Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Trudging through the Swamp of Despair....

You get 10 points if you understand the reference of this post title.

So a quick update on my life so far:  Husband's company closed and he lost his job. He couldn't find another one locally that would pay as much (no where even near as much) as he was making and the benefits were atrocious.

On December 6, 2016, my husband left for a job in Colorado leaving me behind to get things with the house sorted so we can sell it and to let the younger two finish the school year. If only it were that easy. On March 31, 2017 I collapsed from pain on my driveway and was unable to move. I couldn't walk, stand, or even roll to my side. At the E.R. I was informed I had herniated 2 discs in my lower back. What was I doing to cause such a heinous injury? Nothing. I was literally standing still. I returned to the E.R. 5 days later because the steroids they gave me didn't help and I became immobile again. I also learned I had scoliosis. That would have been nice to know years ago. My older son has a mental illness that has been misdiagnosed for years. Things have gotten seriously awful here so I am staying in Ohio until he's got a better diagnosis, his meds are sorted out, and he is stable enough to live on his own (this means a job for him and as of now, he can't work).

Needless to say, this all has avalanched into my being stuck in Ohio for an indeterminate amount of time. The separation has been a strain on my marriage and my life in general. Though part of me is happy because I won't have to leave my best friend I've ever had.

Now that everyone is all caught up, it's time for me to get real. I mean really real. There will be curse words and some no-holds-barred dialog, so consider yourself warned.

Yesterday it happened. I succumbed to my frustrations and despair. I let my steel will bend and I stopped being the pillar of strength everyone keeps calling me. I had just finished physical therapy and had returned home faced with the prospect of yard work. I set about trimming the bushes because I couldn't see my side entrance any longer and it needed to be dealt with. My upper body was sore from PT and using the hedge clippers (manual) was like holding extra heavy weights. It was so humid I felt like I was breathing underwater. This was not the moment when I failed myself though. I trudged ahead knowing that this was something that must be done and I was the only person that was going to do it.

I resigned myself to mowing the front and back lawns as well. The day was dry and we were expecting several days of rain. The poor lawn hadn't been mowed in about 10 days; it had to be done. I went to the garage to get the mower. Hubby had visited last week and done a few DYI projects that needed doing. However, between him and our son, everything had been put back into the garage in such a way I couldn't get to the mower. So here I am dragging a table saw, bikes, and other crap around just to get to the goddamn mower.

I trundled the mower to the front yard and this...this is the moment I broke. It was only for an instance but there it was. There wasn't any reason for it, I think I just became overwhelmed with what felt like the enormity of mowing both lawns, sore from PT, and on a day that felt like I was being nestled under Satan's balls.

I started crying. Anyone that knows me knows I am not a big crier. The waterworks do not open just because there's a cute dog or a sad movie. Yet, here I was, losing my composure, on my front lawn for no discernible reason whatsoever. Well not discernible to anyone that is not me. I sucked it up pretty quickly. Scolding myself in my head for being a pussy-ass crybaby...only 4 tears actually made it out of my eyes. I started the mower and away I went; until the mower stopped working. I fixed it and continued, after trying to hunt down proper tools for almost an hour.

This moment of self-perceived weakness got me thinking. What the hell is weighing on me. Sure kids, house, bills, etc are all easy to point to as being crushing weights of responsibility...and they are...but there is so much more going on. I never talk about it. I have lightly flitted over it in conversations with friends but I've never been really open and honest. Most of the time when someone wants to know how you are doing, they really want to hear "fine" so they can be happy they absolved themselves of their obligation of asking without actually having to offer anything more. I came to a few conclusions though whether or not these revelations really help me in anyway remains to be seen.

I am alone. This is an honest truth. Every night I go to bed alone. I wake up alone. I care for the kids, the house, the yard, the day-to-day bullshit...alone. I deal with the disasters, experience the happy moments, watch TV/movies.....alone. The sheer loneliness is soul crushing. Sure hubby and I talk on the phone but it's not the same as having him here to help. Plus he's terrible at the phone. I love him but he doesn't listen most of the time because he's distracted by stuff on his end. Seriously, the man cannot walk and chew gum so he certainly can't cook his dinner and listen. There's a 2 hour time difference between us too which doesn't help.

The one thing I have learned about being alone is that you can get over the need for physical contact with another human being (yes in the adult sense not hugs from kids...that's different). Honest truth, you get to the point where things like kissing, cuddling, and sex are just not necessary to life. This does, however, make you a little too independent in body language and can make you seem unapproachable. It's hard to appease your ego with the knowledge that someone in Colorado wants you when you are stuck staring at an empty bed day after day.

I have no privacy and there is no such thing as "Me Time." Since I am solely responsible for everything and everyone here, I never get a real break. Maybe I get to watch a movie at a friend's, if I am lucky or maybe they can come here but that's still only about 3 hours of freedom (unless they are here in which case I am still juggling the kids and house). There is always a kid needing your attention, or something that needs cleaning or fixing. My "Me Time" are the few hours at PT and when I can steal an hour or two at a friend's house. Though even then I am worried about getting home because I don't know what the kids are destroying and whether or not my older son is actually taking care of his little brother and sister for me.....or are they having a full Lord of the Flies experience in my house. He has trouble dealing with them because of his issues and being unmedicated at the moment. I used to walking or hiking when I needed to clear my head or think. Now I can't even manage that because I just don't have the time.

It all up to me. Whenever the realization hits that keeping everything here balanced and going is all up to me, anxiety takes a hold. I don't feel like I am up to the task but then I don't really have a choice do I? I mean, who else is going to do it? Imagine someone handed you two buckets of nitroglycerin, one for each hand, then put you on a tightrope then said, it's all up to you to get to the other side without blowing up. That's my emotional and mental state daily.  I have friends I can lean on but I hate leaning too heavily on anyone, not even my husband, and they have troubles and woes of their own plus I hate being a bother to anyone. I love them both dearly and I love their kids like they were my own. I'd do anything for them and I am grateful I do have them in my corner whenever I need them. They force me to be social and prevent me from isolating myself. I couldn't have gotten this far without them.

I hear things like "You're a strong woman. You can do this" or "Military wives do it all the time." First off and fuck you for the military comment. I am not saying it because I don't think military wives have it easy, I am saying it because I am not a military wife. I feel bad they have gaps from their spouses but they signed up for the marriage knowing that was possible and the military does off a support system for spouses of deployed personnel. I am fucking alone here, twat wad, and I didn't sign up for this when I married a civilian. I am also pretty sure they feel the same way I do so don't belittle their feelings like that....so fuck off again. I am tired of being strong. I am so fucking tired. You couldn't even begin to grasp the mental and emotional exhaustion I am suffering from. Some days it's hard getting out of bed. That is not an example of strength, trust me. This is humanity at its lowest.

I do all of my crying, when there is some, in the shower or at night when everyone is asleep because I have to be the rock that keeps my family from sinking. Of course one has to ask who is holding up the rock? As of right now, the rock's sheer will and stubbornness is the only thing holding her up. I need a weekend off. I need to go away, stay the night(s) there, and not be responsible for anything above deciding whether to have the mimosa or margarita. A weekend when no one demands anything of me. That would be heaven. I just need someone to arrange it all and whisk me away. I don't have the energy to plan.

As for now, I shall remain alone, plugging along, pushing self-indulgent self-pity down into the depths of my being, facing it all head on, and wishing it would get just a little bit easier....and crying in the shower.

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