Haze Grey and Underway

The first night on the ship no one got any sleep; the berthing was lit and voices were echoing as everyone scrambled to unpack and claim their spaces for their belongings the next six plus months. Space on the ship is tight and competition for the best spots are ruthless. My command was placed in a berthing with ships company women which automatically caused the stench of rival and disdain to overcome the nerves and anxiety of a deployment. I was still in first lieutenant and assigned to work with the ships company first lieutenant to keep our space clean. This actually worked to my advantage in many ways.

I got to know the females I worked with and in return gained their respect. They left my space alone when I returned to my regular shop as an aviation electric technician and helped me when I was in need at port calls. They taught me the secrets of the ship and served as a support system while we were so far away from the ones we loved. Many of the females assigned to first lieutenant in the berthing from ships company were there because they were being separated for things like being a lesbian, reporting sexual assaults or harassments, and mental health diagnoses. I learned that unfairness of “Don’t Ask, Don’t tell” as I watched my shipmates get discharged for commiting the same acts as heterosexual couples. 

It discouraged me to know that my friends were losing their career and their benefits for being themselves. These women were pretty fenemenal in every way, yet the Navy saw them as nusances and troublemakers; shitbags. The injustices I whitnessed during my time in the military highly influenced my decision to not re-enlist. At this point in my life I had many friends of varying sexual orientations and had even pretended to be the girlfriend of a gay man that was not allowed to come out in our hometown. It infuriated me to be a part of an establishment that treated anyone different from the majority as if they didn’t exist. We were just bodies that couldn’t provide enough to meet expectations so we we were cast aside as nusances. 

It was hard to go from an honor student that had my hard work recognized and appreciated to working harder than I ever had in my life and still failing to satisfy my superiors for the most part. The discouragement led to depression that continued to spiral down throughout the deployment. I had very little contact with people although I received packages from my family and letters from my friends but I was very lonely and felt that the feeling it may never go away. There were good times and memories which will come later but overall the deployment caused me to have a major shift in how I viewed the military and its unethical treatment of those that worked as hard as others but we’re never acknowledged unless in a negative light.

The Noose

The beginning of this week started off decently well but was abruptly filled with chaos and upheaval beginning on Tuesday. An ongoing family altercation had me continuously stressed and after leaving from their home rather distraught, I was just ready for the weekend to get started. I quit my caregiving duties because I no longer felt comfortable or welcome with the family members that are home during that time on Wednesday​. 

By Friday my husband was calling to make therapy appointments for himself due to his boss requesting he do so. I overslept for my therapy appointment and I promised my grandma I would bring her the money I owed her for not working my last two days I had been paid for, get her items from the store, and let my kids visit with their grandparents. Things were fine until I got ready to get them to leave.

After getting my grandma settled and the kids mess picked up I was hoitily asked if I had told my grandma that I quit my job. I replied had had attempted to three times and was interrupted with a reply shot icily across the room, “That wasn’t an  answer to the question, did you or did you not?” I glared in silence for a moment before I rounded up my children to head home. They stood at the windows in the dining room in an intimidating fashion as we loaded up in the car. I knew at that point my decision was the correct one.

My emotions were high as I headed towards my home but I had agreed to meet with my father there the following day to discuss the family rift in person. I was almost to my mother’s home in Prairie Grove to check on it when my husband got a text from a mutal friend. She had been attempting to reach me but my phone battery died and it was urgent. She had received a cryptic message from another mutual friend and was worried. As she does not have a vehicle, she wanted us to check on him. 

We kept in touch and made our way to his home after a series of messages to others allowed us to find him. As we neared his street we got texts from him telling us to turn around and not to come. I knew from a previous visit to this residence about a month prior when his then wife took about half a bottle of her medicine​ that he knew I was a mandated reporter. My husband stayed in the car with our children and I made my way to the apartment. I approached and knocked lightly on the door. 

My friend opened it slightly but immediately shut it upon seeing my face. I knocked lightly again and began to write down the address to call 911. He must have read my mind because he immediately opened the door and let me inside. He pleaded for me not to call anyone and I told him I would talk with him before I did anything. He asked for a hug, so I hugged him as long as he wanted. When we separated he sat on his couch and I took a spot on the floor. We discussed how being alone can be so dangerous for a severely depressed person and how I had self medicated for so many years simply to numb the roaring thoughts in my own head.

I invited him to our home several times but he declined saying he didn’t want to be a burden and that we had the kids with us. I finally decided to ask him what was keeping him at home. He sighed and rose from the couch extending his arm to me and stated he wanted to show me something. I got up and followed him through his bedroom and into the bathroom. He fumbled to get the light switch on and stumbled into the counter. 

When I peeked around the corner of his closet I could see a Dremel battery charger sitting on the toilet and inside the shower was a noose made from climbing ropes. I’m sure the horror on my face that I could not contain hit him and he began crying. I immediately remember the pain and agony I had felt so many times before when I felt unloved and alone. He snatched the noose from the shower head, we grabbed some of his belongings, and we made our way to the car.

He grabbed a notebook he called the ugly green notebook and stated it had some things written in it but he never really offered for anyone to read  it. He placed it in our kitchen where it remained and poured himself a growler of dark beer he had brought from home. He eventually told my husband that he had tried to hang himself and there were light red marks around his neck as well as both of his eyes blackened. I told my husband about the noose in the shower. We alerted his other friends he was with us and safe for the moment and commenced to attempting to enjoy our evening.

We decided since everyone had such a shitty week that we would celebrate Saturday instead of being miserable. I was nervous as I waited on my dad to  arrive and texted with a friend who surprised me with a video chat and served as a minor destraction for a few moments as he always makes me laugh. After dad’s visit we bought taco, queso, and cake supplies and our birthday celebration began. We sipped on drinks as we took turns preparing our dishes in the kitchen and enjoyed our meal together. I finally got our cake baked, iced, and just after midnight we celebrated our friends forty-second birthday instead of finding him dead in his shower.

I was reminded how precious life is and that the quietest people often have the loudest minds. I had been checking on his estranged wife for weeks but had neglected to check on him, and I felt pretty shitty about it. I have been in his place before and still struggle to keep my brain from going there occasionally still to this day. I know what it feels like to be a burden to everyone around you, that the thoughts in your own head are so consuming it feels as if the pain will never go away. It’s a pain that isn’t even easy to explain, but I know he felt it because when I tried to describe it he knew exactly what I was talking about.

It’s the pain of heartbreak and despair, the feeling that you will never love the way you loved before again. In a way, it’s right. Pain changes you, it makes you isolate, gaurd yourself more, trust less. I know what it feels like to sit back and watch the person you love not be able to love you back; to leave and move on while you’re still screaming for them to come home. In fact sitting alone after a loved one left our dwelling was the first time I contemplated taking my own life. I felt so stupid for overlooking the obvious but I also had been distracted by my own family problems.

We closed our night down watching a comedy show on Netflix and tucked ourselves into our respectful beds. We agreed to take our friend home that morning and everyone got ready accordingly. We talked about Jurassic Park with our kids on our way and as we parked, I left my husband with the kids to walk our friend home; I had to take the noose down.

He seemed confused as I walked up the sidewalk to his apartment and I told him I had to take care of something; he forgot it was still in the bathroom. That black cord hadn’t left my vision since Friday night however and I could not leave him at home with a ready made noose. I made my way to the bathroom and grabbed the noose. I began to untie it and wrap it back up in the bundle it was still neatly wrapped in. Although I was able to untie it, I had to work momentarily in several spots to get it loose and it was knotted correctly; I hoped this was his first attempt but began to doubt it.

I reached for the Dremel charger and noticed a bottle in the shower when I grabbed the noose. I had to step into the shower to retrieve the alcohol bottle and I saw the Dremel with a screw head attachment sitting next to the bottle. I’m not sure why it was in the shower, and I honestly do not know if I want to know why it was in the shower. My arms got chills as I continued to clean up the bathroom, that feeling of desperation to just make the pain stop flooded me. 

I returned his tools to his closet and was contemplating taking the rope with me. I knew that he could simply go buy another the moment I left, so instead I asked him if it would be used again anytime soon. He assured me it would not be and stuffed it underneath his couch. We hugged again and he laid down on his sofa ensuring me a long nap was in order. I felt relieved as I left his apartment and glad to have celebrated life with him this weekend rather than death. 

I felt more confident in my abilities to be there and hold space for someone even when I am battling my own demons and still have feelings of shame for having neglacted checking on my friend. Most importantly​ I was again reminded why counseling found me even though I have never been paid to be one, and I will continue to work towards opening my non-profit so there is a place for those that feel alone to go. The image of the noose and Dremel are still fresh in my mind, and likely will be for some time. I was able to untie it as an instrument of death this time, but it further tied me to my commitment and refuled my passion to make mental health availability a top priority.

Thirty-five and Finally Alive

On Tuesday I turned Thirty-five years old on what I thought was a typical day, however it quickly turned to turmoil after an altercation with some of my family. Due to changes in budget, my family is currently down to one vehicle. My husband decided to take the car to work and let me stay home with our daughter because I had a headache and she was up all night on and off. I had agreed to go to lunch with my grandmother alone to Red Lobster on my birthday, and I planned on and had been dressed and ready to go since eleven.

My daughter was still asleep as was my visiting mother-in-law so I opted to ask my husband if he would bring me the car and I would get him lunch on the way back. He did not know of my plans with my grandmother and wanted to surprise me by taking off early and offering to run errands with me. I felt horrible bout lying to him but I knew my grandmother had been saving her money for hearing aids. I sent her a text in an effort to make a compromise and offered to pay for my husbands meal. Admittedly by then I was a couple of hours later than I intended to be and it was not the first time it has happened. She stated we would do it a different day and that she was tired.

I felt horrible about missing our lunch date but when I arrived I offered to get her something else after she stated she needed to lay down. Almost immediately my husband was accused by other family members of having previous knowledge and crashing our plans in effort for him to get a free meal; one that he does not even prefer as he hates Red Lobster. A second blow was delivered when it was suggested that our daughter dictates our life and we needed to get control of it.

My husband blew up and went to the car at this point and began honking until I joined him. I left my grandmother visably upset and feeling like my guts had been ripped from me. In an instant my day went from semi chaotic to horrible. The next was no better, as I returned the following morning I was met icely at the door by one member and shared a “Hello” with the other as I exited to do an errand. After returning I was told that my presence was questioned in a sarcastic manner and I then made the decision that I would no longer place myself in the presence of those that have no respect for me in secret.

Yesterday I was told through social media that I used my past and trauma to hold me back. I make excuses about how the world has wronged me, and I need to stop complaining and whining and do something with my life. Although my traumas happened over a decade ago, I have never really processed the information. I drank myself numb and denied for over a decade. The several years I have spent in and out of therapy have helped me tremendously, but I am still processing.

I get stronger every day, and I try very hard to manage my life to the best of my ability. I do make mistakes, I do have irrational thoughts and beliefs. Most of these relate to myself and sometimes I misconstrue the thoughts others have. In this case I feel I have yet again opened up about my past to people who do not care to hear it. Instead of being empathetic, I have been told that clinging to my past is my crutch and I use my mental health issues and others to survive in life.

I disagree with this, however I also know that I cannot change the feelings others have about me; those are in fact their perceptions and misguided conclusions that they allow themselves to be deluded by before making and expressing rational thoughts. In fact simple definitions are not common knowledge among them, so I honestly do not know why I expected them to be any different from what they have finally shown their true colors to actually be.

I find it extremely hurtful that I have extended myself to them both emotionally and one financially to continue her habits and then they use my past against me. It’s my crutch I cling to in order to not progress my life and I take advantage of my loved ones. The last one hurts the most but I suspected that had been the mutaul feelings of many people for quite some time. 

I find it ironic that the one that called me out for being lazy has not even yet applied to multiple jobs in our area since relocating and living rent free and smoking and drinking off of cash he makes from the same said family member I supposedly take advantage of for the last four months or the money that was sent in effort to support him across country when he went to school. I am hurt more so than I have ever been in my life by my immediate family and I’m not sure how it will be fixed.

I’m mad that after living a life separated from my family by divorce and missing one event or another during holidays I am again forced to pick and choose sides to have a relationship with my family. I do not feel as if I can trust them again if they honestly feel that way about my past. I already knew from previous discussion that my work ethic is not anything to be proud of and that me and my husband needed to be taught a lesson and take control of our lives. This would supposedly make us proud.

What they fail to realize that everyday I make it out of my bed, breathing, and working towards getting out of the house does make me proud. That every day I fight myself on my worthiness to live in this world and the burdens I place on others, especially my children. I struggle to concentrate through tasks that used to take me minutes while battling anxiety riddled emotions my brain randomly spurts at me throughout the day. I make it to most of the places I am supposed to and I try to be the best mom and wife I can be. This makes me proud.

In the time I have left the military I have earned my bachelor’s and Master’s degrees​, I have worked multiple jobs at once, and I continued to work when I was staying home with our children as a nanny and caregiver until this Tuesday. I got a DWI and stopped self medicating, I realized I had mental health issues and I asked for help, I continue to use these services when available, and I strive to make everyone in my life as happy as possible to a fault.

Recently I decided that my life is my life and mine alone to live. I will do what I and my husband feel are the absolute very best for our family and our children. We both remain committed to that and are going to attempt every effort to be as healthy physically and emotionally as possible from present. I will face things that are uncomfortable and I will continue to grow as a person in my own way and in my own time. While my birthday may not have been one I will remember as being a good day for obvious reasons, it will be memorable in that for the first time in my life, I am living it for me and I finally feel alive.

Loosing my First Crush in a Decade

On Valentine’s day I met a man by responding to a post in our local Facebook poly group. We began cooresponding and we met the following Friday when he arrived at my home. We visited with one another and it led to us becoming intimate while my husband was present. We chatted quite a bit the first couple of weeks and the second weekend we spent together was equally as satisfying as the first. 

Quickly communication began to deminish as the weeks progressed. We continued to see each other about once a week or so plutonically until this past week when he decided he did not want to be in a relationship with anyone. It hurt when I read the words but it felt good to finally get an actual form of communication from him. I shed a few tears at the stop light on my way to my therapy appointment and reflected on what I have learned in the few short weeks I have known him.

I remembered what it felt like to be excited to see a message​ from him and how giddy I felt in his presence. I felt comfortable with him, but I sensed he was gaurded about something. I looked forward to his presence and the things he said that would happen that never did but I always felt I was more interested than him the entire time and that he wasn’t always truthful. I initiated the conversation, the meetups, extended the invites, and made an effort to talk to him. He did say it was overwhelming at times to have attention from a woman and I tried to give him his space.

I hoped for something that was unrealistic to obtain from the beginning but I allowed the feelings to override my instincts because to be honest it felt really good to feel good after not feeling that way for so many years. I loved that he made me laugh endlessly when I was with him, but I also disliked the disconnect I felt growing between us. The last​ night I went out with him alone I struggled to spend time with him and the night ended on a very bad note when he irresponsibly drove drunk in what I perceived as his efforts to get away from me rather than staying at the venue he had admittedly slept at before. 

He didn’t talk to me or respond to my messages for a few days and told me his phone had been shut off but in the next breath told me that he talks to his ex every morning. I was advised by more than one person to not get attached, but that is easier said than done when it comes to humans and emotions. I felt a connection with him that I had not felt with another man since Andy came back into my life, and of course not of the same calliber, I barely knew and still barely know him. I once again let my guard down and opened up too soon.

The last time he came out with me and my husband unexpectedly and returned home with us but refused to do anything besides snuggle, I knew it was the end. He left the next day and we did not speak for about a day. I messaged him to let him know I had started my period, as I thought it may be a relief for him, and possibly the reason he had been avoiding my advances. I got no response, and after a medical incident I alerted him to on Monday went unanswered I really started to get the hint. 

Yesterday I went to the VA to get my IUD inserted and as a person in an undefined relationship, I decided to tell him. I also told him how I really felt about our situation and current lack of communication. I finally got a response today and although it was not the one I wanted to hear, it is the one that I knew was coming. My husband was hurt by his actions and had been encouraging me to let go of the relationship for weeks at this point, but I held on for some reason. 

I responded as honestly and heartfelt as possible to his statement and I got my true feelings out. While I would like to remain friends with this man, my husband feels he doesn’t deserve my time or energy and has stated he is not welcome at our home. It saddens me that what I had hoped would be a great start to a friendship ended so abruptly, but I also know that part of this process involves my husband and his feelings about those involved in our lives as well.

While I disagree with my husband’s thoughts about my judgements and how I treat others he deems as being unworthy of my affection or kindness, I also know that to continue to grow with my husband I have to be willing to compromise with his feelings and actions as well. While I wish my crush had been more open and honest with me about his feelings, I did learn that my unhealthy patterns of beliefs about myself did return when I was unsure of where I stood with him. It made me anxious and almost nauseated at times to remember how scary it is to be in an undefined relationship.

I realized in my own time that I needed clarification on where he stood and I asked for it when I felt I couldn’t continue to move forward with him without communicating further. I learned that I am capable of  having  positive experiences with people away from my comfort zone, which I have been unable to do in over a decade. I remembered how much I enjoy going out to hear my friends play live music. For a short time, just feeling wanted or desired again was nice to experience as well, even though I know I am by my husband still after ten years. 

Many emotions I had been numb to for so many years were able to be felt in a little over a month, this let’s me know that it is possible I can feel a lot more, and I can feel them about myself for the first time in my life. I may have gotten bruised, but I learned and I grew. The bruise will heal too, in time, and I hope that one day he does find what makes him happy, I wish him well, and hope he gets his life in order in a manner he sees fit. I’ll continue to be in the picture however it plays out and although the outcome was not what I wanted, I was reminded that there were two other people involved that wanted different outcomes in the end. 

The Making of a Clown

Working in first lieutenant was easy but taunting and tedious work at best. Our work space was a broom closet off the second floor of our command. It was breezy as the bottom hall was frequented by maintenance personnel coming and going to the flight line. It was shoddily staffed with five gallon Turco buckets we used as seats and a small space heater for warmth amongst the commands cleaning supplies.

Every morning we mustered with our supervisor and awaited our cleaning orders from the command master chief. We routinely cleaned the heads, stripped and waxed the decks, painted anything that could be painted, stocked the geedunk, and anything else CMC could come up with. After our assignments we set out to accomplish our tasks throughout the rest of the day. We usually took a small break between each one to ensure we kept a busy appearance until we secured for the day.

About mid morning I made my way back to report to my supervisor and let him know my plan. He was not in the closet so I started rifiling through the scribbled notes to see if he left one for us as to his whereabouts as he usually did. I picked up a piece of paper and in CMCs handwriting were the words “Just keep those fucking clowns busy.” My hands started shaking and my body began to quickly fill with rage. We worked our butts off doing tedious little things for the command and him everyday. I knew then what I meant to my command and it actually caused me to have a major shift in attitude.

My supervisor happened to arrive as I was about to clear the closet door and knock on the CMCs. He said, “Korky, where are you going?” nervously as he could see the look in my eye. I thrust the paper toward him and as he read it he started shaking his head and smirking a bit. He sucessfully talked me out of barging in suggesting that my actions would only let him win. I attempted to calm myself and left the closet to go out to the smoke pit. 

It knew it was silly to be so offended by the word clown. I had been and would later be called much worse in my life, but that scene and the emotions it aroused that day stayed with me and I immediately lost all respect for CMC. It was hard to look him in the eye after that incident and when he shook my hand or thanked me for doing something I always believed it was insinsier or forced. I knew this man would never consider me a person.

Later as we were securing from a detachment and supplies were limited he stated, “I don’t care what you use, get those fucking pads and tampons out of that bin.” Disgusted I went to the head to wrapped my hands in plastic trash bags as we had no more gloves. Someone had failed to place a liner in the sanitary napkin disposal and me being the female left to secure, I did as he commanded. I had never felt so degraded in all my life.

I asked if I could secure to go cleanse myself in my barracks room and my supervisor obliged. I stood in the scalding arsenic ladden dessert the base in Fallon had and scrubbed myself from head to toe. Thankfully my roommate left that day during the fly off and I had the room alone for the evening. I headed off base with my friend to eat some Chinese food and we somehow found ourselves in a tattoo shop with men from another command.

After their tattoos were finished we headed back to base and waited on the supervisors to go to bed. Once they did I loaded all the beer bottles I had locked in my closet into my room mates comforter and we hauled it loudly down the stairs. We filled one trash can and moved down several rooms to the next to get rid of all of the bottles. I am not certain how many Sierra Nevadas I had on that detachment, but my drinking had increased tremendously between the first and second detachments. I was not yet twenty one and kept them locked away because CMC could not unlock it during inspection unless I was present.

We laughed off the enormous comforter stuffed with bottles along with the shipmates that passed during our excursion but I failed to see the red flags and attempted to deny my failing mental health. My superiors and peers were begining to break me down but I did what I could to keep my head afloat. My self esteem was declining rapidly as well as my sense of worth. I had no idea this was only the beginning of the negative experiences I would face in my life. What happens in Fallon, stays in Fallon may have been the catch phrase for those detchaments, but for me what happened in Fallon never left my body when I was raped, the degrading acts from my superiors only made my sense of self and symptoms worse in the long run.

I Wish my Husband Believed That he Was my Lifesaver

My husband often gets his feelings hurt because I am constantly doing things for others and pushing things I want to do for him off to the wayside. I know it’s wrong and I don’t mean to even do it conciously, but it happens. The day I left for the Navy, June 20, 2001 I knew I was leaving behind a person that cared for me more so than any non related person had ever cared for me. After I arrived at boot camp he religiously wrote me weekly. He was the only one that answered my phone calls and continued to do so after I arrived in Pensacola. 

We spent hours talking while my friends would go out to clubs to meet girls and I laid next to the hotel phone crookedly in the lumpy bed just to hear his voice and long to be in the confines of his little two bedroom apartment back in Arkansas talking the nights away as we always had. I missed his companionship so much that I incurred a five hundred dollar phone bill on my parents calling card in fact, and an infuriated mother.

We made our relationship official, while I was on leave from A-school around Christmas or so of 2001. The week we spent together was so intense, I had never felt love like he had to give. Even after our tumultuous three weeks in Virginia, his immediate move to Massachusetts, the arrival and departure of our child, he never stopped loving me. He was suicidal when I broke up with him the first time, when I was preparing to leave for deployment, but I honestly thought I was doing the best for us both at the time.

He wrote me when I could not receive or make phone calls, when I was restricted from writing letters or emails, still claiming his love for me, a half a world around. When I returned from cruise we had a falling out after a botched visit I attempted to make in Massachusetts. I hurt him deeply, and at that point he decided he was ready to move on with his love life. He let me know in early  2004 that he had met another woman and was smitten by her. I knew at the time I could do little about it, and I was just glad he wasn’t suicidal anymore and seeming to move along with his life. We didn’t speak again for a little over a year. Apparently one night after I had gotten out of the Navy and was at the lowest point in my life, I called him frantic and desperate for a place to go. He told me he had roommates and still was with his girlfriend.

I was so inebriated that evening I did not remember making the phone call. It was the last time we spoke for close to a year or more. After I left Virginia and settled back into Arkansas, my cousin asked me if I had a Myspace account. I replied that my friend had made me one before leaving Virginia but I had never used it. She accessed my old account and I found a message from Andy. He was requesting that I let him know that I was alright after my erratic late night call the previous year. We began communicating again through social media and Thanksgiving of 2006 he called me crying and stating that his girlfriend had broken up with him; he was devestated.

We began speaking more regularly and by March, 2007 I was on a plane to Massachusetts to visit. The moment I saw him in the airport I felt the same as I had the first time I saw him. We hugged and it felt as though no time had passed since we had last seen one another in 2003. I spent the week with him and we had fun visiting the Boston area. I had a blast getting reacquainted with my lost love and when it came time for my plane to depart I felt as if my heart were going to emplode. I felt so lost and alone without his companionship​. We continued talking and I was able to return for a two week visit in the summer.

This trip solidified my decision to move to Massachusetts. I knew to get Andy back I would have to prove my love to him this time around. We began to make preparations for my arrival; slated for June, 2008. It seemed like the longest year of my life, but we remained in constant contact and committed to one another. The day finally came for me to leave Arkansas and start over with Andy. It felt strange leaving, but I was excited for my new adventure. Shortly after my arrival, I found out I was pregnant with our son. 

The moment Andy found out he was committed to being the best father he could be. I instantly felt secure in my new life and relationship and I had been given the greatest gift of all, a life to love. I vowed from the moment I found out I was going to be a mother that I would not do anything to separate myself from my son. Of course I later made stupid choices, but the gift of my son and later my daughter were the missing pieces I needed to remember that I had a purpose in being born on this Earth.

The security and love Andy has shown me the last seventeen years I’ve known him and the gifts of unconditional love I get from all three of them fill every part of me that would ever consider taking my life. It doesn’t get rid of my feelings of worthlessness or that I’m a burden, but because of them I would never purposefully do anything to remove myself from them as they are my life. My sole goal is to make my family the happiest and healthiest we can be physically and mentally with what we have. I know our lives are not perfect, nor do we pretend that they are, but we strive to make it as perfect for us and our kids as possible. 

For the many negative times and petty fights we have and the numerous mistakes, accidents, and bumps in the road, we still continue to move forward, as a family. I’ll never be able to thank my husband enough for throwing me that lifesaver when I needed it most. I hope he knows how much I love, value, care, and cherish every gift he has ever given me, but I’ll never be able to thank him enough for giving me back my life. If it weren’t for his constant support and encouragement to better myself, I would have been gone a long time ago and the fact that I’m still here is priceless.

When My Brain Tells Me Lies

As of late I’ve done a lot of self reflection about the person I am. I evidently am a very hard person to live with as I’ve now heard it from both my brother and my husband. I’m constantly judging myself for my actions or lack thereof, but so are the others that are watching. Recently my husband told me before he read my therapy binder he thought I was an asshole and I didn’t care about him. To hear him say this five years after he read my binder allows me to know he must still feel like this often. He told me that he was very much considering ending our relationship.

I never felt that way back then, and to this day, I’ve never considered leaving my husband. Those words stung because to know five years ago that the father of your child was debating leaving when the thought had never crossed my mind left me spinning. If he felt that way then, what keeps him here now? I hope it’s love, it must be because I am not any better at accomplishing the tasks he wishes for me to complete. Dishes, laundry, cooking, cleaning that I never get around to and my piles drive him insane, but I do not think he realizes it drives me insane too. I used to work 40 hours a week, cook, and keep a spotless home before we had kids. Sometimes I think he forgets what kids take to live every day. I know I disappoint him and my children. I know our household is not traditional, my husband says there is no stability in my actions or routine.

I apply for jobs and do not get call backs, I attempt to do a job and I don’t do it good enough. I get told by family, “I don’t care if you work or not” but in the next breath “you don’t get something for nothing.” That I need to be taught how to stand on my own as an adult and stop relying on others to bail me out. I just wonder sometimes if they forget the numerous times they were helped throughout their life.

I do not ask for what I am given, and I appreciate it. Sometimes I wish others could see that I really do try. I don’t mean to forget to pull meat out of the freezer, or to not move the laundry over on purpose. I don’t mean to get frazzled and find myself doing three different chores at once. I try to concentrate so hard to remember to get it all done, but it never fails, and there is always someone disappointed about something.

If I could just stay awake and work for a day straight with no interruptions my house may get clean, I may have meals prepared, laundry folded, house cleaned and dusted. Then there is of course the other responsibilities that I lack in doing my best at. Feeling worthless sucks, feeling like a failure at everything you attempt sucks, being told to act like an adult when you’ve been one almost as long as you were a child sucks. But being told by your husband that you are difficult to live with five years prior to him almost walking out the door when the thought had never crossed your mind is worse than a slap in the face. 

After I got my DWI I tried my best to fix myself for him and for our children. I still to this day try to fix myself to be a better person for them. I hope in the future my abilities to please my family will return, I hope one day my kids will understand even though I disappointed them and told them no to things I was never told “no” to, that I am trying my best. Everyday that I wake up, I try to be the best version of myself I can be. Sometimes my brain tells me inaccurate information, sometimes I get irrational beliefs or thoughts and get misguided, I may dissociate and remain distracted for hours at a time before snapping out of it. On any given day I may get tons of work or no work done, but I promise that I am doing the best I can to try to please and to be the best version of myself that I can be. I think that is all I can do.