I’ve been having unspecified fear and loathing lately. This includes bouts of insomnia, which truly puzzle me. You’ve had to bear the burden of my thousand-word midnight posts as a result. So let’s put us both out of our misery and identify it. How about we start by eliminating some major categories, eh? Here’s what it is NOT:
(1) Fear of Husband’s death.
I may be a blood-sucking apathetic deal-killing risk-averse lawyer, but I am not fearful of Husband’s demise. I have lived my entire life knowing that Dad and Husband might work and sometimes live in environments fraught with jeopardy, unwieldy machinery, uncontrollable forces of nature, and a dependence upon others for safety. I feel pretty good about not living in fear of Husband’s death. I don’t fear the reaper. I had to give that notion up a long time ago.
(2) The Unknown.
At first I blamed the Army for putting husband in unknown territory. I liked blaming the Army. I reasoned that Navy is a known quantity and Army is not. I understand the words catshot and trap. I know why they called it the USS “Forest Fire.” I can decipher the colored shirts on the flight deck. I know about LSOs, FCLPs, SLBs, and NAFOD. I grew up listening to stories about bolters and wave-offs. The bathroom was the head and the kitchen was the galley and sheet marks on your face were always rack burn. We weren’t admonished to get ready to leave, we were told to “pull chocks” (or we were just given the hand motion for this order if it was a crowded room). We weren’t told to hurry up, we were told to get out at “the speed of heat.” We didn’t clean up our junk, we did a FOD walk-down.
When I heard the new acronyms “BOG” and “ACU” and looked at my husband’s Army uniform with the words “U.S. Navy” emblazoned across the breast pocket, I initially felt out of sorts. But that quickly passed. First, I have all of you! Most of the military spouse bloggers are Army for whatever reason, and that’s a wealth of useless military information. Second, Husband is the most teachable, most detail-oriented guy I know. I have no doubt that he’s soaking in every new facet of joint operations with great success, even if I’m not there to help him understand it.
There you go. It’s not death or the unfamiliar, and it’s not the Army or the Navy. So what’s keeping me up at night?
Don’t worry, I’ve made a list of the other possibilities. I’m ready for you to review this list and get back to me with your answers. This is my cheap therapy people, so don’t let me down here. TriCare is depending on you. I’m depending on you. My ability to sleep at night again depends on you. Well, okay, you and a Costco-sized bottle of Tylenol PM with a NyQuil chaser.
So here we go. Top potential reasons I’m not sleeping at night:
- A subconscious realization that as time passes the car’s ability to keep working and the scheduled repair of the hot tub are exponentially related, such that the universe will eventually make me chose between them.
- A conspiratorial and irrational fear that if I sleep, nobody will take my place at the computer refreshing the search terms “news Afghanistan” in fifteen minute intervals, and as a result the Island will blow up.
- Upon annihilating the stark visual created by the never-ending deployment calendar, we laid out twelve lovely candles for each month of Husband’s absence, adding cute little pictures and mementos, which now collectively resemble a serial killer’s victim shrine in my master bathroom.
- An inability to shake a bizarre recurring dream involving General Petraeus, Hamid Karzai, the three little people from Spinal Tap, and a purple-suited “The Jesus” from The Big Lebowski.
- The realization that it only took 45 days for me to completely forget how to cook.
- The haunting XL white t-shirts that came out of my dryer this week, and what that means about the interval at which I provide clean underwear and/or sheets for my children.
- My swollen right eye and overburdened mucous membranes, exacerbated by my childrens’ inability to freshen the home of their beloved pig-rodents.
I’m open to other possibilities, so please let me know your thoughts. There’s no guarantee that I’ll actually agree, be prepared to do anything about it, or that it will make me feel any better. But identifying it will at least put a name and a face on the enemy, and Sun Tzu says that’s the first step.