Newly budding social media gave way to rumors spreading through homes and schools like wildfire and it's no coincidence that many have been burned as a result. Having instant and constant access to the combat-deployed doesn't just delay a spouse's need to build a base of coping skills, it obliterates it to the point that when there is no instant access, the spouse left behind is also left in the lurch.
I quietly changed the sheets when my youngest started wetting the bed during nightmares at age nine, and I had many a heart-wrenching talk with my teenagers about the possibilities they knew existed and the subsequent anxieties they felt that affected everything from their grades to their behavior. We all remember when the deployed started coming home in pieces or boxes. I can't even re-read this without tearing up some and these aren't even the worst parts of that time in our lives. And for all the deployments, countries and dangers my husband faced before Iraq, I feel like such a whiner for getting this worked up about this one experience when there are so many whose spouses deployed numerous times, were horribly wounded, still suffer with PTSD, killed themselves, or were killed in combat. Who am I to tell my measly story?
And yet Ms. Dubrow did. She knows too well the language I spoke to myself when I couldn't get to sleep and would wander around the house, peeking in on the kids as they slept, and how I looked longingly at the phone and the mailbox. Damn her, I didn't want or need to be reminded. I know there are civilians who want to read all about it, and I know there are military spouses who yearn for the connection because they can't put it into words themselves, and I completely understand their need, but I didn't have the same need. So I thought.
I was sitting here just yesterday going through all the chapters of a book I still can't bring myself to publish. It's kind of a weekly thing for me now. I pull up the chapters and I revise a bit and edit some, but when I get to the pages from his time in Iraq, it's like reading about someone else's life. The person I was while he was at war was not the same person I was before he deployed - or after.