This military spouse life is hard y’all.
Right now the husband is gearing up for deployment and we are having to figure out how we are going to go months with little to no communication. With Eddie being on a submarine it means our only form of contact is email and more often than not they will not be able to send/receive emails. (One of my friends recently got her husband home from a deployment and 5 out of the ~6 months they were in total black out, so no communication.) I found myself sitting on the video chat with him this past Thursday night just crying.
I cried because while I knew this is something we would be facing and have been preparing myself for it, it still sucks. My friend Lauren was over the other night and she said “I don’t know how you’ve done it the last two years” meaning this is definitely NOT the life I used to live. I responded with “Well, I just don’t think about it.” which is true. To get through the chaos, the unknown, and the scary…I just don’t think about it. HOWEVER that doesn’t mean I never think about it.
It’s kind of like an overflow of emotions.
You compartmentalize for so long, go with the flow, and just tell yourself to get over the next hurtle that you just take it day by day. Then, when your mind has a moment to rest, it’s like a complete emotional attack and you feel completely overwhelmed by ALL the thoughts and literally ALL the feelings. It’s like being unraveled and attempting to grasp at straws all around you to put it back together.
Then add on all of this happening while your husband is either A. out under the water or B. just got back and is attempting to recover/unwind/etc. How do you know how to balance/manage when to share those feelings when you’re also trying to protect your spouse from feeling more overwhelmed than they already are. Whether you’re able to be with them face to face or, like we are right now, only able to video chat since we are across the country, it’s hard to use the little bit of time you have together to face those tough conversations. You would much rather spend your time cuddling, building memories, and just enjoying your time together vs having emotionally draining conversations (even though they are needed!) and possibly getting into an argument on the small window of time you’re together. There really aren’t resources out there for this kind of thing. There isn’t a guidebook that says “Hey, your husband is a submariner, here is how to navigate all the feelings and crazy that comes with it.” HA I wish there was.
Y’all, I am literally just word vomiting right now but it feels so good. I hold it together 90% of the time: I am strong, confident, put together, and independent because I HAVE TO BE. If I am not, things wouldn’t get done and I would probably be too wrapped up in my feelings to look at the positive.
YET…lately I don’t like who I’ve become.
I’ve become someone who is bitter and super negative all the time. I feel like I have compartmentalized my feelings for so long that I don’t know how to start processing through each one without them all flooding in at once. I feel isolated and alone in the struggle I’m walking through, even though I know that isn’t fully true.
I was hoping to come home to Charleston and have it be what it was when I left (literally wishful thinking because I knew it wouldn’t be the case) because I was tired of re-building like I’ve been doing over and over again the last 2 years. I knew deep in my heart I would have to start from the ground up and build off of the little bit that I have left here, but it’s still hard to do.
I have my days where I am looking on the bright side and so positive and really leaning into that “This will be a great opportunity” and then I have the days where I feel overwhelmed with sadness and frustration that I am just walking around in a cloud of negativity. I don’t WANT to be that woman, the one who is constantly negative, I hate it and yet that’s where I feel like I am and how others are perceiving me to be.
ALL OF THIS TO SAY…we’re all walking through tough stuff at some point. We may have just come out of a tough season, are in the midst of one, or about to walk in to one. I think we would all be better off taking the time to genuinely check in with those we love and spend time helping to carry their burdens.