Trying to Find My Place
Perhaps the most difficult emotion I find myself wallowing in during this Basic Training season is feeling as if I’m in limbo; almost as if I’m homeless. Maybe it’s just me, but I constantly feel like I don’t quite fit in the way I used to with many people. I’m not really a civilian, but I don’t feel like a NAVY wife yet. While my Sailor is away at Boot Camp, I’m still living a civilian life. Surrounded by civilians, most of whom cannot understand how I’m feeling while I’m separated from my husband. But I don’t know any NAVY wives locally to hang out with who can relate with me completely.
All of my friends and family are amazingly supportive, but it feels different with some of them than it did prior to enlistment. For example, when I hang out with some of my single girlfriends, it’s interesting how I feel since I’m not single but my husband’s away. So if my girlfriends want to go out to places to meet men, I feel awkward sometimes since my heart is 100% taken but I really want to hang out with them. So I tag along and ache for my husband.
Sometimes I feel like my married friends don’t know how to relate to me and just feel bad for me. Hell, sometimes I feel bad for me. But mostly I feel proud and excited and just need to be looked at like I’m me without my husband around. When I hang around some of my married couple friends, I sometimes feel like they treat me like a person who just found out they have cancer or some crippling disease. They want to understand what I’m going through and help, but don’t want to get too close so that they don’t catch whatever I’ve got or hang around too long in case I start crying. It’s hard to explain.
I have a really supportive NAVY wife friend named Tara that I’ve known since High School who is stationed in Italy with her family currently, and she sends me encouraging messages on Facebook every now and then. She told me that the first time her husband was deployed she moved back in with her parents to feel more at home and that it was probably the worst thing she could have done. I think I understand now what she was warning me about: being surrounded by people who cannot relate.
Once I live on or near a base during our first duty station I feel like it will be easier. I’m realizing that there will be seasons of my life that I will have to enjoy without my husband, and I need to be surrounded by other NAVY wives and families. I know I will visit my family and friends back in California even if my husband is deployed, but I am starting to believe that my largest supportive net needs to be other NAVY wives and families.
However, this is just Boot Camp. I don’t live on a base surrounded by other NAVY families. So here I am back at my first thought. I feel out of touch and like I’m trying desperately to find my place. Not really a civilian, not really a NAVY wife, not single, but happily married living without my husband. Not contagious, fragile, or cancerous. Just the same ol’ me, but different. Sigh.