Before I get into this post, let me be clear that I do not have a case of the “Bah humbugs”, but rather, I’m having a blue Christmas. And not the pretty-blue-offset-by-white-and-silver-decorations. I am sad. I am lonely. I am missing the tradition that I can’t have this year.
Let me discuss the reality of this deployment and the FRG, compared to last time…
The first time my husband deployed, we were stationed at an active duty base, and I/we made the decision that I was moving home. Home was separated by 2 states from our base, and almost every spouse I knew moved to their home states as well. For most of them, it was across the country; either south or west. I consciously separated myself from the FRG, as it scattered and only became a thing of phone calls and check ups.
THIS TIME, we are with a Reserve Unit. Which means there is no “base” like there was before. Everyone lives in their respective states and towns. Some spouses and families are able to live within an hour radius of “Command”. Others, live a bit further away. I am one of those. I live roughly 3 hours from command, which means that I live 2-4 hours away from a lot of the spouses and family members of the unit. As you can expect, there’s not A LOT of get togethers scheduled, and numbers are down when there are. So this, and the fact that this is a reserve unit, so the majority of spouses are employed and not full-time housewives (a lot of us were when we were Active Duty), means we are all busy with something.
So, there is no real feel of “community”. I’d say this is what I so desperately want this time, but I am not desperate for it…I just recognize that I’m lacking it. I am thankful for the spouses who I have gotten to know, as well as for my family who is here for me, but no one knows the struggle of deployment of a spouse, like another spouse. Same as how I can’t speak for parents of a deployed child.
I’m sad, I’m moody, I’m stressed because I haven’t heard from my husband in 4 days and I don’t even know his location. I need community. I need deployment to be over, and my husband, and our soldiers, to be home. We’re always one more day down, and one less day left, but it’s so difficult this time of year to see past the absence.
Truth be told, I didn’t think it would bother me this much. I have a full time job that I love that keeps me busy and preoccupied, and enough going on socially that I don’t think about it all of the time. But it’s caught up with me. I guess you just can’t outrun the lonely.