I Am Not Strong

iamnotstrongI am not a strong military wife.  I did not spend my husbands deployment “keeping busy” as all the advice suggests.  I did not have a calm and cool exterior.  I did not keep my fear bottled up inside so that others would never guess the inner turmoil I was facing.

I sat on my couch in my pajamas for nearly a year.  I took three months off from school.  I nearly failed my last set of finals.  I read books that were stupid because I couldn’t allow myself to think.  I hid in my house so that I didn’t have to interact with a public that didn’t understand.  I cried at commercials that depicted even the smallest amount of cammo colored anything.  I was not strong.

I am still not strong.

I have a blog.  This blog allows me to put out my emotions and fears so that those around me might think I am cool, calm and collected at any given moment.  But the truth is, one not so special day in April marked another anniversary of the last day that I could ever say that I had been a strong person.  Because that was the last day that my life was even remotely normal and non-threatening.

One, not so special day, my husband boarded a bus for an undisclosed airport and my life changed.  In an instant, in a millisecond, I went from being your average gal, twenty-something years old, worrying about shoes and what was on TV to a young woman, who wasn’t quite sure if her husband was alive and who hadn’t heard from him in ten days and was simply trying not to panic with each second that passed.

You see, I thought I was strong.  But when all you have to worry about is that little piece of hair that won’t lay flat in your ponytail, it’s pretty easy to think so.  And that quote, “You never know how strong you are, until being strong is the only choice you have.”  Yeah, I think that quote is a whole lot of crap.  This life, this strange and unique and often wonderful life we call being married to a military man is full of times when we should be strong, but find we can’t be.  It’s full of times when we should have patience, but find there is none left.  It’s full of times when we are supposed to understand, but find that understanding is the last thing we want to be.

I am not strong.  It’s not that I had a choice to be anything other than strong, it’s that when it came down to it, when the doors were closed and the shades drawn, when the public wasn’t watching and there was no one near by to hear, I was not strong.  I was anything but.

About A Girl

A Girl is a 20 something blogger who began blogging in 2008 as a means of coping with a deployment. She is a Veterinary Technician by trade and loves her work in Emergency and Critical Care. She is married to a 11 year veteran of the USMC reserves, whom she meet shortly after he returned from a deployment. They have been married for four years, have three, very bratty dogs, and are currently trying to muddle through the aftermath of a difficult deployment for both.

24 thoughts on “I Am Not Strong

  1. My husband was in Vietnam for a year. It’s awful. I had a job so I had to get up every day. If a person hasn’t gone through this they can’t know how hard it is. All you want to do is be with him. That was 40 odd years ago. It’s been a rocky road, I won’t say it’s been easy. No relationship is easy (or I should say not many are easy). But we are still together, still trying to make it work, still loving each other…. best wishes to you. Linda

    • Sometimes I think so too. We are pretty quite to romanticize it (even though it’s not on purpose that we do) and sometimes I think it’s important for us all to remember that it’s normal to struggle with this life sometimes.

  2. Wow. This is so strong and so true. I was pregnant with our first kiddo when my Fiance went on his second deployment, and we were going through a really hard time…it sucked. Deployments are different for everyone, but they are never easy.

    I’m a new follower from the Weekend Social blog hop :) Would love it if you checked out and followed my blog too!

    Celena
    http://mystayathomemamalife.blogspot.com/

  3. I came across your blog from another blogger. I too believe I was not strong. My husband is also in the Reserves and it is SO difficult to navigate through a deployment when your community does not understand. I always hear, like you said, the expectations of what a Military Spouse should be like and how we are supposed to go about our life. I couldn’t. Sure I was in school and worked part time but most nights I’d fall apart. I kept going because I had no other choice. But I dread ever having to go through it again. I wonder, how have you and your husband dealt with this? My husband came back a couple years ago and we are still dealing with how tough it was, for both (in different ways). We are also both 20 somethings, but we live in NY. Imagine how small the military community is here. You are not alone!!

  4. My husband sent me this quote at the beginning of this deployment when I was having a really hard time.

    Strength is not the ability to hold it together and not break down, true strength of character is knowing that you will break down and being able to work through it with the support of everyone you love.

    We all break down, some of us are strong enough to admit it. I think thats the only difference. I would have way more PJ days if I did not have two midgets keeping me busy. You are strong in the ways that matter you made it through. :)
    Crystal recently posted…This is real life! (Homefront update)My Profile

  5. Love this post. Why? The honesty & the true, raw emotion. deployments are hard and I’ve never felt so weak & alone in my life – until I faced my first deployment. I didn’t hide my fear or concern either. I also cried.. everyday. I stayed in my condo as much as possible. The military wife club isn’t a fun club – it’s not filled with perks and awards as it’s broadcasted.
    Thank you for sharing … <3, Amy
    Amy recently posted…April 30th, 2013My Profile

  6. I have often felt that way too. When I run to my room many times during the day just to cry into my pillow, I do not feel very strong at all. *hugs*

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