Dear Military Spouse,
Big changes are coming and that is for certain. Your steps and the life you live for the next few months will be a big test, a test that many will never have to take nor pass, but you must take it.
Your spouse is leaving and you’ll be alone to raise your family, mow the lawn, fix the garage disposal and endure every curve ball Murphy pitches. You feel so alone.
You wonder what is wrong with the both of you. You won’t be seeing each other for a WHOLE YEAR and you can barely even touch each other. You’re thinking thoughts that are so abnormal you don’t even dare utter them to your most trusted circles.
You look at them as they prepare to face a world of unknown and you wonder what they’re thinking.
You’ve been asking yourself hard questions.
Why are they so excited to leave?
Why would they rather spend every second on the phone with their battle buddies that will venture off with them, rather than with you?
Finally you ask yourself the question that has been etched in the back of your mind but you haven’t dared to venture to that corner quite yet, “Will they even miss me?”
Nobody ever mentioned this would happen during deployment; therefore, you think you MUST be a special case. All they can talk about is a place you have a hard time spelling, and how life will be “over there.”
So you withdraw even further. You have to.
It hurts that they don’t want to be close to you in these final days, so you convince yourself that you don’t want to be near them either. You have to, because that sense of rejection is like a thousand knives millimeters from your beating heart.
It’s all awful. Your marriage must be on the rocks. This isn’t normal. This hurts. YOU HURT. Yet, what nobody ever told you is that all those scary thoughts, ARE NORMAL.
Pre-deployment is notorious for it’s influx of less than logical (seemingly) emotions.
In all the hustle and bustle of honey do lists, figuring out where the gas line is, collection of all necessary documents, and having the “If I don’t come back” talk, in most cases nobody ever mentions that, “Oh yeah, you might feel like you’re being left on the side of the road in desolate Mexico.”
Let me blow your mind even further- that sense of loneliness you already feel, YOUR SPOUSE FEELS IT TOO.
The moment they got “the call,” their emotions went from zero to M16. All those hours, trainings, briefings, and mock scenarios finally will be useful.
They are going to get to do what they were trained to do. After they tell you, that’s when it hits.
Your life will go on.
You’ll see your children every day.
Your neighbor will have to step in once in a while to help you change your tire, tell you how to set up your sprinkler system, and even take your kids camping, because THEY WON’T BE THERE.
They won’t be there for the first day of kindergarten.
Their arms won’t be the arms that your baby walks to for the first time.
They won’t be there in the middle of the night to calm fears after nightmares.
They won’t be there in the emergency room when your child decides to amputate a finger.
They won’t be there. Your “new normal” life will go on without them, and that scares them. They might not tell you any of this, because the façade they see from their buddies is equivalent to Captain America or Wonder Woman, but they feels those things too.