One Reason I Love Being A Mil Spouse

I’ve noticed this occasionally for the past few months but never got around to writing anything about it.  Mil spouses are so nice and helpful!  Like, go the extra mile, I’ve never met you before, be my temporary best bud kind of helpful.  Honestly, I love that about the military community, and I love that despite all the horrible side effects of being a mil spouse (way less organized, often scatter brained/grumpy/weepy…), the Army changed me to be that kind of person too.

This woman has been coming into the library for the last few days.  I’ll call her Rose.  We chat a bit as I help her make a library card and check out her materials.  Today she started talking about her husband is in training and she’s a brand spankin’ new mil wife of only a month.  Obviously she’s new to the area and the Army and having a hubby and saying goodbye to her hubby.  I immediately felt for her.  I told her to come into the library all the time to chat if she needs to, and I’m seriously considering hooking up with her outside of the library for a lunch date.  I know she must be feeling so alone and lost in this new life she just acquired.  I could visibly see the relief on her face when I said I felt and did the same things she was.  I am in no way a pro at this life yet, and other women are still taking me under their wing because I’m far from being settled in.  I just couldn’t not help her.  I don’t know a whole lot about her, but she needs a friend.  Nobody knows this life like we do.  Nobody is going to help like we can.  You can go to all the therapy meetings in the world, but unless they’ve done this too, it’s not the same.

Look at me, people!  I’m doing it!!  Two summers ago, I was afraid to leave my house alone.  I didn’t drive and literally had panic attacks if I had to leave my house other to walk to work.  This crazy Army life is helping me connect with people and reach out and initiate relationships all on my own.  I actually called a wife from DH’s unit back today that I’d never met and we talked for 20 minutes about stuff and made plans to meet up in July.  And only had a tiny, tiny moment where I didn’t want to.  I feel like I’m Michael Jordan, and I’ve just made my millionth slam dunk.  I am amazing and capable of great things.  I love that this military life has helped developed this part of me.  I love that I can be helpful and caring and friendly to my fellow mil spouses when I want to and am not hindered by my mental illness.

One thing I don’t care for though, and I see this happen just about every time one of us opens our mouths, is this wierd competition between us.  It’s as though no PSC was horrible enough, no deployment numerous enough, no TriCare experience frustrating enough as the one we had.  We have this wierd need to top every sad story with one that’s more horrific.  And we say it almost with a note of pride in our voices.  Why?  Why are we celebrating every bad experience.  Yes, we overcome a lot in this lifestyle.  We should be proud of how strong, resilient, and adaptable we are.  But does that have to be expressed by topping and subsequently belittling the experiences of our fellow mil spouses?  Can’t we say, “I know it’s rough.  I’ve been through it too, and it doesn’t get any easier” instead of “Yeah, we’ll I’ve done four deployments with no R&Rs, delivering twins alone, while driving cross-country with a puking dog and the chicken pox.  Your predicament is nothing  compared to that”?  What does that gain us?  I know we’re all guilty of this, and it’s especially prevalent in the bloggity world.  I’ve been trying to catch myself when I leave comments.  Personally, I don’t want my newly acquired friendly awesomeness to be tainted by making newbies feel like they aren’t true mil spouse until they can PSC backwards in a snowstorm while juggling their fine china and taking their kids to soccer practice.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Wiley
    Jun 17, 2010 @ 08:15:11

    That’s so awesome that you are reaching out to this new milspouse. I am sure she is really appreciative – and you are carrying on a great tradition.

    But it would have been more impressive if you had done so while rescuing her from a zombie attack in the middle of a meteor strike while suffering from a stroke like I did 😉
    I don’t get the one-upmanship, either. Though I think part of the pride is that we do go through some pretty bad times and survive them – it’s like our stories are our own PCS/Deployment/etc campaign ribbons.


    • solwindchime
      Jun 18, 2010 @ 19:22:09

      Zombie attacks! I always forget that one!!

      I like the analogy to campaign ribbons though. We should totally rock those. Can you imagine going to the ball in your formal dress with a chest full of leaky roof, flat tire, and zombie attack ribbons? It would be awesome.


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