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Saturday, March 30, 2013

3 Months.....Really???

I haven't forgotten about this little blog of mine. That thing called life has just kept me nice and distracted for the past few months. It seems like a lot has happened, but then at the same time it seems like nothing has  happened at all.

After the dilemma I was having with my car, I finally had it put in storage at a place about 3 hours from where I live. Their policy was that the first three months of storage had to be paid in advance, along with pickup fees, and then payments would be taken out quarterly. It was actually a pretty good deal. I put the car in storage a few days before my ship left for one of our usual monthly "underways" (basically, where we go out to sea for a couple weeks and make circles in the water). We were scheduled to pull back in port for a few days after the underway and then go out for what was said to be an 8-10 month deployment.

When we got back, I had already moved out of my military housing, but I didn't want to spend my last few days of freedom on the ship so I got a hotel room. One of the girls I work with stayed with me and we were getting ready to go out to dinner and watching TV when.....

BREAKING NEWS. THE SCHEDULED DEPLOYMENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED.

To say my jaw dropped would be an understatement. I was excited and devastated at the same time. Excited because I had never been completely committed to the thought of being on a ship for months at a time and having limited contact with family and friends. Devastated because I had basically packed my life into storage, given up my housing and car, and now we weren't going anywhere? I had also been looking forward to stacking up money while on deployment and finally climbing out of the financial hole that I've been in for so long. If we weren't going anywhere, that wouldn't be happening any time soon.

Apparently we wouldn't be going due to "budget strains," but I wondered how no one knew about these budget strains up until two days before we were scheduled to leave. They had to know about it. I knew they had to know. Yet they allowed everyone to make arrangements to get rid of their cars, move their families back home, move out of their houses, only to drop a bombshell at the last moment. This only added one more item to the laundry list of reasons why I can't wait to get out.

Since the deployment was cancelled, I quickly had to get back into the mode of staying in Virginia. The few days I had gone without a car were extremely unpleasant so I made arrangements to get it out of storage ASAP. When it was all said and done I ended up spending almost a grand just to have my car in storage for a little over a month. Yeah......not cool. And of course when anyone asked if any reimbursement would be given for all the expenses we paid to prepare for deployment, the response was something along the lines of: "Well, this is just how things go when you're in the military and you have to be flexible."

I thought I would have to scrape together money to get an apartment, but thankfully I was one of the few people on the list of apartments that hadn't been occupied yet, so I was able to move back into the same place I was staying before our scheduled deployment.

I think somehow, the fact that deployment got cancelled has made me extra bitter with the military, and life in general. I feel like I can never make any plans or set any goals because I am always in limbo waiting for the changes of the Navy. I have been wanting to take a class or two, and if we had gone on deployment, they were offering courses on the ship, but of course that's not happening now. And even though we are not leaving yet, we still go out to sea at random so I can't enroll in classes at a university on campus.

I find myself wanting to go home before I even walk out the door to go to work. Several people have commented on how depressed and tired I seem. Someone asked if I wanted to talk to a chaplain or ship psychiatrist. I talked to a chaplain before and that didn't help much, and for some reason I feel like if I talk to a psychiatrist, anything I say will be twisted and taken out of context and I'll end up in a padded room wearing a straitjacket doped up on meds.

I want to find a focus again. A purpose. A few years ago if someone asked me what I had planned for my future, I could lay it all out step by step. Now if someone asked that, all I could say is, "I don't know." I don't like feeling that way. Just existing for the next three years will be a pretty miserable experience. I've just been existing for the past two and it is emotionally, mentally, and physically draining. I have to get better.