The Emotional Cycle During Deployment

Section Two: Emotional Disorganization

Emotional disorganization brings a wide range of stressful emotions ranging from relief to guilt and isolation.

This roller coaster of feelings is normal! Feelings of being overwhelmed, sadness, and general lack of motivation are common. You may even have felt relief that the good-bye was over, then followed with a sense of guilt. Did you think to yourself, "If I really love him/her, why am I relieved that he or she is gone?" Just like a roller coaster, this emotional disorganization can make you feel uncomfortable, disoriented, and even frightened.

Early identification of stressful behavior in this during-deployment stage will help you cope in a positive way.

The video to the right underscores the characteristics of Emotional Disorganization, the first stage of the Emotional Cycle of Deployment that occurs during deployment. Remember that it’s ok to give yourself a few days, maybe even a week or two to adjust. Deployment is a big adjustment. It’s ok to have a pajama day, or feed the kids cereal for dinner! Old routines have been disrupted, and new ones have not yet been established. No wonder you are feeling restless, confused, disorganized, indecisive, and irritable. There is a “hole” left in your lives. It is not unusual to experience sleep difficulty and anxiety about security issues either. How will you deal with these feelings of confusion, frustration, and loneliness?

Keep moving on with a shared vision of the future for yourself and your family.

One of the first things you noticed in the video was that she reached out to her mother just to share her feelings. One of the primary coping strategies during this disorganization stage is to stay connected with your other family members, as well as with your Service Member. She is also sensitive to the children and ensuring her roller coaster of feelings is not adversely impacting them.