On any given deployment, there are so many things missed. From holidays to birthdays, happy events to devastating – things. are. missed.
In the submarine world, we still don’t have all the communication outlets that most other deployed members have these days. Phone calls, chat programs, skype, facetime, hangouts, instant email communication and/or expected response times < we don’t have these. I remember the days where snail mail sometimes seemed quicker than email communication with a sub, thankfully that isn’t always the case anymore – although I wouldn’t call our email system reliable or timely by any means; and the one way communication of Family Grams is now a thing of the past (I miss the comfort these somehow provided).
I have grown accustom to the lack of communication as the years have gone by, but for us it has been 10 years.
One thing you never really grow accustom to though, is being alone. Sometimes you feel so alone during deployment when there is little or no communication. Learning to be ok with being alone is a struggle at times and every deployment it is an adjustment that needs to be made – stepping back into the shoes of being alone; but somehow we always do it. Sometimes it is unconsciously.
Along with learning to be alone, comes learning to trust yourself, your decisions, your actions, your emotions – when alone. Trusting that you will make all the sound choices for your family with little to no communication with your service member. Sometimes this is even harder than learning to be alone. Sometimes we are faced with decisions we never considered having to make alone, sometimes we are faced with decisions we are afraid to make alone. Whether simple or intricate, trusting that you will make the best decision for your family takes strength.
Being alone and trusting your self is hard to do. It really is.
To the new spouse, I wanted to share this cartoon I came across – sometimes the hardest thing to face in this crazy military life is being alone and trusting your self. You can do it, you have the strength, I believe in you – believe in yourself.