Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Fraidy Cat

It's hard to explain to someone else what it's like to be a Marine wife, to be me. Some of my friends have said things like, "I don't know how you do it." To be honest, I don't do it well. There's the nice things that other people see; the Mom of two moving into a new place while her hubby is deployed, the "Welcome Home" banners hanging outside and, occasionally the tears of loneliness and frustration. I don't have the words to accurately articulate most of what I do or feel.
Right now all I can describe is the anxiety, but that's not really the feeling. Anxiety is just one of the symptoms. Maybe even a little dread thrown in. Do I want my husband home? OF COURSE. But I'm really not looking forward to all of the transitions involved when he does get here. I've been doing this, whatever "this" is, without him for the last seven plus months. What if he doesn't like it or wants to change things? Or, what if he doesn't appreciate how hard I've worked in his absence? I did work hard, and I'm proud of it. I want him to be proud of me and my accomplishments the same way I'm proud of Matt and his accomplishments.
I don't want the fighting that comes with reintegrating a piece of you that was ripped off and gone for a while. I wish they had anti-rejection meds for returning Marines and their families the same way they do for patients who receive a transplant. What if I regress in every way that I've grown? What if I go back to the critical mind and negativity? I don't want to, but I'm still close to it because I haven't been without it for that long. I feel completely different about the reunion this deployment than I did last time around. My guess, I'll probably feel different the third time it comes around as well.
For now, I've just got to let it ride. Despite my own insecurities and feelings of isolation, I know that what I'm going through is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation unique to the military and is experienced by military spouses left behind everywhere. I even feel a little resentful at times knowing that I'll have to give things up and change. AGAIN. Totally worth it in the end, but still not something I look forward to.
I gave it some good thinking the other day. I thought about marrying Matt and what my expectations were then. I thought about other guys I'd dated, and different paths my life could have taken if Uncle Sam wasn't so prominent in my life. I'd never give up my relationship with Matt, even if he was gone, gulp, seven months of EVERY year. It's just the price I pay to be married to a man of greatness. You'd do what I do too, feel what I feel now, if your husband was in the Military.
Restless. That's the main thing. I'm looking forward to when it's over and we can just be us again. I'm confident that whatever changes are coming, God will guide us through them and my feelings of disorganization and hesitancy to relinquish my routines will evaporate. It's extraordinarily hard for me to feel calm without having a plan for this reunion, but having a plan requires expectations, and those are generally bad. Because it's not my hopes that get dashed, it's my expectations. We must always have hope. Always.
Did I mention that I never edit my blog postings? Might explain why they're as chaotic as my current emotional state.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The One Where I Stop Looking and Start Leaping

My dear friend Ashton wrote a smallish bio write -up next to my Senior picture in my last yearbook. Some of what he wrote came straight from the fact sheet each senior had had to fill out, but Ashton knew me well enough to write things that weren't what I thought about myself as well. So here's my write up:
"The spiritually gifted woman, Mara England, has given much of her time to serve the Lord. She has gone on many Missions trips and hosts Bible studies in her home once a week. Not only has she been involved in Church activities but also school activities such as mock trial, drama, yarbook and volleyball stat girl. When not serving others, Mara can be found hanging, cooking or reading books, particularly children's books. Mara plans to attend UCR in the fall and become a children's book author. [insert trite quote from me] And who better than someone with a passion for literature as well as the future authors of America than the ever bookish Mara-darling."
I don't know what I want to write anymore. The thought of failure overwhelms me and keeps me from even writing entries in this blog. And hardly anyone has the URL or even knows of its existence! I did that on purpose.
So now here's the thing, I really want to be a writer. I want to have things published and do good. I sincerely doubt I'll be writing a NYT bestseller, but I'm going to give whatever's in me a shot to come out and be developed, knowing that I'll skin my knees repeatedly along the way. I'm taking an online class for writers and as I have assignments completed, I'll be posting. BTW, in case I write something good, do us both a favor and don't plagerize. LOL, in my dreams, I know.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Writing and Other Forms of Torture

The truth is this: I don't actually like blogging. That explains why there are so few posts here, huh? The problem with blogging is that it's writing, and I'm afraid of writing. Small things I can do; editing newsletters, letters to Matt, witty quips posted as my status on facebook. But everytime I write something, I wondering if it's as good as I think it might be. I'm wondering, "Is there really any potential here or should I just stop?". Here's another truth, I really want to be a good writer, and that's why I'm scared of writing. Because if I find out I'm not any good, where will I be? A dream I've held since my childhood lies in shambles. So far I haven't really "tried" because I'm afraid of rejection. I know from researching getting published that it usually takes awhile before any publisher will put something into print, and I think if I actually spent the time and eneergy to write something, I'd be devistated with the first letter even knowing that bestsellers have been passed up before. Before I became self-concious about all of this stuff, I used to write like crazy. But I wrote for me, and didn't care that no one would ever read it. It would mostly have been embarassing anyway. And occassionally I still write for myself, like here, but I'm not content with only that. I guess even if I suck at it, I could always invest in writing and improve. I just really don't want to suck, and I want the fairytale where I'm just naturally good at something and everyone recognizes it. :sigh: Perhaps I should start with improving my grammar and spelling, eh?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Harder, Better, Faster Stronger

I'm a little disgruntled about running out of chocolate cereal.
I'm questioning the sanity of people who read my blog, a-hem. I get sick of being with me, so that "absense makes the heart grow fonder" stuff must be true. Like today, I got sick of being with me at Jo-Ann's. I was on the card aisle buying a birthday card. I hate schmaltz, so I don't even go near the sappy ones. I found one with something written on it in french, and started to cry. Why? I don't know. But it was irritating, and it would have been nice to be someone a little more normal at that point. I won't even get into why I was making air raid noises at the computer this morning...
Sometimes I don't like things that happen, and I've decided I need to get over that, LOL. But really, I'm trying to focus on being positive which is hard because sometimes I think I've earned the right to be critical or pessimistic. And sometimes I just like it, really. But get this, " shall be done for you as you have believed..." Matthew 8:13. So if I'm critical about everything, or view it through a lens of pessimism, I'm never going to be happy. And that's not very appealing, even if it means I have to throw myself under the bus hoping. It's hard to want to hope sometimes because I know it means I'm leaving myself open to hurt, and why do that if you don't have to? I'm afraid. But Revealations 21:8 tells us "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." Ouch- so being fearful can separate me from God. I also know Romans 5:5 "Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us." So I know the real problem here is sin and my mindset, not some crazy life situation. And I'm working on that, with the Holy Spirit.
Alright, time for another air raid...

Thursday, February 5, 2009


The title pretty much sums it up. Both of the kids have been ill and I'm stressed about closing on the house and moving in on my own. Yesterday someone broke into my neighbor's house and vandalized it. Nothing was reported stolen, but it's pretty alarming since that kind of thing doesn't happen here. Or it didn't used to. So now I'm back to having sleep problems. Overall I'm not in a bad place, just a little morose. But not dark!
One of the sweet sweet ladies at my MOPS table gave Arden the most thoughtful gift EVER today! I had e-mailed her about Arden's appointment with our therapist and learning to express feelings in a healthy manner. My friend made Arden a sort of care package full of crafts to help Arden feel special and to better express herself with some quality time for the two of us. All of this and she has a 4 week old son!!! MOPS, and the ladies I've met there, has been an awesome opportunity and I'll continue to try and serve in hopes that just maybe I'll be able to add something to it by God using me. I'm sorry for those of you without close female friends, they're really a treasure. The good ones don't cause drama. ;-)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Finger Cut!

I cut my thumb today while being dumb with a knife. I didn't feel like eating lunch (common when Matt's gone, mostly laziness) so I decided to eat salami and cheese by the computer so I could wait for Matt's e-mail. (Which has yet to come, BTW.) But the salami wasn't sliced, so I brought a knife with me. You can see where this is going already, huh? It's still bleeding off and on. Overall, not a good day.
I was looking at my cut in the tub- before it started bleeding again- and thought I sort of felt the way it looked, if that makes sense. On the ouside, the cut didn't look so bad. It was a very clean slice. but the inside was filled with blood and all messed up, waiting to gush out at the slighest provocation. I knew it would get harder for me after the first couple of weeks, but that doesn't mean I like or or even really know what to do with myself except let it ride.
Arden is still acting out a lot and screaming at me. Dana comes over Tuesday morning and I'm hoping she'll have some pearls of wisdom. Until then, let's not provoke the cut...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Back to the Flight Suit!

I'm still trying to remove the remnants of my blue eye shadow, but I had a fun time at the latest MAG-39 fete, "Back to the Flight Suit"! People were definitely checking me out, so tacky must look good on me. Matt has our digital camera, so maybe I'll post pics when some of the other girls e-mail me photos they took.
Being in 267 is strange sometimes. Agnes and I were the only two Stingerettes there with deployed husbands, but there were single Pilots there as well. And then all the married non-deployed folk, which is most people. I watched Matt's boss and his wife dancing and it was sweet, not because they're old (they're not) but because of the tenderness that was evident between them. It's not like they were sappy or anything, we were all dancing to Michael Jackson and Madonna. You could just tell that they still cared about each other in a soft sort of way, if that makes any sense. So I sang my heart out when the band dedicated "With or Without You" to all of the Marines there. I didn't cry or anything sappy, I'm not feeling that way. Just accepting my feelings as normal reactions to abnormal circumstances.
But I did have a blast "dancing the night away" in my cut off flight suit with turquoise leggings and metallic pink leg warmers. I wore a banana clip. :-)

Monday, January 19, 2009

As if things aren't already challenging enough, Arden is dealing with anger issues right now. Since Matt left she's been virtually out of control a few times, but they were all when we were at home. That is until today. She had some ugly tantrums at Mommy and Me Preschool, but I was able to squelch those pretty quickly (with Miss Tassy, of course!). B&N was different, and the end result was she didn't get a book and I got some dirty looks. I put in a call to Dana, my therapist, to try and schedule a house call for a little guidance here. I feel like maybe I'm doing alright, but Arden, well, I can't tell. She could just be being a headstrong three year old, or she could be trying to deal with a greater problem (like Matt being gone, or even something else?). So that's why I called in the "Big Guns"! Sigh.
Matt's been able to call a few times, since he's in Waikiki. That's definitely been encouraging for me! They'll pull out of Port in a couple of days and then I won't hear so much for a bit- a long bit- but at least I know where they're going. So much sadness in our world. I pray daily for a better place for Arden and Ethan when they grow up.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

One down, X? to go

I've labored about what my first line should be here, but I'm thinking this blog is for me anyway so why does it matter? Whatever I choose for the first line isn't going to make me appear any more clever to myself, so it's moot. Where to begin?
I'm starting this blog because everyone told me to journal last time Matt deployed and I didn't. Maybe it means I talk too much and they were sick of my whining and yapping constantly. I'm fairly certain that wasn't it, but my social phobias make me think perhaps I truly am a bit draining to be around and I used to like journaling anyway, so here we go.
Arden just woke up and yelled for me. I'm sad for her because I know she's having a rough go of it. She was visibly upset when she said goodbye to Matt the day he deployed, and now she seems to be having anger issues, sleep problems and has regressed a tad in the potty department. I know these things are temporary but it doesn't make them easier to deal with. I'm not sure how to help her sort things out when I'm still trying to sort my own things out.
I feel like I should be more upset and cry or something flagrantly emotional, but it's not happening. I feel a little numb and aimless. When I'm not numb and aimless, I'm irritated at some minor slight or something someone else couldn't possibly have understood when they said it. Not that they didn't mean it, but perhaps they misjudged their audience (me) when they said it. For instance:
Yesterday a MOPS gal I really look up to called to wish me a belated birthday and ask how my MOPS responsibilities were going. Not a big deal, except she mentioned that I should try and schedule some time with the other Mom at my table soon. I wanted to freak out. "Just what I need now," I'm thinking, "more time with people I'm supposed to be helping/guiding when I can't even help myself!". Really though, I'm being a whiner. No one NEEDS me to make their own life successful, but I was cranky because my husband hasn't even been gone one week and already people are asking me to give more of myself to something else. Three weeks, folks, and then I'll be good to go again. One down, two to go.
The other thing is people sound shocked when I tell them I don't know when Matt will be home, and no, I didn't hear from him today. I don't know when he's pulling into whichever port next, and couldn't tell you even if I did. And, actually, I didn't hear from him today, and I'm okay with that. I know what the computer situation on the boat is right now. I also know that he loves me and will send me an e-mail or call when he can. :sigh:
So if you call me in the next few weeks, I'll just be moping around. I may not answer the phone, but don't take it personally. I know you mean well and when I get over myself, I will respond. I actually enjoy being a hermit somewhat, so introspection and solitude help me grow. To some extent anyway. Sometimes it's good to have company so I don't burn out.
Back to being aimless...