Keeping up a front of “coping”during a deployment is exhausting.
It is so exhausting that I can’t actually do it in front of my closest friends. I know if I see them and we have a quiet moment (I.e I have bribed the sprogs with biscuits or quavers or similar) they will ask how I’m doing.
And I will lose it. The floodgates will open and I will cry. I will get all snotty. I will be a total tit.
Even if I am actually doing ok. Even if today was going alright up to this point. Even if I got an email this morning.
And then, then I will have this weird compulsion to apologise for being like this and will start to call myself names to lighten the situation.
“I’m being an idiot”
“My god he’s only been gone X weeks, im such a loser”.
“This is pathetic I’m so sorry!”
Then usually crack a joke.
So I avoid my nearest and dearest in the beginning. Because with them I can let my guard down. Because with them I can let rip because I feel safe and supported. Because with them I can become a snotty, blubbering mess.
They’ve already seen me at my worst. Either puking in a toilet crying about a boy and how I’m never ever drinking sambuca again (uni and “wild youth” friends), or utterly zombiefied with massive black bags under my eyes and no make up with my v sore nipples out trying to work out the sodding latch (early motherhood/breastfeeding friends).
So me having a howl at the dining room table clutching a coffee whilst CBeebies blasts out of the living room isn’t all that shocking.
I am coping, I’m doing this deployment. If they ask me how I am and I lose it then surely I am not coping.
That’s just logic.
Except I know that it’s not true. Yes I am coping. I mean, everyone is alive, clean fed and dressed. I’m still getting out and about and we still have lazy days.
Maybe breaking down in tears is part of coping , it’s just the part we all forget from time to time.
Maybe I need to let go of the pressure of being a navy wife and a mum with a deployed sailor from time to time. Like a release valve. So that I can keep going, one coffee at a time.