Screeeeeam. It’s the island life for me.
I was so excited for this duty station. This was going to be the place where I learned to lean on myself and actually make friends with people who were going through the exact same situation as me. This lifestyle change wasn’t for the weak. I was born ready.
We arrived on this small island I would call home for the next 3 years of our lives. A baby on the way, a small child starting her education years, and a husband who was going to be working 18 hours a day. I’ve never been more scared or excited in my life to finally have my time to shine as the wife and mother who could do anything.
I just needed back up.
A lot of it. I decided to volunteer to head the families of my husband’s company. I made friends that I knew I could lean on, as we were all going through this experience together. I made it a sisterhood. I encouraged as many of the wives to get involved. (Anywhere else my husband would have frowned upon it), but here, in this place, it’s ride or die. We all needed each other just as much as we needed air to breathe
A sisterhood was born.
It was fabulous. We made food for our men as much and as often as we could, we leaned on each other for support, we ugly cried that we were so lonely with our husbands away at work and supported each other’s drinking habits on the weekends. I’ve never loved so many women in my life! I truly had it all.
But it didn’t last, and our empire fell.
Not because of any of us, no, because of newcomers who weren’t willing to understand our ways of life and what we needed to continue to carry each other through this duty station. Our opinions and protocols no longer mattered. Fingers were pointed in all directions. Then the hammer dropped. The head of the families was about to make an example. That example was me.
I had never been so depressed in my life. Day in and day out the now Boss of the families was tearing through everything we had built to support new families coming in and our personal friendships. I cried for days, weeks, and eventually it turned into months. I quit my volunteer job as it was starting to affect my everyday life and my husband’s job. I couldn’t do that to him, to myself. I mourned the loss of my entire island family, I feared what they would think, of what they would hear through the grapevine. Had I left them behind? I had no choice, except be publicly excused from my position. I had already been humiliated enough.
I kept my head down and stayed away as I heard the rumors of what happened and what people thought of me. But I couldn’t fight against them, I knew it would be a losing battle. And I had given up so much already, I had already lost so much of myself. I couldn’t bare to get into the ring with them. I had done what I could and lost.
Then it was time to take down my husband.
You know, the one with a very opinionated wife, the wife who always told the truth no matter what anyone felt about it, the one who would go head to head with the “Big Boss” to protect the families. Yeah, it was time to put me in my place and the only way to do that was to put my husband in his. So, they did. Oh, did they ever.
Even 12 months later, I still hear how my husband will never work for that section again. I hear how the “horrible” things my husband “supposedly’ said, I hear my name swirling through the gossip fields, family side and green side alike. The thing is when you want to make a mountain out of a molehill, someone must pay for that mountain, and it was us. I’ve never been more nervous to be myself or even introduce myself. Even just recently I introduced myself and the other party even commented on my name and then I assured them, they clearly are mistaken on what really took place. 12 months later and I am still on the worst ride of my life. I’m still getting one hell of beat down for people neither of us work for or volunteer for. I’m happy with where my husband is at now, but the humiliation, the hurt, the lies, the defeat, the sadness, the feeling of being alone… yeah, it’s still there. It still lingers.
All I have to say, is damn, those chevrons must be heavy.
Now SCREEEEAM. It’s the island life for me.