I seem to have hit a wall.
I did really well at finding the light in the darkness for Christmas. And it was quite a bumpy holiday. Husband was gone and I felt that acutely. We were delighted to have my folks visit but dismayed to find that the sickies that almost always follow them home hit them almost as soon as they walked in the door to a rather extreme degree. Then Baby Girl got stomach flu. And the kids version of swept up in magic didn’t look quiet and reverent this year, but loud and hyper with a side of obnoxious and disobedient flung in. I went to bed Christmas Eve bone tired, but still I was finding a light in the darkness. Christmas morning had it’s wide-eyed excitement and the glory of children playing and that was good for my heart too and then…
Baby girl hit a wall herself. She had kept up close to her normal level of energy and playfulness until that afternoon–going on three days of stomach flu. Then she got lethargic. She laid on me and snuggled–which this little girl does NOT do. She got progressively less responsive. Finally she was barely holding up her little head.
So I went to the ER. She was dehydrated and the doctor and I agreed that IV fluids made sense. After four attempts of putting in the IV, she finally had fluids going in to her little foot as well as some Zofran for the nausea. I read John and Abigail Adams letters on my Kindle while she dozed on my lap. I tried very hard not to feel too sorry for myself.
On the drive back,as I thought about going home and climbing the stairs to our empty bed, a loneliness hit me too my core. Some little shred of denial was lifted and I felt the distance from my husband and the number of days until we’ll see him again deeply. He isn’t just at work. He isn’t on a short trip only to return any time. He is gone… to the other side of the world, gone. With days and days and days until we’ll see him again.
And I am here taking babies to the ER, being bled on to get an IV placed. I am here solely responsible for these three babes we love so much. I am here in charge of bills, taxes, and garbage days. I am here… And he is there.
The reality came crashing in and a little piece of me crumbled.
I woke up the next morning with more than the post-Christmas thud going on. The sleeplessness didn’t help. What I felt though was real and deep and raw and undeniable.
Back to the Urgent Care again last night because baby girl was heading back to a place that looked listless to me and while we came home with the good news that she was not dehydrated our trip made me miss talking to my husband. Then the phone finally rang late at night and while the phone call was a decent length and gave us time to catch up on the surface of things the hanging up rent me in two.
That raw, unchecked emotion.
It feels something like despair.
I’m angry at myself for being here. A month in I should be finding my groove and starting to feel the empowering feelings of, “I really can do this. We’re going to make it after all, Mary Tyler Moore.” I should be hitting my stride and laughing in the face of deployment doldrums and gremlins alike.
Somehow though, I’m not. I’ve read pithy little blogs about how to suck it up and deal with deployments here and there searching for people who haven’t hit their stride like they were supposed to either. The only place that seems to call it like they see it in the same way I call it like I see it has been Her War, Her Voice. For my third deployment, and fourth major separation, these feelings sure don’t line up with what I expected a ‘seasoned’ Navy wife to feel.
A new blog-friend of mine wrote a beautiful post about how God is calling her to contentment right now in the midst of her deployment. She wrote about how she is being convicted not to rush things until her husband gets home and to be grateful for the every day blessings she sees around her.
As I read the post though, instead of feeling comforted, I was scared. My heart just wanted to hide. While part of me *is* trudging on and at least doing the bare minimum of what I need to do to keep us all going, another part of me wants to curl up into a ball until he gets home. I keep trying to talk myself into setting some goals and making this time an opportunity for me to thrive and not merely survive. I keep trying to call myself back to the Counting of Graces that Ann Voskamp urges us to.
But my heart feels leaden to it all. And that scares me.
Have I hit my wall? Have I hit my limit? Did the weariness of the seasons previous to this never get fully addressed leaving me less-equipped to take on this deployment? Am I just out of practice? Is it the short notice factor? Am I, as I wondered at the end of our last sea tour when we thought that perhaps we’d be getting out after our shore tour, just not cut out for this lifestyle?
Am I deceived by the ‘mostly together’ appearance of other military wives–do they have their days and nights like those that I’ve had here lately too? Are the boot straps and big girl panties sometimes missing at their houses?
Is it… could it be… Just exhaustion and PMS layered on top of one another?
I don’t have answers or a tidy little bow for this one. I’m still in it.
I’m talking to God about it. At least some. I’m trying to be open to whatever work He may be doing in and through this–even in and through this wall that I seem to have smacked up against.
Though part of me feels despondent I am not completely despondent and it’s entirely possible that I will wake up tomorrow or sometime this weekend or next week feeling the beginnings of ‘the groove and empowerment’ phase creeping in.
Until then, I’m going to sit in this and try not to flinch. I’m going to try not to yell at myself for wishing we could fast forward until the time he’ll be in our arms again even as I try not to get stuck in a black hole of wishing we could be doing anything but this.
And soon, I will find that light again.