Life is so precious we are all very aware of that and yet here I am wishing mine away day by day, week by week. I have been very guilty of doing that many times in the past too when we have been separated, wishing the weekends to go quickly, hoping the week speeds past in a flash to reach that light at the end of the tunnel.
The last week has been better than the last few that is for sure, although I am at the stage where I have to squeeze my eyes tightly shut to try and remind myself what my husband looks like. I believe that after a period of time our minds adjust, as humans we resist change and a period of separation is a change that we need to mold to, that takes time but eventually we get there we find our groove and it seems to get a bit easier, providing there are no unexpected hurdles in the road!
That is not to say it’s plain sailing, I just mean I haven’t cried every day this week!
I feel like a bit of a bruised fruit, so many deployments and separations over the last 17 years some of which have been so hard especially the Iraq war and early Afghanistan I feel like they have shaped me, those emotions have scarred me (I do promise to blog about this in the future). On a daily basis I’m fine as they are buried but that fear, those feelings come flooding back whenever I am faced with another separation period and for me that is why it gets harder not easier and seems to take me longer these days to find that place of acceptance at the beginning of a deployment.
Communication can be interesting while you are separated and definitely sporadic, everyone’s experiences are different and I beg you if you are in a regiment/close military community DO NOT enter into the “have you heard anything this week” conversation, it is the worst, the most horrid feeling to hear of others getting calls and you haven’t heard a peep, even though they are all in the same place and in your mind doing the same thing. ‘He doesn’t love me enough to call’ ‘He’s not missing me’ all these feelings are normal (or is it just me that thinks these?!) so just avoid those discussions, don’t ask and don’t tell…… its kinder for everyone and there are so many other things to start a conversation about instead.
When you have children, especially older children, you have to share your limited call time with your loved one and that is something this week I was reminded of and honestly, I was in the wrong and I feel so awful about that.
My 14 year old has a need to speak to her dad and I hadn’t appreciated that…I of all people should have recognised it. My husband rang and it had been ages since I’d heard his voice and I was so pleased and happy that I got selfish with time, when I put my daughter on the phone he only had literally 4 minutes then had to go.
My daughter was devastated and it was all my fault
“You got 15 minutes and I got 5” I felt so terrible and writing this post I have tears in my eyes, she’s missing her dad, she hadn’t spoken to him properly in three weeks and I should have been more mindful and shared the call time equally with her which if you have more than one child must be even harder. I know I am the adult, I love my daughter beyond words and I don’t want you to judge me for being selfish it wasn’t a conscious decision but we get stuck in this bubble at that very moment in time when we take a call don’t we, doesn’t matter where we are or who we are with because right there and then everything stops to take that call.
Sharing is hard when you sometimes miss them so much you hurt inside
I learnt a big lesson this week and I am promising myself a few things…not to wish my life away or at least to try not to do it too much and to be mindful of not being selfish with phone time for the sake of my Little Trooper.
We aren’t perfect and no matter how long you have or haven’t been part of the military community every separation will be a different experience depending on how long, where you live, how old your children are at that time, if you are working, how strong you are feeling in that chapter of your life….there are so many variables.
Be kind to yourself, learn lessons about how you work and know that your light at the end of tunnel will come…eventually.
Lots of love,