This one is hard to write. I’m not sure where to start. The day started off simple enough. I had asked for an extension on my current emergency leave. So when I received the phone call this morning from the rear element, I had expected it to be a fairly easy task. And to be honest, it should have been. But, I was informed that I had to come in and explain myself to the Forward Commander. He was more worried about the mission than my families needs. I was told to provide documentation of my being needed here; if I didn’t, than I would have to return to Iraq on Monday. Leaving my children or even leaving my wife to go through this alone was appalling. After I returned home, I tried calling her psychologist, but she would not provide any information without Linda’s release.
I tried going through different resources for help or suggestions, everything being more complicated than it should have been. I even entertained the concept of putting my children in foster care temporarily, distasteful as that sounds. I was told that may be the only way to solve the children’s safety issues and still allow for me to complete the mission requirements for the Army. I was left with no choice; I had to let Linda know. That’s where things went really bad.
Linda started stressing. She has told me several times that she doesn’t feel stable enough to care for our kids. She couldn’t understand why I had to go back to Iraq, or why the Commander needed me so badly. By the time Keri made it home from school, Linda had gone from stressed to angry, and was planning on leaving. She had packed her bags, stating that everyone would be better off without her. Keri had listened to me and went straight up to her room to watch a movie. I was on the computer looking for assistance and I only left her alone for a few moments. She made a statement that didn’t sound right; something about making it permanent. I heard the pill bottles being bounced around and looked around the corner. She had stuffed her mouth full of some little white pills. I ran to stop her as she swallowed them with a glass of water!
I panicked a little and she already had a second set ready to go. I couldn’t tell what she was taking. I didn’t care. I called 911 to get help. Believe it or not, when you live on a military installation and you call 911 for an emergency, you will be put on hold until you are transferred to the “right people”!!!
When military police and ambulance arrived, I had control over the medications and Linda was unapproachable and sitting on the sofa. Keri had locked Storm upstairs for me. The officers took the reports. The social worker checked on the well being of Keri and the medics took my wife and the pill bottles. Keri stood there for several minutes afterward not sure what to say or do. I left the room and broke down. I never really thought that I would have to do that to my wife. I am having a difficult time just writing this down. I still feel like, I should have seen this coming.
I waited for Stella to make it home from school. Then I left Keri in charge. She had her boyfriend coming over to help; plus Linda’s friends would be checking in on them. I made it to the hospital while they were getting Linda set to drink her second cup of charcoal. I think she was connected to every type of monitor that existed. Have you ever tried holding hands with a mannequin? That’s how withdrawn Linda felt to me. I sat with her until the doctors were able to medically clear her. Any longer and I would have lost control over my emotions. I still have a problem with crying in public. Left over trash from my father, I guess. I went home to take care of Keri and Stella. I really needed to have them close by. Anyway, they admitted her back into the mental care ward. This time, because she went involuntarily, they will be keeping her in for the next two weeks. I still haven’t a clue on what Monday will bring. Right now I am the one that is feeling a little hopeless and alone.