I think the hardest part about being discarded with no explanation is the lack of closure you experience afterwards. There’s all the questions my insecurities usually raise, but then there is a genuine sadness and feeling of loneliness that always follows as well. It seems so silly to me that the experience that lead to the creation of this blog has impacted me as much as it has. I mean I only talked to him for about a week, but some of the things we talked about I knew he could understand me in ways even my husband cannot understand.
It is not the fault of anyone else, it is just a simple fact that if you haven’t been in the military or even in the same branch of service, most just do not get what goes on in the military at all. I actually had quite a bit in common with my new friend for being such different people. It was the first time since leaving the Navy that I was able to talk and laugh about some of my past without feeling guilty. It felt good to share some of the good experiences I had in the military and it made me remember some of the person I was before the rapes.
One day I was so happy I was giddy, bubbling over with excitement. I felt a connection with him like I haven’t felt in a long time. I think that maybe that’s what ultimately scared him off, being too open too fast. I think PTSD causes me to isolate so much and for such great lengths of time that I get overly excited when I make a new connection with someone and I end up overwhelming them and pushing them away when all I really want is the validation that another person likes or enjoys spending time with me. He is not the first person to go ghost on me, it actually happens more often than not.
After I left Virginia I mostly spent time with my cousins and family. They all said I acted and looked like I was in shock, and I most likely was. I had a boyfriend shortly after moving to Arkansas and his few friends we spent time with, but I mostly stayed in my safety net of cousins and their mutual friends. I was social but only because I was drinking. It was easy to drink and get away with it because I played it off like it was something I enjoyed doing. I was the “beer” girl-always ready to get down. It seemed like I was always enjoying myself but inside I was so lonely.
I felt like no one could or would be able to understand me if I talked about my past, so I didn’t. I just existed in my numb world until my husband came back into my life. He was the first person after the Navy to make me feel again, and I knew when we reconnected at the airport and I felt it. I love my husband, his support and guidance, compassion, and companionship, nothing will ever change that, but at this point in my life, I know I need to branch out past his safety net in an effort to keep me happy.
My husband is an introvert and quite happy living a life with few friends. I am what I like to call an extroverted introvert. I love to be out and about doing things, with the right people. I miss being able to have conversations about things I’m interested in that my husband is not, and having someone genuinely interested back. I guess I liked the feeling of having a friend again. It made me miss my old Navy family that I have grown so far from in the decade since I separated. I didn’t have lots of friends in the military but the ones I have I value and cherish with all of my heart, no matter the distance. We still talk, but life happens and to be honest it was easier talking about the military with my new friend than it ever has been with my old friends, simply because he wasn’t there. He wasn’t in when I was in but we had been to the same places, and had some of the same but also very different experiences. He was a non biased ear and I completely let my guard down.
I still feel exposed and vulnerable because of the things I told him, but I don’t regret attempting to open up. I may have gone about it all completely in the wrong way, but we do learn from all we experience. Even if I never hear from him again I would like him to know I appreciate and thank him. I thank him for the brief moment of self confidence I got, from believing that I was an undesirable person to one others may actually enjoy. I felt validated in some of my beliefs I had developed about myself and my command, and that not all the decisions I had made in my life were horrible. He gave me the desire to want to live life my way, to get out and do the things I have always wanted to do but stopped attempting because of my own fears. He really inspired me to want to be a better person for my husband, my kids, my family, and my friends. I really regret pushing him away with my emotions or past or whatever it was and I wish that I hadn’t.
Again I think it’s silly to have become so ecstatic at the aspect of meeting someone I thought I could be friends with, and still worrying about what I did wrong when I didn’t really even know him and only talked to him for a short amount of time. I suppose that is just another symptom of my mental health and shows me areas I need to continue to grow in. I still hope to make friends that understand me, and I’m sure at some point again in my life, I will. I’m working on it now, but slowly. I may miss him for a long time, and I may never speak to him again, but the lessons he taught me will stay with me for life. I’m going to keep moving forward, healing, meeting my goals, and going for my dreams because even if we ended on a toxic note, I think that’s what he would want me to do.