Being Left Behind

It’s been just 2 days since taking my husband to basic training the will be the start of about 6 months apart while he goes through both sets of training (basic and trades) and first impression?

It sucks.

On our drive, I commented that I understand what he’s going to go through and to not worry about me or contacting me. I’ve been there. I know he will be too busy to miss me. I want him to focus on the training – not on me. Good words for him – to know I don’t have that expectation… but I didn’t think of the impact on me. It became very, VERY apparent how much it’s going to suck that very first night. It’s about 2 ½ hours away – so, really, not that bad! – but I didn’t want to do that drive in the dark. Plus weather looked iffy. So we left early and I dropped him off at 1 pm or so. I hit the road and ended up going a different way – a toll highway which bypassed about 95% of Montreal – best $3.10 spent!!! I sent him a text when I got home. I text him a couple pictures of the cats being cute. I text him as I was getting ready for bed. Another saying how much harder it was going to be. I tossed and turned all night. Finally, I looked at my phone and there was a response – almost 12 hours after I dropped him off. I was only able to get a little sleep after that.

I know the first few nights will be the hardest – especially that first night. He had to sit around waiting for the rest of the recruits to show up because they’re certainly not going to give the briefings more than once! Now that he’s in his room and will, more or less, have a schedule, it’ll be easier to deal with as I’ll know when to expect to hear from him which, still, is nothing. 30 minutes in the evening. That’s it. And him… being him… is very by the books. I hope he can relax a bit and we can have a bit more communication than that!

When I got into work this morning, one of the Captains came over to chat – just the usual “how was your holidays?” stuff. He joked, “glad to be back to work?” to which I replied yes! He was surprised, but going back to work means structure and a schedule for me. Going back to work means I’m not checking my phone every 10 minutes despite knowing there’s no text from my husband. Going back to work means I’m not sitting around the house trying to figure out what to do. Going back to work means yoga and friends. So, yeah. I’m glad I’m back to work.

I knew it would be hard… but I didn’t realize it was going to be THIS hard. I know it’s the early days and it should (hopefully) get easier as I get into a new routine… but it still sucks. Even though I’m not surprised by this, I realize now that it’s WAY harder for those who are left behind. He’s off doing something new and (hopefully) cool. He’s gaining new experiences and hopefully confidence. I’m here trying to figure out “what’s next?”.

The thing is, I should be thrilled about this time away! I can go to the gym without having him convince me otherwise – even if he isn’t actually saying anything. I can go to yoga on the weekend if I feel like it, go hiking… or snowshoeing as it’s winter… go to the gym, take a special yoga class – which I’m considering this Friday. I’ve had friends at work offer their company. So I know I’ll be fine once I can get settled into a routine. It’s just that initial shock.

So, I’m hoping to take advantage of this opportunity. A lot of the food we eat on a regular basis I won’t have – it’s not necessarily UNhealthy, but it’s not the best. I can get into a good health routine so when hubby is back he can simply jump in and join me. Now that he’s not going to be working 10 hour days at a physical job, he’ll have the energy at the end of his work day to join me.

It still kind of blows. I still look at my phone hoping there’s a text from him – and if I get a text during the day, my heart stops for a moment hoping that it’s him. Though it better not be as they’re not allowed to have their phones on them at all. Though he’s likely in his mod around 6 pm he’ll have homework to do and once they get their kit, he’ll have that to deal with as well. I know this… I know how little time they actually have. Plus, when I went through, it was 13 weeks – and now it’s only 10. So did they remove a bunch of stuff and reduce it, or did they condense it and cram more into a shorter time. Admittedly, there was a LOT of sitting around when I went through. There was a lot of stuff we learned that there is no reason for everyone to learn. Those who are in combat arms go on to soldier qualifications where they could learn those things – is there a reason for the clerk or cook to learn some of this stuff? That they’ll likely never ever use? Probably not – or if they DO need to know it, it’ll be so long between learning and doing that they’ll have forgotten a lot and would need a refresher anyhow – so cut it out and teach it when they NEED it. Either way, I don’t know how it’s going to affect him.

EDIT:

It’s now almost a week since he left and it’s slowly getting better. I know now that if I hear from him at all, it’ll be between 830-900 pm. Yes, I said “if”. I spoke with him yesterday and they (some in the platoon = everyone gets the punishment) had gotten into shit and they’ve confiscated everyone’s phones. Depending on today – and any day, really – they may get them back, however, he warned me that if someone else does something wrong, they would be taken away for longer. And that’s the worst part – the not knowing.

Thankfully, so far, I’ve been able to speak with him every day.

But he’s thoroughly enjoying himself. Not necessarily at the point of getting in shit – he takes that in stride. He is the oldest one in the platoon – probably older than much of his staff – but I guess some of the recruits are seeking him out for advice and encouragement. Many of the guys in his platoon are really young – young enough to be his kid – so they’re struggling with the change. Most it’s their first time away from home. He’s really stepped up as father figure and a solid foundation for them. I’ve already said, I can see him being top candidate. The military needs more members like him.

So while he’s there where all but 30 minutes is taken up with… stuff… I’m doing my best taking one day at a time – that’s all I can do!

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