Archive for September, 2007


September 16, 2007

Originally uploaded by jayfherronI’m not sure if I understand everything correctly…how things are supposed to operate. When I was a young fresh boot just breaking in my dress shoes the Viet Nam war was going full stream and we were always in uniform when we traveled…it was required to the best of my knowledge-Nixon wanted us to all be in uniform to show our support for the war? perhaps.
I know it was that way when ever we took liberty in Washington DC-the more uniforms the better.
I’m not trying to be political here. I am not much in the way of politics,never trusted them ever since Jimmy Carter promised to change our discharges-his son Jack got busted in the Navy the same time I found myself in barracks D….I guess the Carters did not see the comparison of Jacks time in the brig and my time in the brig as the same.
It was’nt-he had drugs…I DID NOT.
I am dismayed about things today-how apology’s are so regular that they mean nothing.
The Senator from Idaho-Larry Craig…gets arrested in a mens room for solicitation-admits his guilt and gets found out. He stands before America and says he is sorry…well,no he is’nt. He wants to fight the fact he confessed-after all the shame of what he has done is exposed. I said before-no one is going to admit guilt to just hope the thing goes away! That no one will notice?
The entire matter is so offensive that he even trys to peg it on a sexual preference….by a denial of being gay. I don’t understand. How offensive.
It is very troublesome to me that after the fact Christianity is brought into it…all these guys run for office and Christ their one and only and all that religousness which is supposed to give us some confidence of who we are going to vote for has a relationship with God and that is going to make him a better leader…and then he wags his self into a mens room stall seeking ‘sex’?
And then they spend-what is it,millions? to become these guys…the campaign money up into the high millions…
and then there are the priests!
What I would like to know…if the Catholic Diocese (whatever…) in Los Angeles (alone) has enough funds on hand to pay out a 650 million dollar settlement to the families of children who have met sexual assault…molestation is the polite word-what is that ‘church’ doing with that much cash availability and yet in LA there are thousands of ways that could be used to support homeless and poor and unwanted children….in a proper way,not the fondeling the priests found convienient and readily handy. I just heard that San Diego had to shell out 250 million from thier Diocese…..??? I don’t get it…what is the money intended for if they have that much back up to pay these settlements?
And the damage done…
What about that?
Rape and assault are the proper words….leaving out the ‘sexual’ part-we are normally supposed to appreciate that sexual contact in an intimate moment is something gentle and good between two people who love each other,a feel good thing.
Abuse is abuse…asault is not sexually fun. Having someone grab you-punch you-force you-rape you….is not having sex with you,you certainly are not having sex with them…at least,not in the way sex is supposed to be defined. A thing of feeling good?
Ever since my assaults-sexual contact has been like a chore…it never has been something that might be normal-more something that is a required task. I don’t know exactly how to explain it-I have had sexual contact through my life-but in my mind I have to do something to make it happen…what it is is not what I think is normal. I really guess I will never know.
None of this…for me or any victim-none of this is easy to explain. Its like trying to describe the impossible because of all of the circumstance which each of us victims have experienced…the different trusts destroyed by our attackers-and the follow up of those who are trying to understand what we have gone through. After all….its just a sexual attack-how bad can it be?? You did’nt enjoy it just a teensie little bit?? Its sex-after all….
Well….no! I did’nt enjoy it then , although I had to go along with it. Just like a little child must feel when the priest takes them to the parrish for a ‘visit’. Or….when Uncle Darryl or Mr. Kimmlebobble or the kid across the street wants to teach you how to masterbate. When you are not interested in these things and they are put on you it is such an uncomfortable feeling. Even today,for me,this is such a difficult thing.
It disturbs me how relaxed we in society are in regards to sexual attacks-hmmm,see even I use that definition. We condem those who corrupt us in that way and yet glorify it in movies and on television-even in jokes…our ‘stars’ who happen to get caught with thier clothes off…the happy hub bub of Britany Spears’ panty less body and how much television entertainment news goes on and on about it-the jocular comments….and we accept this into our homes. So we condone it when it does’nt effect us….condem it if it does?or…the “DNA – you are the daddy” shows-how sickening and sad…television programs about teenage mothers who have to find who the father of the child is….but after this commercial break!
I write this ‘blog’ about me…its my experiences that I know about but it is others who are victims too that I consider as I write-I became more aware as my experiences became known to the VA and I became more understanding to what this s that effects me….PTSD,the lasting climax of what took place back then in barracks D. I think a lot about that six year old boy in Georgia-the one the family of deviants raped and killed-or Jessica Lunsford in my state of Florida-raped at 12 and buried alive…with a teddy bear? and I think about it very often,sadly this won’t sound right….but at least they got to go to peace,not having to live with it day after day. What could those children have had in thier minds when those moments took place….? I have some idea.
To me to have the senator from Idaho stand up and ‘apologize’ is offensive-his entire actions were offending….to admit,then deny it-and to drag into it a lifestyle that has nothing to do with what he has done…the preacher from Colorado who had the ‘largest following’ but sold himself out for crystel meth and sex (oh yes-with another man…but,he too is not gay)-I recall he apologized too….JEEZ,how sincere can that be? Congressman Foley…deviant-seeking boys,but he apologized….then blamed it on someone else!
And the Catholic Church….heres some money-that should do it!!
I don’t think so.
I know-it is one more time I am not making much sense…but there is something wrong. We are told this war is a war against terrorism and to bring democracy to the places where they’ve made it this far with out…killing our young to offer this to a land who does not recognize our Christian ‘values’-the very values the Catholic priests have flushed down the toilet in front of us all because they assaulted children….but yet here we are in a new election (we can’t call it a year any more-they’ve been running for office since the last guy got elected) season and the arguements of who comes from the best church are already in our faces….and yet,where are the guys in uniform? Where are the signs of sailors and soldiers going from base to home or base to base-in uniform like we did and were required to do by our president back in those days-the pride of being in service to protect democracy??it is hidden from us….and has anyone noticed? Well,George Bush ‘junior’ exhonerated the Pope for his involvement-declared him void of any future prosecution…after all,the Pope knew priests under his wings were assaulting children and did nothing about it-the PopeĀ even moved ‘Father’ Oliver Mahoney-the major molester-to Ireland and freedom fromĀ having to serve the 14 years California convicted and sentenced him to…and our president forgives the main ‘squeeze’ in the Catholic Church,protecting him from any prosecution…because he and many many others in the Catholic Church knew-and did nothing!
It’s Monday tomorrow-a fresh week of programing-the Maury show will parade a new set of non-values in front of thousands of homes to null and numb our thoughts with people too pathetic to realize what a free motel room and a limo ride has made them into….and the other DNA shows will consume the days so we can look at these people and feel pleased that we are’nt so bad off after all….
It is remarkable that we are loosing things to look up to and America is watching this crap instead.
Good thing we are bringing democracy to those ‘heathen lands’….hope they get cable!

campfire shirt

September 13, 2007

campfire shirt

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

The photograph of the shirt and walking stick came from one of my hikes down the cross Florida trail-the section I was on is the 57 mile portion that runs through the Ocala National Forest. It is a perfect place for me-very rarely do you see any one else and if you do it’s only for a split second and then they are gone and you are going. Thats about the way it is when you backpack,you are head strong about going forward and those you meet are as well-no stopping to have chats,only that stunned look that says ‘hey…theres someone’…and you keep on trucking.
I have’nt been down the trail in a few years-although I’ve been right there at it twice this summer-both times a visit to Rodman dam,but both times missing the real thrill of having the trail draw you in and say silently and mystically come on…come on…come on in here…! It does that-it calls at you that way into the deep because as you walk you begin to notice the real silence of the trees and the wind as it blows across their tops although it is also the beauty of the surroundings and how they explain to you that you are alone-and how peaceful it is.
I would love to die there. To be able to have the very distinct advanced notice that you are going to die…and to be able to go down there into the Juniper Praire wilderness and treck off the regular trail into the woods a bit…and just rest up against a tree and put your hand up and then go to peace.
That being explained-I got to point out that I am deeply depressed and as often before I wish that spiritual call would come and I could go there and find that tree. Of course-death is not a respecter of persons-and I am no one special so such advanced notice is probebly not being sent my way…it is only a wish.
I do need for it to be understood-I do not accept that death is what we are taught to believe it is…I once had an experience (all be it that I was awake for a long number of days-while hauling cattle) where I came close to death while in my bunk of a long haul Peterbilt and I learned that death is really life and there is a place-a beautiful gentle place….but it is not mine until it is given to me,so I am not allowed to write my own ticket,although its many time I wished I could. I just have to wait it out…and most likely it wont give me the chance to go down and lean on a tree and hear the silence.
It might make more sense to you to explain that I have been awake off and on all night…I worry alot-and lately I have had a lot to worry about. I need to pack some things and hang them on my back and just go down there a few miles…
…and my body is in pain which is magnified by depression. Depression is painful. Yesterday I could hardly move-this wee hour of the morning is saying today is not going to be much better.
I have so much I want to say….there is never going to be a way I can say it. I have things I need to say to my brother-and there is no energy in me to find the way to say it at all. It is a lonesome trail. Worse of…our father is going to die-and as much as I’ve ever wanted him to why…explain what really happened,the chance won’t ever come….and if it does-will it make any difference? Its been too f##king long and so much has been destroyed by then…the years we need to talk about the most.
No one I have spoken to can understand the reason my father has it in his head to move the remains of my brother and sister (they’ve been dead for many many years)…every one says its sick…everyone meaning those outside of my family,and trust me-I’m not needing to do anything to persuede a point of view. The point of view is natural-the idea is sick. But to me it is worse-it is like a great offense…the son who could’nt make it-the one we did’nt know how to defend or protect or stand up for or believe! We will take care of the dead.
I even wrote them a letter-each of the immediate family had one addressed to them…and I said how this project disturbs me-and how I felt.
No one has ever shown me the courtesy of a response-it is as if I dont need to know about this,and yet I was a hireling to drive my parents to the cemetery to learn this is what they had in mind.
It’s kind of like that love I describe my late brothers widow has-the word is there but thats all there is.
The immediate need for the trip up to Pennsylvania in comparison to the non-response I’ve been given (or how I’ve been ignored) shows the respect I have not been given….they gave me less than twenty four hours to prepare for a flight-I even told them that my check was a week due and I was broke…I flew 880 miles away with hardly change in my pocket and moments only to make plans-you know,who will take care of the dogs-or if the the thunderstorms knock out the power-who will manage my water well which looses its prime every time? All of this rush to make me hurry so this plan of grief can be carried out…
I’ve tossed and turned all night pleading for my body to quit-and for some kind of rest…and in my awake state between watching the clock I’ve kept in my mind a letter that I need to write my brother-I worry about doing that because I dont think they reach him…and I cant talk to him.
I need for him to understand there is nothing I can do…nothing I can get or give from being there. I wrote some tiome ago and offered to set up camp up there in the folks attic…no response,but I know it was’nt something I really wanted to do-but would have to help. I could my eyes to his wifes jealousy and try to plug my ears from my mothers constant rattle….but no answer. Except….when it comes to it-Dads in the emergency room.
I thought I was daft at one time-but my son saw the same thing and heard the truth from my brothers wife…she lit into him a month or two back and said things that hurt him,and me-I believe she meant to hurt. Yet-the truth is when ever the blame comes from me not doing enough is not available for use in this. I called my brother those years back and said WE needed to go talk to our folks-fathers driving is way hazardous. By we-I meant our other brother too-he was still living. No…the young family up there went alone and arranged it and it happened. My thoughts were them being here-the U of F has one structure after the other that is geared towards cancer treatment-the finest medical facilities around (not some two story want to be hospital) and the city has so much to offer so my thoughts were this is a good place for an elderly couple. Plus-I am alone…and could have driven here or there (yes…its true,not very fondly recieved by my father-and my mother grates on my nerves-but it made sense). So they have that now-thats the way it is….and by golly,theres not much I am going to be able to do-I have no money…the roof is pouring in rain when it rains…and my nerves are frazzled enough anyway-I think in this stage of it the whole thing is better the way it is….except there could be more than just a few eggs and dried bread in my ice box.

So sorry…I am very much in a state of dispair at the moment. I need Charlottes wisdom so bad and being forced to wean myself from that is awful. And even with that I feel so much guilt…despite the words of encouragement…..whew,God? May I please go down the trail?
I know I sounded like I make no sense…forgive me!

breaking loose!

September 9, 2007

gated community-jay herron 2007

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

I am again doubtful as how to begin and if I can even explain myself with words the reader can undrerstand-will what I say make sense?
I’ve been writing about being in treatment at the local VA hospital for post traumatic stress dissorder-a lifestyle I have lived since my experience in the Navy.
Its too complicated to try to write it here in one sitting-in one hour-or in several sittings and several hours. It is too complex to try to explain in any time frame…what it has been like,what it is like.
There has always been a place in my mind of guilt-shame too,but the guilt is so over powering some times. Once upon a time it was so bad that a crime could occur or some incident of size could take place and I would feel at blame…except I would not really have to be blamed for,it was just there-it was my fault. This is how I feel today and these past weeks about my therapist-Charlotte. I feel I have done what ever it is to cause her trouble. I’ve had a few telephone calls-two from different doctors,to explain with limited details that it is not-it is a system administrative ordeal….but it is affecting me and my guilt and my insecurities and it must be doing the same for the others she has been treating,this is-if it is so that there is something else amiss and it is not me.
See…I told you this would not be easy to explain!
Even if it is not me…I’m giving it up-the wait is eating at me and eating at me and my body is getting so sick from the wonder of it all. I feel like a death has happened and nobody knows how to tell me…and yet the missing of someone is grinding in my stomach and my body is tired of it,my heart aches…and my voices in my head are saying ‘its all your fault’.
I can’t do this any more-the waiting and worry are not good.
I sent an email to my therapist telling her so and saying goodbye and just get back to some other way of dealing with it as it was before and is and will be…it will be easier because the anticipation will be gone,I hope,soon.
I’ve never felt right about being treated at the VA. I first found myself there in the mid 70’s…I was taken by a rescue unit so that started the involvement. I have an ‘honorable discharge’ and that says its right-but my feelings are that my service was not honorable and those guys that went to Viet Nam are the honorable ones…and I’m just one of those who cheated my way in to be treated at the VA. So I need to just break away from it completely and send back my VA card.

I will be honest-writing these things to who ever it is that reads them…some of you have written back and I have names and nick-names,but yet each of those are only known as deep as their own blogs or comments-but yet,those who have written have allowed me to express freely things I’ve kept to myself over all these years and it has been good to be able to do this…to say this. Hopefully I am helping to open some doors for others but at times this has been so hard to do….especially when my own knees are buckling.
I’m becoming discouraged by what is happening all around us…and in my own life-I feel very let down by the recent end of my therapy. I feel like trust was there and then all of a sudden it is not. It fucks me up….sorry to say it that way,but its so.

bringing things up to speed

September 6, 2007

race day

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

There are so many things to say yet it is not easy to put all of the things into words-sometimes because there are other directions for the conversation to go…and yet there is just so much of it that the road becomes hard to travel because it is hard to put it down in words.
I began writing this out of anger at the system-especially where our veterans are concerned,but theres just so much that has to be said.
I realize there are things I’ve mentioned that are unfinished in the fact that these are on going circumstance…such as my brother and sisters graves in Pennsylvania and what my family has decided to do? I wrote them back in June that if they moved the graves I wanted no more to do with them…the idea is so sick. Theres never been a response-except they have called and chitted and chatted and never once said “you know-we changed our minds”! Of course-did I ever expect to earn any respect from them? No,I sort figured it was going to be this way….why should anything change?
The VA had given me an MRI several months ago-heck,its been so long now its hard to recall what date…I have these headaches,mostly in my left eye…but always! and there is complications along the headaches. Well-the Veterans Hospital and thier bedside manner (huh??) mailed me a letter and stated the MRI had determined I had an anyuerism in my brain (a small blood bubble like a 22 caliber bullet which are known to burst unexpectedly-you bleed to death in your brain cavity…) so for the two months I sat around and thought about it things went through my head about death and my peace of mind about it and wonder of when-where I’d be…not to mention the friends I told,they too thought about it-some with worry. The two month wait for the consult with the brain surgeon ended with him telling me (in a manner that made it sound like I entered the VA after hours and snuck into the MRI to do one on my own…) there is no headaches and there is no pain and there is no anyuerism…and he pretty much made me feel like dirt because I was wasteing the VA’s time.
So-who’s to know?
I still have a headache….like the guy said in barracks D-get used to it!

I suppose its just those two things that have been hanging there with out a conclusion as whats going on….my guess is really as good as yours-my family (my family???) must not think any of this means anything to me-I guess I don’t count…but dammit-it makes me sick that I fall right into their phone calls and my mothers mockery in her way of talking to me…she’s always wanting to tell me some nasty joke about sex (all along knowing I hate them-the nasty jokes from the mouth of my mother) and everytime she says she has a joke she gets that giggle that says I know that you hate them but I’m telling you anyway.
To be really honest here-my body is getting sick from the wonder…?? wheres Charlotte-my therapist?
Thats some more of the VA bedside manner…treat a patient with my insecurities for about three years and then drop him with out notice. Its been six weeks now. How about trust? That broke it down-instead I feel doubt again….I’m ready to mail in my VA card for the (must be) hundreth time and say ‘please leave me be’….they get me to trust them everytime someone calls and says it’ll be better. It ain’t-as a matter of fact…I’m scared to death about the whole thing-no therapy-why’d they give it to me to stop it just like that?
Then theres that guy…a senator-Larry Craig!
Dang Dong…if you ever wanted to trust? Now what a deterant he has made. I had one time thought we could trust the folks in DC…at least some of them-and thought one day I might be able to reach them to change the manner in the way sexually assaulted military veterans are treated…and this guy solicits sex in a mens room? Well…there you go-theres so much to trust,but not much there. I kind of feel like giving up.To think-I almost considered registering to vote…please shoot me!
So what…? What the hell…as its been said to me-it’s your parents money,and thier childrens graves-they can do what they want….what a crock of crap. What a waste of money in a world of hungry homeless kids-alive,but with grinding tummies and no where to keep warm….and my parents want to spill nearly 10k into the ground (they bought a tombstone for 6k-the grave destruction is over 4k). I had once thought they had good sense….thats a myth. Yeah…so what? It is their money-but damned if the whole idea is like watching Carl go under the car over again-the man at the cemetery said as much-refered to my brother as ‘it’…what ever of ‘it’ is left they will move(thats what he said). My brother-it appears-was buried direct in the ground with out a concrete vault-his casket is rusted and most likely gone….but he is not an ‘it’! He and my sister are a strong part of who I am…and I’m sickend by my parents desire to upset these graves.
And the senator…I have great wonder in how a man would plead guilty to think the whole thing would go away…? Where does that logic come from? If I had someone insist I tried to solicit them in a mens restroom they would have to carry me kicking and screaming to the judge….yeah right,I’m going to confess to that kind of activity just to make it go away?? What other decisions has this man made with that kind of logic?
Yes…trust. Hmmm-what a concept.

So-to bring you up to speed….who the heck knows?

the door to barracks D

September 3, 2007

the door to barracks D

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

I never until this moment connected barracks D with ‘d’ for depression.
Any of you that know depression knows that it sinks you really quickly. Folks that dont know depression think it means you are sad-pehaps,but if its so then sadness is painful,very very painful.
Maybe sadness kicks it off. Except,I have a hard believing that because I’ve been feeling the depressed boom coming for a few days…and only started feeling sadness strongly yesterday.
My oldest son was here. He is a Chief Petty Officer in the U.S.Navy-he entered the Navy the day after he graduated high school. I am extemely proud of him.
I get sad around him. I cannot help it. I wanted to be what he is and everytime I am around him I remember so many nights when I had fallen as I had the day before and the day before that into my escape from my failure to my family and my country and made myself more a failure as I did my drugs and drank myself to sleep.
My son once opened the refridgerator and pointed at my beer and ordered me to “get the shit out of the house”…I remember that.

I don’t think either of my sons will ever really understand why it was the way it was. What it was like to get up out of bed at 330 in the morning to walk to town to hitch to the city towalk to work and work all day and turn around and do over again just to get back home to shovel down a meal and go too bed to get ready to do it again at 330.
I know our lifestyle had to have had a reflection on their lives as boys in school when they saw other kids with parents who had cars and did’nt have to live the way they did…I see it in my sons compassion for vehicles today.
Its funny how we measure things. I have never been on a submarine-my son has…but the thing that gets me the most is that that he has bought automobiles from a dealership…I would’nt even have a clue what that would be like.
When my oldest son was born I sought a job to try to begin a life with my young family. Then ,to find employment as a veteran, you had to produce your DD214 (a formal copy of your military discharge)…mine had a code,they all have a code,that my interviewers could look up and keep me at a level of unemployment for a long time-and often.
That code and how it explained my conduct in the military has kept a tag on my life that was just as much as a lie as what everybody must have been led to believe…after all,my parents never sat down and talked to me about it. It was blame from the beginning.

Its hard for me to talk about this to my son. I know the millions of times I was so sick with being drunk and drugged I cried and pleaded with my sons to not ever get into the trouble I had gotten into in the Navy…I know my son entered the Navy to try to replace for me what I had lost. Once he told me-I did this for you. I think time has long erased that to some degree. They may not think about this as much as I do.
It gets more so difficult lately as I know he knows about the claim I have against the Navy for the damages done at barracks D. And it is not easy not to talk about it because these last few years of treatment at the VA has made it a prominant part of my conversation…it is so alive these days-I almost cant help to say something. It never died…barracks D. It never ever died….

I watched my son yesterday and listened as he talked about some of the young sailors under his charge-understanding by his words how much of a leader he is and how sorry I am to have never made it.
I feel such guilt-its a hard thing to explain. How come it is at the beginning of every morning that is the first feeling I have? Guilt? What did I do?
I am grateful for both of my sons.All of those miles I walked all those mornings back then were filled with prayer that my sons would not turn out like me…
I feel very strange when I am around my sailor son and I see so much and many things come into my memories view and that grief hits me because that is what I wanted to be.

To be really honest here…my emotions these past days and now weeks-are so twisted up in a knot that I am surprised I am able to function. I stand on the edge of ‘damage control’ and am fighting to keep it from over coming me…and now the anchor of depression is working on me too. It will be six weeks come Tuesday that has gone by since I last had therapy with Charlotte and quite frankly I feel as if a death has occured in my life and its not helping me keep above it all. I feel such defeat and doubt….its uncanny how a person (persons…because there are others) can be given such regularity to guidence towards healing and then have it all taken away in an instant…no explainations. I don’t know.

Its just all a part of it.
“Oh…that was 37 years ago…Jay,why can’t you just drop it ?”