Friday, June 1, 2007

The Call to Independence

Erica said it be a military wife involves a certain level of independence. In fact...I takes so much independence sometimes, that when our husbands are home and we are able to give up some of that independence, and share the work and responsibility etc. etc. - we don't even remember how to do that!

I woke up this morning to another person in my bed. I woke up early because for the first time in months I have another person moving, breathing, and making sounds. In the past month, the silence of my room has become what I am used to and now these small sounds and movements sound like a carnival and sleep seems almost impossible to achieve. So I am up and blogging at 5am.

We had a going away party yesterday for our dear friends Suzi and Mike. Our family was to depart the house at 4:30pm to start our trek down to Virginia Beach to begin our night of fun. At 4:45, the kids still don't have shoes on, there are so many toys on the floor that I could not walk without risk of injury, there were dishes in the sink, the dog had no food or water, and I could not find a sippy cup to same my life?

Now last week - when I was a single mother and responsible for every single aspect of this house and of the kids etc. - I was early for absolutely every event that we attended. Why is it that with the help of another adult, a father at that, that I feel like I am constantly heading backwards and that I will never catch up?

I ask these questions in a somewhat rhetorical way, yet I suppose hearing of another's similar experiences may help me to not feel so ungrateful. I sometimes do wonder if there are other military wives who have experience similar feelings in their world.

Is their another person who waits for months for their husband to rejoin their family, only to have feelings of anxiety when they do return? A person who writes e-mails each and every night about their day in hopes that "daddy" comes home feeling like he has not missed a thing in the lives of the ones he loves and then when he does come home, the fact that their perfect house is somehow an uncontrollable disaster area is an obsession that outweighs any happiness that this homecoming should bring.

Is there anyone who lays in bed each night with a small feeling of loneliness because they have a great marriage, yet they are somehow alone, and then can't sleep with their prayers have been answered and they share their bed once again with the person they love? Is there a person out there who feels all of these things and then at that moment when the love of their life pops back into the daily routine....they feel like all they want to do is be alone again?!?!?!

I know that the answer to all of these questions is "yes". I have been a military wife for long enough to know that there has been a time in most of our lives that we finally get a moment alone and we have a lump in our throat of sadness and guilt and just plain fear....a lump that may lead us to cry...but probably not. We will sit alone and assess our anxiety and our anger and then just come to a place of acceptance about it all.

This is our life. We truly DON'T want to be alone with our children and the full responsibility of all that our lives throw at us. We DO want to have a partner to be a daddy, to play with our kids, to watch TV with at night and to sleep with! We do want that..."I" do want that! So why is it that i can feel this way again and again? Well....I have no answer for that, but what I am 100% secure in is that I will come to terms with this sudden change in my live - this sudden input of another living, breathing person into my world.

I was asked to be a rock for the past month, handle it all, do it all, and never let those kids see me sweat! I had a good month, and I did it - without sadness and with gusto!! My kids having a great life and our overall happiness far out weights my sorrow for a few lonely nights!

But in the end...I missed my husband...the father of my partner in this crazy life of ours. Missed him and I am glad he is home. I will find a way to detox from my life of independence and to become a family again! And I will find that way soon! It never takes all that long! I am sure of that because I have done it before and I find comfort in that because I will do it again!

And anyone reading this...please accept this blog as a out pour of recent emotion, not a complaint about a life that I have chosen! I just know that my feelings have been felt by others and I want to be honest so that maybe someone can say "Wow...I have felt like that and just never shared feels good to know I am not alone!". And if on the other side of the fence - you find that I am NUTS!! Well...YOU ARE RIGHT THERE TOO!!! ha ha ah aha ha

Happy to be back in blog land! More soon!


dollydimples said...

Ok. So, how can I not like a blog that starts with "ERICA SAID IT BEST"? hehe No, really. Renee, I think you hit the nail on the head for so many people. You are just one of the few with enough courage and honesty to say the words. We have all gone through this as military wives. The only people who would "judge" you are those being dishonest with themselves, or those who have never had to face this "mandatory independence." I find the days leading up to a deployment and the first few days after are harder than the actual time spent least for those still at home. There is so much pressure to make those days memorable, that they often get ruined with our attempts.

Before I got married and entered the military life, I would have read your words and thought "what is wrong with her marriage?" Now, I read them and think "wow...she has a great marriage, or she could not be that honest about what is going on." So, Renee, you continue to impress me with your complete honesty, openness, and lack of fear. You are NOT alone. You will never be, as long as I can help it. You were right when you said the military support system is like no other. Consider me an integral part of that. I appreciate every word you said. At the risk of getting all of my military friends in trouble, I will just say once again...You are not alone.

Much Love,

dollydimples said...

One more are not ungrateful. You are real!! And if you ask me, that is one of the most beautiful qualities a person can have.

Dianne said...

Renee, I'm not a military wife, but I think any independent-minded married woman has mixed feelings about taking on life by herself. Bob was never gone like Stephen has been, but even the week or two here and there over the years that he was gone, I relished the days doing "my thing" and felt some disquieting thoughts when I was "disappointed" when he returned. I remember one time Bob overheard me talking about this with his mother (she was alone alot, too, you know). He was so hurt, but as time has gone by and we're more comfortable with each other, we realize each of us needs to do and be ourselves, independently. At the same time knowing the other is there to love us when "we come home".

Love your blog. You're a great writer. How about a book?