The Invisible Military Spouse

I keep lying to myself.  I keep telling myself that my family will do something special or go out of their way to make me feel special on my birthday.  Superman did a great job, but he usually tries because he knows that my family consistently fails at it.

My mom called me the night before my birthday to ask me what I wanted.  We hadn’t spoken to each other since Christmas, not for any specific reason, but just because that’s what we do… Although, it was a longer time frame than normal. 

My dad texted me.

My Grandma sent me a card that managed to make it on Saturday before my birthday.  Bravo to Grandma for being good at being grandma.

Did I mention that my dad texted me?  That. was. it.

My brother managed to call me and asked me what I wanted for my birthday. Oh and Superman’s mom texted me and his grandma sent me a card.

My own family has epically failed for multiple years in a row.

This leads me to The Invisible Military Spouse

I haven’t lived at home since 2002.  I have lived hours away from home for a very long time.  College was far away, Texas was far away, and North Dakota is really not close either.  I am not one to get homesick about not seeing my family, I’ve gone long amounts of time without talking to anyone.  The one constant I have is that grandma calls me about once a week or so to check in.  My dad doesn’t call… ever.  My mom calls sometimes.  My brother, not so much.  I have a few cousins and such.  But my immediate family sucks.  I’m sick of being the person who calls them.  I haven’t talked to my dad on the phone in months.  I haven’t talked to my mom in months.  I know this is probably a little extreme but I’m pretty sure that my family pretty much forgets that I exist on most days.  I’m not around, they are fully entertained by so many other things going on.  We’ve been in North Dakota for over a year now and the one question I constantly get from them is this: “When are you come home to visit?”  No one has come to visit me since we’ve been here.  No one has made any mention of it.  When I have children, will they come visit me then or will they continue to assume that I will always have to come to them.  Will my dad even care to meet his grandchild or will he be so consumed with himself that he will never make it to see them unless I drag them around to visit everyone on our own dime?  Will they come out to see me after I have a child?  Will anyone care enough to even be there for the birth or will I do it alone?  I know this all sounds silly to some of you and I know damn well that this resonates so deep with some of you that it probably makes you cry just as hard as it makes me cry.

I’m pretty sure that I’d do better getting a new family than the one I was raised in because I don’t really think they want me anymore.  I will never live there again and that’s not a huge surprise to anyone.  We will never live there again, we have no reason to.. obviously.  We don’t know where we will ever live again, but it’s definitely not in my hometown.    Maybe it’s time to start drafting e-mails to my family to let them know that I am super bummed out that I have to be the one who calls them on my own effing birthday to hear their voices.  Do I miss my family?  Yes, I do.  But can I live without them?  I’ve been doing it for a really long time already.

I hate being an invisible military spouse.  It makes me feel like I’m less of a person because I apparently don’t rank high enough on their list to qualify for the phone calls.  My brother can say that is just how they are, but that really doesn’t make up for it.  Maybe I’ll just text my dad on his birthday but he probably wouldn’t care.

On a side note, my birthday shoes came in the mail… from China.  I had to order them from overseas because they weren’t available CONUS.  Superman tried to order them and surprise me, but he couldn’t figure it out.

Meet my neon green Nike Free’s.

These things are totally badass.

2 thoughts on “The Invisible Military Spouse

  1. I can tell this has to hurt you a lot, even though I think it's in your nature to keep up a wall of indifference. My advice is simple, if you care enough to continue making an effort, make it and grin and bear the costs (literally). If you feel like it is a lost cause, don't. Especially once you have children and getting them to see your family becomes expensive, you may find it isn't worth the scrimping and saving to see people who don't appreciate your efforts. My paternal grandmother does this to me, so I have a very small idea of what you feel. She asks when we are visiting again, why I don't call, why I don't see her more when we visit. And when I visit? It's to nag about how my parents don't do enough for her, or have me take a bunch of things she no longer wants but can't bear to part with unless she knows they're going to someone who will keep them. For my birthday this year since we were home so close to it, my mom and I had a joint party with all my family. You know what she told my mom when she invited her? "Well you didn't get me a present last year so why should I get you and Sarah one?" And then she made an excuse about being out of town that weekend (even though where she was going was a half an hour drive away- about the distance of her actual home from my parents house) I didn't see her while I was there, I was just too irritated at her attitude. It's all about if you can swallow how they treat you and try to have a relationship, however abnormal it'll be, or not. Make yourself happy, whatever you choose, you have your husband, your friends, and if you ask me, it's a whole lot worthwhile to be with people who genuinely give a damn.

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