Today the kids and I are sitting in a hotel room waiting for Chris to get back from drill so we can spend our last afternoon together before he leaves for his first leg of pre-deployment training in NJ. They have no idea that when we say "we are going home tomorrow" we don't mean all of us. They have no idea that the next time "Daddy has to go to work" it will be for nearly a month. They have no idea how long a month is...how do I explain it to them? How do I explain to two toddlers that Daddy is going to be at work for that long? How do I keep their relationship with him alive when he isn't there to play with them?
This being our first deployment, I am so lost on how to handle all the emotions and feelings I am trying to deal with. I can't tell the difference between regular stress, regular arguments, and deployment related stuff. When I suddenly can't seem to pick up heart up off the floor for no real reason, is it because I am just being an emotional baby about something he said, or is it because I know he is about to be gone and every tiny thing feels like a giant bolder being dropped in my fragile heart? How do I express the fact that I feel like I am losing him, but at the same time, can't wait for him to just be gone already?
I mean, I have been sitting around trying to adjust to the idea of him being gone for nearly a year, and haven't been able to just have it happen! It is like when you were a kid and you got caught doing something you shouldn't. Your parents would say "Go to your room, I'll deal with you later." That hour or hours you spend in your room waiting for the inevitable punishment feels like years. You imagine the worst, stress about how it is going to ruin your life, and wish with everything you have, that they would just come and give you your sentence so you can deal with it! This waiting period feels a lot like that. I was told I would be losing him this year. Then I had to wait for months...imagining the worst, trying to figure out how I would handle the change...feeling like it was just too huge for me to handle. I guess I just feel like I need to have it come so I can adjust and deal with it already. It is time to be done not knowing what is coming and how I will handle it.
The biggest problem is trying to keep myself here with him while he is still here. I am trying to still be connected to him and not make him feel like I am kicking him out the door, but still work on distancing myself enough so that when he does leave, I'm not left standing there with my heart not having any idea how to take care of it without him. It is the hardest balancing act I have ever tried to do.
I feel guilty for wishing he would leave. I feel sad that I am having so much trouble connecting when we have so little time left together. I feel angry with myself for not knowing how to handle this better. I feel lost on how to help my kids get through this. I feel in over my head in knowing how to have a relationship with a soldier who is so far away and more than anything just needs my support, but I don't know how to give without wanting it all in return. I feel afraid of what it will do to us if I don't get it together sooner rather than later. I feel sad that we have to go through this at all, but I also feel proud to be able to serve my country and to have a cause that means so much.
It is a roller coaster. I wish I had someone to help me understand it and make sense of all the emotions I can't just file neatly away where they should be so I can manage them all the way I would my home. I hate things not being in order. I hate having lose ends I can't neaten up.
I guess it is time for me to spend some time out of my comfort zone. I could use some growing...I just wish it didn't have to hurt so much.