YDU: Remind Me That I’m Not Alone


Why didn’t you tell me that I would need my friends more than ever?  As much as the Leo in me would like to believe my wonderful friends think about me every day, I am a realist. It just doesn’t happen.

Everyone has daily obligations that keep them laser-focused on their own lives; i.e. work, family, school. Just because my husband boarded a plane to an undisclosed location for six months doesn’t mean I expect our friends to drop everything and step into his role as handyman, grass-mower and creepy-noise-investigator.

It would be too much to ask anyone to keep such an eagle eye on me–especially non-military friends who don’t fully grasp the disruption and chaos that follows the departure of a service member for an extended period of time. Murphy’s Law of Deployment is a long-standing joke at our house.

This is the life of a military spouse. We embrace it grudgingly but with pride and dignity – most of the time.

Yet there is a stark period of adjustment going from a “we” to a “me,” even for the most seasoned Homefront Warrior. Everything becomes a solo event. Spousal interaction is reduced to pixilated, time-delayed video chats in the middle of the night – if we’re lucky – and “The Story of Us” becomes a chronicle of emails, pictures and videos in a vain attempt to keep our spouse engaged as a key character.

Everything is a constant reminder that we are alone. We miss our spouse. We miss having someone to talk to and do things with that don’t revolve around work, laundry and naptime.

We need you, Friend, more than ever.

But you are busy with your own life and we don’t like to interrupt or be a nuisance, so we won’t reach out to you. We don’t want to disturb your family time or be a third wheel on your date night. We don’t want to crash your Girls Night Out or invite ourselves over for a dinner.

We don’t want to burden you with our tears, our fears or our moments of insanity, but we need you to care. We need you to pry and ask questions and really listen to our answers. We need you to drop by with a box of pizza and a bottle of wine on a Friday night for girl talk and gossip. We need you to call just to say hello, be a sounding board or just invite us out for coffee.

We are not invisible. “We” are temporarily a “me,” and I need you to remind me that I am not alone.

Chrystal is a published romance author, dedicated USAF wife and mother of four: two teenagers, a ‘tween and a toddler.  She is a Florida native working full time in the midwest for a major aerospace company as an affordability specialist and project manager.  She’s a firm believer that everyone is responsible for their own happiness and life is what you make it, which somehow makes her perfect for military spouse life. 

About the Author

Why Didn't You Tell Me
Why Didn’t You Tell Me is a weekly feature that gives our readers a space to tell their own story. If you have a story for us, please submit using the contact button above. All stories must be original and unpublished.

4 Comments on "YDU: Remind Me That I’m Not Alone"

  1. revolutionaryvj | April 25, 2013 at 9:55 am |

    Chrystal…this is beautifully written and it really resonated with me.

    During the first couple of deployments, I can't tell you how many times I felt this…how much I wished a friend would pick up the phone and check on me. But as I've gotten older I've realized, that just like we often have to ask for help to change a flat tire or replace a toilet flange, sometimes we have to be brave enough to ask for help from our friends when we are feeling alone.

    I remember thinking, "I shouldn't have to ask them to check up on me," or "don't they realize how hard things are for me right now and I really need someone to talk to?" But looking back, what I have come to realize is that because we are so often the strong, tough, I-can-conquer-any-challenge-that-comes-my-way types, people will simply assume that we're doing just fine, that we eat deployment struggles for breakfast.

    So, don't be afraid to pick up the phone and call a friend and ask for some company. Non-military friends may not realize what it's like…and how will the ever understand if you don't share it with them?

    One thing I did learn to do, was reach out to my support network before hubby left. and ask them to check in on me periodically to make sure I was still breathing and not going completely crazy! And I learned to plan regular outings with friends or family so that I knew there would be a built in, face-to-face opportunity to lean on or reach out to those who cared about me.

    I think the loneliness really is the hardest part of a deployment for a spouse..thanks for reminding us that we are not alone…in spirit or in feeling this way. :)

Comments are closed.