As always, I feel encouraged and honestly humbled by the responses to my angsty posts. Reading back over the last one, which was typed and published in an emotional hurry, I am struck by how whiny the last bit is. Looking at my words from a calmer place, I have realized that on some level, I’m expecting gentleness and sympathy—maybe even a touch of pity—from others because of my “situation.” I definitely haven’t been prepared for callous and/or uncaring responses I have received from time to time.
Those of you who pointed out that I have a right to my feelings, whatever they are, are absolutely correct. I’m going to keep that in mind going forward. What I don’t want to do is be a victim.
In general, I’ve noticed that the Army brings out my childish side. I guess that makes sense—in my adult life, I’ve never felt, or been, this powerless. As a military spouse I don’t get to decide where I live, how long I’m there, or (the real biggie) whether my husband is home with me or in a war zone. So yes, in some ways, I feel like a little kid whose life is being run by a parent, and I find myself coping by whining, But that’s not faiiiiir. Why me? Woe is me! Poor, poor me. Everybody, look at how much my life sucks compared to yours.
What I need to remember is that as an adult, I have access to healthier coping mechanisms. So somebody, please give me a metaphorical slap upside the head if you see me wallowing in an extended pity party. Save me from myself!
From now on, my goal is to acknowledge that yes, reality does suck more than usual. The extended absence of a spouse is a big deal, and it’s normal to be affected by that. I don’t have to pretend that everything is okay when it’s not. I may even set a timer when I’m feeling upset and give myself permission to rant, rave, cry, and otherwise fall apart until it goes off. But after the timer buzzes, I want to kick the victim mentality to the curb. I can still miss Spike and acknowledge that a major part of my life is out of whack without whining about it.
(That doesn’t mean I won’t be quieter, grouchier, or even more sarcastic than usual. I am a grown woman trying to be mentally and emotionally healthier, not a saint!)