I know that we only have somewhere around three-ish months left now that Swiss is headed back to theatre. I know that the countdown has begun and that we are technically short-timers. I know that three-ish months is a piece of cake in the grand scheme of things. I know that the worst of it is behind us. I know that we are doing wonderfully and that we will get through this with flying colors. I know that I can do this and I can handle the relatively little time that we have left apart because I've already done it and done it well for 8.5 months. I know that this is the last time (knock on wood) we have to do this. I know all of this. Really, I do.
But Good Maude. This is still so effing hard. I don't know why I didn't think it would be. I don't know why I wasn't prepared for how much this hurts. Swiss and I have spent the better part of our relationship saying goodbye. In fact, I'm reasonably certain we've spent more time apart than we have together (which really should be more disturbing than I find it). Shouldn't I be used to this? Shouldn't it get easier? Shouldn't I have figured out by now how to cope with this?
Today has been so much harder than I thought it would be. It is so completely different than any other time he's had to leave. It is certainly different than when he first left for the sandbox... that one was the worst by far (as you all know). It doesn't feel so foreboding, so menacing, so long. But it does feel like I've been punched in the gut, chewed up and spit out, gutted. I feel empty and kind of lost. Like my world has been upended yet again... I suppose it has. I feel the raw emotions that are almost like those of a break-up... that fresh, searing hurt because you can't possibly imagine life without that person in it. Like you can't breathe and can't figure out how you'll go on. And it is the kind of emotional tsunami that crashes over you when you least expect it. An hour plus driving in the car? I was fine. Hop in the shower? Meltdown. Moving his bag of dirty ACU's? Fine. Thinking about how long it will be before his arms are around me again? Meltdown. Typing this in a hotel lobby? Meltdown.
I guess I just didn't think that this would be so hard. I though I was tougher. I thought that since we had knocked out so much of this deployment already, dealt with goodbyes so many times before (albeit in different circumstances), mentally prepared myself for what this would be like... I thought that I would be okay. Its just that I don't feel okay right now. Not even close.
I know I will be okay. I know I'll find my groove and get back into the old new routine. I know he will be home "soon" and that with the holidays coming up and the move to Fort X the time should fly by. But as far as I'm concerned? It won't be soon enough. And I wish I knew how to make this empty, gut-wrenching hurt go away.