21 April 2009

How Lord of the Rings is like a deployment.

Admittedly the past few days have been rough. Generally, I think I am doing pretty darned good job of dealing with this deployment, staying positive, going on with life and doing my best to thrive in this new situation. But lately I'm feeling kind of like I'm just going through the motions, like I am on auto-pilot. I suspect it has much to do with the month of nonexistent phone service and not being able to hear Swiss’s voice. I suspect it also has something to do with feeling like we've only just reached Rivendell in our epic journey to Mordor... in other words we haven’t even finished the first movie. Yes, I just referenced the Lord of the Rings trilogy and compared it to this deployment. I think it is oddly fitting. The Precious? Totally the end of this deployment. I loves the precious. Must have the precious!

I think it also has something to do with being here in the civilian world… it is starting to feel like Swiss and this deployment has been forgotten by all but a few. No one asks. No one talks about it. We talk about everything else, but somehow this deployment and how we are doing seems to be verboten. Maybe they are just afraid to talk about it. Maybe they think I will have a meltdown if it gets brought up (I won't... I haven't had anything even resembling a melt-down yet, at least not in public!). Maybe they don't know what to say, so they don't say anything at all. Maybe they think I am doing perfectly fine and don't need anything. I don't know. I just know I'm feeling sort of invisible. If I have a bad day, no one asks. I don't have very many bad days, so it is sort of disappointing that it doesn't register that I might need some support or a kind gesture.

Now mind you, this isn't everyone in my life (thank God!). I have a few great friends who aren't afraid to ask or talk about it and still genuinely care about us. And I am so thankful for them, but a good portion of them are not here, they are scattered to the four corners and not physically present in my day-to-day life (I heart you ladeez!). And I know those are the folks I should focus on, but I am feeling a tiny bit lost at sea right now and I am terrible at asking for the kind of 'help' that would go so far in making this easier. I don't want a pity party and I don't need help-help. I just need someone to ask "how are you doing?" or say "let's go get dinner some night". I don't want to seem weak because I feel like I should be able to do this all on my own, but this hasn't exactly been what I would call easy. It would be nice though if someone came up to me and asked if I am doing okay. I don't want to have to say "I'm having a shit time right now, can you ask me out to dinner or drinks or come over to just hang out?". Maybe that is silly of me.

I know I will get over this soon. I know it will pass... I will put my Big Girl Britches on and get over myself. I will keep on trucking to Mordor and focus on getting to the Precious. But man, this really sucks sometimes.


Bette said...

My unsolicited advice: Don't wait for others to make the first move. Ask someone to grab a drink after work or to come over for dinner. Sometimes people want to do the right thing, but don't know what that is. If you take the initiative and point them in the right direction, they'll probably be happy to hang out or talk about how you're doing.

You know I would totally go out to dinner with you if we lived closer!

Tucker said...

I know you are right Bette, I think it is just that I am okay admitting this to you all because you know and you understand and you won't judge. I guess I am afraid to admit any of it to those who just don't know what this is like. Maybe it is pride on my part, maybe it is fear of what folks will say... like they will judge me for not being able to just DO this and deal.

I'll get over it... and if I can't I will ask, because you are totally right. Thanks for the advice! And I would SO take you up on dinner if we were closer! :)

The Army Wife said...

Honey, I live IN a military town and I can relate to this. This deployment really showed me who my friends were. Girls that I would have considered my GOOD friends here -- six months into the deployment -- haven't called or asked once how I'm doing, if I want to go out with them ever, nothing.

And Bette is right. I learned that you have to take the initiative. I started asking new people to do things with me everyonce in a while, and I've made some great new friends during this deployment who understand a little better what it's like, and how lonely it can be when it's just you.

Hang in there!!!

Meghan said...

I think I will know exactly how you feel very soon...I know I am going to have to do something to make new friends. I have been relying a little too much on my man, and that can't be good for anyone. I know we can do it!! Thanks for writing about all this, it really helps me :)

SS said...

Want to say hello and I've enjoyed your blog. I am not in your same situation, but have been in others where I was going thru a difficult sutiation and becuase I am a strong person and people perceive me that way, they sometimes don't think to reach out and give that attention. I agree with one of the other comments, it's OK for you to initiate and don't think that you are being weak by letting someone know that you could use a friend to lean on. Getting past that myself was one of the best things I could have done!

snarkynavywife said...

I feel you. I've done every deployment, every extended underway, outside of the support group of the military. In fact, I'd argue that the support group doesn't even exist in the Navy anymore, not since housing became such an issue that most folks just stopped bothering.

It's rough when you're surrounded by civilians who don't understand and don't seem to notice. But Bette is definitely right. You asking someone to go for drinks or to go to dinner or to come over for dinner is NOT a sign of your inability to deal with a deployment and will NOT be judged that way. I've heard from civilians that they consider us "single" during deployments, which is great when you have single friends to hang with and troublesome when all your friends are married couples who now feel uncomfortable asking you to be a third wheel. If you have single friends, *ask them to do stuff*. If you have married friends, *invite yourself over* because they haven't done it out of respect for you (don't want to make you feel "weird" being around a married couple). If you have married friends, kidnap one and go for a ladies night out. He won't mind (and if he does, screw him ;).

You really do have to take the initiative. If you do, you'll start getting invites from others. Civilians don't get it, and those who realize this won't broach the topic for fear of doing it wrong.

Hugs, chica. It gets easier when you have other stuff to occupy you. Swiss is on the (bitter)sweet end of the deal right now because his time is occupied, and he's got things to take his mind off you. Find the same for yourself and call it therapy because, really, that's what it is.

LopsidedMom said...

Like everyone else, I second Bette. You've got to be proactive about finding support, 'cuz it takes a special person to put themselves in your shoes.

Army Duck said...

You are doing great hun.

Hang in there.

liberal army wife said...

have you tried making a "weekly date with some friends? That way you aren't asking, it just IS.

I know... this is starting to suck like a Dyson for realz... but you'll get through this shit storm too. feel free to vent, that's what we are here for. This could be a great post for LF, by the way.