I want my fiance back...

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-20-2005
I want my fiance back...
11
Sat, 04-16-2011 - 1:06am

Get ready, this is going to be long...

So, you all know about the almost taken job to go to Kuwait for a year and the fight we had about it, trying to understand each other over the whole thing. I was really afraid he was going to resent me for not going. I don't know if we're really at that point or not but a LOT has happened and it just hasn't been a good week. Heck, it hasn't been a good month. And aside from him proposing and my nephew being born, it really truly hasn't been a good YEAR so far.

In January, I wrecked my car (again, you all know this). Had to pay a nearly $200 ticket, file a claim with insurance, and have just now this week gotten my car fixed. My hours at work have been less than fabulous and every time I got hours bumped up, a few of my kids would stop coming for whatever reason. By first week of March I was up to 17 hours a week (25 is considered full time) and thought I'd be reaching full time soon. Then several came off my schedule and now I've been down to 14. Now, if you're at all familiar with any type of pediatric medical occupation, cancellations are common. I've spent many weeks hovering around 10 hours, and then spring break was last week and I only had 3 kids and a new evaluation all week. Needless to say, my paycheck today was TERRIBLE. Not even 1/3 of what I was making every 2 weeks in Texas and Nic is definitely not making what he made with the Army. Now, the good news is, one of the other OTs is leaving and first week of May I will be picking up a lot of the kids on her schedule, putting me above and beyond full time status. Which means I'll be making at least what I made in Texas each paycheck, even if 6 kids (3 per week) cancel each paycheck. It also means I'll be getting a stipend for my medical insurance I pay each month, as well as a stipend to keep my laptop running and up-to-date.

Now, for what's been going on in Nic's world. When he left the Army, it was with the intentions of going to school, North Georgia College & State University: one of 6 senior military colleges where you are guaranteed commission and do not have to compete for it based on grades and performance. The issue is, he took one semester of college courses before joining the Army. Didn't want to be there, was planning to join the Army, and goofed off the entire semester. He nearly failed the 2 classes he was taking and has a really really dreadful GPA. So, he didn't get into North Georgia. Well, by the time he found out he didn't get in and had made decisions about what he wanted to do, the application deadline was past for the college in our town. It used to be a community college but in recent years it has become a state college. So now he feels stuck in this job that he hates and has no idea what he's going to do for school.
As for the job. I really truly deeply hate this company that he works for. First, he is a part time employee with no option of becoming a full time employee and gaining benefits. Yet, he works 40 hours a week, every week, and has for 2 months now. Second, when he started working in January it was without a jacket for his uniform. They were supposed to order one and have it to him by the end of the week, at the very least a loner. He was without a jacket, in teen temperatures, overnight doing foot patrols, for over a month and had to constantly be on somebody's case about getting him a jacket. Now, 3 months later, he still only has a *loner* jacket even though they were supposed to be ordering one for him. Third, he was supposed to have

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 04-20-2011 - 9:05pm
Sorry I misunderstood! How sad for him and his family though. :( It sure does sound like you both have a lot on your plate, regardless of what is most triggering the stress. I just hate times like that when it feels like you're about to implode. I really hope things turn around soon. I would feel just like you do- worried about him and stressed out.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-20-2005
Wed, 04-20-2011 - 9:05am
I don't have time for an elaborate reply, as I've gotta get going to work, but wanted to somewhat correct you about his mom. She died September 2009, so it's been quite a while. It wasn't completely unexpected, as she had cancer for something like 8 years, and he talks to his brother about her pretty frequently, so I don't think her death is a factor in the stressors. Her death coming up in this situation is only in that he got his inheritance checks the beginning of 2010, so they're on his 2010 taxes.
As for your rant, hang in there. Hopefully I'll be able to reply more in depth later.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 04-20-2011 - 6:44am

Wow, it's been a

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-28-2005
Sun, 04-17-2011 - 6:52pm
Hugs.. I know how the change from active to civilian can be really difficult for them. Juan went thru it when he got out in 2003. It's never to late to start the college route and there are many different possibilities.

I gave Juan about 6 months to adjust and then it was time to get in school or get job. He chose school and then tried to stay working part-time. He ended up with an ulcer. Basically, it was better for me to find a better paying job and let him draw his M. bill money and NOT work.

As for the car, it happens to the best of us. Just remember that "this too shall pass." (Hard to do but sometimes necesssary!)

I wanted to also tell you that when Juan first got out and was thinking about going back to active, he really wanted to go AF EOD. YEAH.. it freaked me out and I really, really was against it. As a result, he didn't do it. Over the years, our lives have taken many different turns and curves and he has always regretted not going back with the AF. I feel bad each time that we talk about it. He gave up something that he really wanted because I didn't think I could cope with the dangers of the job. Looking back now, 7 years later, the path he's on now, the dangers are still there. I wish I could have just supported him at that time instead of putting my fear first. I realize now that I should have dealt with my own insecurities and fears instead of talking him out of something he really wanted to do.

As for the no sleeping, it sounds like its stress related. I would try to see if he could do some stress relieving before bed. Aromatherapy has helped both of us.. me with stress and him with PTSD. I also meditate and of course, exercise.

The other stresses, I would sit down and brainstorm some solutions. He doesn't have to deal with them alone. Sometimes just talking things out can help matters. Hang in there.



Tricia

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-26-2008
Sun, 04-17-2011 - 2:33pm

Hi Megan,

I'm so sorry to hear about what you and Tru are going through. I feel like I've been almost exactly where you are - of course with some differences - but the gist of your situation strikes a chord with me. The difference is, Mark did not plan for when he got out of the Army. He decided to join the Reserves about a week before he came back home - a snap decision. He then bounced around, trying to decide if he wanted to apply for a fulltime job or go Active Reserves and train to become a lab technician. He decided the latter, mostly because it meant someone doing everything FOR him, and that's how we ended up in San Antonio. His hours were ridiculous - up at 3:45 a.m. and back home around 6 p.m. Every day. I work full time, and one weekend a month. Money was always a struggle. He was absolutely miserable. I thought that, for the first time in nearly three years, that we were actually going to be able to start our life together, but it didn't work out that way. He left for El Paso in November, and our relationship continued to fall apart.

The difference I see is that Tru is motivated to make changes, to explore his options and make things happen. Of course, I understand things haven't been going smoothly, but at least he is committed to trying. I wish Mark had those traits. Like Mel said, there are other options for his career, while they may not be what you had hoped, at least they do exist. I also do think it's a good idea to turn to resources available for vets. Another thing I wish Mark had done. I think it would have helped him organize his life and see what the future can hold outside of the military.

Anyways, I really hope the best for you two. I understand the stresses you are enduring. All my best!

Alissa

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2011
Sun, 04-17-2011 - 2:07pm
I ditto Mel about VA Services(which I meant to mention in my original reply but had a brain fart). You can look online for a VA Center. It's different than a medical center. They have job and school resources he can look into. I know it's been helpful for A during that transition period to also have other guys to network with. Believe it or not, there are companies out there that are looking specifically to hire Veterans. They were really great with A and they walked him step by step to get his GI Bill Benefits for school.

VFW posts are a great place too. I remember when I went to the Christmas party with A the head of the post was commenting how happy he was to see younger guys participating bc a lot of the older guys are up in age and have passed on. The younger guys are going to be the ones to keep in going. They have BINGO and do some charity work as well.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-20-2005
Sun, 04-17-2011 - 12:32pm
Mel, I'll reply to your paragraphs in order, lol
I really don't think it is PTSD either, based on what I do know about it from OT school, BUT I'm definitely not a professional on it so I didn't want to rule it out either. I mean, his deployment second go round was very tame and laid back, so if it *was* PTSD it'd be starting a LONG time after his first deployment, which is the one that was likely to cause it... I know that happens sometimes but it just doesn't seem right in this case. I think the fact that one of his buddies went this past week to the VA to get checked out for PTSD will make him more likely to go talk to somebody.

Before he started having issues with sleeping, and I think I said this before, he could go to bed completely awake and not at all tired and still be asleep practically as soon as his head hit the pillow. Then, he would always tease me that the reason I couldn't go to sleep quickly like him was because I had a guilty conscience. So I think that, in part, is what worries me. Not that he has a guilty conscience, persay, but that something is bothering him and I don't know if it's the job itself or something else. I guess I'm just paranoid to an extent.

I think that is what he's struggling with right now. I've told him repeatedly that he needs to call and talk to someone in admissions at the college and find out what he needs to do to be able to get in. He's a non-traditional student with military experience, which I know is something they want, so it's just a matter of fixing the things that are wrong. I don't know if he's afraid of calling and hearing bad news or what, but he so far has refused to follow through and call them. I've thought about the fact that he could still take a contracting job, but I feel the same way about it now as I did then. There are so many things that I would have wanted to do differently if I'd known he'd be leaving me. I mean, we have an 1800 square feet house, that we OWN, it's not like I can just move to a smaller place since he's gonna be gone. In addition to that, we bought a house so far away from my job because we are "in the middle" for him wanting to go to school. Gas prices suck and I drive 64 miles a day :-( But I am encouraging him to look for another job, no matter what kind of job it ends up being. Hopefully talking to someone about everything will help him to figure out what is making him so unhappy about the job he has now and find a solution.

He is a member of the VFW in Columbia Station, OH where his mom's family lives. He has been to several of the ones around here and none of them have very strong programs in place. I guess it's because of the area we're in. Most of them are only open 1-2 days a week for a few hours in the evening and play Bingo. lol But he LOVES his VFW in Ohio.

For the taxes, after he talked to his dad, he decided he's going to do a payment plan. I'm just afraid of what the interest on a payment plan is going to end up costing us on that large of an ammount!
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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2007
Sun, 04-17-2011 - 9:04am

I am so sorry things haven't been going well for you guys.

Judging from your description and reviewing the DSM-IV, my opinion is that it doesn't really sound like he's suffering from PTSD. But that, obviously, doesn't mean something isn't wrong. I think he definitely needs to see a medical doctor about the issue with sleeping, and I think the PTSD clinic would be a good place for him to start the process of figuring out what is going on mentally.

It's obvious that he's struggling with extreme stress and fatigue, and it sounds like he's caught in a vicious cycle. He's stressed and can't sleep, so he gets tired, which stresses him out more, which it makes it even harder to sleep, and so on. Something has to give, and if he's not careful, it's could end up being him.




iVillage Member
Registered: 08-12-2008
Sat, 04-16-2011 - 9:18pm

I'm sorry you two are going through that.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-20-2005
Sat, 04-16-2011 - 7:07pm

Thanks. He thankfully hasn't had any issues with nightmares or flashbacks, with the exception of a couple of episodes of skiddishness when a door slammed loudly and stuff right after he got back from his first tour. Today has been MUCH better than it was yesterday, but because he was sleeping all day we haven't had a chance to talk about if he was serious yesterday in agreeing with me that he should go talk with somebody just to get checked out. As for his job, I've encouraged him to look for something else so he isn't miserable all the time. He's just at a point that he doesn't know what he wants to do, because he wants to be in school, but that road isn't working out so he feels stuck. He doesn't want a regular, aka civilian, job. Ya know?

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