I thank Myst of http://mstrecovery.blogspot.com for the comment she made the other day-her description of the VA’s PTSD re-evaluation center, and the feelings of fear she had. I understand that fear-and it is because of the very same fear that I am unable to feel at ease in the VA Medical Center near my home-most likely any VA med-center would fit that bill and has promise to irritate my fear-and set me off in a muddled exit.
I don’t think I have ever written about my first experience with the VA Medical Center was back in 1974 when I was rushed there in an ambulance-then the thought was my pain was from appendicitis until it was discovered I was severely impacted from several years of avoiding the bathroom-keeping myself from going to the toilet-especially that toilet which required my touching the area of so much pain-mental pain-and the reminder every day of my life of what happened. Everyday!
I remember the night up on the 5th floor of the VA when the treatments and such applied to my problem opened up everything-I was told my screams were heard all over the 5th floor.
I never felt my time in the service was just. It certainly was not right-it was not what the dream of serving my country was like, but it surely carried into the stream of being free to seek treatment medically at the VA. It was guilt-doubled by not serving the full four years of my enlistment and sitting in the pack of veterans then in 1970′s who filled the walls of the VA from literally edge to edge. Guilt ran through my soul any time I went to the VA-anytime, then or now! I did not serve my country in the traditions of what we were raised to believe in-defending the Constitution of the United States, as did every other vet sitting wall to wall in the evaluation area of the VA. I had no combat story to tell, and nothing to relate to the others who lost so much in Viet Nam. I was ashamed to be there-it was like I was stealing.
If records were available they would show that my being treated at the VA was short lived-just at that time when rushed there-where I learned that I was impacted-and it was not until years later, I am almost positive it was after my stroke in 1998-I had no choice but to return.
Still my guilt persisted-and eventually my fear began.
I have ‘voices’! Literally hearing a voice called Chet telling me what I think is an old dead New Jersey Jewish guy named Zim (I am very serious about this) and I get ‘guidance’ or advice or criticism’s from Chet relaying what Zim is saying. Complicated? Be me! Any definition, I keep hearing the threats of what will happen to me there-and frankly, I believe them! I believe that I am in the way and an interference, as mentioned- a thief, stealing from those who legitimately injured-legitimately deserve the medical care, and that one day a ‘message’ will pop up on their computer screen and I will pop up as designated for the ‘shot’ or the ‘pill’ that will put me under-and as Myst said in her comment-put me back on the other side of the locked door!
How can I trust them? After all-as a 17 year old kid I trusted them-the US Military-the defender of nations-I trusted them and when I was thrown into the brig for NOTHING and hurt in the way that I was and for as long as I have been, no one came to my defense and aid! There was not one moment of care…so, why should I trust being safe in the Veterans Hospital? How can I trust?
Trust was stolen from me then in 1969 at barracks D!
They can do that-as Myst said-lock you on the other side of the wire! Once at a VA regular check up I was asked if I ever had thoughts of suicide? I answered YES just about every day! And the doctor asked me when my last thought was? I told her minutes ago in the waiting room-that likely was my last! Well-the shit hit the fan and right then I was told she could and should call the VA police…what are they going to do? Lock you up! I begged and cringed then saying that thoughts of suicide were practically typical for any day but that the love of God keeps me from doing so…it is stealing from God! This-by the way-from the same clinic where the nurse told me (later understanding she was joking) that we all were dying from a sexual transmitted disease…telling me this made my mind go into “do I have a STD?” with Chet whispering and muddling all real true sense of what she was saying…..” sex dummy!”…”don’t you have a sense of humor?”…”it was a joke”…”get it-we are all dying from a sexually transmitted disease-SEX”!! “har har” “lol” “hardy-har-har”….like trusting the VA to appeal for disability because of my PTSD and ‘trusting’ once again go to the DVA and tell a man I never met before in my life that I was raped repeatedly in the brig while in the USN….and he responds with some philosophy about “it is amazing to think homosexuals have a need to rape each other”!!??
So-I appreciate what Myst wrote in her comment, I see that I am not the only one who fears the VA environment!