Text 5 Sep

I feel like my life is slowly crumbling down around me. Things had been looking up, my youngest daughter was born on the 19th, and my wife is getting along better with my oldest daughter. Then I got a letter in the mail, from my ex-wife’s new attorney, saying I was being taken back to court to take custody of my oldest daughter away from me. Not only that, but my ex wants me to have supervised visits only, and wants to move to another state as well. Had to borrow money from my wife’s mother to pay a retainer, but luckily my lawyer thinks it’s a frivolous lawsuit with no basis. Yay, right? God knows how much it will cost this time. When I won custody it cost around 20k, and I can not afford that this time.
Then of course, it gets worse. Since I missed an appointment with the VA that I was never notified about, they are cutting my benefits by about two grand a month, starting in October. Great, now I may lose my house, because I can’t work due to my disability. I’m not sure what the fuck I can do about any of this. Talking to DAV about the VA, they’re trying to expedite the paperwork for me but can’t make guarantees. I have to call my congressman, hope they can help, call my doctor and get something in writing from him, since he’s the one that recommended me to the VA caregiver program. I can feel my mind just starting to shut down from all the stress, and I can’t concentrate on anything. I’m forcing myself to write this as a way to hopefully help get it out of my system. My wife is stressing out, which causes me to stress out more, making her overwork and stress further, an endless fucking cycle. I just want to fucking explode!!!

Text 25 May

I’ve been hesitating to post this all day, as it is a very hard thing for me to talk about, but I feel the need to talk.

Seven years ago today, two men sitting next to me died. The sad thing is I don’t remember anything. I’ve been told it was just another patrol for my unit, an Army infantry unit, in Baghdad, Iraq. I was the company commander’s Humvee driver and proud of it. For the deployment I had gotten a fairly brand new completely armored Humvee to drive the Captain around in, and I did my best to make sure everything was in great shape. I wasn’t afraid to use his position to make sure my truck had the best. My gunner was a guy I had joined the unit with; we weren’t best friends but we got along together well enough. He was a few years younger than me, joined up straight out of high school while I had served in the Marine Corps Reserve for a few years before joining. The Cpt. was fairly young too, newly married before being assigned to our unit, and his son had his first birthday just a few weeks before that day. My gunner had made the Cpt a video of all of us telling his son happy birthday from Iraq. The last thing I really remember before everything is learning a week or so before that we would be joining a platoon heading out on May 25, 2006. I was fairly upset about this, as I was going on leave the next day back to Germany to my then girlfriend, now wife for two weeks of R&R. My last memory is joking with my gunner about it, telling him that with my luck something bad would happen that day. I told him not to worry, him and the Cpt would be fine, but something bad was bound to happen to me. That is the worst memory of my life, and I have wished and prayed that I could scrub it clean. Sometimes I feel what happened is my fault, because of those words I said.
Apparently the patrol started out well enough, but we had to make a u-turn over the highway median. My vehicle had to have been near the middle, as the Cpt was only there as an observer of the platoon. We had an engineer riding with us, a Lieutenant, sitting behind me apparently. To my shame I don’t know if our translator was with us, sitting behind the Cpt. I’m afraid to find out that he was…
A trigger man must have been nearby, because nothing happened to the vehicles in front. Somehow we drove completely over what I was told was the biggest IED (improvised explosive device) that US forces had seen up to that point. It went off underneath the Cpt, tearing him to shreds immediately. I was told they found his finger in what was left of the vehicle later, still wearing his wedding band. My gunner was killed, sitting in the turret. I’m not sure how, I never asked. The Lt and I were blown thru the locked armored doors flying about 30 meters or so from what i’m told. I was knocked semi-conscious, the Lt. broke his femur, but was able to hobble towards the road and flag down our unit. One of them told me they had no idea we weren’t all dead, the explosion was so big. The two of us were taken to the Green Zone there in Baghdad, to a combat hospital. I was put in a medically induced coma due to massive bleeding in my brain. Sent to Balad, where they removed the right side of my skull to relieve the pressure, then on to Landstuhl, Germany, followed by Walter Reed in DC. The Lt recovered and is still in the Army. I however was medically retired due to various issues I now have.
Seven years later, I still wonder I could have done differently that day. Did I miss seeing something in the road, was I too complacent? Two good men dead, a widowed wife now raising a boy who will never know his father, parents who lived longer than their child.
So hear I am, seven years later. I have family and friends wishing me a “Happy Alive Day.” What the hell is so goddamn happy about it? My FB timeline is filled with pictures and memorials to them, in remembrance by my unit. Their faces will be with me until the day I die, and I can never get over the guilt I feel, to be alive when they are not. I haven’t “done something great” with my life to honor them, nor have I gotten a fresh start on life. I just live on, hoping the children I have can make up for not dying that day, so that they could live. I go out of my way not to think of them, just so I don’t feel like this all the time. Stupid people calling me a hero, I was just a goddamn grunt who drove a truck… Those two men, and those like them, they’re the heroes. I’m just a survivor, and where’s the heroics in that???

Text 17 Dec

I love my wife, we have a comfortable relationship that works relatively well. The problem I have is that we have no passion between us. This lack of passion is making itself felt in other areas of my life as well. I’ve lost the passion for life that I once had, the passion that made me get up in the morning, always seeking out new experiences. Now it feels like the only reason I get up in the morning is to take care of my kids. I love them, but shouldn’t there be more to life than that? I enjoy being with my family, but shouldn’t I have more reasons to live than just taking care of them? How do I get my passion back, my passion for life, the passion between myself and a loved one? My wife isn’t too concerned about us, talking it over with her I’ve come to understand that she feels “passion” doesn’t exactly fit the role of a wife and mother. She found her passion with her recent lover, and doesn’t seem to understand why I was upset that she found her passion so easily and quickly with another and yet never with me. I know it doesn’t say well of me, I should have been happy for her and glad that my loved one is happy, but I guess the jealousy of their passion and her not being open and honest about it all sabotaged my acceptance from the beginning…

Just feeling very melancholy lately, even with the great life I have. It feels like just the acknowledgement of the lack of passion in my life is causing my soul to wither away, like a plant without water. I’m worried about becoming an empty husk that just goes through the motions of life…

Text 14 Dec

I guess I have let all the praises about what a great recovery and how great I’m doing since my “accident” get to me in such a way that I’ve kinda felt that there was nothing really wrong with me trauma-wise. It just kinda hit me today though, when I realized that I WANT some idiot to provoke me just so that I can fight someone and feel justified in beating his skull in. I know this is a dark topic, especially with the events of today happening, but that’s kinda what made me think of it. I had a psychologist tell me that I have all the symptoms of PTSD, but I can’t be diagnosed because I have no memories of before, during, or after my accident. I kinda laughed it off then, but now I’m starting to think that I’m NOT as special as my doctors and councilors made me feel, that maybe I SHOULD be talking to someone about this, like so many other returning soldiers…

Text 3 Dec

So I spent all night in the ER last night, due to the fact that I can barely walk straight, only to be told I have vertigo. No kidding I said, I’ve had it before and it’s NOTHING like this. Apparently I now have a different, stronger version of it affecting me. They gave me Valium and told me to go home. Hooray for busy ER nights…

Text 27 Nov

I want to move to another area so much. I miss cold weather, snow in the winter time, rainy days, and a variety of trees everywhere I go. All I have here is maybe one month of cool temperatures, no snow, it rarely rains, and the only trees are oak and cedar. I’m trying to convince my wife to move back to Germany, because I really miss living there. I know her family would love to see us more often as well, as we have the only grand kids and great-grand kids in her family so far. She doesn’t want to leave however. She says it would be too hard, she wants to more work on our house here, and she would miss American convenience to much. Sometimes I think I married a German and turned her into an American. She doesn’t like her language anymore either…

Text 14 Nov Life is dull at the moment

You ever have those times when you know you want something different for your life, but you’re too settled into the life you lead now to change? Feeling this way just makes me feel so aimless, don’t know what to do.
Had to withdraw from Grad School, my head just isn’t in the game. My disabilities are finally showing their true colors. I spent 25 years getting used to thinking and reacting a certain way, and for the last 5 years I’ve had to throw all that out the window and relearn everything in a new way. I wouldn’t wish my injuries on my worst enemy…
On top of that, my wife and I agreed that she wouldn’t have a boyfriend right now, until we could figure out a way to make us BOTH involved, as originally planned. Now, however, she’s hiding her phone when he texts her, and texts him all the time, WAY more than she does me. Paying our phone bill, I found out she’s been texting him at work, even as she tells me she can’t text so much to me because she’ll get in trouble.
I need to get out more, make more friends not involved with wife and kids. Guess after I got married I let my friends slip away, thinking I was okay with just my wife and kids.
I feel a little pathetic now that I’ve written all this out, but it’s off my chest at least. I’ll drink tonight until I pass out, then work on fixing the mess around me in the morning…

Text 28 Oct 1 note

So my wife and I are a fairly open couple. We have a semi-open relationship, but we love and care for each other deeply; not to mention we plan on having more children together. Recently, she met someone and ended up having sex with him. No big deal, I was there, it wasn’t a planned event, just a friend of mine that came over to hang out. Problem is, we had talked of threesomes together, because both of us feel left out otherwise. Did not happen, he was too uncomfortable with it, so I ended up being the third wheel. We, meaning she and I, discussed things later, and I told her that I was not okay with being the odd man out like that, as she wants to continue seeing him. I told her it’s okay to play, but no boy-toys on the side, I’m not into the whole “cuckold” lifestyle. If we both play it’s okay, just not one of us only. She then told me to go ahead and find my own “friend,” since there are things I would like sexually that she just can’t do. I hesitate to say, but I am above-average endowment-wise, and some positions that she likes we can’t do because I go too deep and it hurts her. She feels I should find someone to do those things with. I’m with her so far, but the thing is, I’ve gotten fairly lazy about meeting new women since we’ve been married. I guess I’m just too laid back about a lot of things. Never had a problem meeting women while I was single, but then again I usually met the ones who were forward enough to overcome my being so laid back. Don’t get my wrong, it’s not so much me being shy as it is that I’ve never felt the desire to rush anything. I’ve always felt that things will work themselves out over time, and so far it’s worked for me, so far being the key phrase. She’s agreed that if it doesn’t work for me, then it’s not worth jeopardizing our marriage for a little casual sex. I like to see her happy, but she doesn’t like it if I’m left out of that happiness. We’re still talking, and building up our communication skills, haha. Last time was with another couple, so we were both satisfied. The resulting discussions have made our relationships stronger and more secure, as this always forces us to talk about all the things we’re always to uncomfortable to say normally.

Anyways, just felt I had to get that off my chest as it were, so make of my rant what you will. Feel free to share your thoughts with me…

Text 28 Aug Ramble

I’m beginning to think I have a boring tumblr. I have all these thoughts I really want to put down on here, but I usually have them when I’m away from the computer or my phone. Maybe I need to buy a notepad to carry around with me and a pen. That was honesty the real reason I started this, to finally have a place free from worrying about what people thought of my “real” thoughts. I figured I could share my thoughts on everything, and not have to worry about ruining all my friendships from Facebook, lol. I have a lot of thoughts, but I tend to keep them all to myself so as not to offend anyone. I don’t do this because I want everyone to like me, but because I just don’t want to deal with all the drama from people taking everything so personally.

I’m beginning to think that the mask I wear in life to conceal and protect is wearing thin, and I’m not sure why. Is it because of my brain injury, or is it just me getting tired of all the falsity? I know the saying is be yourself, but that only works for so much. I’m an asshole, because I don’t really care about a lot of things, and I know I can be harsh about it. I wear the mask to add a layer of civility to my dealings with people, to protect me from the harsh judgements of those I encounter. Even with those closest to me, those who really “know” me, are only ever shown the mask. I do this because otherwise I would continuously hurt their feelings. It’s a struggle to keep from lashing out at those around me as I get irritated at things. A thin veneer of civilized behavior over the fury with in. This is why I listen to so much classical, it helps calm me down and relax. I love rock, but I get too pumped up nowadays. Is all this do to my experience in Baghdad? I know I don’t have PTSD, numerous neurologist’s and shrinks have told me this. I didn’t even see any combat, I just drove around in my Humvee until the explosion. No gunfights, no injuries, nothing. I’d even emailed my family telling them how “boring” everything was, lol.

I have a good life, a house, family who loves me, and three wonderful kids. Hell, I don’t need to worry about finances as such, all my benefits cover that. So what do I have to be so angry about? Why do I feel this rage boiling underneath the surface? Maybe I read too much fantasy growing up, and now I’m becoming disillusioned with the “real world.” There are no “happily-ever-after” for us “real” people, just bouts of pain punctuated by brief moments of happiness and joy.

Ah, well. I’m getting too morose and melancholy now. I’ve rambled on incoherently long enough, time for bed I guess.

Text 12 Jul Sorry for all the posts.

I just got back from my trip to Seattle, drove 5100 miles with my wife and two sons, a 4 and 2 yr old, and I’m just now really getting the chance to go through my dashboard and check out all the cool things I missed. It was a long drive, but my boys did really good, well in the car they did anyways. Anytime we got out of the car to check out sites or get food they went ballistic, bouncing off the walls and such. Overall I am proud of how well they did on such a long drive though.

One thing I have learned on this trip is that the more you pay for a hotel room, the more they nickel and dime you. We spent $50 on a Super 8 motel in Salt Lake City, and ate an awesome continental breakfast the next morning, and it had a complimentary coffee machine with coffee in the room. In Seattle we stayed at A Marriott hotel for the convention I went to and they charged us for the bottled water next to the coffee machine, which of course I didn’t notice until the day we left. Also, there was no continental breakfast, only a “buffet” breakfast that was $21 per person.

Anyways, we loved seeing the Western US, and I especially loved the forests of Washington. So much different than what we’re used to in Central Texas. I didn’t realize how much I missed the forests I grew up with around the world until we were there, seeing it all in person. My wife has decided that we HAVE to move there now, and is trying to figure out ways of doing just that, lol.

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