Sunday, September 25, 2005
Happy Anniversary toooooooooo meeeeeee!

How awesome was my anniversary?

Hero took us out to get new tatoos. (I got a moon with stars, he got a big tribal thing with all sorts of hidden images) We slept in, 'slept' some more, watched a movie, got dinner, went out for coffe, and 'slept' more all before the kids got home. It was freakin awesome! We soooo needed a day to ourselves. J is so awesome for giving us that.

I am still so in love after all these years. It fills me with hope.

J had an anniversary this week, too. Her 60 DAY CLEAN ANNIVERSARY!!! I am so proud of how far she has come. Ya know, she's going to meetings roughly five times a week? Even since she's been here. I went with her at first, but now she's going alone.

Overall, J's been great. I have a list of complaints (just like I do with Hero), but nothing that would drive me crazy. She's so much more relaxed, and we spend some time together every night acting like crazy teenagers. Remember how I minded driving to get coffee at midnight last time she was here? Well, this time she has her car. All I have to do is be a passenger. We spend a lot of time scream-singing all our favorite songs and watching movies.

Another great thing about J this time around is that she is MOTIVATED! Motivated to stay clean, make meetings, get out by herself. She even has taken the girls to the park 'for fun' and to Chucky Cheese. She's sleeping less during the day, a possible sign that she's not as depressed as she was.

AND........

I got in touch with my x-stepmom. I haven't talked to her in about a year and a half. It was so good to finally talk to her. We lost touch while I was transitioning back to the states from Italy, and I've been searching for her since. I lost all her contact info....but googling her for the past eighteen months finally paid off. She was as happy to hear from me as I was to find her. I'm sure I'll talk about that more later.

Hope you're all doing well!




Friday, September 16, 2005
J's HERE!!!!!!

My bff J is here!!!!! She is currently about twenty minutes away!! I am so excited!!!

I may or may not be blogging for the next few days, so my nine readers (down from fourteen in the last two months) shouldn't depend on any posts for the next few days.




Waking up/Awakening

Waking up.....


My medication dosage is now doubled and it is kicking my ass. I'm useless. Completely. Totally. Useless.

My house is destroyed. I didn't wake up until 9:30 this morning, and I'm guessing my girls were up around 8:00. My favorite black nail polish that I got on sale for twenty-three cents when they stopped making it is dumped all over my bedroom floor, dried in drippy looking patches. Thank God it's Friday so I can recover from this. My non-sexual lifemate/bff J may be making an appearance, and I'd hate for her to be welcomed by a house that has little shreds of ripped up paper all over the floor. I'd LOVE to be able to clean, but I am so tired that it hurts my whole body to get up. It seems to take more muscles than I have to get my kids dressed and fed. Based on the first experience with these meds, I know the worst of the sleepiness is the first week. Lets hope that goes by fast.


Awakening....


When I went to the 'med doctor', she asked me if I've been feeling better, blah, blah. I usually don't notice things like that, as my mind only works in the immediate past (ie. yesterday), and it is hard for me to remember how I felt last week, never mind months ago. She read through my intake report, and all of the reports she made when I met with her. She then asked me a series of questions and after I answered she read to me how I had answered at intake.

MY GOD!

I have turned around completely. Hopelessness? Gone. Uncontrollable rage? Gone. Frustration about things that are beyond my control? Gone. Anxiety? Much, much less.

I have had conversations with people I don't know, including the police that took my statement in that incident, without wanting to run away. I've talked to strangers on the phone with out my heart pumping in "running up a steep hill" mode. I sit next to people on the couches in the waiting room at therapy instead of standing as far away from anyone as I can!

My husband, who sometimes knows me better than I know myself, says my mood is stable. There is consistency. I am the same person when he comes home at night as I was when he left after lunch. That's a new thing. I like it.




Saturday, September 10, 2005
Much deserved boring update



Hero got his promotion a few days back! Yay! I love promotions. This is an automatic promotion, so it's not like he had to work at it or anything ;)

My good neighbors, Lisa and Greg, will be coming back from their vacation next week. I'll finally have someone to play with during the day. I've been all alone since my friend left on August first, and my upstairs neighbor left a week ago.

My bad neighbors are leaving for nine days. I love when they leave because I don't have to worry about having to listen to them! Yay again!

I can't sleep as usual. It is 2:50 am at this very moment and I'm exhausted! You would think being tired is like the key to sleep, right? I only wish. I will be getting more powerful sleep meds at my next psychiatrist visit.

Because I'm a teenager (hahahahaha), I watch The OC. I really do, go ahead make fun. Anyway, the new season started and I am so excited. I FEEL like a teenager again when I watch that show. I think I'm so addicted to it because it's how I wished my youth was--the supportive guardian thing anyway. I was more like an Alex though, with all that responsibility and the fuck 'em all attitude. And the guess-who's-in-my-house-today thing. I wonder if she'll be back this season?

FALL IS COMING!!! One night it went down to fifty-five degrees. It was freezing. Two days this week we are supposed to have a high of eighty-one. Beautiful. I can't wait!

Therapy was.....umm.... uneventful. Since my 'episode' with all the 'pain' and 'fear' and 'disassociation', I've been trying really hard to keep the focus on what is new this week without ever touching how I feel. I know it's probably not beneficial but it's what I can manage right now. I'm still going to all my appointments, so what if I ask multiple questions about my therapists son to avoid talking about myself for the first thirty minutes? And about her other clients for the last thirty? I'll get back on track soon, and besides, I'm having a pretty freakin good week. I don't want to risk messing it up.




Wednesday, September 07, 2005
The military and our personal lives: How little is too little?

This post is going to probably be a little all over the place, because that's where my feelings are at. Please bear with me.

The military, as most know, has a lot of rules and regulations. Down to the smallest detail of your personal life, the military can find a way to control it if they feel the need. In general, there are good leaders with good morals who only step in when needed. There are some leaders that chose not to step in even when they absolutely should.

For the rest of this post, NCO (for those who don't know) refers to a non-commissioned officer. Ex. Sergeant, first sergeant ect. They are not the highest people in charge, but they are the soldiers in charge of making sure everything is running smoothly on a daily basis, and knowing when a problem needs to be handled by someone with more authority than themselves.

As I've probably told the story of my experience with homelessness before, I won't go over it again. That was an example of NCOs not doing enough, and not going to a higher officer for help when they couldn't solve a problem.

We recently had an incident of spousal abuse in which both the husband (who is an NCO) and the wife were arrested for a short time. The husband had not a scratch on him, and the wife had two black eyes, cuts and bruises, and a temporary vision problem. The wife is facing charges for assault, while the husband is not facing any charges. The husband isn't facing any punishment by his superiors for the abuse either, even though since he was arrested he definately should be suffering some kind of consequences.

The wife left, and will be returning soon for court. She intends to have her husband removed from housing on her arrival so no further abuse can occur. In the meantime, her and her two young children are sharing a one bedroom apartment with her mother and sister. They have absolutely no income, and have no access to his accounts, as he took her name off those a few months prior.

I am upset because this is an NCO who is in charge (though not directly) of my husband and many other married soldiers. If there was ever an incident of abuse, I (or any other wife) would have to report it to an abuser. It would then get put 'under the rug' or 'in the closet' where all of the other Bad-things-that-need-to-be-addressed-further go. How safe can anyone feel reporting abuse when they know there is no help coming? How could anyone report abuse knowing that it will be overlooked and the abuser will be coming back home at the end of the day?

At first when I knew their relationship was on its way to trouble, I asked her "Why don't you just leave?"

Now I know there is no JUST in leaving. How is a nineteen year old girl with two babies of her own supposed to just up and leave with no income, no car, no place to go? This abuse came so quickly. Sure, they were having a hard time getting along, but those tell-tale signs of abuse? There were none. I figured they were going to verbally fight their way to lawyers offices to file for divorce, making nasty comments to one another the whole way. She was just as blind to it as I was apparently.

And the NCO in charge....his way of helping? He told her she still has health insurance. YAY! Three adults and two children sharing a one bedroom apartment. Health insurance. Fair trade, no?

Granted, this woman (or girl if you will) is lucky enough to have her mother living in this state. God forbid this happened when they were still stationed in Germany, or across the country as opposed to across the state. With no money and no transportation, there would be NO WAY for her to get out while the NCOs sit and tell her she's fine and to stop making her husband's life harder than it has to be.

There's worse news. This obviously isn't the first time something like this has been covered up. Problems like these don't come along and very strategically disappear. It's clear to me that the NCOs in charge support spousal abuse by the lack of response to such a serious situation.

While there are some very good NCOs here, I wonder why the bad ones seem to out number them. It's sad really.




Monday, September 05, 2005
Perfection.


First things first, the color of this gladiolus is not it's true color. It's actually more of a very light blueish purpley color.

Now on to more important subject matter.

When we left Massachusetts to come meet Hero in Maryland (a year ago), my kids were out of control. OUT OF CONTROL. It probably was due mostly to the fact that I was emotionally out of control. I was constantly stressed due to living like a 'single' mom, having no family support, and moving out of apartments into hotels and my car every time Hero's pay got screwed up.

At the time, Sky was two and a half and Moon was one and a half. They were always on the go, had no discipline, and just as destructive as the next pair of siblings their age. I did not like telling them "no" because they didn't get to have the normal life that kids their age had--a steady place to live, a daddy to kiss before bed every night, family that stayed consistently in the picture, or a normally functioning mom. I felt bad about all of those things and compensated by letting them pretty much have control of those few things they were able to, like the ability to shred the newspaper, empty the drawers, and color on the table. I knew it wasn't the best way to go, but I was doing the best that I could at that time.

Grandma used to tell me "If you let them do whatever they want, they're going to wear you down to the ground before you ever know what happened." I always responded with a nasty comeback like "If my kids aren't dressed, fed, bathed, or diapered then you can comment, until then I don't want to hear it."

She was right, they did wear me down. I would stay up for hours cleaning after they had fallen asleep just for the house to be in good enough condition to wake up to. I made a promise to myself and the girls that it was all going to change once we were together again. I kept that promise.

At first, it was hard for the girls to adjust to rules. The first rule I made was NO MORE CUPS TO BED! Sure it was only water anyway, but the sippy cups needed to go. They cried the first night for a while, and I would come in every ten minutes or so and say "I know you don't like it, but this is the way it is going to be." After about half an hour, I got them both up and they had some water at the table. Then, back to bed where they fell asleep. It sounds easy in type, but I guarantee you it was not. It was so hard for me to think that my girls were upset.

After the first rule was established with success, I kept at it. The tearing things up went away, the emptying drawers went away, the over all lack of listening skills went away, and my fear went away. I could handle this. My kids could handle this. It was good.

When we visited Massachusetts, it gave my kids the chance to show off their new skills, and they did. They were very well behaved (minus Moon's understandable sleeping thing). I didn't even think of what different children they had turned into until I got this phone call:

Grandma: When are you coming back up? We miss you already.

Me: Soon if we can find the time.

Grandma: The girls have changed so much I can hardly believe it!

Me: Yeah, Moon's hair is finally starting to get long.

Grandma: No, I mean they've changed. They are like different children. They didn't get into anything and they did everything you told them to! And they were so polite! I can't believe how much they've changed! You've really come along way and you're doing a wonderful job with them.

I was shocked.

Shocked and proud.

I did this.

Me.

I mean the girls had their part, but it was my consistency that led them there. It made me feel good to have someone notice. Not notice like a stranger would, but notice as someone who has seen us all at our worst. I was so happy that we planned a trip to the zoo, where I went with very minimal anxiety.




Saturday, September 03, 2005
Maryland is my home.


I'm home again.

The visit to Massachusetts was wonderful, full of good friends and family. The girls and I had a surprisingly great time. The weather was rainy and sticky, but it could not change the overwhelming love that I felt the whole time I was there.
We got in to my grandma's early Monday morning and visited for the day. My bff J came over and we got Marylou's coffee and just relaxed. We ended with movies and Chinese food and Grandma's stories of her youth. Sky fell asleep easily, Moon stayed up almost all night. I had to hold her so she wouldn't wake up so I didn't get much sleep.

Tuesday I was very much sleep deprived and I left early in the morning to meet Hero's grandma. We took a trip to Cape Cod to visit Hero's cousin and her son (who is Moon's age). The kids all played together and watched Spongebob while us ladies bonded over troublesome men, contraception, periods, pregnancy, child rearing, and miscarriage which all applied to all of us at some point. I left in amazingly good spirits to go see Hero's dad, stepmom, and sisters. Hero's sister is sixteen so we only saw her for a few minutes between life altering phone calls. His half-sister just turned one and is just learning to crawl around and get into stuff. Around dinner time I headed back to Grandma's to meet J, GOT A BABYSITTER (my uncle--who I only had to pay in coffee) and went to go get coffee and dinner for everyone. When I returned to Grandma's, brother was PLAYING NICELY WITH MY KIDS. He then took a shower and left and we wrapped the night up. Moon slept better but still not so well.

Wednesday I again left my children with my uncle and went for coffee with J. We ran some other miscellaneous errands and returned to visit with Grandma and Uncle until blast off time. I cleaned Grandma's house and got together two trashbags full of clothes to get rid of. After that was over, I packed and fed the kids. We said our goodbyes and left around 8:00 pm.

Ten minutes later I was driving back to get my phone charger, we said goodbye again and I left.

Twenty minutes later I was driving back to get my can full of decent Massachusetts worms (don't ask). We did byes again and left. I stopped once more for coffee and gas with J then drove until I returned to Maryland around 3:oo am Thursday.

When I got in, although Hero was still at work, I felt welcomed. I think this is where I am supposed to be. It took me almost a year to feel that way. When we first arrived in Maryland, back in November, I remember hating everything. I hated the people, the accents, the weather, the neighbors. I hated the kids that played in the street and the conversations strangers had at the stores. I hated the speed limits and the lack of decent scenery on the side of the highway. I can't pinpoint exactly when that all changed, and I can't tell you how (or why) it changed. Somehow, someway, I just knew I was home.

Here.

This is home.




Stores!