Sunday, February 20, 2011

Some days are a REAL struggle.

There.  I said it.

It seems like there are people who expect the military spouse to be either one of two extremes when their military half is deployed.  Either we are supposed to be a complete train-wreck, complete with mental breakdown, drugs, and hospitalization, or we are supposed to be all sunshine and roses, always hopeful, always smiling.

Guess what.  We are human.

Well, at least *I* am.  I can't vouch for all of the rest of the military spouses.

We are, after all, a very diverse group.  We hail from all 50 states, and quite a number of foreign countries.  We speak many different languages.  We are not all Democrats or Republicans, not necessarily Christian, agnostic, atheist, Wiccan, Budhist, or Hindi. Some work outside their homes.  Some work from home.  Some call home their work.  Frankly, we are as diverse as is the rest of the country, but there are fewer of us, and we seem to live in a fishbowl.

Since the military spouse community is SO very diverse, it is troubling...nay, frustrating...to be so stereotyped by Americans in general.  We get told so many things, and have so many things said about us that most of us could write articles....or even books...outlining all of the stereotypes.

For starters...Navy wives/Air Force wives/Army wives ALL sleep around on their husbands when they are deployed.  So there are some that probably do.  The majority of us don't have the time...we're too busy taking care of his house, his kids, his cars, his pets.  Again, *I* don't.

Oh, dear.  I got off track.  Sorry...this is part of one of my soap-box subjects.

The particular stereotype I started out to address is particularly hard for ME to deal with.  Sure, this lifestyle is hard, and very few people understand that (I think the latest statistic I saw said something like 1% of Americans live life as attachments to the military.  That's a really small number.).  For that, we get told, "Oh, you knew what you were getting into."  Um.  NO.  EMPHATICALLY NO.  I knew nothing about this.  Frankly, my husband got into the military prior to 9/11.  Things were a LOT different then.  Deployments were shorter (for the most part), and did not happen with the regularity they are happening now. 

We can't always hide our bad days.  For that, I hear "don't wear your heart on your sleeve," and "smile, it can't be *that* bad!"  REALLY?!?  How do you know?  Have you tried being Mom and Dad to 6 children who really don't understand why Dad can't come home for their birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, July 4th, or summer vacation?  Have you tried dealing with yet another round with Murphy and his danged laws, while your spouse is out of town?  Do NOT tell me "oh, I know *exactly* how you feel...my spouse is out of town for business for two weeks/a month."  Please do not expect my sympathy.  For that matter, don't expect my phone calls, either.  I've got too much going on. 

We DO have good days.  They just aren't every day.  Oh, how I wish.  Well, maybe not...that might be kind of boring.  And frankly, I need variety in my life.  One of the things I look forward to (yes, I said that) when my husband is gone is a time of growth...which is often fueled by those very difficult things that happen because he is gone.  Those are the things that I can look back on and know that they have been worthwhile because they have made me a better person.

Meanwhile, life is hard.  This deployment is getting to me.  Things are coming out of me that I don't like.  I want my husband home.  I want another person to help carry the load.  I want a lot of things that can't happen right now.

The good news is that things are better now than they were around the holidays.  My head is on straighter, my load is a little lighter...or maybe my back is stronger...or God has taken part of the load for me.  Whichever it is, things are more bearable.  And for that, I am grateful.

And, I just found another blog...where the writer talks about much of the same as what I have been experiencing...Go enjoy TheArmyWife(DUDE)!  He's good!

1 comment:

Tara Anderson said...

The struggles that come with a deployed husband are something you can't understand unless you've been there. And I can speak from experience saying that each additional child makes the deployments harder. It's easier to manage on your own with one child than it is with three, and it's easier with three than it is with four. I can't comment on how it would be with six...other than to say that I know it would be harder than with my four. I wish everyone could just leave it at that.