Monday, March 29, 2010

another goodbye

This morning's good-bye was bittersweet. I was so emotionally exhausted from trying to deal with hubby's moodswings all weekend (after missing him terribly for 3 straight weeks) that I was kind of relieved to see him go, so I can 'rest'. But knowing that he will be gone all week this week made me really want to hold on to Mr. PMS for a moment longer.

I love him and miss him, and I am so nervous about this deployment. Will either of us be able to stay reasonably stable this time? Will the re-inegration this time SUCK as bad as the first two? If this past weekend is any indication of our current ability to 'deal', we are freaking DOOMED.

All day today I have been somewhere between laughing and crying (pregnancy hormones are not helping this at all). I feel so much more CRAZY than I did just last week. Is this my life now? Measuring new levels of my own insanity to check for 'progress'?

Marriage is hard, marriage to a Marine is even harder, and deployment just plain SUCKS.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

depression, anxiety, etc...

So Hubby came home EARLY (Friday night instead of Saturday afternoon) which thrilled me more than I can say. I got to make him a nice breakfast in bed yesterday, and then we enjoyed our youngest son's basketball game and ran errands - we even finally went out to Outback so we could take advantage of their free bloomin' onion deal for military.

But by Saturday night, anxiety was setting in for him, and his way of handling anxiety is to shut me out, which makes me very depressed, and usually leads to a fight. But last night, I was NOT having any of that! I flat-out told him that our time together is precious, and I am not willing to waste a moment of it on some stupid ugly fight we will forget about in a week, month, or year.

I mean, really, over the next few weeks, we will have 10, maybe 15 nights together, if that, and then he will be gone for about 8 months. It would be an absolute tragedy to spend even ONE of those nights doing anything but holding each other, talking, making love, or just BEING together. Fighting does NOT count as being together.

I know that in a few months, I will be kicking myself if I know that I failed to grab hold of even one opportunity to see, smell, touch him - to look him in the eye and tell him that I love him.

So I convinced him to put aside his anxiety and BE with me while we can, and then this morning I woke up to make breakfast and felt pretty 'icky'....stomach stuff complicated by morningsickness. I still fed everyone, but then had to go back to bed (and run to the bathroom several times). Now several hours later, I am feeling better but hubby's anxiety is back, and is now turning to all-out depression. He did a bunch of yardwork while I was in bed recuperating, and now he is freaking out about how the yard will look when he gets back from this deployment. He wanted to go to the gym (a great way to work some of that anxiety out) but now is so lethargic he can't make himself do ANYTHING. And of course he is shutting me out again. Wish I knew how to help him, but I can't get him to talk about his feelings.

Now I wonder if its better/healthier to complete our normal cycle of depression-anxiety-ugly fight-makeup, just so he can get it out of his system?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Days ending in Y

I've told my husband on the phone many times that I only miss him on days ending in Y. Which of course is everyday - Including yesterday and today....

BUT NOT TOMORROW, because he will be home tomorrow!


The past 3 weeks has been so hard for me - I think deployments are kind of like childbirth; we forget just how bad the pain is once we get to the reward at the end (otherwise we would NEVER do it again!) So, it's been almost 2 years since I last had to experience anything quite so painful as this recent absence - and this was just 3 weeks of training! Not sure how I will get through the actual deployment, which is now just weeks away.

Maybe some Lamaze breathing? ha ha ha

I'm just grateful to know that, in two years, this pain will be a distant memory.

And I am grateful that 'tomorrow' ends in a W.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


So, the new Family Readiness Officer that hubby's unit just hired in December to FORM our FRG is out on medical leave. That does explain a few things.

Last night I finally got a call back from someone on the I&I staff who is trying to fill in for the FRO, and I was asked to become an Assistant. "sure, no problem"

What did I just agree to?

The whole family readiness thing is almost non-existent for lots of reserve units, not just this one, and I think that really SUCKS. So as long as I don't let myself get too overwhelmed with my other volunteer commitments (at my son's school, at church, etc) then I think I can handle this. Right?

We'll see. Now they want to send me on all kinds of trainings, and at least that should help keep my mind off of missing hubby too much, right?

Speaking of the love of my life, he should be home in about 48 hours! YAY! This training has actually gone by fast, but it's still so hard for me to be away from him so much. At least for now he has some cell reception, and he checks his email at least once a day. Once he actually LEAVES that will not be the case, and I have no idea how I will cope with that for 8-ish months.

Hopefully our newly forming FRG will help a little bit.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

On My Watch Tonight

I tried to link the youtube video for this song but it doesn't want to work in blogspot (?)
Definitely worth watching, try following this URL:

This song is by Mike Corrado, a Marine who served in Fallujah during the same time my hubby was there the first time. The song itself brings a tear to my eye, but the pictures (provided by II MEF) really drive it home.

For me, literally.

Hubby is in the slideshow TWICE, both times right when the chorus says "I'll keep you safe".

Here are the lyrics:

I come from an island in the Carolina sand
Where I was broke down and built up and reborn a fighting man
And my blood runs red, white and blue
I'll brave the cold, the rain, the pain and the bullets...
So you don't have to.

But don't worry about me, I'll be alright
Just care for your children, and sleep tight
And I'll keep you safe, on my watch tonight

It's a long, long way from that island
And a long way from home
With the thought of you standing behind me,
I could never be alone

And there's a promise I need you to make
While I'm gone, you take care of the love and I'll deal with the hate.

And don't worry bout me, I'll be alright
Just care for your children, and sleep tight.
And I'll keep you safe, on my watch tonight.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

phone call (whew!)

Hubby has barely been able to call since he left 2 1/2 weeks ago, and our calls have been very short and all-business.

Tonight he finally had time to talk, and so did I (ok I stole some time by delaying bedtime because it takes several minutes to tuck the younger one in).

Best conversation we have had in a LONG time! Started like this....

hubby: What are you doing?
Me: Researching online, trying to find a Doula. What are you doing?

aaaaaawwwwwwwwwww.... he never says stuff like that to me, so it really had an effect on me ('rack' is his bed, for all you non-marine types)

We talked about plans for Easter, discipline issues I'm having with the teenager, the younger one's basketball schedule, Operation Purple, upcoming 3D ultrasound appointment, younger one's First Communion, etc. It was so fantastic to just TALK to him, to feel like I have a PARTNER again in this whole parenting thing. So happy that he will be home again in a few days, even if it's only for a day or so.

And it looks like he WILL be home for the events we talked about tonight, or at least the most important ones.

WHEW! Now I can go to sleep and sleep well, without even having to cry or anything. Maybe I will still go for the bubble bath I was originally planning on


"only" a reservist...

This post is kind of a continuation of my previous post about lack of support.....

I am so MAD at the way I get treated by some active duty spouses, like it doesn't really matter what I go through here, because my husband is 'only' a reservist. REALLY????!!! I mean, SERIOUSLY???

We are entering our third deployment in five years. With no built-in support network like many active duty families have. We live an hour from the nearest base, and have ZERO resources in our area.

On top of all of that, reservist face additional challenges that active duty personnel don't have to worry about - like having to request leave from the 'real' job, coordinate continuation of certain job benefits when available, and finding the appropriate military replacements for those benefits. Re-integration after deployment is also completely different, since the civilian employers don't generally have the basic understanding of this process that the military seems to have.

Sometimes I just feel like such an outsider in my own life. I don't fit in with non-military wives, and I don't fit in with military wives.

I will finish my rant here with one question: Why is my sacrifice as a Marine Wife any less than yours?

On a brighter note I recently learned that Ryan Homes gives discounts for those in the military.

People in the service along with family members should always take advantage of discounts when possible. It makes me happy to see that there is a military discount offered on their homes for sale. I wish we could have taken advantage of a great deal like this when we bought our new home - and am so glad its available for those of you looking to buy right now.

help (?)

I keep hearing about these wonderful support networks out there to help families deal with issues during deployment - and as usual the organizations/networks seem woefully unavailable to me.

Hubby's unit has a Family Readiness Officer, I know this for sure, but my attempts to get info, pre-deployment briefing schedule, etc. have yeilded only more frustration and more questions. Since hubby's unit is not ALL deploying (he is going with a small detachment to support another battalion) they are just not that interested in helping, apparently.

It doesn't help that we live about an hour and a half away from the reserve center.
Everyone keeps telling me to join a military spouse meetup, but there ISN'T one where I live.....I have been a member of a milspouse meetup down in San Diego (over an hour away) for a couple years now, and the girls are a fabulous source of support for me ONLINE - but I can never make it to the regular meetups because they are too far away.

Near the end of our first deployment, I accidentally found out about the Key Volunteer Network, which hubby wanted me to 'stay the hell away from' because of all the b.s. politics and gossip that are apparently the reason they no longer exist - but I went to a KVN dinner and a banner making party to prepare for homecoming, and met some fabulous women who probably saved my sanity, if not my life. One in particular was awesome, and ended up being instrumental in me finding the house we bought shortly after our Marines returned (Thanks D!)

Between being pregnant and being unemployed, I am already really feeling hubby's absence to a painful level, and this is only a 3 week am I going to get through the actual deployment without SOME sort of support network?

I am blessed to have family nearby, but they don't have a clue what I go through during deployment. Why is it so hard to connect with the wives/girlfriends of the rest of my hubby's detachment so we can support one another through the next 8 or 9 months?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Media (is the devil)

I really need to just STOP watching TV, reading any news updates about Afghanistan, etc. Hubby doesn't even officially leave for a few weeks yet, and I am already SO SCARED that something will happen to him over there. I have nightmares, at least I do when I can actually SLEEP. One particularly disturbing nightmare depicted my husband dying when a vehicle (tractor or farm equipment of some kind) rolled over on him while he was trying to get it un-stuck. I woke up sobbing, of course.

I have always taken such comfort in leaning on my fellow military wives - no matter how far apart we are, the sisterhood we share can be such a comfort to me. There are some I know so well I feel like I can call them in the middle of the night if I just need to talk, and others I know only via the internet - which brings me to Rachel Porto. This brave young Marine Wife said goodbye to her husband in December as he headed out to Afghanistan for a 7 month (ish) deployment. She was 8 months pregnant when he left. Now she is faced with the daunting task of saying a forever 'goodbye' to him, as he died last week in country. (her blog is at ) She knows that she is part of the amazing sisterhood I mentioned above, and she knows her husband was a GOOD Marine, and will undoubtedly honor that memory forever, but I can't even begin to guess at the depth of her grief at such a profound loss. As I pray for her and her beautiful daughter, I am also praying that I will never really KNOW exactly how she feels right now.

And I am turning off the TV as much as I can so I don't think any more about my husband getting hurt (or worse) over there. I am nowhere near as brave as Rachel when it comes to deployment, so I know I won't be as strong and brave as she is if anything actually HAPPENS to my Marine.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

training (torture before the torture)

I'm floored that when hubby leaves for 'pre-deployment training' it feels like he is already 6000 miles away. I guess this is sort of supposed to 'train' the family to deal with his absence, but in smaller doses?

Currently we are 2 weeks into a 3 weeks separation, and all the pain, loneliness, etc. that I tried to forget from the first couple deployments is BACK. I hate this.

I think the hardest part about this is that I feel like I can't really TALK to him about how I feel, even though we do 'talk' at least every couple of days right now. If I say "I miss you" he gets all defensive and apologetic, like I am ATTACKING him, blaming him for being gone (well I kinda do resent him for being gone, especially with the pregnancy and all, but that's not what a MEAN when I tell him I miss him).

And if I break down and cry, or even sound melancholy at all, he gets all worried about what's going on at home, and then I know he is not focusing on what he needs to be doing there, and he doesn't sleep as well, etc.

So I pretend everything's fine, I tell him about cool things the kids are doing, what happened at my last OB appointment, etc. and I tell him I love him, I'm proud of him, etc.

Then I hang up the phone and cry myself to sleep.
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