Separation​ and Reunification: Military Life

Learning to deal with a separation and reunification has been consistent over this past year.  Because I am away from my normal support system of family and friends, it is definitely a different feel. Undoubtedly, the girls’ and I have managed to accept the “what is” knowing that this is temporary (they are so strong!).  But that does not mean that we weren’t filled with many emotions as we were given orders in hand earlier this year. We made the choice to stay back in Florida, while Chief departed.  There had been several times when I questioned my journey. Read my previous blog, From Prison to Purpose as I discussed how I zone in on my purpose. But we both knew that we had a purpose that needed to be done on both ends (far beyond what we could ever imagine).  So we took that leap of faith. And let me tell you, this has not been an easy journey at ALL (in all aspects)! Continue reading “Separation​ and Reunification: Military Life”

No Family or Friends, Just Us!

No family or friends, just us! In the past, my family and I would do what typical families do during the Thanksgiving holiday, visit family and friends, eat a massive amount of food, Black Friday shop, etc.  My husband is from Kentucky and I am from Florida.  We would typically alternate between the two for different holidays/occasions, as typical military families do.  As time progressed, Chief and I decided to create our very own nouveau Thanksgiving tradition.  No family or friends, just us! For the past few years, we planned and saved to travel during the Thanksgiving holiday.  Here are a few pictures from the past two years.  We visited Gatlinburg, TN. and Keystone, CO. Continue reading “No Family or Friends, Just Us!”

From Prison to Purpose

Are you in prison? Have you recently been released? Since being released, what are you doing to live a purposeful life?  If any of those scenarios apply to you, or even someone you know or love, these questions can be difficult to approach. More often than not, individuals have lived a life in metaphoric prison because they were in fear of the unknown.  Afraid of reprise. Continue reading “From Prison to Purpose”

Surrounded By Love and Grace

background-blur-close-up-810035“Are you okay? Is anything wrong? You seem different.” These are the phrases I repeatedly heard my senior year of high school. My parents were highly concerned about me and it wasn’t for another five years that I finally understood what was going on.
Continue reading “Surrounded By Love and Grace”

My Experience with Medication

I have been married to my husband for 12 years and together for 17. We have two daughters ages 8 and 11. He is a Chief in the Navy and is months away from retirement.
In 2006 when I was pregnant with my first daughter, I began having extreme highs and lows and was quite unstable throughout the later part of my pregnancy. I had shown signs of all this prior but didn’t acknowledge I had any issues. My spouse was also preparing for his IA to Iraq.

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I have been married to my husband for 12 years and together for 17. We have two daughters ages 8 and 11. He is a Chief in the Navy and is months away from retirement.
In 2006 when I was pregnant with my first daughter, I began having extreme highs and lows and was quite unstable throughout the later part of my pregnancy. I had shown signs of all this prior but didn’t acknowledge I had any issues. My spouse was also preparing for his IA to Iraq. My husband demanded I share how I was feeling with my PCM.
Continue reading “My Experience with Medication”

Overcoming My Own Anxiety

The psychological and verbal abuse was evident to everyone else but me.

I was blinded by a narcissist. If you know what that is like, then you know how hard it is to get away, get free of the mental mind games and be free from an emotional vampire.

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Photo by Lynnelle Richardson on Pexels.com

I wasn’t sure how I allowed it to happen – I was always strong-minded, strong-willed, independent and had my boundaries set. However, this particular person threw my world upside down and made me into a cowering, scared and beat down person. The psychological and verbal abuse was evident to everyone else but me.
Continue reading “Overcoming My Own Anxiety”

My Journey Is Not A Race

What does mental health mean to you?
To me, mental health is just as important if not more important than physical health. If my mental health isn’t in a good place, the rest of my health and life truly isn’t either. If I am struggling mentally then it means I’m not working out, I’m not eating well, and I most definitely am not taking the time to do any part of my self-care routine. It will show in all aspects of my life.


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What does mental health mean to you?

To me, mental health is just as important if not more important than physical health. If my mental health isn’t in a good place, the rest of my health and life truly isn’t either. If I am struggling mentally then it means I’m not working out, I’m not eating well, and I most definitely am not taking the time to do any part of my self-care routine. It will show in all aspects of my life. Read more of the post

My Mental Health Journey…

My mental health journey began many years ago, and has been, probably THE MOST difficult health issue that I’ve had to face.  We hear in the news and in our families, how mental health tends to be taboo and something most people just don’t talk about, or want to bring up.  Many times, it’s due to not wanting to face the root cause of the issue, or perhaps even the work it will take to fix it. 

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Continue reading “My Mental Health Journey…”

Resilience in Military Spouses..Part 2

“The resiliency that is forced on military spouses, families, and service members is dynamic. It’s unscheduled, tough, learn as you go, unwritten rules and regulations which go unspoken amongst the ranks of all military spouses.”
My grand idea to deal with the scenario is to start my own blog website and volunteer at my church to be a Stephen Minister, again resiliency! BTW, mister was not too thrilled about me taking up another task because he feels as though I have too many responsibilities. This is a “snippet” of what non-traditional military families are comprised of. I certainly do not wish this entry to appear as a pity party, complaint department, or an alert to local government that military families need urgent care attention while spouses are deployed. I simply wish to honor the resiliency of my family and all military families verbally and perhaps enlighten some lovely readers on some common unknowns that may go forsaken if not spoken on. I say that to say this; I’ve enjoyed many moments throughout my husband’s military service and honestly wouldn’t change much about it. My husband puts forth great effort to illustrate his appreciation for my children and I. I actually revel in the fact I get to see what a non-traditional military family looks like from the inside and I hold my head high that I have stood beside a phenomenal man while seeing and experiencing some things not everyone is blessed to witness. I also appreciate the unnatural characteristic military service has inherently taught me for resiliency.
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I have gone about my last 16 plus years since I met my husband, taking for granted the life lessons and resiliency training military service has forced upon me. I complained very little. I adapted and overcame, learned the military friendly jargon associated with spousal service, kissed my husband goodbye for an undetermined amount of time within days notice and can even tell military time within a second’s question! I can not recall how resilient I was at the beginning of this journey. But as we reach the end of his career, I can tell you the only moment I blink an eye of possible resentment is when my children, husband, another military family, or even myself experience a form of non-appreciation from someone who “just doesn’t know.” And are quick to minimize the resiliency it takes for military spouses to endure constant unpredictableness and sacrifice for the love of our service member and our country.
The resiliency that is forced on military spouses, families, and service members is dynamic. It’s unscheduled, tough, learn as you go, unwritten rules and regulations which go unspoken amongst the ranks of all military spouses. A respect that is not necessarily a code of passage, but understood and commonly acknowledged amongst the familiar ones. My children have been in public with our Chief Petty Officer on numerous occasions. There is rarely a lack of respect and appreciation displayed towards him. I admire my husband because in those situations, he commonly deflects that admiration and appreciation towards our girls and myself, simply stating “I couldn’t do it without them” again that’s resiliency of a military spouse and family.  I am a resilient military spouse.
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Resilience​ in Military Spouses

I don’t believe in today’s time and age it would be a difficult task explaining to someone that military service and the necessity of resiliency go hand and hand. However, I would venture to say perhaps a forsaken aspect of military service is the spouse and family left behind during military deployments. Yes, I absolutely appreciate what every active duty and reserve servicemember, veterans and retirees endure while deployed defending our countries rights and liberties. I’m speaking towards the evolution of our society through the course of time and the notion that a military family’s schematics have changed in makeup over the last few years. With that change, the necessity for spouses and family members to evolve as well have been streamlined and somewhat overshadowed. With that said, I’ll disclose where my viewpoint on this subject lies. I’m the spouse of an active duty Navy Chief. We have five beautiful daughters together (2 (twins) still in the house), and even in our current situation, he is stationed 2 thousand miles away from me, while I’m essentially performing his duties here as head of the household. This isn’t our first rodeo regarding separation, planning and dealing with separation and trials and tribulations associated with said separations. After 19 years of separation (16 for me), you build a rhythm and with enough pre-empted planning the difficulties tied to military deployments for families and spouses left behind seem manageable. I question rather they are manageable due to the tenure of service, the number of deployments endured, or the tenacious resiliency that is naturally built through years of service.
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The makeup of typical military families years passed was a husband/father who served, a mother/wife who remained in place at home and mounds of warm and fuzzy feelings. The mother didn’t work, the kids cried themselves to sleep at night missing Dad, the families never seemed to have money issues, the family dog was tremendously well behaved, the toilet worked just fine, there were no snakes in the front yard while the mother took out the trash, tire pressures on the family vehicle remained a constant 35 PSI etc… The reality of today: I’m a fulltime school board employee, I’m in the middle of my dissertation for my doctorate, my dog is hell on earth, I’ve seen two snakes in my front yard, my kids participate in cross country, two different dance teams, soccer, track, piano, and band, I’m the chaperone and again, my husband is 2,000 miles away. One of the major differences I notice between the two scenarios, is the kids crying at night. If my children cry at night because they miss their Dad (I’m sure they do), I don’t see or hear anything about it, this is resiliency. I do not cower behind my what some could consider a tumultuous situation and use as an excuse to quit working and focus on my studies (or vice versa) as my husband has constantly urged. Stay tuned for Part 2…
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