My thanks are extended to @Kblogger for tweeting lyrics to Dave Matthews Band's "Where Are You Going."
After yesterday's heavy post, I had no idea what to write. I don't want anything quite that heavy because, honestly, I'm STILL exhausted from writing yesterday's post. At the same time, I don't want to write about random funny things the kids said or product reviews or anything too frivolous.
That song, however, is one I listened to quite a bit during dh's deployments, so I'm using it as inspiration.
Yes, I stayed with my husband through the hell that is PTSD. I've been very open about the fact that I nearly left once. Well, twice, really, but the first time was after his first deployment to the Middle East and I didn't have this blog then.
I really do miss the man my husband once was, but I love who he has become. Yes, I liked my husband more before he was forever altered, but I admire him more now.
Where are you going
with your long face pulling down?
Don’t hide away like an ocean
But you can’t see, but you can smell
And the sound waves crash down
There was a long time after he came home when he wasn't himself at all. He lived inside his head. He still does this far more than he used to before he deployed. No, I don't like that one bit. He dealt with the physical distance by distancing himself. It's what he needed to do to cope. You can't just snap out of that after months and months, though. He's been home for years and he hasn't completely come out of that.
Yes, it leaves me feeling lonely. I've known loneliness when my husband was a world away. It's a far different type of loneliness when he's lying beside you at night, but isn't really there. I've told him, "I miss you," to his face. That is absolutely crushing.
I am no superman
I have no reasons you
I am no hero, oh that’s for sure
But I do know one thing for sure
Is where you are is where I belong
Still, he is there beside me at night. He could have decided he had no desire to stay with someone who pestered him to get help. He could have decided he had enough stress over there and could do without any from me. Family life is stressful as hell. He could have walked away. He didn't. True, he is far less patient with the kids than he was before he deployed, but every evening, you can find him reading bedtime stories to them all on one of their beds.
He does what he can. We just have to adjust our expectations of what he can do.
And above all, this line still rings very true for me,
I do know, where you go, is where I want to be.
It's been frustrating for me (and I say, "Me," not "Us" because the children don't remember what he was like before. I find that both crushing and comforting), but I've just had to be a support. I just stand by and watch. He's the one who has had to do the searching. He's the one who took the misguided drugs prescribed by the military doctors. He's the one who had visceral reactions to noises that reminded him of the desert. He's the one who still suffers physical pain.
Where are you going, where do you go?
Are you looking for answers
to questions under the stars?
If along the way you are growing weary,
You can rest with me until a brighter day
It's okay. You're okay.
No, he's not the same. He is better than he was in the months following his homecoming. Maybe some day he'll be more like the man I married over a decade ago. He's not the same, but he is "Okay." We're okay. Yes, I do mourn who he was and I feel lonely now and then, but I love that man! I love our life. Don't let my melancholy posts fool you. I love that man with so much intensity that it's overwhelming. We share a life. We share understanding. We share a deep love.
Tell me where are you going, where do you go?
Where? Let's go.