Thursday, May 24, 2007
I was having a good day,
then Bush opened his mouth.
It never ends. I mean that in reference to being a military wife and in reference to the conflict.
My day started off well. I slept pretty well. We headed out on time. I ran longer than I ever have at the gym. I was in a great mood.
While at the gym, a breaking news update flashed on the screen. My heart skipped a beat. I held my breath. For a moment, the whole world seemed to stop. My husband is no longer active duty, but I'm still a military wife. I've become so conditioned to reacting in terror every time that happens. It's a part of who I am. Part of me is furious over that fact. Another part of me is comforted.
Then Bush appeared and started speaking. Normally, I cannot watch him on the news. I tried desperately to watch his State of the Union address back in '03 when dh was deployed, but I found that I got too riled up. His speech was full of "mistruths", misstatements, and outright lies. Today, though, I watched, because I so desperately hoped they had some good news about the 2 soldiers who are still missing. No such luck.
Bush talked about removing the deadlines. He used his obnoxious "Support the troops" mantra. He insisted that if we don't continue fighting, Al Qaeda will attack us again.
I was livid. When I punched the machine I was on at the time, I knew I needed to get away. I stepped outside in the rain and bawled. Called a friend, went back in, stood and stared as Bush continued speaking, heard some friends there talk about the situation like it was entertainment, sat down in the lobby and cried again.
It hit me so hard. I think part of the reason is that I don't have my guard up. When dh was gone, I had to keep myself in check. When you're in the middle of it, you have to stay calm (or at least something that remotely resembles calm) if you plan on being able to get through your day. I guess I've already started to take that wall down, so I had no buffer. It hit me HARD.
In the end, I went in to the nursery and hugged the kids. It reminded me so much of that day back in 2003, when missiles were first fired over Baghdad. My girls were babies. I watched them play all while I watched the news reports. Here were my little girls who fought for life, giggling and sharing cereal in front of a t.v. screen where reporters spoke of casualties. I hugged the girls back then and wondered what the future held for them amid all this violence. I still don't know, but years later, it still looks pretty bleak. Hell, it looks much worse now than it did 5 years ago.
AHHH. There is so much I want to say. There's so much I want to scream. I just can't right now. I'll write another entry later on political rhetoric vs. our life.
Although, I do want to say, I'm so glad for my husband. When I hear/think of those we have lost, I get the overwhelming urge to touch him. I just want to be in his presence. I want to be reassured with physical proof that he does still exist. I want to celebrate that. But at the same time, I want to mourn those who are lost and in my husband's arms is the safest place to do that.
When dh is deployed and I hear about casualties, but I can't touch him or even contact him, it makes me want to claw my skin off. If you've ever been in labor, it's like transition. You're overwhelmed by the intensity of the sensation and you feel as though you simply cannot do this. You can't relax. You can't stand any sensations. The tension is excruciating.
When he's home, I just want to run to him. It happened on Veterans' Day and today it happened again. I suddenly got the urge to touch him, to hold him. I even tried calling him at work to see if I could stop by. Couldn't get through, though.
A few hours later, I was able to speak to him. I told him how I was surprised by my reaction and I ranted a bit about Bush. Dh assured me that he understood because even though he's not active, we still have friends who are plus there's always a chance he could be called up again. He agreed with my rant completely. I got the same response from a friend, my sister and even my mom, but it was particularly comforting coming from my husband.
Like I said, I'll post more on the topic later, but for now, I want to leave you with this:
"Help us and save us all, and let us cling tightly to the virtue of peace."(Attributed to Rabbi Nachman ben Feiga of Breslov, 1773-1810)