Taz…..seems like you are having a rough time. Even tho I understand how hard it is to be “different” than the people you work with, unless they are family or your room mates they really don’t have an investment in your life or feelings. if they were friends they would be supportive, not downers.
I have total empathy with your feeling alone in the big world and the only female in the state with a relationship with a FF. That does set us apart and it also brings all kinds of emotions from other people. Most of them are seriously in awe of the FF jobs. It’s the hero syndrome, especially after 9/11. Maybe if you put a picture of your guy on your desk or whatever is your space that would make him real to them. It is very hard having a relationship with a phantom.
That is one of the most important reasons we as family need our own lives and our own successes. It is very hard to wait in the background for a hero……hang in there he is worth it.