Updated: Dec 31, 2020
It has been another couple of weeks since I have been on. My computer broke and I could NOT stay concentrated enough on my cell phone to write this blog. This one is important to me because it's everything true. It's everything good, everything bad. Everything I've learned becoming/being a Milirary Spouse.
People assume being a Military Spouse is easy peasy. IT'S NOT. When I married my husband, he was already in the Marines. I knew his job had an uncertain schedule. I knew he had the possibility to deploy, I knew he had weekly trainings to go on, and I knew he wouldn't always be home. Most people clock into their work every Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm. At first when we moved out to California together I thought to myself,
"wow this is the dream, I get to hang out by the beach and I only need a part time job..."
The first obstacle I went through.. still am trying to figure out... is finances. People assume our military members get paid a fortune. They don't.. well sort of do but the government screws them over I've learned...These are the men and women doing so much for their country yet most get about the same pay a Target sales associate makes. (Sad I know.) Anyway, when you're active duty military,Married, they give you this thing called BAH. (Basic Allowance for Housing). Depending on their rank in the military they get paid a certain amount. The higher the rank the more their paychecks. But being married they receive the BAH on top of their paychecks to MAKE SURE they have rent money for wherever they may be stationed at the time. The government even provides housing on local military bases that way your service member is close to work and has everything they need. BAH depends on the cost of living of the area they are stationed... sounds great doesn't it? Well this is where they get ya...
You never see that BAH while you're living on a military base. They "coincidentally" charge that EXACT amount for rent no matter the size of the place you're renting. NOT ONLY THAT, but let's say they get promoted to a rank higher. That means more pay right? Well they unfortunetley never see that "pay raise" because IRONICALLY the housing raises the rent when they see you get promoted that EXACT dollar amount.
The government really cares about our military and military families huh? *eyeroll*
With that being said, I had to find work faster than we both thought. We didn't think it would be this tough, especially with all of the "benefits" the Marine Corp always try making sound so magical... I got a job at a new Dicks Sporting Goods, it sucked. I left around Christmas time because I still didn't have my license and I was illegally driving there everyday. (We did not want to risk that any longer... sorry mom.) After trying to get the right job in California, I finally found a full time job. Assistant Manager at an apartment complex. I thought, "I have no experience but why not try and get that experience?"... I was hired on the spot! I was as surprised as you probably are reading this. LOOOOOOONNNNNG story short, I only worked there for about a year. But towards the end of my year there, my husband received orders to deploy.
"Great." I thought allowed.
I knew this day was coming eventually. When Taylor and I were dating he had been deployed, but we were already having a long distance relationship, it didn't feel much different to us. This time though, we had spent everyday together since our wedding night. So him leaving this time was going to be a hundred times harder. This is the second obstacle I came across as a young Military Spouse. Tons of us married girls go through it but for some reason when it's YOU it's different. You always hear about it. You always dread it. But when it actually comes, it sucks. It sucks ASS. The first deployment we had together as a married couple. I was still working at my apartment complex job from 9-5. I actually enjoyed it very much but the management sucked. (and I mean S U C K E D.) When Taylor left I couldn't concentrate. I couldn't care less because it began poking at my heart driving home every evening without my husband being home. I was eating almost nothing because who wants to cook for one?I soon left that job. ( I got fired actually lol .. Stupid reason too but I don't need to get into that). I spent a month or two off of work. I was trying to use my time to stay fit and hopefully be banging for when the hubby gets back. I was in need of working on myself. I became lonely though.
The third obstacle. Lonliness. I would probably call my mom 5 times a day.. my dad twice and even my friends mom. I was losing it. What people don't understand of us Military Spouses is.. we move a lot. We tend to not be around the same friends and family every year or every few years. It gets challenging. Then one day you meet an amazing person to be your family friend and BOOM, either they have to move or you do. It's not a fun role to be. I began to suffer from depression. Not only was my husband deployed but I had hardly any interactions with people. I would try to make new friends but they were either too old or too weird.. You can't trust anyone now and days. The only couple of people I did have was Drake, Lauren, Ashley and Mitch. (how we met them can be another blog.) Drake and Lauren are married and Ashley and Mitch are married. They had their own stuff going on, work and school but these people still managed to try and make me feel better and be there for me. I spent countless nights at Lauren's having dinner or watching a movie. Ashley and Mitch would come over and drink, have a good time. But sometimes that's not enough. Like I saidm they had their lives too and I didn't want to become a burden on them.
I began to write in journal everyday. I tried getting my thoughts onto paper. I worked out my worries and I definitley ate my feelings... Just because I had gotten fired from my other job, I didn't stop looking. One day I saw on the Camp Pendleton website that the Starbucks on base was hiring. ( I LOVE Starbucks if you didn't know.) Anyway, I shot my chance and applied. I didn't get the job... JUST KIDDING. Yes I did! I was hired and I was beyond happy I did. Everyday would go by so fast. This job kept me on my feet, moving and I was actually able to have a social life! I met some amazing people working there. ( Shout out to Keana, Cassidy, Hensley, Michelle, Morgan and Miguel).
As fast as the days would go by so did the weeks and then the months. I remember being only ONE month away from the hubby coming home. I was beginning to shop for my hoemcoming outfit and decorations. I was deciding to dye my hair or not. Maybe get a haircut.. I was already making an appointment to get my nails done that way they were FRESH. Then I got a call.
"Hey honey, how are you doing?"
I could tell by his tone of voice, he was trying to avoid telling me something. "I'm good, how are you babe?" I said without concern. "So I have some news to tell you, you know how we were already on our way back to Hawaii? The last stretch of deployment... well. We have to turn back. Some events were happening and now they called an emergency for us to go back. I'm not sure what was happening, or if they even really need us to port off the ship but deployment is going to be extended an extra month..."
My heart sank, all I could think about was every bad article I have ever read on Facebook, real or fake. Every bad news I have ever watched on the television regarding over seas... every ship that sank, every training exercise that went wrong and so much more. On the phone with him I knew to act normal, I knew to act as though I recieved the informaiton and was totally fine. Totally understood. Which... It wasn't all a lie, I did understand but I was still a wife at home, alone. The fourht obstacle I came across as a Military Spouse. Fake it until you make it. As a Military Spouse I learned to Smile through the bad. Especially towards your loved one giving you the bad news because that person is going through a lot mentally or physically and you have to be their backbone. You HAVE to be Strong. You HAVE to be there for them. They can't stress about this or that AND you sobbing over the phone over some bad news. Sobbing is for later that night when you're all alone or with some girlfriends having a glass of wine to get you by. I have never been enlisted, and I have never had the desire too and that is because I know it isn't for me. I don't have the mentality it takes to be in our military.. but for the ones that do, you gotta be Strong.
So what have I learned from becoming a Military Spouse? I learn to be there. I learn to be Strong. I learn to be a supporter through good and bad. I learn to go day by day, not month to month.
I used present tense because I am still learning...
To my honey,
I love you dearly, I'm beyond proud of you and I wouldn't want to spend my life any other way.. But I do hope you get out soon ;) I love you ... Oorah my Marine.