Boyfriend going to Iraq on First Day

Discussion in 'General Education' started by SouthernBuckeye, Aug 17, 2009.

  1. SouthernBuckeye

    SouthernBuckeye Companion

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    Aug 17, 2009

    I need advice.

    My boyfriend (whom I have been dating seriously for almost a year) found out the date he is leaving for Iraq today. We knew it would be sometime soon, but it's now official that the date he goes is the same date as the first day of school with kids.

    Obviously, missing the first day is not an option for me--we all know the first days of school are so crucial for establishing expectations and all that. But, I'm so stressed out. Under normal conditions, the first day is full of stress anyway, and now I have this on top of it! I just don't know how I'm going to be welcoming, kind, smiling and put forth my normal teaching personality when such a huge event is occurring.

    We planned on saying goodbye in private anyway (I was not going to go on post with him and cry in front of everyone else, no thanks! haha) but I really didn't think it would have to be in the morning before the first day. I will probably be sobbing on the whole drive to work, and my eyes are going to be puffy and red, and I'm somehow gonna have to pull it together and appear just fine for the students. I don't really want to share this personal part of my life with them just yet--had he been leaving midway through the year, then it would be different. But I prefer to be very mysterious about anything personal until WAY later in the year. After all, we aren't the students' friend.

    Today was our first workday back, and our P asked if we had any announcements to make, so I made sure to inform the staff that he'd be leaving soon. So everyone knows (but I didn't know til after work today that he's leaving on our first day w/kids). I'm thinking I will pull my P aside and tell her that he will be going on the first day, so during lunch/planning if I have my head down on my desk, that would be why.

    I'm just so lost, and emotionally drained right now. Any kind words or advice on how to deal with this would be appreciated.
     
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  3. TennisPlayer

    TennisPlayer Cohort

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    Aug 17, 2009

    Give yourself permission to feel sad maybe when you get home from the first day of school but during the day, give your best even if you have to fake it.

    Oh, I posted some videos in the prayer forum if you're interested!

    Take care
     
  4. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Aug 17, 2009

    Girl, the day my husband left for Afghanistan strangely enough I was not upset or distraught. I went shopping with my kids and out to eat at I-hop. I guess my body, on the other hand, was calling me a lier because that night I ended up in the ER that night with hives so bad that I was in bed for the next week.

    I don't know what I shared that story other than to tell you that I've been there. It's a stressful event. The first day of school may be exactly what you need to keep from dwelling on it.
     
  5. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Aug 17, 2009

    :hugs:

    If you are in a military area, I bet some of the kids will have gone through this with their parents. I know you want to keep your life separate, but in this case, it might not be so bad. You might even find out that some of them have parents overseas right now.

    When I lived near Norfolk, schools on base were hyperactive messes the days a ship arrived or left.
     
  6. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    Aug 17, 2009

    The good part is that you'll be so busy you won't have very much time to think about it. Good luck, deployment are hard!
     
  7. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Aug 17, 2009

    I encourage you to find a spousal support group! The one I went to monthly was ran by the chapel. It was a blessing. They had something FUN to do each and every month (not religious) and kept my kids occupied while the adults had adult time. This was very important because all of us were going through stress and togetherness and needed a night away. Oh, and the post office (I NEVER go there) got to know me as I went frequently to mail care packages. This won't diminish the very real stress and anguish of him leaving but it did give me a personal connection to my husband and something to look forward to while he was gone.
     
  8. wb929

    wb929 Rookie

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    Aug 17, 2009

    I am in the military and have been sent away before. I agree that you will have to do your best to keep it together during the work day and that you should allow yourself to cry or do whatever you need that night. I have a few bits of advice:
    1) When you start feeling down, think about the greater reason of why your boyfriend is gone. Many military members and their loved ones find comfort in the knowledge that they are serving their country and helping the less fortunate.
    2) Make sure that you have phone numbers for the family support contact at his post. Also get contact numbers of the commander and first sergeant. If they are being deployed, too, (and I assume that they are) get the names and numbers of their wives. Part of their positions is to help you through this difficult time.
    3) Don't be alone on the first night that your boyfriend is gone. Get someone to come stay with you that night (friend, parent, anyone). The stress and worry is often worse at night and you may need someone who will listen.
    One last thing - try not to worry too much (I know that doesn't help). I have never been to Iraq but I know a LOT of people who have. Some of my friends have been there twice. Every single one of them has come back just fine. Surround yourself with supportive friends/family, etc. I hope the time flies by for you.
     
  9. Mrs. Q

    Mrs. Q Cohort

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    Aug 17, 2009

    The others have given you great advice, so I don't have much to add. But my husband was deployed to Iraq for a year, three years ago, and I still remember the day he left like it was yesterday. It was a tough day for me, but I had a 3-hour drive home to think about things and be sad. I would have actually much rathered if I had to just pick up and go to work, to keep my mind off of things. ((hugs)) to you and I hope you find a way to get through it!
     
  10. leisurej

    leisurej Rookie

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    Aug 17, 2009

    My husband was in the navy. We did 6 -6mounth- cruises and many,many smaller ones. He always seemed to be leaving at the first of school. My students were my support, as well as, the other navy wives, and neighbors. I'm not sure what age you teach but the kids I've taught (9-12th grade) were wonderful. They were always concerned and asking how things were. When he'd come home, they seemed just as excited as I was. My husband is now retired and it's great to have him home.
    Just know that those around you are there for you! Rely on them, use their shoulders, and don't be ashamed to ask them to help out.
     
  11. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 17, 2009

    School will be a good distraction for you. Just pour yourself into the kids, your lessons...stay busy- the time will go faster if you do. :angel:
     
  12. mdith4him

    mdith4him Companion

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    Aug 17, 2009

    My prayers are going up for you right now! I can't imagine how hard it must be to say goodbye to someone you love for so long. I haven't ever had to deal with a deployment of a loved one myself, but I can tell you that I totally agree with the others on here who are encouraging you to "distract" yourself with school. I went through some tough personal times at the beginning of last year and it was always so nice to go to school in the morning and just forget about all my troubles. Once the kids get there and you get going with your lessons and activities and all the hustle and bustle of the day, you really do go hours and hours without even thinking about it. I'm hoping everything goes ok for you and know that you're in my thoughts and prayers :)
     
  13. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Aug 17, 2009

    Just to share...I spent the last two months of the school year dealing with the death of my children's dad. We were together two decades. It was sudden and shocking. I thought I would lose my mind some days but I knew I still had to do my job. I shared my sadness with everyone at school, including my students. They all gave me tremendous support and love. It really helped me to make it through. I've healed so much over the summer and now I'm ready to begin anew.
    My point of sharing my story with you is that you have to find your strength from within and from those around you. Don't try to deal with it alone. You could mention it to your students and even teach them about patriotism and their country. I see that you are SPED so I don't know if you have your own classroom for Social Studies but maybe you could talk to the classroom teacher and create a short unit to begin the year.
    Take care of yourself. Let us know how your first day goes.
     
  14. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    Aug 17, 2009

    My now XH was deployed to Afghanistan a few years back. I had a tough time dealing with it, and I told the 2 other teachers on my team what was going on. They were great in that if I needed to step out of the room for a minute, they were more than willing to step in and keep an eye on my class while I collected myself (my P knew as well and was totally on board).

    I guess my advice is to ask for help when you need it. The first day is definitely the hardest, but don't be surprised if you have other hard days as well.
     
  15. SouthernBuckeye

    SouthernBuckeye Companion

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    Aug 18, 2009

    Thanks everyone.

    I was already upset about him leaving, but I guess this was just salt in the wound for me because I was expecting him to be gone before the first day. I wanted the first day to be an event to look forward to after him leaving, and I was hoping I'd have a couple days between him leaving and the kids starting to get everything out of my system so I'd be focused and excited. Instead, they have to be both on the same day so instead of being excited about the first day I'm dreading it. I have no idea if that makes any sense. And because of school I will have to say goodbye several hours before I'd otherwise have to so it's just kinda heartbreaking...if it was later in the year, I'd be able to take time off, etc.

    I do also have my first night of graduate class that night as well, so I won't be going home and being alone. But it's going to be hard to focus there, too.

    I have set many goals for myself for the year he'll be gone, but it's all just so overwhelming. I just wish I could sleep through the whole thing and wake up again upon his return.
     
  16. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Aug 18, 2009

    Honestly, if it was me, I would take off the first day. Someone else can handle the kids getting to know each other and filling out info cards or whatever else you might have them do. Even if you didn't want to go out with him, you could still just stay home and pamper yourself and allow yourself to go through your range of emotions. And I think any employer would be understanding of that.
     
  17. scholarteacher

    scholarteacher Connoisseur

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    Aug 20, 2009

    Hang in there, my friend! Seven years ago today--6 days after our 26th anniversary--my ex told me at 1:20 AM that he was moving out that evening. That was the first day of school, and my first ever in 5th grade. I had to go to school and love on the kids and welcome them to school, etc. It was tough, but czacza is right--immerse yourself in kids, teaching, friends, etc. and it will go much faster. The worse times are right after he leaves and right before you know he's coming home again. You and he will be in my prayers!
     

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