Saturday, December 20, 2014

Redefining TTWD?

When Seth and I first started dating I was in a bad place. I wasn't eating or sleeping. I had some really bad habits that were tearing my body apart. I have never drank nor smoked but things like skipping meals or not taking medication were my weaknesses. I was in a world of emotional pain for several reasons. I was unsteady and unsure of myself. I had zero self confidence and I was headed straight into a downward spiral that I wouldn't have been able to come out of.

Seth was very different from any of the other guys that I dated. We come from very different backgrounds and had different friend groups. I didn't even know he existed until we were introduced. We went to the same high school and probably crossed paths dozens of times but I had no clue who he was. We spent time talking to each other and got to know each other over the course of a few weeks. We had no intention to start dating but somehow, some way, I absolutely fell in love with him. Within two weeks I knew he was who I was going to spend my life with. He made me feel safe and secure. He pulled me out of my shell and boosted my self confidence. With him I felt stronger than I had ever felt in my life.

Many months later, after discussions and several events we began TTWD. At the time we didn't know to call it dd, there were no vocabulary words to describe it. It was just a way to help me break some of those bad habits and to start over. I had so much holding me back and ttwd did help me break down several walls. It made us grow closer. It made each of us more blunt with certain matters. We were able to really talk to each other and help each other. When we started out, we really didn't have "rules". My "rules" were common sense. Things like eat proper meals, take medication, don't text and drive and things of that nature. I can say that our rules are safety or wellbeing oriented. Of course respect and not throwing things at his head (Id never do that) are also givens. We didn't have any guidelines, things were just tailored to our problems and goals.

4 (almost 5) years later ttwd is pretty much the same. While I do not struggle with those issues as severely, I do struggle still. When I am stressed beyond my breaking point I forget meals. I slip up from time to time but I am human. I am far from perfect. While I have never bratted or done anything drastic like drank and drive, I find myself a little down over the fact that I do still slip up.

I was looking back over our years together and I do notice a huge difference in each of us. We grew up ALOT. We both have matured and our attitudes have mellowed. During year one I got alot of the icky punishment types of spankings. We have always (kind of) done some sort of maintenance but year one and two were rough. I was not nearly as mellow, plus I had stressors that I no longer have now. My big slip ups this year happened while Seth was away. The stress and pain that I went trough while he was gone caused me to slip and skip meals and not sleep. Once he got back we did deal with those things (I survived!) but after that was said and done, we have just done maintenance and everything is calm. I have dropped from three a week (evil man) to one a week again. Those are mainly just to keep us on track and my stress at bay. My heart is in a good place with "us".

Because I talk to myself (inwardly) I had major revelations that I was going to type out so that they would make more sense but my attention span is that of a squirrel today. I think what I have landed on is the fact that I shouldn't feel bad about myself. Im not childish. Im not immature. I have matured quite a bit. While I still do have those weak spots, I realized that I handle them so much easier now. TTWD is pretty much the same although I thought in half a decade it would have changed. It is here for the same reasons but my poor husband isn't being ran ragged.

I feel confident in saying time and experience helped us grow closer together and also mature and grow as our own persons. I can also say that I think TTWD had a part in these things also. Who knows where we would be if we hadn't incorporated ttwd into our relationship. I am happy with where we are now and thankful that I wound up with a man who is strong enough to keep me stable but sweet enough not to strangle me while attempting to do so.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Adventures await!

I meant to write a post earlier but I kept forgetting or getting sidetracked. We moved, successfully. We were supposed to move the 4th but on the 1st I got a text from my loving husband saying we were going to be moving that night. I was very okay with the idea. We had all of our stuff taken the 28th of November so all I had to manage was what was in the car. We stayed one night with my mom, one  night in a hotel in a nearby town, one night in a hotel where we are now and then finally we were able to move into the house we are living in now.

I am a pretty flexible person. I adapt to change pretty well for the most part and I feel as though, those who know me would agree. A week before we left, we had a totally different apartment, we didn't know we weren't going to get to live there until two hours before we were supposed to be handed the keys to it. I did get stressed because I didn't know what was going on but I'm proud to say we survived.

When we left we had the car loaded full and didn't have room for a crate for the cat. So, she made the trip upon what ever she decided was suitable. She slept near my feet for a while and occasionally ventured back to find cubbies she could fit in. I have to laugh when I look at this photo because when we first started out she wasn't sure if she was okay with Seth's driving. However, she got used to the curves and bumps and slept most of the time.

While this move and transition has been overwhelming, I am happy to say that all three of us made it and are thriving.

Friday, November 21, 2014

152 Days

I decided I would write a blog post because no one happens to be awake at midnight. However, I am up, bright eyed and bushy tailed.

It has been 152 days since Seth left. These past few months have been challenging. I have missed him so badly that I can feel the ache in my bones. I have been pushed past every single one of my limits emotionally and mentally. This is one of the hardest things I have ever endured yet, I would do it again. I don't regret our decision. I am proud of my husband and I am fully supportive of him.

I am a shakey, emotional mess right now. I am trying to pull it together and breathe. I think it may be a bad sign when the cat is looking at you like you are nuts. Why am I freaking out? Seth is coming home!! His plane lands at 1am. I am ready to pick him up but the time seems to be moving so slowly. It has been 11:30pm for the past four hours I swear. So, I am taking time to write a quick post just to say, I am so incredibly happy that this is over with. I am so happy to have my husband home and in my arms. My heart is beating out of my chest and I am shaking like a leaf. If it is possible to die from excitement I think I just might!

152 days... we made it!!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Defining Weakness (very long)

I have written this post at least two dozen times. Each time, I wind up getting frustrated and confused and deleting everything. I have this inner battle going on of what I am okay with sharing and what I am not okay with sharing. I have only recently been able to say a few things out loud when I am by myself, so how on earth do I find the strength to say them when there are other ears/eyes in the room?

This post is for me. This is my attempt to be more honest and bold with myself. It is long and drawn out and probably doesn't make very much sense. I keep deleting what I write because I like my denial. Denial is comfy and keeps me from having to face things that have haunted me for years. In fact, where the five stages of grief are concerned (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance) I  have managed to become complacent somewhere between denial and anger. I wobble back and forth between the two and it consumes me.

I have PTSD. My PTSD came back with a vengeance in August of this year. It never went away, it has been very much present in my life since I was 12 years old. PTSD symptoms flare in times of stress. Symptoms also can be triggered and the triggers are not the same for everyone. Mine range from smells to the timbre of someones voice. When Seth is home, I have a security blanket. I still have night terrors and flashbacks but I can come out of them quicker when he is here. My security blanket was ripped away from me and I had to face those night terrors alone. I couldn't talk to Seth about it so in every sense of the word I felt alone. The stress of him being gone and some additional stress made my triggers more easily tripped. The human brain is pretty amazing. If you go through something extremely traumatic, your brain can completely shut out certain events. That is what my brain did. I vividly remember the initial cause of my PTSD like it was yesterday. Yet, it is what happened a few weeks later that my brain decided to shut out. I had a flashback in August that caused the wall hiding that event to be broken down. For the past few months I have been getting bits and pieces of what happened. I cannot sleep. I haven't slept in weeks. I am dearly lucky if I get two hours of peaceful sleep a night. Everytime I close my eyes I have night mares and everything that I tried so hard to shut out comes flooding back, and I wake up so scared I can't scream and Seth isn't there to tell me its just a dream.

(this may be a bit graphic)

When I was 12, I was witness to a violent crime. I was on the phone talking to a friend the night her drunken father beat her four year old sister to death. The friend barely survived with having every single one of her ribs broken and her jaw shattered, among other injuries. We were talking casually on the phone when her father came into the house and for whatever reason, she begged me not to hang up so that someone would have proof. I called a number she had given me in case of emergency and that person (a neighbor) called 911. Her father found out that I had been on the phone (he knew I knew about her home life for a few weeks and had previously threatened me if I told anyone). As a result of him finding out I was on the phone that night, I was attacked a few months later. The situation was a lot more complicated but I am choosing to not put all those details on here because I don't think I need them to be.

I kept all of the above things a secret from everyone because I was so scared. I did not tell my parents what happened that night. I didn't tell any of my friends either. I lived with that heavy of a secret for months before being attacked. I kept the attack a secret also because I had to keep the previous thing a secret. I was also afraid of what my own father would do. He wasn't the nicest man. I bandaged my wounds and pretended like nothing ever happened.

Fast forward to a few years later... I went to see a counselor because I had horrid anxiety. My mom didn't know why I had anxiety issues or why I was behaving in the manner I was so she drug me in to see a counselor. It was only then that I was able to talk about what happened. I told the counselor about what happened to my friend and how I felt about it.  It wasn't until a few years after that, that I told someone I was actually on the phone when it happened. I heard everything. Fast forward again to this year. I had so effectively shut out being attacked that I kind of forgot about it. It wasn't until the wall was broken down that I fully remembered what happened. Seth has asked me for years where I got certain scars and I couldn't give him an answer because I didn't know. Now I know. The memories have come flooding back vividly. The flashbacks and the PTSD are crippling me because I am having to relive these things everytime I try to sleep. Seth is not home and I am left to try and manage things by myself. I can't tell him every detail over the phone because I need him here to hold me when I do. He needs to be here to hold me just as much as I need him to be.

I struggled for years feeling like I was weak. My anxiety turned my mind against me. I felt stupid, emotional and guilty. My family turned against me. My father and brother made sure to pick at my insecurities and let me know I was weak and stupid each and every day. I had no self confidence and spent each day trying to make it through the 24 hours. I met Seth when I was 16 and we started dating. It wasn't until then that I saw the dimmest of lights up ahead. He has helped me with so many things and I have overcome so much in the going on five years that we have been together. He knew about the initial cause of the PTSD but didn't know about the attack. He helped me see that I had no reason to feel guilty and encouraged me to push past the things that happened so many years ago.

I still struggle with these things although they did happen 8 years ago. I still have a wave of emotions that hits me when I wake up from a night terror. I may always have a few issues because the situation was pretty traumatic. What I am starting to realize though, and focus on, is the fact that I survived. I had so many words to describe myself for so long. None of those words were positive. I have an internal struggle between two sides going on right now and I am trying so hard to pull towards the positive side. As a 12/13 year old girl, I kept that big of a secret, I was attacked, bandaged my wounds and went about life effectively enough that noone knew anything had happened. While I thought I was so weak, I realize that I had to be pretty darn strong to do that. I have also realized recently that the man who attacked me was not successful in his intentions with the attack. I survived. I ended up doing pretty well for myself. I wound up with an amazing man who I met when I was only 16. We are married and looking at a bright future full of possibilities. When I feel weak because I am 20 years old and still have nightmares I can remind myself that I am in fact not weak. Many who were put in the same situation as mine crumbled. I am shakey and uncertain and sleep deprived but I know it will be okay. Seth is almost home and I can begin to heal.

If you read down this far I am impressed. I tried to make this shorter but theres so much more I could easily say. I have fought with myself for weeks to try and decide if I should write this or not. It is recommended that one share their trials as a way of healing. I think Im finally in the process of healing now. I am no longer in denial. I can say what happened. I am no longer as angry because I realize that I survived and I am thriving. I can skip the two other stages and go on to acceptance and healing. I hope this truly does help the healing process. Time will tell.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Conversations with the cat

Seth got me a kitten before he left for basic. I was surprised he let me have her and I am so very glad that he did. She is an orange fluffy ball of spite. She has tons of energy and I never know what in the world she is going to get herself into. She can be very sweet and cuddly. She likes to cross her front paws and lay them in my hand and then lay her head on top of them. (That is what is going on in the picture.) She is a blessing and every day that goes by, I am reminded just how much of a blessing she is.

I am a nanny but when the kids aren't here, my house gets very quiet and lonely. The kitten is a companion animal so she is meant to keep me from feeling alone. While she is attached to me, if she finds anything of Seth's she is obsessed with it. There is one hoodie of his that I haven't washed because it smells like him. If she finds it you cannot touch it or you will get bit. She was teeny tiny when he left and  has grown like a weed. She is so fluffy and has the most adorable little face.

Anyway, I catch myself having conversations with the cat. I think that is a step up from talking to yourself... right? I don't expect her to answer back but sometimes she does in her own little ways. My mom makes fun of me but then she sees why I talk to the cat. I can ask if she wants food and she will run to her food bowl and tap it with her paw. If I am upset and crying, she will sit on my lap with her front paws on my collar bones and nudge away my tears. I can ask where she hid my socks (she is notorious for stealing socks) and she will get a wide eyed look on her face and take off sprinting to protect her sock stash.

I am far from the crazy cat lady but I can easily say that without her I would not have made it through these past few months. She is great comedic relief and the best gift that Seth has ever gotten me. Seth swears I have her spoiled but I have absolutely no clue what he is talking about!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

People I want to push in front of a bus

37 days. As of today (October 15) we have 37 days until Seth graduates. He has been gone a total of 114 days. One thing that people keep telling me is that the time will fly by. I want to punch people who say that. Time hasn't flown by and it still isn't flying by. Time moves much slower. Each day lasts about a week. Each second at least an hour. We knew what we were getting into when he enlisted. I fully expected this to hurt. I expected time to move slowly and I expected to miss him. I do not regret his/our decision and I support him. However, on nights when I am freezing to death and my human heater is not beside me, I am thrown back to day one again. Then those 37 days feel like 37 weeks. I can easily say we are very blessed. Seth got an amazing MOS (job) and will have a 9 to 5 job unless he is training or doing something out of the ordinary. He has a safe job and I don't really have to worry about him getting deployed. We will have a steady income and all the perks that the military provides. We knew beforehand that this blessing did have its downsides. We are prepared and our relationship is stronger each day.

With all that being said, since he enlisted and shipped out, I have gotten some comments from people. Some are harmless but hurtful. Others are just stupid. If you know a spouse of a serviceman (or woman) please don't let these things come out of your mouth.

"Cat's away mouse can play"
"Oh aren't you afraid he will cheat"
"What will you do if he gets killed at basic, that happens you know."
"You must be poor for him to want to enlist"
"That was a stupid decision to make"
"You two jumped into this too soon, you should have asked me first"
"The military is going to brain wash your husband"
"What are you going to do if he gets ptsd or something and strangles you"
"Don't worry, these 6 months will fly by."

There are really funny lists on the interwebs. I laugh when I read them because I have heard it all. Yes, we knew fully what we were doing when he signed up. Yes we have done our research and talked and prayed for a long time. No, we didn't jump into this. Yes, I am proud of my husband and will defend and support him. No, Im not a violent person but I may be needing a character witness one of these days! (Kidding, possibly)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Block and Tackle

I have a friend who keeps telling me to "block and tackle" things. So, if you are reading this, you know who you are! I am listening to your advice!

We got our duty station assignment a week or so ago (maybe two weeks). The place we are going is super close to where we currently live. The move will be easy but I honestly wanted to move back to the South. However, I have come to realize that we are very blessed to have gotten the base that we got. It is enormous so we will have everything that we need. I should never get bored and it is close to my mother. I began to look for housing opportunities and I must say that I am in over my head. I think we found out best option but I have no prior experience at finding houses and such. Being an adult sucks at times! I want to stress out but I am forcing myself to step back and allow people to help (or just do it for me. Im cool with that).

 We will need to be moved by November 20th give or take a few days. I have plenty of time to pack all of this by myself but I am trying so hard not to stress out. I have a weight limit so I can't lift anything heavy. Yet, heavy stuff is in the way of stuff I need to pack. In the spirit of blocking and tackling I am doing one box at a time. One room at a time. I don't think that is the proper use of block and tackle but that is how said friend used it. Block things into smaller portions and tackle each one.

Hey it works. I can choose to stress or I can make this an adventure. Adventure it is!