Being a military spouse might be a lot like being an expatriate living in China. I got to thinking this while listening to a This American Life story about what it is like to live in China today. This ex-pat Kaiser Kuo was talking about the Chinese government and censorship and some of the realities of doing global business online. (It’s a good story check it out here).
Kuo argued that only certain things were worth protesting. “If you’re not conflicted by what you see here your eyes aren’t open,” said Kuo. “But if you continually dwell in the House of Indignation you won’t be able to make it here.”
The House Of Indignation. That really struck a chord with me. The House of Indignation sounds like a place our military spouse readers get stuck all the time. Shoot, I've picked a china pattern and moved right in.
Maybe the House of Indignation is the reason why we print so many stories from spouses who are upset about something seemingly small—someone feels like an outsider. Someone else feels underloved and underpaid. Another person is outraged by dangerous dogs living on base. And always we have the folks who wanna jump into that useless officer/enlisted fray. Why do you print this kind of story?
I think after reading this military wife quote that I would say that we do it for one reason. We know that if you are not conflicted sometimes by what you see in military life, your eyes aren’t open.
By taking on a military love, we spouses and partners and girlfriends and boyfriends jump into a foreign country. Some of the things our servicemembers accept as normal are just not normal to us. We witness exactly what "changed" can mean after deployment. We're the ones putting together yet another birthday party for a kid all alone. We see marriages break up around us because people just plain spend too much time apart.
Sometimes we talk about those big things on SpouseBuzz. But sometimes those big things get tangled in the littles. That's why it helps to get those things into a common space. It helps to get a little feedback from other people in our community—some older and more experienced, some younger with a fresher, less drinkin’-the-Koolaid mentality.
I think that by looking at the those things together we can help another spouse or partner escape of the House of Indignation. We can help someone get away from the idea that the military is something someone is doing to you, instead of a place where you are choosing to build a life. Because Kaiser Kuo is right: If you continually dwell in the House of Indignation, you won’t make it here.
And at SpouseBuzz, we want all of you to make it.