✍ All sorts of new and exciting things coming up for the cast of L to the Third so stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The ugly truth about reintegration


I try to keep my blog a relatively happy place, one that is free of drama and general complaining. But every now and then I have to break out the tiny violin and give it a play.  This is one of those times, so consider yourself warned.

There's no real way to candy-coat this, so I'm just going to come out and say it: Reintegration sucks.  It is quite possibly the hardest thing I've had to go through, and remember, I just spent a year alone with a baby, so that's saying something.  I'm actually surprised by how difficult this has been; after all, I've been through this before, when Captain Husband returned from Afghanistan and again when he returned from his career course.  By this point, I should be an expert, right?   Wrong and here's why--there is now a kid involved.  Previously, when CH and I would experience a reintegration hiccup, we felt free to yell and swear and stomp our feet to our hearts' content, but we just can't (or shouldn't) do that in front of our young, impressionable child, who may be harboring some reintegration issues of his own for all we know--after all, he did call a complete stranger, "Dada," over the weekend.

And of course, it didn't help matters at all that CH was sent out to the field for ten days--it had taken us nearly two months to finally get used to living with one another (plus a toddler) and I was feeling pretty good about things.  But in the span of those ten days it was as though all of our hard work was for naught.  We spent most of this past weekend bickering about the silliest things; it honestly feels like every time we take a step forward, we wind up taking two steps back.  I know for a fact that I'm harboring some feelings of resentment and that CH is having problems adjusting to a battle rhythm that's not of his own making; hopefully by acknowledging these aspects, we'll be better equipped to take the necessary steps to make our relationship happy and healthy once again.

I chalk up a lot of our points of contention primarily to the fact that we never really got to have a "honeymoon" phase with this reintegration; basically CH returned from South Korea and then *BAM* we had to prepare for our cross-country move to Texas (which would have been hard enough on its own regardless of the circumstances leading up to it).  In fact, I don't think CH and I have had a night to ourselves since he's returned--something that we definitely need to look into, preferably sooner rather than later.

What is also making this reintegration difficult is the fact that I feel as though I'm going through all of this on my own.  Yes, I've been making new friends here in El Paso, but I don't want to be known as the annoying woman that is always high-jacking the conversation so that she can complain about her husband.  Okay, enough whining already; I know that, in the great scheme of things, I have it pretty good.  Sometimes I just need to remind myself of that fact. 

13 comments:

Maeve's Momma said...

I have never been through this, but I hear it can be not just hard, but life-changingly difficult. Keep talking, keep the channels open as best you can, and keep riding the waves. You can do it!

Courtney said...

I don't know what you're going through. I've never been in your shoes. But I'll definitely be praying for you and your family. Vent all you want - sometimes that helps. Blessings!

Sarah E. said...

I'm not sure why but our integration when my husband returned from Iraq was easy peasy. My daughter was 8 months when he left and my son was 19 months. They both adjusted perfectly. I'm not really sure why it was so easy, but it was.

My husband is coming home from Afghanistan this week and I'm nervous as all get out. My nervousness is overshadowing excitement. I have been through the reintegration before, but this time I'm completely terrified. It scares me. The kids are now 3 and 4 (almost 4 and 5) and I know they will again, be completely fine once Daddy is home. They've been extra difficult during this deployment. Me, on the other hand, I'm so scared that something will be "wrong" with me or I won't know who my husband is anymore - you know, those completely irrational fears. I know this reintegration is going to take work. *sigh*

Ashley Sisk said...

Although I haven't been through that personally, I can kinda understand. With the hubs away on business a lot, we get used to not being together and had major knock outs for a while. I'll be praying for this to settle.

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

My dad was in the Air Force for 25 years (retired in '68,) and my mom was often left with 4 girls while he was away for 18 mos. or more.

For whatever reason, she loved the service and never complained. I guess she also knew how good she had it.

Be strong for your baby and your husband. Big hugs. xoxo

Sarah said...

I am so sorry. I will be praying for you all. :) You are amazing and will get through this.

Karin said...

I admire you for actually saying that you find it hard! When I read your story initially, I thought to myself I could never do that! Husband coming back, move, Sammy, make friends,.... I am sure you will be fine...most people would struggle in your situation! Mail me if you want to let it all out;-) I don't know anyone you know so I won't tell hehehhehe

melifaif said...

You have every right to feel this way! Know I am praying for you....

Julianne said...

Lillian laughed her evil laugh (the one that copies a halloween decoration we saw at a store) when she saw that photo of Jim.

I'm always open to a skype venting session if it helps. We at this household know how awesome you are so we have no worries about you. Take two beers and call me in the morning:)

Lindsey said...

Girl. I feel you. It's always hard with the constant in and out. Sohel has been in and out since Ethan was 6 months old. He is now 3 and he has spent a good part of his life readjusting from 1 to 2 parents. He is a terror when S is gone. I hope things smooth out soon. Its hard to move but adding becoming a family again makes it even harder.

Sarah said...

Well hey, you always have me to complain to! While our situations are slightly different, I think we've come up with more in common in the last six months than the rest of our lifetimes! You have my number, call anytime!

Kim said...

Oh Honey, I am sorry. Sounds like you need some alone time by yourself. Then you need some alone time with the hubs. If I wasn't so stinking far away I would offer.
I will be praying for you Sweetie. You always have us here in blogland.

Tonya said...

First of all, L, I don't see you feeling sorry for yourself with your honest post. I see a strong woman who is valiantly going through something that is so, so difficult. Second, be kind to yourself. Third, find a babysitter, STAT!! Fourth, thank you for putting a human face on the life of a military family for me. Take good care.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...