Okay, so I’ve been a blogging slacker. I’ll blame this on my insane schedule and my lack of any really coherent thought. I call this Deployment ADD. So, here we go, it’s time for a mind dump. 😉
I am 8 months in.
I am 8 months in and I am tired. My reserves are depleted, my happy thoughts poofed in the wind. I am worn down, beat thin, and underwater. Whenever I thought about deployment, I always remember the 8 month mark being the hardest, and I was right. For me, at least.
I can no longer even remember what it’s like to have him here.
His face to me, besides memories, is a pixelated skype call, which I’m so thankful for because I remember all t0o well the days of waiting weeks to receive a phone call. The last time I saw him clearly was through the haze of my tears when I dropped him off after R&R. The T-shirts I so carefully packed away smell more like Ziploc than Jason and I resent it. RESENT it. I can’t fathom walking around my bed to get into it at night, because I’m just used to crawling over the place where he’s not sleeping. Where he won’t be sleeping for another 4 months. I can’t stand my cold bed, and I spend as little time there as possible. Yup, sleep deprivation central over here. I can’t remember what it’s like to have help in any form, even with the simplest acts of getting the boys ready for the day. As stupidly dramatic as it sounds, I feel like I’ve been alone all along. When I would see couples together, holding hands, I used to feel this stab of jealousy, of longing, but now, I can’t even remember what that feels like, so it doesn’t really affect me. In ways, that apathy hurts worse than the longing.
If I close my eyes, I swear, for just the slightest second, I can feel his skin under my fingertips. I can feel the pricks of his whiskers in the morning against my cheek. I can feel his hair through my hands, I can taste his kiss on my tongue, I can hear my name whispered from his lips. But then it’s gone. Gone not like it’s been awhile, gone like it never even was. I am 8 months in, and if there was a white flag, I would have waved it by now. “Umm… hey, yeah, Army? This deployment stuff just isn’t working for me. Could we nix this experiment?” Right.
This does not mean that I am not functioning. My motto of this deployment has been “Triage.” Whoever needs something at this moment gets it. Whoever is out of socks gets their laundry done next . Which reminds me… That title belongs to Chase. Ah, yes, more fun tomorrow. 😉 But now we’re in Summertime. I knew going into the deployment that this part would be the hardest for me. Where other moms bask in the glow of lazy days and freedom, I see nothing but the monotony of the months with nothing to delineate the days besides who has soccer practice on what day. So, I triage. Good Lord, I miss my schedule, and my routine.
I am sick of people saying “You’re almost done.” No offense, but unless you’re here with me at the 8 month mark, you hush. “You’re almost done,” is not consolation when you’re lonely and the house is sadly quiet. “You’re almost done” does not comfort you when you’re being told that one toddler needs surgery, and the other is being sent to pediatric neurology, and there is no one to let you be weak with for just that moment. I’m so tired of being strong all the time. “You’re almost done,” is kind of like pointing out this vague finish line and thinking that will motivate me to perk up. Hm. Not today. Maybe tomorrow though, I’ll let you know.
To you girls who soar through this period, who hit your stride, and think this is whining? Well, I’m envious of you and your stride. Share whatever it is you’re taking.
I feel like every time I let my guard down, there’s another helicopter down in theatre. My heart bleeds for the families of the pilots, and at the same time, I’m so disgustingly relieved that it wasn’t Jason. Then I wonder if we’re masochists for living a lifestyle where I’m ready to drop to my knees in thanks while the wife next to me is on hers in grief. That’s what 8 months usually does to me. Makes me wonder why in the hell we chose a life where duty overrules family, and why I keep having to explain to my three year old that daddy can’t come home yet. And yet that three year old is one of the reasons he does it. One of my favorite sayings is, “American Soldiers don’t fight because they hate what’s in front of them. They fight because they love what’s behind them.” And we have a lot to fight for.
So yes, I’m 8 months in. I’m beaten a wee bit, but I’m not broken. The camel’s back has not snapped, the river has not run dry… the… oh geeze, I’m running out of puns. You get the picture. I’m just worn down, but I know that as that hazy blur of a finish line comes closer into focus, my run-down will perk-up and we’ll make it. But right now, these last 4 months ahead almost seem longer than the year that faced me in October.
So hey, 8 months? You suck.