Waiting is referred to as being held captive. The article talks about being held captive by technology and forms of communication. The fear of missing phone calls and a sense of urgency associated with the role of a military wife. There are no real words that capture the feelings associated with what it is like to sit and wait. I as well as those who also have experience it only know the fear of missing a call. However, I was not only held captive by missing calls, it was much more than that. I found myself cable news channel surfing. I was held captive by Fox, CNN, and MSNBC news channels. I wanted to know what was happening. I would fall asleep at night and wake up when I heard that distinctive Fox news alert. This was routine everyday for nineteen months. When applied to the term captive, everything is placed in perspective.
Going it alone is a widespread term and is referring to a shared tasked with the family, all the roles and duties pertaining to the relationship (Lapp, C… 2010). It basically means that the other half is away on duty and therefore one is left to deal with everyday tasks alone. In simple terms, when I saw a spider I had to kill it! My husband was not within distance to hear my plea “Spider, help” because I had to overcome my fear and smash it myself. More specifically, paying bills, driving kids to school, laundry, home repairs, car repairs, etc.
Pulling double duty goes right along with the Going it alone, and many of the participants of the recent study cited the similarity of single parenting. However, many felt this situation such as described is much worse due to the stress associated. Making the point, there are no breaks. (Lapp, C… 2010). One important factor pointed out in this study is that this is single parenting taken to another level for some of the parents with teenagers. The teenagers knew the dangers associated with their parent overseas and that led to tough situations. The last stressor discussed is Loneliness and this really ties into all of the others referenced.
This is a very important stressor for discussion. In the article Stress and Coping on the Home Front: Guard and Reserve Spouses Searching for a New Normal, it talks about the feeling of almost being abandoned. There are many times, I have felt abandoned while my husband was gone to Iraq and since he has been home. These feelings are very difficult to discuss for myself and other wives. It is only a small minority who can even relate to this difficult situation. Many spouses who spoke in the article pointed out that even their husbands have no idea how difficult it is to hold down the fort while they were away, let alone now upon their return (Lapp, C… 2010). Many of us, are facing a new husband who is different and associated with many other challenges.
In closing, despite all of the difficulty associated with me being the wife of a soldier. I would not trade my life for anything. I turn to all the things I need in order to muddle through. But most of all, I find meaning in the life I am living. Each day is a new challenge and some more challenging than others. With that being said, if I go back to early days of my life and I am reminded of the teacher I had. Although our challenges are different, there are similarities and I feel that it was from her example that I learned many lessons. My hope is that through my discussion our voices will be heard. A realization will arise that we too are warriors in this fight and our roles are critical. My coffee mug reads “Army wife, toughest job in the military” that is a true statement. For many like myself that war continues and we have the boots on the ground winning the fight!