Thursday, April 30, 2009

7 July 2008 – This is the start date of mobilization which was a travel day to home station in Richmond, Virginia. I left my home of record at 0500 and arrived in Richmond at 1800. I immediately notified my squad leader that the plane had landed and I was told to look for the van outside after I got my luggage. I called him back when I did not see the van and he informed me that they were on the way. He called me 45 minutes later and I found out that nobody had left to get me because they were all eating dinner. I was not so much bothered that it took so long to pick me up, but I was angry that I had been lied to twice by my immediate supervisor. Since I already have so many trust issues with leadership and others in the unit, something like this really has an affect on my mood. I got really upset and didn’t think that I would be able to make it.

8 July 2008 – Home station

9 July 2008 – Home station and farewell party for family and soldiers. My dad and brother both attended this event. My dad asked the platoon leader several questions concerning the unit structure and was surprised that we did not know who the chaplain was for the unit. I also had to fill out my civilian mobilization checklist which I did not understand. Since I have been ignored and forgotten by supervisors in my headquarters for so long, I do not rely on their help or assistance. I really wanted to have it explained to me, but I just did not want to deal with the frustration of having to contact anybody.

10 July 2008 – This is the travel day from Richmond, VA to Ft. Dix, New Jersey. After we arrive to Ft Dix, we eat lunch, unload the bus, and attend a few briefings. LTC greeted us on the bus, I thought she was the CDR for the mobilization, but I was not sure. After I unloaded by bags into my room, my platoon leader motioned for me to stay back and the LTC had me follow her outside with the platoon leader. I figured that she would probably want to talk with me about my medical concerns and the deployments. I was not at all expecting the meeting to go as it did.

She started by telling me that she has had briefings with several different unit personnel, and she understands that I am trying to get out of the deployment and that I don’t want to go overseas. I told her that this was not correct and that I simply wanted to be able to seek the correct treatment so that I could be happy again and go back to how I was two years ago. I explained that I had been seen by several different behavioral specialists in the past five months which whom I only met with briefly and I am still in the process of trying to once again be my normal self.

She explained to me that at the SRP, if it is determined that I am non-deployable, I will immediately be separated from the army reserves. She added that this would be an immediate action that would take only a few days. She also pointed out that with this separation, I could lose benefits, and I would also have to consider that my federal civilian positions would not continue. I let her know that I did understand this and that I had taken those into consideration. I continued to tell her that at this time, all I want is to be the person that I was before and be happy again and that was more important to me at this time.

She brought up the separation/discharge again and reminded me that it would be an immediate action. I started to feel like I was being threatened to be separated/discharged if I did not go on the deployment.

I mentioned the different prescriptions that had been given to me in the past few months and she asked if I was still taking prescriptions. She stated that military doctors could give me medications and I could see them overseas. I explained that at this time I really don’t even know what medications I am supposed to be taking. I started crying and I got really emotional and told her about how I had been to several different doctors and after only 30-45 minutes, I just get medication that might work and then that medication changes later. I also told her that I just started taking a new medication about 4 weeks ago that is still being monitored. I mostly wanted to let her know how much I wanted to be able to know and understand what exactly is wrong with me and actually feel like I was improving.

Her emphasis on being separated/discharged immediately felt like a constant threat or punishment for not being able to go on this deployment. I know that it is her job to inform me, but it was repeated at least 4-5 times during the conversation.

She asked me how long I had been in the army and reminded me that I would be coming up for reenlistment overseas and I would be eligible for the bonus tax free. I stated that at this time, my medical condition and my need to get back to normal were more important to me than money.

She informed me that these issues would be determined in the next few days.

After the conversation, I was extremely upset and I cried for about two hours. I didn’t eat dinner and I was kind of out of it all night. I was so upset because I felt like the conversation was a constant threat of the consequences of my mental health concerns. I felt guilty, sad, angry, hurt, and alone. More than 18 months ago I had not realized that my life was slowly falling apart. It took a lot for me to admit that I could be depressed and actually seek help. It was kind of embarrassing and I felt like other people would think that I wasn’t strong enough to deal with things. I left feeling weak and guilty for not being able to just overcome my condition, The conversation that I had with the LTC made me feel this way and even worse. At no time in the conversation had she seemed the least bit concerned with my condition or my well-being. I thought that the number one priority of a CDR was to “take care of Soldiers” and after this I know for sure that the only person worried about taking care of me is me. I felt like I had to justify my reasons for wanting to get the proper care and treatment that I need.

My main priority in my life right now is to overcome depression/bipolar or whatever else a doctor diagnosis me with and get my life back. Trying to get help from the military has caused me to regret ever seeking help since it has only caused more grief and frustration than it has support and improvement.

No comments:

Post a Comment