Wednesday, October 28, 2015

When reality slams into your face like a ton of bricks.

Over the years I've worked to get Dean to a point where he's stable enough day to day, in enough habits (which are the only way he "remembers" anything) each day to relieve me a little bit of all the little care taking tasks that I do. I'd like to one day have a life where I have SOME semblance of freedom to do things for ME. It seems, though, that in creating that daily routine of habits, I'm inserted into the equation because I live here! That means even if I'm the not one pouring his cereal, the fact that I am here in my living room while he does it and that he can say his few words to me, makes me a safety net for his independent tasks. When I am not here (now I'm more trying to put what I'm feeling from him and piecing together the overall impression I get from him) his anxiety level goes up? .....something happens to him.....that causes the habits that he's usually proficient at to become tasks that are flying all over place while he tries to catch and it's overwhelming to him. A good analogy would be if you were out in the woods at night, even with a flashlight, it would be an uneasy'd be predator territory, outside the safety of your structure/cabin/home and roaming around not knowing what is lurking in your shadows. Now take that same scenario in the woods, with your flashlight, and add a friend. Suddenly it is 10x less scary to be in that scenario. Even if you and your friend are not saying a word to each other, the fact that they are has a safety attached.

*** I am that safety.***

Funny enough, Dean could walk alone in the woods with less uneasiness than he can live in a house.

So over the years I've worked to bring him to a stable place day to day. Every great once in a while I do something for ME that requires me leaving. I had to make a quick business trip to Washington DC a few days ago....the reason it had to be as quick as it was is due to Dean not being able to handle life without the safety net very long. I flew out on Monday morning, got to DC late Monday night, went to a staff meeting Tuesday and got directly back on a plane to be home Tuesday night right before midnight. I did just under 14 hours of flying (not including time changes) in two days and with time changes was pretty exhausted. It was a trip that I'm really glad I went on because the meeting I attended was a vital piece of my success in my new job. I gained a LOT of knowledge that I can only get when I'm interacting IN PERSON with a situation! I was stimulated! I felt like I was part of something! I AM a part of something! I loved learning about what I'm a part of! I felt alive!! Similar to the feeling I got in NYC but this was even more vitally a part of me since it involves my job. I really like working and being part of a machine that creates something, I like feeling like I contribute to something being better.

So I get back home after a day of feeling alive and part of an awesome machine with a purpose, at midnight, crawl into bed very tired, wake up early and get my son off to school, go back to bed....haha. Then upon waking for real and spending some time with Dean, he wants to know how my trip was and I of course want to spill out all of my happiness and share what I learned. I'm feeling great! .....for about 10 minutes. Then he gives me the cues of that's all he can take, he's reached his limit for listening and taking in my energy and information. Please understand, his heart was SO ecstatic that I'm back like he is humpty dumpty and he got put back together and now his life has it's engine and can run again. He truly missed me like he thought he'd never see me again. But after 10 minutes he just can't be a part of MY vitality. Because I love him and he's hurting, I now have to go through this grueling process of sucking my energy, happiness, and purpose back inside myself where it lives in a dark cave and can't see the light very often. It's this total sadness that just hits me! This is my life! That meeting yesterday that makes me feel so good isn't really my life -- it's my dream -- but when I wake up it's just not feasible. Yesterday's meeting causes me to make goals and plans and have desires and want to achieve and makes my heart beat! And today's reality makes me realize that I can't have any of it. At least not yet.

I know it's silly to ask if anyone else goes through this. This is what it means for many women who care for their wounded veterans and yet there are still a lot of wives that are not having to live this way. Wounds are different even if they have the same name. And those wounds take different amounts of time to get to certain stages of healing.

I'm trying to be patient. I'm trying to have faith that God has a plan in all this, there is a reason I need to learn this self-restraint and to wait for my time. I know from experience that when I'm supposed to learn something, I can get through it a lot quicker if I just figure out what I'm supposed to learn and learn it! Perspective on one's own life is often hard to have. We can more easily see others' challenges and solutions more easily than we can see our own.

And sometimes along the path of learning, I just need to take a few moment to see the SUCK in it all! Reality sometimes SUCKS!!! That is all.