Friday, August 24, 2007

Why Does My Son Rage?

I really want all of you to know that I appreciate your comments, your love, your hugs, your advice, and everything about those of you who read my ramblings! Every day when I get home I go straight to my blog to "hear" from you all. You make my days brighter!

Regarding the helicopter crash on Wednesday, the unit initially identified as being involved was incorrect. The two pilots and two crew members on the helicopter were out of Ft. Lewis, WA --- Austin's unit. If I had seen that before I heard from my sons, more than panic would have happened; probably a lot of screaming, crying and I'd definitely have less hair.

Most tragically, one of the soldiers killed was the second son in his family to be killed in Iraq. How horrible for his family. How does life go on?

My older son is very upset with me for my recent "interference" in things of war. He's been brutally open with his disapproval of me for panicking when I heard of the helicopter crash ("if something happens to one of us you will find out w/n hours through official channels"); becoming involved in getting generators fixed; sending an e-mail to the White House to try to get Austin home; and on and on. When he was home for R&R and I mentioned some things I had become involved in he said, "Why don't you just live your OWN life?" This IS my OWN life. If one of my sons is killed in this war it would not only be the end of them, it would be the end of me!

Sometimes I want to change the name of my blog to ArmyMomOfOne because Austin is really the only one who cares that I care that he is in danger. He listens to what I have to say, appreciates what I am willing (and sometimes able) to do, he knows how much his being killed or wounded would destroy me. Katie is in grad school in Kansas and Kris is fighting WWIII and emulating George Patton.

I know tomorrow I'll delete the last two paragraphs, but for now they stay. This is my life. This is how it is. This is the truth.


Stephanie said...

First - *big hugs*

Fair warning, this will be long!

Second, I do see where Kris is coming from, as well as understand your side of it.

I am the wife of a Marine, so I won't pretend to know how it feels to have a son at war, but I do know how it feels to have a husband there. I also know how my husband has felt when the people around him tried to essentially live his life with him.

A couple of examples: his older sister moved to the same town in VA while he was in college. Then she moved near the base while he was deployed last year and wound up living with him early this year because of financial difficulties. This caused HUGE issues in and of itself, as well as strained their relationship.

His mom had a horrible time in 2003 with his first deployment during the invasion. I get the feeling that it nearly consumed her, which is some of what I read between the lines of your blog. I think it's definitely understandable and to a point, normal.

It has to be so HARD to let your kids go and allow them to be individuals, let alone individuals who choose to put themselves in harm's way. My husband is very independent and has become even more so since we've been married. We're about to approach a rough situation in that aspect, but it comes back to his parents allowing him to have his own opinions, make his own decisions, and if he needs it, have his space.

It sounds to me like what Kris needs is space. He knows you love him. He knows you worry about he and his brother. I'm sure he appreciates both and loves you very much. I have to wonder if he worries about how you're dealing with the deployment and this is his way of showing it. Boys are just plain strange that way ...

I guess what I'm trying to say is that you need to cope how you need to cope, but you also need to not lose sight of who you are. That is my biggest struggle when my husband is deployed - not letting it consume me. It's easy to let that happen, but I refuse to take the easy road. I won't lie, there are days where I flat out don't want to get out of bed. I let those days happen, but then the next day I get up and I push on because I don't have a choice. A Marine is who my husband is, it's what he does, and it's what he chose. I have to accept that and live with it, not let it live my life for me. It's a battle, but it's one I am willing to fight because I love him.

I'll close with more *hugs* your way. Hang in there, Jo Ann.

Stephanie said...

Re-reading your post, I want to urge you to do some research on anticipatory grief. It's something I struggle to keep some control over myself.

Here are some links:,15202,142157,00.html

My experience is on the spouse side, but I think it's quite relevant here too.

Sarge Charlie said...

I have a hug for you mom. I know it was much worse for my wife and mother during Vietnam, all the saw day after day as carnage and body counts. We were just doing a job.........

Army Mom Times Three said...

I agree that my son needs "space" and I'm now prepared to give it to him. But (and there's always a 'but'), those maternal instincts of mine (which seem to be on steroids) just take over my mind, body, "big mouth" and life. But I'll try!
Sarge -- you are also right. You were busy doing your job while your wife and mother were consumed with worry for you. I'm walking in those "shoes" now and they are way too tight and uncomfortable!

Not a Granny said...

It is never easy to turn off the "mothering". That is and always will be our job. From the moment we first found out we were carrying another life, we have been dedicated to protecting and nourishing that life. It can't be turned off.

It can be turned down, but not easily. Maybe you can just promise no more emails to the White House? That would be a start?? :) LOL

Stephanie said...

I deal with similar issues, often wishing I had a switch to turn those instincts and emotions off! If you find one, please let me know!

All we can do is try and see their side of it too, taking a step outside of the instincts and emotions, even if only for a moment. Sometimes I need a reminder to do that. Sometimes daily. Sometimes hourly. But I keep trying, because that's all I have.

Sarge Charlie said it well - it's our job as the women who love them to worry. We just can't lose ourselves to that worry and have to remember that they are doing what they chose to do ...

Proud wife of Sgt H said...

First off, Hugs to you! I don't know what its like from your stand point. But I can tell you from my side, its not easy, and something I learned from the chaplain before our guys deployed is really helping me now.

The chaplain told me he knows I'll worry just as hubby knows I'll worry. And hubby will tell me not to and get "upset" when I do, but he(they) just want the best for us while they are gone. And worrying as much as we do, can cause health problems if we are not careful. So maybe your son is just worried about you? And perhaps he feels like if he "gets onto you" for worrying then you will slow down a bit.

I know, easier said than done. And from what I can tell, you're not totally letting the deployment run your life, but there is times when I can tell the deployment is getting the best of you.

When my husband first left, I wrote a Dear Deployment letter, I will find it and post it on my blog for you to read, maybe it would be helpful for you to write one? I have mine on the bathroom door on and the fridge, and when I feel like the deployment is getting the best of me, I just re-read my letter.