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?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Look Out Y'all, It's Gonna Be A Gullywasher of Irritation

Just how the hell does life manage to pull this sort of thing off, anyway? I'm going along, happy as can be that everything is working out well for all the kids (SILy and DQ are about to move out of our living room and into their own place, TB has managed to marry the young lady of his dreams, who probably now should have her own nickname...let's see...DILy seems to fit nicely, one because she's my Daughter-In-Law now and also, well, because she's a real dilly. Ha. Yeah, the humor, she is just pouring from my fingers today). I have had a couple of really great days at school, addressing really important topics with students that can have life changing repercussions for them - and I feel like I did it really well, too. The feeling that yeah, this is what I'm supposed to be doing was as strong as it's ever been. That isn't to say that I feel like I know everything I should know, or that I've done a bang up job all semester. No fucking way, y'all. Just that I felt like I was on the right track, moving in the right direction.

I had been dreading the discussion about domestic violence because I really hate having to talk about that stuff, and lemme tell you, PTSD is a real bitch. So I was not too hip on last week's discussion points for class, but hey. What can you do? But I felt like I did really well, and really hit it out of the park. I kept thinking that all of it, every bit of the awful time I spent with TB's dad, it was all worth it and I wouldn't trade it for anything, because it's what I draw from while I lecture about this topic. I could see the importance of my past in my present and my future.

But - and you knew there'd be one of those, didn't you? - but I'm just underwhelmed about going back to school. I'm not happy with my options here, and I can't seem to focus on a Statement of Purpose. Just reading over the suggestions for drafting an SOP make me gag ("Sell yourself! Think of your personal statement as a persuasive essay or sales pitch. Maintain a positive attitude throughout your essay..."). MAINTAIN a positive attitude?? How about GETTING a positive attitude that I might can possibly maintain? How much of this comes from a general desire not to go back to school? How much comes from frustration over lack of funds? How much comes from frustration over having children living in the living room? Children who speak baby talk, and take to their "bed" (i.e., my sofa) when sidelined by the dreaded and terrible illness, ALLERGIES? For which all manners of medication are summarily rejected, because the Delicate Flower that is her body cannot abide the harsh strength of a Benadryl.

Hmmm. I'm thinking that the move home of the children has a few small down sides to it. Loss of my sanity, being one.

I'm tired of not having any money. There's no way that we can live on what I'm making as an adjunct if I have to start paying back my student loans. I'm giving serious thought to a second job. A second job would, of course, mean that my trip to see TB and DILy would be postponed until...well, until time for him to go to Iraq, at which time I would travel to the base and wave goodbye to my child, wondering if he would ever return, or if he would return altered in ways I can't imagine or understand.

TB continues to mishandle his money, and in typical, guilty mother fashion, I have bailed him out again and again. Our credit cards are maxed out. We are down to our last few hundred bucks and it has to last us through the end of the month. We are living paycheck to paycheck (well, DUH, who isn't these days? Oh right, SILy and DQ aren't. They are SAVING MONEY). By helping TB, I alienate and anger Hon (rightfully so, because I have (a) trashed our own financial situation and (b) not been honest with him). Relationships become strained. Life becomes unpleasant. Weekends are not for resting or relaxing, but are instead long spans of time to be lived through and survived.

TB makes more money now than I do, and certainly makes more money than Hon does. He'll soon make more money himself than we do together. He's plowed through the first installment of his enlistment bonus. I'm contemplating selling plasma.

It becomes harder and harder for me to tell him no, knowing that any day now he could be called overseas, and I might never see him again. And I don't want to turn him down, I want to help him out, because that's what mothers do, isn't it? Help? And make things all better? I'm so frustrated.

And meanwhile, SILy and DQ sleep the days away, whine at each other, and in general make me very unhappy. I've never seen one person nap as much as DQ does. Well, unless you count SILy. All the whining and carrying on in various babyfied ways that is taking place in my living room is not improving my mood, either.

I have taken to reverting to behavior that worked for me when DQ lived with us before. I simply do my best not to be at home as much as I used to. Now when I am not in class or doing office hours, I am at the gym, or at the library, or the Local Tea House, with Handy Wi-Fi. When faced with the possibility of unpleasant interactions, I simply bow out of the equation and concede the space.

I miss my friends. I miss the life I had when I wasn't "making a difference" but was instead making a real paycheck. I miss the life I lead with Hon when it was just us two. I miss our house. I miss our yard. I miss home.


Blogger frog said...

PTSD really does suck. I'm sorry you know that.

3:44 PM  

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