Forget the shiny armor, I'm loving my hero in his DIRTY CAMO'S.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Emotional Stages of Deployment

I think I understand my feelings more now and come to a realization. I have kept a journal since the day he left for Afghanistan. Writing down all the emotions to see how I progress through this deployment. After reading it all I came up with stages of deployment. Check it out!  

Stage 1: Anticipation of Loss
6-8 weeks prior to deployment
Feelings: denial, fear, anger, resentment, hurt
During this time it is hard for a woman to accept the fact that her significant other is going to leave her. I found myself crying unexpectedly at songs, TV shows and other things that would normally not affect me. These incidents allowed me to release some of my pent-up emotions. 

Stage 2: Emotional Withdrawal
1 week prior to deployment
Feelings: Confusion, anger, pulling away
This occurred during the final days before departure. I know I should be enjoying these last few days together but all I wanted to do is cry. The last night that I saw him I cried so hard and couldn't stop because I knew that next morning he would be gone. I felt sick to my stomach and there was this invisible giant punching me in the stomach as we said our goodbyes. 

Stage 3: Emotional Confusion/Disorganization
1-3 months after departure
Feelings: sense of abandonment, need, loss, emptiness, pain, disorganization
Now matter how prepared you think you are the actual deployment still comes as a shock. You start to familiarize yourself with him not being around anymore, not planning social gatherings for two only one, restlessness kicks in, feeling awkward in social situations, becoming depressed, feeling so alone, maybe even withdrawing yourself from your friends.  You start to think oh my god I don't think I will be able to last the 300..something days this is absolute torture. Your thoughts become can I move on from this?

Stage 4: Adjustment/Recovery
Midway of deployment
Feelings: confidence, hope, calm, established
At this point I started to realize hey I'm doing OK! I established new activities and routines. I am more comfortable with him being so far away and it doesn't hurt as much. I had a new sense of independence and felt proud in my ability to cope alone. 

Stage 5: Expectation of Reunion
6 weeks prior to homecoming
Feelings: excitement, high expectations, fear, apprehension
This where I am at right now. The long list of things do while he is gone is still unfinished. The pace picks up and become a cleaning fanatic, dieting, planning homecoming. I have these an incredible feelings of joy and excitement in anticipation of his return. I looking forward to the day I pick him up and all the activities we have planned after! Do I plan him a big party or let the mother do it since I gave him a going away party? Where should we have it? Do I make a sign for him at the airport? What do I wear? Will my job understand I need to take days off because I haven't seen him in 10 months? All these questions come into my head and I feel like I'm constantly thinking about it. 

Stage 6: Homecoming
Day of Return
Not sure how this going to feel or happen yet.. but I'll be updating you all! 

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