A Danish soldier died. Now the news is interested in Afghanistan. Now they are talking about Afghanistan. Like children who think something disappears if they cannot see it.
My boyfriend is still in Afghanistan. Just over a month to go. And instead of relaxing by the pool for the last month, as one might hope, he is still doing his job out there. It doesn’t get more safe just because his plane ticket home has been booked.
The family of the killed soldier are on a different schedule to ordinary soldiers so I have no idea if he was supposed to be home soon, if he had been out for more than three months, if he had been back for Christmas. I don’t suppose any of it matters. Any of it.
And then I feel racist because loads of Afghans get killed in the same way all the time and it doesn’t make me feel unsafe. So, I try to lock off that part of myself. My only other option is to care about the civilians in every conflict across the world. And I just cannot. I just cannot.
It turns out I have chosen the worst time in history to go public with “I am trying to be more gracious on the internet” because as I am feeling the stress, there are more people getting on my nerves. I am still trying though. It might not be as successful as I hoped but I am trying.
My job starts tomorrow and I am very excited. Though it is going to be “stressful”, in that good way. A new commute (getting up at 4.45 thank you very much), a new workplace, new standards, new students. It will take a few months to lose the stress. And half way through that process, my boyfriend will return. Luckily for us, I can take a holiday when he gets back. Apparently, the problems start after the first 36 hours and can continue for six months. A big bust up. The advice is to just wait it out. Just wait for them to come back into themselves. As long as six months. Just be patient. Just wait.
But I have been waiting. I have been waiting six months, worried sick and struggling with my pre-existing problems by myself. It feels like another defence ministry trick, like the hundreds of exercises away from home they had to go on as soon as it was confirmed they were going. He will be back but he won’t be. I am not supposed to lean on him. I am supposed to be patient and wait for him to come back.
All the while, commuting all that way and getting up in the middle of the night.
And when he’s ready, we will move home.
Many relationships don’t make it past a year after deployment.
I need to keep looking at my feet because when I look up, I get dizzy.
Too much too much.