This post graced my Facebook timeline today. It was made by a Staff Sergeant (E-6) in the Marine Corps. I know the guy, he’s the douchebag that got 2 people hurt so bad that one lost his arm and one with an extremely bad TBI. I digress.
The first comment is mine. The second comment is someone I’ve never met. If you think the military is doing a good job of erasing the stigma against mental health issues, you’re mistaken. It will take another 8 years before the NCOs and SNCOs (E-4 through E-7) have cycled out and are no longer in a position to treat Marines like this. Back in 2006 they still punished you if you had a mental health issue and couldn’t “fit in” like everyone else. Got demons and drink? NJP.
Clearly you aren’t responsible enough to take care of yourself, so fuck you, I’m going to take half of your pay, put you on restriction and extra duty. That will teach you to not have demons. I’m so sick of the zero-defect mentality; it is a delusion that kicking people out for these issues will make the Corps better in the short term or the long term. If you send the message that someone with a mental health issue, like PTSD, or TBI (TBIs do have an effect on the function of the brain, and can lead to depression, anger management problems, and cognitive errors) will be kicked out, those with the issues will no longer tell you because of the fear of being kicked out. This causes Marines to suffer for years, hiding their injury and living in shame that they are hurting and cannot confide in anyone. Their performance will degrade, and they may or may not spiral out of control. Ultimately their loyalty is not to the organization, it is to themselves-and why should it be to the organization when the organization would kick them to the curb because they were mentally injured doing what the organization asked them to do?
Have faith, however, because the 2nd commenter that I don’t know serves with the aforementioned douchebag, so there are people out there who will defend you if the shit goes down. Some people seek out the military because they get authority and they get paid to act like douchebags to people who cannot quit their job. The original poster is that guy.
So, what’s been happening with my family lately? bRaving Bipolar started her Masters program, Industrial Organizational Psychology, and I continue my undergrad level education with my second set of courses that are enrolled and paid for exactly like they are supposed to be. Since I started with my current university I took my first set of classes as the system intended, and after that I had to take a leave of absence, and get an extension for the same courses when I returned and started them over. After that I started with some classes about religious extremism and threat assessment. She also recently quit her job, and has been contemplating changing her degree. Initially I was very apprehensive about it because I was worried that it was not a logical conclusion; now I am on board with it. We have a basic weekly schedule format in which she has scheduled time to do school work during the week, and I can take some if I need to during the week but for sure on the weekend. Since we have the weekends free now, we will be doing more family activities together, like going to the ymca gym, the zoo, playground, or mall play area. The stress we were under with her going to work was much greater than the stress we would be under if we did not have her tip money coming in every week. We should be getting bRaving’s car back on the road after her being stuck at the house every day for 4 months. That will be a big step in the right direction for her and the two kids she is at home with. We are focusing on getting control of our daily and nightly routines right now, they are a source of much stress. The house was a wreck for much of last year, chores didn’t get done, and we didn’t keep up with things. Right now we’re at a point where we can push through the anxiety we have about a lot of things, such as making a family budget, and organize our lives again. I wanted to expand on taking control of our daily and nightly routines a little bit. I’ve been doing a lot of things independently of bRaving, such as the food I eat for dinner, what I do before bed, staying up a little later, wanting to go places by myself. I was worried at first but did a little soul searching and what is really happening is that I am trying to figure out how to take care of myself. This came out of one of our last few marriage therapy appointments; bRaving complained that I did too much and she felt like I spent all of my time taking care of her. So what I did was pull most of my influence out of her decision making process and just “monitor” as it happened and gave my input when asked. This also gave me a little independence to pursue my own activities and think of things I wanted to do for myself instead of for her. Not that I was doing anything bad, and I wasn’t trying to influence her to come to a particular conclusion, I was simply trying to facilitate an environment that was relatively stress free so she could conduct the decision making process. That was my level of influence. So to help facilitate it I would give nightly massages, send her out of the house a few times a week, get up with the kids more often, take them out so she could sleep, make her cards (I made an awesome one, I will post it later). So I’ve been trying to do things to make ME happy, and because they need to be done, not because she would be happy if they get done. I bought some new clothes today and included were a pair of jeans; I haven’t worn blue jeans in about 3 years. Hope to go to the indoor pistol range soon and pop some rounds off. Got some pomegranate and cranberry juice today, and bRaving picked up that bottle of Vodka. I’m going to have a good night. I hope I can put my CPAP mask on (if I hadn’t mentioned that I got diagnosed with sleep apnea, there you go).
“I am the Master of my fate; I am the Captain of my soul.”