Friday, October 21, 2011

Lady in Waiting

Thank you all again for being so patient with my posts.  It bugs me that I used to post daily and now post only every few days or so.  Training is finally dying down though, and I'm down to my last two weeks in Arizona.  My mind is fried after hours of talking about databases so if this post is incoherent, I apologize.

I've been thinking a lot about remaining present in the moment and trying my best to enjoy my time here.  When Rob was in the Army, either at garrison in Alaska or in Iraq, I was always counting down to the next time we saw each other.  I was basically living my life always in waiting.  I turned down invitations to events, didn't attend meetings, and mostly just sat in my room watching episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000.  I think I assumed that life without Rob wasn't really worth my time, and that if I just put my head down and toughed it out I'd eventually see him and life would be bright again.

As you can imagine this is hardly a way to live.

Fast forward to today and I find myself reverting to this same behavior when I'm on projects.  I was in Cleveland for 9 months with some amazing people, and rather than venturing out and finding new restaurants and new sights I was usually the one pushing Chipotle dinners and early nights.  Hiding in my room felt safe and it felt right.  

I was discussing this with my therapist, telling her that I like hiding out in my "den" (usually a hotel room), watching 30 Rock or Family Guy or some other show that doesn't require me to think or to be anxious.  I also started to tell her a few stories from my various travels and realized that (insert gasp) I can create memories and life experiences even when I am not with Rob.  I have grown somewhat emotionally dependent on Rob over the years given my insecurity and his unfailing strength (the man is seriously a rock) and I think in a lot of cases, I've looked to him to give meaning to my life and my experiences.

She told me this was a common trait among patients with PTSD, the search for a "rescuer."  Essentially you put all your focus and hopes and dreams and insecurity on this one person hoping they'll save you from the instability of your own self.  It wasn't something I would've imagined myself doing because it seemed rather...I don't know, weak I suppose.  I realized how fortunate I was to find someone who didn't seek to exploit my weakness or manipulate me.  

To avoid the "den" line of thinking, my therapist asked me to come up with a list of "To Dos" while I was in Arizona for the month.

Though I've made a point to venture out and see new things (I've already been to the three places everyone told me to go) I still find myself slipping into my old ways.  Last weekend all I wanted to do was to huddle in my bed, read blogs, and watch 30 Rock episodes until it was time to sleep...but I didn't.  I got up early and drove to Jerome.  I walked around, I took pictures, and I walked into places that seem interesting to me.  I flew in a goddamn helicopter in Sedona, admiring the beautiful rock formations and brilliant colors.  

And you know what? I had a great time, even if Robbie wasn't by my side.  Sure, it would've been even better had he been there and sure, I'd rather be home with him than out and about any day of the week.  But that doesn't mean I should shortchange myself and become a hermit until we come together again.  I only have one life to live and realistically, Rob cannot be surgically sewed to my side for the entirety of it (as horrifyingly awesome as that would be).  Right now I'm in one of the prettiest places in the country expense-free and dammit, I should appreciate that experience.  I only hope that I'm doing it justice.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  Thank you once again for putting up with my anxiety-ridden are all just amazing.


  1. i think this is an amazing realization for you. and i know for a fact that you aren't alone in this boat. even though my anxieties aren't at the same level as yours are, i can remember feeling like i would be just as content sitting at home, watching reruns, tham going out and having fun with friends. (especially if there were going to be people whom i never met involved.)

    i think this is a big step for you. you CAN venture out and do things solo. i am actually kind of jealous that you get a bit of solo time. :)

  2. this is a great time to experience the world, even without rob. i'm sure it's hard but good for you for taking these new steps and adventures.

    thinking of ya

  3. So happy you're making the best out of this. It sounds like it's a wonderful place to be and since you can't enjoy it together, you definitely should.

  4. Good for you lady.:) Sitting and waiting is something I did a lot of while R and I were LD; I am a recluse by nature, so it was just easier to be alone than to reach out to friends or go out and interact with the world.

    Have a fun rest of the time there, it's like a vacation you get to fry your brain at! :P

  5. Wow! I have PTSD too and I've been seeing a therpist too. We haven't gotten to the whole "rescuer" idea but that makes complete sense. Seriously THANK YOU for sharing. Oh, and Sedona is GORGEOUS :) I spent my wedding night there. You MUST get some GOOD mexican food before you leave. Tia Rosa's is the best. Rosa's is also good. :)

  6. Thanks for sharing the photos of Sedona. My husband and I went there for our honeymoon 17 years ago and seriously, if I won the lottery, i'd move there in a second.

  7. These experiences make you stronger, and hey, more interesting! You will have more to bring to the table when you see your guy again!

    Sounds like a lot of good stuff goin' on out there, Caitlin! We're all rooting for you!

    (God, me and my exclamation points...)

  8. I was going to leave an insightful comment about this post but I just realized my kid is coloring on his face, so it will have to wait.

  9. Girl, I'm seriously so proud of you for putting yourself out there. It's clearly something really difficult for you and I can tell how much you're trying to really make the best of Arizona, even without Rob. I think you're doing a great job so far!! You've had so many amazing experiences and I'm really quite jealous :)

  10. This is what I love about blogging. Look at all that support above! I think it's healthy and good to ramble sometimes. :)

  11. Man, you are so beautiful. I love how real this post is.


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