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Dear Deployment: With Regards, Kristen (2)

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 I’m excited to share Kristen’s second letter today with you today! You can read the first one HERE.

Dear DeploymentDear Deployment,

I know you don’t know me, but we are in a relationship.  In fact it is Facebook official.  We were dancing around being in a relationship for about a year and then the day came to commit.  I’ll be honest and tell you I don’t like you, but we will be together for 9 months.  Our relationship is half over so I thought I would introduce myself and tell you exactly what our relationship has done to me in the last 4 months.

My name is Kristin.  I am 31 years old.  I have been married to my handsome husband for almost 6 months, but have only had the pleasure of his company for 2 weeks and 4 days.  I have two lovely daughters who are 8 and 6.  I own a house, but live in my Grandmother’s house which is attached to my parents’ house.  You have taught me that it takes a village to raise children.  So now that you know a little about me from the hundreds of other relationships you have let me tell you with raw truth what our relationship has looked like.

I started sleeping more because of our relationship.  I don’t want to do anything with anyone.  I want to sleep all the time.  I quit running because all I want to do is sleep.  Because of this I have gotten gummy around the waist (or maybe it was all the gummy bears and cheese).  I blame my weight gain on our relationship.  I feel ugly and unwanted because nobody in our relationship looks at me.  Oh yes, because of our relationship the husband tells me I am beautiful, but I cannot see the look in his eyes that makes me believe the words.

I cry.  A lot.  I tear up at songs.  I lie in bed and surround myself with pillows and cry.  I hate crying!  Did you know that when I got divorced and the 6 months prior to my divorce I never cried?  Now I can’t stop crying.  Any memory triggers a fresh set of tears.  I was asked to speak in front of church and tell them about our relationship and I cried in front of people.  In front of people!  I am strong and I do not cry, or if I do nobody knows.  Now they know.

Because of our relationship my anxiety that I had worked so hard to overcome in the last 3 years is back.  I have overcome the demons of my past with the blood of the Lamb, but they court me again.  They call my name since we have been in a relationship.  You have opened the door to my past and I hate you for that.  With God’s truth on my lips I shut the door, but at night or when I am alone I hear the whispers that I am not good enough.  I hear the lies that say nobody would want me or love me with my past.

I get angry.  I have a righteous anger that burns within me at our relationship.  I am angry that I was so easily broken.  I know God is using our relationship to expose darkness in my life, areas he wants to heal completely, but it still makes me angry.  Maybe I wanted to keep those closets closed with the skeletons of my past hidden.  I did not want to doors flung open.  I did not want to look at my weaknesses.

I shut out my friends.  They don’t get it and they only know me as the strong Minnesota girl who can do anything.  I don’t want them to see the girl who has an ugly past or weaknesses.  I hate when friends ask how I am and I can see they don’t want to hear the truth.  Everyone wants the answer of, “Good, I’m doing great.  The husband is good.  The kids are good.  I’m really enjoying writing letters.”  Nobody wants to see me cry.  Then I get angry with you because when I walk away the tears well up and push the smile away.

I get asked very un-smart questions because of our relationship and told very un-smart things.  Do you know that I have been asked, “If your husband dies will you get remarried?”  “Are you afraid he will die?”  Then like everyone else, they want a positive answer.  I smile and say, “It is in God’s hands.”  They smile back.  Then again I get angry.  People also tell me they wish they could be in a relationship with you, that they would like the feeling of missing someone.  I told them I would break up with you in a moment, but I must ride this relationship out.

I have fixed things during our relationship.  My furnace, water heater, dryer, tires have all gone out during our relationship.  I need a new a/c unit before our relationship is over.  Oh and on Christmas Eve I hit a deer and took the front end out on my van.  Unfortunately you aren’t a very comforting other half of this relationship.  But I have taken care of it all and have proven that I can.  I’ve even changed a tire all by myself.  I’m proud of that.

So Deployment, we will be in a relationship for 5 more months.  We have made it up the hill together.  I have learned and have settled into our relationship now.  I do not cry (as often), I do not get as angry, God has protected my mind and heart from the demons of my past and I am more refined by His power and grace every day.  While we were hiking up this hill together I have learned more about my amazing other half and how much he loves me.  I have grown.  So as much as I dislike our relationship I have found good in it.  I still don’t like you, but I choose every day to find something good in it.  It is the little things that make our relationship in some way positive.  Soon we will be on the other side of the hill and walking or stumbling at times towards the end of our relationship.  It is a bit scary but I know that the future is good.

In Regards,

Kristin Kraabel

KristinKristin Kraabel is a 31 year old saved by grace child of God, wife, tattooed mom, full time Quality Control Manager and beekeeper.  She lives communally with her children, grandmother, parents, and little brother in two houses.  She was married to her husband for 2 weeks when the call came for him to deploy.  She states she is just an everyday Minnesota mama and wife being “real” about life at

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  1. Kristen – Shocking how similar our stories are. I too own a home, but am living with my mom during this deployment. I can’t say I am married to my deployment, but that it is for me a controlling and unwanted inlaw. I too have been crying at church and felt so raw and this too has brought up my past divorce and feeling of anger and vulnerability. I think it amazing that you see that this process you are going through as being useful for your growth, as this attitude will probably help you pull through this tough time. I don’t know if I have the foresight to see things this way…I am rather a pessimist who just wants my unwanted inlaws out of the picture so that I can enjoy the time i have left with my husband.

    1. It is amazing what it brings up and to be honest I have been crazy angry at times. Not at “deployment” but at the fact that something like this could bring up so much from the past I don’t want to deal with. It has definetly been a growing time. I am generally a pessimist, but my husband (who was trained well by the army on resiliency) has helped me to be much more positive and taught me good tricks. If I view this time as all negitive then I won’t be able to look back at what changed. I don’t like being apart from him ever, but I won’t wish away the letters and the phone calls or the way his voice relaxes when he hears mine. It is why I’m okay with our “relationship status” right now. To be honest I am divorced too and although deployment hasn’t brought up those hard feelings I can definetly see how it could. It’s my way of coping with this. I’ll be praying for you Nancy that you have encouragement from others and a shoulder to lean on during this time. Not easy at all for me either to stay positive (not my nature) either so I’ll be praying for you and the rest of your time with an unwanted inlaw.

      1. Thanks Kristen. I appreciate your honesty and support. I must say that it touched me to have gotten a response from the author! herself! I also remember in your writing you mentioned about being angry and how you “shut out my friends. They don’t get it”. I too have done this and unfortunately it has kept me from making friends these past years. I do have friends at church who seem to understand that my force field isn’t meant to keep them out but rather to keep me from falling apart. Slowly though recently, it feels like I am able to share my life without breaking down and I can also laugh at my life. For example, the other day i actually got “fired” from a new therapist because I should have known better what to expect from deployment and she couldn’t help me through my frustrations!!!! Now, I know it is usually the other way around, but lately I find that I can laugh at the absurdity of all that I have been experiencing – at the world being upside down. I have to laugh when most of the time I feel I have to apologize for being too “real” after having told them how I REALLY am doing when they ask (guess they didn’t really want to know!).

        1. Laughter is good! Trust me I just laugh alot too. I hope you find a therapist who is willing to work with you. Until then I’m glad you have Kathryn’s blog and have let some church friends get a bit closer 🙂 You got this girl!

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