So this was meant to be a three month separation for us but my husband messaged me this week to say he is now coming back next week which means its only been just over two months. It is strange isn't it that in military terms we think that is such a short time but to others outside the military being separated with little contact for over two months would be huge. We shouldn't let ourselves devalue any separation, all are tough.
OK so potentially some of you reading this will be thinking I should be happy about this, jumping for joy, delighted that our light at the end of the tunnel has arrived sooner that we thought and lets be honest it is normally the news that they are delayed not coming back earlier.
The truth is I wasn't happy when I first heard my husband was coming home early
I promised to write an honest account of ALL the feelings and emotions through a separation and so that needs to be the good, the bad and the ugly and do not think this has been an easy post to write. I am laying my soul out but the point of doing that is hopefully to spread that strength that if you too feel any of these things, it is just part of the train ride.
I have now processed things throughout this week and feel ready to articulate what I felt and potentially why and also how I came out the other side.
My husband text to say he was being put on an earlier flight home, he of course was really happy and asked me not to tell our daughter so he could surprise her. All I could think about was how I had planned lots of things, my diary was packed, I was seeing people, saving money and going places in half term AND THIS WASN'T IN THE PLAN!! I was in my groove, the last three weeks or so I'd got there and finally felt like I was coping with deployment and actually enjoying some elements of it.
My mind had accepted the change and processed it and we were doing just fine.
Now you were going to come home and ruin all that.
Do not for one minute think this has any reflection on my love for my husband, I adore him and have missed him so so much this last couple of months. In that time we have spoken maybe four or five times and I feel like so much has happened at home and he doesn't even know, it has been a tough one. I reacted badly and was a bit of a bitch to him, I pushed him and his excitement away.
I have been kind to myself this week and tried to have time to explore my feelings. You see it is about emotional safety, our emotional fuel tanks take batterings as military families and sometimes I close down to keep myself emotionally safe. It looks like for us we have a seven month tour on the horizon in early January and I found that out again by text message a few days before the early return date. I knew the rollercoaster I had just been on in this separation and just managed to level out and I knew he was going to now come home and I would fall back into family unit mode especially with Christmas leave and then I could already see the next deployment on the horizon.
I was scared. Scared for me and my emotions.
I rationalised, talked about it and as the days passed I came to terms with both things and allowed myself to feel excited about my husband returning. I have missed his face so so much and I honestly can't wait to see him.
Historically I am not great at homecomings, never have been. I find it all a bit awkward and much prefer my husband to just come home with no big fuss and get back to some kind, our kind, of normal.
It really is an emotional rollercoaster and although I never get used to it I am better these days and being kinder to myself, learning why I feel what I feel. We can't control our feelings but we can talk about them to give comfort that we really are all in this together.