Thursday, November 17, 2011

Where Should I Start?

I'm finally going to do this, I'm going to blog about this experience.  My husband, the love of my life and father of my children, is gone.  He's still physically here and I should be grateful to have him home from war in one piece.  But he's not here really.  He got out of the USMC 3 years ago after 3 deployments to Iraq (2 while I was pregnant with 2 of our daughters) and we moved to his home state of Texas.  Transitioning from base housing and military life to civilian life is tough enough, but we had 4 small kids ranging in age from 6 to 6 weeks when we moved.  To say it was stressful is like saying the North Pole is mild.  I still had my husband though, and he still followed through with things he said he'd do and tried.  Over the next few years though he started to slip into a depression. He got -and lost- several jobs for either sleeping on the job or other irresponsible chioces.  This didn't happen overnight, the signs were there but I guess I told myself it was a funk, he'd get out of it. 

That leads us here, where he is deep in the depths of PTSD and all the fun stuff that comes with it.  His symptoms range from the typical, like freaking out when fireworks are set off, to the ones no one tells you about, like the time I had to beat him off of me for putting me in a choke hold in his sleep.  Not only can he not keep a job at this point, but I can't even trust him to watch our kids while I work a few nights a week. Last night I came home to find the house a mess, stuff all over the place, and a bottle of lotion in the goldfish cracker box in the pantry.  He said he didn't know the baby (3 year old) was into stuff she wasn't supposed to be.  My question is how can she get into all of those things and you not notice?  He said he was playing video games on the computer.  The computer is my enemy, he would play video games on it all day if I let him.   I think if he could he would sleep and play games all day, every day, and be completely fine with that.  Our 8 year old daughter frequently cries to me when I get home and says he asks her to do everything for the younger kids and just sits on the computer.  No one has been injured and the house is still standing, but is it a matter of time? 

I am really struggling with my feelings about all of this, I love him more than anyhing and am so proud of all that he has done.  He has been an amazing and loving father to our kids.  I just resent the PTSD monster that has basically stolen my husband and put a slacker teenage boy in his place.  I don't know how much of this is my fault, like if I was stronger, more supportive, less cranky, etc.  We are in the process of getting treatment for him from the VA, he has lots of appointments and lots of medications, but they are still determining a percentage, so no compensation yet.  I pray our marriage can make it through this.  We are constantly fighting about money, his inability to finish things, his lack of ambition, among other things.  We are on the brink of being evicted from our rental home for being late on rent again.  I had to sweet talk the landlord into letting us stay a few more months until we find something out from the VA.  He was taking out student loans and using his GI bill to go to school, but has maxed out the loans and hasn't passed or completed one class in 2 1/2 years.  He was getting unemployment but that stopped because his employer said he quit, but he was fired.  Because he didn't open his mail and basically blew off the hearing, unemployment is suing us for 8 months of pay.  I have to work to pay our basic bills but don't know how long I can do that if he can't watch the kids. 

I don't want to sound like a major complainer, I'm not, and that's why I'm writing this.  I don't talk about this with my friends and family.  I fear their judgement and that they will think he's just being lazy.  I do need to get this out though, it is going to make me crazy!  I will stay strong.  I have to.  I have never been one to give up easily on anything, I am stubborn.  I meant it when I said, "in sickness and in health".  I just wish it were easier to get him the help he needs.  I guess this is a process, and I hope to see my old husband again someday.  Until then, I'm lovingly and faithfully here. 

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