Saturday, March 31, 2012

Here I go again, on my own...

I left you guys hanging for the past two weeks.

It's been busy.

I went out to SF and had my first gay club experience. I picked up some gay guys. It was as fun as picking up straight men, except you don't have to worry about putting out in the end!!!

I ended up with a bunch of texts the next morning, some from those I remembered, some I did not. In any case, I had the most fun ever in my life at a gay bar. I suggest you definitely try it. When a straight guy tells you you are hot, they are trying to get in your pants. When a gay man tells you that, you might as well have been scouted to model by Vogue.

In any case, I have a house. It's mostly going to be empty until my family moves out, but that's okay. I have enough stuff to get by.

Tomorrow, I leave. Today is my sons birthday, when the bad stuff started with my husband. The irony of the timing is not lost on me.

It took me a full year to come back to myself out of a deep depression, and come back to myself and take direction of my own life.

But I'm there and I'm doing it.

I will keep you posted as I make my solo journey across the US. It's like Sacajawea...which by the way, autotype actually picked up and filled in while I was typing.

Later NY. You've given me nothing but grief.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Waking up in the Bay...

It's 8am here in San Francisco.

And I'm wide awake. Which is good, since I want to get back on a working schedule.
I loved waking up to the sounds of a city.

Despite having several delays and being rebooked on another airline, I had a mostly uneventful day.

I flew first class, as I had an upgrade, and's going to be rough going backwards after that. Plenty of room, tons of food, and swag. I loved it.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Divorcing the Army

As you probably noticed, I changed my blog title in anticipation of my husband's retirement from the Army.

Gotta keep it relevant, ya know?

I am sure I will keep posting about military and veteran-related issues, as I am starting a new job that I will be recruiting in 40 states, and they LOVE to hire vets!!

Why do I say "divorcing" the army?

Because its due to "irreconciled differences".

PTSD can do a lot to change your feelings about what you are willing or not willing to sacrifice in a job.

I hate that another American Hero has become both a criminal and a victim of relentless and damaging deployments. Yes, I am talking about the soldier that opened fire on 16 Afghani civilians.

It's disgusting that they are talking about the death penalty for this man, as it is OBVIOUS that he was not in his right mind. Who would be? Five deployments do that do a person.

For those of you who don't realize it, World War II, we were involved for 11 months, start to finish.

Vietnam tours of duty were 6 months.

For the past 10+ years, the same soldiers have been sent for 12-18 month deployments, every other year. My husband lost it after 2 deployments. And he is a tough guy, good soldier and great man. But it takes it's toll.

I think the best way we can use this unfortunate situation, is to open a real dialogue about how our soldiers are damaged and how the Army needs to pony up and actually provide enough healthcare for our troops.

When soldiers come home from deployment, they complete a survey, which then, based on their answers, tells them if they need to seek treatment. And no one ever sees these surveys. So they expect these guys to self-diagnose. Then when they go for help, it's often unavailable.

Here at Fort Drum, aka Armpit of the Army...there is a 6 week wait to see a doctor at Behavioral Health. My husband had to fight...mostly with me pushing, to get referred to a therapist off post. Now his psychiatrist, who handles his meds has left, and the new one wants to take him off his medication for anxiety, when PTSD is an anxiety disorder. And she can only see him every 6 weeks. We have put in a referral for an off post psychiatrist. Good medication management is imperative, and the Army has good reason to monitor and restrict medications prescribed on the base. It becomes tracked and logged in to formal reports, and then they will have to acknowledge the true statistics of soldiers who suffer from PTSD or TBI.

It's really sick.

My heart goes out to this man's family. Once they are locked up, their pay stops, and most army wives don't work. I hope he is able to attain good representation for court.

Of course, my heart goes out to the innocent Afghani citizens that were killed as well. Unfortunately, Afghani's are killed every day by accident from the US Army, but you don't see that on the news.

This war needs to end NOW. Let our boys and girls rest.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The space in between

I hate those times in life when you are about to do something life-altering, and you have to wait.

I'm more of a jump in when it feels right kind of person, and I have the uncanny ability to make decisions quickly. I work well during a crisis, but I don't do well in the aftermath, when I realized I fucked up.

Thankfully, MOST of the time, I am right.

So, now I sit here and wait. Wednesday, I fly to CA to meet my new boss and see my new employer after not working for 9 months. I hate the first month at a new job. You have to get a feel for everyone...who you can trust, who you can joke with and let the occasional f-bomb fly in front of, who will take the first chance they get to claw over your wounded body to be #1. It's what I call, "best behavior" time.

The good news is that I may end up telecommuting most of the time. But that's also the bad news, given I will be alone in a big, empty, furniture less house for a few months. I think going in the office will be a saving grace, giving me someone to talk to.

Leaving my stuff and my family is hard. Yet, I am completely ready to go tomorrow. I fall so easily back in to the trap of wishing time would pass so I can get to what I think is going to be better than it is now. I have a great job lined up in one of the best places to live in the country, ample opportunity to save some money, so you think I would lay back and enjoy the last two weeks of being unemployed, probably for the rest of my life, given that now I am the breadwinner and my husband is retiring.

But in true fashion, I lay awake, anxiously anticipating the next chapter to start.

And maybe that's because the past year has been the darkest chapter of my life.

I've actually had about 7 years of crappy luck, but I'm not expecting that it all will just change with one move. I do have an irrational fear that I may never see my stuff or my kids again. But that's just because I've never left them without knowing a definitive date of reunification.

Now the tables have turned, as my husband is left behind with the kids, as I go off to explore a cross country move and the best that the Bay Area has to offer.

I just wish I had more than an air mattress to take with me. I will find a way to squeeze every article of clothing and shoes in my car. I only have 7 more nights in my own bed.

7 more nights of looking out the same window I fell asleep and woke up to in the past four years, wishing I could leave this place. And now I am.

But I also leave behind the army, as this is the last time I will probably ever be on a post. It's the only life I've known as an adult.

But it's time. Time to move forward into the unknown. I feel the way I did when I graduated high school, knowing life will never be the same. But it stopped being the same last year. So I am ready to go.

I only wish it was today.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

It's official!

I've let all the family know, so I can release it to the public...

I'm moving to California!

Very, very soon. And by myself.

We have to wait for my husband's medical board to wrap up, and it could be several months, but since the first month or two is no pay, we figure that it's best if I go first, start my new job and find a house, so that it makes the transition easier overall.

I'm a little scared.

I have never lived alone before.

I had 6 months at college, but I had roomates. So, other than living with my parents, I have only lived with my husband and kids, one of which was born before we lived together.

At 32, I am regressing back to fulfill the early twenties stage of going out in to the world alone. I think I was more brave at 20...still unaffected by all the craziness the universe can throw at you. Now I know there is a lot more to worry about.

Will I like my new job? Will they like me? Will I be able to rely on my GPS, without having it recalculate and make me totally lost?

And I have to drive cross-country alone, and live in an empty house, other than my clothes, tons of shoes and a lonely air mattress for 4-6 months. I have an irrational fear that I won't get all my stuff somehow.

But it's the best option I have at the moment, and being with my best friends will be awesome. I even like their friends that I have met on visits out there.

And it gives my husband a chance to manage work and the kids and animals all by himself. I love that he will be my "house husband" once he gets out. He is so much better at domestics than I am.

So I have a week and a half until I go out there for a week, to meet my coworkers, find a house and celebrate. And then I come home for 3 days, and turn around to drive out there.

I have to download Tom Petty's "Free Fallin" to my Ipod, because that is what I am doing. Taking a giant leap, and landing where I am.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Why do I stay married?

A phone call today left me contemplating why it is that we stay married. And why others choose to divorce.

It's a deeply personal thing. Everyone has their own spin on it, and no one is right. So I know, by voicing my opinion, I will undoubtedly offend anyone who has divorced.

But I can live with pissing a few people off.

Chris Rock said it best when he said, "If you haven't ever contemplated murdering your partner, then you haven't been in love."

Funny as it seems, I am quicker to dole out punishment for the smaller infractions my husband is guilty of, and with much more vengence. The one or two times that I could have been found temporarily insane enough to commit murder, I became completely unable to react.

Believe me, there are some key moments I wish I could go back to and exact my anger upon him. Like, "I am too stunned to know quite how to react right now, but I get a raincheck." But maybe I am just too lazy. Or maybe it doesn't matter.

Do you take your marriage vows seriously? I mean, do they mean something to you, or is it just words, that you can say the "sickness", "poor", "worse" because you think your life will be great and only "other" people go through the bad section of vows that you pledge?

I've only taken a few vows in my life. I vowed to be a good girl scout. I vowed to defend my country. I vowed to adhere to Civil Service rules. And I vowed to stay married to my husband.

So when he screws up, does that invalidate the vow contract? I mean, we both said "better or worse", "good or bad", "sickness and health". So I don't really see an out there.

Everyone screws up. Some people get caught, some don't. Some make some doozies. When I love someone, I accept them, faults and all. I don't run after one mistake and abandon them.

That's why I can't respect divorce because someone just "isn't happy anymore."

Are you kidding me? I am probably not happy more of my life than I AM happy. But in the "not happy" moments, like being alone to deal with every possible catastrophe that God throws at me, while my husband is overseas playing XBox all day, I don't consider leaving him.

As unromantic as it sounds, and as much as I hate to think that it would be the cause of my husband staying with me, you stay married because of obligation. The same obligation you have to help people move instead of being a dick like everyone else, and having "something come up at the last minute." Because you actually care enough about someone to come through on the obligation.

Marriage is like a spool of unrefined wool. Some parts are thick, and you can pull on it pretty hard and it won't come apart. But then other sections are hanging on by a thread. As you unwind the spool, you see that after the thinnest thread, is the thickest knot.

And its what you make it. If you keep yourself in a hateful place, you become a jealous, hateful person. Your soul becomes black and shriveled. If you open yourself up, preparing to take the jabs that come with life and love, you will find that you become stronger.

In the end, marriage becomes someone to keep you company when you're old and all your friends have their own someone. Someone to make you soup when you're sick, someone to hold your hair back when you vomit, someone that will just hold your hand in the moments before you die.

It's a commitment.

So my advice is to take a little longer getting to know someone, if you are dating. Don't rush into it. Ask questions. Find out what they are made of. Can they handle the seasons of life with you?