I had my own little revelation today. I notice that right before drill every month I get anxious, and filled with dread. I never really could put my finger on why I feel this way. It's not like we do a whole lot that would cause stress on drill weekends; we take a PT test every month, and then maybe have a few classes or paint walls (we did a LOT of painting this weekend!!). You would think it was the easiest "job" in the world. As a junior enlisted, I have no responsibility other than to do what I am told, sit around chatting with other junior enlisted, and wait until the leaders decide to let us loose for the night.Yes, I get paid for this. Drill weekends should be almost a "vacation" from my normal, hectic life.
First Sergeant called me in to his office this afternoon. He wanted to check on me. Let's just say I took an email very personally that was not his intention and he was a little worried about me. As soon as he asked "How are you doing?" and really meant it, the waterworks started. They always do when someone REALLY wants to know how I am doing. I had held it together all weekend. Sure, I had complained a little here and there about the endless painting we had to do, or rolled my eyes when we were told to move a set of filing cabinets for the fifth time BACK to the original spot they were in, but if I didn't complain, I wouldn't be the typical junior enlisted soldier now would I? However, once I looked into his eyes that were genuinely filled with concern, I lost it. The talk was good, and I was grateful that with as little time that he has in a weekend, especially with a deployment on the horizon, he took a few minutes to check on me.
As I jumped into my car to head home to enjoy some homemade chili and football with Foster, tears started streaming down my eyes. It occurred to me for the first time that it was a Sunday after drill, very similar to today, that my last full day with my Rosalynn was unknowingly coming to an end. I had been in civilian clothes because I was soooooo big, and the only thing my commander asked was "Finny, why are you in civilian clothes?" I guess he had forgotten about the 5 times I had requested the maternity ACUs but had yet to receive . As a health care provider (a nurse practitioner in his civilian life) you would think he might have been concerned about my overly swollen legs, the feet that were so swollen that only flip flops could fit on them. You would think at the very least he would have asked how the pregnancy was going, or offer to finish the final signatures pertaining to my discharge that I was holding in my hands. However, "Why are you in civilian clothes?" and "I will sign those later," were the only things he said to me. I spent most of my time with my feet elevated in the office, and only got up to pee, heat up some food, and to let everyone feel my belly when Rosie got the hiccups for the first time ever. One of our radiology techs (who I currently also work at the hospital with) sat down concerned and told me he was worried about my swelling and the pregnancy because he had just recently been witness to an ultrasound where a 36 week pregnant woman was told the baby's heart had stopped. He told me to pay close attention to the kicks. I giggled uncomfortably and reassured him that I would be fine, and if I noticed a decrease in movement, I would be sure to call my OB. This conversation is one of the main reasons I noticed she wasn't moving so early on.
As I was driving home from drill, I realized that I think I resent that place. Not the people, the PLACE. Every time I get in uniform and go to that armory, I am reminded of what I lost. Even if I went all month without crying or thinking badly about my loss; even if I went all month with positive, wonderful things happening, and no sad or angry moments; even if all month I was able to NOT think about the immense pain that sits in the middle of my chest (not likely, but we can always hope), I am ALWAYS reminded of those last days every time I put that uniform on and head into drill. The same uniform I used to love donning and was proud to zip up and walk out the door in, is now a uniform that is a constant reminder of my loss every time I put it on. It is not one of those good reminders, like seeing a rose in bloom or hearing a song that makes me smile in remembrance of my daughter. It is one of those painful reminders that makes me anxious, depressed, and even angry.
In therapy this may be considered a "breakthrough". I have realized one reason for my anxiety, now it is a matter of figuring out how to deal with all of this; but for now I breath a sigh of relief for yet another drill weekend passing, I look forward to the next few weeks of not thinking about going back, and in a few weeks I will start to mentally prepare myself again for yet another round.
Well Here's a Huge Update
2 months ago