Two Worlds of Deployment
No one ever talks about the two worlds of deployment. But, since November 11, 2019, I have lived in two worlds. That day was the last time I saw my husband. I watched him enter the car and watched until the car was gone.
We had spent the weekend in Austin, TX before he deployed. It was a fantastic weekend—so many great memories. Unfortunately, the end of that weekend came all too quickly. Our last breakfast together was quiet.
Neither of us wanted to talk about what was going to be inevitable. It was also the day of the Veteran’s Day Parade in downtown Austin. Oh, the irony of him leaving on that day.
Veterans Day Irony
Time was moving too quickly for me. Soon it was time for him to leave. It was both the shortest and longest walk.
I wasn’t sure what to do. Do I leave? Do I stand there looking as lost as I felt? I am not good with extreme emotional situations. I never know what to do. Indecision planted my feet on that spot, so I stood there. I felt very awkward.
All around me were festivities to honor Veterans. How could this be? My husband is deploying, turning my world upside down. Yet, no one thinks about those things as they wave their flags, congratulating Veterans for their service.
Present & Future
The two worlds of deployment are living in the present and future worlds. The next time he and I chatted on the phone, we already discussed when we would see each other again. That is the future world I live in.
The present world is me doing the daily things to keep going until he is home.
And thus, living in two worlds began. One foot is in the present, trying to live my daily life. The other is in the future when my husband comes home. Learning to live in two worlds was very hard.
If I focused too much on the future, I would become paralyzed. Unable to fathom a present life without my husband. In my immediate future, he was missing. I couldn’t think too far out to the future because it was so far away.
On the other hand, if I focused too much on the present, I was grief-stricken with missing him. So it was a no-win situation.
When asked how I am doing, I am okay. I didn’t have the energy to try to explain how I felt. That was part of it. It was that I didn’t know how I felt. I hadn’t yet sifted through the myriad of emotions. I felt alone.
It took months for me to find that balance. I make constant adjustments. Most of those are so small that no one, not even me, notices them as much.
I am not sure I ever found that balance.
Two Worlds and the Pandemic
I never thought I would feel less alone writing about the pandemic. But here it is. All of the things I was missing with my love, now the world can’t either.
The world is feeling exactly how I feel, how I have felt these past six months. I know that I am not the first to go through this. Military spouses, throughout time, have gone through this before. They are going through this now. There are soldiers still deployed all over the world.
The stay-at-home orders and physical distancing is the first time that the world has gone through a separation with us. Together. We are all experiencing this disruption in our lives.
Trying to Balance
We are all trying to balance two worlds. What our present looks like, and the adjustments it took to create a semblance of normalcy.
We are all making those small adjustments to keep our balance.
I am only one among so many. I am more aware of that now that I am not alone. None of us are. Even though we may feel we are at times. I know I did and still do sometimes. We are all so connected not only in this but in so many things.
All it took was for a pandemic to help me see that.