The Case Study (part 2) – Profile of the Spouse

Now that there is a clear picture of the environment I entered (see Part One for reference), I’d like to change the focus to the individual. The ‘well-adjusted’ spouse is involved in the community, takes life by the horns, and excels. Take a good look at my ‘resume’ as a spouse. Even through the adversity and challenges of each post, the profile below does not indicate anything other than someone persisting, handling each situation as it arrives, and carrying on. But, as we learned in my most recent post, I want to be free, my public persona did not match my private one.

Carla Gray

Short Bio: Born and raised in Oklahoma; made two missionary trips to Mexico in high school; graduated with honors from high school and two universities; mother of two, wife of one; INTJ personality; a highly-sensitive person (

Uzbekistan, 2004-5: Employed part-time with the health unit; organized Embassy Halloween event for 100+ guests; entertained and hosted several parties at her home; Social Committee Chair; initiated program with commissary to reduce waste / loss by planning meals for cafeteria with food about to expire; traveled to Italy for a month and Thailand for a week

Ghana, 2006-8: Worked part-time in housing office; spent three weeks in Germany (vacation), two weeks alone in South Africa (medical, operation), five days alone in London (medical, pregnancy tests); relocated to Virginia at around week 22 of pregnancy to spend the remainder on bedrest in a hotel, caring for four-year old son; connected with local church, cousins living nearby, and prepared for arrival of Baby Gray through online shopping

Albania, 2008-11: Enrolled in accounting program to earn second degree, earned respect and honor from classmates and professors, high recommendations; hosted regular play dates, large social events, and Bunco Nights at home; worked as Business Manager for American Employee Recreational Association; played the Easter Bunny for annual egg hunt; helped start commissary and gift shop for post; led initiative for food donations over Christmas; traveled home for grandmother’s funeral, brother-in-laws wedding, spent three weeks in Morocco, three weeks in Edinburgh, and the equivalence of week in Paris (two separate girls trips), a weekend in Budapest (girls trip), and traveled by car throughout Greece, Macedonia, Montenegro, Austria, Czech Republic, Albania, and Bulgaria

Pakistan, 2012-13: Unaccompanied tour, twelve months; found peace; finished second degree and graduated cum laude; started online entrepreneurial adventure; regional travel

Germany, 2014-17: Volunteered first two years at kids school for main fundraiser of year; hired as a contractor to complete the Cost of Living Allowance report; joined expat member book club; hosted Christmas parties and Thanksgiving for local friends, switched career goals from entrepreneur to writer; completed nearly 75% of first draft for debut novel; donated four boxes of clothing and toys to refugee camp; volunteered to assist with annual Fourth of July event; worked for local start-up as freelance social media manager; member of American Women’s Club; traveled to London and Milan for short breaks, and spent extensive time traveling through Denmark, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, and Germany


Before moving to the next section, The Needs, I’d like to recommended the following article: This is Your Brain on Trauma, And, if necessary, that you revisit the environment described in Part One.


Up Next…The Case Study (part three): The Needs

New to this project? Start at the beginning here.

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