Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I have, I am...

What a position I've found myself in.

Really, there are moments I have to stop, take stock of my situation, and just say, "WTF."

I've been married 3 weeks! I have a decent apartment with lots of hand-me-downs and a splatter of nice things. I have two cats that are mostly awesome and occasionally ridiculous. I have my health.

I have no job, thanks to the economy. I can't (and wouldn't) cite corporate greed. I worked for a non-profit. In this economy, we made it longer than we should have, and then, were forced to jettison all but essentially 2.5 employees.   I am running low on money.  I feel no shame in taking unemployment compensation. I've worked hard and paid into that program, and I will use it now while I work hard to find something else.

I have a husband who hasn't been home for 2 weeks of our marriage. I don't blame him at all, and I don't resent him. His 5 months of training results in a job for which I am immensely proud of him. And while the position finds me outside the military community, yet still disgustingly similar to the military life, I don't complain too much. I was frustrated to find the military community I encountered wasn't welcoming.

I have a husband who has TBI and PTSD. We are truly blessed in that neither is overwhelming. Months later, he still gets random headaches, random ringing in his ears, and yes, words seem to occasionally fall out of his head, difficult to recover, and just out of his grasp. But neither has slowed us down, or truly gotten in the way.

I have a husband who was finally, 6 months after his return from Afghanistan, and probably 10 months after the IED that caused his TBI, finally given a referral to the VA, told that someone cared and couldn't believe that he didn't see a doctor until he reached the US, and hasn't seen one since.  Well, thanks US Army Reserves. You didn't give a crap when it was important, you seem shocked by the position we're in now, and you're going to act like things are urgent now that there is quite literally no way for him to get to the VA doctor. Frustrating, yet so typical.

I am a martyr. This week, I will throw myself upon my own sword in the name of integrity. I will bow to a crappy situation, and take more crap, but I will not lie or swindle my way into temporary help at the expense of others. And this makes me indescribably sad. I feel no pride, but I know in my heart I am doing what is right.

I am probably depressed. Each of these things weighs on me. To fight, to alway believe you were meant for something more, and to then lose your job is crushing. I feel the pressure, the blame, the belief that somehow I am not good enough. To have your husband gone, yet again, right at the beginning of the marriage is frustrating. To have him gone for a reason you can't quite explain, that leaves you as an outsider, is isolating. To watch your finances slowly get worse, but know you are in a situation that leaves you unable to fight the way your ordinarily would is terrifying.

I am vindicated and I am hopeful.  I met this week with a new friend of my husband's (several actually) who empathized. Who welcomed me. And one, one held a military position that is truly impressive (and no, it had nothing to do with that bullcrap measurement we call 'rank'). And this one wasn't surprised to hear how the Reserves were treated, the lack of proper care they got. He wasn't surprised to hear our TBI story. And yet was genuinely angered. To a lesser extent than I, of course, but to an honest extent. And for the first time in a long time, no one looked down on me, no one judged me.  This weekend, in the course of 5 minutes, I showed my husband my strength, and curled in his arms crying, showed him my fears. This weekend, I was able to extend happiness to others. This weekend, I was spoiled and loved. This weekend, I was at once terrified, depressed, honest, truthful, hopeful, and strong.

I don't expect that this adventure will get easy or resolve itself any time soon. My life right now is a struggle. It takes a lot of faith and trust in God to get through. That and a lot of bubble baths and wine. But I will keep putting one foot in front of the other. I will cry when I need to. I will curl up on the floor and feel completely overwhelmed by it. I will get up and fight it. I am terrified, depressed, honest, truthful, hopeful, and strong.


  1. Remember you're not alone. I've been there as well, newlywed with a husband nowhere in sight because of training, things falling apart on the home front. I'm not saying this to say "I survived and so will you so suck it up" but just to let you know it's definitely possible to weather the storm and come out the other side with your marriage, identity and sanity intact.

  2. Yes ma'am. And I know a lot of people have it much worse. At least I can see him on weekends! So much at once, but I know it will get better.