Random Life Observation

Being a mom to lots of kids and a wife sometimes leaves a woman running in circles.
Now that most of the kiddos are out on their own I am noticing things still happening that I used to just think happened because we were all tripping over each other. 

Here’s the tip of the iceberg:

1.     Why can’t I have an uninterrupted phone conversation? I am here, awake all damned day and half the night and nobody in this house wants/needs to talk to me until the phone rings!
2.    Can I use the bathroom ALONE…. PLEASE? Don’t talk to me from the other side of the door or from the bedroom. Just give me 3 minutes alone in the Loo and for Pete’s sake don’t let the frigging cats in!
3.    There are plenty of chores to be done around the house… why do people wait until I am doing something in a room to begin a chore? I sit down to watch the news ~ time to vacuum! Trying to prep dinner ~ must be time to put away dishes and load the washer! Trying to read ~ trance/techno music mixing session!
4.    I did not set my alarm for a reason… I don’t HAVE to be up early! If you’re going to be up early BE QUIET! Do not get the dog riled up and please keep the tv on low volume!
5.    Sit down to write a little bloggy something and I get ~ have you seen my _insert thing-a-ma-jig_? Can you help me look for it? Do I look like google?????

Is it just me that this happens to?
Is it a mom thing?
Is it a wife thing?
I need wine!
Where did the corkscrew go?
Where’s my wine straw?
Everyone takes off like F-16’s leaving me to search alone!

I gotta pee….. come on kitties, let’s go to the bathroom.



Life with a PTSD family member

The ‘New Normal’ is a phrase I loathe! When they come back from deployment they will be different, you will be different, the kids will be different… this is your ‘New Normal’. WTF? He came back and we weren't so different than when he left. Sure we were older but it was the same old routine going on. Yes I know we were different but it was subtle. What was not subtle, HE was different! Withdrawn, edgy, emotionally unavailable, unable/unwilling to participate with the family, not sleeping more than 3 hours… he even ate dinner in another room away from us. A trip to the store required lots of planning on my part (knowing exit locations, plotting non-busy hours, etc) and a shit load of coaxing and encouraging him it would be ok to go outside. Once there I felt like I was the recon guy, peering down aisles to see if there was anyone there – 2 or more people on the aisle and he’d FREAK OUT! Night terrors and sleepwalking meant I didn't sleep at all! Driving was a whole other nightmare for me with his constant shouting out to ‘watch that car’, ‘exit now’, ‘speed up faster, faster, FASTER!’ I still have trouble being the passenger when he drives – imagine the Le Mans car races, high speeds and abrupt lane changes all while 8 feet behind the car in front of us.

A year of medication and some crappy therapy did not help much. They verbally gave him ways to cope (once every 2 weeks) but did not take him into the world to actually teach him how to apply these techniques to everyday situations. Of course the family was NOT part of his treatment either, we were left to walk on eggshells and wonder what in the world we were supposed to be doing. The one time I did get to go with him the therapist questioned WHY I needed to know what was going on.

I have since learned how to effectively talk him down from anxiety attacks and to handle his night terrors by ‘pulling rank’ on him. He has learned how to shop in crowded stores without losing his mind and how to talk to Hootie like the 10 y/o boy he is. How to keep in control of his anger when the SOB in front of him truly needs an ass beating (at work and on the road).

So now almost 3 years after his return the biggest thing that triggers his PTSD is fireworks. This one will never go away. While everyone is getting ready for tonight's sparkles and BOOMS we are checking the list of items to keep him from hearing anything.

Ear plugs – CHECK
Headphones – CHECK
Techno Trance music – CHECK
Xbox moved to the most insulated room in the house – CHECK
He will play video games till the wee hours of the morning. I will be awake half the night listening for the BOOMS from the neighborhood jerks.
And just in case he does lose it I have his Battle Buddy's # and his Valium.

This is what I mean when I say ‘Freedom Isn't Free’?


So much for finding a balance

Just when I think things are calming down…. BLAMMO…. something new comes along to take priority! Lately it’s meetings. Meetings about membership, meetings about target groups, Meetings with the new people, monthly meeting with my group (I like that meeting J) and of course meetings about meetings for meetings yet to be scheduled.
I have never seen so many people patting themselves on the back for doing virtually nothing.

We had a generous donation at work and while we are happy about it this has created a whole new level of stress for us. The donor insisted that the furniture sets stay together so we now have to hold drawings for these things. This means more rules and enforcing the rules. That’s alright, I do that part very well and I have my gals to back me up.

One of the meetings was about our facility. We received funding for some brand new shelving units. Took the General’s wife on tour of our facility and painted a very pretty picture of what could be if we had a little more space… Cinderella’s Closet may become a reality very soon!
I really like this woman. Most people will say she’s putting on an act but I have been around her so much the past few weeks that I really do believe that what we see IS what she is. She was ready to roll her sleeves up and get dirty with us cleaning and was excited about painting!

We dropped a jet last week. 
Pilots ejected safely and the investigation continues.

In 4 short weeks Hootie starts school! Summer break was 2 weeks shorter this year due to the restructuring of the school year. No big deal for us. We have been getting ready all along so there is no last minute shopping to be done.

Yesterday we lost 19 firefighters in the Yarnell Hill wildfire.
I discovered soon after that one military spouse I know is related to one of those fallen men. There are no words to express the grief being felt right now yet I can empathize and sympathize with these families. Being a military spouse we don’t like to think, or talk, about the very real possibility of losing our spouse in the line of duty, but we prepare for it. We know people who have gone through it and quite a few of us have attended funerals or sat with the surviving family helping them through the first few days/weeks. In this aspect we have an advantage over most civilian spouses. Wills, estates, every possible thing is planned out down to the last detail, my hubby even picked out his urn!

I hope everyone has a SAFE & HAPPY 4th of JULY.

Choppy J