Going Backwards

I’ve spent the last week and a half going backwards at an accelerated pace. There is so much to say, too much to catch up on, but nothing of what I say in the next few months about this (currently private) topic will make much sense without this post. It is the key.

Let me break it to you easy, pull away the facade that we’ve got our shit together and just say it. We are divorcing. Divorced? I’m sure I will preview and edit these posts before future publishing to the public, and by that time the divorce will certainly be final.

When I told my mommy friends, the overwhelming reaction went a little like… “Oh, no! Why?? He just got back from deployment.” Why? Because we don’t work. Because our marriage was a sham. Because he had been playing house with me, while watching porn on a daily basis and wishing he could be drunk. Because I deserve a better life than being stuck in a marriage so full of his lies, that there was no room for love. No one gets married thinking they will get divorced. No one expects their “best friend” and husband to call, black-out-drunk and admit that their years and years of friendship were a lie. That it was all a gigantic lie.

There are questions I can’t get out of my head, even almost two weeks after that phone call – the one that sealed the deal for me, that we were so over, or in the words of Taylor Swift, “never ever ever getting back together.” Questions like, why me? If this has just been some f***ed up game, why did he choose me to be the pawn? Did he ever love me? Answers I am sure I will never know; not that I would ever trust what he had to say, should he offer them up.

So needless to say, I filed for divorce nine days ago, and I’m still pretty pissed off about the whole situation. I won’t get too far into the logistics of where I am, except to say I’m back under my parents roof, and will likely be here a while. I appreciate them for it, hate my ex-husband for it, and can’t help but feel disappointed in myself for ending up here.

I cannot believe I am here.

Consider Us Lucky

The Stennis finally pulled into its (her?) home port yesterday afternooon. And while my sailor has been home a little over a week, there was a sense of finality knowing his ship is home too. I grew up the daughter of a top-sider, and life married to a man considered ship’s company is much different. Wherever the ship goes, he goes, and it has spent a lot of time away lately.

It is easy to get sucked into a negative frame of mind. The game of if/then is effortless, but rarely offers much comfort. Even now that he is home, I have caught myself thinking if he had never left……blah. It doesn’t do any good.

I consider us lucky because of our timing arriving here, he wasn’t on the whole 2011-2012 deployment as well. He joined the ship when they were six weeks out; when others aboard had been gone for six months at that point.

I consider us lucky that the sailor is “stuck” on the Stennis a few more years.. That we aren’t like several people he has mentioned, just getting back from an eight month deployment and transferring to a ship just getting underway for their deployment. I don’t want to imagine how hard three back to back deployments would be.

I consider us lucky that our son was immediately comfortable in my husband’s arms, and that they have carried on as if they were never separated. That all cries except the “I am certain I am starving” cry are (fairly) quickly and easily solved by someone other than me. He may have been gone fifteen of the last twenty months. He may only have just met our son. And he may have gotten pooped on today, but he his home.

It is nice. The sun is shining and life is good.

newsignature

 

Homecoming

Homecoming

 

He’s HOME!!!!

The bumble butt is sleeping in swing. The husband is sleeping in our bed, because his body is still trying to figure out where in the world he is now. I’ve got dinner ready to go, as soon as the former is fed and the latter wakes up.. One happy wife and mom, here. My whole, little family under one roof for the first time. Words can’t even begin to describe how that feels.

Screen shot 2012-10-26 at 2.09.01 AM

Calling Dibs

My husband left 239 days, and a little over two hours ago.. Two-thirds of an entire year, gone. I wish I could say that time passed in the blink of an eye, but it didn’t. They all said time would crawl by until I had the baby, and then it would go lighting fast, but that wasn’t the case either. I felt every moment of the missing.

It is difficult for most non-military families to truly understand how being separated that long feels.. I’m not saying that working opposite shifts isn’t hard, or that a week away for training should be easy. But it isn’t the same. At first, you count the days that pass. Missing hugs and goodnight kisses. Then weeks begin to slip away, and daily events are glazed over in the short emails you exchange. It’s long enough for new routines to be established. Seasons come and go. I bought a house last year. Traded in our car and had a baby… all without him. I’m not saying I’m the only one who has had to do those things alone, but I am saying that it isn’t ideal. When your partner in crime suddenly isn’t anymore, and you’re left to keep up the household, keep everything together.

It’s almost over. The countdown to our airport homecoming is almost up. Time is running out to pick out homecoming outfits, to get the house clean and organized, and things put back to how they were when he left so that it feels like home again.

I can’t wait for a new routine to slowly emerge. For a single night away during one his duty days to feel like forever again. For our son to have not only me, but his daddy to play with, to smile and talk to. I can’t wait to sneak a million pictures of the two of them together, of us all together, finally a whole family.

Since it will no longer be “ship’s movement,” I wish I could post the exact countdown, but this is linked to my Facebook and there are a couple people who don’t need to know right now. We are being selfish, and we called dibs on those first few moments home the day he left. Just know that it is very, very soon. Only a few more wake-ups without him.

Screen shot 2012-10-26 at 2.09.01 AM

Blowing Raspberries

My blog feels a little dead, I will admit that. My mom was visiting, and with my husband’s homecoming breathing down my neck, I’ve been doing my best to stay busy. In the haze of activity, the bumble butt has been sleep regressing and teething and reaching a new, small developmental milestone each day. It’s amazing.

There is something magical about watching a tiny human grow up before your eyes. To go from the newborn days of the eat/sleep/poop/cry cycle, to a baby that is rolling over and laughing, scooting in circles on the floor and blowing raspberries. I didn’t think my blog would be consumed by baby talk once the little man was here, but it’s kind of hard to not talk about him. His sometimes happy, sometimes grumpy face is the first thing I see every morning, and the last thing I see at night. Make that multiple times a night.

Raspberries

I bought a camcorder, to capture all these little memories, and it was definitely one of those purchases that made me feel old. I mean, I can vaguely remember the boom-box sized camcorder my parents used to record my antics as a kid back in the 90’s… and the fact that my size reference is an out-dated music player kind of seals the deal. I somehow went from being a kid myself, to having one, in what feels like no time at all. Anyway.. I can hear the little dragon stirring from his nap.

Screen shot 2012-10-26 at 2.09.01 AM

The Growing Up is Hard

It hit me today that my little boy isn’t so little anymore. Sure, he’s only twelve pounds, but he started off at seven and some change. His newborn clothes have been packed away for a few weeks now, and he’s running out of room in his 0-3 months things fast. After a day of spitting up and many outfit changes I had run out of his cozy sleep’n’play “pjs” in his current size and he almost fit into a six month size. Just a few more weeks and he’ll be long enough, big enough.

This deployment baby thing is so much more difficult than I ever imagined it would be. I knew being alone for so many months with him would test my patience; would allow me to prove how much I really, really want and love him. I feel incredibly blessed to be his everything, for the time being. The reason he is growing, smiling, changing into this not-so-little, little boy.

The growing up is hard though. Collecting all these precious and priceless moments with him, knowing at the same time my husband will never know him this small. I do my best to make sure he knows of him.. knows about him, but I know it’s not the same. No emailed picture makes up a whole memory.

I am looking forward to the day I get to introduce this little bee to his daddy. And to the day he finds just as much comfort in his dad’s arms as mine. Those moments are worth waiting for..

Screen shot 2012-10-26 at 2.09.01 AM

Searching for Normal

It’s been a hard day for no particular reason at all.. Elliott actually slept really well last night. Settled by 11pm and pulled out two, three hour blocks of sleep in a row. That’s a major accomplishment for a mostly, formerly day/night confused baby.. He’s slowly getting the hang of things.

There’s almost an anxiety knowing tomorrow will be mostly the same as today, and I’m not sure if it makes me a “bad mom” to admit that. It’s all the same though. Feed baby, change baby, talk to baby, tummy time, nap time, attempt to put baby in swing/bouncer/bassinet so that I can eat or clean and wait for the 5-10 minutes to pass before he’s screaming his head off to be picked up again. This all seemed so much easier when my mom was here. It was easier when she was here, and it would be easier if my husband were here. Someone to take turns holding him when he just wants to cuddle, someone to help with errands (even sometimes) or to help keep the house picked up. I’m searching for normal, searching for a routine even though I know the bumble butt is too young for routines..

It’s hard not feeling like I’m not enough, not doing enough. Not taking enough pictures, or reading him enough books or just remembering enough. Where did the past almost six weeks go? Is it okay that for the most part I hardly remember any of it? How can I possibly share this experience with my husband in any way, if I can’t remember what happened last week? I have just been so tired and caught up in the whirlwind of it all..

I’m sure I will look back in a few weeks, or months and be able to tell myself that I was doing alright…but for today it’s hard to not feel like I’m failing.

Screen shot 2012-10-26 at 2.09.01 AM

Happy (not so) New Year

I’m not a huge fan of  New Years resolutions. They are often cliche, over and underdone at the same time, and almost never come to fruition. That being said, I do have a few particular things I would like to work on this year.

1. I will write more. That means more blogging, more time spent writing in my “letters to Elliott” journal, and more emails to my husband while he’s away. Time is moving way too fast, and I’m so sleep deprived that in a year or two or ten I fear I won’t remember any of this.. and I know I will want to remember it.

2. I will put more money into savings. I have already started doing the 52 week plan, where you put a dollar per week of the year into a savings account, working up to $52 transferred the last week of the year. Only, I’m doing that backwards. Will have a little over $1300 in the bank by the end of the year, which isn’t much, but it’s a start. 

3. I will tackle the rest of this baby weight and then some! I’m already itching to get out and exercise but I know my body isn’t ready.. At least I don’t get winded walking around Costco anymore!

4. I will love more, live more, laugh more.. all around try to remember that I am a positive person and I am capable of accomplishing more than I know and more often than not, the only one holding me back is me.

That’s all I can think of for now, on the fly, sitting on my office floor. Was just setting up an automatic payment for our water bill because that’s one of the last ones I have to physically take care of every other month and with a baby, I’d rather not leave that up to memory to get taken care of anymore.

For the few people that stumble across my blog, and the few regular readers I have, do you have any resolutions? I love the idea of them, even if they are silly.. but I also think re-inventing yourself shouldn’t be a once-a-year thing. I think the best people are always working to better themselves.

Screen shot 2012-10-26 at 2.09.01 AM

It Comes with a Price

Nothing seems to be coming easy to me lately, and it’s all a frustrating and pointless struggle to stay emotionally afloat during this deployment. There’s this song that goes, “am I supposed to be happy, when all I ever wanted, it comes with a price?” May be a bit of an immature point to conclude, but it fits. I feel like every good thing in my life is shrouded under some little black cloud of darkness. It leads me to feeling blessed but very, very unlucky.

It’s been two months to the day that they left, almost nine calendar weeks. It feels like months longer than that. And it will be months longer until they get to come home again. I don’t know why this deployment feels so different than previous underways or separations that we’ve had, and we’ve had more than our fair share. Before we got engaged we spent eight months apart. After we got engaged, we spent the six months before our wedding apart. After we were married, we spent six weeks apart while I finished up my college degree. We were together roughly three months this year, of which only two were mostly consecutive in terms of weeks spent at home. And we fought all the time.

This year has been rough on our marriage, but it’s been worse on our friendship. And now that he’s gone and getting into the “swing” of life away, I just feel like *our life* has been put on pause from his end… but I’m still here living it alone. I’m still having our baby in a few weeks. I’m still keeping up with our house and our bills and pretending that the bed doesn’t feel so empty when I go to sleep at night.

It’s so hard having to remind myself that this isn’t a permanent situation, that I’m doing this alone but I am not exactly a single mother, that I do still have a husband, somewhere, on the other side of the world. When emails are few and far in between and even those that get through don’t say what I need to hear.. When my midwife rambles on about how new dads get involved at the hospital and I have to stop her because he won’t be there. When I have to wonder how old our son will be when he meets his daddy for the first time. When I let myself think how epically unfair this whole situation is, and how no one who hasn’t been exactly where I am right now could possibly know.

I don’t know how to find resolution. I’ve tried prayer. I’ve tried distracting myself with crafts, friends, plain ignorance but none of those things last very long.

Like Talking to a Wall

One of my main baby groups is for Stennis mommies that will be pregnant during this deployment. The main theme connecting us all is that our husbands left eight weeks ago, and won’t be back until May or so.. Most of us will have our babies alone, with the few stragglers at the end hoping their husbands make it back in time for the birth of their child. The most difficult fact being, we don’t exactly know when they will be back..

Last night one of the members outed herself to fact that her husband never left. Several of us were shocked. Why join a group to support the “single mommy status” a deployment forces us into, when you’ve got your husband sleeping next to you every night… when he will be able to drive you to the hospital when you’re in labor… when he’ll be there when your child is born??? I wouldn’t care so much, except every other day she’s posting non-stop about her labor fears of “doing it alone” and starting drama on the board by saying that she’s too afraid to breastfeed so will be formula feeding and “who said breast is best anyway because that’s just not true.”

So I private messaged her and asked her to back off the page a bit, because the reason it was created was because we are doing this alone, and she clearly is not in the same situation. And she replied back to me stating that I was just jealous. Oh no, she didn’t. A girl mooching attention and support and rides from women who literally have to be strong enough to go through this alone. Writing posts complaining about her husband in a way that makes it sound like he’s on the other side of the world, with our husbands!! But he’s not, he’s here. It didn’t phase her at all, didn’t occur to her to have a little disclosure about her husband’s un-deployed status instead of using people. She didn’t get it. It was like talking to a wall.

I would say that I might be the only one to find her posting and participation a bit insensitive, but I know I’m not, because I was on Facebook messaging several other members of the group last night. I am all for supporting other women through pregnancy, because more often than not it is not like they show in the movies… but pretending all along that your husband is gone and posting about how you’re not sure who will be with you when your child is born so that you “blend in” is just cruel. Brings out the ugly side of the internet and I really don’t want anything to do with that this morning.