Monday, August 06, 2007

unable to love and addicted to war?

-I received an email from "H", he voiced his opinion of the war, gave me his opinion on how vets should deal with PTSD, told me about "Lisa Legs" (just incase I lose my legs next time I’m led blinding into war), and how it brings him to tears to see "you women coming back dead or all fucked up (unable to love, addicted to war, etc)". what the fuck did that mean? when I first read it...I thought, what is this guy talking about? I’m pretty sure he doesn't have a set of tits and a vagina...or understand what its like to be a female in the army. Then I read it again and again and again. Maybe he had a point. I remember a conversation I had with my "battle buddy" and two other females a couple drills back. My friend asked, "So do you guys think we're like all the other females out there?" We thought for a couple seconds...and all replied with a stern "no". One female said, "Yeah, I’m not as girly as my other friends." My friend said, "Man, fuck that. We have to deal with bullshit all the time-now we just give them hell back." I agreed. We were use to telling guys to fuck off, we were use to being hit on all the time, we were use to talking about “whores” and who had sex over the weekend. Being surrounded by sweaty males, who fart in formation, say fuck every other word, talk about sex and girls...like we weren't in their presence, and who hit on anything that was capable of giving a blowjob, left us with a sour taste in our mouths. We weren't like our friends and we never will be. My friend and I spent a year in Iraq. While I was overseas, I saw nothing but sex. Sex between single soldiers, sex between soldiers who were married but on TYD (temporary year divorce), and females having sex with multiple people (before I have some stand-up male in the army jump down my throat, not all the males are appalling sex crazed scumbags...and the females aren't all barracks whores). Maybe we were "unable to love" because love was made a mockery of. Love in the traditional sense did not exist...sex was the new love. There were no emotional strings attached...the wives and husbands back in the states were forgotten about...new love triangles began to form. Now there was war and sex. War should have no emotions. Sex created nothing but emotions. The two should never be mixed.
-My friend saw more blood, sweat and tears then I did...but we both came back bitter and untouchable. I’ve been home over a year and I still don’t understand why we were so irate…and what pushed us so far away from how we use to be. While she was overseas she finagled her way into a couple of beds…one man was married. Marriage held no weight, even when his wife found out about the affair. My friends defense was, “I didn’t make the commitment to her…he did. So it’s not my problem”. I always thought, but you’re a women…you should realize what you’re doing. It didn’t matter to her. My friend also knew how to make a quick buck. She had a female friend who was known as the official whore. My friend would ask around to see if any guys needed a blowjob…she’d point them into the whores whole and when the mission was complete, my friend would walk away with 50 dollars in her pocket. It was about getting your nuts off and the cash. Clever but sickening. For her that was acceptable behavior in Iraq but how do you go from that state of mind back into being a civilian? Not just a typical civilian…but a female who now had blood on her hands, a horrific perception of love and who did not trust anyone. Allowing herself to feel again was not an option. War left us numb to the idea of love…but love should’ve taken a backseat but some of us wore it on our sleeves…it was a death wish.
-A year had passed and she still cursed more then I did, she complained more then I did, she talked about Iraq more then I did and she still would not allow anyone into her life. Everyone was kept at a distance. She’d make you laugh, she’d annoy you, she’d shock you, she’d challenge you but that would be it. She was in control. She proclaimed she was “fucked up”, and I agreed. Every time she got into my car, I’d hear all about her life. Her family was a mess, her job was horrible, she moved again…nothing seemed to ever be going right…and she always ended her rant with, “Man Iraq fucked me up”. I got so sick of hearing the word “Iraq”, come out of her mouth. I wanted to stab myself in the ears, just so I never had to hear that word again. She was completely stuck but everyday became easier for me.
-The one thing we had in common was that the relationships we had prior to Iraq were over or were on their way to being over. No matter how hard we tried to make it work, it just didn’t. The pieces didn't fit like they use too. We were comfortable before, sweet, in love and content. Now our love needed more...any amount of innocence we had prior to deployment was gone...content didn’t exist in our world...we were anxious...curious and wanted more…not just from our lovers but from ourselves. The past was comfortable. Maybe if we tried a little harder, had more sex with our vintage significant others, somehow we’d be ourselves again. For months we were restless, attempting to make things exactly how they use to be…because we believed that’s how it was suppose to be…and if our cookie cutter relationship didn‘t work out as planned, somehow we were the ones to blame. Through all of this we were expected to be with someone who completely ignored the past year of our lives…Iraq almost had to be a figment of our imagination. Now we stood before our family, friends and lovers...out of love, our minds racing.
-I remember my ex-boyfriend calling me "crazy" when I first got back. Crazy? Crazy to me is a girlfriend who checks their boyfriends cell phone, freaks out when he talks to another girl, throws a fit if they don't get the right amount of attention, who doesn't get exactly a dozen roses because anything less is unacceptable...that’s crazy...I wasn't crazy. I was crazy for him to understand me...to attempt to understand what I went through, to listen when I wanted to talk, to hold me when I wanted to be held...I was crazy for thinking that would ever happen. After flirting with the idea that somehow I’d move forward from my mishap of a year, I realized I carried a piece of that year with me every single day…a man could not change that…and he shouldn’t. I could not conform to his ideas of how we should be…or how I should have been or how I should have felt. I was unable to love and be loved by someone who could not acknowledged all of me now.
-My friends personal life consisted of a few fucks here and there. She did not trust any male. The lifestyle she took part in in Iraq, now caught up to her. Her view of love was shadowed by infidelity. The blood on her hands made her numb. All she talked about was Iraq. I chose not to love…she was completely incapable of loving. Iraq was eating her alive…she was addicted. Her mindset consisted of situations that happened over a year ago. We were in a sea of people who were in relationships, who dragged their feet from day-to-day, who worked nine to five jobs…everyone was a blur. We seemed to move freely between them, attempting to just fall into place…there was no place for females like us. Everyday started out the same. We woke up to thoughts of Iraq, we wondered around hostile and resented everyone, we tried to mesh with our friends…we pretended to care about going out to bars and getting drunk and shopping…when the day came to an end, everything had been forgotten about…the jokes we laughed at, the people we interacted with…nothing registered. The only thoughts that made us feel alive, were the ones that were killing us.
-Its now August 2007. We have been home almost two years and I still find myself writing about Iraq. My friend finally unleashed her heart and gave in…she had a boyfriend for a year. Her relationship ended abruptly when she found herself back in bed with a married man. She works two jobs to make ends meet, Iraq is still her most frequently used word, and she just reenlisted. I sit in my room with a brown robe on…freshly showered…my hair pulled back…I have diamond earrings in…two diamond eternity bands that cradle a vintage diamond ring…my nails are painted a faint pink…I keep applying chap stick and drink hot tea. In the morning I’ll wake up at 8:30 and go to the gym, then I’ll go see my father at the nursing home and give him a birthday card to sign for my mom, I’ll come home and shower, and then I’ll go to work. At work I’ll answer numerous phone calls from hospitals, doctor and law offices. Everyone is pissed and wants something. Every now and then I’ll get a total wacko who will ask me about the weather, the price of oil and whatever else they want answered that no one else will bother to tell them. These are my favorite calls. After work I’ll shower again…pretend to pick up my room…maybe eat and hang out with friends…call the one person who might actually understand me…and do it all again the next day. This is nothing like my year in Iraq. My life now seems insignificant and wasting away. I don’t know if we are “fucked up…unable to love, addicted to war, etc” but we aren’t the girls next-door.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this posting.
Cathy B

8/17/2007 09:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

enlightening post...I'm one of "casualties" of a woman like your "friend", and the "TYD" that you talked about...left with the decision do I let my family and my marriage be a casualty of war because I don't want to let my husband "get away" with what he's done...or do I "suck it up, and drive on" knowing he's retiring and hoping he can play civialian life with me? ugh...I love your blog, your honesty and your point of view...good luck and the best to you.

9/07/2007 01:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Ntetsvn said...

Hi. I found your blog while searching on google-image for this person named Hiroo Onoda. Your picture came up and I thought... okay lets see why she showed up.

Anyways, I felt that it was important to leave some kind of comment on this blog. See for the past hour or so I read through the entire thing. Have to say... its left an impression on me. I'm not sure how I feel, but I wanted to let you know that reading your blog has made me question what I'll be doing with the rest of my life.

Not sure if I'll be enlisting anymore. Its not that you've given me a terrible impression of the military. You've actually done the opposite.

No, at this point I'm leaning more toward my Plan G.(no pun) Which is to either become a really good fucking Cook or a teacher that actually cares about the kids in his classroom.

To cut to the chase- I'm not sure why but reading through your blog... it just dawned on me that some things will pass while other things will take a bit more time.

Thank You.. for making me question my beliefs just a little bit more.

I'm filipino by the way. After reading that post with the filipino bus driver, I think I've developed tuberculosis.

9/24/2007 06:51:00 AM  
Blogger Al Swearengen said...

You're better off than might be expected...the contrast you present here between yourself and your friend who cannot stop saying 'iraq', it seems like one difference out of many between you and her is that she's unable to understand and coherently express what's rattling around upstairs, and you on the other hand can write this post. I thought it was brilliant.

Maybe we were "unable to love" because love was made a mockery of. Love in the traditional sense did not exist...sex was the new love. There were no emotional strings attached...the wives and husbands back in the states were forgotten about...new love triangles began to form. Now there was war and sex. War should have no emotions. Sex created nothing but emotions. The two should never be mixed.

It sounds like a new pornographic genre or a fetish - "War Sex". Remembering back to when I was living in Vilseck, Germany (1st infantry division)...the ratio of men to women must have been about 50 to 1, and the soul-crushing reality of this was pretty disgusting. "Barracks whore" is a term that most people wouldn't be able to easily place, but you hit the nail right on the head.

The past was comfortable. Maybe if we tried a little harder, had more sex with our vintage significant others, somehow we’d be ourselves again.

'our vintage significant others' - beautiful...

I could not conform to his ideas of how we should be…or how I should have been or how I should have felt. I was unable to love and be loved by someone who could not acknowledged all of me now.

What is the definition of "all of me"?

The only thoughts that made us feel alive, were the ones that were killing us.

Indeed

Great job with this piece! And if anyone ever tells you to lose the '...' - don't listen to them. I know how it is to not want your thoughts derailed by having to consider grammar.

Peace - Al

11/11/2007 12:14:00 AM  
Blogger ex ssg said...

hi gi kate, i say this as an older soldeir (42 when in afg.) and as an ssg. we had , 6 females out of mabye 60 in our eng. unit. 2 went the whore style. 2 were out on missions constantly. 2 used sex to move themselves head in the unit. me i'm an old fart. so. i can only say to the guys and girls who, veered when your deployed. when you get home you have to look at you in the mirror. most of our females we ( the older guys) protected. who weren't shopping for .... i can say that being rocketed and have to account for all your soldiers sucks, when one female is getting her needs filled, as we need that person for accountabilty and and to be on our search team. on the perimeter. can't fake who isn't there. but i will say. the 2 female sgts. who went to the kop or korangel valley. stood the line and earned there c.a.b.'s. the difference between us (deployed soldeirs) and them, those hideing in schools. is we know when the time comes who you are. and what you'll do. truely combat. is the test.

3/02/2008 04:26:00 PM  

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