There’s something really amazing about a laugh that comes unexpectedly and warms your heart right when you need it most. To be understood is a pretty phenomenal thing and not something I can often boast I am.
We all are tortured in someway. We all have burdens that we carry with us, hidden in places we won’t admit are there, even to ourselves. I am no different. A year ago, I was no different. A year ago, I was blogging about my struggles. I was openly talking about my marriage and one day I stopped. I stopped because I didn’t want to let this one facet of who I am become all I could be.
I never lied, I never sugar coated the truth. My deployment experience was horrible. It tore apart my life. It put cracks in the foundation of my marriage and that made some people very uncomfortable. This blog has always been a place that I have gone to laugh at who I am. It’s where I share my lessons, most often learned the hard way, so that others do not have to. But what no military spouse wants to be reminded of is that some of us do not come back together so easily. What not many civilians understand is that there is a difference between being thankful your spouse is home safe, and being able to translate that back into an everyday life pattern. So I stopped talking about it, to show myself I could be more than that person.
My burden is that, all these years later, I still weep wildly in my car when no one is looking. I still hurt, but no one is allowed to see, not even my husband. He does not understand that some habits can’t be broken and the habit I have yet to let go of is the fear that I can only ever be sure he is safe when he is in my eye line. Each second that he is not, is a second that I have to bury my fear and remind myself that he is just at work, at the bar with a friend, or walking to get the mail.
It means that the woman who never cried now struggles to watch shows that depict anyone dying. Because it serves to remind me that the burden I hide is one of not allowing myself to let go. And I can’t let go, because I’m scared that the moment I do, the moment I allow myself to feel safe again, is the moment it will all be taken away.
When that comes to the surface, I thank goodness that I have this blog. That I have a place, no matter how small it might be in this great, dizzying universe, where there are people who understand me. And it’s a place I can laugh, often so unexpectedly, but right when I need it most to feel whole again.
Because we all have a secret burden, one we even hide from ourselves, and mine is that I can’t let go of the fear I lived in for a year because I would never be able to put myself back together should something happen, if I wasn’t always preparing myself emotionally for it.