THe Harting Family

THe Harting Family

Friday, April 8, 2011

How Much Is Too Much?? Or Is it All About You?

So this week we had our long awaited dreaded send off. I despise having to go through the motions of sending the hubs off. I've done it more times then I can say or wish to remember. I have ran the gambit of emotions on the whole thing from, sad, to depressed, to annoyed to just plain old pissed off. What I have learned to do is keep my emotions in check, and I am ususally good right up until the bus closes it's doors then I quickly rush back to my truck and have a good cry.
Now I know not everyone can do that or should they, I am a firm believer that you should feel what you feel when you feel it. My first deployment I was very emotional, not knowing what to expect, it was during the very early years of Iraq, very scary and no one really knew what to expect. I was scared, my son was scared, the war was on tv every second of every day...ya I was emotional. It didn't take me long to realize that the more upset I was the more upset my son was getting, he was young then, in middle school and he still took his cues from me. It also made it much harder on my husband, back then he was a not as out front as he is now but still he had Marines in his charge and he really had to worry about them as well as us so it was hard on him.
The next few deployments I knew what to expect so it was easier for me to compartmentalize things and keep it together, still had my breakdowns in the truck, it still was hard on my son but it was ok because he needed to know it was ok to cry and get it out and then I would drive home and we would take it from there. It was easier on my husband, I mean he knew I was upset but seeing me cry is probably the single hardest thing in the world for him. Plus I knew there were a lot of young wives on their first deployment and if I was breaking down what would they think? So I did my best with tears welling to wait until I was back at my truck. Our last deployment was the push into Afghanistan and again, unknown territory, not a lot of information, and a lot harder to stay in check. As they boarded the bus a little girl was crying so hard for her daddy it just made my tears start that much sooner. But it was ok, feel what you feel and all that. I did good, my son did good, much stiffer of an upper lip this time, after all he was a Sr. in High School and much harder for him to let the tears go but he did.
Fast forward to this past week...another going away. One of my friends was having a really hard time, understandably so. Last time her husband deployed he was wounded, shot 5 times. His recovery was 2 years of agony. They made it, they have 3 small daughters, I can imagine what images were flashing in her mind as they were getting on that bus. Her husband is one of my husbands Marines, one of his best. I went to her and hugged her and told her, "he is with the best rifle company in the Corps," "please take comfort in that." She shook her head "yes" and said, "I know." Now Marines are a funny bunch, we have a few bonafide War Hero's in our bunch. I don't say that lightly but we do, our company is pretty high speed. I don't use the word lightly. And our fearless leader, our CO is one of them. He sensed the seriousness of our situation and came over to talk to us. With his ever present smile, the guy is always smiling he comes over to me and says, " I am going to take really good care of your guys." " and Heidi, your hubs is pretty tall I am almost positive I can take cover behind him very well." and of course with that one line we all start to laugh hysterically. So for a second we all laugh and it bonds us and my friend, still very upset smiles. And this is how my morning went, going around and talking with the wives, some of them very upset some just under the surface. And it was good. So we have another company leaving that morning and they will remain nameless to protect the guilty but as the buses pull away, one of the wives from that company has a full out melt down, on her knees screaming. I quickly glance around at the other wives and they all start falling apart at the sight of this woman on the ground making a spectacle of herself. And the kids start as well, why is this lady so upset? Keep in mind her own children are with her as well.
So I ask how much is too much? I know this woman, she is a bit of a pain in our volunteer group, very much an attention grabber. Was this her need for attention? Keep in mind her husband is part of the Senior ranks, and also keep in mind he has deployed before and he is going in a training billet. Is this really the example she should be putting out to the younger wives?
So I thought to myself, if she isn't doing this for attention, if she is the type that can not keep it together, and I am not talking about crying hard, I am talking about a full out fall on the ground hysterical crying, shouldn't she maybe say her good byes at home?
So I ask you much is too much. Oh ya and BTW, the word of this got on the bus and started a landslide of questions from some of the Marines worried that it was their wife that had the break down.


Paula said...

Oh my, I so hate a drama queen. And YES, if they can't handle the good-bye, they should do it at home and spare the children, not to mention others, from this public display.
It's a shame.
I too, was very emotional the first time.
This last time, my husband was the battalion commander and we had 800 Soldiers and their families watching us.
I promised him I'd leave if I couldn't hold it together. He didn't need the distraction of having me emotional. I did hold it together and hugged others through their tears, until, like you, I got to my car. I had my cry, went home and started the year.
Good luck to all of you. My prayers are with your group and all our heroes serving.

Renee said...

When my husband deployed last year I heard the complete breakdown crying of another wife. Even now - more than a year later I can still bring that site/sound to my memory and it's crystal clear.

Deployment is never easy; saying good bye/so long/see you almost unbareable - but leaving the zone with your dignity and the dignity of your deploying spouse is just the right thing to do.

Bog HUG to you as you all go right back in to deployment!

ines said...

To me, I feel like that woman is an attention grabber. To me, it seems like "look at me, I'm so sad and you are not". But thats just me.

Whenever hubby and I parted ways I cried, but very lightly and hidden-like that no one would notice. Now I'm approaching my first deploying and I hope, I hope, that during the farewell I can contain myself or do as much as when he was on MSG....but heres hoping.

I think what you did was very good. I think keeping yourself strong helps the younger wives and in return, their kids...if they have any.

avgordsuprgddss said...

I have to agree with you Heidi... this woman was looking for attention... as if to say I am suffering more than everyone else here, look at me and see... I am the better wife because see how upset I am... not to mention that the last thing the Marines needed to hear on the bus was that someones wife lost it. I know that had it been me, and hubs had found out he would have let me know how much of an embarrassment it was to him. Not to mention now, the worry that her husband must take with him that she can not handle this. He has enough to worry about and concentrate on, he did not need this... ( I know that may seem harsh). I don't know her or her hubs rank, but if her hubs was an officer than the COs wife needs to have a talk with her about acceptable behavior and if her husband was enlisted than the sr. wife needed to talk to her. I can't even imagine what the wives going through this for the first time thought... or the children.... It is my belief that we hold it together for our Marines in public, no matter what.... we save our fear, and pain, and worry for when we are home, or in the company of trusted friends. We never seek attention of any kind... we are strong because we have to be there are too many people counting on us. As i said this may sound cold and unfeeling but she needs to know that her display was way over the top, and uncalled for.

Rita said...

Thanks for sharing your experiences with us "civilian" wives, Heidi. :) As you know, I'm a LEO wife, and couldn't imagine sending my hubby off to a war for months on end, but if I was in your position I hope that I could be as strong as you and your fellow Military Wives.

USMCWIFE said...

Thanks Rita, but being a LEO wife is no walk in the park either and I know this because I have about 3 family memebers that are Philadelphia Cops, it's a scary business. So I do so appriciate your support but know I respect very much what your hubs does for us as well. It is hard being away from him though, that and not knowing where he is day to day can wear on me but I love him.