Bicycling in Kilkenny

Bicycling in Kilkenny

Flying for Free: Part VII

One of the philosophies of the space-a traveler is to make the most of every time and place they are in. There is no need to waste the mone...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Day 34 "We'll be here when you get back."

The military induced separation has several stages, much like the five stages of grief. I am not really sure what the psychologists say about it, but I do know what our house experiences. 

The first day we just chill and do only what we have to. We watch movies. We eat whatever we can find in the fridge. I check the internet often to make sure he gets to where he is going safely. I hear cars park nearby or the neighbors’ gates open and shut and think it might be him for a split second before remembering he is not home.

And then there is the second stage which apparently started today. We were all at each other’s throats. The kids were on edge toward each other which in turn put me on edge toward them which in turn put me on edge toward my husband when he called today. 

We were all on edge.  

Then there is the added stress of my little one acting out.  He’s too young to be on edge so he just does crazy stuff. Like when he took all the wrappers off 8 bars of soap yesterday while getting poop all over himself and the bathroom, and today when he made a mini-pool out of the bathroom sink complete with toys and a even a spectacular waterfall flowing all the way down to the floor. 

I am pretty sure my five-year-old is the only sane one in our family right now. He just says it: “I miss Daddy. I wish Daddy were here. I want to call Daddy.” I think the psychologists were on to something when they realized it is good to talk about our feelings. 

I hesitate to voice my feelings when it comes to my husband being gone for several reasons:
1.  I signed up for it. I knew what I was getting into when I married a military man and again when we both made the decision for his return into it. How can I complain when I knew separations would be a way of life for us?
2. There is always another military spouse who has it worse than me. I have never had to deal with a deployment longer than 6 months. There are many whose spouses are gone for a year or more. How can I whine when mine will be home quicker than it took them to get through stage 1? 
3.  I am a strong military wife. Nothing should phase me. I should be able to send my hubby off to war or wherever else without batting an eye, especially after doing it so many times before. I should be used to it.
4. The worst but biggest reason that I try not to complain is that some military spouses treat separations like soldiers treat their war wounds. They always have to one up. I am guilty of it too. The conversation normally goes something like this: Spouse #1 says, “My husband just left. I miss him so much.”  Spouse #2 says, “How long is he gone for?” Spouse #1, “Four months.” Spouse #2, “Oh that’s nothing. My husband was gone for 8 months out of all of last year and he missed all our kids' birthdays plus Christmas.”

Most spouses don’t feel comfortable expressing their feelings because they are told to be thankful that the deployment is not longer or in a more dangerous place. That’s almost like telling someone they should be happy they have skin cancer because it is not a brain tumor. It doesn’t matter. When my husband is gone, he is gone.

I know he will be back, but until then I am going to miss him.