Meeting a Stranger

I was always raised to not talk to strangers and definitely not online. My mama is a smart woman and did her best to teach a very stubborn girl, me. And that is me, a very stubborn girl.

My name is Marie. I am a 19-year-old college student in for nursing. I work as a pharmacy technician. I would say I am doing pretty well for myself so far.

Another note… I am a United States Navy Girlfriend.

Not always the best title to have when introducing yourself to new people. Especially these days. I’ll be honest. I am subject to harassment and judgment and cruelty because of this title. He doesn’t know that I get this. From what I hear from other military SOs (significant others), the SOs get it worse sometimes than the actual service member. I haven’t been able to compare his experience to mine, but I know I get it.

Above all else? I am proud to take all of that for him.

So, how did all of this happen? Here’s my part of this life.

 

I woke up one day, wanting to support the military in a new way. I searched online to find ideas and writing letters to deployed service members was very common. It took me a little bit to find a good site, but I did. I signed up and was given a list of service members that were either deployed or getting ready to deploy. I honestly searched for the first Navy member and he came up. He seemed way too nonchalant about everything and it was completely off-putting. It annoyed me. He didn’t even want to be on the site, he lost a bet and had to sign up and he wasn’t even set to be deployed. I gave him some of my patience, figuring that he was just moody. I even thought he was boring. We spent the next few months slowly getting to know each other. Once we became somewhat of friends, we started talking over the phone. I can still remember the first time hearing his voice. It is deep and has a slight country tinge to it. I knew immediately that I wanted to hear it again. It probably would’ve sounded like any other voice to most people, but it was different for me because I knew it belonged to him. I realized during that phone call that I had more than friend feelings for him. What was I about to get myself into with him? I didn’t think anything else, I ignored reason.

Over the next few months, we had been flirty after that call, which only lead to more and more calls. It was clear to both of us that we had feelings for each other. Although this was true, we never talked about it. It was bad, we danced around that bush so long. He had never had a girlfriend before and I had been hurt so many times by my ex’s. We knew this and silently had an understanding.

I couldn’t take it anymore, I needed to at least to hear him say he liked me back or something. I wanted to talk about it. It almost felt like I needed to. Of course, it had to happen when he had a bad day, I will get to that in a second. I was upset about something and yelled at him. I will admit that I have a bad habit of taking some of my anger and frustration out on others, but have gotten better. I asked why he never told me he liked me, why he never showed me much affection outside the bad pickup lines he would send me every once in a while if he even liked me at all. I knew that he liked me, but in that moment it felt impossible. Too many emotions on my part kills any realistic thinking I should’ve had. He tried to tell me he wanted to talk about it another day, keeping his cool. I got mad and pushed back. He may not have cared for me(I thought), but I did and wanted answers on the topic. He finally gave in, sighing and explained that it had been a long hard day, but that he wanted me to know that he did like me and had feelings for me. I felt so happy, above the clouds and felt like I should at least ask what happened to make his day crappy. Hoping that after my actions of a child, he would forgive it and talk to me.

He was being deployed.

My heart… sunk. We talked for a while about it. I was crying the whole time, thinking of what could happen. I knew the military held dangers in every part. An army reserve friend is currently deployed. Most would think that only active duty gets deployed, I guess not. I learned better. He told me it wouldn’t be for a while, but it was promised. He told me that his current job was dangerous, but that he was trained.

After talking about the deployment, we talked about us and agreed that because his deployment and my education/work, that it wasn’t good timing and that it would be better to see how things were after he came home. I was in last semester of high school at the time. He had only been in the Navy for about a year.

We were just talking one day and I blurted out that I already called him “My man” when I talk to other friends as I honestly did. I wanted him to be mine, even though we made the agreement. He was quiet for a minute and asked me if I would be his girl. I said yes and became his first girlfriend and he became my first military boyfriend. This was new for both of us and might as well have been my first relationship, my first real relationship at least.

A week before we became official, we started video chatting. I swear I was like a school girl seeing him. Getting butterflies and blushing just seeing him. I still am this way. I had picked up a part-time job and am a full-time student. He works 12-16 hour shifts almost every day. Timing really does suck, but waking up to him saying that he wishes me a good day at school and that I better learn something and that he can’t wait to talk to me later. Every day I work, we talk on every break I have. It’s usually the only time we can really talk. I wanted to start writing semi-romantic letters for him to take with him.  I don’t know if it will be the right timing.

I wanted the letters to be that I am telling him everything that I am sometimes afraid to tell him and I really want him to know. I tell him all my thoughts on our relationship and what I hope happens. I write about how much I like him in my life. I write about the times he made me smile (always). And I write about the songs he sent me. The number one that he sends me, the one he told me to listen to when I was worried while he is deployed is Soldier by High Valley.

I am worried about him. I always will be. I have come to really like him and like him in my life. I like how close I feel to him. I like how I feel safe and comfortable with him. I like that he makes sure I am happy and tries to help me when I’m not.

I am a proud United States Navy Girlfriend and I will wait for my Sailor as long as it takes. Distance doesn’t kill anything, only makes things harder and shows you what really matters.

 

Part of why I wanted to write this is because as a girlfriend, we don’t get support through the military like the spouses do. Granted, I don’t know how good that support is, I know that I have lack of it. My family hasn’t had this kind of relationship happen before and I feel like I’m walking in the dark. I am involved with a few support groups on Facebook and while that helps, it’s mostly wives. I know they have been in my spot before, but with our lives, we have to keep moving and learn quickly from the past and jump twenty feet forward. I want to write this as the girlfriend so that maybe other girlfriends can find this and relate, understand and feel understood. You are not alone. I promise. We are out here. No matter what happens, you are strong and you should always remind yourself of that.

I will keep updating this. Keep tuned if you wish.

God bless. Hooyah.

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