Sunday, May 26, 2013

Who we are and where we come from

Two years ago after moving 3 hours from home. Giving up the job I loved and had been at since '07. Having a baby and leaving three of my babies behind I started over just to start over. Chris had been promoted a year before and all seemed right with our world. However we just let ourselves believe all was right with our world. We knew between having two homes, two lives and a career that was hanging in the balance we were just thankful to have what we had. Chris had just recovered from major knee surgery but in actually he never was able to fully recover. The surgeon took my already falling apart husband and essentially finished him off. He seemed down but not out. 

Chris had tried very hard to make a comeback from that knee surgery but it wasn't in the cards. I won't lie I was more angry than anything. I wasn't angry at the surgeon, well ok I was because he did this to him. I was mad at Chris though. I know how horrible is that?! I just moved 3 hours away left my family and my job only to find out I was no longer a military wife I was just back to being who I was before but I was now in the middle of nowhere and had not a friend or family near me. Again none of this was his fault it was a fluke, an unlucky draw.

Now to be fair I did get established out here rather quick. I moved the very first of Feb and by mid March landed a preschool job. It was a culture shock to what I was accustomed to but I was well received by the higher ups and did my best to do what I was good at. However I was quick to put in my notice about this time two years ago stating that mid June would be my last day and I was going to be moving back to Dallas. I was thrilled. I had contacted our old property manager to have him look for properties for us, I was searching for a job, Chris was ready to get set up at a college so he could utilize his GI bill and follow his plan of becoming a respiratory therapist. I was thrilled. I even told Jason that I would just keep the girls here a few weeks so that we could start packing and be back in Dallas by the time the school year started. Ohh the plans I had made. 

We didn't move as you can see. I can't honestly say what it was that made us change our minds. I think part of it was Chris had found a job here I was already working and we didn't want to mess with a good thing. We decided to use that money we had and buy a new truck. Now we would have two vehicles and life would get even easier. I think in hindsight it was needed but we just didn't go about things in the most responsible manner. I mean when you have a bank account that is up in the 5 digits and when I saw 5 digits I mean upper 5 digits, you suddenly start thinking differently. I wish we would have planned better. I wish we would have had more of a plan going into this. I really think it would made a huge difference. We got irresponsible plain and simple. Of course this is before we knew H was having all the problems he was having. He was about to hit his 1st birthday and Chris would be military free a few weeks later. 

A year later we really had nothing to show for what we had. The money was gone, and our taxes were also. The military overpaid and so they decided to take our tax return. Peachy. I had just started a good job on base working with children so I figured things might be ok. Chris was getting money for his GI bill, plus his paycheck so really we had no excuse. However paying for insurance now and all those expenses out of pocket really begins to take its toll. And this was just the beginning. We still were careless. By July we were down to 1 car again. Things truly started to just spiral down. We really were not prepared for life outside the military and how much we really counted on them to help us sustain our life. Things we didn't have to think twice about now had to be at the forefront of our minds. Its a scary reality. 

This past year we overcome a lot. Only those closest to us knew how bad it was and still is. H has required a lot on the medical front. Not to mention an unexpected event happened and Chris' pay took a huge hit. We basically have lived off my meager pay and Chris is forced to be in school so we can at least get some sort of guaranteed income so we can get by. There have been have been times we have sat with nothing in our bank account praying for paydate and knowing what we have is enough to just barely get by and nothing more. We have struck deals with our utility companies just so we can keep our essentials till we get paid. I have hated it, ever last second of it has been moments I really don't want to have to relive. However it has made us who we are. I might have gone without, Chris also but the kids have never. They get their three meals a day unless they have opted out on their own free will, they have had clothes on their back and a place to live. 

I was eating dinner tonight and I was so excited to have made a wonderful home cooked meal. Sean was even so excited. Last night was sandwiches and the night before that was pizza. When you get in a tight spot you learn how to make do and do so efficiently. In a few weeks the dynamics of this household will change for a few months. We trade in one preteen bottomless pit, to two girls one of which could live off nuggets and corn for the rest of her life and the other who is good with what she has. My kids love it when I do my good ole home cooked meals. That makes me feel better and knowing at the end of the day their bellies are full with the good stuff I made makes me even happier. 

So in August it will be two years. We will turn in our ID cards and have even less affiliation with the military. That sometimes stings a little when I think about it. I am in a military town, 99.9% of my friends are military. I begin to feel like this outsider when they talk about the military related events they will attend and the things they get to be apart of. It only stings because not long ago that was us. Life goes on though. 

It has taken almost two years to figure out the direction we are taking. I can safely say we still don't have much of a direction. I should be graduating this spring. I have said that once I graduate I want to go back home. However that may not happen. Chris has found options he wants to take so that will largely influence the route we end up taking of course. We just have to know where we are coming from, where we have been and where we need to go. Transitions like this take time. They don't come overnight. They take weeks, months even years to figure out. The only thing I can say is be patient, be supportive, be understanding. It's not always as easy as it seems.