I realize that it is not Tuesday. I had every intention of writing last night, but I was exhausted. We had a full day yesterday and my thyroid medication has been readjusted, so I feel like my body is taking some time to get use to the new dosage, but I have so much to write about Tell it Tuesday that I woke up before the children this morning to get it all out.
Every three weeks I see my therapist on Tuesday. There is a playroom at the office where my children can go play and I generally feel comfortable with them coming with me most of the time. Of course, yesterday was the day that the playroom was closed and I honestly saw it as a blessing in disguise because I really didn’t want to see this therapist again. I even asked the receptionist if there was another counselor there that fit more into my schedule. The receptionist was not having it and told me to wait to talk to this lady who I really didn’t take a liking to after our first session. I was a bit irritated and welcomed my son’s calls to go home. I was thinking of my exit plan and just when I was about to get up to walk out of the office, the therapist appeared.
She, the therapist, suggested we go to a nearby park and let the kids play while we talked. I thought that was nice, but I felt trapped. I just did not like her and wanted to go home, but we all went to the park anyway and believe it or not, I had an awesome session. We talked about the homework she gave me, which was to open up to my husband about my activities and my life in general. I told her that I did, but the response was not what I was expecting from him. He seems so busy that he does not care about my life right now and he checks in with us more out of obligation and less to genuinely see how we are doing. I told her about a slideshow of pictures I made for him with that John Legend song “All of Me” playing in the background and his not even mentioning that he got it. I told her that I tried my best to open up, but our relationship during deployments is complicated and I don’t like having my feelings hurt. I should not open myself up during this time and I should keep things that I enjoy separate from him. I need to have my own activities just for me. The therapist smiled and asked, “did you share those things with your husband for a reaction or did you share them for you?” I was a bit perplexed. I was under the impression that this was all for him because I told her I did not want to do it in the first place, but apparently I was wrong. She said, “I asked you to share the things you do or feel with him, so you don’t continuously cut him off emotionally”. The activity was not for him, but for me and the health of our marriage. The idea is that if I completely cut my husband out of my life while he is away, then we will have that much more to rebuild when he returns, at least from my end. I get it, but it is hard to put myself out there because he has a whole life separate from me. I don’t know what’s going on with him. I get bits and pieces and I don’t like that, but marriage is not a tit for tat game and I have learned that if I open up, he usually follows right behind me. In fact, after trying to talk to him about my activities and sending him that slideshow and not getting the response I wanted, I told him that it hurt me. I expected an argument, but what I got was a dialogue of what he’s going through and a word of understanding. I did not get a promise of trying better, which sucks; however, the communication between us has gone from just checking in to really listening to one another. I guess the therapist may know something after all. My homework for the next 3 weeks is to call one person in my family once a week and let them know that I care. That is a very hard task. I am not that open, especially with people in my life before Iraq. I guess it is the PTSD and I do want to build those relationships again, but the numbness that I feel during those types of conversations make me sad. I guess I’m afraid of the work, but I am smart enough to know that I’ll never rebuild if I don’t work at it.
Another thing we do here on Tuesdays is go to Yogurtland. As I keep writing on Tell it Tuesday, I plan to post pics of what we eat. Yogurtland Tuesday is something I started after my husband left. Every Tuesday, I put my phone down and listen to what the kids have to say. I have learned a great deal on these special Tuesdays. I learned last week that my daughter keeps the bad things that happen to her at school from me because she is afraid I will beat the other kid up or their parents. I don’t know where she got that from. I have never shown her a violent side to me. I asked the therapist about it and she told me that my daughter has probably observed how angry I get when someone hurts her and came up with that conclusion. I would never hit a kid…I’ll leave it at that. My son always mentions that he wishes his daddy was home on these Tuesdays and gives me a list of what games they will play when his daddy returns home. The most interesting thing we talked about yesterday was how caramel makes everything taste better. Sometimes it isn’t that deep, but the children need Yogurtland Tuesday to feel listened too and I’m happy to do it.
I feel so accomplished. I finished this blog post before anyone woke up!