Posted by: 103rdtransferwife | June 5, 2010

I don’t think I can do this.

358 days until my wounds from this deployment can start to scar.

(I’m going to warn you right now, this will be a fairly narcissistic post.)

I know I don’t want to do this.

I hate the Army right now.

Freedom isn’t free.  I am very aware that there are many who have paid a higher price for our cherished freedoms, but right now, I’m feeling that the price that my family and I are paying is pretty damn high.

I think after this deployment is over I’m done paying the price.  Someone else’s turn. We will have done our time.

After going through Poppet’s high risk pregnancy and extended NICU stay, I’ve just always felt that I had it in me to go through a complicated pregnancy and NICU experience one more time in my life. It is just something I know; I can’t really explain it.

I don’t see me having it in me to do another deployment.  The emotional cost on me has been very, very high.  I know that if something were to happen to my husband, there will be no forgiving of myself as I consented to this path.

I am aching.  My heart is breaking.  I am incomplete without my husband.  Part of me wonders if this is what Voldemort felt like after he split his soul to make the Horocrux, (except Lord Voldemort is a psychopath meaning he has absolutely no concern for anyone else, and I am not a psychopath) because I feel like I’m living a half life. I feel very empty, like I’m just going through the motions, pretending to be doing ok. Fake it till I make it has become something I say to myself very often.

So what am I going to do with myself?  The other day at my mom’s I picked up a copy of the first Harry Potter and started reading.  I love those books.  They are so much more of a complex story than they appear on the surface.  I read the Harry Potter series from start to finish when I was on bed rest (I mean when else can you just lay around and read the then 6 published books?) .  So I’ve decided I am going to read Harry Potter again.  I love reading books over and over.  I couldn’t tell you how many times I have read the Laura Ingalls Wilder books or the Anne of Green Gables series.  I might re-read those too. Re-reading a loved book is like being wrapped in a warm blanket.  Comforting, calming, warming.

I am reading a chapter of scripture a day.  I need that connection with the Lord.  I keep finding verses which I swear were put there right when I needed to read them.  It is a tender mercy of the Lord when that happens.  Sometimes it is just a list of who begat whom, but there is a peace in reading those as well.

I am going to take a stained glass class.  I took one before I was pregnant with Poppet, and had to stop because I was pregnant.  Working with lead isn’t such a great idea when you’re pregnant. I very much enjoyed making pieces, and hey, you get to break glass.  Stained glass work is something where I have to focus my mind only on the task at hand, and I find it to be a very enjoyable thing to do.

I am also going to go see Sir Paul McCartney.  I am over the moon for that.

As for the rest? I don’t have the answers right now.

I went to see a very worldly movie with a friend today. We saw Sex and the City.  Her husband is on an extended assignment with his union.  It’s not the same as a deployment as she doesn’t have to worry about him being at war, but it is still very hard on her.  In the movie, the characters have a butler.  The butler only gets to go home and see his wife in India every 3 months if he can afford the airfare.  Carrie asked him if it was hard being apart that much, and he said some very wise words.  “Time doesn’t matter.  When we are together, it is wonderful.”  I’ve searched all over the internet looking for the exact quote with no luck. Those words moved me greatly, and they have become something for  me to hope for. From the times we’ve been apart before, the second we are together again, nothing has changed.   I pray that remains the case.  I dread losing the close connection we have.  Note, I did NOT say the pain of the separation melts away, it most certainly does not. These separations and the pain scar your soul.  The wound heals, but the scar will always remain.

Yes, the joy when he comes home is among the highest of the highs.  When he leaves is the lowest of the lows. And the low stays until he is back.  You start to move toward a higher incline, but without him here, the new normal is no where near as wonderful as the normal when he is here.   That sounds rather bi-polar in the highs and lows.  I’m ready for even.

After this deployment, I am pretty sure that I am done letting Army related scars be cut into my soul.  I’ve walked down this path for many years, a path I’ve come to accept, but a path I very much do not like being on. This path has been very rocky and steep for me.  I’ve had to fight my natural instincts and desires to remain on this path every step of the way.  I want to stop fighting.  I’ve given greatly for his desire to serve, maybe it is his turn to give to my desire to not have to worry that the Army will rip him away at a moment’s notice.  We had 2 weeks notice of this deployment. One week of that time I was very ill.  We had no preparation time.  Wills were done hours before he boarded a plane. Emotional preparation was no where what it needed to be. It has been very hard, no impossible to recover from that.

I am very proud of my husband’s service, but I am ready to get off this military trail, and for us to begin to start looking at our lives being free of the Army. I hope this deployment fulfills his need to be deployed, and that he realizes that he has served with honor, he has not hidden from the challenge, and that it is ok to move on with our lives.  I hope whatever he is searching for from the Army he finds so that we can move forward, without him constantly looking back, unfulfilled.  This is one of my great concerns for this deployment.  His imagined deployment is VERY different from the one he is going on.  VERY.  I hope whatever he is looking for he finds.  I am very worried he will not find it.

I was not raised as a military child (I DESPISE the term brat).  Honestly, I don’t want Poppet raised as a military child any more than she already has been.   This is very much a “if you haven’t walked a mile in my kitten heels, don’t judge me” statement.  I am not cut out for this.  I HATE sending my husband away.  I want him home.  I don’t want him in the God forsaken desert. He’s missed so much of Poppet’s life.  She misses him so, and I’m already concerned this deployment will cause “daddy” issues, and I am concerned about what the effect another deployment would cause for our daughter.

So that’s me tonight.  I’ve eaten half a bratwurst and an ice cream sandwich today.  It was all I could manage.  I’ve lost 4 pant sizes since he left.  When I talk of the cost to me, it is physical as well as emotional.  It is 2 am, and I am no where near sleeping.  I haven’t slept more than 5 hours a night but usually I only sleep 4.  I’m typically a great one for sleeping in. Now I awake at 6:30 absolutely unable to sleep. SO very unlike me.  I’d kill for 8 hours of unmedicated, peaceful, sleep.

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Responses

  1. Hi.
    CJ sent me.
    I just wanted you to know that we all have these kinds of feelings. Some of us have them temporarily and some, permanent.
    And it’s good to get it off your chest. Owning it is better than denying it.
    My husband’s been a Marine for 25 years now and I’m a veteran of multiple deployments as a single parent but that was back when deployments didn’t mean going to a combat zone.
    His last one was in 2004 to Iraq and there were days when I thought I was going to lose my everlovin’ mind. I think what saved me was that I had friends going through the exact same thing and they lived next door and down the street.
    I didn’t feel like I was going through it alone.
    I hope you have a good support network to help you through.
    I know it’s very easy to say (I do mean that…my son just got back from a deployment to Afghanistan…) hang in.
    Carrie

  2. Thanks for reading my words. I have a good support network, but as my husband is a transfer and is reserves, I am the only one here with my husband deployed.

    We are at the beginning of this deployment, and what I wrote is what I’m feeling. I’ve fought against what I want for the entire time he’s served. I can’t change this deployment, but I can say that I’m tired of forcing myself to be in this military lifestyle. I’ve always supported my husband’s career and his serving, but it has been a constant internal battle for me.

    Thank you for writing to me. I’m pretty sure my feelings are permanent. I’ve just now found the strength to vocalize them.

  3. […] the recently begun spouse blog, Tales from the Homefront of the 103rd ESC’s Deployment, the author wears her emotions on her sleeve about her husband’s recent deployment: I know I […]

  4. I linked to this and also provided some tips that may help you: http://www.vamortgagecenter.com/blog/2010/06/06/families-sacrifice-too/

  5. Hey, temporary or permanent, it is how you feel.

    I felt that way at the beginning of this last deployment. I got dragged kicking and screaming into it because my son didn’t tell us he had volunteered to go until about 12 hours before he was mobilized. (He’s a reservist too.)
    And the first month was not pretty at all.
    I should have had “I don’t want to do this.” tattooed on my butt. I said it that much.

    Your post just resonated with me.


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