It is a dreary overcast day, perfect for reading, or watching a handful of scary movies/tv shows. Or in my case receiving household goods. The windows are open and the scent of rain is slowly wafting in from outside, helped along by a strong gust of wind which also serves to gently rock my window blinds back and forth. My husband left for work a little over an hour ago with a promise to be careful and a “might be going out to the field I’ll let you know” Typical. But not surprising. It is after all part of his new job description and it isn’t like a few days away is going to kill me.
Especially not after those long five months have now thankfully come to a close. I used to get upset when he’d have to stay at drill for 3-5 days (how silly) but now I see it as the stepping stones they were. Drill was preparing me for the inevitability of him going active and being away for much longer periods of time. I got used to it, and to be blunt sometimes I even looked forward to it.
It isn’t like we’d be fighting and I wished him gone for pettiness sake, no. He can be extremely messy and sometimes picking up after a grown man gets very old….very quickly. And not even just that, for a few short months I lived alone, I would work a 10 hour day come home make myself something to eat and turn on my favorite tv show without having to consult anyone else or ask if they’d heard of it or if they were interested. I took long hot showers uninterrupted without thinking if the next person would have enough hot water.
I didn’t mind the silence, I loved having my own space, walking around dressed like a slob and eating as much junk food as I wanted without worrying what anyone thought of me. Not to say he actually minds what I eat, if anything he has helped my bad eating habits blossom into what they are today. I got so used to having him around that the thought of being without him drove me nuts, a few days seemed like a lifetime to me, but after I got used to his drill schedule and I learned how to be on my own again I can safely admit that I didn’t mind when he was away.
Now during the 5 month stretch that feeling didn’t come until about 3 months in and I was a walking disaster. Certain things would remind me of him and the urge to burst into tears often became so strong I just gave in. Sometimes my son mirrors my husbands expressions perfectly and that would send me over the edge, thinking about all the milestones my husband was missing wouldn’t make me upset but often times would send me into a blind fury! How dare he miss these things, a photo cannot capture the utter joy and immense pride one feels and sees when their child does something for the very first time.
Also I didn’t want to feel obligated to re-create the moment, it would feel like a forgery, and I would know it. Sucking the joy out of our sons first milestones with fakes was not what I wanted to do. So I held onto my fury and bitterness until I realized something….
We both knew what we were getting into when we decided to start a family. We both knew there would be things he would inevitably miss. Here I was sulking and being angry with him for furthering his career and bettering himself so he could take care of us as if he didn’t know what he was missing, as if he didn’t feel the guilt of it. And most of all (something that really caught me off guard) his later confession of envy..? It was confusing to me, why would he be envious?
So blinded by my sadness and rage/resentment I had overlooked the way his eyes watered during video calls, and the way his voice wavered every time he had to go. The desperation in his voice when asking, basically begging me to send more photos. He wanted to be with us…and I had forgotten that, I was being unfair. Everyone has a right to their emotions, and everyone has a right to express those emotions but I wasn’t doing that, I was stomping on his feelings and making this all about me and my pity party instead of showing sympathy and understanding.
Sending pictures of our (then) toothless little chunk laughing and playing, having the time of his life, sitting up by himself, slowly learning to crawl and then powering away. Digging into his first semi solids and discovering all the cool things he can do.
Attempting to take his first steps, and then of course meeting his new furry sibling. We were making memories without him and the envy came from seeing him being held and showing love to family members and myself and not him, as much as the pictures were a blessing and a gateway into our world they were equally depressing and causing misery. We were both suffering. There it was on both sides of the coin and I was only viewing it from my side.
I pumped the brakes on my guilt train, I stopped blaming him for ‘taking us away’ because this was the life we BOTH chose. Not just him. We both signed up for it and we are both going to see it through….
The clouds are creeping closer and the wind is picking up, I hadn’t realized how much time had slipped by when I sat down to type this out, pretty soon my son will wake up from his nap, maybe shortly after that our stuff will finally be here….who knows. I just know that things have gotten considerably easier as of late, and that I have been blessed with a partner who is amazingly understanding and patient with me when I am at my worst. I couldn’t have asked for any better….even if he gets on my last nerve sometimes…