Back To Normal

I finally have time to sit down and write, and I’ve wanted to ever since DH got home, but now that I’m here I don’t quite know where to start.  So much and yet so little has happened…

The homecoming was wonderful.  It was the longest day ever–mostly due to a big ol’ FRG FAIL.  But really, why should they start to be helpful right at the end anyway?  I took four or five days off and enjoyed doing nothing in the same house as him again.

I’m still slugging through doctor’s appointments.  More tests…More names thrown around…No closer to an answer.  It seems like all anyone can agree on is that this problem isn’t going  anywhere anytime soon.

We bought a new car.  It’s an oh-so-sexy Dodge Charger, and I’m totally in love.  It’s blue.  It’s fast.  We still have the unreliable POS.  I tried to get rid of it.  I kicked and screamed, but it’s still in the driveway.  Clearly DH doesn’t support euthenasia.

We’ve been spending a lot of time just being together.  We run a lot of pointless errands or go out to eat or go to the gym.  I feel like I’ve been so busy.  I can’t seem to keep up with dishes which  multiply so much faster with him around, and there are dirty socks EVERYWHERE.  I did get two batches of pear butter made with all those pears I picked, and now my kitchen is sticky in ways that just aren’t natural at all.  I can’t seem to catch my favorite tv programs at all, and I keep promising myself I’ll sit down and catch up on the computer, but that isn’t happening either.  Husbands are obviously time suckers, but I don’t know how.  He’s pretty attached to his XBox, and as far as I know, that machine doesn’t require my involvement.

The weather has finally broken and it is starting to feel like fall might actually happen this year.  I’m dying to get out and enjoy it.  I planted a bright yellow mum in a pot in my front yard this morning, and it felt so good to be outside and doing something for me again.  When did free time become ironing and vacuuming time?

It’s been about two weeks, and I’m just starting to feel it.  I love having him home to talk to.  He’s adorable.  We laugh so much.  I’m eating real meals around the table again.  We’re normal.  I’m borderline sick of this normal though.  I miss my books and cross stitch and sewing machine.  I love crawling in bed with him each night, but I miss a bedtime that’s dictated by when I’m tired and not by a set time on the clock.  I’m sensing some growing pains in the near future, and maybe I’ll save the rest of my thoughts for another post on those.  For now I’d rather hold on to the post-homecoming glow.

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What A Welcome

So I’m back.  The flights were uneventful:  slightly delayed combined with screaming children and me in a lot of pain–closer to the norm than I care to admit.  I stayed in a hotel overnight at the airport and drove the two hours back home early this morning.  I picked up the dog who has been so excited to be home.  The kennel always makes him so tired.  He’s such a sweet pea.  I ran to the pharmacy and was at work by lunch.  No rest for the weary.  I really expected to catch up on my rest over residency week.  Boy, I was dead wrong.

I was so focused on getting my chores done before I got to work that I didn’t notice until about mid day that at some point while my car was parked at the airport someone plowed into the passenger side.  I didn’t leave for the hotel until 12:30 in the morning.  It was too dark to see, and I was focused on getting to the nearest bed as fast as possible.  Got the last room in the closest hotel but missed the mangled plastic and metal that was my front fender.  Fantastic.  So now what do I do?  Do I spend probably quite a bit of money to fix an entirely cosmetic problem for a few months or do I drive an absolute eye sore until DH comes home?  The car is on its last leg.  I just didn’t think it would get beaten with un ugly stick on its deathbed too.

This car is going to drive me to the loony bin faster than any mental illness ever will.  What a crappy way to end a fantastic week.  I was so proud of myself for planning and implementing such a huge trip with absolutely zero freak outs.  I rented a car and drove said foreign vehicle around an unfamiliar city.  I even paid the stupid rental insurance because I didn’t trust myself.  Instead my parked car thousands of miles away is what I should be focused on.  Geeze.  Murphy, what is it about this car that you love so much?

When I get unpacked, showered, the fridge restocked, and maybe even rested I’ll catch up with life again.

Status Report: Overloaded

I didn’t make it to the first yoga class.  I didn’t sleep well on the first night.  I would have appreciated my first night in the bed alone to not also be the first night of a vicious cold snap–Thanks Mother Nature.  I finally got deep, restful sleep early in the morning and did not want to get up and about early enough to make it to yoga.  I’m not bummed though.  Missing this class doesn’t mean I’m never going to go.  It just means I need to try extra hard to make it to the next one.  I am so excited about being able to do yoga at the gym, but maybe I’m a little nervous too about joining a class with people I don’t know.  But how can I expect to be busy and have friends if I don’t go somewhere to meet them?  I have made it to the gym for a regular work out though, so I feel good about that.

I emailed the local museum about volunteering in their reference library and met with the local historical society about helping out in their archives.  I ultimately want to work in the museum/archives field, but I’m trying to be realistic about my current job prospects.  It’s hard to get those jobs, and volunteering is an excellent way to make connections and stay relevant to the field when you can’t find a job.  Smaller museum often get grant money for projects as well, and you might be able to be paid for temporary work.  Plus I thought it would get me out of the house a few hours a week and I could meet people who were also interested in the same stuff I’m into.  The museum sounds mostly art related, which I have little experience with, but I’m interested in learning.  Art is usually it’s own special area of museum stuff, so any experience I get would be great.  They also have internships that I would love to get to help with  my museum credentials, and if they know me as a volunteer I might have a better shot.  The historical society is more of a solitary project.  As with any historical society, they have little funding and are just happy to have someone to help.  I’ll have total freedom but probably won’t be meeting lots of people.  They were so excited to have someone with “experience” want to volunteer.  Ha!  Ego stoker…

I had my first therapy appointment too.  It was disappointing, but it was the first meeting so I’m trying to stay open-minded.  She doesn’t seem like she’s going to be a good fit for me.  I’ve had five different counselors over four years, so I’ve figured out what kind of style I like.  I’ve already done some serious foundational work that I don’t want to rehash.  No matter what I seem like now, I’ve come a looonng way.  I know the main areas I want to work on, and I’m not sure if this lady is going to be open to that.  She seems more interested in driving the appointment rather than letting me dictate where I want to explore or discovering things with me.  My biggest turn off was 1. she repeatedly interrupted me and wouldn’t let me finish and 2. she gave me a big packet of “homework” for me to write down all my background narrative.  I know it’s slow, but I want to be able to decide when and if I share some of this stuff with her as we develop a relationship.  I certainly don’t want to describe any sexual abuse in two short sentences or check a box if I’ve thought about suicide.  How impersonal, insensitive, and inconsiderate of the gravity that these statements mean to a person, and frankly, I think as a therapist she should know better.  I want to give her some time because the first meeting is always weird, but she really gave me a bad impression of her.

I’ve been running errands all over the place and am so proud of myself of driving.  I still don’t like to do it and wish that I could walk more, but at least I’m managing on my own.  I’m actually out and about more now than when DH was home.

My best friend Red called the other day and said she’s struggling with postpartum.  I was so sad for her.  I would never wish depression on anyone.  I was so frustrated that I couldn’t be near her to offer her more support, but I packed up a box and sent it to her to let her know I was thinking of her.  I packed comfy sweats, a chick flick, chocolate, and popcorn.  I hope she curls up and takes an afternoon to herself without feeling guilty.

I’ve also started my star banner.  I have all the pieces cut out.  I’m ready to set up my sewing machine and get them put together, but I’m waiting on fusing that my mom is sending me.  I needed like two inches to tack the star to the center while I sew it on and totally forgot.  Luckily my mom was already mailing me something, and the mail only takes a few days to get her from her house.

After recounting all that, I see how I’m feeling like I need to do it all before he’s even truly gone.  He’s only gone for a quick train-up and will be home in a few days.  I don’t need to start everything on my list on the first day I’m alone.  I’ll run out of things in the first month if I do that.  I was just so worried about preventing my weird slump and excited to do things that I’ve been looking forward to for months.  I can cut myself some slack about not doing yoga already and save it for when he’s officially gone.  I think I should be super proud of all the stuff I have done in just a few short days.  In no way do I currently feel homebound.  Actually, I’m feeling like I don’t have enough hours in the day to do everything I want, so I need to pace myself and not get burned out from being overly perky and optimistic before he’s even gone.  I think it’s a symptom of being checked out too early.  I’d mentally prepared myself for this part of things way in advance, and now I’m feeling the effects.  Time to scale it back some.

It Could Have Been A Bumpy Start

It could have got either way today.  I dropped DH off at 0-dark-30 this morning.  I had to run back and deliver things he forgot.  But then I took a nap until noon…  Yeah, I know.  I wasn’t even motivated to shower when I finally did get up.  It was not looking good.

But then I got a call from my potential new therapist’s office manager.  Yay!  I even drove into town and filled out the paperwork and made an appointment for Wednesday.  It was only a little scary to drive off post.  I’m so proud of myself.  I hate doing it, and I really don’t want to redo it again in two days but I feel good about accomplishing it this once.

I called on a yoga class at the gym for tomorrow too.  I’ve really wanted to take a yoga class for a long time now, so I can’t let the opportunity slip by.  I saved up some really cool things to do.  I can’t fall into my old slump of no eating and hiding away and miss it all.  And if I do, I don’t want to start on day one.  Geeze…  I hope I’m stronger than that.

Cross Taxi Driver Off My Job Search

I literally just walked in the door from driving my parents to the airport.  I need to breathe.

I couldn’t sleep last night knowing I had to do this today.  I was too freaked out.  Pretty nervous today, but I got my mind off of it by writing some for my thesis.  The trip takes maybe fifteen to twenty minutes, but the traffic around here is crazy nuts.  And this was supposed to be the less crowded time of day too.  I hit the toll road and flipped out.  I started crying, shivering and shaking, hyperventilating, and my hands and feet tingled and went numb.  I couldn’t maintain a constant speed let alone merge across five lanes of traffic in less than 100 yards in traffic that was barreling towards me at 60 mph.  I’ve never freaked out so badly while I was in control of a car before in my life.  I’ve also never had a panic attack that was quite that bad before.  And both my parents sat there staring at me in horror.  My mom might even have drooled a bit her mouth was hanging open so long.  I don’t think they’ve ever seen me have a panic attack before.  My dad’s only driven with me one other time when I was 14.  The trip home by myself was better.  Way less traffic, but I was so worked up that I couldn’t drive smoothly.  Some guy honked at me.  I ran in the door and had to pee my brains out.

So, I’m a little disappointed.  I hoped it’d go better.  I made it without crashing the car into a fiery ball of mangled metal, but does that constitute a success?  If I was alone, I don’t think I would have.  I’m looking at success as capable of completing the task with my own power and with as little to no anxiety freak out episodeness.  That would make this trip a big double fail.  I’m going to contemplate this disaster over fajitas tonight, but then I’m going to set it aside.  I’m not going to dwell on it.  This massive fail does not mean that I will always fail.  It just means I’ve got to go try again.  I’ve been pondering a trip to the post office sometime this week.  I immediately canceled it in my mind after this airport ickiness, but maybe I’ll rethink that.

Status: T minus 30

It’s true.  We’re down to the last dirty thirty before this separation is over.  I fear the rest of the year is going to be one long, panic-stricken whirl.  I declare today to be the official beginning and figured it merited a status report before it all goes to hell. 

I step foot back in the gym today.  Oh it wasn’t pretty.  I had some genuinely indignant muscles.  As much as I fear their wrath tomorrow, it needed to happen.  I feel all over better when I work out regularly, and I think it’s a universal compulsion of military wives to try and get in shape right before their husbands come home.

I got reassigned a new advisor for my thesis today.  Excited and nervous.  Hope he likes all the work I’ve put in already, or I’ll be back to square one.  I think tomorrow will my first official day writing too.  Starting with military telegraphy I think.  It’s been speaking to me.  It’s a small aspect of the paper, but it’s also a great example of the relationship between the military and postal service.  Hopefully it’ll be an easy couple pages, and the rest of the composition juices with rise to the surface.  The first few pages are always the most telling of the whole paper…

My mom asked me to drive her to the airport on Friday.  I’m starting to sweat just thinking about it.  If I end up on the side of the road crying before my mom makes it through airport security, is that a bad sign about future independent driving on my part?  Uhh…  I want to say no so badly.  Damn myself for knowing what’s good for me!

Super Rad has a date to come home!!  I hope I can meet him when he comes off the plane again.  DH is telling me not to hold my breath with how our schedule is looking.  His brand of sensitivity is NOT one of his traits that I’m missing.

Seriously, I’m freaking out about this driving thing!  I wish I hadn’t brought it up.

And the biggie…When DH and I finally get back together after long absences, it’s always a grab bag for how I’ll feel.  I usually don’t get excited until the very last minute, like maybe the day before or afternoon of.  It’s too hard to get all ramped up in advance.  Part of me doesn’t believe it’ll happen I think.  I’m usually extremely nervous and scared once we’re together.  I worry that we won’t be the same when we see each other, and he won’t like me anymore.  I worry that I’ve forgotten how to be with him.  I worry that I’m not going to get all those lovey feelings back toward him.  (Maybe I worry too much?)  I’m sure I’ll get all those feelings when the time gets here, but I’m also feeling a lot of different things this time.  I’m sad.  I know it sounds weird, but I don’t want to move to our new duty station.  I don’t like the area of the country.  DH probably won’t get to be there long before he deploys, leaving me to essentially move in and get to know a new place that I’ve never seen alone.  I have to decorate and furnish our first house, and it’ll all be strange to him when he gets home.  I’ve been crying a lot.  I’m having to prepare for deployment when I don’t even have my hubby.  Super Rad is coming home, relieving that intense fear that my family’s been living with, but I’m not really getting any break.  My hubs is going, and I’m left with that crippling fear about watching the news or getting a phone call when everyone else’s is ending.  There’s so much to do and keep track of and organize during this process.  It’s overwhelming.  My head’s a jumble of jobs, therapists, fences for the dog, car loans, op orders, refrigerators, dining room sets, visits to family, ordering checks, winter coats….  It’s so much that some days I can’t function.  Other days I’m in the middle of this eerie calm where I feel nothing.  It’s over a month away.  I’ll figure it out later.

Today is not one of those days.  And I have a migraine.  If I can survive this, I can do anything.

Operation New Baby…Delayed

Nope.  No baby yet.  We had a false alarm early yesterday morning but are still waiting.  Red’s been in mid-labor since then but isn’t getting past it.  We’ve been walking a lot and running errands to stay busy, but no baby sightings yet.  We did visit the county fair, and Red got me hooked on VFW bingo.  Oh man, I just know I’m going to win the big money playing bingo.

While I’ve been waiting for Operation New Baby to commence, I finished my last class.  Yay!  I’m so happy to have the daily homework side of my degree done.  I’m really on the last stretch of finishing my last few research articles and writing, writing, writing.  I maybe can catch a tiny glimpse of that light at the end of the tunnel now.

Red has been making me drive all over since I got here.  She heard I had my license finally, so she’s been making me practice tons.  Prairieville is light on the traffic side, so I’ve been doing good.  Driving in town with no freak outs or anything.  Go me.

Being around Red and Mr. Red the Giant is making me very, very homesick for DH.  He’s been so attentive and anxious about the baby, I feel a little lonely.  When she starts feeling bad, she wants him and not me.  I guess I’m a little jealous, but I feel more like the third wheel.  I don’t know where to go where I don’t feel like I’m intruding on them.  And it makes me miss those moments with my own hubby.  I’m ready for this long training separation to be over already.  I miss having him around regularly.  This is maybe the toughest part of being apart.  I am less busy, it’s been quite a few months now, and I’m around another lovey couple.  It’s torture.  I walk around feeling like I want to cry, but I want to be giving Red attention and help like a pregnant lady needs.  This time is not about me, but I’m starting to really hurt inside.  I don’t get cell service out here in Prairieville either, so there’s been no texting, no calls, no messages.  Nada.  I might be here for two and a half more weeks.  I’m having DH withdrawls!!

I think this might cure me of my occasional baby fever though.  When I first got here and saw how protective Mr. Red the Giant was to his wife’s belly, I wanted it so badly for myself.  I want to share that with DH.  The longer I’m here though, I don’t want kids.  I want to be with DH again, but our time is so fleeting.  He wouldn’t be able to be there for my belly the same way Red’s hubby is, so I’d be missing the part of the experience I want the most.  And honestly, I don’t want to share right now.  I might get as little as a few weeks with DH before he’s gone again.  Kids in that situation would not be good.  And personally (and I apologize to all moms everywhere), the baby process does not look pretty.  Not much encouragement to jump in on that fun wagon.  I don’t know.  DH and I have been doing a lot of discussing about the topic, especially with deployment schedules coming out.  I don’t know if I want it bad enough to compromise and try to squeeze it in around him being gone.  We concluded more thought was needed.

Hopefully I can report on Baby Red’s arrival in the  next few days.

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