*This post is inspired by the post I read this morning at Smurfoflauge Cafe. I had too many emotions and didn’t want to throw up in her comments.
It’s hard not to feel isolated as a military spouse. You try to talk to your civilian friends and family about your feelings, but most of them don’t get it. They don’t know what it’s like to have a spouse gone for months at a time, sometimes a year or more. They don’t understand why you get frustrated when you haven’t seen your spouse in months because, “you’re lucky he’s stateside and safe.”
The whole stateside thing brings up a whole other issue. If you have a bad day and dare vent about it, there is always, always, that one other military spouse who says, “Well at least he’s not deployed!” Such a cop out. My spouse may not be deployed, but I am still entitled to my feelings. You don’t have a right to make my feelings invalid just because my spouse isn’t currently deployed.
Please don’t tell me I knew what I was getting into when I signed up for this. No, I didn’t. When I got married, it was for one weekend a month, two weeks a year. A group of terrorists on 9-11 changed all of that, and even being a Guard spouse became so much more than I expected – than any of us expected. I think @Armyspouse007 said it best the other day,
BTW if you ever tell a military spouse ‘well, you knew what you were getting into’ you are pretty much an unhelpful low life.
Then you have families like mine. We’re active Guard/Reserve (AGR). We’re not active duty enough for the active duty families, and too active duty for the Guard families.
You also have our current assignment. My husband is part of a ROTC cadre. ROTC is a monster unto its own. The schedule is flexible, yet not. There is no FRG. There are rarely group get togethers due to the schedule and how spread out we all are. Most places, there is no post or base. There is no MTF, commissary, PX, etc. You’re just out there living among the civilians.
My boys are on the autism spectrum. They are verbal, so we’re not autistic enough for the autistic families, and not “normal” enough for the nypical (short for neurotypical) families. We still have therapy appointments almost every day during the week to schedule, and lots of behavioral work we do at home, but we feel like we have zero support. I won’t even mention support or lack thereof from our families.
Add the military layer of being a special needs parent and stir.
Then you add chronic illness. Yes, I don’t complain about it often, but I have my own issues with chronic pain and migraines. I find ways to function, so again, I’m not bad enough for the people who are “really” suffering. I have too much on my plate to just lay around all the time. I figure it out.
Going through all of this, you feel like no one really understands your life. You’re straddling the lines into all of these worlds, and not really feeling any true support from any of them. I can see why spouses are starting to break down. I can see why families are breaking apart under the stress. If I didn’t have the few supports I have, I would definitely break, but I have enough to keep me going for now.