Missing: Stiff Upper Lip

Edited:  So…  Posting in my blog whilst falling apart.  Maybe not the wisest move, though it was cathartic.  This evening, I’m still not all the way, ‘ok,’ but after some time at an indoor playground with the kids, a funny movie, and some good old fashioned comfort food later, and I’m not so much of a wreck.  Who’m I kidding?  I never did have the stiff upper lip thing going for me.  🙂

I don’t remember how to do this.  I don’t know if I can do this.  I’m trying so hard not to be a mess around my girls, and not being at all successful.  We cleared our schedule so that we could just be together, the girls and I, this first day, but I can’t stand having nothing to do.

I can’t breathe and my stomach feels like lead and the tears just won’t stop.  People around here do this all the time and they just do it.  Why can’t I do that?  Where is my stiff upper lip?

Maybe it’s because it’s been so long, or maybe it’s because so many other hard things have piled up and I never have seemed to completely heal from one before the next hard thing comes up.

The girls are in the other room watching Prancer.  I should be sitting with them and snuggling and holding them tight, but I can’t seem to keep my own heart and emotions together enough to do that.  And sitting still is just killing me.

Can I do this?  I have to do this, but I don’t know if I can.  I will do this, but I don’t know if I can.

I sang Psalm 121 on the way home.  “I lift up my eyes to the hills.  Where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord.  The maker of heaven and earth.”  And there is comfort there and refuge and strength.

But still my heart is pressed.  I am pressed.  Pressed so hard that I can’t breathe.  The countdown kept coming on hard and each day it pressed down upon us more until today when it is so heavy I think I very well may break.

I want to tell everyone that I am ok.  That I will be ok.  That I am “fine.”

But right now I am not fine or ok.  Right now I am desperate to not be here doing this.  Right now I am desperate for the arms of my husband and the sound of his voice and his smell.

It’s only been a few hours….  And surely the weight of it all will lift.  Surely there will come an easier breath and a straight 15 minutes without tears.  The girls need me and I have to figure out a way to relegate my tears to the shower and to my pillow at night.

But right now I am just raw and sad and bereft…

I am NOT a strong military wife.  I am not the one that can take it all in a stride and move on like nothing happened.  Maybe I used to be that military wife, but today I’m not.  Ten years of war and all of history wives and sweethearts have been doing exactly this and we’ve had it so easy these last few years, but now my time has come and I can’t stand up under the weight of it.

Today it hurts….  And the barrenness of these months without him stretch out long in front of me and threaten to swallow me whole.

I will find my footing.  We will find our other version of normal.  A long, clear breath will come.

But today…

Today I am a train wreck.


9 thoughts on “Missing: Stiff Upper Lip

  1. You can do this. You don’t have to be fine and OK right now, but you will be fine and OK eventually. And even once you’ve reached fine and OK, you don’t have to stay there 24/7. Just enough to keep the girls fed and reasonably clean. 🙂

    Sending good and tender thoughts your way.

  2. I am so sorry. I’ve never walked in your shoes (my husband finished his service in the USMC before we met), so I won’t even try to offer words, other than to say I’ll remember you and your family in my prayers.

  3. Oh, Val. I read your “getting ready” posts but didn’t realize you were *there* already. I hate the way you’re feeling right now.

    I’m not very good at stiff upper lip, myself, but I think it’s okay. Sharing our weakness puts us in a position to be able to share comfort, as well (2 Corinthians 1:5).

    Grace and peace (and a long-distance hug) to you.

  4. Oh Val,

    I wish I do something more… you and your family are amazingly brave…I will be praying for all of you tonight that God would wrap His arms of love around you and that you can sense His presence and that it is okay to not have a stiff upper lip… the advice from Bette above sounds good…sending you a hug, if that is okay. God is with you and He will not abandon you (Heb. 13:5).

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