the bridge-for Veterans Rights

oleno bridge being scaffolded

Originally uploaded by jayfherron.

I know by the way Word Press gives us statistics on how people have come to find our blogs-the search engine mechanism of the internet and the words and phrases people enter to find what it is that they are seeking…that there are others who are just like me.
One year ago I can swear on ten thousand Bibles that I would have never had a computer in my house-I long ago destroyed all the televisions that were here because I hated how much time the things stole from me and all because my mind was foolish enough to get sucked into its dillusions-that was almost ten years ago,and so the computer was a step above a TV to me and held more trash,so it had to be bad-and banned. But as some old fart once-never say never…and here we are in the sand hills of Florida so far back in the boon docks I share my house with birds and possums,and heres a computer-complete with internet.
You were right,old fart-never say never!
As the title of my blogs states…this is my story about being a male rape survivor. For over 35 years it stayed my story-my private inner secret…my private inner hell.
But this isnt just my story-as Ive come to learn,but that of many men (excuse me please woman) and that this not readily thought about-no one really considers the word rape being attached to a man,except the man as the attacker…speaking in general-and more so the fact that rapes in the military are not widely advertised and written about but yet it is a bold fact that it happens there just as much as does in any society any where.
Ive already written several times in these pages about my assaults-and my post traumatic disorders and the fact that I have been undergoing treatment for over two years at the veterans hospital and I want to continue to write about the current times and the reason this computer became a resident in house where no television lives….and I promise-none will ever come here again! (never say never-a quote from an old fart)!!
The morning of my rape I was told by an officer to get used to it-I was in a detention barracks and the indifference the the officer had regarding my bruises and my fear and my tears was enough to shut me up for all these years.
I had grown into a life of drinking and drugs-all to hide from truth,my truth…my life,and finally after a stroke at the age of 46 I found soboriety and clearer thinking-far from the freedom of the past-but still living in the calous I had become accustomed to.
One day the VA nurse was asking general questions-one being ‘was I depressed’? and yes-I was and get there sometimes so it was asked if I wanted to talk to somebody and so at the time I thought it was a good idea…but in the meantime I was instructed to take some pills and the pills made me feel ‘high’…and I liked the feeling,but I became aware of the way it was making me feel was like I was on mesculine and I didnt stay that way and it concerned me about refusing treatment at the VA because I was afraid they could use it to toss me out of the system-the only medical care I can get.
So I wrote the VA a letter saying that I tried so many times to get drunk to forget-and that was only temporary-and drugs…the money I spent on drugs,but yet….as even today-the memory is still alive. I told them what happened-and they responded…several months later,as so it is at the VA.
I entered treatment-one on one therapy each week for two years now…and the suggestion I appeal for benifits was given there at my therapists office,so that was something at this time in my life I felt would validate the losses of over the years-because my assaults may have ended but the fears remain.
This-my friends…you guys that have been where I have been,and are most likely like me…still there,this is why the computer is here !!
I went to appeal for benifits-NOW let me be clear,there is no benifit-there is not even any money that can wash the past away,or help the past you carry with you into the future…but to have the opportunity to tell the Navy what really happened will help me,especially if they step up to the plate and say a wrong was done.
I appealed for benifits-and I was met with bigotry and stupidity and the moments it took to learn that this was the situation sickened me and yet it also angered me…and it was my immediate reaction to quit treatment-and quit my claim against the Navy-and give it all up and get drunk. And I did worse-big worse-I went into my mode Ive always called ‘DAMAGE CONTROL’ and tried to find harm…self harm,damage-like the cuts of a razor blade in the hands of a troubled teenager.
I found ‘DAMAGE CONTROL’…but thankfully it woke me up instead of getting me harmed-and I realized if I went through with this by destroying the hope for validation that the men that raped me in barracks D would be winners again-winners over me. So I decided to fight for this-but it became clear soon enough that the bigotry and ignorence that met me at the veterans affairs office in my county was not isolated to that office-but seemed wide spread…and seemed unfair and unattentive and insensitive to other HONORABLY DISCHARGED veterans,honorably-meaning those who served and volunteered to serve and because of the violence created by sexual assault took leave from the point of the situation by any means open to them….by fleeing in any way they can.
We are busy in America telling other countries how to become a democratic society when our own is so backwards in this area of sex related crimes-especially when they occour in the very machine that is used to introduce democracy to other nations-the military.
So the Dell company said if I sent them 22 bucks a month they’d send me a computer and I agreed only because this makes me so mad-I had no other way to speak out about this…my PTSD makes me afraid to go into a Wal-Mart so there was no other way to say what I want to say with out being in the public-and now that Ive started speaking through this machine to people in the world it has become a therapy as well as a voice.
The hope is that I can through this medium encourage another and another and another to speak out-and join me in fighting my attackers by fighting back at thiers-if we sit back and do nothing they will still have power over us.
See the bridge in the picture? That bridge is for all of survivors-so all need to do something about getting it built. If you are reading this then you got a Dell too and have the ability right there in front of you-in the privacy and safety of your own home…the means and power at your fingertips to speak up and write your words and feelings-and write them to those who count. The more of us that do this the better the bridge can be….and the faster that it can be built.
The neat thing I found out about this computer is that I can choose to use my name and say who I am….and no one can attack me,and my words can be put into the hands of those who can make a difference with them.

4 Responses to “the bridge-for Veterans Rights”

  1. Mike E Says:

    Glad you did. Your blog is a gigantically helpful to me.


  2. Mike E Says:

    Glad you got the computer that is

  3. B.J. Says:

    I hate Dell Computers. Having worked on them at work, I grew to despise them. Anyone with a computer of any kind on the net can read your blogs, it doesn’t have to be a Dell. I’m on an Avaratec Laptop. Yep, you’re out there alright. I remember when I first was at your place. I believe that was the time the Mailman was mailing you your letters. Oh yes, and the roads were atrocious. When I was in Baghdad driving, riding over the sands, it reminded me of the roads going to your house. The good thing is, you don’t have to run to the Library to e-mail me anymore.

  4. jayherron Says:

    …this is a war zone-the war against the veterans adminisration-who cares what weopon manufacture made my weopon-Dell-IBM…a pen and a paper-it is a war,who cares what I battle with-Im just glad I have the tool.
    Its guys like MikeE that says enough-he says my blog helps him…and that is what I am wanting to do….Help someone!
    Thank you Mike-you inspire me!

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