So scared, looking for encouragement... — The Bump
Military Families

So scared, looking for encouragement...

I never even considered myself a "military wife" or anything like that. DH and I met after his active duty was over and I've only ever known him in the reserves and doing the once a month drill, etc.The military has not been a defining part of our life together.  All his friends that were in the Navy with him got out once they started to have families. DH did not, but always alluded that he'd likely never get called up and if he did, he'd consider getting out. 

Well, last night he told me he's on the list for this spring.  And he's doing it. I don't even know how to process this. Besides the fact that we have a 2 year old, and 2 MONTH old, and not one single family member within 4 hours of us,   I am so scared to be without him for a long period of time and obviously the bigger, scarier possibility.

I guess i am looking for some encouraging words from women who are doing this already and how do you get through it????? I can't stop crying, and just feel so sick to my stomach. I am not trying to be overly dramatic (which i hope it doesn't seem to you who have been doing this for years), but I' feel as if we've been told he's terminally ill or something. I'm sorry if that sound terrible, I think it's just that no one in our circle of friends or family have gone through this and like i said, i don't even know how to process it.

Re: So scared, looking for encouragement...

  • I'm sorry that your DH will be deploying. It is difficult and scary, but, you can and will get through it. My DH left for training when I was about 20 weeks and redeployed when our LO was nine months old. There were times that I felt like it was almost easier to be on my own, with LO. I didn't have to prepare meals, the house didn't need to be cleaned as often, less laundry. . . Yes, I would have preferred my DH be home, but, he wasn't, so I appreciated the positives.

    I am an Army wife, so I don't know Navy terms, but is there a family support group with your DH's unit? Are there other local families within the unit? Being in the DC area, you will have resources and support available to you that are close enough to use. (Many Reserve families are often too far removed from such supports.). Plus, there are so many former military folks in the area. So, try to get yourself familiar with what is available before your DH leaves.

    Your friends and family will likely not know what to best say or do to help you, and that is hard. Do your best to help them to help you. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Often, I just liked having someone to talk to while my DH was away. Do all that you can to get your support system in place before he leaves.

    For me and my DH, it was important that he know that I was okay while he was gone (which was impossible at times, especially after a very hard delivery experience and PPD), but, I needed my DH's mind on his mission, not worrying about me, LO, bills, the house, the dog. . . YKWIM? I needed him to do all that he could to accomplish his mission and come home safely. He needed me to take care of myself, the baby, the dog, the finances, the cars and the house so that he could focus. We also needed to be strong as a couple and confident in our vows so that neither of us had to worry about infidelity. Talk to your DH about your fears, your worries and listen to him when he shares what he is thinking about. IMO, there is an element of sucking it up and putting on your big girl panties. . . But you just learned about the deployment, so it is okay to be scared and cry.

    I will say that the time leading up to when my DH left was challenging. We found out in September and he left for training in February. It was hard on me knowing he was leaving. I was ready for him to go so that we could start our count down to when he came home. Putting him on the plane to deploy was so hard, but, once I got used to him being away, things settled down. There were many days that I woyld forget that my life was not what others would consider normal, but it became MY normal.

    Sorry this is so long, but I understand the feelings you are experiencing and wanted to share a bit of what I experienced. You will get through it. Some days are better than others, but you muddle through.
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  • My DH is deployed right now and I have a 2.5yr old and 1yr old right now.  It is doable and you really just have to take one day or even one hour at a time.  In the beginning it was difficult but the most difficult was bath time when DS2 was crying when I was bathing DS1.  As they have both gotten older (DH has been gone for awhile) it has gotten easier and it isn't nearly as daunting now as it was a few months ago. 

    DS1 is in a part time daycare which gave me time to do errands with just 1 child and have one-on-one time with DS2.  If I do errands with both kids, I wear DS2 and DS1 sits in the cart (the seat section, not the big area of the cart).  I hire babysitters sometimes so I can run errands alone sometimes too.

    Things seem daunting now, but once you get a routine going and find ways to make things easier for yourself it won't seem so hard.  I"m not going to lie though, just like when your DH is home you will have good days and bad days with the kids by yourself.  Just remember that bedtime comes and a new day starts tomorrow.

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  • Oh my gosh, I know exactly how you feel... I met DH after his AD years, and I found out he was on a mob. list last feb. for the spring- I was two months pregnant when I found out and I was absolutely terrified. My morning sickness must have been stress-induced because it started the day after we found out. Well, here I am, in the middle of the deployment. 

     

    Its not as bad as I thought it would be! He left in May for training, was gone all summer and had one week of leave in August. Then he left for afghanistan, I had my baby in sept. and he will be gone for roughly her first year.  Yes, it sucks sometimes but honestly... the time leading up to it was SO much worse. I felt so much more stressed in the months before he left, I feel like I am coming into my role as a military wife, and I think I could handle him being AD just fine. 

     

    Please feel free to PM me (just do a shout out in a post so I know, I suck at checking them lol).... I feel for you SO much, I have been in your shoes and its really rough. Its like... you know its a possibility, but you still never think its going to happen and when it does, it feels like your life falls apart.

    But I promise, it gets better. You get stronger than you thought you could ever be. GL!!! 

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  • I'm sorry your husband is deploying. Everyone else has already given you very good advice, but I just wanted to mention that you will get through it. It seems daunting and like it will last forever in the beginning, but time really does fly and it will be over before you know it. 

    You mentioned you don't have family near you. Have you thought about going to stay with family for some time while he's gone? When my husband was in Afghanistan, I stayed with my parents for several months and it was great. The change of scenery was just what I needed, and it helped me feel less lonely.

    If that's not an option for you, definitely look into a spouses group or any other resources that the base has. There will be lots of other women in your shoes, and it will definitely help to get to know them.

    Good luck! 

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  • Thank you all for your encouragement. It is just what I needed to hear. I may pm you guys, thanks for that offer too. thank you so much
  • The other ladies had great suggestions. I just wanted to reassure you that you're not sounding overly dramatic. The deployments for Guard and reserve families are really a different animal. We AD spouses expect it and know where our commissaries and FRG groups and such are. For you guys, it really does come out of the blue and you are often in an area with little to no support.

     

    I often felt that the best support I got was the nonverbal kind, from other soldier friends and spouses while DH was deployed (3x, once from 10 days prior to DD's birth until she was 15 months!). They just sortof got it and talked about it like the deployment was a regular thing. The well-meaning comments from family and coworkers back home bugged me. They'd say "Oh, I don't know how you do it!" meaning to be complimentary but it starts sounding like "You're insane!" or "I'd be too weak to handle that separation", and really, how do you respond to THAT? :)

     

    Towards the beginning, you really may not know what sort of support you need, and it's fine to say that you're processing the deployment and thank you for their offer to help and that once you figure out what you need, you'll definitely call! And I second the idea to find your military support system before DH deploys. It's normal to want to hide in your house and just allow yourself to be miserable for the first weekend or week alone, but it can be hard to motivate after that to go out and make new connections if you didn't already find out where to find military help.

     

    Good luck, and you will get through this!

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  • Thank you for your reply Lithigin, you hit the nail on the head. H and i talked again last night about it and I said exactly what you said - if he was AD I would have expected this, but it totally came out of nowhere for me.

    I really appreciate all the great advice. I will work on a military support system now.  I have no idea where to start with that, but I am sure H can support with that.

    Thanks again,.

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