I've been away - you probably noticed. A number of trains were rushing toward me and after the resulting, continuous, obvious train wreck, I mentally walked away. I had no other choice. I'd never felt so overwhelmed, so completely drained, so physically tired, so naggingly sick.
It was every bit as gruesome as I expected. I looked at the College train and the Work train and the Marriage train and the Baby train and the Garden train and the Housework train and the Future train, all in a twisted rubble with the Finances train, the New Car train, the Ambitions train, the Leave-New-Jersey train, the Army train, the Health Insurance train, the Day Care train and the Dirty Laundry train. Then there was the Never-ending Cold train, the breastfeeding train, the Ear Infection train, the Compost train, the Why-Are-There-So-Many-Moths-In-My-Kitchen train, the Get-Out-Of-My-Closet-Cat train, the Poison Ivy train and the All-My-Sweaters-Are-Ugly train. Too many fucking trains, and they were all coming at me instead of riding on the tracks in a line like they were supposed to.

Does this make any sense? I had to get away from the train wreck that just kept wrecking and wrecking. I had to go away to a quiet place and I left a zombie to walk around in my clothes and fulfill my obligations.

Maybe my metaphors are the problem - maybe I spend too much time making them up in my head instead of thinking about solutions to all the problems I have in front of me. Maybe I simply spend too much time thinking about the problems at all. I just don't like to feel unstable or like I'm on uneven ground, and lately that's all I've been feeling.

So here it is, as plainly as I can bear:

I didn't ask for an extension of my active duty (ADOS) orders at my unit. The fiscal year was ending/beginning, so there was some uncertainty if there would even be money available for me come 1 October, but in any case, I didn't even ask to extend. There is no explanation that could do justice the dread I felt just waking up in the morning with the knowledge that I had to go and spend 9 hours there. I spent many a drive home alternating between crying and screaming at the dashboard. The environment there was just too toxic, too soul-sucking, that I couldn't do it anymore. I like to think of myself as a pretty agreeable, resilient person, but that place - those people - were completely breaking my spirit. I hesitate to blame the whole trainwreck on any one thing, but if I had to, my position at my unit would be it. It made everything else 1,000,000 times worse. It even made my sweaters seem uglier somehow.

So that leaves us with a 6 month old, two full-time college schedules, and no job (either of us). We are both working on some employment possibilities so that at least one of us will be able to bring in some money, but for the time being, we only have my Post-9/11 G.I. Bill stipend to live on - $1,701/month.

Depressing, right? Depressing when you are watching that particular train coming closer and closer and closer and closer - just fucking hit me already! - and you're wincing and wincing and wincing... But it's over, the Unemployment train joined the other trains in the wreck and now I think I can get back to living again. I can stop sulking and start devoting actual time to my school work again (hopefully it's not too late to salvage this semester). I can focus on not being such a collosal bitch to Theseus and repair some of the frayed bits of our marriage. I'll be a happier mother and a better housekeeper. I'll finally write a proper resume and stop clinging to the Army for employment. And I - we - will recover.

It's not going to be an easy recovery, I know this. We will have to live like monks for a couple months until something becomes available (but please don't worry about us, we are not/will not be destitute). We will have to confront the very-real possibility of a change in plans, whether it is an interrupted degree or a long-distance NJ-MA marriage. There will be additional stresses and frustrations that we haven't anticipated.And we will be ok. I won't jinx myself and say it can't get any worse, but...

The ugly sweaters, though. I don't quite know what to do about that.

- Antiope

10/4/2011 09:31:25 pm


I can completely understand your feelings right now. ESPECIALLY the feeling of almost relief about having the train wreck happen. I always do better in the aftermath of an event and fall to pieces in the lead up to it.

It is absolute feeling of relief when you are sitting there, looking at the mess, knowing you have no other options than to clean up.

If the job was taking that much out of you then you did the right thing. Too often we make the secure choice without considering it's effect on us.

Good luck with all your trains! Hopefully they get in line for you.

10/5/2011 10:56:31 am

Donate the sweaters to the Salvation Army or a womens shelter or somewhere. Go kiss Tree, give that adorable baby a snuggle, take a deep breath & know that you did what was best for YOU.

Or, send the sweaters to Deady. He probably needs them.

10/7/2011 02:06:27 am

@Meg - Thanks. I really am feeling better. Still nothing concrete in the employment department, but I'm optimistic. And it's so nice to not have to worry about the impending crash anymore.

@Angel - Haha, Deady! I just Facebook-stalked him. He looks like he could fit into my sweaters, and yes he'd probably wear them to be "ironic" or whatever. Isn't that what all the cool kids do? ;)


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