Saturday, April 30, 2011

One day..

When I was growing up, we had very little "extras." When I was growing up, my parents struggled just to put enough food on the table; we had powdered milk, corn bread and beans - more often than I care to recount. However, we knew no different and were appreciative that we had food, and clothes (even if they were from good will).

I didn't have Barbies, XBox, a Cell Phone, a color TV, DVD Player....

But what I did have (an old Buffet style stereo/record player), what I did have (my music tapes) - I treasured..

My mom more often said no, then yes. We had curfews and strict check-in times. We were seldom left to our own "running of the neighborhood" - and although we thought them too strict, and quite honestly thought they were the meanest parents ever - in fact, I am grateful that they were my parents

I appreciated everything I had. I always got good grades, started working at 14, and was buying my own clothes, snacks and "extras" - with my own paycheck. I appreciated everything - because not only did my parents work for what they had.. I worked for what I had..

It wasn't until I was a parent, that I understood and appreciated their efforts - beauase it was then I realized that is why I am who I am, that is why I appreciate everything I have, and know that it all came with HARD WORK.

I was never handed anything - I had to baby sit, mow lawns, rake leaves, work the drive thru, make pizzas, and grill fries - if I wanted something.

When I had kids, I had the opportunity to give them what I didn't. I lived with guilt that they didn't have a full time father - I was divorced (one too many times) and they suffered those consequences; I was deployed alot - so out of guilt, out of emotional guilt, I provided as much as possible - thinking it would make up for it;

Unfortunately, I think it had the opposite effect and my kids have never truly had to work for anything. Meaning, their appreciation of value - (physical or sentimental) is lacking. Now, I have taken a stand. Now, I have made it known that I will not suffer the emotional blackmail - the guilt, anymore. It will end.

I have worked my butt off to get to where I am. I am not a money tree - I am not an ATM - I have worked to get to where I am; and if they want what I have (in their futures) they will have to earn it. They will have to work for it. They will have to learn to appreciate each and everything they get - because they will have to work for it, save for it, earn it, or simply be told NO - until they can do it for themselves.

School and work are priorities. With as much as they have already - they have no right to ask for more from me - nor make me feel guilty when I say no.

I'm done feeling guilty. I have done all I know to do. I have done my best. I have worked my way from the bottom - I have earned where I am at.. its now time for them to learn these lessons.

They may hate me - each and every time I say no. They may hate the decisions and priorities I have placed in their lives

- but -

One day, my kids will understand the decisions I make. One day, they will understand that sometimes, things don't work out as planned. One day they will appreciate the fact that I tried; tried to make their lives as happy as possible, even when I wasn't there to share it with them; One day, when they have kids of their owns, they will love and respect me, and understand.

One day...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My journey

I've spent the last 12 months on a journey to the other side of the world
This journey has led me on amazing paths, discoveries, and spiritual reawakenings

Looking back, this IA couldn't have come at a better time in my life..
I was lacking in my faith with God
I was hurting over a love lost
And on a serious quest to find discover who I was beyond
Someones girlfriend, a mom, an officer....
To discover who I was outside of all the other roles I play in my life

First and foremost, I am a mom
I know this...
I am a United States Naval Officer
I am a law school student
A tenant, a consumer..

All these roles and responsibilities come with a certain responsbility and stereotype to live up to
Standards of conduct, something that everyone has different expectations for you to meet..

I have never met Tanya...simply...Tanya
I was a young wife, young mother and very young sailor
As I got older, I was simply a divorcee, a little wiser, yet still busy, mother, and more seasoned Sailor
But thru it all, I was never able to decide on my own expectations, my own desires, me.

Don't get me wrong, I don't regret a decision one that I have made that brought me my children and the loves I have experienced,
There has to be something I am missing?

I have a driven ability to meet and exceed all these expectations, all these responsibilities,
But what I haven't done is figure out my own...
Me.. Who I am without a man..
What I am besides a mother
And what job I want beyond being a sailor

This journey, has been enlightening.
That's not to say I have all the answers, because believe me, I don't think we will ever have all the answers...
I believe I will still have a question of "why" at something.... On my death bed.
What I have gained is this

I am an individual, with my own needs, my own desires and my own expectations - beyond what others have of me
I am strong, independent and driven
I'm a workaholic, I am a perfectionist
A litle obsessive compulsive, cursed with anxieties that I try hard to tame
I love to be loved
I love to make others happy..
I love to succeed, to meet goals,
I want what I want, and don't like anything to get in my way
I'm not materialistic, I'm simple
Give me the attention I need, the little things, little notes, little favors,
Things that you do for me, because you know that I would enjoy it...
It's the little things
I don't like gaudy things..
I am simple, I like small simple jewelry, neutral colors
I like to be taken care of, and vice versa
I like to make my own decisions, my own mistakes..
That's safer..then I only have me to blame, when I am wrong
My trip here has been rewarding careers wise, as well..
This is the first job I have had, where I really truly feel as if I led my team.
I was not micromanaged, I was left alone to be the leader, and led
I never failed my boss, so she never interfered in my office
She respected my opinion as a leader, let me have control of my personnel
And assisted me in breking the barriers my rank held with other senior officers
I was truly a dept head
She was my cheerleader, watching from the sidelines, with full confidence, that I had this...
As I wind up my tour here, I realize that this has been the most rewarding tour of my career
personally and professionally
I am thankful I was given the opportunity to experience this journey
to lead, like a true leader and to discover the realities in my personal life;
the truths about me, defining me as well as see where I need to make improvements;
again, both personally and professionally
This tour has allowed me to see how to become a better parent, daughter, leader and sailor
I have made a difference -
I contributed to the cause, leaving behind a better process in place and improving the job we do here
for Afghanistan
I have seen, through the eyes of my parents and their endless efforts - where I have strayed, and how
to improve my relationship with my children, and my role as a mother
Finally, I have improved me. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

4 April 2011 - The French Hospital

4 April 2011
It has been a rough few days here…
Friday I went to medical because I was having some pains, very symptomatic of a cyst, but a little more painful. It started Thursday night, and by Friday morning was giving me some pretty good pain, my blood pressure was up, my heart rate was high and I was very nauseous. I ended up throwing up, Anyhow, I went to medical, they immediately put me on IV’s and ran some blood tests to ensure it wasn’t my appendix. After a full exam, it seemed obvious that it was my ovary, not appendix. The Doctor here wanted to ensure I didn’t have a twisted ovary, so he sent me to the French hospital to get an Ultra Sound. So after about an hour, I was Medevac’d to KIA French Hospital.

Fortunately, Trisha came with me.. which was a blessing!! OMGosh..

When I got there, they took out the IV, and drew blood from the other arm.. (Maybe they don’t trust the US medical?? LOL) Anyhow, then brought in the Ultra Sound machine, after forcing me to fill my bladder (which would’ve been easier through the IV… just sayin..)

Anyhow, the diagnosis.. 3.5 by 3.5cm cyst that was hemorrhaging. Now, I have a history of cysts.. but never a history of bleeding cysts.. I had a cyst and it was bleeding internally to my ovary.. it was definitely painful – but fortunately, before I left my medical office, they had given me a shot of toradol and morphine. I was not in any pain… until several hours later, when the meds wore off..

Anyhow, after the ultra sound, the French Dr said he wanted to keep me in observation – I was originally told.. overnight.. but that changed to 2 nights.
Anyhow, I was taken back to a room (it was the isolation room; I can only assume I was back there because I was the only female patient? )

I was brought back there – dropped off, and not spoke to again for about 15 hours.. No Doctor came to see me, no nurse, no one to tell me what was going on, no vitals.. NOTHING. NOTHING for 15 hours. I had to go to the desk that night to try and convay I was in pain and needed pain meds..

I was given something that made me sleepy.. but did NOT take away the pain..
The next morning, the Doctors did their rounds at 0800 – that is when I found out I was being kept for (observation) for another night.. What kind of observation was this?? I don’t get it..

I woke up at about 440am.. after not having slept much.. being in pain all night. And basically woke up crying.. and in pain.. I ended up calling my boss to get some help.. these guys weren’t talking to me.. couldn’t understand me.. and it was extremely frustrating..

Anyhow, again, I was pretty much alone, until the next day. I was able to convey I wanted meds, and a blanket.. but.. that was about it..

Ultimately I was released the next morning – but they did not do a follow up blood test, no follow up ultra sound.. nothing.. I needed to get out of there.. those guys were only giving me Motrin and Tylenol.. and after having Toradol and Morphine at my base…

Fortunately there was an American Dr that came in and helped me out..

Finally, I was released Sunday morning, and came back here to NKC. My doctor here gave me some real meds, put me on 48 hours bed rest.. and here I am. I think the anti-inflammatories are working wonders and suspect I will be back to work tomorrow.. the pain is mostly bearable and not near as bad as it was the first few days..

Besides.. I am a horrible patient and hate to be strapped down to my bed, so to speak..

I am glad to be out of there and back at work!