April 14, 2011

A Lost Military Spouse*

I don't talk much about my life as a military spouse on here, because honestly it's been pretty quiet on the home front. My husband has been home for a year and a half following his last deployment & we've gotten pretty used to a "normal" way of life. This is definitely something that is not common & while I know that deployments are looming & somewhere down the line I'll be back into a new kind of "normal," I just really don't have a lot to discuss when it comes to the Army.

There have definitely been times when I wanted to get fired up about something related to the military [ahem, possible pay cuts] but the reason I stepped away from my last blog was to sort of step away from the things that made me angry about this lifestyle & focus on other things that were important to me. Photography. Art. Babies. A new chapter in my life.

But today has been a rough day in the milspouse world. News from a friend [that unfortunately, I can't share just yet] brought tears to my eyes. And then I was directed to this page, a blog by another military spouse.

A fellow Military Spouse's online suicide note.

I do not know her. I have never read her blog before. I do not know her background to anything that has gone on in her life. I will tell you that she is SAFE. I do not know the circumstances but she was not successful with her suicide. But her story breaks my heart none the less.

I cried over a perfect stranger today at work. It's beyond unfortunate that this poor woman felt that she had to take her own life because she didn't have the support that she needed. Where were her friends? Where were her family?? I know that my life is so far from perfect, and after today I will think twice about the things I complain about, but I also know that I have AMAZING people in my life who love me & care about me & would make sure that I never slipped that far.

I wish that the powers that be would take a good hard look at what is going on. Ten years of war is taking a serious toll on the military families. The spouses are starting to crack from the inside out. I myself have never kept it a secret that I am on anti-depressants; while they are mostly due to my infertility issues, I do know that there are hardships to this life that I can't always handle on my own. But again, I have great people in my life. And the fact that this woman felt that she had nobody to go to breaks my heart into a million pieces.

Like I said, I don't follow her blog & I do not know her personally. But her husband obviously has deployed, & from the sounds of it had a very rough deployment at that. I really do not believe that people change like that overnight. There has to be a trigger. Something inside is making these Soldier snap. And the spouses, unfortunately, are starting to suffer right along with them. The wars need to stop, & the services provided to the families need to seriously improve. I know that the White House is working on some new initiatives directed at the Military Families, but is it enough? We've been down this road where something is developed to help & improve the life of Service Members & their families, but it always seems to fall to the wayside.

FRG's need to be stronger. They need to have more support. They need to not turn away family members, MARRIED OR NOT, that want to help out with their loved ones unit. If somebody had taken this woman seriously maybe she would never have started to feel this lost.

This makes me so angry. And it also makes me sad. I want to reach out to this woman, whomever she is, and hug her. Tell her that life is worth living. That her husband has some pretty obvious & serious PTSD issues that need to be addressed, whether it screws up his career or not. That there ARE people out there that care & that want to help.

The military needs to start taking our families more seriously, & start realizing that the extremely heavy burdens that they are placing on the families time & time again effect more than just the Service Member.

** If you feel that you need help, even just somebody to talk to, Military One Source offers free, confidential counseling to the Military & their family members. Twenty four hours a day. Seven days a week. Face to face. Over the phone. Even online. There are options for you. Please. PLEASE call if you feel that you are slipping.


Tucker said...

Well said sweetheart! I <3 you!

Lauren said...

I just read her post. It was such a sad story and I'm glad she is ok. I hope she's able to get the support that she so desperately needs. I'm thankful everyday for my support system and wish that everyone had someone that they could turn to when things get tough.

E and R said...

Being a military spouse is HARD. I am thankful everyday that my husband decided not to re-enlist. We finally got to spend an entire year living in the same state (Valentine's Day marked this milestone). I still have reminders all the time of the deployment and part of me is sad that the man I married is not the same man that I am married to now - I love him more than anything, don't get me wrong, but he isn't the same and that makes me sad. My heart breaks for this woman and all of the others like her - having a strong support system is SO important - I learned that very quickly and am thankful everyday for those who were/are my support system.