Saturday, November 23, 2013

Why I am here

Five years ago I met my husband. It was love at first sight. He was a strong military man with an fireman background. He was the package deal. He had another child from his first marriage I had three. We both wanted a big family so we were set. Shortly after our meeting the man of my dreams had to leave for year to Korea. Talk about a relationship builder. However we made it through. Having him home for a few weeks during also helped but still I felt like quiet  champ for making it through.
Shortly after coming home I noticed things were off. I had done my research and spoke to others and all had said this was normal it just takes time. There was one night I was finally catching on to what was going on. He had gotten so mad threw a shoe and scared the kids. A short time later Chris acted as if nothing had happened. The children and I were scared and he felt bad. He had no idea he had launched Hannah's dress shoe, that she had accidently forgotten to put away, across our living room right near her bedroom door. Once they had gone to bed I replayed this for him and he had no awareness of it.
Things seemed ok after that. I pushed the issue to the back of my mind. I refused to think he was a bad man. In February of 2010 we were married. It was a long distance marriage as I was three hours away. He came home every weekend and long weekends and holidays I would go to him. In the spring we found out we were expecting our first son together. My pregnancy was complicated. To add to the matters Chris had to have major knee surgery, a surgery that would later cost him his job. Shortly after surgery is when the change was even more prevalent.
In July Chris was promoted to Technical Sergeant in the AF. I was so proud and excited to be apart of this day. I was huge but refused to miss this event. Chris and his mom had been having some issues, well ok all of us had. Chris temper seemed a bit more explosive and he seemed even more irritable. He took his mom to the airport to go back to Florida after a huge fight. I had planned to spend the weekend where he was stationed and just relax and figure out what was next. We didn't expect preterm labor at 29 weeks to happen. It was traumatic for us and I was sent via helicopter back to my home hospital. Four weeks later we greeted our son Hunter. Despite his prematurity and a short time stay in the NICU he was great.
Once home from the hospital I stayed out at the base with Chris and I think it is when I noticed just how much he was changing.
By the start of 2011 I had decided given the health of our newborn and the stress it would be best to move with him at the base he was stationed at. It was actually time to start living like a typical married couple. The kids stayed behind with their father as there was talk of Chris being out of the military by the start of summer due to his knee. However during this time I saw a different side of the man I fell in love with and married. I chalked it up to stress and the possibility of losing his career that he had been passionate about since he joined. 2011 was the year I saw the true side of things and the great struggles my husband had battled but kept hidden. By the end of the summer that year Chris was a civilian again. We were ready to pack it up and head back to my hometown but alas I got the job I had been trying to get since our son was born. We decided to give it a shot and see how well this job worked out. Chris had a job on base at the Exchange so we still had our military connections. I believe this is where we went wrong.
Suddenly the fighting and anger worsened. I could answer a question and it was taken as I was being pissy or spiteful. I could have forgotten to do something and I suddenly flighty and unfocused. Our son could be a handful and he was suddenly a pain in the butt and stressing him out. My kids would visit and they would leave a light on and get a 10 minute lecture on it. No one could make a mistake without the wrath of this man.
Things came in waves. Suddenly we are fast forwarding two years and no help and no progress. Just a VA rating stating there was no case of PTSD and thanks for playing. By the end of the summer some of these fights had become so bad I was threatening divorce and begging to go back home. He would tell me to leave but I was going to have to leave my son behind and find my own way out. Our son has various special needs and I was the main provider to him as my husband had no patience for him and just seemed at arms length with him. My oldest son came to live with us to complete jr high and was suddenly taking the brunt of this anger. My child is the typical teenager, forgetful, cocky, all over the place, and a social butterfly. He is also smart, athletic (its an emerging skill for him) and a all around good kid. Nothing however he did please Chris. There was always negativity.
Here we are at today and finally the amount of anger Chris had proved to me he was a force that was much bigger and stronger than me and my kids could handle. At 9:45am I texted our good friend and said either you take him or the cops will but I am done. Within 10 minutes he was at our door. As I emerged from the bathroom he was there telling me that he is here to help and that its going to be ok. The ended up taking a drive I got the call to pack his bags.........

Packing bags

  • In my 34 years of life I have packed many bags. I have packed them for trips, deployments, TDY, each time I gave birth, sleep overs and the ever favorite ones for my mother. Each time she left I would robotically pack the same items three days worth of clothes, electric razor, tooth brush, under garments a few books, her glasses and a picture of us. My mom would usually get checked in every 9 months or so sometimes the stretches would go longer. This was my life from the day I was brought home from the hospital. I had more knowledge of my mothers medical history than I had of my own. I knew exactly what to say to each doctor or nurse, how to get her what she needed and then what to say to my family. No child should have to do this. I was the oldest of 5 my dad was a workaholic and seemed desensitized to it. She would leave the nanny and I would tend to my younger siblings and carry on. Even into my adulthood I have done this but I have reached a point now being far from home and being through so much I have stopped doing it and let my mom do it herself.

  • Today I did the hardest thing I have had to do since being married. No not preparing my husband for a deployment. I packed up a three day bag, sent him with a friend so he could go and get the help he needed. For three years we have battled anger and PTSD and today things went to far. I called our closest friend who knows our situation and despite the bad weather was at our door. He drove around with Chris for a bit and I got a call that I needed to pack the three day bag. I went into zombie mode and it was like doing it for my mother all over again. I recall the rules and regulations packed what i knew was acceptable and had it by the door. Today was the day that is going to hopefully help our lives. I have not given up on him nor do I want to. I have explained to our children especially my oldest who has had a seemingly hard time with this and feels like he has taken the brunt of this. However with some reassurance he understands and realizes he isn't the reason for the problems that this is something far beyond the control of his step father.
    I am sharing this because I have felt so helpless and alone so desperate and scared. I knew this was the place to come to for encouragement and support. I am sharing this for those who are in my shoes and feel they can't do it. You can, don't do it for you. Do it for your kids, for your spouse. They need you just as much as you need them.