l i v e f o r t o d a y
I thought if you get married, work hard, have a family, these things were sort of a given. I was super wrong.
1. Stability I actually wonder how people have it, how they got it, what the elements of it are, and how others have sustained it for any amount of time. Blows my mind.
2. Veteran Mental Wellness Idk even think this exists. If you’ve met a combat injured veteran succeeding in life I’d be impressed, I just don’t know any. My husband needs some in his life please.
3. The Veteran Administration actually helping. We all know, there is little actual functioning here.
4. Good Families My family has been unhelpful and troublesome throughout this entire ordeal, emotionally speaking. His has been MIA. I’m jealous of people with helpful, understanding, non abusive families. Good for you.
5. Fun Life hurts.
6. Thriving It is a dream that someday I’ll know what this means.
7. Vacations Even if I could afford one, taking our special needs daughter is not a vacation. It’s hard and usually lands us in a hospital.
8. Friends Let’s face it, I have a lot of heavy issues constant in my life. That’s repelling. It’s hard to talk to other women about shopping or the latest reality tv show, cus I could give 2 shits about either. Also, time. Also, resources. Also, idk if I’m a good friend anymore. I seem to be overwhelmed and forgetful.
9. Savings Anomaly
10. Health Insurance Anomaly the sequel
11. Planning for the future My life is about surviving today, and the rest of this month. Thinking past my nose is difficult.
12. A Happy Marriage Let’s be honest, for as many strides of progress we’ve made, dealing with abuse, addiction, infidelity, mental illness, disabilities, gifts given out of guilt, repeated job loss, financial ruin, and little plan for future changes for 15 years IS NOT HAPPINESS!
13. Life Without Therapists They’re there. They’re always there. Always needed. The question is how many do we see this week
The 7th night was a joyful, miraculous night. It was so good to get back to my family and be together. Thanks to Ginny and Herbie for the awesomeness! So much love!
More Love, More Light...
I was having a fabulous day, then in my strength I decided to go edit all of my march 2009 entries.
Now I am pondering everything. How much am I still in the same place I was then? How much has changed? Have I stayed in the same exact madness, thinking it had all changed? Why am I blogging it all? Should I be? Then I realized it’s changed a lot. There are some things that have remained, like financial struggle, some lies, some self medicating hurdles. But also so much more honesty and authenticity. And there are things that have changed, no more infidelity, no more bullying, abuse, or bad tempers taking things out on me or the kids. He’s taken responsibility for his actions. he is seeking outside help for the other stuff that’s looming, and that’s all really good.
I guess I am just surprised how long change takes. I guess I feel ashamed that I stayed in a bad relationship. We are taught to leave, but I didn’t. I grappled, struggled, and attempted to make changes. I asked for help, we’ve been in counseling, we’ve progressed, regressed, and repeated. And it’s been hard.
I've doubted, I’ve felt triumph, and still we remain. Still we are here. And this is why I am proud: our children have a mom and dad making work together. Maybe we had times when we were not making it, but we found a way to fix it.
That is profound.
That is why I kept trying, because I love them. I love me too, but there is something I knew during all of this- though my happiness is valuable, it was not the only matter of importance by far. Whether I stayed or left, I needed to do a lot of hard work on myself. It wasn’t just things he needed to do. I had a choice, work on those things in the marriage or out of the marriage. As long as I saw progress, no matter how slow, no matter how often I doubted, as long as the signs pointed in the right direction… I stayed to work on the mess. The mess inside me and the mess in the relationship, and the patience for him to work on the mess inside him.
And it’s paying off.
I am learning this is a process of change that cannot be rushed. That I have to give up my imaginations of how life should look so I can love life the way it really is. Imperfect and beautiful today.
If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded.
Our son Marco II has done some amazing things learning about the veteran homeless community in Austin: We've seen him feed people in need with Mobile Loaves & Fishes, spend a 16 hour day experiencing what it may be like to live without shelter and navigate public service programs and meet others in this community with his dad, meet and discuss what homelessness is like with Lorenza Andrade Smith who is a veteran herself, and hand out survival packages with socks, chapstick, snacks, tissues, water, band-aids, and personalized notes to those he has met on his journey. In honor of his Simcha, he'd love your support towards his efforts. Take a look...
Help me reach my campaign goal, you can donate as much or little as you want.
Check it out: Veteran Homelessness
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."
-Theodore Roosevelt via Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises …
After a while you learn… That even sunshine burns if you get too much.
So you plant your garden and decorate your own soul, Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
— Jorge Luis Borges
thank you Yaira for sending this to me!
Recently we went on a family military trip, the organization sponsoring it gathered families who had served and were now veterans, all hurt in some capacity during their service, and gave them some respite time in the great outdoors.
It. Was. Lovely.
And the biggest reason it was lovely was this: we were in our veteran community.
We don’t have that in Austin, there’s like 3 people. When it comes to the daily, daily stuff, like school and the neighborhood, it is completely non-existent. And we feel that. It is no more obvious than it was the weekend we spent there with each other, and when we drove back home I cried, deeply. The unspoken understanding we had there was gold, the easiness of interaction, the expectations, the camaraderie,…so comforting. Quickly we were ripped out of the indulgence of it all while our daughter had a medical emergency, we scrapped basking in the glow to survive the next crisis, once again. Today I had the opportunity to revisit the trip due to a phone interview the organization arranged to gauge how the experience was for us. I quickly remembered how comfortable we were there. Now that the interview is over, I realize how important that was, especially for my husband.
There, he was able to see his accomplishments. They were very obvious. All the work he does do, on himself and for his family, shined. The second we got back into our town, somehow that went away. It has everything to do with his in-laws past treatment of him as we realized what was going on with PTSD and TBI, the shaming people do, the way our neighborhood responded to our situation, the lack of veterans in the area to identify with, his entire family being far away and completely oblivious to anything going, his family not knowing how to respond once they did learn of his health and ignoring him, the lack of services for him in 2004 when he got out, people's inability to understand and be helpful in business transactions, the VA refusing his claim the first time and hardly giving him what he needs now, the sparse availability of advocacy for veterans in our area, etc etc. It just is not a “military friendly” place to be. I have managed to find a supportive community, though not military related, that I adore and feel comfort in. But, he is not experiencing the same type of comfort because he wants people who understand war. He feels supported by it to a point, but regular men don't understand the combat experience he craves them to. He must feel so very lonely, I realize, as I put this in text. I can see the difference in him when he is around veterans and when he is not. He needs it. He needs it to be easy to find and immerse into. We need it, the kids need it. We did not come from nothing, we all served, we were all affected, people need to truly understand that.
'What if we evaluated and treated troubled brains rather than simply warehousing them in toxic stressful environments'
"Our imaging work also taught us that mild traumatic brain injury was a major cause of psychiatric illness that ruined peoples lives and virtually no one knew about it because they would see psychiatrists for things like temper problems, anxiety, drpession, and insomnia and they would never look so they would never know."
"We are in a pending disaster with the hundrends and thousands of soldiers coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan and virtually no one os looking at the function of their brain."
I am humbled at the beautiful project Gloria Lewis Otto put together for our family. We are so grateful for her support and love...
"For Veteran's Day, I am launching a fundraiser that is near and dear to my heart for the Vasquez family here in Austin. Most of us like to thank the vets we know on this day, but you can truly make a difference in the life of a veteran and his family by extending your hand to lift them up when they most need it. Please, please take the time to read their story and share it with everyone you know. Their situation could so easily be mine or yours, your neighbor's, your friend's because trauma happens in an instant and it often lasts for a lifetime. Please give in any way that you can so that this family can continue to put healthy food on the table for their four children while they focus on rebuilding their lives."