Friday, August 27, 2010

Alternatives to chemicals

I was raised by hippies. There I said it. This most likely conjures up images of flowing skirts, long hair, a VW beetle perhaps? Yep, my mom was all that and more. (in fact I have a 1968 Beetle in my garage that belonged to my Mama :) She was an advocate for peace, made all my baby clothes and was a serious animal lover. On top of that she was cheap. My Great-Grandma raised her and her 5 siblings while her mom was working long hours as a waitress. My Great-Grandma came to Ohio from South Carolina when she was 14. She grew up on an Indian Reservation and there weren't many jobs down there. Back in the early 1900's to about the 1970's, Ohio was the rubber capital of the world. Jobs were plentiful and they paid decent wages. They offered benefits and it seemed like a great opportunity for her, as it was for so many.

(nobody is still reading, I know!)

So she brought my mom up, very frugally. All those siblings, they had to stretch things. They usually knew natural ways to clean, fertilize gardens, repel bugs, etc. She was green before there was such a thing as being green! Anyhow, I personally still feel the effects of this. Apart from laundry powder,dish soap, and comet cleanser, I don't buy commercial cleaners. I didn't grow up with them, so they're pretty foreign to me. One of the things that was always around, that I had actually forgotten about until recently, was: 20 Mule Team Borax.

I live in a Township, in a kind of rural place so we have well water. I HATE it! I was having trouble getting my laundry really clean. I was going through 6 boxes of Arm & Hammer baking soda a month. Then it occurred to me that my Mom used something different, Borax. Even though growing up, we had city water, not well. It is a natural water softener, they mine it out of mountains apparently!

SO I went down to Wal-Mart and bought a box (they changed the old fashioned packaging, boo!! End of an era) but they didn't change anything else!

If you have never had to deal with well-water, you won't understand how awful it can be. But let me tell you, I've done 3 loads of laundry and Borax is my New (old) Best Friend. It's multi-purpose and I can't stop using it. It doesn't have any fumes and actually leaves your hands super soft. It's safe around babies, even on their clothes. It gets pet stains and smells out of anything! (I have 3 dogs, they make mistakes sometimes ha)

Obviously I'm a weirdo since I did a whole post about it, but the water situation here had me really depressed. My clothes were dingy all the time, and had a metallic smell from the minerals. All this is GONE! I know there are fancier brands than 20 Mule Team, but you don't need to pay for a name. The huge box from Wal-Mart was $3. It'll do at least 5-6 dozen loads of laundry as well as various other household tasks. I can't stand the thought of using dangerous chemicals, and this is the perfect alternative! I couldn't be happier!

btw obviously I'm not being compensated, my blog is small time. I'm just really happy my awesome, well-loved clothes are finally really clean.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Progress. Oh wait...

There hasn't been much progress on the solo therapy (ST) and couples counseling (CC) front. Once a week we go to CC and sometimes we take microscopic baby steps in the right direction. Mostly though, it's a totally emotionally draining experience that leaves me with a migraine and wrecks the rest of my day. Our counselor is through the VetCenter and I'm very lucky that they accept me since I'm technically "just a fiance".

The Army doesn't normally recognize you unless you're a wife. I think that's complete bs, since I've been with my soldier for 6 years. I'm the only person that has EVER been there for him, and I know so many other girls are in the same situation and aren't recognized.

Well, this "just a fiance" happens to know the ins and outs of PTSD and TBI, and somehow I doubt that a piece of official paper would change that. I deal with some really difficult things with my soldier which is why we go to therapy, duh. Let's see. . .

Well, first up, there's anger. Hawk has the most unrelenting road rage I've ever seen. He doesn't even have to be the one driving. He'll start off cussing and at the end of his episode, he'll have punched the dashboard (hard!) half a dozen times, almost ran off the road, accelerated to 100 mph to make sure the other guy sees him flip them off etc. He'll weave through traffic screaming at the other cars. He doesn't care if I'm in the car or not. I don't even want to know what he's like when I'm not with him. And it isn't just road rage. We can't go out like normal people because if someone rubs him the wrong way, he will fly off the handle.

Theres the constant zoning out. He can't hold a conversation with anyone. Least of all me. I always find myself apologizing for his rudeness and bending over backwards to include him in conversations. It's draining, so we don't visit others much, or have people over. (Not that he'd mind since all he does is play video games all day and rarely leaves the house.) But more than that, it's killing our relationship. I speak and he doesn't acknowledge me. He never makes eye contact, just stares at the wall. If he does talk he stops mid-sentence and then won't talk again for hours. No matter how much I work with him.

He drinks. A lot of them do. He's an asshole when he drinks too, and that is the time he's most likely to have flashbacks.

I really hate the flashbacks.

He is completely irresponsible. He wont do ANYTHING around the house. He wont even take care of his dog who he loves SO much. He can't handle money anymore because he blows it all, or loses it. It's a struggle to get him to do anything other than warm the couch and xbox controller. I pick up the slack, like I've been doing for the past 19 months since this Hell that is my life began.

Silly me, I thought the deployment would be the hard part.

Next up: Memory loss! He can't remember anything. ANYTHING. I have to write every last little thing down on a huge dry erase board because his memory is shot. He can't remember the last time he talked to his parents or his daughter. Hell I have to make him call his daughter, not that he ever has anything to say to her. I have to feed him topics (ask her about school, ask about her dog, summer camp, whatever). We'll go to a restaurant and he forgets what he likes there. We go to the movies and in the amount of time it takes to get from the car to the ticket booth, he can't remember the name of the movie. He forgets EVERYTHING. I have to remind him his brother's wife's name. Or his other brother's daughter's name. It's always something. He either gets mad at himself and shuts down the rest of the day, or he acts like he's fine while he forgets where he is.

There is so much more, but it's such an everyday part of my life, I honestly can't tell what's normal and what isn't anymore. I forget that not everyone lives like this.

Therapy is supposed to be helping all this. We've been going for 2 months, and honestly things are worse now. Our last CC session I cried for 2 hours and finally walked out. The counselor is not trained to handle PTSD, and she and Him just twist my words and talk in circles. This isn't teenage depression, it isn't simple relationship problems. These are our life problems

And I'm not bitching because I can't handle the responsibility. But who the fuck wants it? When is enough, enough?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Finally got a chance to check my reader today and I found out that one of my coolest bloggy friends has passed away. Bumpkin On A Swing was one of the first blogs I ever read, and Lisa was always so funny and kind. She had so much passion and imagination and I always enjoyed anything she wrote. She is already greatly missed and my thoughts are with her dear Captain and friends and family. This is a great loss.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Well, my last post was venting. I was having the worst week ever and I had to get that out. Things are ok most of the time. Living with a Combat Veteran is a unique experience, I have to say. I've only known him as a Veteran. I met him just months after he returned from Iraq the first time. We lived peacefully for 4 years and then he left again. We are both working to find balance, and that is challenging in anyone's life. Everyone has problems, I know, so I try not to feel so bad about ours. My Soldier is a really good guy. He's a FANTASTIC Father and a fun person to be around and I appreciate that. His problems are serious, but there is more to him than that and I try to remember that in our dark periods.
We had a great weekend! We had his daughter and niece (both 7) and stayed busy from sunrise to sunset the past 3 days.

Niece! She calls herself Spongebob ha

He lets the girls get away with murder ;)

Our Niece and my Step-daughter

So, thankfully we are finally getting the chance to enjoy our summer!