Aug 23, 2010

NAVY life, NAVY wife!

When I first met Chad, my handsome, American sailor, I had absolutely no concept of military life, other than hearing the ARMY wives bitch and moan about how Johnno and Stevo just wanted to drink all day, after returning from a week-long exercise!

In fact, even though I had watched countless US ships come and go, filled with sailors, enjoying the Townsville lifestyle, it never occurred to me that, somewhere back home, families were missing them like crazy, and counting down the eight months until they returned.

I had never experienced missing someone like that, nor had I ever loved someone so much that it hurt to be away from them, so how could I be expected to really care about what I didn't understand?

But, it wasn't until Chad deployed three months after Michael was born, that I finally realized how emotionally challenging and potentially destructive, these deployments can be on a marriage and a family.

I consider myself a pretty tough, 'no worries' woman, and, it really does take a lot to make me cry, but I tell you what, once Chad left, obviously those postpartum aliens took over my body, because I cried for weeks.

My hair fell out in clumps, my skin looked pale, I gained weight, and, I had constant chest pains, so that, I honestly thought I was going to have a heart attack every single day.

Although I had my mUm and my best friend stay with me for a few weeks, it wasn't until Michael and I went to Australia for the remaining six months of his deployment that, I began to feel like me again. I had my family and friends around me, and I was no longer sitting out the American Winter, in a empty house, waiting for Chad to return.

I still counted the days, but, they didn't seem so far away anymore.

Deployments SUCK, there really is no other way to say it!

Nine months away from Michael, away from each other, living different lives, and then all of a sudden being thrown back together and expected to instantly mesh! We both agreed that post deployment was far more challenging emotionally, simply because, we had both become individuals, me a single mUm, him a single sailor, and we had forgotten how to be together.

Chad had to learn to be a dAd again, and that was probably the most heartbreaking thing to watch. Michael slowly and cautiously bonded with him, as though he were some stranger who had just come into our lives, and in essence, he was!

That was just over a year ago.

Today, I prepare for potentially another deployment, this time, he won't be sailing to such friendly seas, but, as I've come to realize, it's NAVY life first, NAVY wife second!

It doesn't make me 'that' angry anymore when he's given just a few days notice (I put away most of my voodoo pins), nor does it make me love him any less, because someone has to do it, actually, thousands of someones have to do it, to keep America free!



  1. Tracey AdamsAugust 23, 2010

    Awww...I am sorry. When will he have to go?

    Are you still going to Europe?

    You can always come to San Diego!!

  2. Oooh yes, San Diego sounds lovely! We find out tomorrow, possibly this week!!!!!

  3. Angie HernandezAugust 25, 2010

    As I read your blog today, I was reminded all too painfully of the hardship that we once endured as a married couple. We survived 3-7 month deployments. Luckily, we didn't have Ben until way later. Knowing what a wreck I was, I don't know how women survive it with children to care for. And you're right. It's not just the deployment that's hard. Becoming a family again is very difficult too. It takes a very strong woman to do what you're doing. You're in our prayers.

  4. 3 deployments, my hat is off to you both. Thanks so much for your thoughts. My fingers are STILL crossed that he'll be here this weekend!

  5. Trud.. I can only send you all my love and thoughts. I can somewhat relate as my ex husband was in the army ... however I must admit towards the end I would pray for an exercise etc so he would go (gosh that sounds bad eh). It is true that someone has to do it and unfortunately while it is easy to speak bad comments about people in the forces, the people in the forces are doing a job that puts them in situations that many could not do. A lot of respect and understanding should and must go to them and their families. Support the forces and their families!!! Come to Australia and see Townsville again xoxo

  6. thanks so much. No news is good news at this point. I'll definitely be back in TSV soon...I love it so much.

  7. Michelle GalvezAugust 30, 2010

    Great blog, thanks for sharing your experience! I've been a Navy wife for 13 years and was an Air Force child before that. We all deal with the challenges differently but our basic experience is similar, that's why it's so important to put it out there so spouses and children don't feel so isolated and we can all support each other!

  8. Wow. Fingers crossed all goes well for you. I do not know the first thing about the military. I had a few Uncles that were in. And my Father-in-law had served in Vietnam, and he SWORE generations after him would never serve. He said the things he did and things he saw no one should have to.

    But I thank everyday, for people like your husband who go out and keep me free. I tear up when I see a person in uniform, knowing that they sacrafice everything for someone like me.

    Tell your husband thanks, from me.


  9. When the war in Iraq first started I was living on a Canadian Forces Base with a then fiance but now ex-fiance. We broke up a few months before he deployed to Afghanistan.

    I'm married now to an insurance broker and when I see the men and women returning from Afghanistan I wonder what my life would have been like as an army wife. Marriage is hard enough without the strain of not even being on the same continent.

    I admire your courage and determination to make your marriage work...where there's love, there's hope... :)

  10. Hey Saggy Butt (cracks me up, excuse the pun): It's definitely an interesting and exciting life to say the least...and as for marital challenges, it's either a sink or swim deal! Thanks again for your comments.


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