I am an Army Wife.
There are many things I thought I’d never be in this life. I never thought I’d live to see 25. A short 9 years ago, I started doing drugs and it was a 4 year downward spiral into opiates, self harm, and destructive relationships. One detox and a lucky break later, I am still alive, working a stable job, and being a productive member of society.
I never thought I’d be someone’s wife. I spent a good portion of my life feeling worthless and insignificant. Then a gentleman found me, fell in love with me, and promised to never leave my side. He’s a hero, in all sense of the word. I spent my days drifting through life, hoping to find the end of it sooner rather than later and he saved me. I owe my life to him.
He talks about starting a family with me. I never thought I’d ever be a mother. I didn’t get along with my mother well and I didn’t think I’d make a good bride, let alone a good mother. Yet here I am, married to my best friend and talking about bringing a child into this world to love with all our hearts for as long as we live.
The problem with my fairy tale is I am not just someone’s wife. I am a soldier’s Army wife. He is stationed at an Army post in Georgia and I stayed behind in Illinois, trying to nest and make sure he has a lovely home and a doting wife to return home to. He is 1 year and 4 months into a 4 year contract. It has not been easy (not that I expected it to be) but I suppose I’m not as strong as I’d like to be.
My family has been strained. My eldest sister and her husband of 15 years are getting divorced and their 5 children have been thrown into a whirlpool of deceit, bitterness, and confusion. They separated 4 months ago and have since both taken new partners and moved into new homes, forcing the children to bounce back and fourth between the two of them. Drama with my eldest sister is not new. She had children early, got married young, gotten involved with drugs, cheated on her husband (twice), previously divorced her husband, remarried her husband, and then got incarcerated. He volunteered to solely support his family in it’s infancy, then proceeded to produce more children they couldn’t support, lost his job, coped with unemployment with alcohol, found a new job, and proceeded to cheat on his wife which prompted this current divorce. Needless to say, both parents in this scenario are inadequate and irresponsible. The stress of it is hard on my family because we step in where they fall short all for the well being of the children. Always for the children.
I’m getting to a point in my life where I’m tired of my eldest sister’s problems. My immediate family exhausts themselves supporting her and she is so ungrateful for it. She puts distance between herself and my family when things are going well, but then comes back crying and promising change when things are going badly, just to restart the vicious cycle all over again. I cleaned up her messes while making a mess of my own life and when I began to grow up, I expected her to grow and change as well, but she didn’t. She’s still the same irresponsible and reckless person I knew all those years ago.
My husband’s unit has been activated to deploy to Afghanistan. With this possible deployment, he and I have been talking about getting a power of attorney and a last will and testament drawn up in case the worst happens. I am scared to death. I know he *may* be leaving. I don’t know when he will be back. We will have very limited contact while he is away and Heaven forbid he gets hurt —- I won’t be able to be there with him. All while dealing with this, I am coping with how badly my family is being torn apart. My middle sister shows me no compassion. My mother treats me indifferently. I am not allowed to bother my father with what they consider “trivial nonsense.” So in the midst of my husband’s terrifying reality, I will have to cope alone with all of this stress because my family cannot be bothered. My eldest sister needs them more and they only have patience for one traumatic event at a time.
Not to mention, I have no friends. My friends are either fake or failing at life and I know better than to expect them to think of anyone other than themselves.
So where does that leave me? Alone, holding up in my little apartment, waiting for these shit storms to blow over. I’m neglecting my family. I’m not bothering with my friends. I am clutching my phone close, anxiously and desperately awaiting my husband’s phone call at the end of every day because one day, those calls will stop coming and I won’t know when they will return. He’s the best thing that has ever happened to me. He’s the only person who loves me eternally and without condition. He’s the only one who understands me and accepts me for who I am and what I am not.
I wish I wasn’t alone, but I’ll deal with that. I’ve felt alone my whole life and this is no exception, despite my new found vulnerability. I have to be strong. I have to hold it together, if not for myself then for him. I’m no good to him in pieces.
I am an Army wife. I am *his* Army wife. I love my soldier.