How can I find control issue counseling in Central America?
November 26, 2008 7:16 AM   Subscribe

i returned recently from four years working in iraq and am having some readjustment issues that are probably going to cost me the most important relationship in my life. does anyone know of any sort of counseling for control issues that i could do?

i've been living in a world where people do what i tell them to, or i get rid of them. when i ran a project, i did exactly as the contract specified, and took nothing less than my complete and exact specifications from the people below me. that was just the way it had to be, or control of everything was lost. i know that's not how things work back home, so i moved to central america with my fiancee so i could work on something new for a while instead of trying to go back to my old routine. i thought it would easier to adjust to something new than to go back.

after about three months, i started slipping back into my old routine and going off the handle when something didn't go exactly as i specified, then, the other day, she was stop-lossed by the national guard and i lost it. in the end, she left, and i understand why, but i want to try to salvage this if there is any chance, and the only thing i can think of to prove how serious i am would be to enroll in some counseling.

here are my problems, though; i have no idea where to look, i am living in central america and have too many responsibilities here to clean up and get back to the states for this before she deploys, and i was privately employed in iraq, so none of the channels available to government personnel are available to me.

i want to get going to prove that i want to fix this, i just don't know where to look.
posted by bryak to Human Relations (12 answers total)
What country are you in? How's your spanish? Are you in a big city? Do you have time and money to pay for counseling?

Any well trained counselor would probably be a help, and those that deal with post-military issues would be extra good.

Most countries in Central America will have some counseling services, probably even a few in English. If you'd like help searching for counselors feel free to memail me.

There are also lots of US military web forums out there, although I seem to be encountering some fail when I attempt to search. Those places might be a good place to find resources.
posted by By The Grace of God at 8:08 AM on November 26, 2008

I wonder if there's an opportunity for phone counseling with someone in the States?
posted by pomegranate at 8:21 AM on November 26, 2008

When the US military scaled down after the Cold War, they let go of a lot of officers (especially Colonels). My family had several of these in the Air Force, and I know they were given a book that was basically "How to re-enter civilian life". It talked them through how the mindset in the military is different than civilian life, and gave them specifics about what to do/not do in the "real world".

I can't find a copy of that book right now, but it makes me think that this type of thing is surely still offered by the military. I understand you weren't employed by the US military, but perhaps you can still contact them for a list of resources for help.

The Soto Cano Air Base is in Honduras. It used to be called Palmerola. It's a joint base for US and Honduran military. Might be worth a trip or call.
posted by Houstonian at 8:51 AM on November 26, 2008

(If you talk with military people, you might tell people that you need the "book" or "one-on-one counseling" version of the Coming Home brochures.)
posted by Houstonian at 9:03 AM on November 26, 2008

i'm in nicaragua, in a pretty small pueblo called san juan del sur (see next askmefi question... actually) i am already packed, though, and am probably going to head to managua in the next couple days.

i do have time, in the sense of hours in the day, and i do have the money to devote to this thanks to the warbucks. i am low fluent in spanish, but i imagine that in this case being able to express very specifically what's going on is going to be important and i don't know how comfortable i am with that.

i have broadband and a skype number here, so if there was anything that i could do by phone, that would be a good option.

thank you.
posted by bryak at 9:17 AM on November 26, 2008

you don't want to do counseling/therapy in a language outside of your native tongue unless you are completely fluent at a native level, and even then some people would tell you that you should still do it in your native tongue. there are choices of words and nuances of language that are important in therapy.
posted by micawber at 9:23 AM on November 26, 2008

Have you tried contacting the firm you were employed by in Iraq? Their human resources department may be able to give you some advice on where to find counseling.
posted by pi3832 at 9:30 AM on November 26, 2008

contacting the firm is out because the last one i worked for is a very small company. i had a reputation as a ball-breaking get-shit-doner and i am now probably going to have try to get another job because my "move to nicaragua and start a new life" plan has hit the bricks. i have a very geographically limited skillset, so i can't risk burning a bridge with that. weakness is frowned upon.

i need to do this without company assistance, and it would be best if i could keep any government entities out, as well. i just want this to be as private as possible; between me, her, the counselor, and, now, the entire internet.

i like the idea of a phone option with a professional. i need to be able to show her something more than just saying "i got a book", and i need it to start quickly (i know it's not a quick process). does anyone know of anything?
posted by bryak at 11:51 AM on November 26, 2008

By the way, this needs to be more about you and less about her. You could shoot therapeutic fireworks out of your ass and if it were for her, for show, and not for you, she will smell that shit a thousand miles away. Don't be wasting a therapist's time for a show for your mate.
posted by By The Grace of God at 4:03 PM on November 26, 2008

i know, grace. i'm serious because i am going to have to take care of this for any future relationship to succeed if this one fails. i'm just saying that i need something to show now for this one to have a chance.
posted by bryak at 5:10 PM on November 26, 2008

There will be a counselor that is fluent in english in any city i'd think- I would try to find one via doctors or nurses that speak english or friends. Your problem is not uncommon at all, I think a lot of us who are used to being totally in charge professionally have the same issue at home. In the meantime you could try talking to a priest or pastor- many speak english and are trained counselors and will talk to anyone, you don't have to be a member of the church.
posted by fshgrl at 7:49 PM on November 26, 2008

You could try calling the number here -- looks like even if they can't help, they could make a referral to a therapist who is knowledgable about these issues. The VA might also be helpful. And Here is a list of other "post-deployment" links that may or may not help. Best of luck in finding ways to work through this.
posted by salvia at 2:01 PM on November 28, 2008

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