When Hubs deployed I felt absolutely and utterly alone. Even though the wartime deployment cycle meant thousands of people were in my situation, none of them were friends of mine. The limited contact I'd had with the other wives in Hub's unit didn't equal meaningful contacts for me and SpouseBUZZ didn't exist yet.
So what's a military spouse new to deployment supposed to do?
I did what any other self-respecting, internet addict would do. I surfed the web looking for support and found it on a threaded discussion board on iVillage. Who knew there would be a board for Guard and Reserve family members? Mostly composed of wives, fiancees and significant others, the board had several people who had "been there" and "done that". They ushered me through the highs and the lows of the deployment rollercoaster.
When Hubs came home, I realized that the mentoring that had gone on during his deployment had created an each-one-teach-one mentality in my mind toward other military spouses. Maybe you have found yourself on the receiving end of some really great advice from a more experienced MilSpouse. Or perhaps, you have lived through something you would rather not have, but you find meaning in the events once you are able to share the wisdom you gained with another MilSpouse.
To that end, I wonder if you've ever had to crystallize your military spouse wisdom into useful nuggets of information for another MilSpouse? Do you have a motto that takes you through the rough patches? Are there things you know now that if someone had only told you earlier on, you'd have breathed a little more easily? If a brand spanking new MilSpouse is reading this, what questions do you think he/she has and what could you say to guide them?
My deployment motto: I only have 24 hours and 2 hands...some of this will have to wait until tomorrow.
And, if I'd been told that whatever you think or feel during deployment, no matter how bizarre, is normal and probably a shared thought or feeling with tons of others who have gone through one, I could have spent a lot less time questioning my own sanity while Hubs was away.
I would love to read your motto or sage advice, so why not pop into the comments and commit it to writing? Who knows? Maybe your experiences will help a MilSpouse in need.