Monday, January 15, 2007

My Army Wife experience so far(or I Miss My Husband)

As mentioned before, my husband is in the US Army. And as you might have suspected, he is currently serving his first tour in Iraq. He is doing very well over there and thriving at his job, but I am very lonely back here. The first month was very difficult(as I was told it would be). I finally went back on anti-anxiety and depression medication which made a world of difference(I take a generic form of Selexa now which is soooo much better than Paxil or Zoloft, in my opinion). I also try to keep busy which really helps. But I still miss TJ terribly. I hear from him on the phone about once a week. He is not good at writing letters and does not personally have email. I write him everyday, though, and mail the letters once a week. I send care packages once a month. I also made him a tape of my Christmas trip to California. I try to be as supportive as possible to keep his morale up. It is hard sometimes to keep mine up, though.

We were just married in July and I moved here at the end of August. He deployed at the end of October. When I first moved here, TJ expected that I would become immediate friends with all the Army wives in his troop and become best friends with his best friend's wife. Well, it didn't happen like that. I am extremely shy(really) and it takes me awhile to make friends. I knew it would take time, but I felt like I was letting my husband down. I was miserable living here at first and I felt like no one understood. Several things changed it around for me. First, HASFR(the Fort Riley historical society). They had an apple pie making week for the Open House and I went for 4 hours 4 days a week. The first day I met my friend, Debra, who was an experienced Army wife and she helped me learn some things and introduced me to Army and Family Team Building classes(these helped me immensely in learning about Army life). I also got involved with another HASFR activity-- Ghost Tours(Fort Riley is extremely haunted) and because I kept getting involved I was asked to be the new secretary of HASFR. I am excited because I love history, it keeps me busy and involved with the post and I meet all kinds of great people.
The second thing that helped me was the advice of one of the ladies at church who is also an Army wife -- she told me that it was okay to be sad and worried and uncertain as this was my first deployment and that people can tell me what it is like who have gone through it, but I wouldn't really know until I experienced it and it was okay to be upset and feel like I was alone, even though I wasn't. She was the first one to completely validate my feelings and I am very grateful for that. I felt like no one knew exactly what I was going through(which I believe is true for everyone) and that my situation was worse than everyone else's for whatever reason(which I KNOW is not true, but I believe everyone feels like this as well).
The third things to help me are the friends I made. I have already mentioned Debra (the first Army wife I made friends with, unfortunately for my husband not in his troop, but very fortunate for me because she is awesome!!!). There are also my church friends and a few sergeants' wives(I didn't purposely seek out the sergeants' wives to be friends with -- these just happened to be the people I started talking to and hanging out with). I now have people I can call on for support or just hang out with and I feel less alone.
Now I just need a pet to make my house less lonely.

In the next couple of months my husband will come home for his 2 week R&R(in the Army deployments are for a whole year or more) and I am looking forward to that, though I know it will be hard to let him go back. I know that he will be changed, but I love him dearly and will accept any changes and love him all the more for the man he is becoming as a soldier and through this experience. I am changing, too, but I know that my husbands loves me and already accepts me for the crazy complicated person I am and will love me no matter what.

But I still miss him :(

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