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MilSpouse Distance Learning – The Fog of Distance & The Folks Back Home – Part 1

Thanks for checking in with my Military Life's Moments blog ! : ) Ruth

Distance for Military Families Impacts the relationships within both your nuclear and extended families.

Not all families will experience things that our military Family has experienced. However, there may be similar issues that pop up in the lives of other military families. My experiences shared lessons may be helpful insights as to what is happening beyond the words that are being said.

Experience #1 with the Fog of Distance = Distance Can Be Seen as a Useful Thing by Your Extended Family

Ignorance is bliss protocol always comes with an expiration date, doesn't it?
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In our early twenties and just graduating prior to our getting married, my in-laws marriage broke. Jim and I were so in love that we didn’t recognize all the signs that were surely there. Plus, we didn’t go to School near them or near each other. We kind of were dealing with our own life challenges and looking forward to being married. Ignorance is bliss protocol always comes with an expiration date, doesn’t it?


Did the minister fire a starting gun as he pronounced us man & wife?
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Did the minister fire a starting gun as he pronounced us man & wife?

Between mid-May & mid-June of 1991, Jim graduated at the Naval Academy. I graduated at Chapel Hill. We got married in my home church in North Carolina and moved to his first duty station assignment in Jacksonville, Florida. Jim reported for duty on July 1st and was told he would be attending a 3 month school on the other side of the state for the next three months starting the next Monday.

Wow! We hardly had enough money to start one apartment and couldn’t afford for me to follow him.

Off to the races! Our marriage began with a separation, setting up House alone, writing lots of thank you notes and my looking for a job with my shiny new business degree as a milspouse. I was so very lonely in a new state where I knew not a soul. We weren’t even a part of the military community because Jim checked in and then left. By mid July, I adopted a puppy and immediately found a job.


I was so very lonely in a new state where I knew not a soul.
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When Jim would call his parents house to check in, he realized things were going from bad to worse. Being the oldest of five kids, he was worried about his sisters and brother left at home. Soon, we found that he had cause to be very worried. Jim’s school ended and he came back to live with me in our apartment the end of September. Finally! We get to really be newlyweds.

With his parents attention turned toward their crumbling marriage and bills, his 16 yr old sister was getting into trouble. She had a drug dealer stalking her and soon the situation was unbearable. Restraining orders did little good. Columbus Day of that year, it was determined that his sister needed to go somewhere else to live. There were no other relatives and no other options. His sister came to live with us.


At times, you have to set aside what you want for the good of your family that you hardly even know.
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In a week and a half we went from being newlyweds to parenting a very unhappy teenaged girl. Whew! Our apartment had not been selected with thinking we needed a good school district and we definitely didn’t have one. Soon, we started looking for another apartment in a good school district.


Distance can be useful to others in your family as an escape hatch.
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Apparently, we weren’t the only ones thinking this way and well … we started looking for a house to buy. We found one and could rent to close. Over Thanksgiving, we moved and set up life in our new house in a great school district. My young sister in law had gone back to visit her parents for the holiday and well … she didn’t come back.

For Christmas, Jim and I celebrated in our new 1,400 square foot house alone with our puppy. Our being newlyweds alone would go two months and a half before Jim’s next sister who was 14 yrs old would come to live with us. The drug dealer had turned his attention to her and made it necessary for her to leave when her parents weren’t working together to confront this problem. She lived with us for most of a year.

Jim’s flight school training started and he left for another base in this time. I stayed behind with his sister and my job to help her. She had finally found her footing and was doing better in school. We didn’t want to disrupt that for Jim’s training that was supposed to be a few months here and then someplace else. So, I stayed put with my teenaged sister in law.

Explaining all of this to my family back in North Carolina wasn’t so easy either. However, I have always been raised that you do what you can to help your family and they were now my family.


Parenting a teenager when you are in your early 20's is really not easy.
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Welcome to the Navy, Mrs. Logsdon!

Honestly, rather than hitting me with the sword as we walked through the arch they should have just stabbed me with it!

Whew!

Distance for military families impacts the relationships within both your nuclear and extended families.

Our Lessons Learned –

Distance can be useful to others in your family as an escape hatch.

Sometimes, you have to set aside what you want for the good of your family that you hardly even know.

Parenting a teenager when you are in your early 20’s is really not so easy.



This post first appeared on Military LIfe's Moments, please read the originial post: here

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MilSpouse Distance Learning – The Fog of Distance & The Folks Back Home – Part 1

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