Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Milso in a Non-Military Community

Obviously, I am at home while Eric is deployed, and while I met him within a military community, my hometown doesn't have a base for nearly 100 miles. It's a stark difference. First off, none of my friends have any idea what this feels like, what it means, or how to relate, and almost none of them know anyone in the military. Because of this, people generally just don't talk to me about it, which is a little weird at times, I admit. When we do get on the subject, I am constantly explaining how the military world works, as it functions so very differently than theirs. That can quickly become irritating, because suddenly I'm forced to explain details about logistics and lingo rather than being able to vent about how I'm feeling. It's rather limiting after a while. I do remember how it felt to be on the outside of the military world and to have to constantly ask questions though, so I am patient.

After spending my undergrad thesis interviewing military spouses about their deployment experiences and what kinds of support they received, I find myself in an altogether different situation than the majority of them. Cut off from an informal network that understands, and not eligible for formal military support because we are not yet married, I'm mostly left on my own to figure out how to cope. All I can say is, thank god for the internet.

Being able to talk to the couple military spouses I am close to has helped immeasurably. I didn't think it would matter much, because I figured my normal friends would be enough of an outlet, but I was wrong. It suddenly is such a relief to use acronyms and not have to explain every little step, to have someone implicitly understand your emotions, how this all works. It's comforting, more than anything, knowing that somebody understands the things you can't specifically say.