During T’s first deployment, I was depressed a lot of the time. I had (finally) met a great guy and two months later, he was gone. I was 30 years old. Waiting 15 months for my boyfriend to come home so that we could see whether things would work out between us was not where I wanted to be. What if this doesn’t work out? I would think. I’ll have wasted almost two years on a relationship that, had things been different, could have sorted itself out in a matter of months.
I tried not to, but sometimes I would get so lonely and sad that I would end up writing him nasty emails. I was lashing out, trying to hurt him as much as I was hurting. It was awful.
Fortunately for me, T is not only the nicest, but also the most patient man I’ve ever met. He – despite his own misery during a very stressful deployment – was always trying to cheer me up.
For this reason, I wanted to get through this current deployment with some degree of grace. I wanted to be supportive and cheerful. I wanted to be someone that he would actually look forward to coming home to.
This is easier said than done. I’m a cynic by nature, so finding the positive takes enormous amounts of energy for me. My blood does not run red, white and blue, so I don’t have the spirit of patriotism to back me up. I am proud of my soldier, but I am not the flag waving type. I believe that Americans put their pants on one leg at a time, just like everyone else.
Still, I did pretty well for the first four months. (Not to mention the six months of intermittent training leading up to the deployment.) I stayed busy. I tried to make this a time during which I could develop some of my own skills and dreams. I was…well, if not content, then at least accepting.
Then T came home on leave. We had a fantastic, wonderful, blissful two weeks. But ever since I had to put him back on that plane, I’ve been on a downhill slide. I can’t seem to drag myself up to where I was before, no matter how hard I try. My bad days are getting more frequent.
This basically sucks.
Yesterday I had a really bad day. It was an “I hate everything” day.
I hated going back into the city on a Monday, with all of its noxious smells and obnoxious people. This was particularly hard after an idyllic weekend on the lake.
I hated that I had 7,000 things to do after I got home from work and no one to help me do them.
I hated the sound of my neighbors’ clattering forks and plates because it meant that they were eating dinner together. I was eating alone in front of the TV. Again.
I hated that the Obamas were vacationing “down the road apiece” in Bar Harbor, while my husband is in Afghanistan. How dare they enjoy themselves while my life is sucking? It felt like a personal affront.
I hated that the whole world can know about my life in detail, but that T can’t tell me, his own wife, everything he’s doing right now. (Yes, I understand it…but I hate it.)
I hated feeling powerless to change the situation.
I hated my husband for being gone and for inflicting this suffering on me.
And, maybe most of all, I hated myself for being so hateful and for failing at my self-imposed mission of staying positive.
It’s always so much harder to keep the chin up and all that garbage when I’m tired. Maybe if I just went to bed earlier…
After all, tomorrow is another day.