I'm cracked but not broken; Military wife super glue
I see it all the time on the local spouse’s page, a 20-something year old spouse posting what is the equivalent of a craigslist ad (yes, I am THAT old) desperately searching for “friends”. While it doesn’t make my stomach turn as much as the occasional posts asking for a last minute babysitter the shock factor is still there. But it also breaks my heart a litte. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, in the age of instagram, facebook, and snapchat it seems our ability to relate to other humans is easier digitally. When you don’t have to think of people in human terms but rather as a face on a screen it’s easy to spew hateful things. It’s easier to take risks from the comfort of your own home sitting behind a keyboard or with a smart phone in your hand. 10 years ago when I was a brand new spouse I would have NEVER walked in to a FRG meeting listed off my name, age, number of kids, hobbies and basically begged for someone; anyone to befriend me! It just wasn’t done. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not judging these poor women. I’ve been there, miles away from home or anything I know alone with kids and starved for a simple adult conversation that isn’t via email. I had to learn to put myself out there. I had to force myself out to the FRG meeting even if it meant trying to keep my crazy 3 year old from yelling, climbing, breaking stuff and completely embarrassing me for a hour. I had to wave a smile at the neighbor with the moving van out front. Strike up those awkward first conversations at the pool, the park or the commissary when I saw someone in the same season of life as me that I might have something in common with. You know what, it sucked. Even as extroverted as I am naturally it was way out of my comfort zone. But I did it, sometimes I regretted it and had a bad experience as a result. But when I struck…. I struck GOLD. I found my super glue. Words often fail me when I try and describe these relationships to others. It’s not something you can ever fully grasp until you live it. I was never blessed with a blood sister, but I’m pretty sure this is what that feels like. All of them I’ve collected like shells on the shore over the years each serving different specific purposes in my life and each holding a separate huge piece of my heart. Knowing sometimes with just the expression on my face exactly what was needed in that moment. Letting my children and I sleep in her guest room during our 1st deployment because my alarm beeped at 3 am and I was scared to death for a week. Showing up at my house with dinner and a bottle of wine because she hadn’t seen me in a few days and was worried. Offering to let me accompany them during a family outing just because they knew I needed it. Letting my children spend the night while I was in labor so mom could be with me because they knew my husband couldn’t. Coloring my hair in their home for a fraction of the cost because they knew money was tight but I needed a pick me up. Encouraging me to exercise and change my lifestyle when I hated the duty station and was depressed. Being honest enough with me to tell me I had a dependency problem and I had to find other ways to cope. In my darkest, hardest times when my world felt like it was crumbling around me they were my super glue. When the constant moves, the 8 deployments, the missed 1st steps, 1st Varsity high school games, family vacations, and funerals chipped away at my very being. They were and will always be my super glue.