Through the latest Red Cross message, I requested additional leave in order to support the family's needs. Instead of granting the request, they pulled me in on Wednesday to sign a Family Care Plan Counseling. I now have until 14th of November, 2008 to complete this plan.
1. If I complete this care plan on time. I will be returned to Iraq immediately regardless of Linda’s condition or needs. Complication against this happening is finding care givers that both Linda and I agree to. We are not divorced, so legally I do not have the right to dictate choices or make arrangements without Linda’s consent. If I divorce her, I still have the same problems, but with slightly more freedom in choosing a guardian.
2. If I fail to meet the suspense. Then I will be recommended for a Chapter 5-8 separation from the Army. This will cause a snowball effect. First, I will have to relocate. Second, I will not have the medical support for Linda’s therapy or medications, unless employment is found before we relocate.
I will be enrolling Linda into the Army’s Exceptional Family Care program; this may open up other options that could stop the process of separation. This program is my only chance of keeping everything together. It may also help to give me a reassignment to another base, closer to home. I am not quite prepared for this either, but looks to be the best solution.
Linda has shown very little progress over the last few days. The only excitement she has shown has been to the thought of returning home again. This afternoon, we had our “family care meeting”, in other words a meeting between the Social Worker, Linda and I. This is required prior to Linda’s release, but when I arrived she was already getting packed. She had been expecting or led to believe that she was going home after the meeting. During the meeting, I voiced my concerns and questions. The Social Worker agreed with my concern and was asking Linda what she was going to be doing to ensure her safety. Well needless to say, between my concerns and Linda’s answers, Linda is still at the hospital. We are now looking at the potential of having Linda place in a long term care facility or getting her more aggressive help. I’m not sure what that means exactly, but that was the term used by the Social Worker and psychologist. When I left that meeting, Linda was looking at me with so much betrayal and anger. Later she called to tell me was no longer angry and she understood. I’m not so sure. And that is what really bothers me right now. I don’t know what to believe.
The only thing that I can be sure of is, the kids have been happier around the home. They have had little of no stress since Linda went to the hospital. Keri, “no longer feels like she has to walk on eggshells”, as she would say. Stella wants her home, but understands that her Mom “needs help”. They have been kept busy, running around with me, helping with the chores, doing homework, visits with Linda or having fun with their friends after school. We even included a trip out to Westcott Beach State Park. This place is great for just getting out for a break. We all miss Linda, but it finally peaceful here at home. I don’t know if this is wrong of me to feel this way, but it is allowing me to put things into perspective. I’m in no rush to have everything go back to the way things were last week. I am now just starting to get out of the dark mood that I was in. Now, with the children happier, maybe I can find a little time for me this weekend. Outside of the far off family and friends, which have been trying to help; I haven’t been able to get out and find support for me. I am thankful for everyone that has been out there helping in their own little ways. And I thank God for his strength and patience.