This time I'm going to follow through.
So now that my blog is private and the whole world can't read what's going on in our life, for those of you who don't already know, Rich is getting deployed to Iraq. He leaves in June for a year.
Now, here's the part that bothers me.
Most of you when first hearing this feel inclined to say something to the effect of, "A whole year!? That is soooo long!" "Oh my gosh, that's so scary! I'm so sorry for you!" or "That sucks! What are you going to do while he's gone!?"
Trust me, that's not what I need to hear.
I know that a year without a spouse is a long time (for both him and I), and I don't need you to remind me how bad it's going to suck. I don't need pitty, I need support. The reason I didn't want to tell people right away is entirely due to the fact that I didn't want to hear all of that. I mean, it's great to know that people care and are concerned, but put yourself in our shoes now for a second. You get married and your spouse is in the military. You know that means that eventually they're going to be deployed. You just hope that that part comes later rather than sooner. Then comes the time you find out they're going to be leaving sooner than you thought. Right after your first anniversary in fact. You're sad and don't really know how to prepare for it because you've never done anything like this before. You and your spouse discuss what's going to happen while they're away, but seriously, no one really knows how a whole year is going to pan-out, do they? It's all kind of up in the air. Now, whenever you tell someone that they're leaving, would it be of help to you to know that they think it sucks too? How about if they emphasize how long a year is or tell you how sorry they are for you and how glad they are that their spouse isn't in the military? Yeah. Not helpful.
Granted, I would probably say something similar had I not been put in this situation myself, so I try to be patient and understand that not everyone has been in this position and they don't all understand.
So, in an effort to help myself and every other Army wife out there, PLEASE, when you hear that their spouse is getting deployed, offer words of encouragement. If you really are concerned and want to help them out, let them know that you'll be there if they ever need someone to talk to, to go to the grocery store with cause they're sick of going alone, and probably the best thing you could do is be there to distract them. I know from experience that time goes by VERY slowly when Rich is gone and I don't have anything but school to keep my busy. I sit and think WAY too much. On top of that, let them know that a year isn't really THAT long... (a mission is TWICE as long!) Try to keep the conversation positive. Not focused on the bad things. If you haven't done it, don't act like you know what they need to do. If you have done it, give advise freely ;)
Let's be honest, I've never been through this. These are just things that I've heard from others who have, or at least been through something similar. This sounds like what I'll need. Who knows, maybe I'm just going off for no reason and other people who are in my situation might think I'm crazy... I guess everyone is different.
Here's the part where I usually talk myself out of publishing these posts. Right now I'm thinking, "Geez, I just scripted out every conversation I'll ever have with anyone who's read this. I don't want people to be fake or not want to talk to me because they're afraid of hurting my feelings..." but I still kind of want to post it... So don't judge me, ha ha. I'll post something happier later.