Tuesday, March 29, 2005

My memory of my boyfriend: a casualty of this deployment?

It's only been five weeks since my boyfriend deployed, but somehow it seems so much longer. We have now been apart longer without seeing each other than ever before.

However, it seems that after a certain point...I would say it was between the third and fourth week, I got used to it, and I have adjusted. I know that sounds bad, me adjusting to him being gone, but it’s a good thing. Before he left, I was obsessed with him leaving, I couldn’t think of anything without also thinking of his departure. Everything was associated with it.

After he left, I couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that he was gone. My last thought before going to bed at night was about him being gone, and as soon as I opened my eyes in the morning the realization that he was gone would sock me awake.

It was like a really bad crush or break up. That is the closest thing I can compare it to. It was obsessive, and it was really annoying me. I hated feeling so emotionally handicapped.

Now, five weeks later I am “getting over” him being gone. It doesn’t hurt as much, and I have gotten used to not talking to him every night and seeing him every week.

This evening I was leaning out of my window, looking into the clouded night sky, and on the one hand appreciating the serenity of the moment, the luxury of being lost in one’s own thoughts. But on the other, I couldn’t help but wonder what my boyfriend’s sky was looking like right now, wondering if we were sharing a moment although thousands of miles are separating us.

I got an email from him today, and he was telling me about an event, and his actions, and it kind of brought me back to my senses. I realized that I have been daydreaming about him so often, to fill in the blanks about what he is doing, that I have been slowly drifting away from who he really is. I have made a sort of abbreviated version of my boyfriend, lacking all the subtleties. Things like his walk, the way his eyes glaze over sometimes when I am blabbing, the funny little sayings he has, or the way his whole body stiffens when he gets upset. However, I think my memory of those subtleties is slowly becoming a casualty of this deployment; details are becoming blurred. And how I miss those subtleties.

I am reminded of that Tim McGraw song (yes, I am going to quote a country song, I think I might lose my Valley Girl creds soon...*sigh*) Forget About Us, where he sings:

I know it won't be easy but I've got a plan
To just let my memory let go of your hand
I'm gonna miss your touch
But I know I must forget about us

I am not forgetting about my boyfriend, I love him to bits, don't get me wrong. But there is a kind of subconscious self-defense mechanism which has certainly supressed my memories of a lot of the subtleties. And occasionally they push through to the surface and make his being away very, very difficult.

I am so afraid that my boyfriend will just become a concept for me, just like I may become a concept for him. Yes, we write each other letters, and we talk on the phone. But those little interactions are so contained, and nothing compared to the unpredictability of live-interaction. I think there will definitely be a long re-acquaintance period when he returns. Just as it is difficult for me to get used to the condensing of our relationship now, I think it will be almost an emotional overload, albeit a very welcome one, once he gets back.


Blogger Toni said...

I definitely feel for you CaliVG. My bf is only gone for 4.5 mos and it's difficult. He doesn't DO Im so we are limited to phone calls irregularly and emails which pretty much are one liners. It can get rocky at times. You sound like a solid feet on the ground person and even with the loneliness you make it fine.

3:27 PM  
Blogger jennifermarie81 said...


your post really gave the strength I need to hold on during my bf's deployment. I totally relate to everything you are writing. Thanks for your words...


4:43 AM  
Blogger Madison said...

Wow I can really relate to your post as well. My boyfriend and I have been together for about 3 months now and he deployed 3 weeks ago...it's been really hard!! I too feel emotionally handicapped and it's especially hard because all of my friends constantly hangout with their boyfriends...leaving me the odd one out. Before he left I too was obsessed with the thought that he was leaving and also the fact that we are going to be spending the first whole year of our relationship apart. I guess I should quickly explain my situation..I was with my previous boyfriend for 5 years before I met my new boyfriend Chase. I met Chase while I was with Ryan my old boyfriend and was instantly attracted...long story short I left my boyfriend of 5 years to be with Chase and things were amazing for the first few months until he went to basic training. He was able to text and call...but things were kind of different..he was more distant and all of a sudden stopped talking about a future with me (yes we already started talking about a possible future :)) I know that they are trained to be mentally tough and all but I'm just wondering if you are or were experiencing this too? It's just tough because I love him with all my heart and he says that he misses me....but it's just different... any suggestions??

7:13 AM  
Blogger From the Heart of a Young New Yorker said...

I really enjoyed reading what you had to say. It's inspirational. =)

8:46 AM  

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