In Iraq for 365

About my experiences in Iraq... the frustrations, the missions and this country... and the journey home

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Have I turned a corner?

The nightmares continue, only now I cannot remember them. This morning, around 4:30, I awoke sweating like an overworked horse and screamed “no.” The only thing I could recall from the dream was a loud noise, so I searched my apartment to see if any hanging objects fell. Everything was intact. Then, I watched some Sports Center, scratched myself a few times and went back to bed.

What’s different now than before is the nightmares don’t bother me as much. Just as my counselor said, I can control the outcomes. And I wonder if this is why I cannot remember the dreams…. Because in the dreams, I’m actually kicking everybody’s ass and subconsciously I don’t want to get a big ego. Yeah, that’s it.

For real though, I’ve learned to deal with a lot of the issues that overwhelmed me before. Let me give you an example… idiots don’t bother me as much. I recently took a boat trip with a good friend of mine and on board was this anti-war, anti-milk, anti-everything-American lady who debated me on the Iraq war. When her reasons turned to personal insult, I felt no urge to throw her off the boat nor did I throw in her face that the reason she can have opinions is because of the American soldier fighting for her freedom. Rather, I felt sorry for her. In fact, I really think I’ve turned a corner.

Take my job for example. I love the people I work with, but my heart was no longer in the game. Therefore, I quit. My last day is tomorrow and while it will be very difficult to say goodbye to my many friends, everybody understands my reasons for leaving.

I plan to spend the next two months pounding out the final pages of my book. That’s right, I will be a jobless writer… but I’m pretty happy about it. And soon, I’ll be a published author… and everybody likes a published author.

36 Comments:

At 7:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A published author? Cool!!!

Glad to hear you are feeling better!

 
At 8:15 AM, Blogger Word Grrl said...

Sounds like you've turned a corner. Good for you. Do you think you'll ever be able to hold down a regular 9-5 job again?

 
At 8:26 AM, Blogger Sminklemeyer said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 9:08 AM, Blogger Lorilei said...

I'll be first in line to buy one. I don't know how anyone can be tolerant of the anti-america, anti-war folks....I commend you. Must be a coping mechanism kicking in, since they really aren't worth the time & effort to get upset about.

 
At 11:17 AM, Blogger Chris said...

Well hell yeah! Bout time.

What, an argument about Iraq didn't turn into personal insults??? Only kidding ya man.

I don't know if everyone likes a published author though. I find it very close to torture.

 
At 3:29 PM, Anonymous kbug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 4:38 PM, Anonymous kbug said...

thanks, casanova, for cleaning up my mess......:) What I was trying to say was that you first turned a corner back on the fourth of july when the fireworks didn't make you flinch and you could smile thinking about your lost friends. Deciding to quit your job to pursue your dream of writing is just another one in a series of corners that you'll turn as you become the man you are destined to be. There are great things in store for you...

 
At 7:16 PM, Blogger strykeraunt said...

"I felt no urge to throw her off the boat..."

You are a way better person than I because I think I may have had no problem throwing her off the boat.

 
At 10:18 PM, Blogger Household6 said...

I would have been right there with Strykeraunt throwing her off the boat as far as these little arms can toss. Bully for you for following your dream to be a writer. I hope that you continue on your road to personal peace on the icky dreams.

HH6

 
At 7:11 AM, Blogger FVK said...

There's just no reasoning with people like that. For her own good, You should have just thrown her ass overboard.

Congrats on your first steps toward literary fame and fortune. I can't wait to buy your book.

 
At 7:15 AM, Anonymous Kim said...

It's good to hear you are working so hard on being healthy! Let us know when the book comes out, I want to buy one!!

 
At 10:00 AM, Blogger Word Grrl said...

Hey, Smink, how'd they miss you?

THE NEW ERNIE PYLES
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/11/AR2005081102168.html

 
At 10:19 AM, Blogger Ramy said...

Smink, how am I going to get your book when I'm in Egypt??? Maybe you should publish it in installments online, too!! :) ...can't wait!

 
At 10:46 AM, Blogger Kankakee Voice said...

I'm sure this woman must have been insensitive and perhaps even a big bore. Were I in the same situation I would most certianly have chosen to NOT talk about Iraq with you, unless you indicated you wanted to talk about that.

However, being an anti-Iraq war protester myself, you can not honestly say you were fighting for MY freedom. That is not to disrespect what you did or your reasons for doing it.

You believe, obviously what the Bu$h adminstration says. You were the right person to be in Iraq. You should still be there. They need people there and I think only those who really believe what Bu$h tells us we are fighting for should have to risk their lives there.

But don't use me or anyone else who does not believe in the reasons we are in Iraq, as YOUR reason for being there. I can fight for my own freedom and I would do so without a moment's hesitation should I find it necessary. I would fight to the death for real American democracy. We disagree on the reasons the American Military is fighting in Iraq. I respect your right to believe what you choose. Just don't blame me for your being in Iraq or say you are fighting for MY freedom. No one in Iraq is fighting for MY freedom.

You might be fighting for Iraqi's freedom. Maybe even Israeli freedom. No one is fighting for American freedom except those of us here in America that are trying to save our constitution and our American values and way of life from large greedy Corporations or Christianofacists.

I suppose you will delete my post, I would be pleasantly surprised to find you support free speech, along with fighting for "American" freedom.

 
At 12:07 PM, Anonymous baley said...

I think Kankakee voice should be renamed to socialist voice. "Power to the people - dude".

Smink - You and your fellow soldiers, past and present, ensured that woman to have her asinine opion and voice it, period. Please don't allow anyone to tell you different. The red stipes on the flag represent the blood spilled, by soldiers - not hairy, liberal war protesters, in the creation and continued defense of this nation. Thank you for your service.

 
At 1:19 PM, Blogger Sminklemeyer said...

Kankakee --

I would never delete somebody's comments unless it gave away my personal information or if it just was absurb. I respect your opinion, and though I don't agree with it, I welcome you to this site. I also recommend you read MJ's blog. I think some of his recent work will change your mind about your particular view on American freedom. Again, I welcome you to the site and hope you remain open minded and just listen to future commentor's reasoning.

 
At 2:23 PM, Anonymous Beth said...

How wonderful, Smink! I'm so happy for you. It's sounds like you're doing very well and I'm looking forward to seeing your book on the shelf.

It's silly coming from someone who is not very close to you, but I'm so proud of you for how you are dealing with things and what you are doing. :) *hugs*

 
At 3:21 PM, Blogger Sean from DocintheBox said...

Hope all goes well, let us know when your book comes out, I'll pick up a copy

 
At 5:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Smink,
I am glad you are seeking help. Complete apathy about everything in life--not caring about anything at all sounds like depression.

In fact, I think it is somewhat abnornal for you not to want to through that foolish woman into the water!

The American public needs to make sure we support our troops, and especially in mental health. Many soldiers have seen things that make no sense whatsoever that cannot be logically reconciled, have seen death in the most grisly ways, and have lived life more intensely than I can comprehend.

Good luck to you. Writing is a proven technique to help in depression. It helps the brain to review things and see them in a new light. You may even be able to make sense out of the nonsensical.

 
At 6:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Smink,

I often wonder WHY people like the lady you mention stay in our nation. All they need do is drive north to Canada,they can move there freely.

They must enjoy harrassing normal Americans is all I can figure,they wouldn't be happy living among folks that agree with them.

 
At 8:28 PM, Anonymous Leslie said...

Congratulations!!!

 
At 4:58 PM, Blogger JUST A MOM said...

Smink I want a book too, let us know when and where will ya.

 
At 12:29 PM, Anonymous Doug said...

Lol :) The writing poor, I love it! I hope your books does well, as I happen to really enjoy reading your words. Good luck with it, and I'm glad to hear it sounds like you have made some good decisions for yourself...stay well

Doug

 
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At 4:29 AM, Blogger nope said...

Hi,

I'm sorry for being intrusive in to your blog. But I am Melissa and I am a mother of two that is just trying to get out of an incredible financial debt. See my hubby is away in Iraq trying to protect this great country that we live in, and I am at home with our two kids telling bill collectors please be patiant. When my husband returns from war we will beable to catch up on our payments. We have already had are 2001 Ford repossessed from the bank, and are now down to a 83 buick that is rusted from front to back and the heater don't work, and tire tax is due in November.

I'm not asking for your pitty because we got our ownselfs into this mess but we would love you and thank you in our prayers if you would just keep this link on your blog for others to view.

God Bless You.

Melissa K. W.
To see my family view this page. My Family

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