By the time Will actually retired he had been injured for almost 4 years. I thought I had a pretty good idea of how life would be. We had good times, we had times so dark that I couldn't see the end of my nose but we seemed to deal with it fairly well. That was 3,000 miles away from our reality.
Moving home has really highlighted Will's limitations. Gone are the days that the four of us could hide away in our home sheltered from the world. Now we have family obligations, work obligations, restless children and countless other things that need our attention on the other side of our front door. The exposed side, where everyone can see you, where you can see everyone seeing you. It's scary out there.
We have tried to be "normal" as much as possible, when that hasn't worked we tried to be our normal but the sad fact is that's not really working either. I've mentioned it a few times on twitter, Will has had to pull out of plans that we've made. I am running a charity run with The Red Sox Foundation to help raise money and awareness for TBI/PTSD called the Run To Home Base (please donate here is you can!) I was so excited and proud that he and the girls would be there to watch me cross home plate at Fenway Park at the end of the race but he wont be there. The anxiety of being alone with the girls in public is just too much. The thought of people looking at him and feeling sorry for him because of his injuries was just too much. I understand this, I know he would be there if he could but he just can't. It hurts my pride that he wont be there but it kills my heart that he can't be. Being there or not is not a gauge on how much he loves me or how our marriage is.
In March we bought tickets to four Red Sox games, I was pretty excited since we used to go to the games all the time in Washington. It was after a Sox game here in Boston in 2005 that he first told me that he loved me. We went to our first game last month and it was nothing short of a disaster. We had to drive into the city and pay $60 to park - in the past we would have take the train in but you can't put a guy with PTSD on the Green Line after a Sox game.
He went to the pet store by himself, he was procrastinating leaving the house so I asked him what the problem was, he told me he was afraid to go alone. The thought of having to talk to people paralyzed him with fear. He was afraid to go buy fish, the man who ran into a bunker with a detonated explosive to retrieve the body of a working dog because you don't leave a fallen Ranger was afraid to talk to a 17 year old girl about buying fish. Let that sink in for a minute.
Life is certainly different since retiring. I knew it would be hard, I even knew it would be harder but I didn't know it would be this much harder. I am scared that I am getting lost in it all. Other than my job it's all about him - everything. I miss me.