Day 157: May 23d, 2013

It’s very close to the start of a long weekend.  I’m hoping after this weekend, the illnesses will leave my family for good.  I’m very tired of having sick children at home.  I often find myself feeling like the world’s worst parent.  I’m continually yelling at the children, and this not something I want to do.  Yesterday in absolute frustration, after being screamed at by my daughter, I slammed my dog’s foot in the door.  As of right now, she’s walking OK, but I was really afraid from the way she screamed when I did it, that I had broken her foot.  I’m ready for the last two weeks of school, so I can gird my loins for this summer.  No matter how much you love your children, the summer is always tough. 

            I have been told time and time again that I should be used to this lifestyle, and that I chose to marry a military man.  No matter how long I have been married, or what lifestyle I chose, I didn’t choose this.  The one thing that makes this entire deployment daunting is the fact that I’m doing this with a special needs child.  It would be easier if I could explain the entire thing to a person who understands what’s going on around him.  I could deal with the emotional storms of a deployment with a child, who is typical.  The tantrums, the psychotic need for a routine, and constant demands are not easy to deal with; it would be one thing if he were a toddler, but he’s 9.  I didn’t choose to live this lifestyle with a special needs child, and I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

            Many people have told us, “to get out of the military.”  That would be the easy answer, wouldn’t it?  But it really isn’t that easy.  The military health insurance covers much of the services that we get now, and we would not get them on the outside.  Autism would be a pre-existing condition, and as of right now, Obama-care hasn’t passed yet, and the autism would not be covered.  My husband has been in nearly 16 years, and you don’t just get out this close to retirement.  The fact that he has been in 16 years means quite a nice paycheck.  There are no guarantees of a decent job upon getting out, and why would we get out prior to receiving the retirement benefits that he has worked so hard for?  It’s very easy to armchair quarterback someone else’s life.

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