I had someone ask me that today.
They meant well and it was coming from a place of love and genuine concern but it hit me square in the chest. I have lost track of the amount of times I’ve been asked that question or something similar. This is a whole new stage of life for me, deployment, and it’s one that either garners a lot of questions or makes people uncomfortable enough to stay away.
I find myself sitting in the house on a quiet afternoon while the rain is pelting the windows. I just opened up an email informing me that they will be “dark” for a while longer. That means we will have continued time of zero communication. Normally we are able to email here and there (maybe 1-4 a month) and whenever there is a port call I get to text him and video chat him. If I’m honest I go through waves during this dark period. Waves of knowing I’m ok, I’m strong, I’m not that sad, and this is just a season that will pass. Then I have other waves where I have things I want/need to discuss with him regarding finances, our house, work, etc. Waves where I feel like I’m walking around missing a huge piece of me. Waves where I feel like I’m forgetting him.
It’s hard to explain.
I think it’s hard for people to check in.
Sometimes I believe it’s even harder for me to reach out.
You feel yourself feeling jealous / bitter / salty over the time others get to spend with their spouses and then chastise yourself for feeling that way. Emotions fly in and out of your mind faster than a street race and even attempting to explain the range of emotions to anyone else will more than likely be met with a blank stare of not knowing what to say in response (& that’s ok!). One day you’re perfectly content and doing so well and the next feels like you’re being hollowed out and can’t even explain why. You’re missing your person and it weighs heavy on you.
I remember being in a COMPASS class (it’s a class for navy military spouses to learn more about navy life) and we went over the stages of grief before / during / after a deployment. I remember thinking how important that information was and that I knew I would walk through it and that since I understood grief well I could handle it. Yet here I sit realizing I really didn’t understand much of anything when it came to Eddie being gone.
I had all of these expectations getting “prepared” for a deployment only to find out you can’t prepare and everything gets flushed away. Changes happen day by day, you’re told one thing and 5 others happen. Your life kind of stops when there is that open window of time for communication and that has it’s own set of challenges.
All of this to say, I’m here friends.
I have been quite and I may continue to be – but that’s because I’m processing a lot in this season of life and it’s emotionally draining for me. I started seeing my old counselor again and it’s been so amazing to sit down and walk through these stages of life and get some perspective.
Here is where I’m at right now.
I’m just taking it day by day, minute by minute, and am always thankful and hopeful for those small moments of communication I get from Eddie.