I hate labels.
This deployment has taught me so much in such a short amount of time. The deployment was not a surprise, but it sure did come quick. I did read my fair share of blog posts and articles on things to expect, but it is safe to say, I was not prepared for it all. How could I possibly prepare myself to say goodbye to someone that I love, and send him off to the unknown? I had no idea what to expect. I was confused about how to feel and really didn’t have anyone to talk to about it.
I did however gear myself up for the fact that we may not be able to talk as much as we’d like. I saved photos and videos to look at from time to time, and kept voicemails to listen to when I was missing his voice. He even left me little messages around my room and in the house to find after he was gone. And of course, I kept some of his shirts to sleep in. Now this all was great until I got a new phone and the voicemails were erased. Or when his scent finally left the t-shirts. And this is when “The Suck” started to sink in.
I knew that as a “Military Girlfriend” I would not have any rights. I had come across so many articles about POA’s and other acronyms that make up the language of the military, but didn’t really think they applied to me. Until a few weeks ago. With bad weather conditions, the base flooded, and my boyfriend’s belongings were soaked. I wanted so badly to drive the two hours to base, get his stuff and see what I could save. Silly me. As a girlfriend, I can’t even get onto base without him. I had no rights to his belongings. I couldn’t even talk to anyone who might be able to give me some answers without his authorization! I was frustrated to say the least.
Now, let me take a moment to say, that I don’t think that any of these rules are stupid or unnecessary. Hell no. For all they know, I could be some stranger or a crazy person. I know there’s a reason for them and I’m thankful that there are rules in place for his safety, and the safety of others. But the situation sure made me feel worse.
See, I have an immense amount of respect for military spouses and families. Moving around, being away from loved ones, and the amount of uncertainty that the job can put on a family does not go unnoticed by me. I admire the strength and sense of community that military spouses posses. I just wish I had a little of that support as a girlfriend.
Having a ring or a piece of paper binding me to him wouldn’t make me love him any more than I already do. Sure, we would like to get married someday. I’m not just some chick he dates. I’m not just his girlfriend. Would I really put myself through months without him, missed phone calls, 3 minute text conversations and sleepless nights if I didn’t want forever? Would I take my phone with me everywhere I go, stay up planning boxes to send, or get excited by a simple “Good Morning” if I didn’t think he was the only one for me? It seems so silly to think about, but I’m having some trouble feeling like I belong.
I know that this is something that takes some getting used to. And throughout this deployment, I have been able to find others to talk to that are going through similar situations. And you know what? It helps, and I am so thankful for them! I may not have any rights in the eyes of the military, I may not have a card or any special title, but I do have his heart. And he has mine. And for right now, that’s all we need, and that is all that matters. I Am Relevant.