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The After Effects of Deployment

Our son has been one happy little boy since his Dada came back home!

I could tell that he was really missing his Dada because he would always cling to male family members whenever he would see them. He would play with them and follow them around, just like he would do with his Dada.

When my husband returned, he couldn’t leave our son’s sight! Our son followed him everywhere…


to the laundry room,
to each bedroom,
even to the bathroom!

Whenever his Dada left the room without his permission, he would run around frantically looking for him. Dada had about 2 minutes to appear and if not, a nuclear meltdown was about to occur!

It’s been a couple of weeks now since my husband has been home and our son’s separation anxiety has calmed down some. In time, he won’t have such a strong fear that Dada is going to leave again for a long time.

As for me, stress tends to affect my health before I actually start to realize that I’m stressed out.

For a few months before my husband left and for the entire time my husband was deployed, I dealt with bruxism.

Do you know what that is?

It’s the fancy medical term for teeth clenching and grinding.

My case had become so bad that I would wake up with sore gums that would hurt all day. It was so bad that I went to the dentist and got a mouth guard, which didn’t help because as many times as I went for adjustments, it still felt very uncomfortable to wear.

I was miserable with seemingly no end in sight…or so I thought.

About three days after my husband returned, I noticed that my gums weren’t hurting. I actually had decent nights of sleep. The nightly teeth clenching had stopped!

I haven’t clenched my teeth one night since my husband’s been back.

Now I know that this bruxism is often caused by stress. The Mayo Clinic even said on their website that it can result from suppressed anger or frustration…but I don’t think that applies to me…

But seriously, all jokes aside, researchers aren’t just giving you a bunch of fluff when they talk about the health effects of deployments on families left at the homefront. Deployments really can affect a family’s physical and emotional health.  I personally can attest to it.

I encourage you to not only pray for our troops, but pray for their families as well.  They certainly can use it!

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{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Anonymous March 19, 2010, 11:45 AM

    Nice brief and this mail helped me alot in my college assignement. Say thank you you seeking your information.

  • Kari January 30, 2010, 3:57 PM

    Great post. Our military and their family deserve our prayers and encouragement. What better way to say thank you to so many we will never meet face to face! I am now your 101st follower!

  • nicole / Twitter: BTHM1 January 29, 2010, 11:20 PM

    greetings from SITS land!

    I grew up as a military child and I can testify whole heartedly that it takes a strong woman and a atrong marriage, and it will make a a very strong adult of the children!

    Glad all is well with your family!

  • Reese January 29, 2010, 9:54 AM

    Glad to hear your husband is back safely. I found your blog through SITS and I've really enjoyed reading. I am a new military wife but, have been through 3 deployments when we were dating. Any advice for the next deployments? We have no children yet so I will be by myself. YIKES!

  • Jamie January 28, 2010, 10:49 PM

    I can totally relate to this post. My husband has been gone for 7 months, we still have 2 more to go. It's been so hard and it is very, very stressful and depressing at times.

    My son was about 8 months old when my hubby left, now he is 15 months old. I have TONS of pictures of my husband throughout the house, my son has his own picture album with pics of dada and he has a daddy doll and a pillow with my hubby's pic on it. When I ask my son where dada is he will point to him. He knows who he is, in a picture at least. Just recently I started stressing about how Dawson is going to react when he sees my husband for the first time again. When he realizes he is a real person. And I worry about what it is going to be like to have a "stranger" (that sounds horrible to say, but really he will be a stranger to Dawson) in the house all of a sudden.

    If you have any tips or advice I would love to hear them.

    Sorry, I didn't mean to write a comment that was all about me. I am so glad that your husband is back and that your son has his daddy back!

  • KK January 27, 2010, 9:37 PM

    Glad he's home! I have to wear a night guard and once you get used to it, it's not so bad.

  • MOMSWEB January 26, 2010, 5:23 PM

    This is quite interesting. I wonder if it's called the same thing for children because my 5 year old niece does this. Hmmm…

  • Karren January 26, 2010, 12:52 PM

    I agree.. every time my husband deploys it affects my health. The past two deployments I was having severe panic attacks. They went away as soon as he came home. With this deployment I haven't been sleeping well. Most of the time I can't fall asleep until around 3 AM.

  • Christian Mommy Writer January 26, 2010, 11:06 AM

    Thanks Bridgett!

  • bridgett mack January 26, 2010, 10:09 AM

    Tonya, I loved your article and am so happy that Jamie is back home. It takes a strong person to be a military wife. I can only imagine how difficult it must have been for you while he was gone. Thank you for sharing this story. It has reminded me to pray for the military wives as well.

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