You know what grinds my gears? Well, now that's some way to start a post and I bet you're out there thinking to yourself "here comes another one of Elizabeth's famous emotional posts!" but I'm writing it anyway.
So, you know what grinds my gears? I'm talking REALLY grinds them and makes me want to throat punch people. Those pretentious* military wives who post things like this (says the overly sensitive military spouse, I'll own it from the get go):
In my marriage I have spent more nights than I want to think about alone. From our very first date, I knew Gene would stand watch and be gone over night about once a week. We were those sinning heathens who stayed together before marriage, and in those months I simply spent the night back at home until I moved into his apartment. It was the strangest thing to be in his apartment, all by myself! Fast cruises came and went and I would come home to an empty apartment after work for a few weeks here and a few weeks there.
After our first separation of 3 months while the ship came out to California, the ship schedule got a little crazier and it was every 4th night I was alone with the dogs. Dare I come out and say it: as a military wife ,you get used to it. At least I did. You get used to the space in that bed, and that one night every few nights of having all the covers to yourself, not having the alarm and lights on at 4am!
Then the long deployment comes: for us, 6.5 months followed by a few months home and then 9 months. You get used to it. It's easy to think you have it harder than every other woman out there. It's easy to play the pity card to all of our friends and want the attention our spouse is no longer home to give us. Is that why we walk around with this attitude that we're entitled to belittle every one else's emotions?
I've debated writing this post. Maybe someone out there feels the same though and needs to know not every military spouse thinks they're better because they can sleep alone longer than you.
The past few weeks have been rough around our house. The camouflage duffle bag and the sea bag are getting ready to come out of hiding from the closet, or garage, or wherever they've been since Gene got home from Afghanistan last September, and for the first time in almost an entire year, I will be sleeping in the bed by myself. I won't have another person to cook for; I won't have another person to talk to in the evenings or binge watch Breaking Bad with; the alarm will not be going off at 4 am every morning.
I've been going through the same emotional cycle as pre-deployment, and guess what: he's not even going to be gone a month. He's going into "the field," whatever the heck that means. Gene comes home every single night- there's no duty, there's no watch, there's no fast cruises. He may work long hours, but I get spoiled because he comes home and we eat dinner and we do what "normal" couples do- we live our life... together. Now, our together is changing and it's sad. Sure, for us there are questions that come along with this training: "why do you need field training?" and "is a deployment coming up after this?" I find myself wondering what in the world they would possibly need to teach my husband out "in the field" since he works in a hospital and not in a combat ready situation... but I guess the military needs to be combat ready all the time.
My point though: If you're a military wife and you've made it this far without completely losing your sh!t, please don't ever think someone should be feeling less than you do because their spouse is going to be gone for a shorter period of time than yours is or will be or was. Schedules get disrupted. Normal gets disrupted. Maybe we, as military spouses, get used to the disruption, but there are people out there who don't view disruption as part of their normal routine, and they're entitled to miss their loved one be it for a night, a week, a month, or longer.
So yup... I'm ready for disruption, once again, even if I pout about it until he comes back home.
*maybe pretentious isn't the word I'm looking for here, but it's what came to mind.