Tag Archives: love

PTSD… Who Me?

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a psychiatric illness that often occurs after a mental or physical trauma. It can be something that you thought you dealt with, but then something triggers a reaction in yourself that can be frightening, traumatic, or just down right scary! It may present as a physical or mental issue or a combination of both.

I never thought I had PTSD. I mean, I’ve been to therapists over the past 11 years, and some have mentioned it to me, but I never REALLY thought I was suffering from PTSD. I have always somehow reserved that particular diagnosis for first responders, military members fighting in the war, people that witness the murder or assault of their friends or family etc., but never me. That was until a very intelligent friend (Thanks Sarah) mentioned it to me once again last week during a casual conversation via phone. Hmmm….I think she made me think about this possibility more than I really wanted to, but to think is to heal, so let the healing begin!

For those who don’t know, I was cheated on by my ex-husband. For those who have gone through similar experiences, you know all to well, it’s one of the hardest things to overcome. Adultery has a way of eating away your self-esteem. It takes away your confidence. It makes you doubt yourself in every way. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he chose to have an affair with a woman who attacked me physically with a beer bottle, leaving me with over 75 sutures to the face and breast. So now, I have a constant reminder of the affair staring back at me every time I look in a mirror or see a picture of myself. It never goes away. For them, they have moved on…both of them had more affairs with other people and got remarried. Thankfully, I never have to see her again, but not by his choice. He kept dating her after the attack, even bringing our child around her. But they stopped dating because a judge ordered no contact between her and my daughter who was 3 at the time! Unfortunately, once a cheater, always a cheater seems to be fitting for him. Now I just have to deal with my daughter being drug through relationship after relationship, most of which have ended due to him cheating!

So now that I’ve explained my situation a little bit, I can get back on topic! It all began a little over a week ago. My wonderful husband had a port call. This was an unexpected port call that I was not mentally prepared for. It was great, don’t get me wrong! We usually go months without hearing his voice much less seeing his adorable face on FaceTime! But last week, we were given the chance to enjoy his smile, his encouraging words, his sweetness, and just him being him! Yes, I am SO in love with this man and just hearing his voice gives me butterflies! The girls were happy to hear from him too. I think Everleigh had given up on dada coming home from work! She’s been in much better spirits since hearing his voice last week!

One would think hearing my husband would be a happy occasion. But….there it was….without any warning…that nagging feeling of fear! What is he doing? Where is he? Who is he with? Is some slutty whore talking to him? As much as I tried to push those feelings down, they were there. I was up late at night, not sleeping well at all, and just overall anxious! Why was I being all crazy when this man has never given me a reason to doubt his love for me? He’s never made me feel anything less than beautiful, so why was I so concerned with his whereabouts and what he was doing?

Then my breaking point. I sat here waiting for his call. It was late and I was tired but I wasn’t willing to miss hearing his voice before bed. I tried to text him, no response. I thought maybe he had to go back to work and couldn’t call me, so I decided to use my iPhone to track him. My head was saying “JUST to see if he is at work” but my heart was saying “just to make sure he’s not a lying, cheating bastard like a lot of men I know!” There it was….he was in a hotel!! My heart sank! I picked up the phone and dialed his number, meanwhile mentally preparing for my upcoming divorce and facing life as a single mother once again! He answered….I guess I wasn’t expecting that since he was OBVIOUSLY in the middle of a scandalous rendezvous.  I asked where he was. He of course said he was eating and having a beer at a restaurant, not the hotel that I tracked him to. I was quiet….

Husband—“What’s wrong baby?”

Me—“Nothing”

Husband–“Baby, we HAVE to come here! I’m at the restaurant in the military hotel where we could stay and it’s awesome! It’s family friendly and they have lots to do…..”

I have to admit, I zoned out after I heard him speak those words. I am so stupid! Why would I ever doubt this man! He is the most caring, loving, family-oriented man I know! He has never been just about him and I, but us as a family! He plans everything, from career to vacations, around me and OUR kids! And when I say “our”, I mean all of our kids  including those that aren’t biologically his!  He definitely deserves 100% of my trust! So after 10 minutes, I told him why I was so quiet when I first called him. He said to me, “Baby, all I ever want is you! I hate being here without you and the kids…I love you!”

The best part is knowing that he meant it with all of his heart! He told me one time when we were dating he would NEVER walk out on my kids, no matter what! He knew what it felt like and there was no way he would ever do it to a child! When he said his vows on December 10, 2006, he meant every last word. For better, for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, he is the man of my dreams….my forever…my sanity….my love…my everything!

I’m sure the PTSD will rear its ugly head from time to time, but when it does, I will always have my husband, the perfect cure, to help me through it!

9 Years & Counting

9 years ago today, I said “I do” for the fourth time! Holy crap! Sounds pretty terrible, doesn’t it? Sometimes I catch myself being a little embarrassed at the number of times I’ve been married when a stranger asks. So, I have to contemplate…do I tell them my life story or do I just let them believe I’m a woman, incapable of staying in love with one person for more than a millisecond?  Most of the time I take a deep breath and I start from the beginning!

The beginning is what set the standard for me as far as marriage went.  We may have been young, but we got it right…the first time. Unfortunately life had different plans and our forever ended almost as quickly as it began!  Even though the marriage ended tragically, the desire for that level of happiness did not.

I spent the rest of my 20’s searching aimlessly for “the one”, only to be hurt financially, emotionally, physically and verbally. But through the years, I never gave up. I knew one day I would find a man that was everything I wanted and needed him to be.

It happened when I least expected it…I found him!  At first I was skeptical, and so was everyone else. Let’s face it, my judgment hadn’t always been the best, but there was something about him that I was drawn to.

Although he was 9.5 years younger than me, we clicked. I tried to keep my wall up, but little by little, it came falling down. I finally found my forever kind of love in the most unexpected place and at the most unexpected time.

Fast forward 9 years later….It hasn’t always been easy, but we made it. When we married, he became a parental figure to 4 kids, some of which were not too accepting of the new man in our life. Who can blame them? Life had taught them not all men can be trusted so they kept a safe distance. It’s safe to say, 9 years later, I do believe the gap is finally closed!  We faced struggles again when I became sick. Being faced with the unknown is difficult, but my husband was my rock and my security. Whenever I thought I couldn’t possibly face another day, he was there to hold my hand and reassure me everything would be ok.

We decided to add another baby to our already large family. Our marriage went through fertility struggles, fertility treatment, a high risk pregnancy, weekly IM injections courtesy of my loving husband and we were blessed with a beautiful healthy baby girl as the Grand Prize!!!  I became a mother of 5 at 40 years old! When she was 3 weeks old, we were faced with a 4.5 month long deployment.

Half way through the deployment, I was informed he received orders to Washington State.  Once again, we were tested.  As a family, we packed up and moved across the country.  It was so hard leaving my family and friends behind, but my heart is wherever my husband happens to be and that’s where I belong!

9 years….WOW….and here I sit….alone….again…..ahhhh! The life of a Navy Wife! I’ve lost track of the missed anniversaries, birthday, holidays, and special occasions, but he always makes it up to us! Because when he’s here, he’s here! He loves us with every ounce of his being! How do I know? I see it in his eyes…I feel it in his touch…I see the sweet smile when he looks at our kids…I hear the excitement in his voice when he gets to call for the first time after deployment.  He is the most loving husband…the father my kids deserve…and the best forever I could’ve dreamed of!

Happy Anniversary to my one and only! You still give me butterflies after all these years! I will love you until forever is over!

 

I Love My Ex Husband

Wait….what???  I’m sure many of you read the title and thought to yourself, “There she goes again, sipping on wine through a short straw!”

Well, I am completely wine-less at the moment. I mean, there is wine IN my house, just not IN my body!  Now back to my disturbing title…No I’m not delusional, no I’m not drunk, and no I’m not IN love with my ex-husband, but I do love him. Allow me to explain.

1 year and 1 week after we said “I do”, I gave birth to my blue-eyed beauty! She’s full of spunk and full of light. She’s strong and compassionate. She’s funny and seriously naïve. She has the heart of and Angel. She makes me belly laugh and my cheeks ache. She’s loud, yet soft spoken. She has faith in all things good. She loves animals and they love her. Her eyes sparkle when she tells a story. She’s my heart and I love her more than peanut butter! And she is one reason I love my ex-husband. I love him because without him, there would be no her!

I love my ex for cheating on me. I am thankful it only took him 2 years into our marriage to show me his true heart. I love him for leaving me lying there on that pavement. He showed me what true selfishness looks like, and I never want to see it again. Thanks to his choices, I have daily reminders of his affair. I can’t go one day without thinking about his affair…trust me, I would love to forget it.

So instead of it being a negative, I have to find a positive way to look at it. I love him for cheating on me when I was young enough to find love again, but old enough to not repeat the same mistakes.

And Then…

Out of the darkness came light. He became my light, my strength, my rock, my love, my husband….my everything!

Chris & Kenna-Joy

12/10/06

 

The Curse of Christmas

Every year, the weekend of Thanksgiving, the trees begin to come out and the lights are sparkling! It’s the beginning of the Christmas season! Most everyone is excited to put up the tree and decorate for the holidays. I was that person…the person who’s tree went up on Thanksgiving weekend NO MATTER WHAT! Now I can barely stand the thought of dragging out the decorations, much less looking at them for over a month. It’s a constant reminder of what’s to come.

December 1994, I was 21 years old. I was happily married to my high school sweetheart. We had a beautiful baby boy who would be two years old in February. We were young, in love, and living the American dream! I stayed home with our baby and he worked a full time job. He was also an amateur boxer with dreams to attend the Olympics. We were so innocent, so trusting of life, so content…but that all changed quickly and suddenly on December 26, 1994.
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(The day after our son was born)

We had a great Christmas! Our son was so excited about the tree, lights, and presents! He was able to understand the concept of Santa and presents, although Santa was not his favorite person! We had a great Christmas with family and friends. 2676_75491480609_5634713_n
(My son’s Christmas picture)

The day after Christmas, my husband went hunting with his brother. Little did I know, our morning good-bye kiss would be the last time our lips would touch.

Me and my son were busy that day. We put our gifts away, cleaned out the closets, and my son happily informed me “I colored….on the wall!” That meant mommy had to scrub the ink off the wall before daddy got home to see his sons artwork!

Then the call came…just after lunch…

My mother-in-law called to tell me there had been an accident. I panicked! All I could think of was my husband has been shot in the woods. The next few hours were a blur. My in-laws picked me and my son up and we headed to the hospital. I remember clearly my mother-in-law saying the Lord’s Prayer over and over. I prayed in silence while my son fell asleep. It seemed like the hospital was hours away.

When we arrived, a doctor came out to meet with us. I took one look at his face and I knew….NO, NO, NO! Please just stop talking! I didn’t want to hear the words but my mind wouldn’t allow me to block out the sound! “Your husband was killed in a car accident…we did everything we could do to save him.”

The next five days were filled with the most pain I’ve ever felt in all my life. I cried, I screamed, I begged…I just wanted it to be December 25th again so I could say “Please don’t go hunting tomorrow!” No matter what I did, the days kept passing by and my husband would never walk back through our door again. I couldn’t imagine how I was supposed to go on without the love of my life. How was I supposed to tell my son he would never see his father again? How would we survive without him?

Five days after his death, I got my answer. I woke up and realized I was late. Mother nature had not visited since my husbands death. I took a test…I stood in shock, staring blankly at that little + sign…we were pregnant! Oh my God….I’m pregnant! We are having another baby! Then the reality hit…I am having another baby. My husband would not be able to experience the joy of another child with me.

The news spread quickly. For the first time in days, life once again seemed possible. God had granted me a miracle to help me and my son through this tragedy. We now had something to look forward to, instead of always wanting to look back.

8 months after my husbands death, I gave birth to a beautiful, healthy, vibrant baby girl! She looked just like her daddy. Over the years I’ve realized she acts just like her daddy. She brought happiness and hope back to a family that was broken. Our one last gift from her daddy.
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Over the years, Christmas has become easier to cope with. When the lights come out, the dread is still there, but the pain is shadowed by the happiness and love that fills our home. I was not only blessed with 3 more children, but I was also lucky to maintain a wonderful relationship with my first husbands family. My 3 younger children are blessed with an extra set of grandparents who love them like they are their own. I would like to think my husband is smiling down on us, happy that we all stuck together through the rough times!

There is not a day goes by that I don’t think of my first husband. I see him in our kids, I feel him in my heart. I know we have a special guardian angel looking out for us. I also know he is proud of the family he left behind. In spite of the darkness that surrounds the Christmas Holidays for us, we find a way to shine a light for the kids. Just like the sun will continue to rise and set, Christmas will continue to come and go. The memories we choose to associate with it is a choice we make for ourselves!

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(My husband, my son, and Evander Holyfield–my husbands last boxing match in November)

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(And baby girl makes three!)