How I am Not Handling a Deployment

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Overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, emotional… These are just some of the feelings I assume that go along with the news that your spouse is in fact deploying for the first time.  Weirdly enough, I don’t feel any of that. I feel nothing. As if it is not even happening. I am not sure if it is because I am clueless as to how I am supposed to feel, or the fact that the Marine Corps has “cried wolf” on my husband so many times before when it comes to deployments. It just doesn’t seem real.  But this time it is. And with an unexpected feeling of apathy towards my husband’s first deployment, this is how I am not handling it.

I am not overwhelmed. I should be. For the first time in my life I will be living alone. If something breaks, it’s on me. If I have an emergency, it’s on me. Important bills and paperwork need sorting, it’s on me. Everything falls on me. But the realization of this has not hit.

I am not stressed. The fact we haven’t even started planning our trips back home to visit family on pre deployment leave isn’t fazing me. The thought of the overwhelming amount of money that is going to be spent isn’t making my blood boil. The laundry list of things I want done before he leaves hasn’t been touched. And the fact we haven’t even discussed legal documents hasn’t even crossed my mind. My feelings towards it all are somewhat calm.

I am not anxious. I don’t even think about the fact my husband is deploying. I don’t bring it up to anyone. And when it is discussed, I do not dwell on it. I shrug my shoulders to the entire process. And there is no rushed feeling of wanting to get the dreadful months to come over with.  I can’t even remember the tentative dates that have been given to us.

I am not emotional. My heart doesn’t stop and my stomach doesn’t sink when the deployment is brought up. I don’t lay awake at night, counting down the days. And I’m not calm one minute and irrational the next. I have seen the emotional roller coaster I can take in the past, and it’s as if I have decided to skip the ride all together this time. I don’t think about the day I will watch buses leave, or how lonely the ride home will be after dropping him off. I don’t think about how much I will miss him. And I don’t wonder how my holiday season will be affected. I just can’t comprehend the thought of my husband being gone, and therefore feel nothing.

I know there is a reason for being able to not handle this deployment. It’s foreign to me; to us. The idea of my husband going to war has not sunk in, and I am not sure it will until I realize he is gone. Is this healthy? Am I about to feel an overwhelming emotional wave smack me in the face once the deployment kicks off? Should I be feeling all these emotions now in preparation for what’s to come? I don’t know. I don’t know how to handle this, and therefore don’t. Is this normal?



  1. tracy says:

    We are 9 months into our first deployment. When we found out, I felt just like you. From the time he was told, to the time he left was about 5 weeks. So, it really didn’t have time to sink in. I was ok until I dropped off at the airport. When I got in my car, I fell apart. It had finally hit me what was going on. The first 2 months were the hardest. My kids and I have gotten our routine down perfectly. Months 3-9 completely flew by. Now we are at month 9 and time has completely stopped. He will be home in about 3 months! It’s a far cry from what it was.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you. I have always said that I could never imagine going through this. It is hard and lonely, but you get through.

  2. tabitha says:

    You need to take a L.I.N.K.S class. There are several emotional stages to a deployment and they are discussed during one portion of the class. It is eye opening how common te feelings are and the ones to come. Right now you are in the first stage, anticipation of withdrawal which includes denial as one of the emotions. Good luck on your first, there are a wealth of resources out there to help with every aspect of this journey and when you get to the place where you are ready to reach out don’t be afraid to grasp on to them all. My favorite is having “pity parties on the porch” with other spouses going through the same thing, its nice to have a glass of wine with friends who know exactly what your going through!

    • Nicole Marie says:

      Thank you Tabitha. I plan on taking a L.I.N.K.S class and getting involved with them soon. :)

  3. Amanda Holmquist says:

    It didn’t hit me that he was leaving until he called me from Kyrgyzstan. I didn’t cry when I dropped him off. We joked about not saying “goodbye” so we laughed when we said “See ya later!!!” Life went on as usual. When he called me and I realized he was no longer in the “safe” borders of the US and I had a breakdown…. and it was bad. We are 3 months into our first deployment together (his second) and I’ve had breakdowns every now and then. The first month was the hardest! After that, the constant feeling of dread becomes transient <3

    Good luck darling!!! And don't worry about how you're feeling compared to how you "should be" feeling… it's all relative to the person. Take it one day at a time and feel how you feel and screw the wives who think you should feel differently ;)

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