I spoke with a VA rep about you today. It was a survey for people whose family members have committed suicide. Aside from this blog, I guess complaining to the VA about how ignored and dismissed you felt is my other form of therapy. I'm pretty sure you did not want me to talk to her, as the calls kept mysteriously dropping. I spent an hour telling some young woman that you weren't acting any differently in the month before you died. It was just that, for previous incidents, you talked to me about your wish to die, and I could anchor you in some small way. This time, if you had wanted to talk about it, I didn't see the signs. I do have some guilt over that, but I also know that I could never stop you from doing anything you were determined to do.
Betsy, the VA rep, asked if I had any thoughts or opinions on how this could have been prevented. I had a lot of thoughts. I told her that when the military is conditioning young men and women to be mentally and physically strong, they're also preventing them from seeking help when they start having mental health issues. How can you expect these people to admit to not being mentally tough when you spend all that time telling them they need to be tough? There really isn't a solution there, except for, perhaps mandatory therapy when returning from deployments. I also mentioned the VA policy of only having so many sessions with particular therapist before switching. I understand the idea behind the policy, I think. But there's no good way for people like you to establish enough trust with someone to actually explore the traumas behind your anxiety and depression. And I imagine there are plenty of people like you.
It's almost September 11. The bright spot of this year is that I don't have to yell at you to stop talking to me about how 9/11 was a huge conspiracy brought on by the US government. That drove me up and down the walls. I hope that death has brought you that ultimate knowledge that was promised, and I hope you're now saying "I hate to admit it, but she was right."
Tomorrow, I'm going to the electric co-op to...vote for something. All I know is there is an opportunity for $30 in bill credits available, and I'm gonna get 'em! Turns out, though, since the bill is in your name, I could change it to mine, and collect money from them. I'm going to inquire about that too.
S is still talking about her ex-friend, the one you referred to as Green Teeth, or, when you were feelings nicer, Chef Boyardee. I think she's jealous, because the girl gets lots of attention from boys. S is getting attention, but not as much because she's not dating. I don't think anyone has asked her to homecoming, but she was planning on going with friends anyway. She is much more social this year, though. She's even asking people for rides instead of completely depending on me (she still mostly depends on me). It's only a month til she can get her driver's license. I'm so sad you're not here to see that and celebrate it with her. Her birthday is going to be so very hard this year.
I watched a terrible movie today. Licorice Pizza. You would have hated it. Then I watched a documentary about Attica, and the 1971 massacre that occurred there. That one would have made you angry. Injustice always did. I miss you and your opinions about my movie choices.