EXPECTATIONS: Part 1
We all have them and when they are not met how do we handle the situation
Expectations just before discharge and after discharge. My expectations after discharge were that people, I met would be interested in what I did while in the service especially being the submarine service. I looked for opportunities to talk about my service and all the places I had been. Time after time people would ask what I did in the service. I would then think and get excited to be able to tell them all about it. After about five minutes they would start looking away or try to talk about something they could relate to. I should have been used to it but it seemed to bother me more and more. For example: when I used to come home on leave it was a vacation to me so I would pack up the family and head out on the road for a vacation. I thought the kids loved it and I had a great time. This went on for a while until on one of my leaves my wife said that I cannot keep disrupting the family every time I come home and from now on, I would have to fit into their schedule. At first, I said I understood and accepted that then I got a little upset and started to question why I was even coming home. I would be gone for months at a time come home to enjoy my family for a few days and now it was like I wasn’t ever there. I became very depressed, here I was spending time away from my family to give them a safe and secure life and it was like it was all for nothing. I figured out I might as well kill myself but would wait until I was back and away from the kids. At this point, I didn’t give a dam about my wife. I felt so alone and angry with no one to talk to or confide in. I was embarrassed and hurt and had no idea how to fix it. Like I said my life seemed to have no meaning so the way to get out of this feeling was to end mine. If I had someone, I trusted to talk to it might have helped. Instead, I started to do things that would take away the hurt. I started drinking and it made it feel better for a short time. After a time that wasn’t enough so I started using drugs along with the alcohol and the loneliness would go away for a little longer. Then while drinking and thinking about my empty life I started to get angry and sometimes had to be stopped from doing something that would get me into trouble. I was becoming known as a drunk and not to be trusted and that made me feel even worse. After being arrested and spending time in jail I started to wake up. I was blaming everyone but me for my situation. I sobered up enough to get into school and became a counselor for individuals and families with issues like mine, that I started to figure a few things out.