A Year Ago

Victor Habbick freedigitalphoto.net

Victor Habbick

A year ago, I became a different person to prove to the world that I could be more than who I was.  A year ago, I made a decision to show the world a different side of who I am.  A year ago, I buried a person that I didn’t want to be anymore, but had to admit that I was.

There are not many things in military life that are taboo.  This life means that we make friends fast, get married even faster, have families young, and rarely shy away from politics.  In this life, injury and death are not uncommon to talk about, because we all know someone who came home injured, or not at all.   There are a lot of things that get discussed in a military marriage that most find uncomfortable.  Before I had even walked down the aisle, I knew my husband’s last wishes, where he wanted to be buried, what kind of funeral he wanted, and whom he would choose to eulogize him.  Within our first month of marriage, he had drafted a will and I had a life insurance policy taken out on me just in case something happened while he was gone.

These are not topics that most newlyweds discuss.

But one thing that has remained a topic rarely discussed is what happens when they come home and things are not perfect.  There are things we spouses have to accept.  Some of them never come home.  Some come home, but only in body.  But what about those who come home and the gap that was spread like a chasm between them and their spouse is insurmountable?

A year ago, I wrote openly about our struggles.  Two years ago I lamented that we just couldn’t seem to reconnect.  And three years ago was the first time that I learned I was not alone.

And yet, I made people uncomfortable with my honesty.  I received hate mail.  I was told that I was the problem.  I was a bad wife and terrible American.  I was called ungrateful because I was open about the difficulty we faced making our lives come back together.  I was told that everyone judged me, because I was alone in this struggle.  But I wasn’t.  But a year ago, I buried those struggles and chose to show the world that brave face that they have come to expect from military spouses.  We who never falter in our faithfulness, we who never question staying,; we who can hold together any life, no matter how broken it may be.

A year ago, our life was fractured.  The very foundation of who we were was fractured, fissured, and I was unsure of who we would be on the other side.  Sometimes, I still am.  Because not everyone comes home and back together so easily.  Because everyday, I look at my life and am never quite sure how I got here.  Because a year ago, I told my husband I would wait for him, come what may and I meant it.

A year ago I was a girl, who loved a boy who was more Marine than husband. And I still am.  I love a Marine who will never be anything else.  And our life is nowhere near perfect and I don’t know if it ever can be again.  And I think people need to know that.  It’s not a topic most want to read about, but it’s something that is important to understand.  I love my husband and a year ago, people told me that that love wasn’t enough because we weren’t meant to be if we couldn’t come back together after a deployment.

A year ago, I buried who I was because I didn’t want to be her anymore.  But I am.  But it is not all that I am any more than being a military spouse is all that I am.  But not everyone comes back together so easily.

About A Girl

A Girl is a 20 something blogger who began blogging in 2008 as a means of coping with a deployment. She is a Veterinary Technician by trade and loves her work in Emergency and Critical Care. She is married to a 11 year veteran of the USMC reserves, whom she meet shortly after he returned from a deployment. They have been married for four years, have three, very bratty dogs, and are currently trying to muddle through the aftermath of a difficult deployment for both.

18 thoughts on “A Year Ago

  1. This was such a heartfelt post. I am sorry that people judged you for your experiences. I have too felt the effects of reintegration from deployment and how as the spouse you usually get the full brunt of it. It is not easy, and sometimes you wonder why you stay. It takes a lot of work to be in a military relationship. I think what resonated with me is the line you said that he is more Marine than husband. I think we all know this coming into it, but sometimes our hearts have a hard time catching up to this fact. At times this is what is the hardest part because so much of daily life is sacrificed and you have to try to figure out ways to pick up those pieces when things change constantly, and usually we/our marriage is put on the back burner. We are always rebuilding, and sometimes it is harder than others. I hope that you don’t always feel like you are alone in this matter, because you are not!
    Stephanie recently posted…Talks with Tom #17My Profile

  2. I do not think it is un-American for us to know what our military personnel and their spouses go through. We should know that they have a hard time because it is their sacrifice for us. You’re brave for being so honest.
    Steph @ From the Burbs to the Boonies recently posted…Last post for now, hope to come back somedayMy Profile

  3. I love and appreciate when bloggers open up and share stories like this. Lots of love. <3
    Jane recently posted…Want to grow your blog?My Profile

  4. This is so heartfelt and moving. We all have different experiences in the military, but yet we are able to still closely identify with each other. I have felt the pain and struggle you wrote about as well. I am thankful that you have shared your heart….it gives others the chance to say “me too, I get it and I’m glad I’m not alone.”
    Malori recently posted…2013: A Year In ReviewMy Profile

  5. You are so brave to put yourself out there. To continue to write after getting all the hate mail that you received proves that even further. I truly believe that there are many more in your shoes that many would like to believe.
    Lisa Dunham Trudell recently posted…Nebraska is home to first homesteadMy Profile

  6. I think what you wrote was certainly well written and heart felt. I don’t understand why we are so quick to judge others!

    If you haven’t been there why do you feel the need to say nasty things behind the safety of a keyboard?

    I totally understand where you are coming from. I myself had trouble coming home after I left for 3 months. I struggled to get back into the swing of things of being a wife and a mother and then getting it quickly taken away because not even a week later my husband left for a year remote tour. I wonder how things will be when he returns and we will have to pick up where we left off.

    I think it’s normal to feel disconnected after a deployment after all you’ve created this life without your spouse there and then they come back and change your groove it’s very difficult to readjust. But you do, you always do and you are stronger for it. It takes time and no one should begrudge you that.

    You are a strong military spouse.

  7. What a moving, genuinely beautiful piece. Thank you for sharing; I think this resonates with every significant other who has ever had to wait for the end of a deployment. You are amazing!
    Joanna recently posted…15 Care Package Ideas to Banish the Winter BlahsMy Profile

  8. I commend you for sharing your struggles and being open and honest about REAL marriage and REAL life. My husband was on his way out of the Army when I met him, and by the time we were married he was out. I’ve never had to deal with deployment or the moving or any of that…HOWEVER our marriage has been through the ringer a bit and I think it has MUCH to do with the Army and the after affects of being to war at a very young age. The public does not understand what going to war can do to someone, just because they are home DOES NOT mean they are safe…or that they feel safe. Not to mention what the transition out does to the Soldier. It’s a very trying thing to go through, and I’m glad we’ve made it through.

  9. Hugs, friend. I think your struggles are a reality for more people than we think.
    reccewife recently posted…This Is The Internet!My Profile

  10. A very honest and real piece. Marriage is hard, but I really truly believe that marriage while being part of the military makes it harder. So many of us can relate to you and the struggles of trying to reconnect from a deployment. Beautiful piece <3

  11. It’s a good thing life is wonderful even when it’s not perfect. Way to own your journey <3
    Lauren Saglimbene recently posted…The Brownie and Kale DietMy Profile

  12. I just want to hug you, not for sticking with your man but because you are being brave enough to talk about something that isn’t discussed in daylight. My younger brother was a Marine (technically still is, once a Marine always a Marine) and when he came back from his last tour he was very changed. It’s taken many years to get a semblance of the young man we once knew back.

    I’m glad to see a woman who loves her man enough to stick it out despite how hard it can be to close that gap.

    (hugs) Here’s hoping that the next year brings you two even closer together.
    Felicia recently posted…Unveiling the 2014 Blog BinderMy Profile

  13. I can’t even imagine being married to someone and having to be separated from him for such a long time, worrying about what may happen to him. And when he comes back, of course things will be different. You have not been together in so long. Stay strong! :)
    Risa recently posted…Little K’s Incredible Journey – Week ThreeMy Profile

  14. I appreciate your honesty. I was previously married to a military man, and have many friends who are still spouses of those who are in service. Anyone who tells you that it’s easy, or who say that life is perfect and they don’t have any ill feelings about the constant deployments and the PCS’s, TDY’s, etc. are deluding themselves. It’s okay to admit that it’s tough, and at times feels like a burden, even with the blessings the military life can bring to the table (one friend, her daughter has type 1 diabetes, and it’s only with the help of Tricare that she’s able to be healthy). It doesn’t make you any less American. It makes you a real, honest person. I commend you for your strength, as well as your honesty!

  15. I have to wonder if those that said all those nasty things to you for being honest weren’t projecting some of their guilt for feeling the same way but hiding it rather than sharing their uncertainty. I can’t say that I completely understand because you see, I married my husband after his deployment – we literally met a couple weeks after he was back state side. In a way maybe it has been easier because I didn’t know him from prior to deployment so I’ve adapted to his “issues” after deployment without having a prior comparison or life before. That being said there have been struggles and some things in his head that while I try to be supportive, I will never completely understand so to some extent, I get it and I think you are a brave person for admitting to the world what we all know — not everything is perfect, far from it most of the time, but that doesn’t mean we give up.
    Alison recently posted…Reasons Why You Should Join the #Markerly Blogging NetworkMy Profile

  16. I wonder if those people who have said those things are scared because they feel the same things themselves. That or they are really just so clueless. You are not alone in what you’re feeling. Please don’t ever think you are!
    Poekitten recently posted…A Winter Wedding in MaineMy Profile

  17. That gap is so hard to bridge. Then we struggle to keep those fine connections when another deployment, or even an assignment like Korea or an unaccompanied school comes up. Something else most people don’t talk about is that military families must constantly rebuild and regrow. You are NOT alone.
    Casey recently posted…My One Word, 2014My Profile

  18. Bless you. Bless you. Bless you. Never stop being true to yourself.
    And you are not alone. I can immediately think of at least one person I love that is in your shoes. Some of them not married to a Marine, but walking down the same path. And I can add myself to the list if I am really honest. Struggle, worry, frustration, anger, and a host of other feelings because of finding yourself in a situation that you feel you cannot control is so common. You are not alone and if people tell you that, they are lying. To you and to themselves. Being true to yourself, sometimes it is the hardest thing in the world to do. Thank you!
    Daisy recently posted…Fre….Fre…..Fre…..Freezing!!!!!My Profile

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