Friday, January 18, 2013
The Love Letter Campaign ~ Missing You/Remembering the Good Times
I still remember the night I met you, maybe not the exact date, but what happened that night. I had driven to Hinesville with a HUGE pot of Chili and a German Chocolate cake because all of my friends didn't have enough gas money to get everyone to my apartment in Savannah so I decided to drive down instead. When I got there, I couldn't find anyone but Brad and I wasn't going to cart all that food back home. I walked over to Dave's room to invite him over for dinner and while I’m talking to him you come to his door. I didn't think anything of it and invite you too even though you're holding a pizza box. So we finally get everyone together and enjoy chili and cake and beer and whatever else we were drinking. I go outside with Dave to have a cigarette and you follow us out and we start talking. We sat on that picnic table for hours just talking. When we finally realize how late it is I've been locked out of where I was going to stay that night and I was about to go sleep in my truck, but realized I didn't have my keys, they were still in Brad’s room. You said I could sleep in your room. I felt such a connection with you that night; we talked about anything and everything. I loved your goofy grin from that first moment. (Though I didn't find out till later that you followed me to Dave's room.) We decided to get married rather quickly, you never actually proposing to me. And we both made some mistakes early on. And I knew nothing of PTSD, but looking back, I see what I now know as big RED Flags. I wish I had known what I do today about it. Though I know I couldn't make you get help. You wouldn't get help, I know the VA is of no help, but we could have/should have found a way. We moved back to Virginia after you got out, close to my family, which I know caused a lot of our problems because they don't like you. When you got in trouble, when everyone was telling me to leave you, I stood by. I still loved you, I believed you. I still do. I know that is not who you are.
I was so glad when we decided to move to Missouri to be closer to your family, even though it was too late to be close to Mom and Grandma. Though I didn't know them very well I love them as if they were my own. I needed to get away from my family, I love them dearly but they were putting a strain on our relationship.
I miss seeing your goofy grin, your stupid sayings; I even miss your fidgety leg. I enjoyed going on walks with you, and even fishing if you would stay close to me. What I miss most is just lying in the bed or cuddling on the couch, me reading and you watching those darned fishing or hunting shows. I miss the way you looked at me in that first 2 years of our marriage. Then in the last couple, I forgot what I promised 8 years, 1 month and 3 days ago. That I would honor and cherish you in sickness and in health till death do us part. Yes, you did cheat on me and I told you I couldn't live with you at the time because it didn't seem like you wanted to come back to me that you wanted her more. So a year ago you left, I was so hurt and angry, but at the same time I was angry at myself for not nurturing that love and by resenting you for the things we couldn't afford.
I had pushed you away because I didn't know how to deal with you, or your flashbacks, and your relentless need to go fishing. Yes, I know that was how you dealt with your symptoms, shut it out and went fishing. I knew you loved to fish when I first met you, I think that's all we did when we were dating was go fishing, or you did and I watched or read.
Six months after you left you called and told me you were moving up north to live with your dad, I wanted to see you. That night was so special to me. When you held me in your arms I felt safer than I had in months if not years. I loved you that night, truly loved you like I hadn't in a long time, we sat up and talked for hours, just like the night we met. That night I saw the man I married, sweet, caring, funny, (even though we were talking about some really heavy things you made me laugh) you could always make me laugh. You said you would keep in touch, work on our relationship long distance, but you disappeared, I had no way to contact you I didn't have your dad's number. I was pregnant, I had a positive test in early August, and I was terrified, and excited, and sad. I wanted to call and tell you so bad. You had dropped off the face of the earth; your brothers hadn't heard from you and didn't have your dad's number. I didn't tell a soul about the baby, because I didn't know what to do. I was alone, living back with my parents, didn't have a job, and didn't think I could raise a child alone. But then, a few days after the positive test I lost the baby, and I needed you then more than I ever have in my life before but you were nowhere to be found. I still couldn't tell anyone, it hurt too much, so I bore it in silence and tears. I survived, and started moving on after that, I tried so hard to forget you, still haven’t even spoken to a lawyer about a divorce even though I’m being pressured to. I started dating again, and feeling awful about it, and guilty.
I still LOVE YOU.
Our Anniversary was miserable. I cried almost all day I went out like we used to; I ate Chinese by myself thinking about you and remembering the good times. And Christmas was almost unbearable; I kept thinking about you, where you were, were you all right and remembering all our happy memories. I prayed that you were still alive and somewhere warm. Then a few days ago, when I log onto Facebook what do I see? A message from my husband. Just a simple Happy New Year, I want to talk to you." My HEART JUMPED out of my chest, "does he mean it?? Do I really want to risk opening myself up to him, is he just going lie to me? I still don’t know what to think. I just know that I love you and that I never really wanted you to leave, I just needed to get over the being mad; which I did a long time ago. But now, with so much time going by, I need you to do the HARD things, and finally get started working on making you better so maybe, just maybe, we can work things out, but before I can do that I need you to be on the road to recovery.
I love you so very much, you will never know just how worried I was, and checking the newspapers/news in Missouri every week to make sure you weren't dead or in jail. I will always love you and I hope I will be able to truly be your wife again. Even if we don't I will always be there for you to help you through this.
Submitted By: "Wife" of a Veteran
This blog post is part of The Love Letter Campaign... a project started by FamilyOfaVet.com to encourage those who love a hero to write a letter sharing their story (where they started, what they've faced together, and why their love endures). It's not just for spouses, but also for parents, siblings, caregivers, and friends. It's about telling the "rest" of our stories... stories that continue despite PTSD, TBI, and the challenges of life after combat. To share your love letter or find out more about the campaign, visit http://www.familyofavet.com/love_letters.html.