Monday, September 17, 2012

Unarmed and NOT READY

When you are sitting in re-deployment classes and listening to all these "specialists" talk about how long  re-integration could take, how there are steps that you and your spouse, and your kids too, should follow to make it a smooth as possible transition for all involved and how even your husband and your dog ( if you have one) will need time to get to know one another there seems to be some information that they forget to pass along to you.

That if your husband happens to be a wounded warrior that the "rule books" that apply to most families, will not apply to you, your kids, or your husband. And that re- integration will be the least of your worries and you might as well take that "rule book" and toss it out the window or use it to wipe your babies butt.

No one wants to tell you ;

That you will have good days, yes, but there will be more bad ones in between than you care to count.
How some days it is not the external wounds that your solider and you will have to battle , but the mental ones as well.
Like, the depression that not only affects him, but you also. That on some days you are so grateful that he came home to you, no matter what condition, but on others you actually wish he would not have.
( yes , I just admitted I have days that I wish G.I. Joe never came home).
 And that you will go to an means necessary to protect your kids from the same depression that is slowly turning the man that you love into a man that you would have never given one second look at 14 yrs ago, let alone have children with.
Or the fact that your soldier will wish himself dead instead of the 19 yr old boy he was supposed to protect, but chose to come home to see his new baby and wife for R&R, so was no where near the shooting when it happened. We call this survivors remorse, but G.I.Joe calls it nightly nightmares and night sweats.
Or how your soldier will become so angry at just the slightest thing, like dinner not being ready when he is ready to eat, even tho you have no way of knowing what time he will be home, or him having to remind a 5 yr old to do something more than once.
 How he would rather sit in his chair all weekend long instead of interacting with his family and when you mention this to him you have some how become the BIG B and don't understand anything he is going through.
The fact that you will now have to do not only the mommy things, but the daddy things too since your soldier can not bend, stoop, kneel, carry things, lift things, stand for long periods of time or sit for long periods of time. ( just like you did when he was deployed)
Or how you have to keep a watchful "ear" and "eye" ( with out him knowing ) out for your soldier because his lower body will go numb and he can fall over or out of something. ( the bed is a big one here in our house).
How the meds that are supposed to help him give him massive mood swings. Mood swings so bad that you just might need to kick him out of the house for a few days and that he will stop taking those meds to keep his family. But, no military doctor will change the prescription now that he is in the med board process so your soldier will now have to live in pain, daily, until he gets out and gets assigned to a doctor at the VA hospital.
Or the fact that he will develop a gambling problem, because it is the closest thing to the rush he feels when he is deployed that he is able to get at home with out " doing his job". And so now that money that you scrimped and saved while he was deployed will be gone with in a VERY short time frame.
And lets not forget that he will fall into a deep abyss, that you can't even save him from, because his self worth is tied up in his ability to provide for his family and now he can not do that to the fullest of his ability and has no idea how he will make a living when he is no longer a soldier.

These are just some of the things that I feel should be included when you are a military wife facing re-deployment with your soldier who just happens to have been wounded.

We are given some great info and there are some terrific agencies out there to help families with re-integration, but there are still a ton of holes left in all the info that is given out.

And this missing info makes the life of a wounded warrior and his family, trying to re-integrate, a living hell at times.

I am a lucky wife, my soldier came home to me, broken both mentally and physically , but home non the less.
Is my mantra that I have lived by for what will be a year on October 15.
I know , in the deep dark recesses of my mind , that things could have been worse when G.I.Joe was hit and wounded by a frag grenade on Sept. 12, 2011.
But, most days I don't have time to look into that place for fear that I might like that place so much I wont want to come back to the kids who needs me and the soldier that needs me more.

A great way to help support a wounded warrior

1 comment:

  1. Dede, wow. I wish your words could be sent up into the highest ranks of those that decide what families and soldiers need, and those that decide to send soldiers out, with full knowledge of the risks and the price. Beautifully expressed and the pain expressed so poetically. And I am so sorry. It's momma Cawley here. Alaskababy because I was born there and did have a blog that haunts me.