The Sandbox

GWOT hot wash, straight from the wire

Welcome to The Sandbox, a forum for service members who have served or are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, returned vets, spouses and caregivers. The Sandbox's focus is not on policy and partisanship (go to our Blowback page for that), but on the unclassified details of deployment -- the everyday, the extraordinary, the wonderful, the messed-up, the absurd. All correspondence is read, and as much as possible is posted, lightly edited. If you know someone who is deployed who might have something to say, please tell them about us. To submit a post click here.

NOTHING TO FEAR |

November 08, 2008

NOTHING TO FEAR BUT FEAR ITSELF
Name: Cris Misner
Posting date: 11/7/08
Husband stationed: Overseas
Milblog: June Cleaver After a Six-Pack   
Email: Carlcris2000@yahoo.com

The one thing I hate the most about my husband being deployed is not feeling safe. Although his life fight is to help others be safe, when he is gone... I feel very vulnerable.

Last night someone was jacking around in my backyard. They were tapping on windows and walking on my deck. I lay in my bed paralyzed with fear. Thoughts of, "Is this just my mind playing tricks on me because I watched CSI before bed?", "Is that just the groundhog that we have living under the shed in the back lumbering about out there?", and "Do I call 911 because I am about to be killed?"

I crept my way through the house checking on each of my children before I sat and decided what I needed to do. Now, some of you may be yelling at your computer right now: "CALL THE POLICE YOU STUPID WOMAN!" and that thought did go through my head, but for some odd reason I didn't want to bother the police because I did not know what or who was in my backyard and chances are it was nothing, so I didn't want to look like a crazy woman calling the police out and have them come to my rescue because a groundhog came out to see his shadow. Or, it could have been a serial killer about to cut me into little pieces. I had a 50/50 chance.

Fear is a powerful thing when your husband is on the other side of the world and you think you are about to be eaten by a ground hog. The mind is a horrible enemy that never helps you to calm down but forces you to think of all of the horrible possibilities that could be lurking in the shadows of your flowerbed-bordered backyard.

I decided to call my neighbors, and they graciously met me at my door and walked through my yard with me at 1 o'clock in the morning. Whatever it was was gone. I was able to fall asleep by 3:30 in the morning and had a refreshing three hours of shut eye. Just what a crazy woman needs -- sleep deprivation.

It is times like these that I wish I had super powers. Or a 300 lb. bodyguard. Do men ever freak out from fear or do they just turn over and go back to sleep? I wonder...

Comments

Have no fear Sacred One. We men or this man still has fear pop up from time to time. I label it fear of the unknown mostly. Yep, it happens today, many moons after being told, "yes, you got PTSD." I was reminded once that it really stands for:

Forgetting
Everytings
All
Right

Hope this helps and that your husband returns safe to you and our country.
Peace, Love & Happiness,
Michael

Men buy guns.

Then they need have no fear of the dark. Women home alone should too, and learn how to use them consistent with the laws in your state. (Sorry D.C. no self defense for you). Nothing stops violence faster than better violence.

I big dog works well too. I recommend Rhodesian Ridgebacks. Good with kids and very protective.

It is not always a good idea to call the police. Now everyone at the police department knows you are alone and unarmed too. You have just widened your pool of potential frightening noisemakers.

Whatever you do, don't advertise that you are alone by putting up yellow ribbons or announcing to your whole church to pray for you while you are all alone.

Men buy guns.

Then they need have no fear of the dark. Women home alone should too, and learn how to use them consistent with the laws in your state. (Sorry D.C. no self defense for you). Nothing stops violence faster than better violence.

I big dog works well too. I recommend Rhodesian Ridgebacks. Good with kids and very protective.

It is not always a good idea to call the police. Now everyone at the police department knows you are alone and unarmed too. You have just widened your pool of potential frightening noisemakers.

Whatever you do, don't advertise that you are alone by putting up yellow ribbons or announcing to your whole church to pray for you while you are all alone.

Men keep a baseball bat next to the bed. Don't drink so much coffee during the day, and watch better programs on tv at night. I always watch a feel good program before going to sleep. Good Luck.

If you can handle the extra work with your husband away, I second the suggestion of getting a dog. We have a chocolate labrador, and he is the best alarm I've ever had. And wonderful with children. My daughter is back from Iraq and safe, I'll put your husband (and you) in my prayers.

As a former 911 operator, I never minded when someone got scared and called in the middle of the night for "nothing".

Fact of the matter is we'd rather send a car around and let the officers take a walk around the property then have to come to the house because it really was what the person was afraid of...and we didn't get there in time.

I'm sure there's some variance of opinion on the matter but that's my two cents. Better safe than sorry.

Men do have fears, sometimes we freeze up and sometimes we take action, but the fear fires the fuel.

Calling the neighbors is good, although when I was in Elder Bush's Gulf War my wife was surrounded by empty homes, she had a boy and a dog and a bat by the bed - it was a long deployment, but she slept better when I returned.

And I worried about them the entire time I was gone.

Men do have fears, sometimes we freeze up and sometimes we take action, but the fear fires the fuel.

Calling the neighbors is good, although when I was in Elder Bush's Gulf War my wife was surrounded by empty homes, she had a boy and a dog and a bat by the bed - it was a long deployment, but she slept better when I returned.

And I worried about them the entire time I was gone.

OMFG, Yes, we do! Worse, we have the duty to appear macho and unafraid. Our minds, too, wander to all sorts of equally fearsome and impossible outcomes. The trick is to stare down one or two of them at a time.

Oh, yeah, AFAIK; I don't kill spiders, but my husbandly duties sometimes involve barking at strangers. I can see how you might miss the services provided by the SO.

Oh, yeah, and the Melatonin (herbal supplement) takes the edge off so you get to sleep ok. Oh, yeah, watch that caffiene intake in the evenings.

I am a current 911 operator, I don't mind sending someone out to check a backyard. I'd rather have one of my officers check and it be "nothing" than to have you come to harm because you were afraid to bother me.

Having a gun in the house might help, as long as you know how to use it. A pump shotgun is good because everyone recognizes the sound of the shell being pumped into the chamber. In a worst case scenario you are less likely to miss.

If you aren't competent or comfortable with a gun, a big dog is a great deterrent. My Akita mix is as mellow as she can be, she just doesn't look it.

Don't hesitate to call the police. My daughter is a cop and she would much rather catch them in your yard. If nothing is there, that's fine too.

Stay away from the news and search out people and activities that make you laugh.

Remember every day he is away is another day closer to the day he comes home.

I am alone for reasons not related to deployment, but I very much understand your fears. I was afraid to get a gun because I have kids in the house. One night I had an uninvited visitor who wouldnt stop pounding on the door. We were in the woods at the bottom of a long driveway, with no lights anywhere. So yep, I was a but nervous. I grabbed a folding umbrella and cocked/uncocked it. Sounded remarkably like a shotgun being prepped for action! I shouted through the door, "If you leave my property before I open this door, I'll only aim for your tires and not your body." Next thing I heard was fast-fading footsteps, followed by the sound of tires spinning on gravel. Oh yeah, and the next day, I called the gun shop for prices...

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