#BringJasonHome · Love & Marriage · Mental Health · Veteran Affairs

OK. So, I’m a little… er… a lot bitter…

When I was in my late teens, there was a karaoke bar that I used to go to with my friends.

There was always this middle-aged guy who would be drunk way too early, and he would get up on stage and sing Wildflower by Skylark to me.

I never knew his name. He never asked me my name. We weren’t attracted to each other or anything. We never talked. But, right before I left, every time I went there, he would get up and sing me this song.

It was flattering and it also cracked me up.

After everything that’s happened recently, the song has come back to haunt me. There’s one particular line that’s on constant loop in my head.

The way she’s always paying for a debt she never owes.

Marrying young Continue reading “OK. So, I’m a little… er… a lot bitter…”

#BringJasonHome · Health & Wellness · Love & Marriage · Mental Health · Religion & Spirituality

Soul searching…

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There’s something very awkward about having a public persona.

We live in a world where people Google you after you first meet. They make assumptions about you and know tidbits about your life that are most likely, way out of context.

The publicity was necessary. I wanted to make sure Jason didn’t go to prison.

There’s a lot of things that can’t be put on the record or the judge won’t allow it to be on the record. It was important to me that our story be told so Jason could get the help he needed.

I advocated so hard and so fiercely that it took a lot from me. Continue reading “Soul searching…”

#BringJasonHome · Mental Health

UPDATE: Once a soldier, always a soldier…

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Update from GoFundMe: Hi everyone!! I know it’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted an update. I didn’t feel up to sharing every single thought or event over the past month or so. (I know, what a surprise.) I thought I’d post an update sometime over the past few days but it was Memorial Day weekend and it didn’t seem appropriate since it’s a solemn celebration in honour of those who paid the ultimate price for us.

Anyway, a few weeks ago, Jason was moved up to Level 2 (see previous update). This meant he could FINALLY see the kids. But because of Mother’s Day and staff shortage, he wasn’t able to see the kids until last weekend. It was the first time Charles, Liberty and Alanna had seen him in 3 months.

I also spent a few hours with him during visitation on Saturday and for the first time, Jason and I had a serious talk about the future. It was a really difficult conversation.

He kept talking about re-enlisting after he got out of there. I know it’s not about me but it was very hard to listen to. He kept talking about wanting to go back to the army. Wanting to do more. Wanting to give more. That he had so much more to offer. He wanted to be medically fit enough to go back. I just didn’t really know what to say. Continue reading “UPDATE: Once a soldier, always a soldier…”

#BringJasonHome · 365: Daily Journaling · Being A Mom · Love & Marriage

365: Write about your perfect day in exactly one year’s time

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Wow. That’s a deep one given our current situation but OK. Challenge accepted. I’ll try not to tear up while I write this. Let’s move it up a couple of days to Sunday, May 13, 2018: Mother’s Day.

I will wake up in the morning. Hopefully, I slept in — even if it’s for only 30 minutes.

Jason and Alanna have probably snuck out of the house to go buy me a pack of Kit-Kats (Alanna seems to think this is my favourite chocolate — it’s actually Twix but hey, I’ll eat any brand of chocolate — LOL!) and a pot of pink phalaenopsis orchids. Jason’s probably left me a cheesy greeting card.

When he gets back, he uses up all the dishes in the kitchen trying to make me my favourite breakfast meal: Eggs Benedict. He will use all the eggs he needs to make a perfectly poached egg. I will get mad that he’s wasting our organic groceries. Continue reading “365: Write about your perfect day in exactly one year’s time”

#BringJasonHome · Being A Mom · Mental Health · Veteran Affairs

UPDATE: Jason graduating to level 2!

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Being Torontonians in the Cleveland area during the Spring sports season it’s pretty interesting. Lol!

From GoFundMe: Gonna try and keep this short and sweet. 🙂

When Jason was admitted, he was admitted to the first available bed, which wasn’t the unit he was meant to stay in. We had set up all these medical appointments with the VA but unfortunately, he was moved and all the proper paperwork was not put through so, his medical appointments got postponed.

Anyway, he was finally properly assessed and cleared to go to his appointments on Friday. They decided to kill two birds with one stone and expedited him to Level 2 (since the forensic team was coming out to clear him to go to medical appointments, they decided to do the level 2 assessment, also). The paperwork isn’t written up yet but, we’re told he got the thumbs up.

Continue reading “UPDATE: Jason graduating to level 2!”

#BringJasonHome · Being A Mom · Health & Wellness · Love & Marriage · Mental Health

UPDATE: Jason is NOT GUILTY

From GoFundMe: If you haven’t heard by now, Jason was found Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity on two counts, a third one was dismissed. He was ordered to be hospitalized until doctors feel he’s safe for release into the community. The Toronto Star (http://bit.ly/2q420sv) and CityNews (see below) did a follow-up.

I’m confident he can start the process of transitioning back into the community sooner, rather than later. He’s doing really well on his meds.

In many ways, hospitalization is good news. But, it’s also terrible news because it means that The State could be in our lives for the next 10.5 years, and it means we’ll be apart for at least the next 6 months, as his first assessment likely won’t be until October. (The psychiatrist at the hearing said she felt it was important Jason be near his family and advocated for him to be moved closer to home. I’m glad we got that on the record but, I’m pessimistic that the State would be willing to lose jurisdiction over the case.)

I’ve always been critical of the fact that despite how sick Jason was, he was constantly taken back and forth between the hospital and jail. He spent 116 days in custody, most of that time in county lock-up. After the trial, he had to wait in jail for a bed at the hospital. Also, his thyroid issues have remained largely ignored — which could actually be fatal if left untreated. Continue reading “UPDATE: Jason is NOT GUILTY”

#BringJasonHome · Health & Wellness · Mental Health

An open letter to the Ontario Minister of Health

I wrote this on Aug. 1, 2016. It was published on my anonymous blog. I Tweeted it at Dr. Eric Hoskins. Of course, HE NEVER RESPONDED. This is VERBATIM. I haven’t changed this. This was a whole FOUR MONTHS before my husband went missing AGAIN and wound up getting arrested in Ohio. Continue reading “An open letter to the Ontario Minister of Health”

#BringJasonHome · Being A Mom · Health & Wellness · Mental Health · Veteran Affairs

UPDATE: Important hearing tomorrow

Update from GoFundMe: Prayer warriors: I am appealing to you all to pray, meditate and send all the positive vibes you can our way.

Tomorrow is Jason’s status conference, which is a hearing of sorts. It’s my understanding that a lot has to be done at this meeting and a lot needs to be put on the record.

We’ve already received the second assessment regarding his diagnoses and it backed up the first assessment so, there can’t be any more assessments to slow down the case. The only thing that could potentially stall the end is if the judge, defense and prosecution can’t agree on conditions.

Hopefully, a roadmap will be set to the end of Jason’s case and we’ll have some idea of when this will all end.

If you all recall, Jason’s case entered the 5th month last Wednesday. As of tomorrow, his case would be 125 days old.

The last court hearing — when the judge revoked Jason’s bond on the same day he had a crucial appointment with the VA, and several other appointments shortly after that — that day kind of broke me emotionally. It really shattered my hope that there’s any kind of justice in the “justice system.”

We’ve had our wins. Two favourable reports are certainly huge victories but, it’s really disheartening to know that while the system is changing, it’s still lagging behind compared to the research and dialogue regarding mental illness and justice-involved veterans.

Google reminded me of what we were doing on this same exact weekend a year ago. It reminded me of this family photograph we took in Ravenna when we came down for his eldest son’s birthday. I will leave you with this photo.

God bless. Peace and love to all of you.

Precious, Alanna, Liberty, Charles (and Jason)

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#BringJasonHome · Being A Mom · Health & Wellness · Mental Health

UPDATE: Jason is back in jail

17498956_1301063276641992_8117535919961865802_nUpdate from GoFundMe: Hello! It’s been two weeks since my last update so, I figured a detailed update was due.

On Friday, March 17th, Jason’s forensic psychiatrist submitted the second psycho-diagnostic assessment. Based on conversations I had with her, I believe she will agree with the first assessment, which diagnosed Jason with having PTSD, comorbid with being on the psychosis spectrum. (His VA psychiatrist believes it stems from his second tour in Iraq due to events — yes, plural — he experienced in theatre.)

Originally, we were told there would be a competency hearing within 10 days of the report being submitted but it turns out, there will NOT be a hearing in the near future. Instead, there is a “status conference” scheduled for the first week of April, presumably so that all sides can discuss their positions and decide how to move forward.

Thus far, the prosecution has remained fairly neutral. That’s what they promised and that’s what they’ve done. (Mind you, they decided to remain neutral AFTER they stacked charges against him. But — that’s another story.) Continue reading “UPDATE: Jason is back in jail”