Thursday, August 26, 2010

Moments of Weakness

This morning as JT was trying to wake himself up, he had this nervous leg twitch and kept hitting me with his knee. I don't think he knew he was doing it so hard... He was also talking to himself, loudly. In the shower, he was saying "Sir, I didn't mean that sir." I asked him if he thought he was talking to a tac officer. He said, "Why, because I said 'Sir, I don't know, sir'?" And that wasn't what he said. Then he got out and got ready, all the while stumbling around the house like a drunk person.

I asked him if he'd like me to take him there. He objected to my suggestion that he might not be awake/alert/sane enough to drive. I was crying. All I could think was, I'm not going to lose him to the academy, not like this. I don't know if I was even thinking straight myself. We'd both had only three hours of sleep again, since today was an inspection day and there was a lot to be done. PT clothes to wash, shoes to shine, uniform to dry-clean and iron...

I was really beside myself. I begged him not to go and he yelled at me for making him late. When he insisted he'd call me when he got there, I finally let it go. He did call, and apologized for snapping at me.

My cracks are beginning to show. I am not the super wife I try to be. Late tonight, around midnight, I asked him: "So did I tell you that I got the scholarship? One of the biggest scholarships a library student can get?"

"Uh-huh." (writing reports)

"Every year, students from all over the state apply. And I've tried for it several times in the past. This year, it went to me. Isn't that cool?"

"That's great, honey." (more writing)

I don't know why, but I just feel really left out, upstaged. The fact is he's never been very supportive of--or remotely interested in--my masters degree or anything else to do with librarianship. When I was working full time, taking classes and volunteering/subbing at libraries, he used to get mad at me for leaving a textbook or two lying out in the living room or leaving the dishes unwashed. He'd say things like "You're not living up to your responsibilities around here," and he'd scoff at higher education in general, which to him isn't worth much. (God, we are so different.)

Contrast that with how things are right now: The police academy has invaded every room of our house. JT does nothing--and I mean NOTHING--but academy. He doesn't even eat or sleep, let alone help me out with the messes he scatters over every square foot of our floor. And even with him doing nothing but academy I still have to do like 90% of the prep work for that, because it takes him until 1 a.m. to finish writing his reports. But every day when he's down, I tell him he's my hero, that I'm proud of him, that I think what he's doing is brave and noble and hard and I'm here for him...

Is it a lot to ask that I get a little pat on the back from him for my accomplishments, and for catching the notice of librarians not only in my community but in my state? One of the librarians I work with said this scholarship is a pretty big deal. I wish my family thought so. They all keep telling me how proud they are of me for the wonderful job I'm doing taking care of my husband and cooking and cleaning and raising our baby. That's great. Perhaps that's an accomplishment they can relate to. But they can't give me even a shred of support for a goal that is different from theirs--a goal I've chosen, and want, and work hard for, and take pride in.

That's not where the anger/resentment issues end, though. There are times when I want to scream, I'm so tired from all the work. But he's so sick and tired and overworked himself that I keep quiet. Then he does these stupid things that keep him writing reports all night long. Yesterday, he told me about some mistake he made and I actually resented him for making that mistake and giving himself another two reports to write when he really should have known better...

I was reading the book Night by Elie Wiesel about his experience in the concentration camps during the Holocaust. He writes about how he watched silently as a Nazi officer beat his father, and hated his father for calling his name so loudly and for provoking the Nazis' ire. That's the kind of thing I am guilty of here when I resent the way JT always seems to come home with the maximum number of reports. I resent the system, the stupid and merciless nature of forcing a sick man to go without lunch and without sleep, to do push-ups and write reports all day long. But at whom do I target that anger? At my husband. That's not really fair.

I guess I have some serious work to do, on myself. Maybe when I finally have a good night's sleep...


  1. "I don't know why, but I just feel really left out, upstaged."

    I hate to tell you this but feeling that way is normal. I googled "police wives/girlfriends" once and found an article that described exactly what I was feeling.

    Left out, last on the list, bottom of the totem pole.

    And that is when they are working police officers! He is only in the academy.

    I'll see if I can find that article for you. It helps to understand that you are not alone in the way you feel. Reading that gave me the little push to keep going. Sometimes it is a lot of work but I force myself to see the positive qualities in Indubitably.

  2. Just remember that all of the guys/gals in the academy make the same mistakes and are bringing home the same work that he is. Right now, they are breaking them down and then will build them back up, just like basic training for the military. Just watch as they continue on. He is also stressed, probably just as much as you are as well. The days are long and hard, and lunch is often taken away from the recruits. You should get back on PW and talk to us and vent to us there as well. You will get so much support there, as most of us have been there for our hubs through the academy and many of them are dealing with the academy as well right now.


  3. I'm so sorry. I was going to say the same thing as Kassie, the ladies on PW are wonderful. I'm always around if you want to email me. I'd love to hear more about your scholarship too!!! I'm def proud of you, that sounds huge!! :)

  4. Congrats on the scholarship! Any scholarship, I think, its a big deal, but yours sounds amazing! Go get em!