I can't get my head to clear...to find peace...to find calm. I can't. This 2 weeks of hubby being at pre-deployment training is breaking me down. It's practice for the real thing....and I'm afraid I'm failing. It's all coming down on my in an instant...what I thought I could handle, for what I was sure I was prepared...is turning out to be my undoing. The world became heavy and dark this week....and I can't seem to catch my breath. I'm on the verge of tears constantly...which I am forced to choke down. Once one escapes I fear I will be unable to deter the rest.
All of it right now is bearing down on me....the magnitude of a year, the weight of the responsibility, the reality of alone-ness and the increasing sense of solitude. And my mama-bear is ever growing...overwhelming my need to protect my boys. Too many have offered "words of wisdom" in regards to how to handle deployment and my children. But until you've walked in my shoes and have been faced with picking up the pieces after 4 little boys tell their daddy good bye for a year...then please don't offer words of advice. My sons do not have to "suck it up"; they don't have to "deal with it"; and for heaven's sake don't patronize them by saying "a year will go fast". None of that is true! And their reality is that there is no guarantee that their father will ever come home. This is a war....soldiers die every single day....and that is the reality that I have to face...and swallow...and answer when my 2 oldest boys look up at me and ask. As an adult, yes, I have to "suck it up" and "deal with it", but my boys do not.
My reality is that our 7 year old son has worked hard enough to make it the state wrestling tournament...and he is ranked #1 in the state in his weight class! That's exciting and amazing and worthy of congratulations! But his reality is that his dad has been denied a 24 hour pass to come and watch and cheer and support and share the experience...which is now overshadowed with disappointment. That same little boy also has to go without a kiss or hug from daddy on his 8th birthday on Monday. He will go without his daddy on his 9th birthday because he will be in Afghanistan. Daddy missed his 6th birthday, his 1st birthday and his birth....all for the military. So please don't tell my child to "suck it up"....don't you think he has?
My reality is that my 12 year old son has been scarred from his daddy's first deployment. And he is struggling...struggling to make sense, struggling to grow up, struggling to be my helper, struggling to take care of his brothers, struggling to be strong, struggling to ignore the inevitable goodbye, struggling to be the man of the house when he is only just a boy. So please don't tell him he needs to "deal with it"....don't you think he is?
There is no instruction manual as to how to approach this situation. I am doing my best. And the only thing I know how to do is gather my cubs in my cave and attack anyone who threatens any harm. It might not be the best way...but it's the only way I know. I'm doing my best....I'm trying to hold it all together....I'm trying to be mommy and daddy to my four boys...I'm trying to get them to every event they want to attend....I'm trying to teach and mold and correct...I'm trying to put on a smile and tell everyone, "It's ok. We'll be fine. I've got it under control." I'm trying...but this week I'm failing.
My heart is aching...for me, for my boys, for what my hubby will miss. My mind is racing...with unanswerable questions, with relentless prayers, with fears that keep me from sleep, with "words of wisdom" that leave me questioning my sanity, with bitterness and anger of which I cannot seem to let go. And with all of that...comes guilt. Because there are families out there that would love to have the option of sending their soldier back to war...only they didn't return after the first time. Who am I to whine and complain when I was blessed with my soldier's safe return, 7 years, and 2 more babies between deployments. We have a beautiful home and more than enough food....and yet I whine. So with all of the emotions that are drowning me, the cherry on top is guilt. I have no justification in feeling this way. My cup should be overflowing with gratitude and blessings.........................................but troubled waters run deep in my soul.