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?

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.


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