I am not a strong military wife. I did not spend my husbands deployment “keeping busy” as all the advice suggests. I did not have a calm and cool exterior. I did not keep my fear bottled up inside so that others would never guess the inner turmoil I was facing.
I sat on my couch in my pajamas for nearly a year. I took three months off from school. I nearly failed my last set of finals. I read books that were stupid because I couldn’t allow myself to think. I hid in my house so that I didn’t have to interact with a public that didn’t understand. I cried at commercials that depicted even the smallest amount of cammo colored anything. I was not strong.
I am still not strong.
I have a blog. This blog allows me to put out my emotions and fears so that those around me might think I am cool, calm and collected at any given moment. But the truth is, one not so special day in April marked another anniversary of the last day that I could ever say that I had been a strong person. Because that was the last day that my life was even remotely normal and non-threatening.
One, not so special day, my husband boarded a bus for an undisclosed airport and my life changed. In an instant, in a millisecond, I went from being your average gal, twenty-something years old, worrying about shoes and what was on TV to a young woman, who wasn’t quite sure if her husband was alive and who hadn’t heard from him in ten days and was simply trying not to panic with each second that passed.
You see, I thought I was strong. But when all you have to worry about is that little piece of hair that won’t lay flat in your ponytail, it’s pretty easy to think so. And that quote, “You never know how strong you are, until being strong is the only choice you have.” Yeah, I think that quote is a whole lot of crap. This life, this strange and unique and often wonderful life we call being married to a military man is full of times when we should be strong, but find we can’t be. It’s full of times when we should have patience, but find there is none left. It’s full of times when we are supposed to understand, but find that understanding is the last thing we want to be.
I am not strong. It’s not that I had a choice to be anything other than strong, it’s that when it came down to it, when the doors were closed and the shades drawn, when the public wasn’t watching and there was no one near by to hear, I was not strong. I was anything but.