DAMAGE control

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.

One Response to “DAMAGE control”

  1. Mike E Says:

    For what it is worth:

    My father died in 1999 — a half-decade before I figured out that he raped me. We hadn’t spoke in years. Though I’d no clue how crooked he was…

    …I knew for a fact that he lacked the decency to give his own damn son the deal straight.

    I’m peering deep this moment, Jay, looking for some Emotion. And you know what?

    I couldn’t rustle the faintest regret pang loose from my heart even if you paid me.

    Still…I wish him RIP. Maybe because I figure it likely he was kiddie-raped by his own jack-ass father.

    What can I say?

    So long Pops! And thanks for taking me to Disney World.

    Ride The Breeze,
    Mike E

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