I was reminded this week that part of the reason I initially started this "journal" of mine, was as a sort of therapy for me.. When I told my husband about it, he said maybe it would not only help me, but maybe some other wife. So today I am trying to channel those feelings I felt about a month before my husband came home, and try and share them.
You have both been operating on adrenaline, caffeine, and cortisol...For several months. If you are like us we hate that. We both do great under pressure, however we both hate drama. Lets face it a combat zone is high drama, high adrenaline. You watch the news every second when the babies are asleep, you scan the internet for ANYTHING. You jump every time the phone rings, every time the doorbell chimes. So for months both of you haven't slept worth a darn, and were worried a lot. It seemed to me that when I got the word they were working on the "de-mobilization" process I just started "de-mobilizing". I was trying to get all of that anxiety, cortisol, adrenaline out of head and body. I do recall however I felt odd at the time. I was having a hard time gaining focus. Which was odd I am normally a very focused person. I would go to the store and see friends, and other wives and they would be planning big parties and jumping up and down, and sewing the family matching patriotic outfits....I felt oddly "numb". I was terrified. I felt like I was already drowning taking care of the 3 of us, and thought surely a fourth might do me in. I thought he would be disappointed that I had not gotten my self imposed list of home improvements done. The lawn went to hell (which we are both fanatics about), because I didn't get out to water it, my flower bed in the back was full of weeds. He hadn't seen me for months, the last time we were living together I was 7 months pregnant. The baby weight was not all gone, I was on my final month of breastfeeding. I was trying to grow my hair back after having it all chopped off before the deployment. I hadn't slept for more than 4 hours at a shot for the last 18 months....and that was a good night. To add insult to injury I had heard about the wives who had lost 40 pounds, had been tanning, had teeth bleached...and they looked so great no one could even recognize them any longer...damn...I was terrified. Not to mention the fact that I had been celibate for the last year and a half.
About a month out my husband calls me, and I just tell him "I am scared of this anxious feeling I have. I should be all excited, but I am scared and I can't focus, I am afraid you will be sooo disappointed." My husband without missing a beat says "baby, are you ok?" "Are the babies happy?" "Because that is all that matters." It was a great thing to say, he assured me he had "not spent any time worried about me not handling managing the finances and the house". That made me proud. He than said he was anxious and scared too, he was having similar feeling. Looking back I think perhaps the fact that we had not fought or argued during the entire deployment, and we were worried about somehow ruining all of the sweetness and kindness. Let' face it, you are going to argue when you live together. I think there was also this. We were essentially a different family than when he saw us last. Dash was 22 months when his Daddy left, not speaking much. "Pink Ninja" was practicing her martial arts in my tummy. We knew how it worked with 3 of us, but what about 4? My husband was worried about separating from his new family, his brothers...They had been through a lot together. What would he do without them?
Guess what, it was one of the most enlightening discussions we had ever had. "I am scared", "me too". Opened up this entire dialog of what we wanted for each other, and how this 18 months is hard. It is hard to go without someone hugging you and kissing you everyday. Your skin begins to ache after a time. You are in love. This is what matters.
So ladies...Or gentlemen, please do not worry about all of the things that really don't matter. I promise your spouse will not go around and make sure all of the curtains are cleaned and pressed. He or she will not look under beds and gather dust bunnies. It is not going to bother him that the "wheat" color you painted the bedroom is more green and yellow. He will not be repulsed by the 10 pounds you are carrying around. He will be thrilled you finally bought the 1200 thread count sheets you wanted. He will laugh at the magic marker (you have not gotten around to painting) on the bedroom door. He will be amazed....
He or she will think you and the children are the most beautiful site he has seen in months. You will take one look at him and forget all that you were worried about. So take a deep breath, and remember what is important. Everyone is "happy" and "ok".