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?