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Wellness

When I Found Out My Kids Were In The Military

This was the hardest part of my parenting journey — I spent a long time not even knowing they had left the house. But when our house was raided and my kids were separated from me, I had to learn to navigate through emotional trauma with each other. This is an experience I have never felt before. I have always thought I could just let it go and I had this one special family that I could always take care of. I was wrong.

This is my story about why I’m an Army Mom and how I coped when I learned my kids were serving abroad. I will be using my experiences as an Army Mom to provide context to this article. This is my story…I couldn’t write that kind of text without giving too much away. I want you to know what I went through when I learned something was up with my kids.

This is not my story. This is our story. Our lives are all intertwined. I want our story to show the many ways we live and the many lives and lives we can save.

First of all, let me give you a little background about me…. When I was a teen, I graduated with a business degree and was working for a bank. As a young adult, I had many long distance relationships and did not marry until I was 30.

I started to go through a lot of heartbreak as I matured and experienced more of the world. I had a rough time raising my daughters and as my youngest came along I really had lost my motivation to do anything. It was in this time I met a group of people I met when I worked in a mental health clinic. This was back in the late 2000s and at the time the clinic was looking for good young people to work with. What we looked for in our candidates was that they had a good sense of humor, could work well with others, and that they could handle criticism from others. You may be asking… what is this “critical criticism” I hear so much about? Well, a person could be wrong and in my clinic I noticed that the ones that got into the program and stayed the longest tended to get critical with others on a regular basis. I realized that they often had to endure criticism from family and friends as well as from therapists that tried to help them. This is where they were trained to learn how to deal with their stress and not push it to an emotional limit.

One day when I returned to work in the clinic my work partner who was also a therapist noticed that I had been using a lot of words like “over-working” and “oversleeping.”¬†When I came in she said that she wondered what was making me so upset and if it would ever go away. I thought it was a fluke. I mean I was always stressed out and sometimes I just got into a bad mood. But after that day at work, things got better and I went back to dealing with my work more effectively and with more happiness. I don’t know what was causing me to get more negative. After all, it had been happening for years! After a couple months of taking different kinds of medication for anxiety, I started noticing that I wouldn’t sleep for a couple days at a time. My stress wasn’t going down because I was sleeping more and I did everything I could to find a way to get better rest…everything. I read about the Mayo Clinic study and discovered how essential sleep is to mental and physical health! I realized after all of the negative comments I had to take a different approach. I started to give myself permission to ask for more sleep and to get to bed earlier. I started to be aware of all of the negative and annoying people in my life. I started to spend time with friends that weren’t my closest friends but that were important in my life. I started to understand that there were some people that I didn’t want to be friends with…but I loved them anyway because they helped me through difficult times.

Eventually I realized that it was because of this process that I began to get more emotional. What started as a single emotional reaction became multiple emotions and eventually became a full on rage.