I’ve spoken pretty openly in the past about the struggles we’ve had with the military in getting Eli the proper medical care, and how hard the fight was to get here to San Antonio where he could get care. Now that we are here, we are so much happier, and I honestly feel like we’ve made it HOME. Eli has all the support he needs, the school (Encino Park Elementary) is absolutely AMAZING. I can’t say enough good things about them, and his therapist, doctors, skills group teams are all working together to help Eli be the best Eli he can be. And he is doing fantastic. He’s right on par with his 1st grade class pretty much, reading well, making good grades, and is happy with his teacher and classmates. We are making friends in our neighborhood and around town, and there is nothing about living here that I have anything negative to speak of. We are finally at peace here in this area.
But the truth is that I am still dealing with an enormous amount of anxiety that the military has left me to deal with on a daily basis. And honestly it’s not DAILY…it’s just when we have a military ball/function/luncheon, etc. What sparked the need for me to get this blog off my chest was an invitation I got this morning. As soon as I started reading the invitation, my chest got tight and I started panicking. This may sound absurd, but I am still dealing with the way we were treated by Barksdale Air Force Base.
Instead of the military helping us get help for Eli, they blamed us for his disability, insisted on invading the privacy of our home because they were certain they would be able to find fault with us in order to get them off the hook. And last but not least, they totally changed his diagnosis because they wanted to. They didn’t have to provide care if they re-diagnosed him after not treating him, knowing him, or meeting him for more than half an hour. Everyone thinks military medical is great…but what they did to us was terrorize us, deny our son help, and cause me to distrust the military in every way. Military Balls which should be fun events to dress up for and get your hair done…aren’t. The simple act of driving through the gate of the base causes me to need Xanax. Not joking.
This invite to a luncheon that is happening tomorrow has me sitting here with a knot in my stomach and as STUPID and INSANE as it is, I know that my irrational reaction to such an innocent invite is tied to the Barksdale mistreatment we received, and I think I finally need to talk to someone about it to get past my anxiety.
Norman will be promoted in a month or two, and what will I do then? Not go? That isn’t an option. I have considered asking him to find someone else to pin on his new rank because the thought of standing in front of anything/anyone military makes me sick to my stomach. And that isn’t me. I ran for state office for FFA and have made speeches in front of hundreds of people. I’m not afraid of public speaking…of being in front of people. I have the self confidence to stand up in front of large groups. But the pain of what the military did to us…I can’t seem to shake it. So today I believe is the day I will begin to look for/make an appointment with someone who may be able to help me deal with this issue.
This has been such a private battle with me, but I know I’m not alone. The military medical system has hurt so many people, and just as I find peace and comfort in other military wives blogs, I decided to put this out there in case others were dealing with the same issue. I’m not ashamed that I fought so hard for my family, and I’m not ashamed of my son’s different abilities. I’m not ashamed that my husband is in the military…I am very proud of him and what he’s accomplished. And I’m not ashamed to say what I am dealing with. Yes, it has been a private issue, but I know I’m not alone. The ONLY thing I am ashamed of is the way our military families are mistreated so many times. I must say that not everyone has special needs children and for them, they find the medical care adequate. But for special needs families, the military is failing miserably. And at the very least I am hoping this blog will reach someone who is feeling down and the same sort of feelings. To you I would say, “YOU AREN’T ALONE. KEEP FIGHTING”. And once you get care for your child, you can then focus on getting the help and healing you need for the fighting you did. That is what I am about to do…I have to. For the sake of myself and my family.