“You feel like a shadow on the front porch of what used to be your life; looking in, very present, but only on the periphery.”
Traversing the world is wonderful, but missing out on time with your family, is not. So, when the opportunity to take an assignment in my home state arose, I couldn’t have been happier. If only I had known….
As difficult as being deployed is for the loved ones of those serving in the various branches in the military, it is that much harder on the service member. This is a “different kind of deployment” because although the service member hasn’t gone, their training schedules can keep them away for weeks at time and, in many ways, being just far away enough not to go home every day is much more difficult that not being able to go home at all.
You’re doing what you have to do to support them. They are doing what they have to do as well – but it takes its toll on all involved. There is distance – where before there was none. You feel like a shadow on the front porch of what used to be your life; looking in, very present, but only on the periphery.
The back and forth takes its toll. Now you see them, now you don’t. You look forward to being with them when you can, but even more than that, you dread having to “readjust” when you return to your life without them. You wonder if they really understand and/or appreciate the sacrifices that you are making on their behalf. You don’t tell them how hard it really is and they don’t tell you. Your conversations consist of things you will do and how great it will be. It’s easier that way…but not really. Things will never really be the same again. You dare not tell them…but it’s okay… because they probably already know.