Thursday, July 12, 2012

Writing To Reach You

Back in June, I was slightly overwhelmed by the response to my post about mine and my partners separation whilst he is currently playing with live firing rounds on exercise on the other side of the world. I shouldn't be, as the online community I know and love has continued to be supportive and generally amazing through so many tough times as well as some brilliant ones.

Anyway, this weekend is a month since T left the country and 3 weeks since we spoke. I've communicated with him twice since he left the country, but for the last four weeks he's been somewhere in the wilderness sans comms. It's been pretty tough, I'm used to speaking with him by text, phone, email or pictures every day, T is the person I share all the good bits- like scoring a job interview, and all the tough bits- huge plans falling through, and since he's been gone a LOT has been going on.

I'm not here to tell anybody how they should be conducting their relationship, nobody truly knows it but you, but ultimately, this is a bit of an insight into how I've dealt with not just a long distance relationship, but a very absent partner indeed.

Journals. I used to write a journal a lot in my mid teens. I went through some tough patches and writing things down- thoughts, ideas, versions of events, it all helped me get straight what was real, and whether I just needed to take a step back and assess. I stopped writing journals for no real reason other than I had no desire, and that's cool. I think a lot of people get a bit caught up on having to write them, all the time, but for me, I picked it up and put it down as I wanted to. It's a tool to help and pressuring myself to do it isn't helping.

My journal... It's glittery and EVERYTHING

Recently I've started writing in a journal again. It's help me get my head around the big change in circumstance and it can stop me saying things that people don't need to hear. Journals aren't for everyone, but writing something down, in whatever format can be a great way of structuring your thoughts.

Letters. I know lots of people with friends and family in the Forces are able to write letters, unfortunately I can't, as there's nowhere to send them at the moment. This is especially tough for us because T and I have always written letters or in the absence of reliable post, emails with letters attached. And it would have been a great way to keep him up to date with everything going on for me here.

Then I stopped. And I thought. What's stopping me? That I can't send them right now doesn't mean I can't write letters. And so every day I've written short letters, with perhaps a picture of the day or a funny tweet I might have texted to him or an update. They're all collected on one word document, ready to email off to him when he's (partially) back in the land of the living. For me, selfishly, it helps me to feel that he's not missing, and I hope he will read them and understand how things have come to be however they are when he gets back rather than having fast forwarded over 3 months.

And last. It's ok to miss someone, it's ok to have days where you lay in bed, trying so hard to imagine that person with their arms around you that it's almost real. But don't let it dominate your life. Throw yourself into things you love- I started writing again, have read more books and magazines than I have in ages and got into some DIY projects. I try not to fill my letters to T with 'I miss you' because he knows that. I don't want him to come home and I don't want him to be miserable. I want him to enjoy his opportunities, make the best of them and come home with exciting things to tell me. Ultimately, if you don't feel something at letting your partner go for a few months, I suspect there isn't much there to start with, but if you support and believe in each other, you can't begrudge them their chances and their needs.

So this is me. I'm hoping to have T back in early September- although he still doesn't have a return date. We will have been apart for just shy of 12 weeks and will have had little to zero contact for the majority of that time. I'm still here, and I'm still standing. If you're in a similar position, I'm interested to hear how you manage it or what you've learned, hit me with it.

My favourite picture (and one of about 3) of us together (Sept 2010)

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