Using resiliency training skills at home keeps things in perspective
January 20, 2012
FORT STEWART, Ga. - Embracing skills learned from resiliency training helps Family Member Michelle Grabill with daily stressors as an Army spouse and mother. Like other spouses, Grabrill registered to attend the four-day course that's offered though Army Community Services which focused on five core competencies.
"I thought the class was amazing," Grabill said. "You are able to use the skills at work and at home. For me it was exciting."
It was her husband, Staff Sgt. Joseph Grabill, a French horn musician with the Third Infantry Division band, who encouraged the stay at home mother to attend the class.
"He found out about it and thought the class would be of interest to me," Grabill said. "Being new to Fort Stewart, I wanted to dive right in. I want to make the most of it by meeting new people and experiencing new things."
The Grabill Family relocated to Stewart June 2011 after Staff. Sgt. Grabill transitioned from reserve to active-duty.
Grabill, a human resource professional and New York state native, gained valuable resources from the class that can help strengthen her Family.
"I know that when I ask a question using the word why, I know the response I will get puts the other person on the defensive," Grabill explained. "I tend to jump on things that bother me, so replacing 'why' with the word 'what' will help me with my Family."
Learning to put things into perspective was another useful exercise Grabill added. "Take a step back and determine if things are really bad. It's not that hard and only takes a few seconds for you to step back and stop yourself before those [bad] emotions and thoughts become consequences. An example would be Jack, my 22-month old son, accidently flushing something in the toilet. Is it really a big deal?"
Looking at any situation optimistically takes a conscious effort and happens over time. Like many military-connected youth, Grabill's father, who is not military, moved their Family because of a job promotion from New York to Alabama during her junior year in high school. She admitted that at the time, the transition was tough.
"Your junior and senior year in high school should be your best years and I had a big adjustment back then with attending a new school," Grabill said.
The move ended up being best thing because of the wonderful people she met to include her husband.
"I want my son to experience moving to different places and I think it will make him stronger."
At its core, Resiliency Training incorporates original terminology with skill sets that most attendees currently utilize and are unaware of when doing so.
"This class helps you realize how you can bounce back from adversity or with an activating event," Grabill explained. She added that outside of class, she finds herself using the skills learned. "It [training] does not leave you, it sticks. I've gained a new perspective from the class. You use the skills in everyday situations."
The Army has committed resources to help improve the lives of Soldiers, Family Members and Civilians by offering Resiliency Training, and hundreds from the Marne community have completed the class.
"Everybody is a part of a team," Grabill said. "Soldiers, Family Members and Civilians are all relying on each other to get the mission done. You will gain more than what you will lose even if you gain only one skill. You will use it at home and work."
Personal growth and development is a life-long goal for Grabill, who strongly recommends the class to other spouses.
"Every minute of the class was worth it. It was never a point in the class that I thought 'this was a waste of time'. During many of the class discussions, I found myself saying that [idea] is really good, let me jot that down. For skills that you don't use right away, you save it for another time. I feel that even if you are not in the professional world, perhaps in school or home raising children, this is still a class for you that can help with home life."