Archive for December, 2006

barracks D-37 years 8 hours and 10 minutes ago!

December 31, 2006



snake in tree

Originally uploaded by jayfherron.

About this time on the last day of 1969 I was sitting in front of a U.S.Navy intelligence officer who was sitting there grinning and nodding his head in a disregarding way-his grin expelling a chuckle from down in his throat. He had just heard from me why I was in such disarray-I was black and blue and my nose had dried blood in it and my uniform top was soaked in urine because I had only just come to in the urinal in the toilet area of the barracks in the building next to us…I had been raped in that urinal-a long trough that hung from the wall.
I remember vividly the officer telling me to get used to it-something to the effect my dance card had been punched,and I was sent back to barracks D. New Years Eve.
Entering back through the gated door to the barracks D was like entering a room full of snakes-I saw my assailants,they looked like snakes with heads shaped like hands-finger tips with fangs.
I think I began hating the rest of my life right then.

the men in barracks D

December 31, 2006



snake in tree

Originally uploaded by jayfherron.

VETERANS RIGHTS and SEXUAL ASSAULT

December 29, 2006



VA stairs drawing-jay herron 2006

Originally uploaded by jayfherron.

In a few more days it will be New Years Eve and the celebrations will be going on from here to everywhere as they always do. I over heard a woman in the laundry- matt telling the clerk there that she and her boyfriend had paid 2300 American dollars for a motel room in Miami….all because they are attending a party there.
It is incredible as to how much gets wasted on just that one night-that one specific moment in time where time changes.
I never found much to celebrate.I rang in the new year of 1970 being raped in a toilet area of a detention barracks on a Navy base.
All through these pages I’ve been writing about this assault and the ways it has effect my life and lifestyle and relationships and hardships and yet have been trying to put together an example as to how I had a llife afterwards of reclusiveness-spending as much of it as a long distance trucker as I could.
A few years ago I got upset about several things at one time-the prison scandel at the Iraq prison -Abu Garabe (sic) was a prominant boost off the ledge but also the VA hospitals insistance that I take anti depressants to curb my feelings…I refuse. So I wrote a letter to a person in the mental health clinic there and after several weeks someone gave me a call and since then I’ve been treated for post traumatic stress disorder -PTSD.
I just want to put it simply-my life has been a session of disorder for too many years because of the things that happened -and how they happened. All of that can be explained by reading back into these pages of my life.
Something happened earlier this year at a veterans advocates office that made me aware of a problem-a very serious open festering sore of a problem. I was told by my therapist at the VA that I should apply for benifits-except I can’t see them as a benifit and find that term oddly out of line for the things I had happen in return…but,never the less-I accepted the idea and decided to go for some kind of compensation.
Ilearned quickly that the man who was my veterans advocate was a bigot. His first response to my telling him about barracks D was
” were they black” ?
I can almost say I sensed disappointment when I said my assailants were white.
A few months after that conversation there was a second incident that stunned me as if someone smashed me in the face-comments were made regarding the color of ‘highliter pen’ I should use to mark some papers-emphisis being on “would you like to use a pink marker” in reference to-you must be homosexual to have been raped.,as a matter of fact-this man also made the comment that one would never think homo’s would need to rape one another. You can imagine how that made me feel.
I never returned there,instead my file was moved to the VA in the city near me-honestly,the man I met there said about three words to me and none of them had an ounce of comfort in them…so,I decided to get an attorney.
Every Tuesday I go to the VA for therapy for my PTSD issues….I had also been going on Wednesdays too-but the doctor closed the group because we were a bit of a box full of baskets cases which I think was out of his league.
Because of my issues with large buildings and many people-I tend to arrive at the VA a couple of hours early to roam around and try to make myself comfortable and get familier with my feelings….and I pass the veterans advocates office there and often see the guy at work at his computer. Its not the same guy I first met there-the one with three words of empty encouragement,another guy who I once had a brief encounter with-a very rude encounter. Every time I see this man he is wearing ‘sneakers’….gym shoes! And that provokes my thoughts about how many rape survivors are in the veterans system and have never reported-or might someday consider reporting the incidents of the crime against them while in service and how its very likely they would happen upon the same mentality I have observed-the ignorence of thinking rape has anything to do with sexual pleasure-or homosexuality….or that blacks are rapist.
Sometime during the summer I read an article in the local county paper about the vets advocate where I first encountered the ignorence-he had retired and his assistent took over and in the article it listed her qualifications….she worked as a school custodian and once in the fish market at the local grocery store,and veterans this woman has no business hearing the details of anyones sexual assault. It is repulsive to think in this country as advanced as we are that the system has such a deep flaw in it. There are thousands of veterans who have experienced sexual assault-even rape while in service to our country….a wrong as wrong there can be,and yet there is no where one of them can go that provides the proper sensitive ears neccesary to hear the details of these crimes.
Write your congressman and help change this!

the hippie ho-ho guy!

December 25, 2006



jay santa

Originally uploaded by jayfherron.

Lets get this clear from the beginning-I’ve never liked Santa…even as a kid. I thought the guy was the biggest rip off -the bad kid from down the street always got go carts and ponies and all the neat stuff when at my house where I had been clearly a good kid for the month between thanksgiving dinner and the day Santa comes….and there under the tree was junk,and never what you asked the guy to bring. So I always thought-the cheap old basterd.
Then the experience in the Navy at barracks D just shoved the whole idea of crixmix in the can.
My biggest surprise at crixmix was in 1972 when my shotgun wedding bride and I somehow made it up to Washington DC to spend crixmix with my family…mostly because my mother wanted to see her new first grandson.
The stay began around thanksgiving and lasted through crixmix,so I went out to find a job for the month. To answer the question-my job history began being bleak from the beginning…I had probrebly quit a job in Florida just to get up to the city for crixmix…I cannot recall.

It was at the W.T.Grants at Aspen Hill Maryland where I was met with a frenzy of hurry up….”WE NEED YOU-QUICK!”. I had merely gone in the store to find a job unloading boxes and packing shelves but it seemed the expected Santa that was long over due for that afternoons “Santa Arrival” was never going to show up-at least sober and there I came-the only candidate fresh for the kill to be the replacement. I was a skinney long haired over tattooed hippie and they began packing a thick padding and Santa suit on me…and the next thing you know I got sent out a back door with a sack of goodies and was told to walk around to the front and make the best Santa I could muster.
It was only supposed to last that day,to just fill in for the drunk and jolly looking guy that was more fitted for the suit-be he must of gone way off the wagon because I stayed SDanta at Grants for the season.
It was kind of fun. There was this stupid obnoxious toy department manager that insisted on me tempting all the kiddies to get thier parents to buy this awful irritateing choo choo train…a gizmo that went choo choo choo choo for ever until it hit a wall or something and would cause it to turn automatically then it would go whiz whiz whiz….all the time. Three minutes of the blasted thing and you were tired of it and wanted death to come and save you. So I found a pair of tweezers and figured out a way to clip a wire inside the thing to disengage it. Oh-the toy manager guy would get upset and tell old Santa that he had to keep the train going and provided batteries…though I’d tell the guy I tried that. So…off the shelf would come a new one and for about three minutes the thing would whir and whiz and choo and bing bing and drive half the store who could hear the thing nuts. And-soon there after the tweezers came out of the un-jolly old elfs pocket….and clip. Silence.
Then the toy manager guy would notice the quiet and return with some fresh batteries and a few words for Santa….but to no avail. A new one came out of the box and new batteries were put in and sooner than you wanted….whir whir buzz buzz clang clang choo choo bing bing,and….clip would go the tweezers.
Hasbro or Mattel must of lost a fortune because of me that crixmix. After a dozen of those things mysteriously went on the blink the obnoxious toy department manager pulled them from the shelves…and Santa became the hero to the other department employees who hated the clanging choo choo buzz buzz and knew in secret that Santa was a wise man!
True story-theres me in the picture before and after.
Now-that too was a mystery to the kiddies. Part of the job meant I as Santa had to be at ‘Sants Breakfast with the Kiddies’ every Saturday morning-and W.T,Grants paid for my wifes breakfast just for showing up to be Mrs.Santa….who in fantasy is supposed to be this charming little old white haired lady…not a 19 year old hippie chick. That took some talent to explain that to all the kids-why I was hooked up to some young fox while away from the North Pole.
So dig it….the non-crixmixers somehow get led into the flock at times with out choice.
Stay happy and warm today….you too homeless Anthony in Toronto!

‘Sitting Bulldozed’

December 23, 2006



‘Sitting Bulldozed’

Originally uploaded by jayfherron.

I sold this painting yesterday-truth be known,I settled a small debt with it…but it was the other persons choice,they spotted it where it was sitting in my house and raved about it from the moment he saw it and even asked me how much I’d consider selling it for. We finally agreed to forget the debt I had carried with this fellow for a while.
‘Sitting Bulldozed’ tells a story of what they don’t teach us in history class.
Theres this story in the old testament about Moses. His own personal story is significant enough and he became a leader-although because he stuttered he feared the people would’nt accept him as a leader-but they did…but the story is about the people he led. They were slaves…Moses too-and they hated it and wanted freedom. So long story short-although much of the best parts are in the long story,but-Moses finally led the people out of bondage and a short time later the soldiers of the rich folks they fled decided to go find them and bring them back.
All of the slaves journey for many miles until they come to the sea-and a dead end and knowing they can’t turn around because they see the dust of the rich folks soldiers horses in the distance-then they start giving Moses the ‘what for’?
So Moses is very connected to God-funny,no matter what religions book you read,Moses is there. Interesting. And Moses asks God what to do and darned if the water in the sea did’nt seperate right before all those peoples eyes-and they were able to cross on the floor of the sea…of course,once on the other side the sea swallows up the rich peoples soldiers and again all the now freed slaves saw that too.
People as people can be…they are now free,no soldiers to catch them and a whole new life in front of them-seeing miracles of God and all….but,what do they begin to do? Complain!
So move along into the future-some folks in a place that did’nt much like them (because of religion) fled thier homeland and came over here and founded Jamestown and soon it became Virginia and soon they had enough people together they decided they needed a fort and so they chopped down loads of trees to build up the fort and eventually these people decided to say everything they did was in the trust of God-and thus they printed it on the money to make sure everyone knew we were ‘God bound and land found’.
Then it changed-someone heard about gold and the rampage began-and soon folks found out there was a need for oil…darned if it did’nt turn up too all of it on land belonging to the original nation of people,just like the gold.
Soon the land the people came to claim was free because God led them there was in a rampage to dig up all the gold and suck up all the oil and everytime it came to finding these grand things on land previously promised to the original dwellers-the new founders of the land would shove these people further away. The trail of tears!
‘Sitting Bulldozed’ and its relationship to Moses is easily seen on a crixmix day when all the family ( or so it goes in the crixmix card scenes) gather around the tree to find all the gifts in wonderous wrapping…and they plow into that pile of goodies and rip and tear the pretty paper into shreds and usually find the gift given is’nt what they were looking for and the gripes and complaints start shortly after the boxes have been opened. Gifts get reciepts and the day after all of crixmix is over the lines at WalMart are like the lines of the people following Moses.
And then-theres Sitting Bull. What a man! A leader of his nation-a leader of the true nation that dwelled on this land for generations before the fore fathers of the bull dozer operaters came. You can see Sitting Bull behind the group of people that are with Moses ( in the painting) and there is Moses pointing out into the sky at a miralce-a sign from God…and the people bow,but are probrebly bitching in thier mind about kneeling on dirt and rocks. In the painting you can see the city of the future…nicely placed where trees once stood and blocked the view,and where the people of Sitting Bull once lived…I think in the end the ones who survived were able to live out thier lives at Fort Sill in Oklahoma.
So yesterday my guest remarks about this painting and we get into a discussion about my art-if it has meaning or do I just scribble,and yes-there is a vision in what I paint or draw or paste together,and I gave him this explaination because that is what I kept seeing as I looked at this piece of cardboard before I began work on it.
Now a day,as I drive into the city nearest me-well,even the small town thats nearer yet…I see another section of old oaks being shoved aside for another strip of stores. Around here theres a nearly vacant grocery store-floundering along in bankruptcy,and heck-why not,lets get a bull dozer and push down them oaks and clear us a parking lot-and sure enough they gonna build a grocery store.Why not renovate the other store and make it work…instead of having now two vacant stores…like we do.
They built a ‘Wendys’ over an old graveyard in a town near here.
Its kind of like crixmix…hustle and beat yourself to dread that you got the right thing for the right person ( all of it made in China) looking as stressed as all the people you are passing in the mall ( where once a forest grew ) only to see the look of this ain’t what I wanted in the recipients face.
Its funny-two vacant grocery stores and ones been sitting empty for years and yet down by the interstate at each exit are a half a dozen folks with a card board sign looking for help. And across town theres a shelter-but it has to reject hundreds because they have thier 80 quota….and there across the county sits two empty grocery stores-empty,but they are bulldozing land to built yet a shiney new one. And the homeless sit by the interstate with hope written on a card board sign.
Thats what this painting means….Sitting Bulldozed!

a presidents son-LSD and the Navy !

December 22, 2006



jack carter-the presidents son

Originally uploaded by jayfherron.

Two guys the same age. Me and him.
We both share a tiny tidbit of something in common-a tidbit with a canyon of difference but yet a simularity that connects us like one of those rocks you see balancing on the pinnacle of another rock-just a small part of one connecting with the other.
We were both in the United States Navy about the same time. He was in schooling provided by the Navy and I was hopeful for the same thing.
Somewhere though the road takes a turn.
We were both discharged early from our service duty earlier than our alloted time for drugs.
Jack Carter admitted to his charges to ensure he got out…those are his words. I admitted to the charges to ensure I got out too…but I had admitted to the charges to ensure I might get out of barracks D,and out of fear.
Now there is a bigger difference. His charges were over the discovery of a large ammount of marijuana in the dormetory he shared with several other sailors and after being confronted with the charges Jack Carter added that he took LSD,in his words to ensure he got booted out of the Navy.
I wanted to be in the Navy.
My crime was being stationed with a brother who was jealous of his brother. I had-indeed-made an error in judgement…nothing earth shattering when you look at it,certainly nothing others had not tried before and took the chance. A simple bus ride to the Nations Capital-we did it all the time on the regular liberty bus,just one problem I did’nt foresee…and that was the snowstorm. In reality-I was AWOL,but yet I only had to be on ship and in crew to say ‘here’ and then my weekend pass was in effect…so when the bus reached the DC bus station I checked in with the military liason and did all the right things and was given the green light. They later sent my brother to personally arrest me.
I was accused of doing drugs. I had not once considered doing drugs-nor did I have any or any knowledge of any,however-they brought out that if it was discovered I had ever at anytime in my life done any kind of drug and they found this out…I would be sent to prison.
In the days before I enlisted…long before I knew I was going to be in the Navy I was at a gathering and someone popped a piece of paper in my mouth-it was LSD.
LSD was legally gotten in Washington DC-it was the origin of the term ‘head shops’ during the hippie days before it was made unlawful in 1967. Sandoz chemical company had laboratories a block off of DuPont Circle,I remember someone saying that the piece of paper was ‘sandoz’….a small piece of paper the size of a little tiny stamp from a dolls house-it was that small,but it had a punch and after I started following street lights which led me into the city and eventually kept me going for a few days,I was afraid my parents would find out.
I told my accusers about that night. Thats what got me placed in the detention barracks-barracks D.
I was’nt a drug abuser. I was only 18 years old and had only been drunk once-that was the day my baby brother was killed. I had only gone to the gathering with some other kids from my high school and as we entered the door to the party there was someone greeting us with these little pieces of paper. I think it happened all the time back then-unwitting LSD trips,given with out warning as to what you are taking.
So this one small bit of paper is what got me in trouble…if I knew all that I know now I could have kept my mouth shut and not confessed and things might have gone different-thats one of those things you’ll never know,but its most likely to be so.
I confessed to more than that after my body was attacked and assaulted in the way it was…I confessed because I was scared to death when they threatend me on the ship-and then again later when I had been raped and beaten and learned that no one was going to help me. I told them all they wanted to hear-and funny…re-reading the statements now are almost laughable because the things I said were so silly.
Jimmy Carters son confessed because he wanted to get out of the Navy…those are his words.
When Jimmy Carter became president he made a policy that all the guys that were given ‘general discharges’ for drug use in the military-because during the VietNam conflict they realized tons of guys in Nam were on heroin and smoking marijuana-even doing LSD,which is crazy to me…triping in a war?? So because of Carters son I suppose its why the president offered an amnesty and we could appeal to have are discharges upgraded. I appealed-wrote a letter honestly saying the truth…and it was denied. I still have the letter…and the denial. I did’nt realize until about two years ago that my DD214 discharge form says I recieved an ‘honorable discharge’….but my certificate clearly states ‘General under Honorable’ and that to me is a reflection of failure.
I do not honestly know anything about Jack Carter personally-he might be quite a guy…I don’t know. What I do know is that I found it offensive when he was running for senator of Nevada and he made his comments about his Navy discharge he seemed jocular about the whole experience and seemed to brush it off as a mistake an 18 year old kid could make. I don’t feel he suffered like I did,of course my place is not as a judge of him or his life or of anything he personaly has done-again,I don’t know anything about him….I just know the unfairness of the system of things in life…he admitted he had these drugs-and gets an upgrade on his discharge,a discharge he felt like doing nearly anything to get-just because he wanted out of the Navy.
I don’t know what happened to him when he was arrested-where ever they put him…was he safe,or did he go into harms way like I ended up in? I do sense he led a better life then I did. I don’t reckon he lost the favor of his family…nor do I believe he suffered from the post traumatic bizarre behavior that I trailed along behind-being homeless,being jobless-being afraid of personal contact…
It is also a funny thing-the evidence of his interest in his country. I recall reading that he had only just moved to Nevada a few years ago after living many years in Bermuda-or the Bahamas,certainly not in the continental USA…a fellow who lied to get out of the Navy because he wanted out,and he wanted to be senator?
I’ve stayed right here…only voted once-one time! That was for Jimmy Carter because he said he was going to offer the amnesty-I thought wow,heres a man I can trust,of course my lessons in trust keep getting smashed every time I begin a bond.
Two guys. One did something wrong and he shines. The other is accused…but did nothing on the scale that the other did,and he sits in shit most all of his life. Funny life!

my heads a mess…

December 21, 2006



bullhead

Originally uploaded by jayfherron.

When I was writing about DAMAGE control I was trying to explain how I tend to mess things up to be sure there is disorder,for some reason disorder makes more sense…
Like razor blades-some don’t seem to understand why a person would cut themselves and yet in my own actions I can see its almost the same thing. I don’t even know when its going to take over me but yet when it does I know full well what is happening and yet I cannot stop it.
I thought I had a great part of this under control-the DAMAGE control. A great secret of it I will not talk about here…but have to let in this that at one point in time I would do something that would almost ensure that I would get myself beat up-once landing me in the VA hospital back in the 1980’s….well,this has to be said too-I would do these things to try to re-enact the things that happened in barracks D.
I had’nt messed with DAMAGE control until something happened in June that put my feelings about being able to trust my therapist in jeopordy and this is complicated to explain but my therapist said some things that made me doubt her-and doubt the ability to trust,again. I left her office that day with voices muddled just as if I was hearing them through mud,all the while feeling like I was trying to walk through mud-waste deep mud.
When I regained myself-a hundred miles away from home and nearly in harms way but I woke up…I confessed this to Charlotte,my therapist ,and she suggested I join this group of other sexual assault survivors. I did.
Group was not for me. It took two months-three months to reach the final conclusion-this group idea is not going right…I actually felt I was going to lunge at the doctor last week and that scared me-I am NOT a violent person,but the man kept asking me questions and every answer I gave in his response to them he said I was wrong. Wrong?? This man is saying that to a man who endured day after day of torment at the hands of others and under the eyes of those who should have been protectors and not spectators-who ignored all they saw….and the ravages to my body,my rectum-my spirit…my family,nd this guy says my answers were all wrong. Well-to be fair…what he was saying is that what I was feeling was wrong?? He played a tape of masssage music in a dark boxed room-his office ( the other two guys in the group have’nt been faithful-so Doc and me were alone) and this guy wants me to sit there for fifteen minutes and to try to keep my eyes shut and listen to this bunk…and relax? In barracks D most of the assaults took place in a room nearly the same size as this doctors office…I felt so uncomfortable,and then he asks how I felt-I said I could smell the piss in the urinal where I was raped and could taste the filth in my mouth of my assailents makeing me do oral sex…all this because the woman speaking softly on the massage tape started to talk about smells and tastes. When the doctor said thats not what the tape was supposed to do and I was not listening …well,I flew off the handle-thank God I got restraint in myself because I really became upset and ready to hit this poor guy.
He’s trying to tell a guy who had people pay the price of cigerets to my keeper and for that price I was his ‘girl’….and this doctor says my thoughts are wrong?
The group broke apart yesterday.
I think it has to do with the doctor was’nt too comfortable that I told him I almost attacked him-I started to cry…it scared me that much-I could’nt harm a thing and it was so unlike me.
However-DAMAGE control is is full blast at this moment. Since then-last week after the massage tape was over…my phone rang ( the cell) and it was my younger brother. I could’nt answer the phone. I still have’nt answered the phone…its been a week now. Its about my dad-and I cannot hear the news,although my son has told me his grandfather has had two strokes,yet I am so afraid of what I am going to lose-things I never had any time before,but now it is for certain. I know its made my old mother worried…yet some way these things begin and I cannot stop them and I am on the high speed of DAMAGE control-and way out of control.
But-won’t have to do the group anymore….but I sure wish I could see Charlotte sooner than what the upcoming days allow.
I don’t think it will ever be easy to explain the extent of the damage that stayed with me ever since barracks D. My heads a mess….

the anchor of Depression!

December 19, 2006


mural

Originally uploaded by jayfherron.

…..my recent days have been subject to the effects of depression. If anyone of you who knows what this is like you will understand. I can’t seem to get up out of it-although the last few days have been better…I still feel like crap.
People don’t understand depression-they think its somene who is just sad and feeling low and folks…thats not it. It is painful-ones body reels from the pain-and being unable to stand up for any period of time…I have to fight to become motivated,and the past few days I have been off and on the fence of beating that battle-most of the time being battered back by this condition. My neck and arms and legs under the control of something I fight hard to keep control of-a monster of agoney who revives itself unexpectedly inside of my body and soul. Just let me hide under the covers in a darkened room.
I have yet to tell many things about my life-just when one might think I’ve told all there is to tell….nope,theres more. Just give me a chance to untie this anchor that binds me….

DAMAGE control

December 16, 2006



my kind of design

Originally uploaded by jayfherron.

In boot camp…Navy boot camp-there is a part of the training which is called ‘damage control’.It is a course in where the instructors place a mock section of a ship on fire and the boots learn how to control the fire. Hence the term ‘damage control’.
I really doubt if I can explain this…I really am not sure if I understand it all myself. I have written about it earlier-in one titled ‘razor blades and trust’…and to be honest-even when I think I have something under control I tend to lose it.

DAMAGE control ??
It is like this-I do the damage….and I have no control….or is it,I control the damage? Doing the damage controls me.
I do not know how to explain it-and this is in result from the events in barracks D,or at least how it all clings together…my failed Navy career. Except it was the Navy that failed me by not looking deeper into the statements I made to the officer the morning after the rape.
I had been charged with drug use! It appeared someone said that the morning I was deemed AWOL ( this is explained in earlier pages) and after the officer-investigator had learned that I had been raped and laughed about it I confessed to some things which when one reads those confessions can see the words of a simpleton and would wonder how someone could be in the position as this officer was and not see the stupidity of my remarks. Instead I was sent into a pit of vipers in the confines of barracks D and there endured nearly two months of humiliation and forced to do things that make my stomach turn at this thought.
So I was sent home a failure to a family that closed the door-although my mother always kept it cracked some,it took years to get it open to get through…and then that entry was always difficult.
I never had much self esteem,most of it being left behind in those days.I could’nt hold a job after the Navy-any time I’d get work a person would be on the job that reminded me of one of my assailents-or a situation of being underdogged would cause me a problem-and my being unable to control my ‘vocal anger’ when provoked would be a deciding factor in my employment. So so often I would find myself out of a job and thus my family would see me yet as another failure-after failure…after failure.
One of the outfits I worked for-off and on it was a primary place to work because most of the jobs there no one wanted to do and so it was usual for someone to come and go and come back again…I worked there so often that I developed a skill in scaffolding design and construction….no one wants to climb onto a pipe at hundreds of feet off the ground,and like trucking-its a fairly private kind of job to be up that high away from everyone else.
The company I worked for sent me to Purdue-Calumet University in Hammond Indiana to learn some engineering defined to scaffolding. There was an instructor there from New Zealand that was famous on his own for a scaffold design-and he remarked about a design I had done with was to suspend scaffolding under a foot bridge over the Sante Fe River in Florida.
I remember wanting that recognition to come from my father…instead it came from a man across the other side of the world.
It is incredible to me how I have been a part of things so large-like when as a trucker I hauled objects for NASA that were so costly NASA made us watch a film made just because this high dollar part was being hauled across country on a big truck,or…I have helped in a critical way to build some of the prominant buildings here at home and across the souhtern states…and my own family has not one clue that is so.
The DAMAGE control goes to work.
My father is going to die-I’ve been called , its now been several days…I have’nt been able to call back. I cannot find the strength to go to where they are. My heart aches for my mother-and my body feels the motions of my fathers part of my spirit slowly going out of my body….they are probrebly all angry that I have not called. They most certainly do not know what this means to me-that when my father dies along dies the ever again chance and hope for his recognition-the want for his love,to be able to show how much I tried.

The telephone is ringing out in the front of the house and I am afraid to answer-and see….it is this thing about DAMAGE control that over takes me because I am realizing I’m doing the wrong thing….just like any other time of DAMAGE control. Its funny. What happened to me in the Navy was not my fault-I did nothing wrong…I merely was trying to impress my family,make a quickie trip home-say “surprise…its me!!”, and it all went wrong. Yet I carry this guilt-and this shame….and this inability to do it right.
When I am supposed to get it right it does’nt connect right in my head like trying to plug in a lamp and missing the holes of the plug.This time it is the worse I’ve ever done…I can’t hear the message about my father-it will take too much of me away if I do.
Rape!! Rape!! It took so much of me,crushed my life…and a silent criminal it was,and still is.
Thats all I have the strength to say.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder-PTSD

December 14, 2006



the door to barracks D

Originally uploaded by jayfherron.

….or,still sick!
I began treatment for PTSD nearly two years ago. I did not know what was wrong with me was a known sickness,nor did I know I was sick. I did know I carried fears and phobia’s with me through out my adult life and I did know that much of the fanatic ways I operated in my daily life were’nt normal-and though they were’nt clear to me as PTSD they were clearly results of the way I was treated in barracks D ( you have to read most of these pages to understand-barracks D ).
The holidays are coming up…every one is passing the change beggers at the grocery store,me included…those guys ringing the bells for the Salvation Army just as they did way back when I was a kid-except back then the bell ringers wore crisp uniforms and there seemed to be more enthusiasm. But still people are saying to me to have a happy crixmix…asking if I have special plans?
It is a season for me to remember the impact of the reality of the time of year and nothing more,especially not a time for crixmix cheer-not for me.
The impact of reality is what I am showing in my painting-the door to barracks D. Perhaps I should attach it to crixmix cards and send them to family so they can see what a mental wreck I have been…and why I am so indifferent about crixmix.
I was stationed on the USS Vulcan crixmix season of 1969-a young sailor only 18 years old and weighing in at 120 at best….my first crixmix away from home-we called it Christmas there,my folks setting up the house with glitter and lights and a tree.
They set up a tree in the galley of the ship-heck,they even had a Santa guy so all the fathers on the ship could bring thier kids aboard to visit daddies and see the big red man….so the crixmix stuff was an inspiration for us lads new to the service and first time being away from the closeness of family. I was dissappionted about missing the days of ‘cheer’ at home for the most specialist day of the year….but excited to be going home for New Years weekend.
In the course of my treatment at the VA for the PTSD issues I was offered a sot in a group…well-it was more a suggestion that I went along with. I hate it and am wanting to back out and yet the fear of being assertive is in full gear and I have been sticking it out-reluctantly. It is almost killing me to go-it is especially worse when the other guys do not show and it is me with the doctor-and frankly….I don’t think he really understands what he is dealing with in any of us,me in particular. I leave there with an anger-and really…fear for him because at times he provokes me in a way that I feel like swinging at him to knock his ignorence square. Odd-violence has never been a thing for me-EVER….but the way the guy questions a certain thing and you give the only possable answer back just to be told that is not the answer??? I’m sorry doctor-thats the answer and ask me ten years from now and that will be the answer.
Yesterday after leaving the VA my cell phone went to ringing and it was my brother…my only living sibling-and I could’nt answer the phone. Our dad has been sick for a little over a year-and the message on the answering machine says he’s in intensive care. I have’nt responded back-I’m not sure how to.
I was greeted with a closed door in 1970-after the rapes and after my discharge….my disgraceful discharge-which is all my family could see,there was no talk about the events in barracks D….or no reality that I was there for one reason,my brother! ( he’s been dead five years now ).
My heart longs for the truth to be known to my family…but that will never happen-except I believe that my father is already gone and God is showing the sons life my father ignored,and showing the love that son has always tried to convey…to blank eyes and hardend heart.
Its funny ha ha odd funny how the thought of rape is just in the confines of the assault itself. It may be that way for the assailent-but the rape was not ended at the finish for them…it continued and continued and kept on going and it still continues to this very second in my life. My heart wants to scream for my fathers love in return…love me dad? love me!!!
The left overs are too stale to refresh.
Stuck in time for all of us is 1970….always the stigma of ‘Jay could’nt make it in the Navy’…never the question-why? what happened?
So it is expected that I will fail the family and not arrive to see my father hooked up to machines…or is he in a casket? Either way-I want to gather him up a plead for his love and give him the understanding I was not a failure…
I find it facinating-the numbers of people who have read these pages of my life now know more about me than my own family does. I am ripened for thier blame…it will be that way if he dies and I am not available,it is that way any way. Strangers in this world whom I’ve never met-and yet earn recognition from by thier comments of what I have written,and I have been blessed by that-these people who have done what my own family has not-taken an interest in my words and my thoughts and my travels.
Theres more to say…it is just hard to convey it at this time.