I got an e-mail from J’s mom this morning:
I don’t know what to say other than I am sorry and wish you had contacted me first.
I know she doesn’t know the extent of everything that has happened in the past five years. I understand that he is her son, and if I were in her place, I would probably say the same thing. Especially if I didn’t know HOW BAD he had been hurting his family. If I thought, “oh, he’s just stressed, don’t pay any attention to what he’s saying, because he’s not. It’ll blow over he’s just a moody guy. You know how men are.” Which is (I’m paraphrasing) the advice she gave me when I told her things were bad.
This whole thing is terribly hard.
But I have to say…telling her first and seeing what his parents could do to get me home? Never crossed my mind. I thought, “I will tell her, but not until I have told the military that I want to leave. She deserves the respect I should give her by telling her before we leave that we are leaving, but I will not tell her until I have told the authorities what has happened and that I need to go home and everything is arranged.” Because I was afraid that she would try to tell J about it. That she would try to “talk to him” to get him to be nice. And I was afraid if I did that, that he would hurt us more. And I think that is the biggest issue, right there. He took away a sense of security that I will never be able to get back when I am around him.
And once she said that, I thought, “wow. This whole mess could have been avoided? I could have kept him from getting in trouble? I am a jerk.”
But I know that I was doing what I thought I had to to remain safe. I needed to get away, and my whole train of thought was “Get out asap. Get out. Get out.”
They told me they wouldn’t send me home unless there was a Darn Good Reason. And even then, it would take a while, unless there was a Darn Good Reason to expedite the process. So I told them what happened. Thinking that it is what I had to do to to ensure the safety of myself and my children.
In my saner, yet angrier moments, I think, Why shouldn’t he have to pay for what he did? Why should I want to try to make this as painless as possible for him?
The rest of the time I beat myself up about it.
I know that there is a pattern here. I know that it is a process. Baby steps. One breath at a time. All that jazz.
The military people I talked to told me yesterday that he was read his rights. That he requested a lawyer and refused to speak without one. I am told that at the very least he will have to go to mandatory counseling. That he could lose pay, a stripe, delayed promotions, court martial. Any of those things. But he is smart. I am positive he will do what he needs to to get through this as cleanly as possible. I had to give a statement about what happened. They told me I had to fill it out for whatever office would be seeing it to decide if I get to have my life moved back to Kansas. But that it would also be looked at by a judge to determine what sort of punishment J would get.
I thought about it, and realized that I had to do it because even though it would be used against him, its main purpose would be to move the kids to a safe place. And that is way more important than trying to protect someone that hurt us.
The sergeant that came over yesterday evening brought a counselor with him. They both told me that I did not do this. He pulled the trigger on this and that I am not the driver. They were were very kind.
She told me that it wasn’t my fault. And that I am doing this for my children. I am repeating that whenever I feel weak or sad or like a jerk for causing so much ruckus.
And that has been my whole state of mind up until now. Keep your head down. Don’t make a fuss. Keep quiet. Don’t make him mad.
She told me that he needs to see that he has a problem, and he won’t unless he gets help. He doesn’t have to realize he has a problem, but he will get counseling whether he likes it or not. Whether he benefits from it or not is up to him.
After so many years of being told that my choices and actions are the wrong ones, making a choice and taking this HUGE course of action….it’s hard to trust 100% all the time that it was the right choice. I know in my heart it was. But e-mails like “you should have just told me instead” and my own self doubt gets to me every once in a while.