Friday, June 3, 2011

Maybe This is What They Meant by Army Strong...

I have no idea what to do when something goes wrong. Not for me. I'm really good at panicking, flipping out, shutting down, etc. When something goes wrong for me, I have a million, probably not-even-remotely-appropriate ways to react. But when something goes wrong for the SGT.

I've tried to tell him calming things, or just say, "It'll be OK. It's fine." This made him angrier. And he snapped before telling me that it was not a helpful reaction. Of course, his reaction results in me shutting down, which tends to result in more anger from him. Frustration is a better word. I don't want anyone thinking I'm describing abuse or anything over the line. That has absolutely never been an issue. Period. This man loves me, and I know it, and I trust him wholeheartedly, and he would never hurt me. It's just normal reintegration.

But normal reintegration isn't easy. Calming him doesn't work. Trying to argue or explain the otherside, somewhat of a "fix it" approach doesn't work. That frustrates him too. Then, he wishes I would just listen, let him vent, and just understand that he's angry. Ok..

Then the next thing comes up. OK....  what the hell do I do? How do I help? Clearly, I can't fix it. I can't say "it'll be OK". I can't just listen because this happens to be over text. I can't explain that here in the civilian world, this is a very minor thing that he won't even remember in a month or two. I am powerless. And lost.

I don't think they prepare you for this. At least in the Reserves they don't. And even if the entire solution is to let him just vent and stew until he's passed it, how do I fix the feeling of helplessness I have while I wait? I internalize things. Yes, sometimes shutting down when upset, but what I mean is that the mood of the people around me greatly effects me. Whether spoken or unspoken, I sense that mood and take it in. I feel it.  So when this happens, I feel his frustrations, I feel upset for him, I feel my own version of what he's feeling. And then I can't fix it! I can't even soothe it. Maybe it's just me. Probably not. Probably others feel the same.  I know guys are the fixers, and we're the feelers. But I'm feeling, and I want to fix.

I hate this.  This feeling like he's upset and I can't make it better. In fact trying makes worse. It's hard to learn to just wait it out. I don't want to take away from how he feels, because it's normal, and it's OK. It's part of readjusting. But the anger, the frustration effects me. And stresses me.  How do I learn to just wait? To just watch the man I love be upset and know that I just have to wait it out? And how do I fix the feelings of what waiting it out over and over does to me?  How?  I guess I just have to be strong...  

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