Even though our spouses wear a uniform and train to complete the mission, when we actually get the news they are going "over there" or getting underway our emotions can feel like we are on a roller coaster. In fact, "Riding the Roller Coaster" is the name of a popular military spouse blog. Known as "Wife on the Roller Coaster", this military spouse is using writing to share her ups and downs of military life.
Last week we highlighted how, "The emotions you experience as you face a deployment can be overwhelming, intense and frankly leave you questioning if you are normal."
If you are wondering if you are normal, the answer is yes! Military OneSource, a DoD website focused on supporting our troops and their families, has numerous articles on deployment readiness including the feelings and emotions we might experience that "include denial, anger and possibly excitement as we anticipate the departure". As our service members focus on readiness, as family members we may find ourselves "detaching and distancing to deal with sadness and anger."
Today we sit down with Wife on the Roller Coaster to talk about her perspective on deployment emotions.
Wendy Poling: When you heard the news your spouse was deploying, what emotions did you experience?
Wife on the Roller Coaster: I experienced an emotional spectrum that hit upon shock, panic, anger, sadness, resentment, fear, and stoicism all within the first 90 seconds after I heard the news of my husband's first deployment.
Wendy: How did you handle hearing the news for your last deployment as compared to a previous deployment(s)?
Wife on the Roller Coaster: The next time my husband deployed, I still felt the same emotions but my recovery time was faster. I still felt like someone had punched me in the gut, but I got back up on my feet much more quickly.
Wendy: Did you ever wonder if what you were feeling was normal?
Wife on the Roller Coaster: I always wondered if my feelings were normal! I thought I was supposed to be stronger and more supportive of my husband and his career, and I felt guilty that my immediate thoughts selfishly examined how the upcoming deployment was going to affect me. In fact, I was so concerned that my feelings were abnormal that I never talked about them until I read other military spouses expressing their own similar feelings.
Wendy: What feedback have you received from your blog when talking about this subject?
Wife on the Roller Coaster: One of the greatest parts of blogging is realizing that you don't live in a vacuum. Through comments and emails, other military spouses have reassured me that these feelings are universal, that I'm not alone in feeling the way I do.
Wendy: What advice do you have for spouses facing the news as they prepare for a deployment?
Wife on the Roller Coaster: First things first: take a deep breath. Expect a range of crazy emotions and acknowledge them but don't allow them to spoil the little time you have with your spouse before the deployment begins. Take everything one step at a time, and don't hesitate to ask for help.
You will get through this deployment.
Join us next week as we introduce you to another military spouse blogger and talk about what emotions you might feel once the deployment is underway.
Share how you handled hearing the news in our discussion forums.
Wife on the Roller Coaster is a proud military spouse, a mother of two military brats, a kindergarten teacher, and a freelance writer. During her nine year marriage to the military, she has completed countless change of address forms, mastered the art of packing, and battled Murphy's Law as she conquered her husband's deployments. She blogs about her adventures as a military spouse at Riding the Roller Coaster.
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