Sometimes, I Just Need a Listener

May the saddest day of your future be no worse than the happiest day of your past
Irish Blessing

I hate being alone and not having anyone who “gets” it. There are no wives around here who have husbands that are, or are about to be, deployed. My mom tries, she really does, but sometimes she just makes things worse.

We were on the phone talking about random things. I don’t know how, but we started talking about my house. The one that isn’t going to sell. She was trying to say that maybe people will start buying houses soon and I’ll have some good luck.  I told her that no way was someone going to buy my house when there are four more within a block of my house that are very similar and that are in foreclosure or short sale status. No way is someone going to buy my house that is market-price vs one that is literally $30,000-$40,000 cheaper.

Then she started telling me I shouldn’t get too worried that maybe my mortgage company will agree to a short sale (I’m waiting to hear back from them).  I said that I hope they do soon because I’m only going to be given 3 months to do one if it is approved and the longer it takes them to approve it, the farther we get into the “dead” season of people not buying houses.

I told her that if a short sale isn’t approved or we can’t sell it in the time, I’ll have three options. The first is to rent, but we’ll lose a lot of money on renting and might not be able to even afford to rent. The second is to live here until the housing market gets better. They are predicting Michigan’s to get better in… oh… six to eight years.  That sure would be good for a marriage.

The third option would be going into foreclosure.  This would not only ruin my credit for seven years, but may also ruin my Navy side career. I wouldn’t be able to get any top secret clearances or anything. Heck, they definitely frown on it and there’s always the possibility they’d kick me out.

So I was getting upset while I was talking to my mom about this.  She said, “It sounds like you might be upset about something more than just the house.  Are you upset that Huzzy is leaving?”

No $hit, Sherlock. Ya think?  But you know what… the whole house thing is what had me riled up. I wasn’t even thinking of Huzzy leaving. But thanks.  Thanks for bringing it to the forefront and reminding me of it.  I was actually having a fantastically lazy day and was enjoying myself.

So I told her that I didn’t know and she said, “Well, I’ve had those days before.”  I just replied back to her that no, she didn’t know what I was going through and that she’d never gone through what I am.

She’s never lived away from her husband… her NEW husband.. for 4 months.  Not to mention a deployment coming up where there will be little to no communication whatsoever.  She lived away from my dad for three months–we all did–when he was changing jobs once, but he was a quick hour and 45 minutes away. And she was on the brink of not moving with him and thinking of divorce.  So it’s not like she was totally, absolutely, in love. She needed the break to think about things.

So no, she doesn’t know how it is. No one around me or in my life knows. And it really sucks not having any spouses around the area that are going through what I am right now.

She then said, “It sounds like you are having a bad day.”  I really, really, wanted to reply to her that I wasn’t until she started bringing things up, which is true, but I instead told her that maybe I was but she was making it worse and I needed to stop talking to her at the moment because it was only going to continue to make it worse.

So we both said goodbye. Only, I was the only one who said that I loved her as we hung up. She just said, “Bye.”  We don’t do that in my family. Ever since my dad died, we always tell each other that we love each other before we hang up, just in case it’s the last time we see one another.  I didn’t when I hung up with my dad on what was to be our last conversation and I’ll always regret it.

And honestly, I feel like calling her back and asking why she didn’t say it. But that’s childish. As childish as her not saying it… and my mom’s RARELY childish.

I’m sure she’s upset and everything, but so am I. I feel that I’m not in the wrong. She isn’t totally, either, but she does need to realize that when she acts as though she’s been there and done that all, it really hurts because she HASN’T been in my shoes.  Sometimes, I just need to talk and have someone listen. Not someone that is going to suggest of how I can do things better.

And I think next time I talk to her,I’ll apologize for being curt, but ask her to please just sometimes listen because that’s all I need.  Not a lecturer. A listener.



3 thoughts on “Sometimes, I Just Need a Listener

  1. There is some help for military families that have to PCS…don’t know if the rules will apply to you situation, but I will find the link & you can look into it.

  2. Aaaagh, what a frustrating phone conversation that must have been for you. G-d knows that in the past I have been guilty of confusing someone’s desire to vent with a request for advice. When someone comes to me with a problem, my instinct is to try to figure out a way to fix it. That often leads to frustration on both sides: I get annoyed when I feel my advice is being ignored, and my friend is aggravated because s/he wasn’t looking for me to suggest solutions in the first place. I try now to keep my responses out of the troubleshooting realm until specifically asked for input; before then, I make every effort to operate under the assumption that my friend just wants a sympathetic ear.

    I’m really sorry that you don’t have a community of supportive fellow spouses physically near you, but there are a number of us out here on the Intarwubs ready to listen. I would be very surprised if one of us hadn’t dealt with a family member saying precisely the wrong thing or attempting to dispense advice on a subject with which they have absolutely no experience (and I would be willing to bet that non-milspouse mothers are particular offenders in that area). It blows, no question, but I hope you can take some comfort in the fact that you’re not alone.

  3. Yeah, it helps knowing I’m not the only one. It REALLY helps, actually.

    And I e-mailed her and apologized but said that sometimes I need someone to listen and not lecture. So she told me that I need to give her a sign when I want advice and when I just want someone to listen. Ugh. I think I’ll just tell her that unless I ask for advice, just freakin’ listen!

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