Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Getting somewhere

Yesterday I tried my best to start a new day. There's something to be said for being stubborn, if for no other reason than I just refuse to continue doing the same unhappy dance every day.

Went on a day long job interview, so that helped take my mind off of things. When I got home, no one else was here so I decided to hop in the shower and wash the day off. Sgt. came home about thirty min. later and when I got out of the shower we said our hello's. I walked over to kiss him on the cheek and when I did there was nothing. Not a "hey baby" not a "thank you." He just starred at the screen. *shrugs* "Ok" I thought to myself, "not like I didn't half expect that."

I called and talked to a couple of friends for a little while. I miss them now more than ever. Maybe it's because Sgt, who I would consider one of my best friends, is so distant right now, I am reaching for the others. That coupled with the fact that I'm here in Tennessee just makes them feel further away despite the fact that they all live at least two hours away back home.

He came and got me for supper when it was ready. The room mate wanted to cook dinner last night so mac n cheese with hot dog pieces and instant mashed potatoes it was. :) We hardly said 10 words to each other. Why? Because I was MAD. I feel like I can love him through pretty much anything, that I can tolerate a lot of behavior and I can even take some of the blame when it comes to our relationship not being at the level we'd like, cause hey, I'm in this too! However, I can only put in so much effort and be turned down so many times before I feel a little like "hey, why don't you give it a try bucko?"

When I went to rinse off my plate and put it in the sink, he followed me into the kitchen. "Wana take a short nap?" (We are avid coffee drinkers and nappers... which I'm not sure makes a lot of sense but we are who we are) - I was not tired, nor was I really in the mood to be nice, but my longing to fix this, to have SOME sort of connection with the man I love ruled supreme and I agreed to the nap.

We went to the room and got into bed, not saying much to each other. Then, as we layed there I hear him sigh and then he says "We're definitely in a funk right now huh?" "yep, we sureeee are" was my reply. Finally, talking, getting SOMEWHERE, or maybe where not but at least we're talking about it, at least we're both acknowledging it. He rolled over to face me and proceeded to tell me how it's all he thinks about, and he has tons of questions but no answers. I tell him he could ask, that wouldn't be a bad start, but he says they're not questions about me, or us, they're about him.

He put his arms around me and asks me to talk, to say something. "What do you want me to talk about?" "How you're feeling." This is normally not a concept I'm comfortable with. Even with the man who I am most comfortable around, and sans my blog and my journal, sharing my feelings openly and eloquently is just not something I'm good at. However, since I've been thinking about it so much and since part of me I suppose was feeling at the end of the rope, I didn't feel like I had much to lose so I told him everything. I told him how I felt extremely unwelcome. How I felt like the breakup speech was around the corner and I'm just waiting for it. How much I love him but miss how we were. I also tell him that it's hard to be mad at him, because part of me feels like "What else can I do? What am I not doing enough of? What could I do more or better?" and I don't see it as a "Sgt. has an issue" problem I see it as a "WE have an issue" problem. There was a break in my long string of confessions and he used it as an opportunity to say some of his as well.

"First, please believe me when I say that I love you, I love you more than I could ever tell you or show you... more than I've ever loved anyone. I love you"

In my head I'm thinking, here it is, the breakup speech, the next thing he's going to say is "It's not you it's me."

"Second... and listen close because this is one of the few times I will ever admit this (we make a joke here about getting a tape recorder) but this is just one of those times where... it's really just my problem."

Yep, there he goes "it's me not you" Just say it and kill me now please.

"Third. I am not going to break up with you. (huh? Gosh, sometimes you're more confusing than a woman!) If at the end of this trip, you decide that we need some time apart or if I think I need time to sort through whatever it is I'm going through then that will be something we deal with but I don't want to walk out on you or us, I don't want to lose you."

So, I guess that leaves the door open for a breakup... *I'm laughing to myself now. My life in it's current state is very much like a crappy soap opera*

He goes on to say how sorry he is for how unwelcome I feel, that it was never his intention. I tell him that I don't deserve the way I'm being treated. That I make mistakes too and that I'm not perfect but what he's doing hurts. He agrees. I can tell he's struggling with something. He says that every time he looks at me he feels a wave of love and warmth and then an immediate wave of guilt. He says that now that he's home, it feels like he has nothing to work towards, that everything was handed to him and he just feels like a bum. He has college and me and isn't going hungry.... but he feels like he's hit a wall or a ceiling. He says that we talked so much before about our future and about the next step and then he got scared. That he, who proclaimed himself a lifetime bachelor (don't they all at one point?) was all of a sudden in love and wanting to get married and could see it all and then all of a sudden it was like "Lifetime commitment, it's all over after that" sort of flashed in front of him and he freaked out.

He complimented me a lot. Told me all of the things any woman would want to hear. How I'm the perfect woman for him and would make an amazing wife, and he is frustrated that he sees that and knows that but is still not ready for it. He said he feels like he is incredibly indebted to me, like he owes me for so much and he doesn't know how to pay up.

I was honest with him. I told him that the whole engagement thing and marriage thing was disappointing, I think it would be hard to find a girl who wouldn't be disappointed by that. To have someone begin to bring up all of those thoughts and conversations and then tell you they sort of changed their mind for now. But that it didn't mean I didn't love him or wasn't willing to take a step back if it's what he needed. I tried to explain to him that he doesn't owe me. Not for waiting, not for making sacrifices, not for hanging in there or for putting up with him, not for the support, not for anything. All of those things were for ME... but he wasn't grasping that.

He said that what he needs right now is someone he can bounce things off of and someone who will put him in his place. While I'm not afraid to tell him "Look, you're acting like a jerk" - I'm not his mother, and it's not my job to "put him in his place" or to make his decisions for him. I would gladly any day of the week sit down and listen to him vent or ask my opinion or advice, and if it's a decision that will effect or involve me, then absolutely I will help make it, but I'm not going to make his decisions for him. We talked about that too and he understood.

I asked a hard question "Do you think it's a bad idea for me to move to Tennessee?" "That's a loaded question because it depends on when and where" "no, it's not, our plans as they are right now, do you think it's a bad idea?" "I think moving in January or December, in the financial situation we're both in, yes, its a bad idea." So we at least got somewhere with that... we'll continue to do the long distance thing for a while longer.

He told me he wanted to push me away so he wouldn't hurt me in all that's going on, but that at the same time he just wants to hold me close. I was honest with him, I told him that pushing me away does hurt, and that holding me close while being cold and distant, hurts too. I told him that should something happen where he tells me he can't be with me right now with everything going on, that it's going to break my heart. That I will cry. That my friends will say things like "well he doesn't deserve you" and "it's better that you found out now before you moved" but that I would want whatever he thought was best for him in the end. He asked if it would help if he cried too, and I told him no.

So that's where we are. After that we napped and cuddled and the rest of the evening wasn't bad. This morning was good. We're not broken up, I believe he loves me, but I also believe that there are things going on that are just out of my control and I hate that. I don't know how to make him know that HE is enough, and HE is all I want. I tried to tell him that I don't have to be the enemy here, that we can work at it together but I think he feels more like he's just dragging me through the muck more than working with me as a team... and that's sad.

Part of me is still skeptical of the end result of this month. On the surface some of this sounds a lot like the whole "it's not you, it's me... I just don't want to hurt you but it's not there anymore" stuff.... however I also can't describe how he looked and the way he said things, and, I believe him. What other choice is there? I know he feels and believes the things he said about me, I just wish he wouldn't push me away feeling like he has to deal on his own.

He's still coming back from Iraq. The more I read and hear about other people's experiences the more I feel like a lot of this has to do with the reintegration process and less with us as a couple. Which I suppose offers a little reprieve. It's been almost three months but I have to remind myself that, that's not that long. Part of our problem is that I strongly feel like he's not just coming back from THIS deployment, he's coming back from his first one as well. He was back in the states a little over three months before PCSing to Germany after his first deployment, and was deployed again 6 months after getting to Germany. In the past three years, he's spent a total of maybe, 5 months at home. He went from combat soldier to college student in the distance of about a week and a half and I'd imagine it's a lot to handle, scratch that, I can SEE it's a lot to handle.

Any suggestions? ANY? I want to be there for him... but the only thing I can think to do right now is pray, let him know I'm there, and love him through the fog.

No matter how wonderful it is to have him home, safe and in tact... some days I think the deployment was easier.

4 comments:

KJ

Hi... I'll start by saying that I don't have any suggestions for you. Mostly because everything you've written about the past few days sounds really similar to what we went through last week- except that I already HAD moved, so I was feeling desperate because I was on the wrong side of the country with a guy that doesn't want to marry me.
So, I have to admit I was hoping that you guys would find some magic pill to make it work and that you'd share.
Instead, this week has been better for Ranger Man and I and so I guess I'll share. I already moved here- for a lot of different reasons, I'm here and I really can't leave right now, no matter what. But part of the reason that I chose to come here was because the long distance thing sucked, and it didn't seem like there was any way to improve it (but this long distance would have been Hawaii-Georgia, so it's pretty extreme). He can't make any decisions, or change his mind about anything while I'm on the other side of the ocean.
Then he finally gets here too and we find out that we've only got about a month and then locked-down school and then pretty immediate deployment. ouch. And he makes it VERY apparent sometimes that getting married is not what he's after. But being with me IS what he's after, and being with him, my best friend, is what I'm after. So we opted for the just let it be for a while approach and enjoy each other while we can for the next month. We love each other and we will figure things out, when they need to be figured out, and I think I've finally got through to him that we will figure things out TOGETHER. But for now, we're enjoying the fact that he can make us dinner, and that we can eat pancakes together in the morning.
I don't know how exactly we decided that, although there was some red wine involved and also a great trip to see a musical in Atlanta, but that's as much as we can do I guess.
It hurts when they tell you they don't want to marry you after they've told you they do. I don't think they have any idea how much that hurts. But, the way I look at it is that he's doing it because he doesn't want any doubts. He only wants a great marriage, not an okay one and he only wants one that will last forever. That's worth waiting for him to figure his head out, in my opinion at least.

Sorry for the novel- but you totally struck a nerve- such similar circumstances. I keep thinking that reintegrations are hard... but it's even harder when you don't have a set future...

d.a.r.

I have to say, I've been there. I've felt all of those things before. You just have to have faith in you and your relationship that it will work out. You have to keep trying and be patient even when you don't want to. And you have to demand the same of him.

I'm thinking of you guys, I know this cannot be easy at all. Hang in there.

Kung Fu Panda Bear

Hi. I've been a lurker for a while, but after reading your last post, I thought I'd leave a comment.

My boyfriend and I went through something similar over this past year. We both moved to DC (him from Campbell and me from NY)last year when he went from an active duty special forces staff sgt to a college freshman. (He started school a couple of months after returning from his last deployment.) He's now a sophomore and it's been a hard adjustment for him. He still feels like he belongs with his team back at Campbell. He feels guilty that his teammates are deploying again in a few months without him. He feels out of place at school where everybody is 6 years younger than him and have none of his life experiences. He feels like he's doing nothing when he should be fighting a war.

It's taken a lot for him to adjust to college life and I'm not sure he really has or if he ever will. But it has gotten a lot better with time. I know that for him it's been especially tough readjusting from deployments without any of his army buddies around.

It's been really frustrating for me to not be able to fix anything for him. To just be there on the sidelines. At first he tried to shut me out when he was having problems and that hurt. But over time, he's learned to let me into his life. Now I'm the first person he calls when he's happy, sad, upset, anything. It's taken a lot for us to reach there. A lot of fights, a lot of pouting on my end. All I can say is that I feel your pain and that it will get easier. It just takes a lot of patience and having faith. Also, building my own life outside of him helped me a lot.

Lindsay

What everyone else has said makes so much sense. It's times like these that I'm so grateful to have this little blog-community of ours.

Keep your chin up and keep doing what you're doing. **HUG**