I know, everyone is waiting patiently for "Bubbleology Part 2" - or not. But it's not today because lameo me still has to download the pictures. But if you feel you can't wait until I get around to it check back on Tuesday since I did take some pictures with my phone. Yep, you know how I am.
Today I decided to talk about my worst deployment ever. Which wasn't when I was deployed (although that stunk), but of course it was one of Erik's deployments. Erik always deployed a lot more than I did when I was active duty. Perhaps it was the job, who knows?
And before you think "Is there such a thing as a good deployment?", I want to say no, I don't think there is. But there are deployments that are higher on the crap-meter than others.
Before we got stationed here in SC we were stationed in Washington State at Fairchild. No friggin' exaggeration - I saw my husband less than two years of the four we lived there. He was always deployed. But none of those were the worst - and those could surely qualify. Convoy duty, no communication for weeks at time, even me being in the AOR with him. Yep - you'd think one of those would be it, but nope.
We moved here in July 2006. July 12th to be exact. July 16th, I got a phone call from my brother in law that my sister had passed away. Suddenly. I was texting her pictures of houses we were looking at earlier that day. Shocked would be an understatement. My mom passed just two weeks later. So, 2006 was a crappy year and if my birthday wasn't in July I would just do June twice and move onto August.
January 2007 Erik deployed. Not his first deployment, but his first deployment here. I was working in an office full of people (with ONE exception) that I couldn't stand (yeah - my boss got angry that I needed to take leave to go to my sisters funeral right after I got here - see who I was working for?) and with no support system in place (which is the worst). It's hard being active duty married to active duty. For some reason people don't think of you as a 'spouse'. That's why good co-workers were so important for me.
I'm not sure when, maybe two or three months into this deployment Zach and I were at a dear longtime friends house. When we left Zach said "Mom, you're still the best mom even though you yell a lot more than you used to." And the next thought that came into my mind was "Maybe he'd be better off without me." Over-reaction? Maybe. Real life true thought? You betcha.
The deployment wasn't different (actually he was in a better place!), and if we had still been at Fairchild I could have walked into my boss and said "I'm in a serious world of hurt. Can we get Erik back?" and no one would have thought any less of me. Or him. But here? At a new base? With a boss who was, to put it bluntly, a moronic jack-ass? No way I was going to ask for help (not even from my friend of almost 20 years because he worked with Erik). I couldn't risk his career or my career by doing anything at all. Maybe there would be no risk at all, but who can chance it, really? I knew I couldn't (or wouldn't). The person I would have usually talked to (my sister) was gone. It was a very bad place to be in.
Why am I sharing this? Because we as military spouses need to know that all those feelings, those bad days, those stupid questions (How do you do it? ), or supposedly 'nice' comments (It could be worse....) are NORMAL. We all have them, and hear them and sometimes we have really bad ones, but no one's is better or worse than someone else's. When I reached that point during that deployment I should have been so beyond that. Should have. I was basically a deployment pro. But I wasn't - not that time. Nobody knew - no one I worked with, none of my friends or family, and especially not my husband. No spouse should have to feel isolated like that and no spouse should make other spouses feel like they need to keep stuff to themselves.
So all my mispouses - be helpful, not hurtful. Think before you speak because you never know where that other person really is. Be there for each other - always. But most of all, never forget your worse deployment because it will help be better friends to each other.
Until next time ~ Kris