Archive for August, 2007

how do you…??

August 31, 2007

the American flag
Originally uploaded by jayfherronI do not know how you can educate someone about the wrong it is for unwanted touches and unwanted sexual contact when the very ones who are to stand out to our people and the youth of our nation are arrested seeking glory hole sex in a mens restroom-like the senator of Idaho,Larry Craig….or the congressman from Florida-was his name Foley?…who appears to have preyed on teenage boys.
All over our country are children who have been assaulted in ways that are hard to talk about…the State of Florida just convicted John Couey for his rape and murder of a young girl,and now the the arguement goes out that he had a rough childhood and it was begged that he would recieve mercy,the same kind of mercy he refused his young victim…he buried her in a garbage bag-alive! Not more than 100 miles north of the Florida state line in Brunswick Georgia a woman and her husband and her son molested and murdered a boy only six years old…they dumped him in a ditch hidden in a garbage bag!
Soon-just as in the Foley case….the senator from Idaho is going to break down and blame childhood sexual molestation-he’s being pushed more and more into that corner,so soon it will be the excuse.
What really troubles me is that these are the very people I hoped to reach and to earn their ear in regards to the plight many veterans may face as survivors of sexual assault while in the service to their country….how can I do that with deviant behavior being done and with out regard on where its being done-in a mens restroom?? And,by whom…a republican senator!! (are’nt they the Bible thumpers-the moral society??)
In Alachua County Florida it is not legal for anyone to enter a school and teach the youngsters it is wrong-and illegal-for a neighbor or a relative or a stranger to touch you in an inappropriate way….it is wrong and illegal,but we are not permitted to take that message into the schools-that is wrong and illegal too….where it could make a difference,but yet here is a man who is supposed to represent what is right and what our freedoms are about….why our kids are being killed each day in Iraq-things we are supposed to believe in,and he soils it in a mens restroom.
How disgusting. How disturbing.

there are others…

August 28, 2007

self portrait

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

One of the problems of having been victimized is that we don’t realize how many others there are. We cinderblock our own world to keep others from entering and yet we don’t always take the time to realize how many of us there are. I know there are more-you and I know there are many,and yet,somehow,we tend to think towards our own selves and our own problems-and not think about the others. This is really so in the terms of male rape. There are very few. Wrong!
They throw out numbers at us-some of them say one out of every 33 males have experienced sexual assault…I believe that includes rape. To me-any unwanted touch in an inappropriate way is sexual assault,or a form of rape.
I am not an authority where numbers and statistics are concerned,I only know what it is like to live like this.

Perhaps like most of us-I lived with this in my own silence. I was told when it happened to get used to it like it was a part of an every day chore like doing the wash. My parents rejected me upon my return as a failure…kicked out of the Navy was deemed a failure. There was nobody at home to nurture me and understand the truth. So I lived with it-not well,but as it hardened with time…I learned to live with it.

Why do things happen? I am not about to begin trying to give my explainations….but when I was told over thirty five years later I needed to report this and seek validation the very person that was supposed to guide me through the hoops to sit in front of a person of justice to tell my life to….that person,my advocate,made conclusions based on bigotry and ignorence. There could be no justice when a man belives in himself that men are only raped in homosexual lifestyles…or , if otherwise-the attackers had to be blacks.

Out of sickness and rage , anger drove me to this place where I write about it. I have always been sick and tired of the words echoing in my head…get used to it…and then have someone who you are supposed to trust be so sincere in the way they think-men who are raped are homosexual?? the rapists are blacks….??
It angered me at first to realize that other veterans are out there that have victimized while in military service…and this is what any of us can come to expect? A veterans advocate who has no idea of the filth and shame a victim feels…I’ve come to learn some areas dont even require a veterans advocate to be a veteran-more less have any training in sensitivity in matters regarding sexual asssault.
Then when I started writing about all of this someone commented…another male,another victim,another survivor. He was’nt assaulted by fellow servicemen…he was assaulted by his father. There’s a situation where there is no veterans advocate…no advocate what so ever. And then another comment…from yet another man.
There are’nt many….comments! But I know that there are many male survivors-we just havent all started to speak out yet.
Elsewhere in these pages of writings I made a big deal out of a letter that was written to the Gainesville Sun (Gainesville Florida-newspaper) where a woman-a victims advocate in Alachua County-wrote that men were responsible for rape and victimization of woman,she stated we have over 50 % of the female population in bondage (where she got her numbers-I am not sure). I submitted a rebuttal ( as a male survivor ) and the paper did not publish it. I submitted a second rebuttal-this time with numbers and facts…the paper again shelved my comments. This woman wrote that we are simular to homeland terrorists…men,we are considered that way ( I suppose by the Gainesville Sun,too…) the letter is somewhere in the pages of these writings-it is shocking to be in a progressive city such as Gainesville Florida-home of the University of Florida…and to be so biased and one sided and to turn thir heads on a reality….men,males-are victimized too.
The State of Florida recently saw the trial of Air Force Captain Devery Taylor. He made headline news for being sent to prison for 50 years for the rape of other servicemen…service-men! The State of Florida also has a web site full of males who have victimized other males,the convicted are classified as sexual offenders-many who have preyed on young boys (…and girls) . But the ones we hear most about are the attacks on the girls…and this is wrong-we are socially accepting and protecting that our young ladies are being assaulted,but not our young men. We men are considered by the feminist movements to be at fault-we are considered the victimizers…this should be considered a huge mistake but is accepted because in our society we don’t open up enough to draw notice to the reality that men have been victims too….for years and years! Except-we have to be silent about it,after all…we are supposed to be men,these things don’t happen to men.

I am pleased by the responses-the comments made by other males here in this forum,sadly – not enough are coming forward,but each one that does will eventually bring another ,just by their own presence. We need to stand up-suck in that stigma society places on us…we are men,this don’t happen to men…and stand out to bring more help and understanding and healing to the many who are still hiding in the fear.
Men are victims too….there are others!

the BIG mouth! THE feeble MIND!

August 26, 2007

an apartment-no view
Originally uploaded by jayfherron

The Holy Bible has a verse in James (3:8) about the tongue…the talking tongue-and describes it as full of deadly poison

On board the USS Vulcan we had a guy named Billy who was always coming into the middle of a conversation and asking who we were talking about. Billy was a chatty fellow-mostly talking about things he did not know about but pieced together from snippits of information gathered here and there. He was the kind of guy that was as low level as the rest of us but always seemed to have information from above somewhere-as if the brass spirited him off to the side somewhere and said “Billy,do not tell a soul…” and of course,Billy would.
That day my brother Frank came from the Vulcan to arrest me -there was a line up of men who passed the hatch (doorway) to look at me sitting there in a chair,one of those men was Billy…the only one of them that I knew!
It was shortly after that the master-at-arms and my brother Frank arrived with papers for me to sign and accusations that had been made….one that I was doing drugs,they said Billy told them everything. Billy had no idea what he was talking about. There was never any drugs.
That same night I was taken to barracks D,the following day was New Years eve 1970…my life was changed forever.

I really have no idea what the conversation my brother and Billy might have been like…I only know the man had no truth in what he said.

Sometimes it is hard to explain things to another person…sometimes you try to relate why this is this and that is that and it seems in my case I do not feel I do a very good job of it-mostly because all of this is so outrageous and so hard to comprehend,so hard to believe!
Once a long time ago-one of my sons (then a kid about eight) came screaming out of the woods. His eyes were packed with sand and I had to take a hose and wash it out….it took about 20 minutes and I was scared to death. In my fear a rage began. My other son had thrown the sand and after we got the sand out I whipped the boy. It was the only time I ever did that-ever!

I was called to the school and the childrens services were there and I told my story as to why I had lost control.
The woman from childrens services looked at me and responded that the day before she was driving her elderly mother to an appointment and there was a car crash-caused by the other driver. The lady confessed that she told her mother that if the driver in the other car was’nt dead she was going to kill him…!! If that had not had happened to that woman she would not have been able to understand the way I was explaining what happened.
Its just that fine of a line.
Have I throughly confused you?
It’s the difference of explaining a complicated situation to someone who has never been in one before…if that woman had not had the accident she would have never believed my story!

This is in a way to to clear up my latest black hole…my therapist being absent for so long-and why. It is also a way to try to understand what happens in the feeble mind when one ( such as myself ) allows things to eat at me and eat at me and the skitzo voice in my pathetic head starts whispering….you are at fault…you are the one…and guilt overcomes rational thinking. Only those who can understand mental illness can understand what I trying to say (by those who can understand-I mean those who are mentally ill ) the way hidden voices urge you towards self doubt….
I have learned a persons lies have gotten my therapist in trouble-better said,under suspicion.
I know no more than that…I lie,I know more than I can say.
What I can say is that for another persons self need they used a fabricated scenerio to draw trouble for my therapist….to gain something for ones self they have lied and the lie has damaged many others,not just the one person the liar shot the arrows at….all of us who seek the goodness of this healing time in our lives-and some disenchanted individual tells a lie and causes so much damage for just their gain.
How many of us others who are in the dark about why our treatment has been halted…how many of us had thoughts of ‘damage control’?? I did….I began it,slowly-but for sure it was under way because in my feebleness I blamed myself…
who else has the same kind of guilt? Who among those who have been seeing this faithful person have been effected by the tongue? and its poison? And how easily the damage came,with out consideration for anyone else but the liar. How close has somebody come to hurting themselves because of this one flick of the tongue?

You see – I can understand what that damage does.
Billy,for what ever he got out of it…lied!! His lie help boost me into the future I had…I bet he never even considered that. Just as the liar in Charlottes case.

a calmer sea…

August 23, 2007

fleet II

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

I had written to a mother last night giving her advice about her teen who is about to take off on a new step in life and become a Marine. I told her as soon as the bus arrives in Paris Island the drill instructors will be coming through that narrow door and yelling like theres no tomorrow…my advice was for the teen to be prepared and remember that what they are yelling is to get off that bus and get their feet in the yellow footprints (those which are painted on the pavement) and the rest will go from there.
I remember my first morning in boot camp…the first few hours. We must have gotten there at two in the morning and was handed a blanket and led to a barrack with a bunch of others all ready sleeping and we found an empty and joined them in slumber.
I think my eyes got to sleep about two minutes after I lay down. The thing I will never forget was what seemed to be two minutes after that the overhead lights came on and there was a face in mine saying we were’nt at mothers house anymore-except this guy had his face in mine and was screaming at the top of his lungs…all around us were guys with garbage can lids-metal lids…they were banging them and screaming and yelling for us to get our feet on the ground-the deck they called it!
It began. My very first thought was-who ever this guy is I’m going to do what he says…
I think if you rebel from it in the very beginning you will never make to the end-you might,but at the bottom of the list. I made it because I wanted to be there….it was the most organized order of things and it fit me. No style-everyone wore the same thing-it was equal….is that why they call them uniforms?
Now theres one thing you have to understand-I’m not a war monger. But I believe you need to defend your house.Of course-in my day we were all raised watching Vic Morrow on ‘Combat’ and in us was implanted the thoughts that being combat soldiers was the greatest thing and yet being confused by watching Peter Jennings crouched in a rice paddy somewhere in Viet Nam telling us about the war over there. Not the same war Vic Morrow was fighting.
Being in Washington DC during that era was confusing too….you understood things were wrong (in Viet Nam) because of the protests which were right there at home and not just on the TV set. And the closer you are to it the faster the talk reaches you.
But this was America and the American flag and the heritage we were brought up with-and,admittedly…things were looking better in the military than were at home and in high school.
I enlisted when I was 17….I had to wait until I was 18 before I entered active duty-but officially I was in. Enlisted means I went in. In those days guys like me were sweating the draft card age and the number. I had my draft card no longer than around 10 days-I gave up in boot camp. No one that I know of really was wanting to go to Viet Nam. I can honestly say-I did’nt want to either,but I feel I wanted to do my duty…..why expect everyone else to do something and not yourself?
The Navy had their guy. I wont say boot camp was the greatest tme in the world (but in a crazy way-Ilike it)-but since I made a silent pact with the guy that woke me up the first day…to do everything he says,I made it. Swimming was a challenge-I still cant swim,but there was a time that that looked to hinder me. We got around that.

I loved the ship.
The ship-the USS Vulcan-was the coolest place in the world. A huge workshop-one end to the other. It was like a floating woodworking shop from high school but on a giant scale…there was a foundry-and metal welding shop and cabinet shops and pipe shops…this ship could build anything.
My brother made it pathetic but it was easy enough to endure because of teenage resilience I suppose. I had my own places to have adventure in on board that ship and places enough I could keep away from him-some of the times.
They told me I could finish my education-they told me I could become an officer. My brother told me it was bullshit.

I did nothing wrong while I served our country.
I was not a trouble maker-I was sober and up right and finding the new challenge for the rest of my life as wonderful.There was a future.
If our ship had been attacked and I was handed a station to fire a gun-no matter what…I would have done it.
Yesterday I explained how I had to tell my story to a retired gunny seargent….I dont know if one can understand how belittled I feel-how ashamed I feel about the little time I did serve….7 months there about,two in the can….most literally,bent over a urinal in barracks D. How belittleing it is to tell your value to a person who doesnt see it the same as you…they see it as should be wounds from on the battle field-and not the kind of wounds I was telling them about,and dont see like I do.
Any person alive could have had the same thing happen.
Theres no one unlike me who would not attempt to try to get home for a surprise to their family on a holiday…we have the holiday spirit driven into from the day we can think and realize this is a special time….a special time.
That was my crime-thats what I did wrong while in service to my country. A stupid move…I admit,because of the risk of time. But the buses to carry us to dowtown Washngton DC were regular and it was possible to do it and make the turn around in enough time to get there and get back to the ship. It was done all the time.
I never put into account it would snow-never thought…just wanted to run home and say ‘happy new year’ and run back….my first holiday away from home,I just wanted to do that.
That was my crime-that is why I ended up in barracks D.
It snowed. It snowed so bad that everything was shut down to a dead stop.
Somebody said to me yesterday that I’m making too much noise about this-in their wisdom they suggested it could backfire on me and perhaps I will not win the claim I have against the VA for the damages….I cant lose what I’ve never had-and man oh man how people cant understand….theres nothing they will ever give me that will ever erase this memory from my mind-nothing!!!
What will I win if I win??
I want to be validated…I want to be a valid veteran! I want somebody to say I was wronged…I wish we could go back and look,because you would see!

…”be discreet”

August 22, 2007

little window Pete

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

I began writing these looks into my past one year ago-almost-because I figured as one guy (a fairly reclusive one at that) no one is ever going to hear what I have to say. Besides-I’m too damned tongue tied and nervous in front of people…so hearing me was hopeless. Then I figured out that the computer had potential to reach others and in a wider range-faster. I need to reach others.
I seem to have ruffled some feathers-or maybe its just that I am getting attention from those I am shooting arrows at….the Department of Defense seems to be looking at my journal-as any of you know about this WordPress dashboard,one can find how others have come across your blog-links are shown,and search engines-and by howdy…there was the DoD. Its fair. I often go there to read their materials on how sexual assault cases are responded to….looking for laws that might have bearing on my case.
I should have left well enough alone-it has become a rather high hurdle,more than I ever thought. If you ever want to know what feeling small is like-take on an entity like the government.
I was content as a trucker-the solitude and inability to be able to get attached to others was fitting for a guy like me. All I had to do was go from one place to another and never be bothered by another person…the peace was priceless.
I’m going to far out of the range I need to be in here…theres something amiss-my missing therapist,and now the reason why…??
I’m sorry. I am weak. The consistantcy of being there every Tuesday on time every time has been disturbed-and seemingly halted…and dang if I aint going through some rough times about it. The night before last was seemingly going to be the peak of it-I could’nt sleep…and I got pissed off because this quiet and unknowing about Charlotte has been knawing at me and knawing at me until I am darned near sick from it.
So-in an outrage…at 3AM in the morning I call the VA and dial an extension for a doctor up in the clinic where Charlotte is and I spouted out how unfair this whole thing is.
I got a call back.
The doctor gave me a confidence….”be discreet”,she said.
So-out of respect for Charlotte…I am not going to say what I was told,however…
may I say it like this??
I think I’ve ruffled some feathers (hey-this may not even have anything to do with me-so as it was told to me).
I think I’m saying too much for some peoples peace of mind-those who would rather I just shut up and go away. Heck…I was away until you all brought it up (by you all I mean the VA). For 35 plus years it was my burdon and my shame-silently. None of this-the computer and the writing-would have ever happened if I had not gone to see a veterans advocate-and going there was the VA’s suggestion,actually encouraged…
I thought times had changed-things were better….I could trust the system-finally!
The veterans advocate listened to my story as to what happened to me in the Navy. His ‘ball cap’ propped on his head as he took in my story….I was’nt wounded in combat like most of all the veterans he meets. I was raped and repeatedly sexually assaulted for nearly two months….not something ‘gunny in a ball cap’ was used to hearing!
His comments riled me…gee,you never would think homosexuals need top rape each other! Thats pretty much how he said it…I gagged. What an ignorant statement (and…is it legal?) which was enhanced with more ignorance….were they black? meaning my attackers. Assumption-conclusion…with no foundation except an ignorant gunny seargent who had no business hearing my plea for justice.
I wish like hell this never started…except it did and out of my control in barracks D on new years eve (way early in the morning-hours from the midnight call of 1970).
I said something then-that was my last time…until about three years ago.
I would have lived my life the rest of the way alone with this-quiet and silent as has been. This,by the way,is not an incidental thing with me…each morning-every morning I awake with the memory being right there….I see it the moment my eyes open. It comes more alive when I have to go to the bathroom-real alive. Its worse when I shower and try to clean myself…get over it,some have said….never will that be until the peace of death comes for me-never will that be.
I have great concerns about what is happening with my therapist…I am in a state of belief that it IS my fault-that I’ve said TOO much.
I will say this-the request to be discreet came because I was told there is an investigation….hmmm,now that eases my feelings (not…not at all) because I open up my email the other day and find out a Navy CT is reading my blog (and I hope for good intentions…but a CT?? woe,thats a strange and interesting job-in the Navy that is a cryptic message reader)) and the request was made for advice-I truely hope the advice I offered was encourageing and helpful. But then I check my ‘stats’ on my WordPress and see the Department of Defense is looking…and then I’m told there is an investigation?? And-it has nothing to do with me…???ding dong…ding ding dong…not the right bell to plant that seed in!!

runaway truck ramp…

August 19, 2007

runaway truck ramp…

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

I’ve driven down many mountain passes in my trucking life,but none have really gotten my respect more than the road going east into Green River Utah.
Along most all of the mountain routes is an escape ramp…the runaway ramp which is an upward hill made of loose sand and gravel. The gravel is supposedly so deep it bogs the truck down as it trys to force itself up that hill.
Of course-if you are going up that hill you’d have a better description than I would. I’ve never had to use one. This pass has numbers of them-I think 10….but its been a long time! I do know at the very top of this grade is a mandatory truck pull off-there is a place to check your brakes and there is a huge map of how the road is going to go with every runaway ramp marked.
The catch is-to start from the top in a low low gear and the jake brake engaged…thats the engine brake that many use mistakenly on flat ground to slow the truck to bring it to a stop. A jake is to keep your motor from over riding your transmission and rear end-it keeps it all slow.
Believe it or not-a skilled driver can do this grade at around 35mph…and hardly hit the brakes. Others have’nt been so wise.
It is all a matter of collecting your self at the top to try to keep your head squared away…calm yourself-and realize if you don’t you could screw up so badly it could be worse then ending up in a runaway ramp.
Sometimes we do things that seem right but are’nt the way we percieved them. Like this grade-like most grades…they always look flat when your are going down them. This photograph shows that-the terrain decieves you. And often times one can get caught on a grade and before they know it the grade is steeper than it seemed.
There is an opposite side-it takes so long to get up it that I can’t type that much.
One thing for sure-you realize how tiny you are compared to all that truck and weight as you begin the descent.
Sometimes that happens to me mentally with this sickness I have….the way of life with PTSD.
When a truck gets runaway it is because the thing is rolling so fast the brakes are ineffective-they just smoke and sometime burn right off the truck…but they ain’t stopping you.
I’ve become confused of late because of my ‘missing therapist’ at the VA. I’ve sort of lost it and became like a runaway truck….
There has been a call saying my therapist has been taken off the patients she has to (I guess) disconnect for a while.
Mean while we are going down that grade and our wheels are beginning to go faster than our logic….at least mine-see,some drivers do it pretty well. They start at the top in a lower slower gear and engage the jake brake and take the descent with care.
If I was on a mountain I would have my truck under control. A million miles-I’ve never wecked. I know where I am there and I know what I am doing.
Here where I am right now I am not as able to control things. I have become used to having this person hear me and believe me and remember things I’ve said-so clearly. It has been the first time in my life ever that has been-never have I ever had a listener who cared as much for me…
It is very difficult to have al of a sudden come to a stop and my logic is racing down the pass and the signs for the runaway ramp or speeding by faster than I can think.
My body feels ill…absolutely ill. I feel such pangs of guilt that I wish I could control them….yeah,there has been a phone call saying I am not at fault-theres no reason to worry…we will soon see Charlotte again.
It’s hard to explain trust and how difficult it is to trust!

mouse furniture

August 16, 2007

mouse furniture
Originally uploaded by jayfherron

I try to do my writing before the actual morning begins-actual meaning before 8 o’clock. Part of the reason is I like the early part of the morning when its still dark-I used to love it when I was a trucker and drive through mountain areas and see the lights go on in places up in the hills. I would spend that part of the morning thinking about Jimmy’s dad (a kid I knew way back whose father drove a truck) and the good old days of being a boy. The other reason is the telephone! If my phone was to ring-every thing I’ve written would be lost.
I am not a computer person…meaning,I got it started-but I can’t operate it,so I have no idea how to save things and avoid the phone ring crash!
Its kind of like this-when I was a trucker I was a ‘heavy haul’ trucker which means I hauled all kinds of heavy equipment like bulldozers and excavators. Most of the time-almost all of the time-the equipment would be in an isolated place and no one was around to help you figure out how to start it and move it…so I would be on my own. Getting it started was not much of a challenge-everything thats motorized or electric has a switch,but getting it to move was a different deal. Thats how the computer is for me.So all of the real teckno stuff is not yet in my mode of operations thus the easiest solution to saving everything is not readily done because of my limitations….which most of are obvious!
My home and lifestyle are simply humble. Some folks have come to visit and are’nt really comfortable because its out in the edge of the world-no street lights,and my front door has no locks or even a door knob. I hardly even shut the thing-winter or any kind of weather…the door is open. Why bother? Can’t heat the place…and its too far out in the middle of nowhere to profitable for a burgular,besides-a burgular would never even notice the things I have. No TV set…hardly a stereo. But like I said-no ones going to come out here to rob someone. That does’nt hinder guests from getting a tad nervous when the dusk comes and the reality that this place is miles from a sidewalk and furthur from a convienience store-or,civilization of the modern factor.
I said it before-I got this computer to do one thing,which is to bring awareness to male sexual assault. To be more specific it is the fact that our veterans have numbers in thier midst who have experienced sexual assault while in the military and like me have been living a life of fear due to the post traumatic issues that tag along with you forever. To give a voice-however loud it may or may not be. Abraham Lincoln said ‘to sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards out of men’. I am protesting the with best means I have-which is this computer.
Its turned out the protest is not the only reason-it turns out there is something else!
I never realized telling everything I can-to say what ever I feel by this medium…would be so meaningful and how it has freed me in this one way to speak up…in a place where I am not afraid to speak.
I am afraid to speak. This has freed me!
I am trying to learn. My success rate is slow-but I am plugging along…learning this computer stuff has not been as easy as going out in a field somewhere to load a combine and not know the first thing about how to get that machine to roll. It pretty much is a piece of cake to make it move if its meant to roll. But darned if this aint the challenge….this elektrik gizmo
The point is-I’ve been hopeful to figure out how to add other survivor links to my editions side bar. I’ve done everything but somewhere I get lost. There are no levers to pull..maybe thats it.
It is important to me for all of us to provide as much information as I can to say we can survive…we can go on,crippled as we’ve become because of the hands of others-our attackers,but we can keep going (perhaps with detours) and to say to other survivors….you are not alone and you can find help and freedom too. I dont exactly how to tell you…thats why I’ve been telling you through my own life-but I know to change Abraham Lincoln’s words to challenge all of us is to say
“to be silent with out protest allows our attackers to make us cower”.

The louder our voice-the more we protest…the stronger we get. I’ve come to learn that with this computer!
(PLEASE NOTE: I want to THANK my friend Ani ( for allowing me to ‘give up’ yesterday…this wonderful person helped me by adding the side bar-she has provided me with so much help to try to tutor me from afar! I finally had to beg for her help and like a real friend she took over and solved the problem…thank you so much Ani Star,thank you so much!)


August 14, 2007

a view of the walked home home!
Originally uploaded by jayfherron

 I usually do not write on Tuesdays. The morning is my time to go into the city and visit Charlotte-my therapist-at the Veterans Hospital. I usually have to be out of here by six to be able to get there on time-on time to able to do my walk around the complex,through the VA basement and across to the dental college via the tunnel. I do this several times each Tuesday to adjust to the feeling and sound of the buildings-to adjust my fear…sort of a way to hypnotise myself and take control. Around twenty til eight I go up and take my position in the hall and wait for Charlotte to open the door.
Its the way it is….ain’t it?
I missed being there three weeks ago-I had to drive my cousin to the airport in Orlando. Last week I went and waited and the coordinater for the clinic came out and gave me a look of confusion as to why I was there…?? Charlotte had been called to do something somewhere else?? (it seems I had not missed at all-Charlotte had been gone that Tuesday too)
Yesterday I had to be at the VA and so I checked with the coordinater….
“no,we’ll let you know”!
It was offered for me to see someone else…huh? After nearly three years of weekly talks with one person-it took a long time to build trust…this is the only person who knows me. How can I be expected to pick up with someone else…Charlotte has only just gotten to the place where I think I can trust her well enough to cover some of the issues we have yet to touch…things that are needing to be told-talked about….all which make this bizarre life of mind sound even more screwed up.
The shrugs of the shoulders in response to my question to the PTSD coordinater are not sufficient to ease me….where is this person who I need?
How can they just drop me like that with out some kind of explaination?
I know I have done something to have caused this….yes Jay,take the blame and eat a handfull of guilt.

I am compulsive and need this regularity or I get jittery-I went this morning  and I waited at the coordinaters cubicle and he was’nt there but a woman asked if she could be of help….and she gave me an explaination (as she described it…the best she could do and it still sounded lame) and offered to see me? who is she? What could we possibly talk about? (I guess she was a therapist too?) so my day is a day of confusion….I fear damage control…I fear it…god how I hate damage control.

liars and murderers!

August 10, 2007

about face…

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

In 1998 when I returned home from the highway-stricken with a stroke,result of a heart attack,I just wanted to sit back and figure it all out. My left side has been lastingly numb for these past years-my left hand seems fine but has limited control. I type with my right hand. My mind was so full of what to do. I’ve written about my rattlesnake bride. She really was….its not just me. There was so much turmoil with her-never any truth (you might recall-she told everybody she was going to die from cancer,luekemia I think it was….).
One can’t really explain what stroke is like-what the lasting effects are like,but in the very beginning it was a case of having to learn all over again to walk. Mostly finding the motivation to walk. You seem to want to quit while thinking things over….those who have had a stroke will understand.
Ah how I wish I could just take a group of you back then to show you what I mean. Married to a woman as toxic as a rattler and finding your body is broken in half and not knowing what is next…and then I meet Rose (or,Bertha Keene….or,Theresa Grasso…or,Mary Beth) and within months I find myself a Judas by pointing my finger at her for the FBI because she was an escaped felon. A murderer.
By that date my rattlesnake bride had cleaned out our bank account and wrapped the county in bumm checks and took the car and went for a pack of smokes….and never came back. She left me trying to heal and high and dry-8 miles into the middle of the woods with no ride.
You could tell Theresa Grasso Bertha Keene Rose Mary Beth was not on the up and up-there was loop holes in her story…but what the heck? This is the sand hills of Florida-to each their own….besides,we were just walking.
The point where I could have avoided being a Judas could have come on different terms. She and her boyfriend could have gone on like they said they were and our lives could have gone on as normal. But that didnt happen.
Theres many things a person cannot describe-another for me is what it felt like to be put in the place where you have total control over another persons freedom. I have no idea what it could be like to be her-to take the life of a man she didnt even have a beef with (which wont justify it)…she just took out a gun and shot the guy-killing a father of a two year old girl.
The long and short of it-she was convicted to life and sent to prison,she escaped from that prison four times. The fourth was a twenty year run….then she met me. It went from good to worse.
Of all crazy sequences in life-last June 12 a young man from New York City came to my door. He claims he was Kumar Pictures head honcho and managed to charm me into agreeing to be filmed in regards to this womans story. (
I don’t know why I trusted him. Maybe it was because a person from NYC manageing to find find this forest-but my brain doesnt work fast enough to consider how he really found me.
I wanted to trust him to tell my part about this-as my part is that I didnt run out and call the law when this woman told me her story. I thought she was full of bull and as big a liar as the rattlesnake bride. I wanted the truth to be told.
The Washington Post wrote an article-four pages dedicated to the adventurous run this woman made for twenty years. Peter Carlson who wrote the article interviewed me for so long my ear was numb-I thought then he was going to tell the truth. He wrote two sentences about me-they made me sound like I was a drunk.
Americas Most Wanted came. I did’nt want this…they hounded me one call after another with men saying they are FBI agents and how important these storys are. I caved…and the film doesnt lie-but yet it is not accurate if cut in the right way.
So this young man comes and sucks me in with his pureness and desire to be my friend…he kept saying how much of a friend I was. I get hooked-charmed into trust.
I told the people…yes,there was about five or six at some point. People I did not even know…I told these people things about me personal aside from things about Theresa Grasso Bertha Keene Rose Mary Beth Murderer. Thinking I could for once believe someone wanted to portray the truth. Liars.
The film-thats why James Silar came here…to do an honest documentery,the film was a project of graduating students from City College New York. Not a slouch firm…indeed a highly prestigious school-incentive for me to believe in this young man and the people he brought to my home-to my privacy. The film was viewed-to my understanding-at the film festival there this past June there at City College (I was not invited-even though I inquired if I could come…no answer)
Trust went right down the tube. I told these people-on film-my life…PTSD and the whole shaboom. I told them the truth as what happened can only be told in one way-the truth.
James Siler has not returned my emails…he has not shown the respect to offer me a copy of whatever he has done to my part of the story-or even my personal life. Kumar Pictures is beginning a run on dishonesty-such shall be its future. To lie your way into success will be as a sore upon you in the long run…everyone will learn you are a liar and eventually your degree will hang in a used DVD store while you wax and shine small discs-because no one wants to do business with someone that trys to get gain by mistrust.
Hey-let me say…it might be the greatest movie made. The story may be told in such excellence. But the disrespect to the courtesy and time and truth I gave you and all of you who crowded into my privacy by not even giving me an opportunity to see the very things you needled out of me will always be something others will learn about you.
I’ve been told to just wash your DVD’s in soap and water!
(in all fairness-I believe the film is available at I am not capable of downloading it-so I have not seen it)

unfinished business…

August 9, 2007

the dreamer and the dream-by jay herron

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

The reason I broke down and purchased a computer was because of some comments that were made to me in regards to my having been a male rape survivor-the comments were made by a Veterans Advocate from the State of Florida,they were very bigoted and they scared me.
I had thought at one point in my life that my stand about electronic geegaw was solid and unfaultering. I was really wrong.
It is very difficult to explain to anybody what the fear is like. I hid it fairly well over the past years. I settled into a lifes pattern where I was used to everybody just thinking it was ‘just Jay…being Jay’. What ever I did or what ever the screw up…or how people adjust their own understanding about me. I don’t know how to explain that I can be normal going into a place and all of a sudden feel a vibration or hear a sound or an oder will remind and set off a signal. And I am lost.
Tuesday I went therapy and it went past the time she opens the door-and finally the coordinater came down the hall and he looked at me and asked me if I got his message…? But something was different and this particular Tuesday is the day of the month the clinic next door gives out the ‘month shot’ to calm other guys down so the hallway is standing room only at one end and the voices and the chitter chatter have an effect on me everytime. And theres a woman on that floor who has to wear high heels and as she comes down the hall I hear that murmer of people and the rattle clacking of those shoes and all of a sudden there is the coordinater in front of me telling me something about my therapist. I heard the word ‘administrative’ and everything else seemed a murmer itself-mumble noises instead of words. I went home thinking I got my therapist fired.
I once entered a mall alone and got about midway in and was overcome and somehow I found a payphone and managed to call the police and while I waited my anguish and fear consumed me so badly I had locked my arms around the payphone and I must have been making a noise because a croud had kind of gathered and people were giving me the theres a nut eye…and the police finally came and some local mall security guy. And they were’nt very polite-mostly thinking something far out of range other than what was really happening. They unwrapped me from the payphone and took me outside-the distance to the door and all the commotion and all the people stareing at me and these cops and this local mall security guy all treating me like I’m something from Chattahoochee (the states mental hospital) all of this causing more effect to my immediate problem….PTSD,and being in the place with people who dont understand what it is.
The Veterans Advocate that I was refered to had no understanding either. This man had no business taking the details of a survivor of sexual assault. He perhaps is a hero to those who marched and did the glories of battle….but he had a different view of me not even giving me the consideration that I marched myself into an enlistment office and was wanting to join. He wanted to believe but have the understanding that my problems with PTSD are for real and werent a source of humor to me. I couldnt agree with his conclusions my attackers were blacks. I wanted to vomit when he suggested it was unusual to think homosexuals needed to rape one another-his comments made it seem like every body should be just willing and ready and that if you were a homosexual than that breaks down the requirment people need to keep their hands to themselves…it is not right to touch anyone just because of who they are. The man offered me ‘pink’ highlighters to edit parts of things I have written…as if I was going to join in and laugh at his joke with the others. His joke made me feel like someone had put their hands around my neck and were choking me. The advocate found a new joke and made comments in terms that I must have had a party the night before-a rough night,he said.
This was supposed to be someone who was going to ‘stand up’ for me?
I was refered to a second advocate. This man wanted to twist my story to make it sound better. I’m sorry…theres no way to twist it,and if I am to be given validation I want it honorably-not by some one elses version of what they think it would have sounded better if it happened this way…and not by my account.
Confused? I am sorry! Sometimes my mind ain’t right-but I know what happened and I know what happened every day of my life and every day of my life begins by knowing what happened and I don’t need any kind of seasoning to make it sound any better or any worse or any kind of additional wording to draw the attention of a hearing officer…I know what happened. I’ve never been able to get away from it-it effects me everyday. I said that already.
I realize I am not the only one. And it really troubles me that countless others may be confronted with the same kind of ignorence that I encountered…if the countless others come to the point I found myself at. I lived 30 plus years with my damages in silence…how long will it take for others to be able to trust enough to come forward?
The military has recognized there is a problem. It is large enough they mandated that special treatment by specially trained officials be offered to any who come forward with charges they have been assaulted sexually. You can find that mandate-signed by Donald Rumsfeld at :

What interests me is that these regulations stop when the military personel becomes a civilian-veteran.
All this is because I am concerned about those who have served our country with honor and yet had been dishonored while in service-and dishonored worse by having no one to report these crimes to…especially when the victim returns home to try to pick up life and comes to learn they are still traumatized by the effects of the event when they were attacked.
It is unfair to return and come to a point where you can report this and file a claim and have no one with a senstive understanding to survivors of sexual trama hear these reports. If the military is required to offer sensitive individuals the Veterans Affairs system should required to do the same.
I was humbled at first to have to sit in front of a desk occupied by a man in sneakers and a ball cap-turned cock eyed to the side-casual like…to tell this man how I was assaulted only to learn what a bigot he was. Thats me and him. Please hear me…there are many of us. Many of him…many like me. This is wrong.