over, and that is exactly how I feel right now. It has been almost 7 months since CJ has gotten home, and a lot of the time it is great. The other times it's dreadful. He is distant and angry. I never know what will set him off so I spend my time avoiding him. It's like we are still living our deployment lives, but in the same house. I'm living on an island and my husband is only a visitor.

Some days he is a welcome guest full of laughs and love. Other times he is an invader. His presence is a disruption, and his outbursts of anger keep even our preschoolers on edge. It's not that h is unaware of it, but his awareness isn't enough. While I appreciate the apologies it doesn't make life around here any easier.

Since he has gotten back, it seems like CJ can't handle stress. If he gets more than one thing on his plate his world comes to a screeching halt. When he was gone all he had to worry about was the war. He was a soldier and his focus was that. Once he got back he was a soldier, cop, husband, father, son, brother, home owner and a lot more. Everyone and everything needed his attention. It was something he wasn't used to.

I understood that for a while, but now it is getting harder and harder to be the loving and understanding wife. I'm still doing all the house work and working full time. He helps with the kids some, but most of the time when he is home he is working on something. When I try to talk to him I get grunts and half answers, and when I call him out on his anger I'm the bad guy.  I feel like he is making extra work just to have a reason to avoid family.

I knew there would be changes. I knew this would be hard. What I did't know was that it may not end. That anger and tears may become our new normal, and I don't know how to stop it. I don't have a way to stop the war inside my husband and keep it from scaring me and my children.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Yep...He's Home

I would love to write something heartfelt and beautiful about the almost 3 months that C.J. has been home.  I can't.  It's not because things have gone horribly wrong since he has been home.  It has been great.  I'm just emotionally drained.  I don't know how to put into words what our lives have been like.

It was amazing when the kids ran to him in the armory.  I can't even begin to describe the smiles on everyones' faces.  Then the kids started getting a bit crabby because they were hungry so off to Subway we went.  The honeymoon was over, and life together began again.

We are both back at work.  I went back 4 days after he got home, and C.J. went back after being home for a mere 11 days.  We kind of never slow down.  I don't know if I could function if I wasn't going at full speed nearly all the time, and C.J. is worse than I am.

So that's it.  I'm sure it sounds like I'm not happy to have him back or that I don't really love him.  The reality is that between C.J., the kids and work there is no emotion left to write.  I finally have my husband back to use as a soundboard.  This isn't the last of The Not So Army Wife, but, as is apparent from the previous break, there will probably be fewer posts with more time between them.  I won't write meaningless posts just to put words on a page. So, until something inspiring hits, enjoy what's already up here and find other great blogs to read!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

When He gets Home

As with any deployment plans have changed again.  This news is better than the last, but I am being cautiously optimistic CJ and the rest of his unit will be home by Mid-September.  While I am ecstatic CJ will be home and we can begin the next chapter in our lives, I am a little sad as well.  CJ coming home means some of the things I have enjoyed with him gone will come to an end.

1. I love bedtime with the kids.  Some nights it is stressful, but it is our time to cuddle, read books and really be close.  When CJ is home I will have to share the kids again, and I'm not sure I want to all the time.

2. There is a sense of pride that I get whenever I accomplish the littlest of things.  High-five to me when I go to the store with both kids, get everything I need and have no meltdowns.  Plus I'm getting better at this doing it alone stuff so there are more and more high-five moments.

3. The paycheck will be missed.  Let's face it a deployed soldier makes a lot more than a cop.  Good bye morning latte and breakfast burrito at the coffee place by my office.  Hello breakfast bar and break room coffee.  The good news is we are now credit card free thanks to the deployment, CJ has a newer pickup, I had LASIK eye surgery (terrifying) and I got a sprinkler system installed in our big ass yard.  It would still be nice to have the extra money coming in, but I will take having my husband back over cash.  We got our financial goals accomplished for this deployment so we are both happy.

4. I'm really concerned I may gain back some of my weight.  With all the stress and constantly bing on the  move I have melted.  I have lost 50 lbs in the past 2 years.  The last 30 has been since November.  I really do not want to gain any.  As a precaution I ordered a fitbit the other day so we will see if it can keep me in check once it gets here in a couple of days.

5. Not only will I have to share the kids I will have to share my bed, shower, bathroom and everything else I have gotten used to having all to myself.  Boo!  I now have the mindset that I should not have to wait to take a shower, and I should be able to shower for as long as I damn well please on the weekends.  

6. There will be gross boy stuff again.  I can't quite put my finger on this one, but after CJ was gone for a while there was just less gross.  I've gotten used to no farting and no spit cups around.  I don't want gross to creep back into my house.  I doubt it creeps back anyway.  He has been eating army food for a while, and I'm sure home-cooked meals will bring the gross back in full force.

I hope you can tell two things from this.  First I am pretty sarcastic, and second that there are little hurdles that military families have to overcome once they are reunited.  CJ's life stopped for a year.  He left his job, his friends and his family; but we didn't put life on pause for him.  When he comes home things will be different.  The kids have grown and changed.  I have had to change in order to deal physically and emotionally with all the obstacles that have been thrown at me.  CJ coming home is great, but it will also be work for our family.  The good thing is that we both understand that and have talked about it.  We know there will be bumps in the road for us, but we are willing to take on that challenge.  (I will still miss my expensive coffee...tear)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

How do You do it?

How do I do it?  I get asked this more than I get asked how I'm doing.  I think it is because people are afraid I'm just going to break down and sob.

I find the question funny.  How would I not do it?  This is my situation.  I'm alone with my kiddos while my husband is at war.  I don't have time to break down or feel sorry for myself.  I don't have time to drink my worries away.  I typically only finish about half a glass of wine between all my distractions.

Tonight I'm sitting on the one couch that isn't covered in unfolded laundry with my back purposely facing away from my sink full of dirty dishes.  I guess that's how I do it.  I don't stress the small stuff.  I will get to it eventually.....maybe, but I know my limits.  I'm exhausted, and I need to sit this evening.

I do it by not doing everything, and being content with not being perfect.  I still push myself to the very limits of my physical and emotional capabilities, but I know when to stop.  I know that tonight dishes and laundry won't get done.  I'm sure there are I some who would judge and say my pool time with the kids today could have been used better, but I beg to differ.  They only have one parent.  If I have to choose between wrinkles in my clothes or ignored kiddos I choose wrinkles every time!

My advice to anyone feeling the pressures of being the perfect wife, mom and employee during a deployment is to give up.  Don't give it all up, but know that you're not perfect.  Those that are expecting a sparkling house, clean and well behaved kids at all times and tons of overtime at work are living in a dream.  When you give up your spouse for a year or more you have to give up on a few other things as well.  I'm not advocating for living in filth, never bathing your children and quitting your job.  I'm just advising you should keep things in perspective. Know what is important and what isn't, and don't let yourself get too run down especially in the beginning.  That's how I do it.