I finally did it! After eleven long years, I finally attended a fireworks display with my kids! Guess what?! I survived not only the fireworks, but navigating the crowds with three little ones…by myself!
All in all, I actually enjoyed myself! The girls were able to play on the bouncy houses, get their face painted, and even stood in line for patriotically over-priced snow cones! The girls were able to get those twisted balloon things that end up being made into all kinds of things (one had an alien that rode on her shoulders, one had a sword, and one had a flower). Granted, none of the balloon characters made it home, but they were free, so I wasn’t terribly heart broken (especially since I’m allergic to the stupid things).
I had originally decided to attend because my teen invited me. I figured with her there, I’d be able to get through the fireworks. Well, she went AWOL with her friends and I only saw her once the entire evening. Thankfully, my best friend and her family showed up just minutes before the show started. Between her and Chauncey, they got me through. I purposely sat far enough away that I couldn’t hear them launching, and I enjoyed all but the absolutely largest shells. Those were the ones that I could feel the repercussion of their explosion in my chest and that would trigger me, but as I said, my service dog Chauncey (who did amazingly well with the fireworks) and my best friend saw me through.
I definitely think we will do it again next year. Perhaps I will be able to convince a couple of my fellow veterans to attend with me. Just showing up was a huge step for me and I hope I can share that with others next year.
Moral of this story: don’t be afraid to face your fears…you may be pleasantly surprised at the results. If they aren’t what you expected them to be, you will at least know that you tried. Perform an after action and see if there is anything you could do differently next time to improve the outcome!
Throughout the last year I have found myself in very deep, dark places. It’s hard to get out of bed and it’s hard to put one foot in front of the other, everyday. And my spouse is the one with PTSD, not me. But, as you’ll find reading this blog from the different perspectives, PTSD affects the entire family. Day in and day out. We all wake up not quite knowing “what kind of day it will be”.
One of the things that I like to do to deal (or not deal as it maybe) is to listen to music. Really loud music. Either in the car, or on headphones. However, it works best. Some people like loud, crazy, drowning music. I like country. I like self reflecting songs that make me think. My husband calls it sappy crap. And yes, it makes me cry (they aren’t all sappy!). But, it’s what I need to get through that day or moment. Some of these songs have gotten me through some really bad days and reminded me why I’m still here. I think each of us needs that “something” that gets them through the dark moments. What you have to understand is being on the spouse side of a military marriage is sometimes overwhelming. Sometimes we have to keep our feelings, our pain, our emotions to ourselves – because our spouse cannot deal with it. I know in my situation Jason has/had so much pain inside of him that he can’t deal with mine. He can’t watch me cry, he can’t listen to what hurts me, and he alot of the time he can’t comfort me. All of this is getting better, each day. But, learning to self soothe and to “deal” on my own through music has helped me alot. It gives me that release of negative feelings that I think we all need.
Some of my favorite lines, ever. And yes, I play these songs over, over and over. So much so that my 3-year old knows the words to all of them (and sings along!).
Remember When – Alan Jackson (my all-time fave! so so true)
I was young and so were you. Time stood still. Love was all we knew. You were the first, so was I. Made love and then you cried. Remember when. We vowed the vows and walked the walk, gave our hearts. Made a start, it was hard. Lived and learned, life threw curves. There was joy and their was pain. Remember when. Old ones died, new were born. Life was changed. Disassembled, rearragened. We came together, fell apart. Broke each other’s hearts, remember when. The sound of little feet was amusing, we danced to week to week. Brought back the love, we found trust, we vowed to never give it up. Remember when. Thirty seemed so old, now looking back it was just a stepping stone to where we are and where we’ve been. Said we’d do it all again. Remember when. We said when we turned grey, when the children grow up and move away. We won’t be sad, we’ll be glad for all the life we’ve had. And we’ll remember when.
I Won’t Let Go – Rascal Flatts
You think your lost, but your not lost on your own. Your not alone. I will stand by you, I will help you through. When you’ve done all you can do and you can’t cope. I will dry your eyes, I will fight your fight. I will hold you tight and I won’t let go.
I’ll Be There for You – Bon Jovi
I’ll be there for you, these 5 words I swear to you. When you breathe, I wanna be the air for you. I’ll be there for you. I’d live and I’d die for you. I’d steal the sun from the sky for you. Words can’t say what love can do, I’ll be there for you.
Unanswered Prayers – Garth Brooks
And if he’d only grant me this wish I’d wish back then, I’d never ask for anything again. Sometimes, I thank God for unanswered prayers. Remember when your talking to the man upstairs just because he doesn’t answer doesn’t mean he don’t care, some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.
I’m Gonna Love You Through It – Martina McBride
When your weak I’ll be strong, when you let go I’ll hold on. Take my hand and together we can do it, I’m gonna love you through it.
HelpMe Hold On – Travis Tritt
Help me to hold on to what we have, once our love was strong . It can be again. You said it takes two to make love last. You were right all along, so help me hold on.
I Drive Your Truck- Lee Brice
People got their ways of coping and I’ve got mine. I drive your truck, I roll every window down and I burn up every back road in this town. I find a field, I tear it up till all the pains a cloud of dust. Yes, sometimes I drive your truck.
What Hurts the Most – Rascal Flatts
What hurts the most was being so close. And having so much to say and watching you walk away. Never knowing, what could’ve been and not seeing that loving you is what I was trying to do. It’s hard to deal with the pain of losing you, everywhere I go. But I’m doing it. It’s hard to see our old friends and I’m alone.
Shattered – OAR
But, I’m good without you. And I’m good without you. Yea, yea, yea. How many times can I break till I shatter? Over the line can’t define what I’m after. I always turn the car around. Give me a break, let me make my own pattern. All that it takes is some time and I’m shattered, but I always turn the car around.