Most of my friend’s husband’s are also deployed or are about to. Because of this, none of us have our husbands here to make us feel beautiful and sexy. During a deployment is when (mostly everyone I know right now) decided it’s time to work on our bodies. I’ve been doing okay. I DID binge on chocolate this last week and I admittedly have a soda every once in a while when I can no longer ignore my craving for the caffeinated fizzy sugar syrup, but I’ve not been overeating and I’ve been drinking TONS of water and I’ve been adding even more activities to my already busy self, in order to become slim and trim to salvage my self-esteem while my husband is gone.

My friend Elizabeth came over to work out with me this morning. It was a really good one. My entire body was feeling the burn, I was sweating gallons and my heart was happily beating all the ho-hums out of my attitude. I felt so good.

I picked Jacob up from school today and I mentioned that I worked out this morning and his reply was “You don’t look any skinnier.” Well, that hurt just a tiny bit as I’ve been feeling like I’m shaping up nicely, lately. Well, there goes that! The next hour with him was peppered with such lovely comments as “You look pregnant.”, “Your arms are HUGE!”, “You look really not skinny.” and he topped it off with “HAHA! When I look at you with the reflection in the mirror you ACTUALLY look skinny, but then when I look at you, I see that you are truthfully fat.”

I may have lost it at this point. (When I say “may have” I mean “most definitely”.)

“Why are you being so mean to me?! I’ve been asking you to stop saying things like this to me for the last hour, and you are still doing it! It hurts my feelings and I’m THISCLOSETO crying right now! Do you think I don’t wake up every morning and pull my massive body out of bed and think that life would be much better if I were smaller and healthy? Do you think I’m not reminded daily of my weight? Do you think I love looking like this and hearing these comments from you? Stop being mean to me!”

The response to this made me more angry than anything he had said to me up to this point.

“I’ll try.”

Oh LORD  the floodgates opened and my inner demon came out. It’s all a blur the things that were said/yelled/screamed/thought from that point until we actually got home. I know that it started out with the classic line “You’ll…. TRY?! ” and ended with both of us crying.

Knowing that I needed someone to bring me back from the edge, I called my sister. She saves my life. Almost everyday I call her to discuss my worries and situations. It keeps her life interesting and it keeps me sane. It’s a win/win deal we have going on here.

She was busy. How dare she have a social life! How dare she not be available for my every emotional breakdown?

I ended up ignoring Jacob for two hours.

Eventually I recognized that he wasn’t doing it to be mean. He was just observing out loud as he does everyday, all day. I used this as a learning opportunity.

“Did you see the way I reacted to those comments? …Well, every woman will always respond like that.”

More was said. “sorry” and “forgive” were the most important ones.

My wound is still there, but it feels a little bit better.

When the rumors started circulating about deployment I started getting nervous… among other things since I was most definitely knocked up. I began to wonder if I could actually survive this thing. What do I do when I wonder about something? I google it.

Google told me that deployment will suck for all parties involved. I like that about Google. Google doesn’t sugar coat things. Apparently there’s an emotional cycle that you go through during a deployment. Basically, things are supposed to be pretty craptastic for the first month, then you are supposed to get your routines established and you gain a sense of confidence, then you get nervous and excited about the homecoming.

Here’s the deal. It’s been two and a half months since Scott left, and there are no established routines, I still don’t feel confident in my skills, and I am still a bit wary of whether I will be alive when Scott comes home. The children might eat me.

However, I’d like to report that today for a short bit of time (maybe several hours in the morning) I felt an emotion that I haven’t felt in QUITE A WHILE. Happiness. WHEW! It wasn’t long-lived, but it was there… and just being reminded that there is happy out there somewhere was so very relieving. I’ve been faking it so long that I didn’t even know if I’d ever actually feel the real thing again. It’s there, folks. Happiness is still alive and well. It didn’t disappear from the world, it’s just been hiding from me. I know some people think you can choose your own mood. I don’t really believe that’s true. You can choose to fake a mood. You can choose the words you use. You can choose to smile. However, in my experience, if you aren’t happy, you just aren’t happy. No faking can fix that. Maybe your baby can smile for the first time and feelings of wonder and awe can hit you like a lightning bolt, but if you aren’t happy… you still won’t be happy.

I felt like the world had color, today. I switched gears from “Survival Mode” to “Enjoy”. Lets hope things stay this way.

I have already gulped down my first 3 cups of coffee, but I’ve got a lot on my list for today, so I’ll most likely need a little more.

Yesterday my horoscope said that I should spend this day accomplishing the mundane tasks to free up my time for more interesting things. I don’t regularly follow my horoscope, but I’ve been doing this thing lately when I will lay in bed for a VERY long time before ever actually getting the urge to fall asleep, so I was wasting my time on the silly little things the phone can do. One of those is a horoscope, and well… I liked what it had to say, so I’m going to free up my time for more interesting things. Here’s what I need to do today:

1.) My friend Jenn is starting school and needs to go to a meeting today so I’m watching her son, Ayden. He’s fantastic to watch. He listens to me and is rather sweet and helpful. The PROBLEM I have with watching him is that MY kids, who usually have a good grasp of the rules and know that they should listen to me, seem to think that all the rules are tossed to the wind as soon as a new child is in the house. I yell a lot when Ayden is at our house, and for that reason, I think he might be afraid of me.

2.) I need to fold the laundry. Half of it is already washed, but I really need to get it folded… even though it will just end up in heaps on the children’s floor… I need it to be folded first. I still can’t really think of a reason why, but I’d feel bad sorting it into crumpled piles of clothes and asking them to try to shove them into their drawers.

3.) I need to get Scott’s Valentines Care package sent out. It will be our first Valentines as a married couple and he will be gone. It’s a shame, but it’s a good thing I’ve never given Valentines day too much importance. I’ve had some awful ones, and I threw myself a pity party on those days and then realized that being single all the other days of the year hadn’t ever been such a burden to me so why should I let it be on Valentines Day?

4.) I should buy some formula.

AND NOW FOR THE TASK I’M FREEING UP MY TIME FOR:

This is an ice bunting. I read about it on Ohdeedoh. It would be so wonderful to make this! How pretty and colorful it is!

(This picture was ripped straight from Ohdeedoh.)

 

Update: I’m fairly sure I have loaded my plate with more than I can eat.

Jacob, despite his scaring me every once in a while, has been displaying some appreciation for great music lately. I’m not including the Death Boogie in this, because that was downright scary to me. Tighten Up by The Black Keys came on the radio and Jacob said this:

“My very good question for The Black Keys is this: How do you make such great music? The background sounds really good with the singing.”

…And his music teacher gave him a 2 in music analysis and appreciation. *insert tongue-sticking-outage here* I think her problem is that she’s not letting him listen to any GOOD music. And how can she, in good conscience, GRADE someone on how they appreciate music? I’m all for keeping music classes in school, but I think the class should be graded differently. Perhaps, does the student participate in activities? Does the student enjoy himself in the class? Is the student paying attention and following direction? Jacob’s teacher ACTUALLY grades him on his singing abilities. She had the gall to write on his report card “Jacob sings off-key and not as well as I would expect.” SERIOUSLY?! Some people just don’t have the gift or interest!

Anyhow, here’s the Black Keys. The video made me laugh. Out loud.

I got the kids all ready to go this morning. We listened to music and had a dance party, as well! As I was putting Owen into his car seat I noticed a silly little aching in the right side of my back. I call it silly because it’s annoying, but it will not interrupt my day. It will have to try a little harder to get me down!

Fast forward about 20 minutes. Jacob is at school and we just got home. I’m unbuckling Owen from his carseat and that silly little ache is being obnoxious again. Obnoxious, but not devastating.

Fast forward 10 seconds. I have just tried to pick Owen up from his carseat and my back is simply not working. The silly, obnoxious pain has turned devastating. I hobbled over to the couch, contorting my back to discover the most pleasing position for my back. There is no pleasing position. I am on the verge of tears right now. It hurts so badly and I haven’t even really STARTED my day. Christina and Aden together have located my giant horse pills of ibuprofen and some water. I’m just waiting for relief. It must come soon.

I picked Jacob up from school and as soon as he jumped into the van he said, “Sarah, I wrote a song called The Death Boogie and I want you to help me make it on the internet.” Surely I had misheard him. ” I’m sorry. I don’t think I heard you correctly. Did you say The Desk Boogie?” He looked me straight in the eyes with a look that said he thought i was stupid “No, Sarah. Just listen to the words.” He started reciting these words in a yelling, growl-y sound that scared the crap out of me. “DEATH BOOGIE. THIS IS MY GRAVE. THE DEVILS WILL RISE AND HUNT YOU DOWN TO BRING YOU BACK TO HELL.” Oh my God! What the crap?! He’s SEVEN! He continued, “So, Sarah. Do you like it? I want you to help me turn this into a song on the internet. In the background I want to hear screaming and (I kid you not… this is what he said) THE SOUND OF A WOMAN GETTING PUNCHED A LOT. Can you help me make it?”

The following was my response:

The reason I started a blog is because I was feeling so stressed with regular day-to-day activities and was feeling quite negative about… well, about everything. My Facebook posts were getting quite depressing. I figured that if I used my blog as my catharsis my Facebook would remain relatively positive. I haven’t really used this blog to vent and pour it all out, therefore my Facebook is still littered with half-thought out status messages and things that make me feel hurt deep down in my heart. I think my heart is settled enough for now that I can write out these feelings without turning it into a pity party.

First of all, I think I might be dealing with some postpartum depression. I knew I should have prepared for it. I’ve got a history with depression. A psychologist once told me that he was considering diagnosing me as bi-polar… I don’t believe I am. Who knows? Aside from the tendency to fall into depressive states, my life right now isn’t exactly Candyland. With a deployed husband, 3 step-children, and an infant that I’m still learning to care for my stress levels are generally through the roof! I was telling Scott a couple of weeks ago that I can thrive in any situation. Even when they suck. I just get used to that level of suck and if it gets worse, I just need a little more adjustment time and then I’m used to this new higher level of suck. This is true, but I feel like things just keep getting more and more challenging at a pace that I am having a very difficult time adjusting to it. My stamina is running out and we are only 2 months into this deployment.

Loneliness is something I’m dealing with rather heavily right now. I want my companion back. After a difficult day or even an excellent day it’s so relaxing to wind down with Scott. We watch TV or mess around on the computer and just being with him is an instant decompression. 75% of our communication happens once we get to bed. It’s common for us to go to bed and stay awake talking about anything and everything until we notice the clock says its past midnight… even then we sometimes still talk. I miss that. My best friend is gone. After my difficult days I fall asleep alone, no decompression, no talking.

The last few weeks I’ve been so angry with Scott. Why? I guess it’s because he’s not here. He’s not here to fill out the BOOKS of paperwork for the children’s schools. He’s not here to shovel our driveway. He can’t hold the baby while I cook dinner. He’s not here to help me discipline the children. He’s not here for me to bounce ideas off of. He’s not here to take out the trash or do the laundry or hold the baby when he cries. He’s not here to fix the computer for the kids. He’s not here for me and that’s what I’m angry about. I hear from him and find that he woke up at 9 am and I get angry about that since it’s been over a year since I’ve slept past 9 am. It makes me feel like he thinks he’s on vacation… like he doesn’t WANT to be here for me to help take care of the day-to-day craziness. He’s been going to the gym and working out. I’m jealous about that because it was one of my goals to get in shape before he comes home. It’s not going to happen. It’s just not. I don’t have time to wipe my own butt. How am I going to find time to work out? and when i find the time to do it, what am I going to do with the kids? I am angry that he’s able to better himself while he’s gone and I won’t be able to do the same for him. I fear that he will come home and be disappointed in my appearance just like I am.

This anger is really getting to me. Today I sent him a message instructing him to not call me because I didn’t want to talk to him. That wasn’t true. I did want to talk to him, but I wanted to take a passive aggressive jab at him and maybe hurt him as much as I am hurting. That’s just not fair to him. He’s doing his job. Him being gone is the very reason that the kids and I have food on our table, a roof over our heads, nice clothes, insurance, a vehicle, tv and internet, diapers and formula. More than that, he’s not on vacation. He likes me to think he is because he doesn’t want to worry me with the reality of the situations he has to deal with. (Scott, if you’re reading this: I’d much rather know that you are struggling as much as I am, because I’m rude like that. It just makes things easier. If someone shoots at you, tell me. It would give me a bit more of a realistic perspective on this entire situation and ALSO… wouldn’t you want to know if I got shot at?) The main reason I need to build a bridge and get the fuck over myself is that I chose this. I chose all of it. There isn’t a single thing happening in my life right now that I couldn’t have avoided by making different decisions, but the truth is I would be lost without these kids and I’d be lost without Scott and I would rather put up with all of this bullshit to have them in my life than comfortably working a 9 to 5 and punching out at the end of the day and TRULY being alone. I’ll be sticking around for a very very long time, and I refuse to let this deployment break me. I love Scott more than I hate the BS. Scott is the most worth-it guy I’ve ever met in my life and I’m thankful that he’s my husband.