We haven't passed a single sunset (seriously- no exaggerating) since Ed's been home where he hasn't said that sentence. It's not that I don't want him to talk about his time over there, but sometimes, it's just so hard to know he's thinking about it so often. I do love that he's open enough with me that he tells me when Iraq crosses his mind, but at the same time, it hurts because he's flat out told me- if it weren't for me and the kids, he would have already re-upped and offered to go back. That's a hard thing to hear, as a wife. That the person you spent a year longing for and wanting home is more comfortable in a completely different continent in totally different circumstances.
I've accused Ed of being selfish because of that. To me, over there is something he longs for because all he had to worry about was himself. I know this sounds crazy to some people, considering the type of worry (Am I going to get hurt today? Am I going to die today?) isn't something most people prefer, let alone envy someone else for... but war is different. War is a constant adrenaline high, where your body and your mind are constantly 'on alert' and ready for anything. I can only imagine how boring this life we lead here must seem after all of that. But I personalized Ed's comments and felt he just wanted the freedom of only having to worry about himself back. Two kids, a house hold, money, work- it's all boring, crappy life. A part of me understands his comment, and another part felt slighted for it.
It's hard for people who haven't been through it to understand (what in life isn't that same way?) but imagine spending a year of your life away from your significant other, and all the changes that would have to come from that. As a wife and mom, I became the HMFIC (Head Mother F*(&^&@ In Charge)- I made all the decisions for myself and Eliza, and had no one else to consider. We had our little way of doing things and I became so used to doing it MY way that once Ed came back into the picture, I didn't even realize I wasn't considering him in the family choices anymore. As much as he had changed, so had I. And, in the same breath as him saying he wished he were back there, I found myself wishing he were too. Now don't get me wrong, I didn't honestly want him to go back, I just had no idea how to deal with this new person who had returned, and he was in such a bad place mentally that all I wanted was the stable, selfish, easy life Eliza and I had created for that year. I suppose, when I look back on it, Ed and I had imagined each other and the life we would lead when he got home as something completely different from reality. But, that being said, had we not have illusions of each other during our time apart, we may have had a lot more issues while he was gone. Sustaining a marriage from thousands of miles away and ultimately not knowing what the outcome would be, is undoubtedly one of the hardest things we've done.
Little did we know that it was just the beginning of a very long, very hard road towards some semblance of normalcy...