Deployment Diaries: What is a Deployment Like?

Deployment is… a whole mess of emotions that I don’t even have a word for. It was like going through puberty, it was like I was dating a ghost, the beginning, middle and end all had totally different vibes to them.

Going through deployment is kind of like going through puberty.

It’s awkward, it’s unfamiliar, you spend your days just trying to figure it out, you have good days and you have bad ones but overall it’s a horrible time. Once it’s all over, however, you realize how much you and your relationship with your SO has grown. As much as it sucked, I truly feel like it made our relationship stronger and gave each of us a new appreciation and a new kind of love for the other.

Going through deployment is also like having a relationship with a ghost.

All through deployment, I was living my own life but something always felt…like it was missing. Even on my best days, something always felt off and it was a feeling I could never shake.

My therapist once told me that deployment is similar to grieving the loss of a loved one and that made total sense for me. I felt like I did lose him and the first few months were all about me “grieving” that loss. I took it one step further to say it’s like dating a ghost. I couldn’t touch, see or hear him but I could still feel that he had presence in my life. And as stupid as it may sound, getting emails or phone calls were like signs from “beyond” that confirmed he was still apart of my life even if he wasn’t physically here.

I went through different stages during deployment for both the grieving and puberty parts of it…

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The Beginning:

Ugh. The beginning was honestly the worst. I had more trouble than usual getting back to normal life after I came home from seeing him deploy. I was upset. I was mad. I was angry. Six months from then seemed light years away. I had no idea how the hell I was about to do this and I was terrified on how our relationship would hold on. Each day was a rollercoaster of me being okay to all of a sudden me not being okay. Forget day by day, I had to take things hour by hour.

The Middle:

This was my acceptance stage. Maybe a little before we were halfway through I started to find my groove and there wasn’t so much ambiguity as to what our “deployment” relationship would look like. I still had good and bad days and something always felt missing but my lows weren’t quite as low anymore. I started to take things day by day at this point.

The End:

About two months to the end was when I finally realized that this was close to coming to an end. It dragged and went by quickly all at once. My days were painfully slow but overall the time flew. The highs were really high and my lows weren’t all too bad. I spent my time planning my trip to go see him and picking up as many shifts as I can to afford it. The end was finally in sight.

Deployment seems like a daunting task when you look at it as a whole. It had it’s good and bad days and going through it seemed slow. Looking back, though, I feel like it flew. Deployment was a growing experience for me, T and our relationship together and only for the better.

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