Allow me to explain:
There’s this mental checklist I run down every time my husband and I fight. It goes something like this:

Is he being a jerk because:
1. He is a jerk.

2. He can’t help it. His TBI is the reason he forgot (my birthday, to take out the trash, my sister’s name, to take one extra step so his dirty clothes would actually make it INSIDE the hamper this time, etc.).

3. Maybe it’s late onset PTSD. Didn’t I read that one of the signs is increased irritability and forgetfulness?

4. He’s still not used to life at home after all these years of war. It’s not PTSD or TBI, it’s transitioning. But for the love of God, how long is it going to take the man to transition? Is there a statute of limitations on this crap?

5. Maybe he’s not the jerk, maybe I am. Maybe he’s right and I’m wrong.

6. …And maybe I’ve always been the jerk but he’s been gone too much for either of us to notice it until now…

7. No, that can’t be it. I get along fine with everyone else. Must be that he’s always been a jerk but has been gone too much and for too long for me to notice it until now.

8. Nope. I noticed it yesterday, too. So does that mean that it is PTSD or TBI?

9. And if his jerkiness is medical, is it fair for me to get mad at him for it? I mean, I wouldn’t get mad at him for lying on the couch if he had cancer and I wouldn’t expect him to take out the trash if he were missing his legs. I wouldn’t yell at him for dozing off if he had narcolepsy. Maybe I’m just being insensitive?

10. No, I cry for roadkill. If anything, I’m oversensitive.

11. But if this is a war wound, what am I supposed to do about this? Insist on better? Suck it up and live with it? Seek treatment for him? If I think he’s a jerk now, just wait until I suggest that he has PTSD…

12. Arghh.

So this has been going on for a while now and, no, I haven’t figured out the answer. For what it’s worth, I’m 95% sure it’s not PTSD because our arguments tend to be of the Mars/Venus type and I’m pretty sure that combat has nothing to do with that. (Though in mythology Mars WAS the God of War…hmm…)

Anyway, it occurred to me this morning that this checklist has effectively rendered PTSD and TBI the male version of PMS, which almost makes it kind of fun for me.  Almost. Now everytime he screws something up, I can just (breathe deeply, count to 10) then rub his head and say in baby cooing tones, “Awww, it must be your wittle TBI messy-wessying up your thinking again.” Which has about the same effect on him as his “Must be your time of the month.” comments have on me. If only he got chocolate cravings and bloated a couple of days in advance as a warning…

I didn’t say it was a good solution, people. Just an equitable one.


Gabby Giffords, MSOY?

The Fayetteville Observer has a great story in the paper today about me and the two other Bragg wives who’ve been nominated for Military Spouse of the Year. Here’s a link to the story:

You can vote for me here until February 3rd, when voting on this first round (the Branch representative round) ends. AND PLEASE DO VOTE FOR ME! But, if you’ve got a minute, read the profiles of the other spouses (because there’s a husband who has been nominated, too — Love that!). Reading what some of them have accomplished and committed themselves to doing, despite all sorts of obstacles, has literally moved me to tears. I am truly very honored and humbled to be in their ranks. It’s hard to think of this as a competition when I find myself voting for my “competitors”…

It’s no secret that I’m partial to military families. Over and again we do the impossible, and usually with a smile on our face. This was even more apparent yesterday when Gabrielle Giffords, the only military spouse in Congress, announced she was resigning this week. As you no doubt recall, she’s been recovering from a gunshot to the head after an assassin tried to kill her last year. In this video she says that she still has a lot of recovering left to do and that stepping down is the right thing for her constituents.

Maybe we need her as a write-in candidate for Military Spouse of the Year? Seriously… what an amazing woman!



Military Spouse of the Year


So … I have been nominated to be the 2012 Military Spouse of the Year and made it all the way to the finals! Right now I’m up against four other Army wives, all of whom are really impressive. One of us will be chosen and then the overall Military Spouse of the Year will be chosen out of that group. At this point it all comes down to votes — whoever gets the most votes wins. The good news is that anyone can vote — and you can vote EVERY 59 minutes!  So please vote for me and tell your friends to vote for me, too. And if I win I promise to buy each and every one of you a rainbow-striped pony.

Click here to vote:

(And, just in case you’re wondering, I have no idea *what* I will actually win. Probably just some validation and the opportunity to meet with military and political leaders and to inflict my opinions on them. But how often does one of us get to do that?)