One more deployment; hurts worse each time.

One more deployment; hurts worse each time.

When you are in the military you are familiar with the deployment cycles and subsequent TDYs that occur between the deployments.  It was never easy to leave, but as the one going there was an element of excitement and also the knowledge of how busy I would be most of the time.

I made the mistake (HA–wouldn’t change it for the world) of also marrying the military and then becoming a dependant.  What in the world was I thinking?  I had no idea that being the one left behind, with the kids, and the dogs, and of course Murphy’s law occurring would BE WAY MORE DIFFICULT than being the one going.  I have been the one going.  Yes it is hard, yes I missed my family, but it was different.

Part of the problem—and yes this has become a problem–is that my spouse is my person, my very best friend.  So although I am a very independent individual and can handle most stuff all on my lonesome (including all the yard work hehehe) I always feel a huge chunk of me being ripped away each time he leaves.  As the years have gone on the ripping hurts way more than I ever thought possible.

This gets tricky.  It hurts more cause our relationship is strong, and complete.  Sometimes that causes distance…distance because I feel too weak and start pulling away in order to survive.  It is a vicious, stupid circle.

As the dependent, back on the “home front” you cope.  You bitch, you get pissed, you cry, you find projects to fill your time, you work harder than ever, your kids seem more insane than usual, something, or everything breaks and you just deal.  Some days you feel like a damn super hero, some days you crawl into bed and ball yourself to sleep.  Your bedroom causes sadness because your spouse isn’t there.  sometimes you sleep on the couch to avoid the sadness of your room.

You spend every moment you are not together and not able to talk praying or begging or hoping your best friend is safe.  If you suffer even a bit from anxiety or depression there are times it seems hopeless, but if you have kids that is just too damn bad cause you WILL be their rock.

This one is hurting worse than others.  I am not okay, but I will get through it.  We all get through it.

Making where you have to be a Home

In the military you may or may not be stationed a lot of different places.  Some people stay in one or maybe two places their entire career.  Some are constantly being moved.  Minus our overseas assignment every place we have moved to I have been told: “This is it…this is our last assignment!”  You would think I would have learned my lesson about 10 years ago, but I still believe it every time.  We stayed at our first duty station 7 years, then we went to our next one and bought our first house cause that was it, we weren’t leaving.  Seemed pretty plausible at the time.  A few short years later we were overseas.  After that assignment we went to a new place and THAT was definitely it…so we bought our second home.  HA…it was less than a year before we moved again.  Now we are in a new place and own two homes and there is no way in hell I am buying another!

So we are renting a strange townhouse, with plenty of space but awkward issues.  It is on a somewhat busy, somewhat “Hicksville” like road with too much traffic, but no neighborhood to speak of.  And it is dark and dingy.  After decided we were NOT going to buy AGAIN (which most definitely means we will not get orders ever) I decided it was time to embrace the strange and make it home.  First up…paint.  Paint is cheap and does wonders.  I asked the landlords and then went to town.  Light paint on the walls with a nice accent wall here and there can completely transform dark and dingy to light and somewhat airy.  Next, decals.  They make so many cool decals for the walls now and if you get bored with them you peel the suckers off!

New furniture is a nice touch if you can afford to, or need to!  New always makes your heart feel better.  Some flowers, or a garden can cheer up any dingy backyard or front porch.  New decor in general adds whimsy and delight!  Most importantly being creative.  you can’t fix a poor layout or the location of a reasonable rentals (yes rentals here are slim pickings and they are massively overpriced so you jump on what you can afford that pretty much works!  I hate the back yard and the chain link fence (why do people use chain link?) so I shall plant shrubs and flowers to help hide the ugly.

I dislike the layout, but I can be creative with how we use the space.  I cannot fix where we live, but I can explore where we live and if all else fails I can get in my damn car and drive to the nice parks, or walking trails.  Hell if you want to spend the money you can buy light fixtures that suit your taste more, or even appliances like washers and dryers if the ones that came with are below the bar.  CURTAINS can cover and add flare.  Replace the hardware on drawers or faucets.  It all depends on how much you want to spend to make a place feel like home that it isn’t yours.

If I invest too much we will get orders again…hell if I find a dream job we will too so best not chance it!

Colliding headfirst with the stereotype…should I rethink these choices?

I am often amazed with how easily one can actually collide head first into a stereotype.  I truly do not believe anyone is immune to this collision.  Maybe it only occurs once or twice in a lifetime, or maybe you are constantly fitting the new stereotypes that are around.  Some would say they are called “trends”.  Yeah, okay, that is true to.  I suppose sometimes it is trends we follow, but I still think even the trends stem from a stereotypical box we squeeze into first.

So you are out of shape and a “friend” suggests crossfit….WHOA NELLY in approximately 3.5 months you are now a crossfitter who will only invest your time and money in crossfit approved gear, and cannot talk to another human being without using the words: the box, burpees, protein, Tabitha, or form.  You switch to veganism…well look out for all the horrific fb posts containing animal sacrifices, hormone induced chickens, documentaries about plants, and pure shame for anyone who eats, wears, or buys animal by products in any form.  You get more than three tattoos and you are fighting a battle against those who look at your tattoos too long.  I mean the list goes on and on.  For the military spouse it is no different.  The stereotypes that are predominate in the military spouse culture have been blogged about, debated over, and now there is a hilarious video of a Marines wife making fun of the lifestyle.

Why?  Because as military spouses more often than not we fall into a stereotype of how our lives are and the mold we fit.  It is hard to have a career because we move too much.  I personally went through a plethora of stages (especially when we went overseas and there were not jobs).  I crafted, I baked, I thrift store shopped, I played bunko, I drank too much wine, I obviously blog… Many wear their spouses rank, or revert back to high school where they may or may not harbor too many feelings of inadequacies so become “mean girls” or extreme gossips.  Some become OBSESSED with being the hottest “wife” there is, some let themselves go to the extreme.  Most complain about the hardships of deployments (yeah they suck, big time, and shit always goes wrong, and you have to do it all alone, and it isn’t fun or easy–but that is the life and some major suck-uping is needed).  Some say they serve too or they have the hardest job (well we may sort of, maybe a little bit “serve” but only in the sense that we get bounced from place to place with no stable career of our own and that can be a pretty shittastic life choice!).  Do we have the hardest job—nope…nuff said.

What does happen to even the most independent and self-sufficient military spouse–we all tend to fall into at least one stereotype or trend on at least one occasion during our marriages.  It is almost an inevitability.  We can pretend that we don’t, we can claim that we don’t…but that is like claiming you eat all healthy and track everything but not the entire package of Oreos you consumed while watching Greys Anatomy during the last deployment or TDY and then getting on the scale and being flabbergasted that you gained a pound after all your “hard work”.    Denial — it’s a real thing.

What is my point?  I have no flipping clue.  I just know that falling victim to these trends or stereotypes doesn’t make you horrific person or a monster…it makes you human.  I know that as a military spouse and a SAHM who doesn’t want to be a SAHM you try to find anything and everything to keep out of the depression zone, to put your anxiety at bay, and find your path that makes your life feel special to you, feel worthwhile.  It is okay to follow the crowd or to be “unique”.  After all if you truly look at all the “unique” people you will see they are all in a group too.  Humans, we tend to like to be together even if we don’t want to be together!  Just don’t be a douche…be kind.  Check out the funny military spouses making fun of our life–it is well worth it!