The Sandbox

GWOT hot wash, straight from the wire

Welcome to The Sandbox, a forum for service members who have served or are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, returned vets, spouses and caregivers. The Sandbox's focus is not on policy and partisanship (go to our Blowback page for that), but on the unclassified details of deployment -- the everyday, the extraordinary, the wonderful, the messed-up, the absurd. All correspondence is read, and as much as possible is posted, lightly edited. If you know someone who is deployed who might have something to say, please tell them about us. To submit a post click here.

GOING CRAZY |

January 21, 2009

GOING CRAZY
Name: Cris Misner

Posting date: 1/21/09
Husband stationed: Overseas
Milblog: June Cleaver After a Six-Pack
Email: Carlcris2000@yahoo.com

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 two weeks to get me through the next seven months -- to get him through the next seven 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. Five 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.

Comments

I know it's hard. For what it's worth, my former husband used to go to sea as a merchant seaman (captain). That was in the days before cell phones and e-mails...you can do this thing.Love him. Pretend it's another honeymoon. I do remember once after three months thinking..."I don't know if I love this man" - just because he'd been out of sight for so long. Good luck! You're in my prayers.

I have had the same thoughts. My hubby is leaving in the beginning of March and he will be gone for 8 months. He will be in the states but about 1000 miles from our home and children. I worry that he will come back and not be able to adjust to being home again. He will be free from the house and responsibilities here for 8 months. He is going to be able to get back the routine train that goes around in our house.
I know he will have his job when he is gone but what about coming home. He won't have to think "Military" like they do when they are active.
I love ya sista!!!
I am there with ya!!!

We just finished our 15 month deployment and I remember the moment where it hit me that I didn't send daily emails professing my love and what it was like without him. Instead, the day to day of doing it by myself had become normal. That moment sucked!

Like you, I forgot to tell him about home because it felt mundane to me. He didn't tell me about his day to day because he didn't want me to worry. All of that and then the multitudes of books and ACS briefings that told me how different he would be had me VERY frightened of what my hubby of 14 years would come home like. Would he fit in with us and still love us?

Turns out, he had more to fear! Apparently, I am way more confrontational than I used to be. But ladies, I know that you understand this. It takes a strong confrontational person to keep it together at home and for kids while not worrying your soldier.

But, after a few months, we're starting to feel "normal" again and feel like he does belong here. I guess it all works out and the perseverance that helps us make it through the deployment helps us with reintegration too.

You will make it and you have your own Army of wives behind you supporting you!

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