Road Trip

I’m on a road trip. When I post this, I’ll be somewhere on I-20, probably in Louisiana. While I have covered several topics on my blog during its existence, I usually focus on PTSD, serving in the Army at war, and surviving suicide. And occasionally I bash the VA because they suck. For example, Friday morning I waited an hour at the VA to be told they couldn’t give me a print out of a recent evaluation I had. Today’s post will be a little different from the more recent ones.

There are certain things about my home life that I have tried to keep off the blog. In a few posts I have mentioned some of the marital problems at home. There are no more problems. I have moved out. And now I’m on a road trip, heading to my sister’s house in Louisiana. I will most likely stay there until the new year sorting through my thoughts, decompressing, writing, and relaxing. I don’t get back to my old stomping grounds very often, so this will be nice.

I moved out because she wouldn’t. I had hoped she would move out and I could stay with the kids, but that’s not a fight I want to take on and make things worse than they should be for the kids. In retrospect, I should have filed for divorce when she moved out in March instead of waiting. Then there wouldn’t be anything to argue about. But I chose to pay the bills instead of hiring an attorney. That’s life. And I expect some negative feedback from our mutual friends. Be careful if you don’t know the whole story.

I left the house around 6 p.m. local time. I made it Jackson, Mississippi, before I needed to stop and get a hotel room, where I am composing this. I’ll get up in the morning and finish my trip to northwest Louisiana. I have no set plans and am not on any schedule. I hope to find the motivation to diligently work on my book. I have neglected it for too long now. I’m sure I’ll see some old friends and catch up on all the years gone by. I’ll spend some time with my dad. I’ll get some rest. I’ll miss my kids.

I talked with them earlier in the week and explained that I would be moving out this weekend. They knew it was coming since last month they were told that I had in fact filed for divorce. But that conversation was still hard. Thankfully, they are all very well-grounded and are old enough to have some understanding of what is going on. I feel like a complete schmuck that I didn’t call my two grown children that are out in the world making great lives for themselves. This whole thing happened a little quicker than originally planned and I was focused on getting my stuff together and making sure the school aged children were okay and getting a grasp of all that was going on. My children know that I love them with all my heart.

There’s a lot in my life that I’m not happy about currently. However, in my life as a whole, I am happy. I believe things are going in the right direction for me. I am not happy that I won’t see my kids for a few weeks. I am not happy that I will be going through a divorce. But I am happy to be starting the next chapter in my life. There was a time not long ago that my mind would have put me through some horrible, dark thoughts concerning the prospect of being away from children under these circumstances. Not now. Yes, my kids are my life. But if I can’t be in good mental health for them, things will get bad, like they were before. So, I guess it’s better to be away and in good mental health than to be in a bad marriage and lose my mind.

I have no idea what all this road trip entails, but I am looking forward to it. I’m in a good place in my mind. I am looking forward to the future. I don’t have all the answers and I have no idea where I’ll end up after this little sabbatical. But I am confident in myself, in ways I haven’t been for at least a couple years. The past is the past. And my future looks good from where I’m sitting. Thanks for reading my dribble drabble this week. Good day, God bless.

Dave

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11 thoughts on “Road Trip

  1. Oh honey! Not dribble drabble at all. Instead, real and honest and the fact that you’re in a good place mentally comes through in your words. I have admired your strength since about the third post I read when I first delved into the blogosphere. Your blog resonated with me first because we both have PTSD albeit from different “events’ but secondly I admired you for doing everything in your power to stay involved in your children’s lives. When I first moved to the willy whacks of Maine from the trip-state area of NY/NJ/PA, I took a nurse manager position at a rather large jail. It was during my years there that I discovered what jerks many men are when it comes to their children. Some would go out of their way to deny paternity despite the child being 10 yrs old! Then there are men like you who despite having been to hell and back, strive to be the best father possible.

    Divorce is always hard, even if love has long left the building. I’m not sure if it’s because we feel a sense of failure, or longing for the dream we though would always be. I’ve personally known couples that stay together for the children’s sake when in reality, they are harming the children because their tensions and negativity is palpable and adversely affects the kids.

    Enjoy your trip, your family and the beginning of the next chapter in life.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I admire your strength. You are chugging through this all with grace and honesty. Your love for your children will hold you up and keep you grounded. Keep them in your thoughts if your having a hard time. And this road trip sounds like a wonderful thing for you right now. On a different subject entirely, I see you being an awesome grandpa some day. “Papa George”. Dont laugh, it will be here before you know it 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m writing what was supposed to be a quick post today ~ primarily because a vet I knew who also had PTSD died last week. But as usual I get wordy or caught up in research. Saw an article but first I’m going to copy a comment then I’ll add the url of article. Comment:eil Barrett · Works at Coca-Cola
    Hi all,

    I wanted to tell you about a small project that I’ve been working on to help veterans with their VA Healthcare.

    For the past five years, I have been receiving healthcare through the VA and have been to close to 20 different hospitals and outpatient clinics throughout the country. One thing that I’ve noticed is that the quality of care is all across the board. I have been to clinics in some places where it’s very clear that my quality of life, as a vet, is their number one interest.

    On the other hand, I have been to other clinics where, from my perspective, I am nothing more than a number. For obvious reasons, I try my hardest to avoid those clinics. That said, I can’t find any sort of central location where I have a heads up of what to expect when going to a new clinic.

    From this, I built a website called VAreview.net. Basically, I researched and created a page for every single VA hospital and clinic in the United States (a little over 1,000 locations). From there, veterans can rate their experience at that particular location. Think Yelp but specifically for the VA.

    My hope is that as more and more users provide feedback, some trends may be begin to emerge. We, as veterans, can then take this information and provide the collective feedback to the leadership of the VA so that they can allocate resources to the areas of weakness and also learn from the areas of strength.

    Also, while in the military, I was always taught that asking for help is considered to be a sign of weakness. It took me many years to realize that getting help for my physical and mental ailments wasn’t me being weak but was the only way I was going to get better. I have hope that other veterans sharing their experiences with the VA will provide the needed courage to get the treatment they need.

    The big hurdle here is gathering feedback. I suspect that almost everyone reading this has likely spent some time at one or more VA’s in the country. All I ask is that you stop by the website and write a few sentences about your experience so that we, as a community, can find out what’s working and what’s not.

    I should mention that I spent a good amount of time building this website and have no ulterior motives here other than building a voice for the veteran population in the hopes that we can improve upon our system. I intentionally creating this website as a place that can be built upon and maintained as a community so there’s no individual bias involved.

    Thanks!

    It was in the comments under this article. Don’t know if you would be interested in reading it or not:
    http://www.militarytimes.com/articles/mcdonald-trump-va-secretary-push

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dave, I don’t know everything about anything and I know little about your trips overseas. I do know God is still in control of all lives on the earth He created and His plan was set in motion long before any of us came into being. You will be guided in your footsteps by the hand of the Almighty so don’t worry; just follow where he leads your heart. I don’t like not seeing you around this particular holiday, but life is what it is. With gains and laughter there are always going to be losses and tears. Take care and please keep in touch with a phone call or two. I love and cherish you, Son. Love, Mom

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dave,

    You write a great blog. It is inspiring to me how far you have come, and I too am excited for your future. Remember to decide what it is YOU want to talk about. All the best.

    Doc

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It sounds like you’ve made the right decision for you. Kids do much better with divorced parents than with unhappily married parents (I’ve seen my own kids thrive after my divorce.) Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s always a tough decision even in the worst marriages, but sometimes the best decisions are the toughest. Thinking of you and wishing you the best. Remember to be patient with yourself and know that there will be better days, and some really not so good days, but it will all work out for the best. Good luck to you, Dave.

    Liked by 1 person

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