Deployment, that single word feels like a knife being plunged repeatedly into my heart. I get a nauseous feeling in the pit of my stomach and I just want to lay down and cry until it's over. I fight against my will to go lay down on my bed and commence my travels into the future via my queen sized time machine. "No," I tell myself, "be strong, it's one day closer to him coming home." Several people have told me to start a countdown and just mark it off everyday! All "counting down" does is make me want to throw things! I'm the kind of person that will keep looking at my clock and counting down to the next time I can draw a big, bold line across that stupid little box. That, or I'll go ahead and mark off a week and be like," OK.... on Friday we've only got 122 days left. Let's see 122 divided by 7 is what? 17 1/2 weeks left, OK, I can do that." Then I find myself struggling to survive. I start praying for the weekend and pretty much crawling with my head dragging the ground just to reach the end of that first day. Needless to say, it doesn't get any better from there. I push and shove my way through all the crap that seems to constantly be falling into my path, all for the chance to be able to draw 7 more measly lines on that stupid, STUPID calendar. I can not tell you how many times in that one little week I will hear "Don't worry, the time will fly by. He'll be home before you know it." My absolute favorite comment has to be, "At least he's not being shot at. It could be worse. He could be in Iraq or Afghanistan". After a while it gets really hard to smile back. Usually all I can muster up to say is, "So they tell me." My mind becomes a ginormous screen that plays alternate versions of me beating the crap out of them with my Coach purse. Of course I could never do that. How could I risk messing up that beautiful purse. My husband bought me that purse to celebrate Christmas early before his deployment. Still, that image seems to help relieve my stress. "I've got your fly by! You'll wish you were in Iraq!" Usually the people that have the nerve to say that are civilian and I don't believe they really understand just what the submarine force does, must less how it feels to hear that response. The only thing worse than having the deployment inexperienced tell you time will fly by is having a wife from another service start comparing your husband to theirs. The service rivals have been going on for years. You can tell the maturity and mental capacity of the woman who pursues this argument. Sure, the likelihood of my husband being shot at is very slim, BUT his job is comparably dangerous and just as important. .It doesn't matter what service your husband is in, we all have our hardships and we all hate deployments. I think we can all agree that when we are feeling down and pissed off that our husbands are so far away we don't need someone to tell us it will go by soon. We shouldn't have to listen to someone compare our husbands, all we need is someone to say, "Dang, that really sucks." We don't want an apology, we don't need one. We're proud that our husbands are serving our country, we just need to feel that someone out there understands and appreciates what we are going through. Deployments are hard and at times it feels like we are alone in our feelings of devastation, loneliness, and heartbreak. Somehow hearing those simple words of understanding and appreciation seems to help us to cope with that disappointment and move on.
I have three children. My oldest is 3 and my youngest is 9 months. I also have two Great Danes, Daphany and Dane. When my husband is gone, I, just like every other military wife, get all the responsibilities of the household. Just as soon as my husband gets on that boat and sails away into that beautiful, heart wrenching sea everything starts going wrong. A friend once told me, "Everything seems bigger now because he's gone." This is so true, things happen all the time, but we don't notice them as much because our big, strong man is there to help us. Just as soon as our protector has left us unprotected the assailants start attacking. I'll be honest with you, for the first couple of weeks he's gone I'm angry. I am furious because I feel like he chose to leave and he didn't want to be there with me. How could he do that? How could he willingly walk onto that boat and leave us without putting up some sort of fight. He puts up more of a fight when it comes to doing things around the house then he does about leaving for 6 months. That must mean he doesn't love me right? In my heart I know that’s not true. I know that really there isn't anything he can do. That is his job and I know I must support him. It might be easier for me if I didn't see the excitement radiating from his deep blue eyes. It's like his little mistress and I can feel the resentment burning a whole into my core. It takes me a while to get over that feeling, but eventually I do. I love him and I really do want him to be happy. No matter how much I would like to think he is completely devastated and crying himself to sleep every night, I know it’s better that he’s not. After all, I’m a better crier than him anyways.
One thing I do to try to get myself motivated and not thinking about him being gone is set goals. Now, for a lot of wives this might be a good thing, but not for me. I set these goals and I get all excited about them. I think, for me, the worst one is lose weight. If I was smart I would have already figured out that I should just forget about that goal and try another one, but I never do. I always go right back to that same destructive goal. I'm good for the first couple of weeks. I workout, eat healthy and start feeling good and then something happens. Some big crisis happens and I splurge. I go ape crazy with deserts and ruin a complete months worth of work. I get depressed and lose focus. "Why did I eat that whole pie?" You would think I would have stopped with the pie, but for some reason I feel I need to eat the cookies, and all the chocolate chips in my pantry too. Then, once it's time for him to come home I feel like a failure because I have gained 10 IBS and he's got muscles all over his gorgeous body. I’ll be standing there on the pier when he walks up like he’s just gotten back from winning the Olympic Gold Medal. Mean while, I look and feel like I’ve flunked out of fat camp. Yay for Goals!
Wow, I know this must make me seem like the most negative person in the world, but I truly feel this way. I hate deployments! My husband is currently deployed and I guess that's what a few months of being a deployment-ee can do to you. Deployments truly make you change your life. For some reason I feel like I have to add things to my life. Not normal things either, I always seem to add the most stressful things possible to my already stressful life. For example: Just since my husband has been gone I moved our family across the United States and adopted Dane, our second Great Dane. He was 3 months old and neither house broken nor potty trained. I also had my gallbladder removed, and have once again started the “lose weight goal”. It’s inevitable, that’s me. I work best under pressure. Somehow, I don’t know how, I am surviving. With each breath I take it‘s getting closer to the time I can reach out and touch those Gold Medal muscles and not have to sleep with a bazillion pillows on my bed. I won’t obsess over whether or not I have an email yet and I won’t worry about losing my phone nearly as much. Life will be great because he will be here, at least until orders for the next deployment come around. For now, I will continue to enjoy my ice cold glass of sparkling cider and relax to the beautiful sound of Billie Holiday singing “I’ll be seeing you”. Dear Deployment, I hate you.