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Thursday, April 23, 2009

NOTE ~ Touchy Subject - Life as a Military Wife.

So as you can see it is really late and I can't sleep as normal. But there's a few things I need to get off my chest... so just so you know this post it TOTALLY off subject.... if you are here for scrapping - come back tomorrow..... Don't read any further.... (Danger, Danger, Danger ahead - turn around - turn around now!!!) LOL

You know sometimes I feel like I need to share what I am feeling, what I am thinking, and more importantly what life is like for a military wife! Most of the time I am the happy go lucky scrapper. Yet at the same time, daily I lead a double life. I lead the life of a wife of a soldier. That too is who I really am.

Maybe the world needs more wives like me to educate and inform those that are not related to the military to what our lives are really like. (NO we are not all like the wives on that stupid show called "Army Wives"!!! PLEASE!!!) Seriously, most people don't know what being "married to the military" is all about. But that is what this post is about.... So READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!

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I've had so many people say... "I don't know how you do it". "How can you live that way?", or my favorite "Oh I am so sorry. My husband was gone on a business trip for three months, I know JUST how you feel! It was the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with!" (YEAH!! Can you believe that one!!! Give me a break!!!)

The truth of the matter is - unless you have been married to someone in the military, unless this your life... you don't know. And I don't mean that harshly, I am not trying to be bitchy... it's just the way it is!! I am not posting this to make you feel bad for me. To feel sorry for me. Please don't!!! We chose this way of life... You can even say we asked for it! I'm not even asking you to say "thank you"...

Hey - it is what it is... My husband is damn good at what he does - and the bottom line is - someone has to do it for this country! But.... Please don't tell me you understand how I feel..... Not unless you have walked in my shoes. Not unless you have lived the life of the wife of a deployed service member.

This was written by sister Army wife who's husband is on his way to join mine "over there". I have to tell you there are a couple of other things I could add BUT there is no way I could sum it up any better!


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An inside view to an Army spouses feelings during deployment
By: Jennifer Chaloux

Trying not to cry too hard so you don't make them feel bad...laying your head on their chest trying to memorize the sound of his heartbeat, the way he holds you, kisses you on the head, his laughter, and his cologne.

Holding their hand and not wanting to let go, not even for a second.

A million kisses and hugs.

Saying I love you 50 times a day, and still questioning whether you have said it enough.

Doing laundry and realizing there are none of his clothes to do and wishing there was.

Setting the table for 4 even if there are only 3 of us.

Sleeping on the couch for weeks because you can’t bear to sleep in your bed when he is on a cot.

Feeling guilty for enjoying a sunny day, a good movie, or just a ride in the car.

Avoiding phone calls because you just can’t talk about it , again, I’m fine is never enough, but you can’t make them understand no matter how hard you try.

Alienating yourself so you don’t have to fake a smile, or conversation.

Wanting to just scream and yell until you have no voice left and wiping away those endless tears.
Snapping out of it will take a year.

Wondering if he will be the same person he was when he left, and feel comfortable in his own home when he gets back.

Feeling selfish for having a pity party when he has it a lot worse.

Watching the news when you are told not to.

Knowing when we talk he will never tell me he had to dive under something to avoid getting hurt, day after day.

Not knowing who you are at the end of the day, because you can’t be who you were without him.
The word “why” is the first word in everything you think about.

No matter how hard you try, you always thinking the worst case scenario.

Wanting to sleep the whole next year because it’s the only time you get a break from stress.

Wearing his clothes while he is gone, and using a shirt with his cologne as a pillowcase to snuggle up too.

Trying to pray double time but feeling like a hypocrite, because right now I would be angry with God if something happens.

Walking around with a lump in your throat and a pit in your stomach for the next year.

Saying thank you he's fine because if you say too much you'll just cry, like you have done for the past 4 days.

Truly feeling lost, scared, and powerless.

Just going through the motions of getting up, getting ready and going through your day clutching your phone in case he calls, trying to fake being in a good mood so they think you are okay.

Getting that “look” when someone sees your military ID at the check out, and waiting for the questions I don’t want to answer.

Feeling jealous of other couples holding hands.

Avoiding your favorite cd’s or tv shows that we enjoyed together because you have no ones hand to hold or arms to lay in.

Tired of hearing “don’t think that way,” how can you not?

Realizing you have no one that truly understands, and finding friendship in other army wives that do.

Doing the same paperwork six times over, knowing you’ll have to do it again.

Having that conversation no one wants to have about injuries, death, and their wishes if it happens.

Watching other families before they deployed, men holding their newborn babies; knowing they will miss their first giggle, word, and wonder if they will know him when he gets home.

Seeing children that are too young to understand where their mom or dad are.

Families taking pictures of everything, no matter how trivial.

Seeing mothers treating their 40 year old as if he were a kid again, and she always will.

Trying to memorize every one's face and last name, because when he calls he never uses their first name when he talks about them.

Not being able to be there when they are promoted to show them and tell them how proud of them you are.

Wanting people to understand 90% of the soldiers don’t want to be there either. They want peace like all of us do.

Wanting to tell all the people at a anti-war rally that they are there because they are free, and have those rights because they live in a country protected by the military.

When the worst happens they will want the soldiers to protect them.

That every family, and person who lost their life to the 9/11 attacks are being disrespected if we didn’t fight back.

Don’t hate the war and the soldiers, hate the people who started the war.

Understanding the TRUE meaning of honor, pride, dedication, and hero. They are drivers in a convoy, infantry, mechanics, medics, Dr.’s and nurses, Chaplin's. Most of all they are our husbands, wives, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters. They have a job to do, and a family to take care of.

That family not only consists of a spouse and kids, but your family as well.

Until Next Time!

Cya~


Lori McDonald, Designer

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13 comments:

Rebecca W,  April 23, 2009 at 6:15 AM  

Lori,

What a beautiful way to express the seelings, as a wife of a former Army man and daughter of someone in the military- I do understand it even if I am not there anymore. I think the list express feelings in a way people can begin understanding even if not totally.

jzayler April 23, 2009 at 7:27 AM  

God has blessed you with strength, compassion and love beyond what I could ever imagine.

Lora April 23, 2009 at 8:24 AM  

As the wife of an retired Army 1SG, I've walked in your shoes and can totally understand. I had this same conversation with my folks when they didn't understand why I wanted to stay in government housing when DH deployed - they thought I should come home to family. I had to tell them that my "military family" related better to what I was going through. Bravo to you and your sis for trying to make others understand.

chalouxsgirl April 23, 2009 at 8:56 AM  

Hey Lori!
Thank you for asking to post my letter! I was my way of trying to get family and friends to understand how I was feeling. After a four day pity party, I put my big girl pants on and started to write. I never expected to get the reaction I did!
I agree with you when someone says my husband leaves for days at a time...I secretly roll my eyes...yes I chose my military husband, yes I am SO proud of him, NO I do not like deployment, and no; unless you are an Army wife you cannot compare.
LOVE YOU GIRL!! 10 months and COUNTING!
Jennifer

Lori m April 23, 2009 at 12:36 PM  

Lori,

Thank you for sharing this, we often forget what the families and Military folks go through. As you said unless you experience it "you don't" know. For many people they see or read thing in the news thinking Oh my God then close up the newspaper or turn off the TV and well their life goes on not giving what they just read or saw another thought.

This post was very enlightening and I hope people pay attention as all of you serving and the families at home deserve the utmost respect and blessings.

God Bless, Lori m

Kelly S,  April 23, 2009 at 12:55 PM  

Thank you for sharing your feelings with us, Lori. Know that your husband's sacrifice (and yours as well) does not go unnoticed or unappreciated. I am so thankful for the men and women who serve our country (and their family members who support them). And don't ever feel the need to apologize for the way you feel or the way that you express it. That is one of the freedoms your husband is fighting for.

Elizabeth April 23, 2009 at 3:59 PM  

Well Lori, I can honestly say...been there done that :) I have also been on the other side crying my eyes out as I leave my daughter with her grandparents while I get deployed, it is still hard to think about.
Thanks for sharing such a great topic, one close to my heart as well.

Bec,  April 23, 2009 at 6:25 PM  

Ours prayers are with you Lori.

ninamerle April 23, 2009 at 7:46 PM  

Lori,
I am so glad that you shared, this with everyone. I have walked in your shoes, As a young bride of 18, I remember crying all the way to Camp Lejeune, I toughned up real fast when pregnant with our daughter my husband said, I am going to be deployed! He was not there when she was born, and many people today do not realize that in those times he got a message from the red cross. We did not have internet or cell phones then. I also learned to repair the dryer, mow the lawn make sure the house in base housing was ready for the inspector that drove through on Tuesdays.
Thank you for you blog, at times you have enabled me, LOL, and other times you have inspired me. I love to read about you adventures, dress shopping for the balls (UGHHHH)> Nina

911barb April 24, 2009 at 9:16 AM  

I sat here reading your blog with tears in my eyes. Remembering yes that how it was. Different war but same feelings. Another memories for us Viet Namm gals. Standing by the mailbox waiting for the mailman trying not to cry when there was no letter that day!!!
barb911 s/e mi

Rhonnie April 25, 2009 at 6:59 PM  

Hugs & Prayers!!! I can no even begin to imagine what it like to have a husband deployed! I'm pretty certain I'd not be strong enough to deal with it.
Our armed forces & their families have my gratitude & respect for sure!!
Thank you!

Penny,  April 29, 2009 at 12:58 PM  

Lori,

I love this! Can I borrow it and post it on my blog for all that don't understand?

Thank you for all that you do to support the rest of us Army Wives.

Hang in there! They will be home before we know it right?

Penny

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