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October 1, 2012 / Jess

Inside I’m Screaming

Dear Army,

I am often defined by my words – persistent thoughts, scraps of paper with sentences that may eventually make it here, half-filled childhood notebooks riddled with Harriet the Spy-style observations. I process the world through writing.

Or, at least, I did. You took away my boyfriend, and now I’ve let you take away my words.

I’ve lost patience with you. I don’t want to write anymore. I speak of you and people say …. “Still? You’re struggling still?” – as though I’m supposed to have moved on without him. I write about you and people say, “that’s so depressing,” and I feel dismissed.

It’s just … I’m over it. People don’t get it. People don’t see the problem with you. People don’t want to, not really. It has become my problem, my inability to cope. Somewhere along the way it  manifested into people not seeing me anymore.

I’m tired of sharing; I feel like there’s no point. So I shut down, and I stopped writing. I had no intention of writing for this blog ever again.

But then my boyfriend got published. The title given to his article? It’s Time to Talk About What Troops Leave Unsaid.

He got interviewed about it too.

It was quite the wave of conviction. So here I am, writing. Not well, but there are words. It’s a start.

We can’t not speak just because it hurts, just because people don’t understand. Some things need to be said; maybe they’ll help someone eventually understand. Maybe they’ll start a dialogue. Maybe they’ll just help me cope. Either way, some things just need to be said.

And what I need to say right in this moment is: I’m struggling. Differently than the beginning, but still – yes, still – struggling.

This is really hard. I miss him.

It just hurts.

(Not) love,




Leave a Comment
  1. Jody / Oct 1 2012 9:49 pm

    Once again a well written article that echoes what we feel and tugs at the heart,whether a wife, sibling,girlfriend,or parent.Unless they experience it they have No understanding of how difficult it is.

  2. G. C. Marshall / Oct 1 2012 10:06 pm

    I think it’s great when you write here. I think you’re brave, and that you and all those who treasure someone serving overseas make a tremendous sacrifice. I sincerely wish the policy behind our overseas campaigns merited such patriotic commitment. I think your beau is an honorable man, and you two are lucky to have one another. I very much wish that he comes home to you safely, soon, and is never called upon to leave your side.

  3. bunnah / Oct 2 2012 2:37 pm

    For the record, I think it’s “normal” that you’re “still” struggling. Is it supposed to get easier? Maybe you find better ways to tolerate it… but easier? I can’t see how. And my guy hasn’t even left yet!

    I can’t yet imagine how hard it is, for either you or him. I’m going to be selfish and say, please keep writing. (I need to do the same…) It helps me. I know that’s selfish, but it’s true.

    And if you ever need a virtual ear and/or shoulder, feel free to e-mail me anytime….

  4. Tracie / Oct 2 2012 7:41 pm

    I do not live in any sort of military community but I do belong to a non-profit which supports our service members. Through the organization I have made friends in the military who I care about. My “civilian” friends don’t quite get it and I would find it as difficult as you do if I had a loved one serving and people dismissed my feelings. Don’t let anyone or anything take away your words. You need the creative outlet. Hold onto your faith and you will get through the rest of the deployment. Hugs!

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