Our Family

Our Family

Thursday, August 30, 2012

 I wrote this a while back and should have posted it then but here it is. How I met my husband the short version ;)

There comes a point in your life where you stop and realize that where you have been has shaped your future. I am not always proud nor do I often enjoy talking about my past. However it has gotten me where I am today. The past doesn't shape the future it merely gives it a starting to point. We all hold the shape of future in the palms of our hands. It is what we choose to do with it that gives it it's shape.

Sometimes our most memorable moments come when we least expect it. Those moments are the ones that have the power to take our breath away. It's these moments I have been thinking about lately.

There was a night in May several years ago that a friend I worked with and I decided to go out to eat. We got ready, went to eat at BWW and had a great time. While we were there I said to her " Since we got all dolled up why don't we head to the Cowboy and hang out there for a little while." Well we did. On that night, I met the absolute love of my life. He came to sit with me and my friend. He told me he was taking me home with him and to work the next morning. Which to some people would probably sound completely crazy. But to me it was the sexiest thing I had ever heard. I loved at that very moment how confident he was.

This one particular moment in my life has forever changed the way I look at things. I had never in my life met a man who had a confidence about him you could feel just by standing next to him. Nor had I ever met anyone who could make me feel complete just by holding my hand. I have come to find out a lot about myself by being with this incredibly amazing man. I have learned I am stronger than I ever imagined. Not because I have to be but because I want to be. I have learned I can love someone completely and not worry about what could go wrong. I have in the past always held back my love, waiting for the ball to drop, something to go wrong. In my past that has usually been the case. Something good followed by something bad. I have learned that no matter what I have someone that loves me for who I am, not for who I try to be when I am with them. I can actually be myself for a change. I have learned I actually like who I am. That who I am is a person that can face challenges, sometimes several at once, and adapt as needed and carry on without falling apart.

My husband gives me the confidence to be who I am.

The 7 stages of grief during deployments.......

7 Stages of Grief modified for the military family....

This is the first phase.You don't want to accept the reality of it. It is a emotional wall to protect yourself from the next stage. You may stay in this stage a few minutes, a few days, or a few weeks.
As the shock wears off, it is replaced with the suffering of unbelievable pain. Although excruciating and almost unbearable, it is important that you experience the pain fully, and not hide it, avoid it or escape from it with alcohol or drugs.

You may have guilty feelings or remorse over things you did or didn't do with your loved one. Life feels chaotic and scary during this phase. This phase may or may never actually go away. Depending on the situation. You may slip out of this phase and come right back to in an instant. Be patient with yourself and being willing to lean on others during this time.

Frustration gives way to anger, and you may lash out. Please try to control this, as permanent damage to your relationships may result. This is a time for the release of bottled up emotion.

You may rail against fate, questioning "Why me?" You may also try to bargain in vain with the powers that be for a way out of your despair ("I will never drink again if you just bring him/her back").

Just when your friends may think you should be getting on with your life, a long period of sad reflection will likely overtake you. This is a normal stage of grief, so do not be "talked out of it" by well-meaning outsiders. Encouragement from others is not helpful to you during this stage of grieving.

During this time, you finally realize the true magnitude of your loss, and it depresses you. You may isolate yourself on purpose, reflect on things you did with your loved one, and focus on memories of the past. You may sense feelings of emptiness or despair. This is when having people around you who have been there helps. Rely on your fellow spouses. Listen to things that may have helped and determine which ones may help you best. It is ok to feel this way, but the goal is to try and not stay in this phase as hard as that sounds.

7 Stages of Grief...
As you start to adjust to life without your dear one, your life becomes a little calmer and more organized. Your physical symptoms lessen, and your "depression" begins to lift slightly. The light at the end of the tunnel may have appeared for whatever reason. This is a bright spot try to focus on it.

As you become more functional, your mind starts working again, and you will find yourself seeking realistic solutions to problems posed by life without your loved one. You will start to work on practical and financial problems. The feelings of I can't do this alone start fading away as if almost never there.

During this, the last of the seven stages in this grief model, you learn to accept and deal with the reality of your situation. Acceptance does not necessarily mean instant happiness. Given the pain and turmoil you have experienced, you can never return to the carefree, untroubled YOU that existed before .However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and you have done well making it through your journey. This phase is almost always hit closet to return of your loved one. Take this time to start making plans for their return and how your life will be once they are back. This is also a difficult time. Sometimes almost as hard as them leaving to begin with. Be patient.

7 stages of grief...
This is meant to help those through a deployment. This is in no way the exact same coping strategies to someone who has actually lost a loved one in a permanent manner. It is simply meant to help those going through a deployment that there are actually going through stages of grief as well. Too often we tend to think our feeling our silly when they are in truth similar to the stages of grief.Take time to feel each stage and do not beat yourself up for going through one or more stages more than once. It happens. You can be fine one day and not the next. Don't be so hard on yourself. One day at a time is all anyone asks of you, and so should be all you ask of yourself.

Exerts taken from recover-from-grief.com
These are there strategies. Simply altered mildly to meet the needs of military families.

A new Me?

For the first time in my life I (me?) Yes I am the primary bread winner for our family. My husband thinks it is great. I am the one who is having trouble with it. Now it isn't were are we going next? or What is the Navy's decision of where we go....... Our next move the family follows me...... That is the exact phrase straight from my husbands mouth. The next time we move hunny we go where you want to go and where the money is for you. So why am I having trouble with this?!? I wanted to move up in my career. This is what I worked my butt off for the last two years and our family struggled through. Yet I still have little twinges of reality. I am the one the family depends on. I know now how my husband must have felt doing this for so long. It isn't that I don't want to work, I love what I do. I really don't even know what bothers me. I have the best support I could. A husband who supports me and kids who do also. So what is wrong with me?!? 

I love our life. I love working again. Things actually are going great. So this feeling must be just one of things that will go away right? I am hoping so.....

On an up note I do enjoy my job. I enjoy the fact that I get paid every day to do what I love. I love even more that people appreciate what I do even more. Being able to touch other people's lives gives me more joy than anything in a while. I enjoy even more being able to give my family things we have missed while I was in school. :) 

So maybe I am the one person in this world who can feel strange when everything is going so well.... But I do. Maybe after 32 years of being the one who just "helps" with the family income it will just take some getting used to..... Here is hoping!!! 

This is a new adventure for the whole family. And as with any other adventure in our lives we will get through it together. Because that is what we do. :)