During separations from my husband, I find I'm more sensitive to things that generally don't bother me. Sometimes, I'm easily agitated and my emotions can travel from the mountain tops to the valley at a rate of speed that would astonish NASA engineers. A while back, I self-diagnosed and put a name to the condition which afflicts most milspouses at one time or the other. It's called Deployment Rage Syndrome (DRS). You can read all about DRS here.
Last week I read a column by Marine wife Kristi Stolzenberg, titled, "Subjects to avoid in conversations with military spouses."Kristi opens the column with this:
As any Marine spouse will tell you, deployments are touchy subjects. They are entangled in a heap of emotions that most spouses rarely recognize until the deployment ends and their usual sanity has been restored.
So it should come as no surprise that since Marine spouses can have difficulty pinpointing their emotions, approaching a spouse to inquire about the deployment can be like dodging landmines; there's a lot of tip-toeing involved.
Kristi goes on to outline some of the subjects to avoid when chatting with the wife of a deployed service member. Of course, we're all different. Things that bother me may not bother you, and vice-versa. Having said that, here's part of Kristi's list:
1. First and foremost, do not try to relate by sharing your own story of separation from your own spouse for a couple of days. It is not, nor will it ever be, the same thing. You'll get no sympathy from a Marine spouse for your story about your significant other spending the weekend away for a work conference. Being separated for only a weekend is something we appreciate!
2. Terrorists. Yes, we're well aware of what they can do. We know our Marines could run into them at any time while they're away from us. That doesn't mean we want to talk about it.
3. Remember, no matter how tough a Marine spouse appears to be, everyone gets a little scared sleeping alone. There's no need putting scary thoughts into the mix, so avoid preaching about home security and crime rates.You can read the full list here. Kristi was beat up a little in the comment section by people who seem to be wondering just what it is they can say to milspouses. I understand their frustration, but I also understand where Kristi's coming from, and I'm sure she was just trying to explain why these subjects have the potential to rub spouses the wrong way. Bottom line, deployments/separationsare emotional events. Even without cramps, they make PMS look like a walk in a rose-filled park.
If you were creating a list of which subjects to avoid with you while you're separated from your spouse, what would be on your list?