Later that year, I reenlisted with a promise to be reassigned to the Jungle Operations Training Center in Fort Sherman, Panama. My marriage – a union between posttraumatic stress disorder and schizophrenia, born in the wake of a frightening drug overdose – had turned psychotically co-dependent, and I had the idea that if we moved away from the site of our latest insanities, things might get better. They didn't of course. In fact, things got a lot worse. My career was going very well, however, because I volunteered for twice the time any of the other school cadre did to endure the harsh conditions of the jungle with the training battalions. In my professional life, the recognition and reputation were nothing but up. I was almost an icon there. But at home, there was an atmosphere of poisonous hatred and recrimination, a kind of mutual sado-masochism that neither of us knew how to escape.
That's not something I'm ready to write about yet. I know it's not unique. I can hardly bear to think of it even now all these years later, or of how my young daughter grew up bearing witness to it.