Monday, September 27, 2010

The time I was in the same room as General Casey's wife.

Caucuses, Grown-up wardrobes, and other things approved by Nancy Reagan. 

Wednesday morning found me in a place I never dreamed I'd be invited to. I was in the Congressional Auditorium on Capitol Hill for a meeting of the Joint Senate and House Military Family Caucus. Blue Star Families was holding the event to reveal the results of their 2010 Military Life Survey. A few Senators and Congressmen were there to speak. A representative from the Department of Defense was there. Babette Maxwell, the founder of Military Spouse Magazine, was there. And so was Shelia Casey. If you don't know of her you should know her husband, Four Star General Casey. He is Army Chief of Staff and was G.I. Joe's Commander in Iraq. I was crawling out of my skin in that meeting. I wanted so badly to speak with Mrs. Casey. She's my ultimate role model. I don't know if you've ever seen her or met her but she exudes a grace and confidence that I only dream of at this point. One day I hope to have done as much for military families as she has. I still have a long way to go.

The reason that I was "crawling out of my skin" at this event was because I wanted to speak up. There was even a time for that and I completely regret not doing it. But I felt like such a fraud being there. First of all, before we left for DC that morning I woke up to the first of these lovely anonymous comments. Confidence shaken? Yes. I can honestly say that the things people say about me cut a little too deeply and I'm working on that. The other reason I was rattled and glued to my Capitol Hill seat? Because of what I was wearing. It wasn't inappropriate by any means. It was actually this dress. But who am I to stand and address the General's wife, politicians and some of our "bosses" wearing a kids dress from Target with snagged tights and flip flops?! I can admit when I've slipped and I can say that in some ways I do need to grow up. Like I told G.I. Joe after we left...its time to buy a Nancy Reagan approved lady suit!

My upcoming "welcome" swat.

Those comments this week were really hurting me. I let them hurt me, even though they really had no power on their own too. I was never mad, but the thought of someone thinking those things about me just crushed me a little. Then they wouldn't let up. That's when I actually had to laugh. If I could go back and react all over again the only thing I'd post this: if you want to see how truly awful I am to my husband and how much I disrespect him and his career then read this post. Or ANY post in the two lists on the right sidebar. We know the truth. And so do my friends and faithful readers. I'm so blessed to have G.I. Joe. Despite my {sometimes truly immature} antics, he loves everything about me. Even the stuff that I hate and would change in a heartbeat. I don't like being sensitive, but he loves that I'm tender. I don't like that I create a whirlwind of chaos when I latch onto a new cause, but he affectionately adores my "bleeding heart." We are madly in love but we know how hard this military marriage stuff can be. Yet, we still make the decision to do it all over again. So lately we've decided that we really want to treat ourselves to that dream military wedding. (None of our families should panic over this...IF we can pull it off it still won't happen for well over a year from now and will be very low-key)

And I'm just lucky to have incredibly supportive friends. Like Katie  and Sarah who have said all this way better than I could, and all my girls who have left comments on the tattoo post supporting me. I always knew the day would come when I'd catch flack for posting such personal stuff about the emotions of military wives. I knew it without a doubt because I have caught that flack in real life. For a moment on Wednesday I thought about shutting down the blog. (My reasoning behind that is that if everyone else perceives me the way these people do then I am terrible at conveying things through writing and need to give it a rest.) Then I remembered that scared 19 year old who was laughed at by her FRG leader.

I won't shut up. 
If you don't like what I say, 
don't read it

But personally I refuse to stand back and let other young/new/any military wives be told they are wrong for feeling something.  

No one has a right to do that. 
Not a civilian. Not a service member. 

And certainly NOT another military wife.


Dretastic said...

I really love reading your blog and that you are an honest writer. I went back and read what those jerks wrote to you about your husbands tattoos and was fired up for you. I completely understand where you are coming from. A tattoo is permanent and I know that if my husband got a tattoo without telling me, I'd probably be hurt as well. I don't want to bring up old feelings so I'll leave it at that.

Again, I truly appreciate you writing about the military life and being honest about all the wonderful and tough times we go through.

mrs.wood said...

I think your an amazing fellow milspouse who not only speaks her mind but also cares very deeply for your other milspouse's and their families. You are nothing but kind, supportive and helpful as well as lovely. Your blog is one of my favorites, you truly are a talented writer. I'm glad that you will not be shutting down your blog. What people say does hurt and at times I find myself second guessing myself because of other people's words. I would've been stuck to my chair as we'll and had a serious case of butterflies.

Casey (@ Ever-Changing Life) said...

I wish I could say don't let the comments get to you, but I'll be honest, they get to me too. It saddens me when people have enough anger and hate in their heart to write things they would never say to my face. I don't allow anonymous comments any more. It's my blog and they can certainly express their opinions, but they need to back it up with their name. It doesn't fix everything, because there are some that create an account just for the purpose of being mean, but it does make it a little more difficult. Ugh, internet trolls.

Just Hurry Up and Wait said...

I have to agree with EVERY single other poster above me.

Your blog is one of my favorites:]

It is hard not to let the rude comments get to you, but keep your chin up. :]

Shayla said...

Love this.

You are right, you go girl! Thank you for being an honest, tender voice for us.

I LOVE the boots shots!!! Just get one black pencil skirt and you can use TONS to accesorise and wear it with :)

Love you girl, thank you for showing your strength.

PS. YOU inspire me.

A milspouse said...

I hope you don't let the naysayers keep you down. I just read one of those comments and to say its ridiculous is a bit of an understatement. They obviously took it out of context. My husband likes to call it the crab in a bucket mentality. Whenever one crab does something good and is reaching the top to get out many of the other crabs try to bring that crab back down to the bottom(to their reality.) Sad to say but because you are so visible and doing such good things there are going to be those people who react negatively out of jealousy, fear, and inferiority complexes. Just remember its really not about you, they are the ones with the real problem. Keep up the good work! Love your blog!

anothernavygf said...

I just started reading your blog and I am insanely impressed by your depth, raw emotions, and how well you seem to get them across. Don't let one negative person pull you down because as one of my best friends always tells me, "Chin up girl, even Mother Theresa had haters." It was and still is a comment that makes me smile and remember that my responsibility is to be happy with who I am and have become. I encourage you to do the same!!
PS: Keep writing!

heather said...

I really can't believe that someone would say things like that. We are all in this together. We should be able to lean on each other for help or advise not say mean things to them. I LOVE reading your blog and think your a awesome wife and mom. Don't let them get you down. You have done great things and will keep doing them. I love the milies site. You have even emailed me asking about my sons surgery and answering things I was wondering about disney. Most people wont care but you took time out of your busy day to ask about him and what was wrong. It was so nice and thoughtful. Thanks... So try not to let them get you down...

Oh and I feel the same way about my clothes sometimes too. Like when I show up somewhere and I look 23 and have a baby not like a mom with a baby. I hate it. So I believe I need to get some big girl clothes. And the whole going to washington is AMAZING... I know that was really exciting....

Hope things get better...

Chelsea Pearl said...

I'm a follower of G.I.Joe's Wife and just recently read her latest post about what happened to you. THAN I came over here and read it all....that took me forever and I stayed up way too late. BUT it was like a car accident...I couldn't take my eyes off of it.
I saw NOTHING wrong with your blog post and I'm really sorry that this woman is harassing you. Than again "she" is anonymous so it's most likely some fat guy sitting on the other end who REALLY needs a hobby. Maybe they should start a blog and rant about all the bitterness they have inside them.
ANYWAY! I just wanted to stop by and I'm glade I found your blog :)

Mel said...

Once again, you handled yourself with a dignity and class. Those "others" clearly have problems with their own lives. How silly. You'be git plenty of time to don a suit and say what's on your mind. And I know there's at least one person who really wants to listen. Keep it up, girl.

Lora said...

Wow I went back to read those negative comments too and was just blown away by how full of themselves some people can be! I have to agree with the poster who said "If these people are counselors then I am Ghandi!" LOL That was perfect.

Don't let ANYONE, especially some anonymous troll, silence your voice. My blog is 100% for me and if people read it and enjoy it thats just a bonus, but the writing is for me to process and get through deployments. Don't let anyone take that from you!

Mrs. Doc Handsome said...

Take all those anonymous commenters who have nothing but horrible things to say, as inspiration. Inspiration to keep doing what you're doing because they are obviously envious with what progress you're making and how happy you are despite tough challenges the military has thrown your family.

Anonymous said...

I admire your tact and dignity that despite someone being so rude, you come back at them with great confidence. I know you follow me and I am now following you. You get mad props for standing up to this person. They don't have the right to break you down. Screw 'em. They don't get it apparently.

Madison {Life Happens During Naptime} said...

GI Joe loves you, that's really all that matters.

And we love you too...but that matters less =P

Nicole *Sailor's Sweetheart* said...

Ditto Madison! It doesn't matter what anyone else says or thinks about you, the people in your life who are truly important are the ones that do! Don't let anyone get you down and know that the rest of your followers (me included!) love your blog, it's honesty and you! Stay who you are and don't change for anyone! :)

Bradley said...

You may not be a mil-spouse, but you still hurt, and go through the same things as other mil-spouses. I love this blog, its truthfully honesty even when it hurts works for you. And i love the new hair cut! Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

First of all, NEVER be afraid to speak up. I've been caught off guard and spoken to generals in a t-shirt and jeans when I've been in to see my husband at work and one had made a surprise visit. If you're toting a cute baby, most of them hardly notice. Most are really big softies, especially for the kids. If they're true leaders, they will listen - especially if they asked for your thoughts.

Second, we military spouses certainly ride a roller coaster of emotions. It's not always sunshine and rainbows and unicorns. I've written letters to public magazines and been berated VERY publicly in return by retired members of our own military community for feeling the way I do on certain issues. You know what makes it all worth it? The naysayers are really the minority. Sometimes their voices may seem the loudest, but then you see the overwhelming support from others - often times total strangers, and the negativity just disappears.

You just keep on keepin' on.

Angela Jackson said...

I love your blog! Haters are always going to do just that.
Keep your head held high

Keep inspiring us all


Adrienne said...

Well, I just want to tell you, that I enjoy reading your blog. I am a new Milspouse and I want to hear how other spouses feel when their Joe's are not with them! I want to hear about the crazy moving stories and all of that!

I feel so terrible about people being turds to you. Because they shouldn't! They do not know how you are feeling at all!

I think your dress is cute! :)

MommyToTwoBoys said...

I can't believe that someone went back in the files to write that nasty stuff! That post was from March!

I have always thought you 2 had an amazing relationship. If you remember, when I first started blogging you and I talked about relationships! Who cares what others have to say. Be strong! And don't brush anything off and say it was because you are young! Because you know what, that is how you helped me with relationship advice, because you were where I had been 10 years prior. I needed to see that to "get it." There is nothing wrong with being young. In fact, you are so damn mature that I was shocked the first time I found out how young you are.

I am wishing that you find the strength to be able to let what others say roll off you girl! It is an amazing skill. The only thing that really made me learn it was having a child with Autism. Now I can truly say I do not care at ALL what anyone has to say, unless it is done in a tactful helpful way. But even then, eh, who cares. I am who I am. I'm gonna be who I be!

Mr. Superman & Mrs. S. said...

I am SO behind the times! I just want to tell you how much I absolutely adore you :) You are an incredible woman and an even more amazing military wife. Keep your chin up and dont let the haters get to you!


liberal army wife said...

Anon commentors - a plague on the blogosphere - and usually complete and utter cowards. Ignore the trolls, don't feed them - and if they get too bad, yell, the rest of the milspouse blogosphere will haul out their cans of whuup ass and take care of it.. promise

As for Mrs. Casey - she's a very nice woman, she would have loved to talk to you! as for what you were wearing, I thought you looked great - young and fashionable. The rest of us dowdy old farts wear what we always wear...

Look - you have a great voice, a lot to say and a good audience. use it. After 5 years of blogging, the old broads like me get tired and stale. It's a breath of fresh air to have you around. Keep going. When the trolls hurt your feelings (and they will, ask me sometime about the "officer but no gentleman" who told me it would be my fault if my husband was injured during the last deployment because of who I voted for! or the one who wanted my husband to come home as hamburger) either ignore them, or set your comments for non anon. I've had to do that - I'm tired of the idiots.


Stephanie Hartman said...

WOW!! Great post I have to say from my point of view being a Army wife that yes it is really hard I am a newby at this but that why I have WONDERFUL,AMAZING,women like you to help us out I love that I can E-mail you with any question and you always respond back I LOVE that. I LOVE reading your blog because in some way it makes me feel better know that you have gone through all this and your such a strong and inspiring women that it lets the rest of us feel strong and that we can make it through as well.

Don't EVER stop what you love doing just because someone has no life and wants to ruin your day you have TONS of faithful readers who will back you up! Its ashame because you would think that ALL military wives would stiick together but it just goes to show you the REAL ONES will ALWAYS STAY TOGETHER while the others ones are just jealous because there not as STRONG and Inspiring as you.

Love yah girl

The Mrs. said...

You were in DC last wednesday??? Did you see Capitol Police officers?? The hottest one is my hubs!!!! :-) He worked a double that day!!!! hahaha!!

Umm... it took me like five hours to read this post. Between reading the other post with the bizzo comments and my girls, and dinner and Hell's kitchen was on... lol!

Big fatty ((HUGS)) and yay on getting a lady suit... I have one... lol, I wear it everywhere! lol... not really, but I wore it to the hubs graduation, and for a job interview (which, i got!) so its my lucky suit!

Yay for a vow renewal... hubs and I were thinking about doing it for our 10 year, but thats in 3 years, and idk about all that now! hahaha!!!

Have a great day!!!

Wife on the Roller Coaster said...

Wow, so many things to comment about in this post! First, I'm so excited for you that you went that BSF event. I so wish I could have gone too. Some day, my dear, we will meet! :) As far as that anonymous commenter, don't you spend another second thinking about them. And don't EVER think about shutting down your blog or questioning your abilities as a writer. The purpose of a blog is to share your thoughts and feelings. Not everyone is going to agree, and unfortunately, as you learned, some idiots are going to waste their time attacking you for those thoughts and feelings. But everyone who reguarly reads your blog and "knows" you, knows what kind of person you are and your commitment to your husband and his military career. I'm so sorry you had to deal with those commenters, but try not to take it personally. And actually, the only person's opinion you need to worry about is your husband's, and he obviously supports you 100%. It's you and him. That's all that matters.

And go for that dream wedding!!! My husband wasn't in the military when we got married, and in the last few years I've had that nagging desire to renew our vows with a big military wedding. So go for it!!! And maybe I will one day too.

I heart you girl. Keep on keeping on. And if you ever think about shutting down your blog, I'm going to hunt you down and drag you back into the blogosphere! ;)

Thanks for being such a wonderful hostesss for the Mil Spouse Roundup.