12.31.2008

The Rambling Thoughts Of A Woman Going Crazy...

I asked Carl yesterday if he could see himself at home... if he could see himself here, and his answer was "No."

I was glad he said that because I have been nervous about the fact that I cannot see him here either. I don't know if it is because he has been gone for five months, or because I know we have another seven months of separation ahead of us after this R&R, but I have been unable to close my eyes and see my husband sleeping in our bed, or eating breakfast at the kitchen table, or laughing with me or even sitting in front of me having a face to face conversation that lasts longer than 15 minutes.

Isn't that crazy?

There is nothing more I want than to have my husband here, so why is it so hard to let my heart and mind picture him here with me?

Some days I wonder if we'll survive this year... meaning, I fear that when he does come home for good we will be different. Will we be each other's best friend again? Will he want to always be with me and love only me?

The mind is a horrible enemy for the wife of a deployed husband.

How easily he has slipped from being someone I can reach out and touch to someone that I only get to talk to for minutes a day and when something happens in our lives here he may not ever even know about it. Just the other day he asked if the back window had ever been fixed. I had it fixed weeks ago but never remembered to tell him when we talked.

I try and email him everything that is happening, but so much happens and emails are so tedious that somewhere along the line our messages to each other went from lengthy love letters to quick one-liners about the day and whether or not the oil in the van was changed.

Not a moment goes by that he is not in my thoughts, but is that enough? He remarks that I do not write him enough or send enough pictures and I know that is only because he is there... away from us, but there are times when I want to say "What about me?"

How selfish is that... What about me? Five months ago I had a husband at home and I felt secure in everything we did. Today I am without him and I have had to do it all... his jobs and my jobs. But look at what he has to do. How can I ever be so selfish as to complain about my situation over his. That is hard because I really like to complain sometimes-I am a woman, I can't help it.

But if I say this is unfair, I am not being supportive.

I just want to close my eyes and see him here. I just want to go to sleep at night thinking that he is with me.

I am not going to want him to leave after this R&R and that is what is worrying me the most. How am I supposed to say good-bye again? No wife should ever have to do this. All I will have is 2 weeks to get me through the next 7 months... to get him through the next 7 months. I believe that his sanity relies a lot on me and how I handle things. If I go crazy, he will feel helpless so far away from me, and that is not good.

After 15 years of marriage I am nervous about seeing my husband.

If I am being completely honest, I would admit that my stomach clenches at that thought of having him so close to being here, and what if something happens between now and then? Is that why I can't picture him here with me? Because I am so frightened that life will throw us a curve ball that I won't be able to handle? These are thoughts that I push far from my mind and never dwell upon. 5 months is nothing in comparison to a lifetime without him... and I can't even talk about that right now.

I wish he was already here so that I did not have to worry about so many things right now. I remember the day that he left I thought that I would never feel such heartache, but having him almost here... almost with me... the thought of him being just days away from me, is proving to be the hardest yet.







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24 comments:

The Whitsitt Family said...

Wow, this is such a sweet honest post of a woman with a hubsnd deployed. Everything you wrote is so true. It is so hard to picture them jumping back into he swing of things. My stomach was always in knots wanting everyhing to be perfect for my husband. Even though in the end none of that stuff really mattered. Seems like it would be hard to not over think every minute of his short RR. I can't imagine sending him off again. My husband is deployed to Iraq right now. This is his third tour, and honestly it hasn't been any easier. I hope you can take the time to relax and not worry, and enjoy the time he is in the states.

Shannon said...

Although I don't have a deployed husband, I share some of the same feelings with you. The feelings of not knowing and the feelings of wondering what the future will hold. You're right - the imagination/mind of a woman (every woman) is such a crazy thing. I think we just need to step back and take it one day at a time. You'll be nervous up to the very minute you see him - and then you'll be nervous some while he's here.. I can't imagine not being able to see my husband every single day - my heart aches for you.

(Keri) Auburn Gal Always said...

oh, crap. All this deployment stuff just plain sucks.

Your honesty and deep love for Carl is inspiring and touching.

Kick fear and anxiety out on their asses. Embrace the R&R time in the same way your kids will - full-on bear hugs.

Everytime I start my own pity party over The Mighty Hunter's job taking him away a few days at a time, I think of you and I get "straightened out." You inspire me and encourage me.

Aimee said...

Very honest post, Cris. It's good to get all this out of your head.

I've been in your shoes, and I have definitely felt nervous about seeing my husband after he was gone for 6 mos. (he was home for 1 week and then had to go back for another 6)

I've also had trouble imagining what it would be like to have him home again, and I think it's a mental defense mechanism. While you are happy that he will be home, you know it's only temporary and your brain is trying to protect you from the incredibly hard task of letting him go again.

I know that all sounds like psych mumbo-jumbo, but I think it's very similar to all of the fighting we did right before he left. Mentally, I was trying to prepare myself to separate from him. Totally crappy.

During his deployment, we had tons of conversations where we realized that one of us forgot to tell the other something that happened weeks ago. It's normal when you don't have regular communication, but it still stinks. And I am not proud to say that I handled it less than graciously. You aren't alone.

You will be different when he comes back - there's nothing you can do to help that - but you still love him and that's what's most important.

Pour love on him (and not just THAT kind ;)) and try not to think about him leaving again (it will be HARD).

I'll pray that your reunion is a wonderful one.

PS: When he comes home for good, you will amazed at how quickly you slip back into the old routine. Seriously, I cannot believe it myself.

Cheryl said...

{{Hugs}} I think that is somehow normal. A co worker had the same thoughts when her dh had R&R and then went back. I think that it helps to think and write it out.

Kasia said...

I wish there were something I could do for you to make it easier. :-( I don't know what it's like to have a husband deployed, but I know what it's like to not be able to see your beloved, and to obsess over whether the tiniest hint of a change in tone "means something". And that, even without all the extra "stuff" that deployment adds on, is not easy.

All I can say is that I think Shannon's right - take it one day at a time, and sometimes even less. Take it an hour or a minute at a time if that's all you can handle.

I understand why it feels selfish to say "what about ME", especially when you consider what his job is on top of him being away from his family, but that doesn't make your position less difficult. (I'm talking less about having to do "his jobs" and more about having to live on the other side of the world from him.) Complain to us, by all means. No one here is going to fault you for being honest that this is hard!!!

Many hugs from Detroit,
Kasia

Marva said...

All great advice from everyone. I don't think I'm able to add anything particularly valuable here, but rather just want to tell you that everything you're feeling is NORMAL. I've found the dread of any situation is usually worse than whatever the situation brings. While you look forward to having your husband home with you, you dread the POSSIBILITY of things being different, and you dread the goodbye that inevitably happens when he leaves again. And it's okay to be selfish occasionally. This is a hard time for you and venting about it is actually pretty healthy. You're right... it's not the way it's supposed to be. Wish we could be sipping sangria together... instead I'm sending a cyber hug. It's gonna be okay. I know about these things. :)

Feliz Ano Nuevo!
Marva

David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 12/31/2008 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

Out on a Limb said...

I don't have any advice, but just wanted to offer a (((HUG))). That was a beautiful post.

Michelle said...

{{{hugs}}}

It's going to be alright.

Kelly said...

Hello, first time commenting here. I don't usually comment, but I wanted to tell you I will be praying for you. God bless you and Carl.

Anonymous said...

Cris,
Take some advice from Faith Hill.
"Breathe, just breathe!"
Love,
Aunt Barbara

Pokey said...

Cris, coming from the other side of the deployment is just as difficult. I can't picture myself just sliding right in where we left off after 6 months of separation. I'm afraid the kids have become so used to the freedom dad allowed that I won't be welcome. And the Hobbit has probably enjoyed every minute of not having my nagging butt around (it's not like the kids are going to say anything about spending too much time on the computer). But I also know that I don't want to endure the pain of separation any longer so I have to face my fears. I pray you and Carl will have a joyful reunion that will sustain you for the next 7 months. And as you well know, God will see you through all the troubles. God bless you all. Can't wait to read about how it goes.
Happy New Year from Pakistan!
Debbie

TRO said...

Happy New Year.

Oh, and those are ALL normal thoughts. You will do fine, babe.

Hope said...

Cris,
I've read your post several times.
More than likely I will read it again a few more times.

Selfishly, I read it and try to glean something for myself in that in a few weeks I'll be in the Sandbox myself.

Tony and I haven't talked much about my leaving. I have a better sense of what to expect working with the folks I work with in milsupport than my husband does. Throw in him being naturally quiet and my (I realize just now)avoiding some aspects of being away and your post reminds me I'm compartmentalizing. A LOT. I mean A LOT in terms of what this year will bring.Thanks for making me think a bit more about the implications.

I'm proud of you posting what you did.

Sorry for the novel length comment.
best, Hope

Anonymous said...

Funny how when we feel so weak, we are actually so strong.
I have never been able to figure it out, but in my 63yrs. I have found it to be true.
You are an amazing women!
Enjoy Carl's visit!

Love,
Aunt Barbara

Floyd R. Turbo said...

June,

I'll keep y'all in my prayers. Your thoughts and fears seem normal -- though your fear is understandable.

Oh and btw... if your "in progress" book is as well written as that post -- you will have no problems getting that published -- beautiful and vulnerable....

Jessi said...

I have always enjoyed your posts because of the fact that you never know what will be going on. That your life is like a better version of mine with more fun and sarcasm (I love sarcasm, it's like my lifeline) and then I read posts like this one and it just reminds me why I like to stop by here every so often. You're a real person dealing with the same feeling as all women feel. Granted, you have more just cause than I but it does put my life into perspective a little. My DH works late a lot but at least he is within reach when I go to bed. You're a very strong woman with such true love for your husband. Even though I'm married I'm not sure that I have or recieve that. I want to and so in some ways I guess I like to read that true love does exist somewhere.
Enjoy each day he's home with just that day in mind. Let him know you love him and that you'll be there when he gets back. That will help him more than anything.

june cleaver said...

Jessi... it takes a long time to get to true love. A lot of hiccups and hangups along the way.

Don't ever give up. It is all worth it.

Jessi said...

Thanks, that's good advice. They always say that anything worthwhile takes effort. Just sometimes you need a little reminder I guess. We all have ruts and I am in one of those ruts that's caused by like, I don't know, a log truck in fresh mud....deep.
But I'm working on it and waiting on the sun to come out. Tomorrow right? The sun will always come out tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Don't be hard on yourself. I don't know if I could handle your situation with the strength and good humor you show. Thank you to you and your family for the sacrifices you are all making for the benefit of everyone in this country.

june cleaver said...

Hope... you be careful out there! I'll add you to the prayer list

-June

Stupid Fat Hobbit said...

Over the Christmas break my parents got me watching 'Boston Legal'. They love it probably because it's a very sexy show but I decided to watch all I could because I love watching how James Spader handles his character. They had the first two seasons on DVD and a bunch of other episodes on the DVR. Bear with me, I have an analogy coming...
In the show, it is constantly being brought up that dissent, anti-war attitudes, and public protests are all part of being an American. What you say in this post is no different. It's hard to reconcile our emotional and psychological pain when we think about our spouses physical danger. That doesn't make our pain any less real but unfortunately adds guilt to our list. The fact that your emotions are all wound up like an 8-day clock simply shows that you are in touch with your emotions and you have a great understanding of them. They are not wrong, bad, or evil because they are just emotions. The hard part is to not act upon those emotions because Carl is probably not feeling the exact same ones. One thing I've noticed from your blogs is that you and Carl talk a good bit. Once you put your clothes back on, you'll be able to discuss the past 5 months and prepare yourself for the next 7. Feces Occurs but in 7 months you'll have your true love back for good and though you may have grown a little differently over the year, you won't have grown apart. God bless you both.

Jessica said...

Let me first tell you, that my heart aches for you. Always know that no matter what you are feeling or thinking it’s not wrong. You are the wife of a deployed soldier and you have the right to feel what you want to feel. You have the hardest job of any woman on this planet and I truly mean that. We should not only be praising them and having bumper stickers that say, “Support the Troops”, we need ones that say, “Support Our Troops Wives”. You are here day in and day out ensuring they have a home to come home to and doing their jobs and husbands and daddies.
Getting butterflies and feeling your stomach clench is normal. I would have the greatest fear ever if I was in your shoes. It would be almost easier to have him just stay gone since you are living that everyday anyway as to have him home for a short 2 weeks just to rip your heart out again. If it were me, I would want to kidnap him and never let him go. Don’t get down on yourself for your feelings, we are women and that’s how we were made.
SELFISH, not in the least, you are the woman behind the soldier. He is defending freedom and you are defending him. The selfish ones are the ones that don’t allow their husbands to leave, but you didn’t, you let him go, physically and emotionally. You deserve a Medal of Selflessness.
On a closing note, don’t ever feel that anything that you feel is wrong. And when your husband comes home, tell him you love him, support him, and how you feel. He is an American Soldier, he handles violence, loneliness, and maybe sometimes starvation and he can handle your feelings.