if you fall for anything, you'll stand for nothing...My baby shower
Hey Ladies! I've been wanting to share my story (and frustrations) with you since I joined this AMAZING group. My husband is in the military and the first five months of our marriage we were long distance. I was pregnant with mono/mono twins which we tragically lost (that's a whole post in itself) at 17 weeks. We moved to Colorado in December and I fully immersed myself into the "military wife life". I joined the FRG in January and became a co-leader in February. I went to all of the training courses and learned to do every position in order to be an effective leader. By March, the other co-leader decided that her work with the FRG was a conflict of interest and quit.
At the time, the Captain's pregnant girl friend decided to join as Treasurer. When she did the dynamics of our group suddenly changed. We worked so well as a group before both the secretary and myself are African American, the Key Caller is Dominican and the Captain and his then girlfriend are white ( this becomes pertinent towards the end of my story). His girlfriend essentially tried to make me her lackey and errand girl. Any ideas I had she would immediately veto. I suggested that she attend the treasury classes as well and she brushed me off. I asked her to register as a volunteer so we could document her hours and she could be eligible for an award and she scoffed at me. I asked her to join me at the steering committee meetings and she said she would but never did.
In May they married and her ego blew up! She was the Captain's wife and essentially thought she was the Captain. We planned a BBQ in June and she sent me to run all the errands that required heavy lifting ( I was pregnant at the time too). She began texting me a to do list at 6:45 in the morning. It was then I reached my limit and simply ignored her. I asked my husband to help me out with the heavy stuff and set up the BBQ by the time she arrived. In July, my husband and I travelled out of state to attend a criminal/ civil court cases that had to do with the persecution of the person that assaulted me and caused the death of my sons. While I was out of town a Sergeant reached out to me to plan an event. I passed on the information to the FRG and told them I wouldn't be available until I returned but would help get things started when I returned . I visited my Son's graves for the first time and it was a very emotional time for me. The Captain's wife texted me on stop while I was at the cemetery with my boys. When we drove the 15 hours back to Colorado I literally had to block her messages. When I returned, I set up the event and picked up all the food and refreshments myself because the Captain's wife was "too busy" working from home even though she promised to help set up this time.
The following day, I was surprised to see the Captain and his wife at the steering committee meeting because she had never been to one before. Just as the meeting was going to start, the Captain pulled me aside and said " (Wife's name) is going to be receiving an award today, we'll put you in for one later" The Briggade Commanders wife introduced theCaptain's wife and spoke about her hard work and dedication as well as how she attended all the steering committee meetings and FRG classes. She congratulated her on her baby and knew that she was expecting the following month. They presented her with a crystal plaque, certificate of achievement and medallion for being the iron heart volunteer of the YEAR! I felt like I was hit by a ton of bricks. I wanted to get up and say this was all Bullsh** . Afterwards, the captain and his wife came up to me and as she pretended to be so surprised and honored. Seeing the dumbfounded look on my face, they promised to throw my baby shower for me and take care of all the expenses. I felt like I was being bamboozled, like how Columbus did theNatives when he first arrived, giving them beads and worthless trinkets for their gold and valuables before simply ravaging their lands and people.
After a weekend of sleepless nights and tear soaked pillows, I resigned. The Captain began treating my husband differently. Just being petty. Then he responded to my email and asked me to reconsider. Of course, who else would do all the hard work and make him look good? I did, because of the stress it was causing my husband at work and the fact that the families in our company actually needed me (no one wants to tell the captain or his wife their business let alone when they run out of money for food and have domestic issues).
I continued to help the families but anytime she had a bright idea of an event to plan I left it to her to facilitate and did not attend. Needless to say, the Captain and his wife never threw me a baby shower and I wasn't counting on it. It was all just smoke and mirrors to try and mask their devious and duplicitous ways. I focused my energy on throwing my own baby shower. My husband insisted that I invite them to the shower so that he would not have to face retribution again. I did but thank God, they didn't show up! I had a wonderful shower and I learned a valuable lesson.
I turned in the FRG books and I moved on to serve in another organization that solely deals with providing resources to struggling military families. I also volunteer 20 hours a week at a local shelter that serves low/no income and primarily minority families. I'm giving my energy to those less fortunate and who actually appreciate my help. Everyday I make an effort to follow the words of Mahatma Gandhi and strive to be the change I'd like to see.