Not Unchanged

Well, my R&R donut says, "Leaving on a jet plane". Unfortunately that's not exactly how it's happening. Yet. But we're close. By this time next week, the great love of my life, my soulmate, my Stryker will be here. Right where he belongs.

I hope it isn't weird for him. He left our home in Hawaii, and is coming home to our home in Wisconsin. He's never seen it, there are new things here since he's left, our baby is starting to walk and is starting to be mischievous. I am able to wear all of my pre-pregnancy clothes again, my boobs are smaller, my hair is different.

I think of all these things that will be different for him, and yet when I think about seeing him, I never think of him being anything different than when he was when he left. But I know he's different. Maybe not on the outside like we are here, but on the inside. His heart is different. His mind is different. You don't go through the things he has, and see the things he has, and remain unchanged. I know this. It scares me.

The last time he came back he had nightmares for months. I would wake to him grabbing me violently, yet he was sleeping. It happened twice. The first time I was sleeping on my stomach and suddenly his hand was on the back of my neck. I grabbed him and woke him up and he was just as startled by it as I was.

The second time he grabbed my arm and nearly pulled me to the other side of the bed. Again I woke him and he was scared. He kept apologizing. I didn't feel like an apology was necessary. Apologizing for acting out in a nightmare, while still sound asleep? He talked to his chain of command after the second time and it never happened again.

My husband is NOT a violent man. He hates fighting and will go to extremes to avoid it. He has never laid a hand on me in anger, nor has he ever brought me down mentally. He is the most remarkable person I have ever met, and it saddens me that the training and mindset needed to fight in a war can slowly turn a person into someone else. I'm just hoping and praying for the fundamentals to stay the same, and I truly believe they will. I have to.