Friday, December 3, 2010

30 Days of Truth - Day 3

This one is hard...not really sure why. I'm hard on myself in general. I think it's a family trait. Good is never good enough, it must be better, preferably best. I "hyper-focus" to the point of driving myself crazy. Forgiving myself is, therefore, immensely difficult.

I'm sure the list of things I need to forgive myself for is very long...I just honestly have no clue what is on it. I'm always focusing more on what I need to do for others than what I should be doing for myself - and that includes the forgiveness category.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

30 Days of Truth - Day 2

Something you love about yourself

This one is so much easier to swallow on the verbage end...yet so much more difficult to answer...

I love my eyes. They actually change color. A friend in high school called them "mood eyes". When I'm happy or neutral (their "natural" color) they are blue...the kind of blue that newborn babies eyes look like complete with a permanent grey-blue ring around the outside. When I'm angry, they turn green and according to those who have seen me REALLY ticked off, they sometimes go back to blue and pick up a purplish hue. When I'm sick, they turn grey and get lighter and lighter until it looks almost like there is no pigment there and just a ring around the iris. They're pretty cool. They also do really weird things according to optometrists that fascinates them. My photo receptors fire all at once unlike most likely everyone reading this. I also have a scar in the center of one eye on the pupil that always looks like a fresh scratch.

However, on a deeper level...which is what this is all supposed to be about anyway...

I love the following:

My sense of humor (which sometimes no one gets). It's quirky and uniquely me. I love to make people laugh - friends, family, strangers. Laughter is a universal feeling and an expression of a universal emotion...happiness. We need more happiness in this world and I do my very best to do my part in increasing our happiness quotient by adding copious amounts of laughter to the globe.

My immense ability to love and forgive. Yup - sappy time. Anyone who knows me well knows that it literally takes me hardly any time at all to get over most things. For example, recently a friend stepped over the line in asking me to do things and I was angry as hell about it. (Hint - I'm Italian...when I blow it's Mt. Vesuvius.) Less than 24 hours later, it was all good and we moved on with life. No apology was issued. None is really needed. I will gloss over it and move forward on our mutual project. He made a mistake and is human. So am I. It's all good in the long run.

(side note "It's all good" is actually the first phrase I learn in every new language I try. I can say it in 14 languages. It's such a useful phrase.)

My sheer determination to prove everyone wrong (which I think is a large part of why my marriage is successful). I'm stubborn. Like an army mule. (again, this Italian thing.) But I have to say that while I am immensely stubborn I do my very best to manifest that quality in a positive way.

I was told I would never be anything as a musician. Uh - nope. I may not be on Broadway or the radio, but the locals know and love me. And my Ave Maria is still bringing tears to eyes 15 years after I learned it.

I was told that I would never have a full and rich life as a Mom. Wow - they really missed that one. Sure, it's hard and there are days that have me running for the employment line...but I wouldn't miss this for the world. I love my son. I love homeschooling him. I love getting to be a part of those everyday moments that I cherish so much. The only thing that would make me happier in terms of being a mother is if God decides it is time for us to expand the student population.

Last, but certainly not least, I was told my marriage would never last. We had never spent more than 2 weeks together prior to being married. We had never lived together. The vast majority of our "courtship" was over the internet and phone due to a 2500 mile distance between us. Over and above that, after he was injured in Iraq, our chances of survival dropped to nearly non-existent. Abuse rates soar in PTSD and TBI marriages. It take a LOT of love, and a LOT of stubbornness, to get through those times. But here we are - 8 1/2 years later. Still married. Still love each other. Still happily together. Sure, we have our days...doesn't everyone? But we've made it this far...and we have NO intentions of turning back. :)

A common saying here?

"One of us is getting out of this marriage dead - and it isn't going to be me!!!"

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

30 Days of Truth - Day 1

As part of my journey, a friend recommended Em's World's 30 Days of Truth. I happen to agree with her that some time of reflection is helpful right now. So, for the next 30 days, I will blog here daily on the 30 Days of Truth. Other entries will be made separately so that those who wish to ready just these posts can find them easily and those who wish to avoid them may also do so. :)

Day 1: Something you hate about yourself.


Wow - I try VERY hard not to use the word "hate" for rather obvious reasons. I'm a peaceful, loving person at heart and well...I just avoid that particular verb - especially when referring to other people and/or their actions. Much like in early "pre-marriage" counseling when we were told no one "always" or "nevers", I avoid "hate" for the same reason.

But, for the purpose of this exercise, I will indulge the word.

Truth be told, there are many things I hate about myself. I'm not a fan of my weight - in fact, although I've been longtime friends with these extra pounds I would be very happy if they would take a permanent vacation. I hate the fact that I am a permanent doormat and every time I seem poised to conquer that demon, another arises that forces me back into that box. I hate that I'm 5'10 and can never find anyone to dance with.

I hate the fact that I don't know how to grieve. It bothers me in ways I can't really explain. Not just grieving for the dead...I have no need to grieve for them. But I can't grieve for the other losses in life either. I never grieved after I was raped. I never grieved when my favorite grandmother became a victim of dementia. I never grieved after my husband was wounded. I often say I just don't have time but the truth is...I'm not sure I really no how. I can "cry it out" for awhile, and have with the first two I mentioned. But to truly let myself really FEEL those emotions and process them...

I just can't.

I tried.

But I can't.

There are too many things that need to be done...too much of life that I can't miss. I am deeply afraid that if I take the time I need to grieve these things, the rest won't happen...and that's unacceptable.

So here I am. Not able to grieve and knowing I should. Truth be told, I wonder if I'm even capable of it anymore.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Scalpels and Snow

My husband has just had knee surgery. Perhaps you are not familiar with this process but that takes him out of commission to do most things for 6-8 weeks, according to his doctor. This means that most of his “normal” duties have fallen on me.

With it being winter in Montana, these duties include things like clearing the snow from the driveway.

So today I’m out there with the snowblower trying to clear the snow from the driveway and the sludge from the end. In order to do this effectively, one must go INTO the road. My husband proceeds to come outside and yell at me to get out of the road because the neighbors needed to get by. Ummm….let me see.

My husband just had knee surgery. This, in the old days, was a cry for help. “Hi, DH is having knee surgery.” Means “I NEED help!!! Please just offer to do SOMETHING!”

You have a husband with a plow on the front of his truck – offer to clear the driveway. You have an oven and it’s the holidays, make me a few extra cookies so I can get that off my list. You have a teenage son who could help carry my Christmas tree up from the basement.

But do you offer?


Because you are too busy with your own lives to do anything other than “offer to pray” and then gossip about me behind my back.

So you can sit in the middle of the road and wait 2 minutes while I figure out how to make the snowblower cut through the 18 inches of crud YOU left at the bottom of my driveway when you plowed out your driveway.

And don’t expect a Christmas Card.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

And the World Goes Round and Round

Family update - kind of...

We're getting our feet reestablished with schooling. It's been a minor struggle but we will survive.

DH was blessed to become the Assistant ScoutMaster for our local Boy Scout Troop. It's given him purpose to work with the kids and I have to say it's doing wonders all the way around. They've all taken to each other well and the ScoutMaster for our group is also a TBI/PSTD disabled vet, so they have a TON in common. :) The Den Leader is his wife so her and I have become battle buddies of sorts and I am grateful for her wisdom, laughter, and good spirit daily.

The knee is slowly recovering, life is still a rampant run where I'm chasing the cut loose carriage with my life still on it. I tried to get some downtime for respite last month but have returned home to a disaster of near epic proportions. As with all things in life, this too shall pass.

Someday I will be more than just a housewife struggling to get dinner on the table to a twice exceptional child and a disabled veteran husband but for now, I'm off to finish making spaghetti sauce, salsa, and applesauce to can. :)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Minor Rant

My heart is heavy and my head is sore...yet still I rage on.

Schooling? Well, that's been sitting on a side burner with the "summer excuse" despite the fact that we're normally a "year round" family.

DH? That's yet another mess I have yet to wrap my head around that's causing schooling to fall to the wayside. I need to get him better again before I lose my mind.

I'm quickly coming to realization that many of my dreams are likely not going to be coming true in the near future. My plans to leave here in 3 years when we arrived are officially shattered. The goal of having a renewal of vows for our 10th wedding anniversary in 2 years is also flying out the window as I watch DH's health deteriorate before my eyes.

So many dreams...childish dreams really...and there they all go. I'm not sure if we will ever be able to tour on his Harley with his injured knee. It's definitely looking like we will not be dancing beneath the stars on our anniversary anytime soon...he can barely walk much the less dance. Vacations, travel, and fun seem to be seeping out of my life while I fight to keep us all in the game.

When will it end? Why every day do I hear the echo in my head of my in-laws, "This is all YOUR fault!"? How much guilt am I supposed to feel for wanting to have a normal life? And when does it end? How do I get through this? How do I manage to keep the world spinning? Why does it all fall on MY shoulders? What did I ever do?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Inner Demons, Outer Struggles

Sometimes when things start going better there is the overwhelming urge to brace for the next downward swoop.

Logic and prior experience tell us to gear up now.

But then we completely miss the good times. We miss when the meds are working well...when the doctor's appointments are few. We miss the fun times with family as we go on self-preservation mode of constantly micromanaging just "in case".

If we can't enjoy the good times, what on earth are we hanging in through the bad times for???

SO many spouses come to me desperate for answers and while I can't tell you that I have them all (because I'm not that big of a liar)...I CAN tell you that if you can't let go and enjoy the good days then you are fighting for NOTHING.

It may be a good hour. It may be a good day...maybe a week.

Maybe you finally cracked the code and it's long term.

Maybe you didn't.

But if you can't enjoy the times when it's good....

Why are you fighting in the first place?

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Tonight I was watching a favorite musical of mine and like a ton of bricks it hit me over the head that my life is never going to be the same.

I'm wasting my time and energy trying to keep things appearing normal because they are never going to be normal again. I will never have the life I imagined for myself. I can't get it back. No matter how hard I try this is never going to change and trying to change it is, at the very least futile, at the worst, stupid.

Trying to make life "pretty" isn't going to work...putting a new coat of paint on crap still leaves it as crap. Nights like this I just want to give up the fight and let PTSD and TBI win. I just want to give up.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Life Happens

Sometimes when you least expect it, life will either hand you a pile of rubies and diamonds or well, a pile of something else.

Lately our pile has been rather mixes. DH is still struggling with migraines, PTSD, TBI, etc. But he is/was in physical therapy and doing well. We're waiting for approval for him to continue in physical therapy. We're also still waiting for our disability and compensation claim. I'm starting to wonder if there will ever again be a time when I'm not waiting for the government to do something.

Most of the house (minus me! yay) is sick with some kind of a cold bug. They'll all be fine but they're not very happy.

As for me, well, I'm just plugging along and doing what I do. Thanks for being out there and listening tonight...and thanks for being who you are, an American, and supporting our soldiers after they come home.