Abuse Hides in the Dark. Turn on Your Light.

Red Flags

red flag

So, last December, there was a domestic violence incident at my home. The Army got wind of it in February (early March?) after Will had deployed. So now that he’s back, he’s required to do some sort of counseling.

The Army social services (not state social services) interviewed me at that time. The man I spoke with was very understanding. He asked me what I would like to see happen, and I told him I wanted my family healed. I thought counselling would be good for Will, and I was going to therapy on my own.

The man also addressed my fears of Will losing his career over domestic violence issues. He stated that the Army recognizes that punishment at work often results in abuse at home. He said the Army no longer discharges soldiers for domestic abuse; there are other, more realistic ways to deal with the abuser and to prevent further violence in the home.red flag

Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

Last night, Will came home from work and told me he hadn’t been able to go to social services after work because the workers there leave at 4pm. He said he had been talking to someone (not a case worker, just some soldier) who told him that he was going to have to take an anger management class.

Will said that the social services idiots should be at work when he wasn’t. That he should be able to go there after work to take care of his junk. “That’s okay,” he said, “I’m just going to take the anger management class and when those assholes get their shit together I’ll throw my certificate on the desk and be done with it. If they don’t have me in their system, then I’m not going to draw attention to their fuck up.”

My reaction: not pleased. I told him that neither of us know what counselling he’s required to take, and anger management was not what the social worker had recommended when he spoke to me. I expressed concern that Will was not taking the matter seriously, or at least, not as seriously as I would like or as he had led me to believe via phone and email.

So then he launches into the lecture about how it’s not my 16 year career on the line. “I’m not going to go around throwing up red flags and destroy my career!” Of course, this was done condenscendingly and with loads of anger and venom. As if “his” career hasn’t been “mine” too. Dammit, when I decided to be a stay-at-home mother, I sacrificed the career I possibly would have had right now.

For all his talk about how vital I am, enabling him to be a “stellar soldier” by doing everything except go to his job for him, it sure sounds like he is diminishing my importance now. He’s asking me to put his career above my health and our boys’ health, and I am not going to do it.

If he won’t raise red flags, you better believe I am going to do it.
(And honey, if you’re reading this, I won’t have to make up any “bullshit” to do it. The facts are there.)