Man, I am so tired. Tired of this in my life. Tired of how it makes me feel. Tired of crying. Tired of it being on my mind whether I want it to or not. Tired of trudging through this never ending field of fucking mud pretending that I don't mind getting dirty. Tired of my brain being frozen in time like some prehistoric relic, refusing to defrost. Tired of despairing at the ridiculously disproportionate amount of carnage created by something so completely pointless and avoidable. So what are my options? Last night it felt like divorce or die and to be honest, I just wanted to die. If this is what people feel like before they commit suicide, then I get it. If you think not being here will provide you with the only sense of peace, then I understand why people do it. I just want to stress that I am NOT going to take my own life, but in those moments when I just want it all to go away, the thought of it provides the deepest sense of calm I've ever experienced. It doesn't feel like a bad thing to do. It feels like the only way to escape. The only way to find peace and a different reality to the one I am stuck in and can't get out of. I wanted to close my eyes and just not wake up. I was done.
I did wake up though, eyes swollen, head throbbing.
Feet on the floor, here we go again.
The morning after an emotional tidal wave is always hard. I really just want to stay in bed and sleep, but I knew this morning, I had to get up and just keep going. Yesterday's tidal wave was epic. I think even bigger than the last two put together. Knocked me out from mid-afternoon until early hours this morning. Why? We, had notification of our next move yesterday. We were expecting it and I knew it was going to be emotional when it came, but I didn't anticipate just how emotional. I feel fucking stupid writing that! After being a complete emotional fucking wreck for the best part of 18 months and you didn't anticipate how emotional you would be? What a prick! Anyway....
It was a huge episode of so many mixed emotions I couldn't keep track of them all. One after the other tenaciously surging over me without allowing me to come up for air, saturating me with pain, regret, sadness, fear, despair and the deepest sorrow I've ever felt before. We're going home. Back to our forever home. There is a different job available at the garrison there, which will be my husband's for the next three years. We'll be home for three years! Everyone else was ecstatic. The kids shrieked when I told them. They can't wait to see their friends and go back to their old school. My husband cannot wait to get out of here and put it all behind him. Start again, wipe the slate clean and be a better husband. He was happy planning a road trip home, looking at cars to buy on our return.....and here I was bawling, broken and beaten. Unable to stop crying, curled up like cinnamon swirl drenched in snot wishing I could just die. I will try and unravel the mishmash of what was going on. It's difficult to write it linearly, as it was all swirling together, in no order in particular.
My first sensation was about it being the end. Finally, we have got to the end of this horrific nightmare. I made it through. I came here, I toughed it out, I saved my family. I was not beaten. I did it. I am still standing, just about (when I'm not crying). Then along with that came the most oxymoronic sensation, ever. As much as I want the end of this, as much as I want to leave it all behind and never, ever look back, the thought of it ending guts me like a dead fish. I am terrified when we leave it's all going to be forgotten, but I want it to be forgotten, but I don't want it to be forgotten. I want to be free of this nightmare, but I don't want them to get away with it, I don't want people to forget what I went through. I don't want to be invisible. I already feel invisible looking around at a non-existent crowd, standing on the winners podium exhausted, cut and bleeding wanting to wave in triumph, at the top of this mountain having conquered sharp obstacles, thick spiky woodland, deep ravines, wild animals and poisonous snakes while being hounded by giants and chased by ghouls. Who's there to acknowledge what I've been through? Who's there to see what I've achieved and how strong I've been? Where's my fucking medal?! Who even cares? This is all going to be forgotten. But that's what I want, but that's not what I want. I want to forget it, but I don't want what I've been through to be forgotten.
My mind is still behaving like a smashed pocket watch from the 1800s, beautifully cracked showing the exact time of impact two hundred years ago. My last memories in my own home were awful and a complete blur. I was an absolute wreck, barely managing to function, walking about like a dazed animal caught in headlights. I packed two bags for us each and simply locked the door behind us. The warped sense of family that came over our beloved dwelling was just so surreal. It was almost 18 months ago, which blows my mind completely. I still have no sense of time and distance with any of it at all. That concept genuinely baffles me. 18 months, really? Seriously, really??? No I mean it, really????? Are you sure??? It feels like 18 hours. Last night it felt like going home would be like stepping into a time warp. That I'd be going back to that moment when my reality stopped around me and shattered into a thousand pieces. It was frightening.
There were intermittent waves of vulnerability as the forcefield of protection that comes with living on this camp is going to disappear. It felt like once we leave the confines of the perimeter fence I will be at the mercy of the big wide world again. That my husband would get swallowed up in a sea of opportunities with other women. I have never felt like that before, EVER! He will be venturing further to work. It's a whole new camp with brand new people I don't know. We won't be living there, we will be living as civilians again. As difficult as it is to live here on high alert about this other woman, there is a comforting level of security here. It's not that I consciously and purposely keep a check on things, because I really don't but I know where I am with everything here. I can see where he works from where I work. I know who he works with, if we venture out it's usually together, we keep ourselves to ourselves, it's very low risk. As much as I felt like I was walking into the lion's den when I got here, it's become a contained and controlled lion's den. With our imminent move looming, the containment and the control will disappear and the risk assessment rating is rising steadily.
I was upset and angry about the affair partner's complete disregard for me and my relationship simply because she deemed us "only married on paper" (which, by the way, was utter bollocks). I was so upset that she was trying to disregard and encroach on all our history and my sacrifice. Being a military wife brings a lot with it that conventional relationships don't. This woman has no idea, no fucking idea what I have experienced in my marriage. What I've shared with my husband. What I've given up in my life to stand by him through his Army career. What I've had to sacrifice, endure and just damn well get on with because of the man I fell in love with. It's so ignorant and disrespectful. This was also partly triggered by the movie about the Military Wives Choir, which was released this week. There was a big showing of it here on camp. I'm not a singer and I've never joined a Military Wives Choir, but I can absolute resonate and relate to all the emotions in the movie about when the husbands were going away to Afghanistan. I have been that wife, several times. The fear, the withdrawal, the stiff upper lip, the determination to get on with things as normal, the refusing to think about the chances of them not coming home. I didn't read the papers or listen to the news. I found out about our first pregnancy the day after he left for one of his tours and didn't know if he would ever know his first child. No one else has any clue what two people go through together in their unison and it's utterly abhorrent to judge what that is worth to suit yourself, before they've had a chance to bring it to an end themselves. That anger and upset melted into all the judgement I have faced throughout this episode. Just as above, no one knows what goes on in someone's life and no one has the right to judge, but they do. Judge, assume, comment and pontificate. That rolled into the immense regret at all my behaviour when I was struggling with the PTSD/PITS symptoms. God I put myself through it last night. Berating myself, feeling so regretful about everything getting the better of me, about trying to control people, outcomes and situations to make myself feel better. How I would have made myself look to people, allowing them to judge because I was making myself look a nightmare, how I just handed it to them on a plate because I couldn't rise above. I couldn't just let it go. I was so consumed. I can now see why I was doing it, so then I was angry and upset I was put in that position, being affected by PTSD, in the first place, as it felt like I am using it as an excuse. So much sadness and regret about how I've been. That then fed into how I just wanted someone to pay for what they did. I wanted her to get some kind of recompense. I just wanted someone, anyone to recognise how Goddamn, life-changingly horrific this was to inflict on someone else. Can't someone stick up for me and tell her how atrociously, despicably selfish she's behaved and that the least she owes me is a grovelling apology? I want to feel less alone in this, that someone has my back and will speak out for me. I want someone to tell her how wrong it was, to call her out, to hold her accountable for the havoc she inflicts on other people's lives, on my life, then plays the righteous victim. I just want her to pay. That's where my behaviour came from. Oh. My. God, I wanted her to pay. That sensation, last night, caused a huge gritted teeth, doubled over stomach punching, aaaarrrrgggghhhhh reaction. The internal urge for retributional payback and to strike back in retaliation is so severe, it crushes me. It's on that list of PTSD symptoms and it's been an internal fight throughout this entire nightmare and it's so hard to let go. So damn hard. Leaving here, I will have to let it go. I want to let it go, but I don't want to let it go.
I cried and cried AA.......GAIN. I sobbed and heaved and honestly felt like it wouldn't stop.
But it did and I didn't die. (This was my planned end to the blog until......)
I'm now writing this the day after I wrote all of the above, and I feel like utter crap. This PITS/PTSD is fucking real. My shaking hands are back, my head is still throbbing. I feel subdued and muffled, my emotions are unstable and the nightmares are back. All triggered by the news of our next posting.
Last night I was incredibly tired. I hadn't slept well the night before because of all the crying. I got through work, went to a meeting at the school, spoke briefly with Richi, spent some time with my kids and sat down to chill out and continue writing. When the kids went to bed and I was alone with my husband I started to pick at things about moving. I was not combative or argumentative but very negative and sullen. "What about this and what about that and you do realise this and you do realise that." He took it pretty well, was quite calm, didn't say much. I expressed I was worried about going back to the same problems as before and feeling like my behaviour would be under a microscope, like I was on trial. He said that wouldn't be the case, it's just going to take some time to adjust and we would make everything work (referring to all the what about this and that, I had just thrown at him). I could feel I was overtired and not very receptive so decided to go to bed. By the time I had got up the stairs I had come to the conclusion we needed to divorce and that was the only way we would be able to resolve this. I simply couldn't do it anymore, he didn't get how bad things were for me and I wanted an end to feeling like this. I wanted to regain a level of control over my own life and the only way to do that would be to take charge of my life myself. Divorce it would have to be. That's it decided.
I got into bed.
What are you doing?
Feel into it.
An answer will come.
It did. I was terrified, plain and simple. My brain had gone into overdrive looking for threats, which was what all the picking was about. I was poking at my husband to test the waters for these threats, then decided that removing myself from the situation (i.e. divorce) was the safest option. Too exhausted to get too upset about it I went to sleep......
....until I had to wake myself up, early hours, heart racing, to tell myself it was just a dream. It was so engulfing, I was disorientated taking a few seconds to register I was at home, in my own bed, in my own life, not in the dream. In it I was trying to phone my husband. For some reason I had to borrow my mum's phone which was one of those old silver flip up phones. I'm trying to call him and I got the sense, in the dream, he'd got a new number and had avoided giving it to me. When he answered I asked him what he was up to. He said he was out for the day having some drinks. I replied saying sounds like fun, that's what I'd like to do and I'll come and meet you. He starts to be avoidant and make excuses. I then hear him say "don't leave" and puts me on hold (complete with hold music!) In the dream I knew he was drinking with someone else and I couldn't do anything about it, feeling totally helpless on hold. I started to get frantic and very upset. That's when I woke myself up.
It's not so much the actions in the dream that's so haunting, it's the way it made me feel. Have you ever had those dreams that linger and leave a residue with you all day? You walk about in a smog of an uncomfortable eerie feeling for hours after you wake up? It was one of those and because my brain is totally stuck in time, as I keep saying, it was that unwelcome, yet so familiar feeling of complete shock and horror. When my brain was racing on D-Day back in our house, frantically trying to comprehend what I was just finding out and realising. That he'd already moved onto someone else, written me off and I didn't even know he was doing it. That his alliances lay with someone else. Someone he hardly knew. Not even giving me a chance even after everything we'd been through together. I was the enemy to him. Just that on its own, without any of the actual gruesome affair details is enough grounds for divorce.
I'm trying to think about how to express that experience in words and there are just no words. Completely powerless and defenceless. Taken out at the knees. Paralysed as it took my breath away, made my chest feel tight and blood run cold, my brain glitch with confusion and the floor disappear from under my feet. My eyes felt as wide as a cartoon's trying to take something else in, something I might have missed, maybe I've got this wrong somewhere. Astounded, horrified, traumatised and paralysed. My chest has had that shortness of breath feeling all morning, my head is still throbbing, I am exhausted and overwhelmed with the feeling of being beaten by this. I don't feel well at all. It's not something I can just "snap out of" either so I'm just taking it easy, trying to ride it out. Luckily it's a Saturday. I'm not wallowing, just feeling it.
For fuck's sake this is 18 months on. 18 fucking months and I am still suffering from these PTSD like symptoms caused by my husband's betrayal. It was really that bad.
This shit is fucking real and it's really fucking shit, and sometimes it feels like the only way to escape is to get divorced or die.