Word of the Day

A dear friend of mine recently put her vulnerability out there on her blog for everyone to see, so I'm going to follow suit.  It's not meant to sound whiny, but may come across that way...and it's not meant to sound like "first world problems", but may also come across that way.

Dissatisfied:  adj., not pleased with something; feeling that something is not as good as it should be. (Cambridge Dictionary)

This word sums up my feelings right now.  I am dissatisfied with my life as it stands.  

I am unhappy with the fact that I have to work and I can't be a stay at home mom...I'm even more unhappy knowing that I'll still be in this position in a year and a half when Aria starts kindergarten.

I'm unhappy with the fact that I'm not the kind of person who is more motivated to keep up with chores such as dishes, laundry, vacuuming, counter-scrubbing, sweeping, and mopping.

I'm unhappy with the skin I live within.  I'm more unhappy that I can't seem to find the proper motivation (or energy) required to change this fact about myself.

I'm unhappy with my job performance as a mom.  Nothing hurts more than hearing your four year old say "I'm sick of you mommy."

I'm unhappy with my job performance as a wife.  To be honest, I'm surprised that my husband doesn't hate me.

I'm unhappy with our finances and my inability to control the money over the last nine months.

I'm unhappy with the fact that little things affect me in a huge way...I don't know how to change that.

I'm unhappy that I can't seem to find a way to relax...I feel like I'm always go go go go going and never just resting.

I'm unhappy with how my family feels about my husband...and I'm even more unhappy with how they either make it blatantly obvious how they feel or how they make comments to each other that they think I can't hear...but I can, and I often times do.  You don't like him, fine, but keep all comments, looks, gestures, eye rolls, rudeness, excessive attitude, or anything else to yourself.  Please don't do it in front of me or Aria any more.  I've never seen my family be more judgmental than they are when it comes to Dave.  I don't think my family knows how much they hurt me.

I am unhappy with the fact that I feel like all of the household chores fall on me because my husband is also not the kind of person who is motivated enough to do chores such as dishes, laundry, etc. and then I feel even more unhappy after I nag at him to do it, when he would probably do more chores if I actually asked him nicely and gave him the time to do it instead of expecting him to get up right then and do it without me even having to express to him that I'd like some help.

I'm exhausted after working my 8 hour day, he's exhausted after working his 11 hour day, I come home and cook dinner, and then we both argue about who is more exhausted than the other and none of the chores get done...instead of us just acting like adults, sucking it up, sticking to a chore list, and each tackling our own respective chores each night like grown ups.  We both act like children...30 year old children...it's ridiculous.

I've been reading a lot about PTSD lately (so I can try to better understand how to handle my husband when his anxiety and anger come out), and in that reading I've learned about something called Secondary PTSD. It's something that's common among spouses of veterans with PTSD (studies were done on Vietnam vets and their spouses).   Secondary PTSD is controversial and not widely accepted, but if you research it, you'll see a lot of accounts from wives of Vets with PTSD...and that's me.  An explanation from Family of a Vet (not everything below is present in my situation):

The signs, symptoms, and effects of Secondary PTSD are just as varied as the ones exhibited by Veterans with "primary" PTSD.

Basically, when you're living with a veteran who has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, you become his (or her) caretaker.  You slip into a role, without even noticing it, that has you constantly watching for people or circumstances that might "set him off."  You're trying to make sure everything stays in line - that nothing aggravates or upsets your vet - that everything is "perfect."  Despite your best efforts, you're still getting screamed at and berated by the person you're trying to help on a much too frequent basis. 

Your vet is not emotionally "there" for you.  When you're upset or happy, angry or sad, you have to deal with your emotions on your own.  You begin to feel ignored and unloved and start "protecting" yourself by treating others - especially your vet - the same way.

You're also probably handling all household chores, childcare, financial management, etc.  You get no help (or very little) from your spouse.  You're the cook, chauffeur, secretary, accountant, yard guy, child care provider, laundry service, etc., etc., etc.  Everything in your family feels like it's up to you.  It is a 24x7 job at which you constantly fail.  It's not humanly possible to do everything - or to prevent PTSD from creeping in.

This cycle takes its toll on many spouses.  You lose yourself.  It's impossible to tiptoe around your vet, day in and day out, while taking care of all of life's other duties (duties normally shared between two people), without feeling the strain.   And that strain soon transforms into... ta da... Secondary PTSD.

Secondary PTSD may make you feel overly angry, depressed, exhausted (but, alas, unable to sleep), overwhelmed, and just plain unhappy with the world around you. 

It's stress...just plain stress. And I can't control it...and I can't seem to relax...and my family doesn't understand it, so they just get mad at me...and that just makes it worse...and it never ends....and it sucks.  Rest doesn't help.  Hot baths don't help.  Wine doesn't help.  Chocolate doesn't help.  Crying doesn't help.

I can't focus on anything at work.  I can't focus on anything at home (it's a wonder I haven't burned the house down when cooking dinner).  I can't focus on anything productive, no matter what it is or how hard I try.

I'm sure some will say that I probably need antidepressants...and maybe I do...but having taken antidepressants before, I know that they just make you feel better...they don't actually FIX the underlying problem.  I want to fix the problem....but I have no idea how...yet another reason why I feel so stressed.  And don't tell me to stop being stressed about those things I can't control...if I could pick and choose and what I do and do not feel stressed over then I wouldn't be in this boat, would I?

So you see...DISSATISFIED sums it up entirely

If I were a stay at home mom, this is what I'd do today (After taking Aria to Pre-K summer camp)...
Chores - empty dishwasher and refill, put away Dave's and my laundry, do Aria's laundry
Clean - FINALLY find a home for all the Christmas and birthday presents that are still piled in the living room
Cook - (this actually would stay the same) Rigatoni with zucchini and squash + basil, tomato, garlic, green onion
Bake - (after FINALLY seasoning my cast iron skillet) Skillet chocolate chip cookie


  1. Every so often I catch up on your blogs I miss and it's a wild rollercoaster of feels. I love you so much! You are the strongest woman I know and I look up to you a lot. You deserve great things, and I believe everyone who knows you thinks the same.