Friday, February 25, 2011

Other's Expectations Equals Pressure To Measure Up

Sometimes in this crazy role of wounded warrior caregiver/spouse, I feel a lot of pressure on my shoulders to live up to other's expectations (as well as my own). The first one with high expectations is myself. I have a very close friend in this wounded warrior world who often reminds me that I am human. Often times, I put very unrealistic expectations on myself and forget to cut myself some slack. This life I am currently living is not an easy one. I need to give myself a break sometimes and let myself just be. I know that I am not perfect, or not superwoman, but sometimes, I tend to act like I can do it all.

Another place I often feel this pressure is from Allen himself. It's not something he does intentionally by any means. Honestly, he probably doesn't know that sometimes his nice comments about me and how great I am, add this pressure. Last week, we had a marriage counseling session over the phone with his counselor. These sessions have been very good and I always get excited about him returning home afterwards. However, he often sings my praises and puts me on a pedestal. It comes from a place of love, but often it just adds extra pressure to my already high expectations of myself. It makes me feel like I ALWAYS have to have it together. I'm not perfect, like he seems to "see" me as. And quite honestly, this is a big pedestal to stand on. I don't always have it together. I'm not always smiling, like I appear to be most of the time. Sometimes, I want to melt into a big heap on the floor and just cry. Sometimes, I even wish I could just run away and choose a new life. You know, like in the game of life. If you land on the right square on the board, you can choose a whole new career, income, and pretty much change your life with a simple spin of the wheel.

Lastly, this pressure comes from well meaning people in my life. Friends and family who are trying to let me know how much they admire me and my strength. I've read several blogs lately and been involved in some conversations about this very topic. It is common as a military spouse to hear the phrase, "I don't know how you do it." Well add this to an injury and it has that much more pressure that builds behind it. I know the ones that say this to me are trying to be supportive, but really it makes me feel like they are seeing me as something I often do not feel about myself. It makes me feel like I am somewhat of a super hero, doing something that other's couldn't or wouldn't do. It's one of those situations, you really have no idea how you would handle it until you find yourself in this situation. You might just surprise yourself. I had no idea how I would handle such a traumatic injury. Trust me, my life looks NOTHING like I thought it would at this point. I never imagined I would be a full time caregiver for my husband who suffers severely from the trauma he witnessed in war. I remember the 5th anniversary of 9/11 hitting me like a truck. When the terrorists struck NYC, I knew it would impact my life. I just never knew how personally and greatly it would affect me. This is not the life I would have chosen. However, I know God has a plan for me and that this is where He wants me. He is preparing me for something, and when His time is right, I will know what that is.

I also want to say that I know these are well meaning comments. At times, it is nice to hear that someone recognizes the struggles that we face and that not everyone could/would do it. I also know that I shouldn't let these well meaning comments add pressure to my already heavy load. However, once again, I am human. I also know that I am not the only one who feels this same pressure. Sometimes I just need to blog about things for my own well being and for other's who I know are feeling this same way.

Really, I am just Me! I know that I am strong, thanks to my faith in Him. I also know that I am still human and make mistakes everyday. I don't always know much about me and who I am. I often get lost in taking care of my husband and our boys. I do what I have to do to make it through each day. And, at the end of each day, I am assured that I am right where He wants me to be.

Even Now.......Gina

1 comment:

  1. Hi Gina

    Thanks so much for sharing. Although, my situation's entirely different from yours, I do understand how you feel. All I want to say is that you know best how to keep yourself happy and pressure-free. Just do whatever feels right in your head and keeps you smiling.

    Smile, there's a lot of sunshine and flowers out there to smile for.