Wednesday, May 9, 2012

...on Deployment

David thought that he was possibly going to a ~2 month training with his unit over summer.  Pretty much everyone in our unit will be there.  I was preparing for that, you know, getting into the mindset that my husband was going to be gone for the summer.  The FRO is dating a Marine who is deploying for 7 months, so she and I were making plans to stay busy together... even a girl's trip to Charleston, SC was up for discussion!

On Wed May 2, David was told he was being looked at for deployment... he would be attached to a different unit throughout the deployment, he would fill a billet for a higher rank, and he'd be good to go for promotion when he gets back!  He came home and told me that he was being looked at, but that he didn't know if he would go because of his rank.  The very next day, he told me that he was going.  I heard it in his voice when he called to let me know that he was heading home from base... something was amiss.  He got home 30 minutes later, just as I was getting out of the shower.  He walked into our bedroom and I could see that he wasn't happy... something was up... it hit me before he said the words!  "Well, I'm deployin."

I was in shock for a bit, scared, worried, wanted answers but didn't know what questions to ask.  I just kept repeating, "okay... okay... it's okay..."  I teared up a little bit and asked, "When?"  He said sometime in the fall, but that he didn't know exactly.  All he knew is that he wasn't coming back until fall of 2013...

A whole YEAR???  My friend's boyfriend was leaving for 7 months... why did I have to deal with a whole year?  I have to be in this house, away from my friends, away from my family... FOR A YEAR?  Needless to say, I was petrified.  I didn't feel ready!  We're going to miss Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, our First Anniversary, and our wedding has to be postponed.  WOW!!!  I cried a little bit, but I think it was all sinking in... I was just sad and numb.  I didn't sleep well at all that night.  I couldn't fall asleep, and if I did ever finally doze off, I was tossing and turning so much that I woke up again.

I do realize that this is the life I chose.  I married this man (and the military) out of my own consent... but it doesn't make it any easier to swallow the pill of your first deployment.  Needless to say, the first deployment being a year long is terrifying!  I'm worried about him being safe, I'm worried about where he's going and what he's doing, I'm worried about being able to take care of our home and bills on my own, I'm worried about staying sane!

I have lots of things to keep myself busy... I have volunteer stuff with LINKS and as my unit's AFRO, plus my job starts up some time this month.  I will be visiting my friends a lot (I hope) and if I'm lucky, I'll win a trip to see SNL!!!  Thank goodness that our unit is still his parent command.  If I had to leave my FRO and all of the new people that I've met through the unit, I would be very sad.  But I'm not!  So yay!

The day after he told me the news, I was ANGRY.  I was in a sour mood, I was snapping at David, I was being abnormally quiet, I was isolating myself from him, and I was just not myself at all.  My FRO texted me and asked how I was doing.  I told her my feelings, and she totally made me feel so sane.  There is a sequence of typical emotions that people feel in the pre-deployment stage, and I was just going through all of them.  She and I talked more, and like I said before, she was totally relating to me since her boyfriend is leaving soon, too.  I love her so much.  She sort of "gave me permission" to cry and shout and be angry.  Since I was home alone, that's exactly what I did!  My cats were hovered around me, giving me cuddles and love while I was crying it out.  When I was finished and emotionally dried out, I felt much better.

I wrote David a loving note, apologizing for snapping at him and being so angry over nothing.  I promised that I would work on focusing on the things that I can control, and that I would live in the moment.  Living in the moment is much easier once you know that your time is limited.  Every time I touch him, I soak it up.  I try to remember exactly how it feels so that while he's gone, I'll have something to think about to help me get through it.  I was going to help the FRO that day, so I dropped the note off with David while I was there.  He made me feel better, too, the way that only David can do.  He hugged me and said, "You are a strong and independent woman.  I am glad that I married you because I know that you can handle it and support me... but I know that you're upset right now, too, and you're allowed to be!  Tell me anything that's on your brain.  I'm your husband.  I want to know."

I have been much better since I wrote that note and promised David that I would be a better wife and supporter.  It really got my mind in check to control the things that I can control and to prepare for the things that I can't.  Since we can't have a wedding next year, I decided to change my name!  I went to the SSA on Monday May 7 and got that done.  Next up is getting a new license, getting my name on all of our bills, learning how to navigate our online bank accounts, filing away our important documents, get a Power of Attorney, and David also wants to get wedding rings so he has something to wear while he's over there.

I started looking up care package ideas, since it's been a loooong time since I last sent one of those bad boys.  A friend told my FRO and me about a great idea to send cake/cookies so they stay fresh :)  I can't wait.  Well... okay... I can wait... but he's going to be the most spoiled husband over there, for sure!  MEGAWIFE OF THE YEEEAAAAR!!

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