Last month I went to a spouse function on base and they gave me a book titled Called to Duty about a woman suddenly (and somewhat unexpectedly) thrust into life as a military wife, how she resented it, and how she survived.
I hated the book.
It only took me a day to read the entire thing cover to cover and I kept thinking, "this has nothing to do with me." I'm still waiting for the book that tells me how to pick my life up and start over somewhere. I don't resent Ben, or his job, or the decisions and choices he's made and unlike a lot of military wives - I walked into this long after it started.
Maybe that's the problem?
I knew what I was getting into the day I met him because he'd already been doing it forever. It's in the fabric that makes him who he is and I am so incredibly in love with who he is but I'm also still fumbling and lost and not sure how I fit into all of this because I haven't been here from the beginning. It boggles me because the Air Force tries so hard to help you acclimate, assimilate, and sort out their culture but for all their trying I still walk around in a cloud of "No one knows how to help someone like me" and I feel lonely and left out.
I was married before - went to college, had a career, had a family... had an entire life before I met Ben.
I essentially gave away everything of mine to pursue his career because...well...because I love him and I was completely okay with it until I got here...seven hundred miles away from everything that was familiar to me. That's when I realized it wasn't going to be as easy to rebuild my life as I'd thought.
Here I was, trying to find work when people were getting laid off and fired and businesses were boarding up their windows and locking their doors. The Air Force offers transition services but they apparently expect military wives to either be eighteen and uneducated or able to stay home and take care of their children. They couldn't help me find a job using my degree but if I wanted to sell cable television, bus tables, or work on an assembly line the possibilities really were endless. They said they'd pay for me to go to college while Ben was stationed here except...right... I already had a degree and they won't pay for graduate degrees. No worries, though. There are still play groups and mommy groups and... my daughter goes to school.
I didn't have a job, I didn't have any friends, and we were quickly running out of money.
I felt isolated.
To be perfectly honest, I still do.
This move has been hard on all of us and, while it would be nice, there is no handbook telling us how to do it right. It's getting better but I wonder if it will ever be the same. Something tells me not to cross my fingers too tight.