Well, that caught me off guard…
For those of you who have been following this blog for a while you will know that for the first 6 months of 2018, my Hubby was posted overseas on an op tour. This left me at home, with two small children, and it was pretty tough going. It was our first deployment and it was the longest and toughest 6 months of my life. That said, almost as soon as he returned I felt a million times better and thought it was ‘over it’…
So fast forward 3 months and we are settled in our new home in America. We are loving being a family of four again and having Hubby home for dinner every night. Then he had to go to Texas for a few nights last week, for work. I figured that we would all be perfectly fine, after all what is 4 nights when we’ve all survived for 6 months without him?!
As it turns out, perhaps my daughter and I hadn’t quite processed all of the emotions that were brought up during the deployment. She is 4 and very articulate so sometimes it is easy to forget that she is still young and may have some trouble processing big changes, like say Daddy being away for 6 months or moving across the world away from family….
We had discussed with her that Daddy was going away for a few nights and she seemed ok about it. I tried to talk to her about it again one night and she replied, ‘I know Mummy, Daddy already told me!’ so I figured she had her head round it. However, the first day he was gone I picked her up from preschool and her teacher told me that she had had a meltdown during the day. Fullscale, wailing tantrum over next-to-nothing. Don’t get me wrong, this girl is partial to a tantrum but not usually at preschool. She usually saves that pleasure for her Dad and me. I guess she didn’t quite have her head around it after all.
But as it turns out, she wasn’t the only one. I very quickly found myself missing him – more that is reasonable for a 4 night trip! I found myself right back in deployment mode. The house felt eerily quiet and I felt the heavy weight of responsibility for the kids. Would I know what to do if one of them was seriously ill or had an accident? What if there was an emergency? Would I cope?
I jumped at every little noise at night, sleeping very lightly and feeling drained when I was awake. Our bed felt very cold and empty. In short, I missed him. My emotions were also bubbling just below the surface. To put it into perspective, I found myself crying at the Sex and the City Movie. Not just at the sad bits either, I was crying at the funny bits too. Then laughing at myself crying…
Thankfully, he arrived home as planned and there were no dramas or emergencies in his absence. I’ve come to realise what an emotional trauma the deployment was and how lasting the effects are. Now, I’m not sure how we all got through that 6 months and it seems like another life. It maybe doesn’t sound like it from this blog but I think we are all stronger for getting through it. That said, I hope we don’t need to do it again any time soon!
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