I kind of had an epiphany this morning.
I initially woke up at four. Buddy likes to wake me up around then. He cries until I go open the door, then he stands there for a few and decides if he wants to go outside or not. I’ve decided that he’s got to be a member of the twilight bark and he’s listening for his people. One time I refused to let him out and he pooped in my bathroom. He’s basically the size of a Shetland pony so that is something that I never want to experience again. When he wakes me up crying, we go stand at the door…
My head was killlllllling me. My sinuses are awful. I had made plans to try out a new church this morning and I was supposed to meet up with a friend who goes there. I was so close to cancelling on her. I never make plans because if it’s not my anxiety that gets in the way, it’s my body or I have a migraine, etc. It occurred to me in that moment how much I was the biggest obstacle in my life. If my head was going to hurt, it was going to hurt. It didn’t matter if I was at home or at church. So I got up, I snorted my Flonase, drank my coffee and stopped letting myself stand in my own way.
When it comes to God, I don’t believe in coincidences.
I met up with LeAnn and we found our seats. There was an older man stepping into the baptismal tub as we were listening to the band. “Well that’s weird,” LeAnn said. “People don’t really get baptized that often, unless it’s Easter or something like that.” I didn’t really think much of that at the time. The band played a few songs and then they began to play a video of the story of the man being baptized this morning. He was a marine. When he was a young marine, he was deployed and fell ill with malaria one day. He wasn’t able to do his job the following day and one of his buddies filled in for him. His buddy was shot and killed that day and this young marine was left with the realization that he not only narrowly escaped death, but his buddy died because he was filling his spot. That’s when I knew that I was supposed to be right where I was today.
Combat, survivor’s guilt, PTSD, TBI, all of these things have turned all of our lives upside down. I feel a kinship with anyone who walks this road because I know what a difficult, confusing, lonely, desperate road it can be for both the sufferer and for the people who love them.
In my last blog I talked about Thomas and I separating and my recent confusion and in the last few days he and I have had so many discussions about our relationship going forward. See, for me, nothing has really changed other than our address. While Thomas was absolutely, 100% the love of my life, the last couple years of our marriage we weren’t much more than roommates. So for the last year, I really haven’t felt much differently than I did when we were actually married. The last few days he and I have had a lot of conversations/arguments over my need to start figuring out my own way but he likes things just the way they are. I have been truly struggling though.
Guess what today’s topic was? Both the importance of boundaries and how important it is that you are spending time with people who reflect what you want out of life. Thomas and I almost never went to church because we could almost never find a church that we were both comfortable in. When I told him how much I loved church today he asked me if he would like it. I laughed. Of course not. Like, we both love our kids and that’s probably where our commonalities end. He likes the old school hellfire and brimstone and I don’t respond well at all to raised voices and threats. Neither of us are wrong. We just are who we are. He needs what he needs and I need what I need and when we tried to achieve that together we ended up just giving up because we had to sacrifice too much of ourselves to meet in the middle. Neither of us reflect what the other wants out of life.
My kids have talked to me off and on the entire time I’ve been writing and I feel completely all over the place with this post. I guess what I’m getting at is I have realized a lot in the last couple days and I am taking baby steps towards getting my life back. Thomas and I will probably always be close. I was with him during his darkest, pre-therapy, pre-medication times and we have seen hell together. We truly have. You know how old veterans can spot each other in a crowd and instantly connect even if they have never met? That’s us. We have bonded through combat. I’m still reclaiming my life, though. Just putting up a few guardrails.