I was talking to another military spouse the other day and it turns out we are both due for moves around the same time. She mentioned that she can already feel herself pulling back from being involved in things here. She said it makes her sad when they move, that the people you’ve left behind “Forget all about you. For awhile they call and keep in touch but then they just sort of fade away.”
While I recognized immediately the feeling of detachment, the sadness was a little bit lost on me. I enjoy the moving for the most part. It has its painful moments, no doubt, but I enjoy discovering a new community. It’s also my “get out of jail free card”. I guess I tend to look at everything as very temporary. If I don’t like my job, or have an awful neighbor, it’s nice to know that I’m not dealing with that forever. Sometimes I think it would be more difficult to live somewhere and look into an endless future.
I’ve never thought about the aspect of friends left behind moving on without me. Maybe my roots don’t go down deep enough, maybe I’m too detached? This applies more to civilian friends than military ones. For us, good military friends may be hard to find, but once you have them you can track them down wherever they might be (and they’ll do the same for you). I have civilian friends who I do keep in touch with from various posts we’ve been at, but they are few and far between.
I guess it’s a combination of my personality (I’m an introvert anyway) and my defense mechanisms. I have found that friendships can be tough because sometimes civilian folks don’t quite “get it” about military life. My dh finds the endless explanations frustrating at times. I don’t really mind that part, but comments about how my dh should “just get out” or “I can’t believe he would leave you so much,” do irritate me. This is our choice, so please don’t presume that because the life of a military family isn’t for you that it shouldn’t be for us.
I should have asked her how long she has been a military spouse, maybe I’ve grown cynical over the years.