Last week, I was in California taking a much-needed break from just about everything. They say that one shouldn’t advertize vacations on the internets, so I took a break from my writing. It has been unusually difficult to get back on the habit, so I guess during the next vacation, I will have to do my writing but delay my posting.
While I was away, a lot of things went south. My mom and my older brother are on (what I like to call) down cycles. It upsets me a lot when they get this way. Which is my narcissism peeking out. Their struggles are not a reason for me to feel sorry for myself because there’s nothing I can do. So instead of fretting over my own feelings of helplessness, I’m going to turn it over to God because I do not have the training or resources to help them, beyond empty, encouraging comments on their respective blogs. They know I love them and support them.
My youngest brother is still in the neglectful arms of the Army, waiting helplessly while they decide his future and (presumably) lose his paperwork. Nothing I can do there either. Nothing but disappointment and regret and a thin slice of guilt because I convinced him to join in the first place under the mistaken belief that it might be good for him. Stupid of me to think that, not when all the evidence showed otherwise. I know lots of people who use the military to pull themselves up and others who use it as an excuse to fall down. The Army doesn’t make them do anything. Whatever they become was there already. I was a bully long before the Army. Rank just made me better at it.
Oh, and my sister-in-law has been having labor pains for days now. Which I don’t find out until I see her request for prayers on the Facebook earlier today. (Again, Narcissist Me is pissed off because I had to hear it from social media.)
This did genuinely make me angry. I’m really worried about her and my soon-to-be niece. I’m worried about my little brother because it’s only his second child and this is a little early for her to be getting labor pains. And I’m really angry because they’re not telling me means (to me) that they don’t think I care. (Logically, I know they have much bigger things to worry about, but who am I to start thinking logically at this late juncture?) Last time, I got a text that she was going into labor and then I heard nothing until I texted the next day to see if everything was all right. See, when they didn’t let me know that they were Braxton-Higgs (false) contractions, I assumed that no news meant bad news. I spent a whole day thinking that something had gone horribly wrong and they were too freaked out to tell me. That’s how my mind works.
The other reason this specific lapse in communication pissed me off is because last month I let slip that Buddy might be going to Korea. I did the equivalent of a Facebook sigh (vague status update that makes people bug you until you respond with answers). It was dumb, I know, but I honestly didn’t think that many people would respond so quickly. My sister freaked a bit, which really put me off my game. I get it now, I guess. She’s a civilian and doesn’t know what Korea means. It’s got it’s benefits and inconveniences, but I was angrier about the early assignment change than about the choices (though they were pretty atrocious considering Korea was the best option). It is really not a big deal. I really shouldn’t have said anything until we got orders, but I wanted to rant and get sympathy. You understand.
After explaining most of this to her and my siblings, she let me know that she didn’t like hearing about this kind of thing from the Facebook. I get that, too. I just forgot that our levels of importance vary significantly. Army BS is something I’m used to. People get shunted off to new assignments at bad times, regulations change, paperwork is lost, etc. It’s everyday life for us. I get frustrated, sure, especially when fat cats are stealing funding to line their own greasy pockets, but it’s not worth special announcements until you have the paperwork because nothing is certain until you have orders in your hand. Instead, I worry about people’s health and well-being, like pregnancies and sick kids and down cycles. Those are things I can’t brush off as the normal BS.
The short of it is, none of my Army buddies, spouses included, were worried when I said Korea. It was an “Oh, damn, but that’s the Army for you” moment. It’s difficult to remember that most of my family weren’t trained for this, so I shouldn’t get offended when they point out that some announcements should be done privately before they are done publicly. This is me chided.
Obviously, it’s okay for me to hear about difficult pregnancies over social media while it is unacceptable for them to hear about a temporary duty change from the same source. I suppose I should feel flattered that she was so concerned, especially after I had to beg to find out if her daughters had received the birthday cards I sent (all it takes is a simple thanks via text or the Facebook, just so I know that the card made it and the gift card wasn’t stolen). Which let’s you know that I can be especially petty when I want to be. And I have unresolved issues with my sister.
Well, this started as a brief reintroduction and ended up being a terrible introduction to my family. If it helps, my older brother and I had a very humorous conversation about switch-sporks today which really made my afternoon. I think I’m in a down cycle, too, so I shall sign off until tomorrow, wherein I will recount my Cali adventures!