Growing up as a military brat
My dad was in the Army for 20 years 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸
- •I was born in Germany.After 3 years my parents were getting ready to move back to the states. everything had to be shipped over weeks in advance, so I spent the first month of my life sleeping in a laundry basket.
- •We didn't really move to the cool placesI was always very envious of friends who were moving to Italy or Japan or Hawaii. The higher up in rank you get, the fewer jobs there are, so less places to be stationed. After Germany we moved to Georgia, a couple towns in upstate New York, New Mexico, and a couple towns in Virginia.
- •I don't know where to say I'm from when people askI've lived in Virginia the longest now, but I don't feel like I'm really "from" anywhere. Plus, people tend to think I'm a southerner when I say VA and I'm like nooooo.
- •Changing schools & making new friends caused me an unbelievable amount of anxietyI sat alone during lunch at each new school until about mid October crying into my capri sun and gushers. At one point I'd been to 5 schools in 5 years. The toughest transition was when we moved to a different town in VA before 8th grade. I didn't deal with it well and fell into a deep depression. It's much easier when you're younger.
- •Bases and postsAir Force bases had McDonald's, Army posts had Burger King (is this still the case??)
- •My dad was gone a lotSo my sister & I are a lot closer to our mom. It also didn't help that my relationship with the him got more strained as the years passed, so I never knew how to adjust/feel when he came home. The longest he was gone was a year when I was about 10.
- •My dad doesn't tell war storiesHe doesn't talk much about his time in the army, maybe it's classified?? Or maybe it's too painful to revisit, no one knows. He served in Somalia and Iraq and is very tight lipped about it. (Secret agent?!)
- •One time we dropped him off & weren't going to see him for a long timeI was about 6 or 7 and this time it really hit me. For some reason Under Pressure was playing in the car and I couldn't stop crying after he got out. Everytime I hear that song I feel like that helpless little kid sitting in the backseat all over again.
- •Failure was not an option.And it still isn't. My dad put a lot of pressure on me to be the best at everything I did. Didn't matter if it was a 2nd grade spelling test or getting into college. I was a very nervous/anxiety ridden child and teenager. And adult.
- •I wonder what it would have been likeI always envied friends who'd known each other since kindergarten, or kids who got to have just one childhood bedroom where you could see just how much you had changed and matured. It seems special to have your life all in one place and know that you're home.