Peacemonger Mom

My son just enlisted in the military. I'm a peace activist. Why couldn't he have rebelled in some other way, like being republican?

Monday, March 12, 2007

And knowing is half the battle.*

I finally, finally know what's wrong with me. After writing a long, rambling entry about inability to focus, loss of sleep, loss of all sorts of things, I went to the library and a book literally jumped out of the shelf and landed in my arms. I never expected that there was actually a term for what I'm feeling. I thought I was just an overly protective, very worried mother, who was just plain ol' going crazy with worry that her only son would die. While this is still the case, I'm really relieved to know that there's a name for this, other than Peacemongermom Is a Nutbag. It's called anticipatory grieving, and when I read a passage from this book that described my actions to an alarming "T" recently, I engaged in a rather relieved, full-on crying fit. Nosebleed included.

If you know anyone in the military, or anyone who has a family member in the military, you need to read this book. This is a book that someone should read to Bush, since we all know that he doesn't read. This is a book that should replace that book about the fucking history of salt that the Chimpresident read summer before last (riiiight, he read that along with this, this, and this).

And clearly, since you are reading this blog, you know someone who has a family member in the military. And I really, honestly think that you know more people fighting this war than you realize.

*Rather ironic, isn't it?

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Cue Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton and Lilly Tomlin

I'm discovering that this school shit is a lot more hard work than a simple 9-5 job. It's not a 9-5 job, it's a 9-9 job. It's a "from the time my little feet hit the floor running (staggering from exhaustion, more like) to the time I collapse at night, I'm dealing with work." This thesis writing nonsense is sucking as much life out of me as worrying about The Boy.

I get out so rarely that when I went to the grocery store on a nice sunny day, with the windows down, I got a fucking sunburn.

I am not kidding.

I think I am starting to turn into Gollum. The title of my thesis should be "My Presssciooouuusss: A Look Into the Rapidly Insanifying Mind of a Graduate Student." Or perhaps "Graduate School: Opportunity for Excessive Debt or Excessive Drinking? BOTH!"

Yeah. It's not going well.

I am getting nosebleeds on a fairly regular basis now, and when I get closer to the summer, I fully expect to just bleed out nostrarily. (I'm in graduate school, I get to make up words.) I have a permanent headache. I hate getting out of bed. I can't remember to do basic shit (the wheels on my car are pulling so hard to the left that I can only drive in small circles like a clown car now). The sun is beautiful, the trees are blooming, and I can't remember to take my allergy pills. My father calls me regularly to complain about my sister (that's a whole nother crazyblog experience, which I have no desire to get into now, because I'm already upset enough), and now he's sick as well.

And The Boy and I both are on the same conveyor belt, headed towards a meat grinder that he can't see, and I can. I'm behind him, far enough, so that once he goes through that meat grinder and comes through the other side, I will be able to see what happens, not be able to help or fix it, but will have to deal with it. That's when *I* get to go through the meat grinder. I heard a series of interviews yesterday on NPR about what is happening with Walter Reed, and it's not just the soldiers who are dying and suffering with this war. And coming home in one piece? Not an option. If you fight in this war as a soldier, or you fight in this war as a soldier's family member, you are going to be wounded. There is no hope for a successful exit to this. If your soldier goes over there, he or she will come home with scars - scars of the body, or scars of the mind. And the government doesn't care, won't help, and only wants more cannon fodder.

That was plain in the interview I heard yesterday - a Marine went to Iraq, performed his job, was injured, he got PTSD. He turned to drugs and alcohol, because of the PTSD that the government claims doesn't exist. His mother's voice, as she spoke to the interviewer, was dead. You can hear how dead her remaining days were, how much she had simply given up. Her son was jailed by the Corps that he loved, then he was given a dishonorable discharge. She told the interviewer that he had begun to drink a lot. The interviewer asked what was a lot, and she said that sometimes she will call him, and he doesn't know who she or his father are.

If TB would say to me that he doesn't want to do this, I would leave for Canada with him, with nothing more than the cash I could pull out of the bank and the dog.

I suppose that that makes me sound like I am on the ledge of falling off crazy, but that's how I feel. I am working so hard to get through one day at a time, knowing that each day that passes brings us closer to that Government Approved meat grinder, and all I want to do is fall back in time to when TB was a small boy that I could scoop out of the way of whatever was coming.

I don't know how I will be able to live through his deployment. This is like living with a fatal disease, which you know will claim your life on a specific date. To be honest, in a way, it already has claimed my life - I anticipated this time period to be the happiest, the best time of my life. I spend my time now in a constant state of low grade panic.

I understand now, what some of the feminist writers that I have studied meant when they wrote about how terrible it feels to lock away a part of yourself. I have locked away the part of myself that is already a screaming, grieving mother, but she unfortunately seems to be able to get her head and arms between the bars of her cage now and again.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

A Word

Privatization. That word has been pissing me off for a long, long time. I first heard it a long time ago, when there was a corporation in the town where I lived at the time planning to take over the work at the jail. "Hmmm," I thought at the time. "Why not? Seems like a good idea to me! That way the Sheriff's Department can put more of the Deputies to work doing other things, things relating to keeping the community safe."


Fast forward a few years, and that privatized jail issue had morphed into a full blown scandal, involving much kickbacks, enormous amounts of graft and prisoners being mistreated, untreated and treated badly.

Privatization is another word for profiteering. It's a pretty way to say things like "Sorry, Soldier, but I know your enlistment is up, but we need you to put your ass in harm's way until we say you can stop. Sort of a Stop-Loss for us, you know." No, that's called a fucking draft, and you should call it what it is. It's unfair at its core concept.

Just like priva--profiteering.

The school I attend where I am getting my master's has a rhetoric program, and that's what I am going to study for my Ph.D. Wonder if I can do my dissertation on Privateering/Profiteering, Stop-Loss/Indentured Servitude type twistings from these idiots in the Bush administration?

Probably a bad idea. Excessive exposure to a topic like that would set my hair on fire. My eyeballs would melt. At this point, I'm thinking I write about puppies and kittens. Nobody can hate on puppies and kittens.

Well, Ann Coulter probably could.

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Monday, March 05, 2007

Honesty! How Refreshing!

Well, thank God that someone in the Bush administration is being honest, at least, even if the news that they are sharing is not particularly good.

And more honesty! As if we didn't already know that "compassionate conservative" was an oxymoron, here's Newt to really reinforce that for us!

Since I sent my congresscritters and the preznit a copy of the Walter Reed article, perhaps I should send them a copy of this article as well. It likely wouldn't be the first time that George got a "gentleman's C" by using somebody else's cheat sheet.

My thesis writing is going slowly. TB is learning how to clear houses. Sigh.

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

March 17th - Where will YOU be?

I will be participating in a number of actions - unfortunately I am too far from Washington to be able to attend this one. My sister and her family are going, though, and I've bought them all Military Families Speak Out t-shirts to wear to the rally. I would love to go - this is going to be big.