Friday, November 6, 2009

I don't fit in: the blog post where I'm brutally honest.

I don't fit in as a military wife, and I'm pretty sure I never will.

When Mark joined the Air Force, I thought maybe there was some speck of a chance that I would be okay with being separated from him for 7 months. That I would be okay with him being owned by the government. That I would be okay with moving around like it was my job.

But it's been a year since he signed his papers, and here we are. We're a military family. And I don't fit in.

I'm not independent. I'm the baby of the family, and I'm not a leader. I don't have it in my bones to be left alone in a new city for 6 months while my husband is in Iraq. I'm not strong enough to take care of our child(ren) while he's in the middle east. I'm not okay with him potentially going on a remote tour for 1 year in Korea while I'm left here all alone. In all honesty, I'm not quite sure what kind of wife would be okay with any of those scenarios. But me? I'm not cut out for that.

I'm not okay with being away from my family. There. I said it. I really really love my family. And it's pretty depressing to think that I'm missing my nephews grow up. And I have to hear about their lives over the phone. I guess some people don't have nieces or nephews and aren't close to their families. But I am. And it really sucks to be 12 hours from my favorite people on the planet (besides Mark, of course!).

I hate that Mark is owned by his job. We can't go home on the weekends or on holidays even though he has off work. He has to take leave if he chooses to travel so many miles away from base. He can't just "call in sick" like a normal job. And, if I get sick and need his assistance, I might as well ask Piper to help me out. Because Mark can't stay home. He isn't allowed. And I will never be okay with that.

When we have our first child, chances are that no one will be here with us. We're 12 hours from home. So, unless I have a scheduled C-section, and it just so happens to fall in the summer or on a big holiday break, no one will be able to come see our baby. I'm not okay with that, and I never will be.

There's also a huge chance that Mark will miss some, if not all, of a future pregnancy of mine. Or that he will miss a large portion of our babe's life. I'm not okay with giving birth alone in a strange city with no one by my side. I know some women do it with no problem because they're strong/brave/independent or whatever.

But I am not.

I don't think that friends will "make up" for me not having family here. No stranger I will meet will ever be equal to, or better than, my family. In fact, in the last month, I've not spoken to anyone other than Mark& store clerks in person. I'm not interested in going to Air Force wife clubs. At all. I'm quickly turning into a hermit crab, if I'm honest with myself.

And the fact that Obama is my husband's boss isn't too settling, if you catch my drift.

I guess I should be grateful that my husband has a job, that he supports us, and that we have our own house with the most amazing dog in the universe. We live by the ocean, drive a cute car, and are truly in love with each other. But, unless you're me (which you aren't), then you don't know exactly what I'm going through. Even if you are a military wife -- so what? I don't claim to know your feelings or know how you feel.

We might be lifers in the AF, and Mark might retire when he's 43. Or we might get out in 5 years. Who knows? But, as for now, we both know and realize that I wasn't cut out to be a military wife. And I'm not really sure that anyone is.


  1. Shannon...there is NOTHING wrong with the way you feel, and you are definitely NOT weak in anyway. Family should be the most important thing in your life, and no friend could ever take place of family. When Derek and I first got married he was considering the military, but after I really thought about it, I thought just like NO ONE should have to raise children alone or be away from their husband for months to a year at a feeling this way only shows that you two truly are in love! And I consider you to be very strong for having spent the first 7mths of your marriage away from your new hubby...very strong!

  2. thanks, Krista!!!! :D You're so sweet :) :)

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  4. Ahh, Tara!! You're SOOO right!!! I am 100% devoted to Mark, and he knows that. I truly hope people don't see me as waiting to "bail" on being a mil wife... that isn't it at ALL. Rather, I'm standing by my Airman's side.. even though it's the toughest job in the world.

    Thanks, Tara :) Love you to death! Now please find a way to Langley :)

  5. I wish I knew what to say to you, but I will pray for you. I hope things get better :)

  6. You fit in more than you realize :) I haven't met any military wife that doesn't feel the same way you do. Our first base was Montana. We are from Florida. Yeah... that was the most difficult 3 years of my life and my husband wasn't even deployed. I was a hermit crab too. I was incredibly home sick and felt like who I was as a person was slipping away. I'm here on Bethel Manor too if you ever want to get out of the house or talk to someone other than Mark or store clerks ;) I know how isolating moving to a new base is.

    --Katie Brown

  7. I just wanted to add, Shannon, that because you willingly entered into this marriage knowing these harsh realities, THAT is what makes you brave and strong. Any woman can choose to marry the love of her life with a white picket fence in mind, but you did it knowing it was going to be difficult. You knew there were going to be many sacrifices and that simply being together was going to be a struggle. You two are willing to face those obstacles together. You are just as strong as any woman out there.

  8. aww, THANKS, Katherine!!! I can't believe you said that :) Normally, people take it the OTHER way and say, "You went in knowing that it would be like this, so you got what you asked for!" but, as I'm sure you know, nothing can prepare you for it. Just like nothing can prepare you for having a baby until you ACTUALLY have a baby.. It's just one of those things that's hard to deal with, but I'm dealing, of course, & it will all be fine :)