Screw You Guys, I Quit!… Crap, the Military Doesn’t Work That Way

Whine mode is engaged. I repeat, warning, whine mode is engaged.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, or smoking rocks, everyone affiliated with the government has been having a pretty rough time of it. Even little old dimensionthe5th. And it feels like the last straw when it comes to my military service.

I want out.

But… you see, like The Godfather, it isn’t that easy. After 10 years had passed, I signed my life away 10 more. And I’m over 5 years away from that. There is the 15 year retirement option, but that’s only open to select people. So far, I’m not one of them.

But I just can’t deal with the bullspit anymore. Or I can, but I think it may send me back to mental health, pffft.

See, there’s the government that’s been playing around with our money and livelihood for the past few year. I’m tired of every year having to wait on pins and needles to see if this “We can’t run the government so we’re going to make YOU, every last service member and DoD Civilian, deal with it.” I can’t stand politics, and I don’t care if you are a republican, democrat, or independent. When it all boils down to it, I signed my life away. Agreed? But at the same time, I signed my life away with the expectation that I have a pay check that cannot be fracked with.

I’m tired. One of the reasons I joined the military was to travel the world and not get stuck like so many family members in Nowheresville, USA. I was a military brat, and used to moving around. But… I’m tired. I still want to travel, but I want to hop on a flight, be gone a few days at the most, and come the frack back home. I love the area I moved to. It happens to be the same place I said I would always retire. But with so many years in the military left, they’ll probably move me again. I don’t wanna! I seriously don’t want to. They’ll probably send me overseas again. And my monster teen probably will have to switch high schools in his senior year.

What’s the other bee in my stylish bonnet? Office politics. You say, DT5, office politics are everywhere. And I will tell you from having worked civilian jobs before joining the military, from hearing stories from others, military/government office politics is another animal. Maybe it’s no worse, but I am frustrated with it. Just today, having a conversation with my supervisor, I was told that he tried to put my name up for a course, but his supervisor, without looking at what I’ve accomplished, what positions I’ve held in the past, just automatically dismissed the idea because I didn’t have the right rank.

Rank gets you a lot in the military. You can barely know how to tie your shoes on a good day, but if you kissed the right butt, had someone write your evaluations, plumping everything you really didn’t do, you will get promoted. And… you will get this big *ss award at your end of tour. Now, this doesn’t matter if you have less time and experience than Joe Blow standing right beside you. If you outrank Blow, Blow pretty much blows you.

My body is tired. My health is just slowly losing the battle with the military. If I have no choice and DO make it to 20 years, my body is going to be a complete mess. The back problems that refuse to go away, that I work through each day so I can continue to work out. My medical condition, Hidradenitis Suppurativa, that is definitely NOT the kind of disease you want for a military job. Disease is aggravated by heat and stress? Oh yeah, let’s go run around in the desert with a whole bunch of gear and weapons!!! There’s my knees which I know one day is just going to finally give out on me just like my feet did long ago, and then I’ll have 2 permanent profiles stating what I can’t do for physical training. Maybe then they’ll want to kick me out. As long as I get some partial retirement or medical or something.

I probably sound whiny. I feel whiny. I feel extremely whiny after being completely sick but continuing to work because our civilians were stuck at home twiddling their thumbs in frustration. I feel whiny whenever I have to see another email about being a service member and that SOME people who are never named are not living up to their military values. I’m tired of doing my job everyday, and taking other jobs on because I love to work, to be told “Well, all that’s good, but you need to take more college courses to stand out.” I have fun, but I’m tired of rolling around in the dirt unless for some godforsaken reason I WANT to roll around in the dirt. I’m tired of having no control over where I will be sent in 2-3 years. And the thing that sticks in my throat so badly is that… I chose this. And for over 10 years no matter what I’ve accepted my choice and stood by it.

Maybe I just need a glass of wine.

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That’s Just My Day Face? Ramblings of Military and Civilian Life

My first time trying this:  Rarasaur and Prompts for the Promptless – Season 2 Episode 1:  The Alter Ego

I’ve worn a uniform so many years that it feels abnormal not to wear boots or a cap on my head. Of course, the longest I’ve gone without the uniform is probably about 30 days of vacation in a year.

So it makes it hard to understand civilian life, to make friends outside the military. To not bring the military in every aspect of my life.

The military has its own language, that not even most movies can duplicate. There’s certain responses to situations we are conditioned to make. Or well, we WERE. The guys that I see coming out of basic training are softer than a wet roll of toilet paper. No offense, though it does offend me.

Not like I’m the toughest chick outside of my uniform. I run and scream at the carpenter bees, super mosquitoes and stink bugs that think my patio is their nighttime club and bar. But there is a mask that I can pull on, the military mask. When in uniform and told to stay still, I’ll let bees crawl all over me while I stay the frack still!

But back to making friends outside of the military, to being a separate person. I swear I don’t know how you guys do it! I mean, if you move to a new place as often as I do, how do you connect with others? What do you talk about? Do you just use your holdover friends from high school and college? Make nice with the neighbors?

Is this how I do it? Stalk people to make friends? Hmmmm.

And, how do you be a regular human being nowadays? My time in the military has been a part of my identity for so long, that I don’t know how to separate from it. It’s gone from being a face that I put on, to something I can’t take off even after the day is done and the uniform comes off.

So along with online dating, I’ve added online friend making with Meet-Up.com. Dear Baby Jesus, in order to be a normal person, I’ve trapped myself in the interwebs!

This Curvy Chick Hisses at Donuts like a Vampire with Holy Water

I’ve lost about 10 pounds in a week. No, it was not completely in a healthy way, frack you very much.

Sorry, that’s hunger talking. I’m straight Hangry here.

If you’ve never been around the military, there’s one thing that you know: we’re not allowed to get fat. I know you’re probably saying “I’ve seen PLENTY of tubby troops, looking like they’re about to try out for the Biggest Loser.” Well, all I can say is many slip through the cracks, mostly because their leadership is not putting a boot up their hey-nanny-nanny to get fit. Also, a lot of us are just broken from deployments.

And that’s what’s had me depressed and frustrated. I’ve been on a no upper body workout for the past couple of months and loads of pain killers. Certain painkillers cannot be taken on an empty stomach. Which means I was barely working out from pain, and eating a lot of food. Especially a lot of unhealthy food. I guess you can’t help but to get fat if you are having a slice of pound cake as a “quick breakfast”.

And then, you go to the doc, get a height and weight done, and find out you’re about the same size you were when you were pregnant with the Monster Teen. It makes you get on that pity train faster than the hounds of hell after you.

But I’ve been in the military for years, and understood what I needed to do. Cut out all deserts. Cut out pastas and bread. Fruits and veggies meals with only a small portion of protein for one meal a day. Cardio for at least 45 minutes a day with a trip to the sauna for at least 15 minutes afterward. And the unhealthy stuff: double dose of green coffee pills and raspberry K each day. And fiber pills each day, along with a water pill. On top of that, loads and loads of water to keep me hydrated.

It makes for a grouchy DT5th. I growled at people who had cupcakes the other day. I seriously blanked out and had a honey bun in my hand from my pantry the other day. I was getting ready to leave for work, and the stupid thing was there. I gasped and threw it back on the shelf, running before the fat girl personality inside me took over again and grabbed the honey bun. I think I really may have a split personality right now!

I dream of donuts, and cake loaded with icing. Milkshakes. Fully loaded potatoes with sour cream and butter and salt. Oh my. The office had donuts the other day. The smell of them had tears pricking my eyes. My coworkers saw as I whimpered and tried not to breathe, moved the donuts from my sight, and then waved folders to try to get the smell out the area.

I’m gritting my teeth with hunger, even when I just had a huge bowl of spinach. Fatgirl DT5th says it’s not enough food. It wants some pasta!

Pray for me readers of these interwebs. I feel like I’m a step away from the Stephen King short story where the man stranded starts eating himself. Fatgirl DT5th wants to gnaw on my arm.
I may need an exorcism and some pound cake after this next weigh-in. Before I turn full on crazy and gnaw on someone like I’m on Bath Salts.

Taking Classes With the Ignorant Masses

Soooo, this week I was not in my wonderful classroom teaching new troops about how awesome their new job is, and praying that they pass. At the same time, I don’t have to deal with a whole bunch (really only a few) of cry babies that act as if they need a pacifier and back rub. Phew. This week I was in one of those fun military classes that after you finish, you can add it to your evaluation to say: Hey, I’m awesome, I can do THIS. Look I have a certificate! *waves paper around like crazy*

Anyway, this class is what I affectionately call Pee Test Class.

It’s really called something else, but it’s a week of learning about pee. How to handle pee, how to test pee for drugs, how to observe pee leaving the body, in case someone’s trying to fake you out and using purchased pee. How to package and take pee to the lab, etc. Fun times right? Riiiiiiiiiight.

Or it would be an interesting class (possibly) if it wasn’t for 2 things: the instructors and the students. See, where I teach, we have to go through an actual instructor training process. We learn skills to test, and then we are certified. Our certification is daggone serious, to the point that you can’t even be in a classroom alone until you pass. It’s serious to the point that its worth college credits, and we get reevaluated all the time, to make sure we aren’t slipping. This main instructor of Pee Testing? Not so much.

I’m not OCD, or else my house would be a lot more organized, but I do love structure. I believe in scheduling things out a certain way, I believe in having step by step instructions for any job that I need to accomplish. And there’s nothing that puts my imaginary tail in knots than a disorganized teacher that I have to listen to and take notes from to pass a class. This dude… ARGH! The first day of Pee Degree was this:

Pee Teacher: all right make sure know what this is (on the powerpoint slide) and take notes.

Students begin to copy –

Pee Teacher: *clicks forward within 5 seconds*

Me: *Throws my pencil down and holds on to table so that I don’t jump out and punch him in the throat.*

Who does that?! Pee Teacher not only gives no time for anyone to actually take notes. On top of that, he skips back and forward through the Powerpoint saying “oh, someone else will teach you about this, so I’m not going to say anything… Oh, except this.” And then again, before you are able to make any kind of note, he’s jumped onto another slide and another subject. And I wasn’t the only one severely pissed off.

And then the next day, instead of coming to class prepared, he tries to show us a program that he THOUGHT he had just downloaded. Instead, it still needed to install and also he couldn’t remember his password. Ugh.

Me being who I am, having to try to learn from someone who is jacked up makes me want to throw a hissy fit. Instead I’m just writing down notes for the end of class critique.

On top of having to try to squeeze knowledge from a coconut, we’ve got a couple of weakest links. These are admin types; the ones that didn’t score too high on the ASVAB, treat Ebonics as their native language, and think they know everything since they can type fast and stop your leave/vacation form. I can talk about these people because I was one for a couple of years until I realized “hey, I scored awesomely on the ASVAB, why am I doing this job?” Seriously, there’s 3 jobs in the military that don’t take much in the brain bucket: Infantry, Administration, and Supply. *Note: I’m not knocking everyone that does this job. I’ve met some awesome people in these fields, but honestly, they are the exception, not the standard.*

These guys/gals in this class are the loudest attention seeking heffas that I’ve seen in a while. I want to take my note taking pen and stab my eyeballs out. I want to poor acid in my ears so I don’t have to hear how they butcher the English language, not because they have a second language, but because they’re proud of talking like the brown colored crayon people who seem to ALWAYS get interviewed on the news. I even walked past and heard a chick say in all seriousness “Ain’t nobody got time for dat!” Heaven and the angels help me before something breaks in my head!

Edit:

I would like to add that the last day was very interesting… not because of the students or instructors. We went to a rehab clinic to talk to veterans in the program. It was moving enough that a non-crier like me was getting slightly moist eyes.  One man had come from Vietnam with over 10 bullet holes to a country that looked down on the war, and him. He’s battled since then a cocaine addiction. It’s such a different thing to listen to someone tell their story than to just read and take notes on how to handle someone who may be using drugs. I still believe that a drug addict makes the first choice to use, and they are at fault for that. At the same time, I can’t help but pity those that have no one to turn to, or feel that they don’t. And I don’t know what I would have done coming back from my two deployments and having friends, family, and my whole country turned against me, after they sent me over there to do a job. So I’ll stop judging those that hit bottom, because God knows my life hasn’t been perfect, and I’ve hit bottom in other ways in the past.

With all the issues of this week, I am glad for the training, and hope that I can help save a person or two.

I’m not sure about this reality… May be rejected in 3…2…1

This is a whiny post…warning, whiny levels set up to 11!

Things are looking slightly sideways to me. I mean that figuratively, although it was quite literal maybe 2 days ago. So I got good but bad news. My CT scan on my chest was normal.

Yay! Except…

My X-rays are normal, my MRI is normal, but my back hurts so bad I was just stuck on the couch when I was trying to get up to go potty. I’m taking a mix of percocet, flerxeril, and motrin 800 (the military’s favorite candy. They really should sponsor military commercials). That mix is just so I can function at about 75 percent. So I don’t try to roll up in a ball to block out life, scream in pain because my back didn’t like the contortion and is now spazzing and doing the macarena in my skin ( I wish it would do a less energetic dance, like a simple two-step, sheesh). This SHITtake mushroom is not just in my head! So what is it? Doc doesn’t know, I don’t know. But I keep shuffling on.

It’s making it very hard to want to anything, and like I mentioned before, I’m adding on pounds like a fatty in a Krispy Kreme. Right now I’m “curvy” but this could EASILY turn into a BBW situation. I don’t want that. The military doesn’t want that either. Especially since they’re on their “cut down the military” kick. I’m in a teaching position right now, but what if fate somehow threw a deployment my way again? I can’t carry my own weight with my back, let alone Kevlar plates.

The only thing it probably IS helping is my teaching nervousness. Seriously, I’m so high in there that I’m surprised I get all of my words out. But I’m kind of in there, floating, and not really caring as much, an my teaching becomes smoother…well, except for dry mouth. Maybe everyone should be high while teaching? Hmmm, maybe not. I know I am the rare breed that can actually function and drive and teach while drugged up.

So… Its back to physical therapy, and making an appointment with the acupuncturist. And maybe chiropractor. I’m not above a voodoo doctor right about now. Dang it, I’ve got an anime convention to attend this weekend, and I’ve got to be able to pose for the camera!

Behind Bloodshot Eyes…

A person I know, that possibly I may one day become good friends with, just came back after weeks of recovery after hitting rock bottom. Depression, PTSD, alcoholism the whole skinned cat. And it brought up memories. Of when I was there in that same place, freed after years of depression.

You get an emotional high for a while after you first break through the dark days and aren’t looking through smokey glasses at life. And then, of course, you have to maintain. The bandage is ripped off, you’ve gone through the hardest parts of psych surgery, and now its time for mental physical therapy. Make sense?

Its odd in this day and age in the military to talk about having mental problems NOT caused by the many deployments. In fact, I think for those of us like that, that suffered before, those deployments either helped us maintain in that time alone from all we cared about, or just put a band-aid on it. For my friend, it was a band-aid. For me, it was the former.

It’s been years since I was cutting on my wrists, trying to see how deeply I could cut without leaving permanent scars… of course I did end up having them, but I can only call it a miracle and blessing that they disappeared over the years.

I didn’t even suffer the kind of abuse that my friend did, not physical anyway. There was verbal abuse in my household… From my father even now. It’s why I don’t talk to him. Physical/sexual abuse in my early childhood years came from another female. It took me years to be comfortable with a female friendship after that.

But that is my past. One thing I’ve learned from mental health, and my own research is that you have to face your past and move on. You don’t let it rule you. Yes, I’ve gone to mental health over I’d say the past 15 years, off and on. Does that make me weak? Heck no! I’ve gone when I knew I was close to a breaking point, or just so stressed by my circumstances that I needed someone who didn’t know me to talk to. I don’t drink to excess, and keep in mind at all times that alcoholism runs on my dad’s side of the family. I hold my fathers picture in my head as a focus point of who I don’t want to be as a parent, and as a person. I wear my scars, the ones that cover my spirit, with pride AND humbleness. And I face new challenges, whether the outcome is good or bad, with no fear… But determination.

My friend will get through this time. He’s strong and surrounded by people who care. He’ll make it. And then, he’ll maintain.

Adult Students that Cry Deserve Throat Punches

I had a student cry yesterday, after they sucked big blue donkey berries. There were some more tears today as a couple more failed, and even some happy tears. I’m saying… just no military bearing. You know, it may sound sick, but in the regular military world without the teaching, I took great pride when I made a troop cry. Not because I’m sadistic or anything… Seriously!!! I’ve just always looked at it as that I gave my troops tough love. And all the good ones have always come back to thank me for it.

It’s not the same when those troops are failing students and I’m crushing their dreams like a bully slapping the ice cream out if your hand. “No nom-nom for YOU!” It’s so frackin depressing when you know that they have had this dream to be a great somebody and it’s just gone… With a flick of my mechanical pencil. Now does that mean I feel like looking at the little buggers crying– uh, that’s a big heck no Billy-bob. (Shhh, Billy-bob is a new voice in my head. Trying to make him feel welcome). No, I feel completely out of sorts because I want to say to them what I tell my son and previous troops when they start with the waterworks: fix your face and get your punk self together.

To me, showing weakness like that doesn’t make me feel like you’re a strong person. In fact, it makes me feel like you’re looking for sympathy. And frack that! If you want to one day take my job, take my place and become the next up and coming Soldier/Sailor/Airman/Marine, you don’t show me weakness. Keep it together until you step out of my office. I mean, this is the classroom. If you’re falling to pieces here, what the frack are you gonna do in the desert sandbox when someone is shooting at you? But I can’t say all that. Or I can, but I have to word it a bit nicer, and hand them tissues. Sigh. This is one side of the teaching thing I didn’t really expect. Irritation at the weak butts.