Naturally, I fear the fundamentals of Milies everywhere. I worry about G.I. Joe getting hurt, medically discharged, captured, tortured, never being found again, never being the same again and I definitely fear "the worst."
Beyond that though I have other specific fears that I have to face each day. Some days I don't think about this stuff much but others I have to work a little harder to live above it.
The number 1 fear I have is that G.I. Joe will forget that he loves me. I know that probably sounds insane and he laughs a little when I say that. But you have to know what his PTSD is like. He doesn't get angry or irrational like the image everyone sees when they think "PTSD." When he came home from Iraq he was checked for TBI (traumatic brain injury) a couple times and it came back that he didn't have any. He does though have some little issues with his memory. Work, weapons systems, terrorism, keeping his family safe...those things tend to push other things out of his mind. Its like they over ride basic stuff every now and then. We'll have a conversation and he will say something like "Hey, this one time I blah blah blah." And goes on to explain in detail this big funny event. The problem is he won't remember me there, he just sees what directly happened with him. Or to the reverse he'll tell me about a movie we saw together in the theater when really it was his best friend with him, not me.
Don't get me wrong, he doesn't forget everything about our relationship but it does hurt when he forgets that I was there or wasn't there for something. It just catches me off guard. This stuff usually happens when he's stressed out and the PTSD starts to show up more. I have to work really hard on my patience when it comes to this. There will be mornings when he'll leave a kitchen cabinet open or forget to clean off Lucy's high chair after breakfast. Sometimes I get so annoyed at having to remind him about these things and I just snap. In my own world I feel like I shouldn't have to go behind him and check everything. He never ever uses PTSD as an excuse for forgetting things or not doing something so I forget that he isn't doing it on purpose, he has the doctor's proof that this is part of what he brought home from Iraq. I forget that and I get so frustrated. I fear that one day he'll see me mostly for my forgetfulness and that will cause him to forget that he loves me.
Another big fear of mine is that our friends and family judge him when his PTSD flares. Besides forgetting some things he gets very focused when he's stressed. All his senses are heightened so he's alert and aware of everything around him. Because of that he focuses extra hard. This can almost come off like he's anti-social or in a foul mood. He's not, he's just concentrating on whatever comes to his mind. I consider us very blessed that he handles the effects of combat so well. G.I. Joe has never taken any medication because that only eases the symptoms. I'm proud of the way he deals with stress and flashbacks so I want others to be proud of him too. But I know that's hard when no one but us and his closest war buddies really understand it all.
My last "biggest" fear is what happens after the worst. If I let my mind wander it takes a train that I really don't want on. I think about what it would be like if he were gone and I just fear I'm not strong enough to handle that. Whatever happens in our future I still have Lucy to take care of. I want her to have a strong mommy, not one who has no clue how to put one foot in front of the other.
So...all this is just to say that I have fears. When I post soon about my "freshman Milie year" you'll find out exactly how hard I work to keep my fears under control. I certainly don't have it all together. If you read my blogs or articles and think that, well, its just not true. The reason I can pass for having it all together is because I work at it. Its not easy living with fear. It can cripple you and steal your joy for living. But one day I just hit a point where I said "No more!" I can have these worries but still make the choice every day to not surrender to them.