Awkward Conversation

When a man and woman love each other…

Once a month a woman’s body releases an egg…

Sometimes a big stork will fly over a man and woman’s house…

When a man comes home from deployment and makes a lot of hasty decisions in the heat of the moment…

Yep, this Fertile Myrtle got knocked up with a true deployment baby.  How very Army of me.  We’re still in the shocked, staring at each other in horror phase.  If this isn’t a wrench into reintegration then I don’t know what is.

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Back To Normal

I finally have time to sit down and write, and I’ve wanted to ever since DH got home, but now that I’m here I don’t quite know where to start.  So much and yet so little has happened…

The homecoming was wonderful.  It was the longest day ever–mostly due to a big ol’ FRG FAIL.  But really, why should they start to be helpful right at the end anyway?  I took four or five days off and enjoyed doing nothing in the same house as him again.

I’m still slugging through doctor’s appointments.  More tests…More names thrown around…No closer to an answer.  It seems like all anyone can agree on is that this problem isn’t going  anywhere anytime soon.

We bought a new car.  It’s an oh-so-sexy Dodge Charger, and I’m totally in love.  It’s blue.  It’s fast.  We still have the unreliable POS.  I tried to get rid of it.  I kicked and screamed, but it’s still in the driveway.  Clearly DH doesn’t support euthenasia.

We’ve been spending a lot of time just being together.  We run a lot of pointless errands or go out to eat or go to the gym.  I feel like I’ve been so busy.  I can’t seem to keep up with dishes which  multiply so much faster with him around, and there are dirty socks EVERYWHERE.  I did get two batches of pear butter made with all those pears I picked, and now my kitchen is sticky in ways that just aren’t natural at all.  I can’t seem to catch my favorite tv programs at all, and I keep promising myself I’ll sit down and catch up on the computer, but that isn’t happening either.  Husbands are obviously time suckers, but I don’t know how.  He’s pretty attached to his XBox, and as far as I know, that machine doesn’t require my involvement.

The weather has finally broken and it is starting to feel like fall might actually happen this year.  I’m dying to get out and enjoy it.  I planted a bright yellow mum in a pot in my front yard this morning, and it felt so good to be outside and doing something for me again.  When did free time become ironing and vacuuming time?

It’s been about two weeks, and I’m just starting to feel it.  I love having him home to talk to.  He’s adorable.  We laugh so much.  I’m eating real meals around the table again.  We’re normal.  I’m borderline sick of this normal though.  I miss my books and cross stitch and sewing machine.  I love crawling in bed with him each night, but I miss a bedtime that’s dictated by when I’m tired and not by a set time on the clock.  I’m sensing some growing pains in the near future, and maybe I’ll save the rest of my thoughts for another post on those.  For now I’d rather hold on to the post-homecoming glow.

First Day Back

 

I got up 45 minutes early this morning to make him eggs and toast before his first day back at work.  Guess which stage I’m in?

Countdown

There’s not much time left, so I’ve been busy, scarce, preoccupied… This has to be the most difficult time of the whole deployment. I’ve been wanting to write, and have sat down several times to do so, but it’s so difficult to put this transition period into words.

Honestly, I feel hurt. I feel damaged and bruised. I did an awesome job here by myself. I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging, but I’m proud of myself. I wasn’t a snotty, babbling mess. I have a more social, fulfilling life now than I have ever had. I am happy. But at what cost? I struggled to learn how to ask for help. I had been rejected and let down so many times that I grew a very think shell. I finally got to a point where I believed that there are people out there who care and will help if I ask. Then DH leaves and I’m back to being self-reliant. True, it’s a bit different, but he could not and was not there emotionally for me. I don’t blame him even the tiniest bit, but the fact is, I had to re-grow some of that shell to get through these months. I don’t know how thick it got. I wonder how hard it is going to be to break that down again. I have such an absolute personality. It’s either/or with me. It’s everything or nothing. I either have a shell or I don’t. I wonder whether I know how to take out a pre-fab shell when I need it and when to put it away.

I completely underestimated how much this deployment was going to stress my marriage. I have a great marriage. We complement each other amazingly well. We have a ton of fun together. We trust each other 100%. We’ve done a lot of long distance in our relationship, so I guess I assumed it would just be another one. We’ve gotten good at being apart, as sad as that is. Deployments are way different though. Don’t ever underestimate their power to screw up every aspect of life all to heck. All I can compare it to is the biggest, nastiest fight you could ever have with your spouse. That feeling after the fight where you want to wrap yourself up in that person and heal your relationship, that hurt you feel when someone you loves hurts you, and those quiet healing moments you crave to fix the cracks that appeared while you were arguing—that’s that this feels like…only on crack. It hurts your heart in that unique way. The only problem is there was no fight. There isn’t a resolution with one person being wrong and saying they’re sorry. How do I heal from a fight that didn’t happen?

This makes me sound so unhappy when I’m really not. I’m so incredibly in love. I’m happy to the point of exploding because it can’t come out fast enough. I don’t hear people talk about the other feelings though. Those are the feelings that I’m not used to and don’t know what to do with. This is such a weird process. It’s the most emotionally intense thing I’ve ever done, and I really thought getting through suicide and self mutilation took a lot out of me.

My Mind Is Working Like This Today

It’s very, very close, and we’re both starting to feel weird about it.  I’ve sat down several times wanting to write something to sort out the jumble inside, but it’s not going well.  I’m going to us this as my jumping off point for later.

Happiness.  Bliss.  Giddiness.  The romantic silliness starts before he even gets home.  Life is filled with daydreams and giggles.  Excitement in its purest form.

Disbelief and maybe even denial.  It can’t be happening already.  It was never going to end.  A refusal to believe that life could be getting so much better instantly because if you believe it and it doesn’t happen, you might not make it another day.

Fear.  Worry.  Apprehension.  You’ve both changed so much.  What will he need?  Will you know how to help him?

Plans, plans, and more plans.  Make them.  Scrap them.  Make new ones.  Do a ton of research and then change your mind not because of money or time but because you’d rather do nothing.  Because it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you’re together.

Cry a lot.  Cry because your neighbor decorated her fence and you have to see it every time you go outside.  Cry because it’s almost here.  Cry because you still have to wait.  Cry because you can’t move time faster.

Think bad thoughts about every person who gets their soldier back sooner.

More pride than you ever thought possible for your soldier, for all soldiers, for yourself for being apart of this incredible community.

Love and hate this process simultaneously.

Did I Hear You Correctly?

Oh, my sweet man.  I thank you for worrying.  It’s adorable.  But this woman is hard as nails.

Red and I are planning a girl’s weekend away for her birthday that’s coming up.  We don’t live near each other at all, and we want to make sure and see each other regularly.  Her birthday is just a convenient excuse.  We want to meet up in a big city, see a concert, do some shopping, and then come home.  It’s going to be quick trip, but I think we’ll have plenty of time to recharge our batteries.

It happens to fall shortly after DH gets home though.  The last time we talked on the phone I brought it up because I think he’d have a valid reason if he wanted to spend time mano e womano.  Red totally understood, and we were going to wait to book anything until after I cleared it with DH.

He wasn’t upset that I was leaving exactly.  But he did have reservations and concerns that I was going off to a city by myself.  You know…I could get taken advantage of and all.

After living alone all these months in a strange city I’d just moved to– After having the car break down multiple times and dealing with mechanics–  After getting a job, meeting people, and making friends he’s never met–  After dealing with a broken air conditioner and a flooded basement–  After planning, traveling, and attending my graduation thousands of miles away–  this quick trip to a city I’ve been to before with my best friend in the whole world is worrisome.

It must have been a bad connection.  Static on the line perhaps.  I just know he did not assume I couldn’t do this one vacation.  He’s going to be meeting a whole new rock solid woman when he comes home if he thinks he needs to worry about this.

Feelings Of Loss When I’ve Gained Everything

I truly, honestly believed the adjustments associated with reintegration would start once DH got home.  And I was very focused on him adjusting to regular life again.  I have been at home plodding along as usual.  What would I have to worry about besides scooting over to my half of the bed and squeezing another towel onto the rack in the bathroom?  Maybe that’s why I have been feeling so confused lately.

All I’ve been hearing lately is “Aren’t you getting excited?”  Honestly, not yet, and I’ve been feeling like a freak for it.  All my other mil spouses have understood every single feeling I’ve had about this deployment except this one.  So if these awesome women don’t get it, there’s got to be something wrong.

I’ve been extremely reluctant to talk to DH about it.  He absolutely cannot give me the time and undivided attention I know I need to talk about it.  I don’t want to burden him either.  I don’t want to bring up anything that takes the focus away from his job.

I made an appointment with my post’s military family life counselor the other day.  I just couldn’t shake this feeling that when DH gets home I’m going to lose every shred of independence I feel I’ve gained while he’s been gone.  I’ve been so afraid of saying something to him for fear that he’s going to look at it as me not wanting him home.  I also don’t know how to explain not wanting to go back to the status quo to someone who’s been dreaming of returning to that environment for months.

The counselor was nice.  I knew him from the library, so it was a casual meeting.  He suggested looking at how my new sense of independence would help our life together rather than how its going to screw it up.  It sounds easy, but sometimes I need someone else to remind me of that.

Can I say enough about how much I love military family life counselors?  They get the military, soldiers, mil spouses, deployments, and all that “wonderful” stuff associated with being apart of this lifestyle.  And they’re free.  TriCare covers therapy of all kinds, but sometimes you don’t want to go through the referral process for just a meeting or two.  On top of it, you might get a civilian therapist who, as talented as they are, can’t relate to military life.  My counselor, Tom, was so nice and he made me feel better.  I didn’t need a weekly meeting for the next six months.  I just needed someone to tell me I wasn’t crazy.  All posts should have MFL counselors, but Military One Source has tons of information about all sorts of things, but their counseling options are great too.  It can connect you with information or a local counselor, but especially if you’re a Guard family and might not be near an installation, the site has online and telephone counseling.

I’m shaken but still standing.  I will beat this deployment…with help.

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