Friday, January 04, 2008

Deployment anxiety

Ex is still exploring a couple ways yet to get out of being deployed, one having to do with a decrease in pay, one having to do with him being vital where he is, one having to do with another job offer, and the last with his buddy who has yet to meet with they guy in charge.

The other day he spoke of a surgeon he knew who served in Vietnam and retired from the military in 1972. He went in to private practice and retired from that as well. He let his doctoring license expire, because he was finished with work. Then, he, at age 81, was called up and went to war. They reinstated his license and he became the chief surgeon of where he went.

I'd heard of others 70+ yo called up as well. Sheesh. This stuff has got to stop.

Ex has researched this a good bit. Seems that they tagged almost 100,000 for return to forces. A full 2/3 were unreachable due to bad addresses. Ex was essentially called up, because they could find him. He's also figured out that they only let about one person out of it each month; it is a convoluted process getting free, impossible to get through a series of military offices in a timely fashion, especially during the holidays.

Ex is getting about 15 minutes of sleep a night. He is scared of where they'll put him, not because of a fear of the war, but of a fear of him not knowing the job. He hasn't done war-related things within his career field since 1993 when he was in Korea. Not only does he not remember it, the job will have changed drastically since then. Further, not only does he want to be/look foolish, he doesn't want to break his underlying military and personal creed: don't do anything that gets anybody killed. An Officer who is stupid in his job, well, that could get people killed.

Talking about trying to not get killed, I saw recently where a military guy was convicted of murder. He and an Arab component were pulling night duty. The Iraqi guy kept opening his cell phone, lighting a cigarette, and generally being obnoxious. The American Marine was justifiably pissed, because orders were for no lights because it would draw sniper fire. Supposedly the Marine and the Iraqi got in a tussle and the Arabic guy was killed. It got very ugly, I would say, in a PTSD way.

Justified, I say, regardless. Guilty, said the PC jury.

When you're deployed, there are so many enemies, even ones like a jury of your "peers" after you get home. How could anyone be a peer to what he'd experienced?

It is odd feeling so much anxiety about a man I am no longer married to. I will feel like the wife of a deployed soldier, but I will receive none of the support given to them. He's a very poor communicator when he's away. His philosophy is that if you don't hear from him, then he's fine. Considerate, huh? It will be very difficult to be blacked out and be secondary in the scheme of things, yet have a kid who deserves to be primary although I will have to withhold most everything from him.

I must confess I have personal anxiety as well. For one thing, he's supposed to have a large life insurance policy out with me as the beneficiary; I need to ask, but hate the way it sounds. And he still owes me $3000 (have I mentioned that from last summer?), me still paying interest on the credit cards that it was supposed to pay off. Now do I wait a year and a half more for it? Is that part of my duty to my country?

Anxiety-wise, I also dread being a mom 24/7 for how ever long this takes. I won't get Wednesday nights, every other weekend, or four weeks in the summer off. I will have to take over Scouting and will have to give up on my mini vacation this month (first time I will have gotten away in years) that was entirely too sweet a proposition to share the details with anyone yet. And I'll be confined with a child who will likely be angry about the situation, too. It sucks being a parent, putting others' concerns first, particularly about a war I hate and a career I never learned to support.

ETA: And it pisses me off that I'll be dateless by default for over a year. My life will be put on hold completely, all revolves around him like always.


Aunt Becky said...


Anonymous said...

that's heavy s@#t Cricket. I'm sorry.

Val said...

Yikes...Does it help the least little bit to tell you I can relate?!?
[the full-time mom responsibility would be a heavy burden after doing things "on the halves", albeit reluctantly, all these years]
& worrying about a man, not bcz YOU personally give a shit, but bcz of the heavy impact it would have on your child...
Hang in there!

Anonymous said...

catching up from Crazy Week (tm)

I don't know where to begin with this one! the FT single-parenting is going to be hard enough, but to try to keep your kids age-appropriately up-to-date with no information coming from him would be enough to drive me around the bend myself.

I think the thing that sums up the suckiness of the situation is when you said you're going to be expected to fulfill many of the duties of "left-at-home partner" (parenting, etc.) without any of the support other military families get.


I guess that's all I've got...that and ears (well, eyes I guess since I'm reading....)

hang in there?

Anonymous said...

isn't there anyone nearby that would watch the kids so you could have some time for yourself? for a date or a pedicure or SOMETHING????

brite69 said...

I don't know how to be supportive here. Well, at least by not being able to offer up some advice or something. Matt never got close to being deployed and, with the exception of my brother (if he gets to ship when he's supposed to) the rest of the family are cousins and close friends.

I'd think that now-a-days there would be some sort of support for people who're divorced from soldiers with children. Then again, the service has never been too quick to do anything. Heh.


Anonymous said...

Sorry Cricket. I put my head in the sand on this one. I am hoping against hope that this doesn't happen to you and your ex and his kids. I'm just willing it to go away. Will will will.

Anonymous said...

I hope the worse does not happen for your ex. Of course, 24/7 parenting is hard. Sometimes I am hanging by a thread sometimes. I sincerely hope none of this happens to your family.

Anonymous said...

Ugh..that sucks so bad. I'm sorry. I hate the military life.

BipolarLawyerCook said...

I'm so sorry I've been absent-- this sucks and you're well and truly deserving major Internet Hugs. *Hugs.*