Flying Blind

But flying all the same

Missing My Kids

I wish no longer to see the breathtaking sunrises and sunsets over distant shores, to smell the fresh baked breads of cultures unknown, to taste the foods adored by peoples whose legacy is one of adventurous travel, to walk the streets of exotic nations as they celebrate the achievements of their past forgotten empires… If I have to do these things alone.

I just want to be with my family.  Wherever that may be.

I am naturally given to a cold distant disposition.  Detached and disconnected.  Partially due to the wounds of my past, and partially due to the natural tendencies of my personality.  This easy detachment serves me well in a lot of the areas of my life.  Slipping into this detachment is easy.  Climbing back to the realm of being emotionally connected is not.  I have spent untold hours and sleepless nights praying and wrestling with this struggle. I know my wife and kids want my attention and my affection and I enjoy giving this to them.  I find that I am only able to provide what they need when I am fully awake, fully engaged.

I have seen a tremendous amount of ground gained in my ability to navigate between the moments that need me to be cool, discerning, emotionally detached and the moments that need me to be warm and connected.  So much has changed in the lives of my kids and in my marriage as I have learned how to “wake up” when they need me.

But in moments like these, I feel how easily I turn off my heart.  How easily I switch into a kind of auto pilot and go through the motions of living.  I am something like a robot zombie performing tasks and seeking the basic needs of survival.  I am good at living like this, I’ve been practicing it for the last 16  years.  I spend time praying and meditating, putting in the work to see my life healed so that I can be the dad my kids need and the husband my wife wants and I can see the fruit of this labor.

As I sit here alone, I feel the sadness and the ache of my heart while thinking about the family I have left behind.  There is a pull for me to disengage, get wrapped up with this life around me and let the affection and longing for my family drift away as I have done so many times in the past.  I don’t want to do it like that anymore.  It feels like eating cake for a week straight and skipping the squats after months and months of training so hard under a bar.  I can’t simply undo the fragile work which I have labored so diligently to achieve.

Attempting to remain emotionally engaged and connected has produced a couple things on this trip that I have not dealt with before.  A deep sadness, and a resentment towards my job.  I have never resented my job before.  I have downright hated parts of it from time to time, but I have never felt a sincere resentment towards this organization. I’ll figure out what to do with that I am sure.

I am happy that I am living this struggle.  I hope that new life will flow freely through my family before it is too late for us.  I hope that I get to see my wife and kids again.

And I am sure that it I am ready to move on from the Navy.

 

 

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One Comment

  • I feel ya bro. I got back from this last trip, 4 days off in Melbourne, 3 days off in New Zealand. When I got back dassah said how was it. I said, it was fun, but you and the kids weren’t there. Followed closely by, I’m done, I don’t wanna do this anymore. I’m working on 900 total days overseas in 6 years 2 months. I’ve seen things, been to places, eaten foods and downed drinks in some of the most amazing locations. 58 countries was my last count. Dude, it sucks I know. But one thing I learned today listening to some whipper snapper airmen complaining about being gone, is that you have the personality and the power to affect the attitudes of those around you. Not saying there’s not a time for it, but don’t forget the power you have and how people listen, look up to and respect you, if nothing else because of your size. Hang in there bro. And I don’t know if you are having a retirement ceremony or gigantic party, but I’ve always wanted to be there to see you finish.

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