Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Walk a mile in my shoes

As human beings we are all guilty of judging others, sometimes even if we don't intend to. This deployment has been really hard for me at times, a lot harder than the first one was and recently I've realized it has made me a little jaded. Last year I was still living in California and was able to see my family quite often, I had the support of my best friends back home, and I also had the comfort that comes along with the familiarity of being at home. It was also a lot shorter deployment than this one has turned out to be.

This year my husband was deployed three months ahead of schedule and we were only given two weeks notice. We we're in the middle of preparing to move out of military housing and into an apartment so we could save money, when we learned my husband was scheduled to deploy three days before our moving date. When I found out I was a complete wreck, to say the least. I was frustrated, angry, hurt and mostly scared. Scared of being alone, scared of letting him go again, scared of what another year long separation would do to our marriage...the list goes on and on. But no matter how scared I was, I couldn't stop that day from coming. We kissed goodbye for the last time until who knows when, and tears streamed down my face as I watched him drive away in the duty van.

Once again I was alone, but this time it felt so much more real. This time I was actually all alone. I came home to an empty house, no family or friends to distract me or comfort me and all I could do was cry. I felt like half my heart had been ripped right out of my chest. But there was nothing I could do to bring him home any sooner, so I had no choice but to stop crying and live my life. I had to force myself to get out of bed everyday and to do the simplest things like finish unpacking the house or doing the laundry. The first month was awful and I felt like I was walking around like a love starved zombie...my husband being gone consumed my thoughts and emotions.

Now it has been nearly three months since he left and we still have no homecoming date information which makes it hard mentally to cope with him being gone, because in reality I have no idea when he will actually be home again. Last time I counted months, weeks, and as it got closer, even the days until my husband was to return. It made it easier knowing when we would be seeing each other again. We don't have that luxury this time around. Although I am still functioning and getting by, it hasn't been easy. I've avoided blogging for the past month because of all the hardships I am going through in my personal life and simply for the fact that I don't want my blog to become a pity party for myself. I know no one wants to read about how miserable I am every day, so I figured that some things are better left unsaid.

Anyway, recently I had a very enlightening conversation with a friend of mine regarding missing our husbands. Her husband has been in the navy for awhile and has already served on three deployments before they were married. Now he is home more often and she has yet to endure a deployment, however her husband does leave frequently for a month or so at a time. While we were talking she expressed to me that she felt like missing someone for a month was the same thing as missing someone who's gone for a year. Of course, me being on the opposite end of the spectrum as a navy wife who has been through every step of my husband's navy career (all the way back from boot camp, to a-school and now our second deployment in two years), I feel very strongly that it's not the same thing.

Yes, I know we all miss our husbands when they leave for a few weeks or a month, but coming from someone who has endured both lengths of separation I would consider a deployment in a whole other category of missing someone. Its not even missing them really, for me it goes so much more beyond that. Its more like the worst heartache you've ever felt. Does that mean I didn't miss my husband when he left on underways for a few weeks? Of course not...I missed him everyday. But the way I feel now, knowing that we will be separated for nearly an entire year hurts so much more. I guess the length of time is the biggest factor for me, because this lifestyle and the experiences I've had as a result of it have changed me as a person.

Maybe my heart is just hard...or maybe I have just come to realize that in the grand scheme of things a month really isn't all that long. If you had asked me if I could be away from my husband for a month a few years ago I would have, thought there was no way in hell. But now that I have gone through so much of my married life alone it really doesn't seem like that big of a deal. I know we are all allowed to have our opinions and to miss our husbands. I am not discrediting that in any way, I am just simply sharing my view on the matter. To me if my husband only had to be gone for a month I would be thanking my lucky stars! I don't think I have it the worst out there, because believe me...no matter how bad you think you have it there is always someone who has it worse. I just think we should be thankful for the blessings we do have and for the time we all have with our husbands, whether it be long or short.

That being said, even though I may not agree with her I can still see her side of the issue and respect her opinion. Although she hasn't been through exactly what I have, she has still endured her fair share of heartache. I guess I just needed to realize that we all go through hardships in our lives, but that every person handles them differently. To one person, kissing their hubby goodbye for a month may seem like the end of the world, where as to someone else it may not be that big of a deal. But no matter how we deal with being away from our loved ones, we all have to go through it sometime or another and to be honest it is never easy. I guess I just needed to be reminded of that...you never really know what someone is going through until you walk a mile in their shoes.



  1. i hope that you get a homecoming date soon! and you seem to be a pretty strong lady. :]

  2. Hi, I wish for a speedy and safe deployment for you both. I can't imagine what it is like to be apart for a year, we did 6 months and that was bad enough! I miss my husband every single time he goes away, be it a week, 2 weeks or a month but I in no way would consider it the same thing as a deployment. Because I have been there I know there is a difference. There is the worrying aspect of it as well. Stay strong, I will count down for you...