014I can’t seem to unloose the depression. I have been unable to come out of it. There are things that need to be done-and all I can do is look at them.

I’m told it is a chemical imbalance-I believe it is set off by memories and anxiety. As a matter of fact-I am exhausted because of the anxiety and that cinches  the chains that anchor depression on me. I feel the fear of doing the simplest of things-sitting for an hour or more trying to muster up the ability to move on doing them.

The recent season of holidays is guilty of most of my low. I dwell on the memory and the losses always-but it seems more compounded as the holidays approach. I can’t miss but thinking of it.

I’ve begun to notice my clothes are becoming worn-my jeans are getting past the desired status of faded and are becoming just plain loose and my shirts are shameful with stains and holes. I noticed that a few weeks ago and realized it has been nearly two years since I’ve been in a store to shop-the stress of having to go in that booth and remove my pants to try new ones. I have no way of describing the fear and hurried manner of how I do end up doing it. I find the size that fits-and every time it seems choose the wrong size. Returning goods is hard too.

It’ll be a week or two before people stop saying ‘happy new year’. I know I have to be polite and say it in return-but my mind reels back to barracks D and what happened. It always has-and always will. I think about it in my sleep-in my nightmares of prisons. Every time that annual greeting comes forward I am reminded even more.

The officer I reported my rape to told me to “get used to it”. He chuckled and then in reference that I was going to be spending some time in barracks D he said “get used to it”. I’m always wondering what part he meant? This morning as usual every morning I woke and went to the bathroom. I am reminded every time I go to the bathroom. Also in the shower. Those following some nights of dreams like nightmares of being locked in some prison-forever. That followed by waking into an instant recall of what happened….and it happened 39 years ago. What part of “get used to it” am I going to have?

I wish every time I sat down to write something that it would always be something inspirational. I wish I could say-healing is there and think happy thoughts and all would be well,but I can’t say that it is that easy. Twice this past month I’ve had two different folk say to me “when you’re unhappy and feeling depressed-think of something happy”!  That does not  cover it folks.

I remember the man that issued me my bedding just moments before I entered barracks D. He was a large man-but yet he spoke like a woman. He said to me “Welcome to barracks D…Drugs,drunks and degenerates” in a feminine lisp and less than a minute later I was set to my own circumstances with an expanded metal gate closed behind me.

When I sized up my where I was I had no previous experience being in a place like this-a detention barracks. In seconds I saw empty bunks way back in the back-past other empty bunks. I chose one of those and made my way through the rows of men and past until I got as far away as I could. I know now that might have been a mistake. Like the following morning when the officer told me to “get used to it” I only had just short short moments to make decisions. I had already been raped when the officer told me to “get used to it” so I knew something of what was yet to come. It only took a minute to walk from his building to barracks D next door. I had only that much time to think of what to do. But , checking into barracks D I had no idea what my world was going to be like-then and forever. I only had mere seconds to find a haven in this confusion. Just days before I was having a good enough time with my friends on board ship and had plans for a future…never could I have imagined this.

When I returned from my meeting with the officer and the expanded metal gate closed behind me and I faced those same men-by then many had to know I had been attacked,I felt like I was walking through a pit of snakes.

My body ached from being punched and my rectum burnt from the attacks-my mind raced about collecting everything that had happened, how vivid many of those memories are at this moment. I laid there in my bunk wanting to cry and wanting to wash but too afraid to do either-like the fear from the night before,I wanted to go to the head but could not.

There was a hero-a guy named Bob, he showed up later and ended  up keeping watch while I showered. That was about the only good thing that happened new years eve 1969-70.

Happy New Year?

13 Responses to “”

  1. Holly Says:

    Dear Jay,

    Tears, in reading your post. Courage for telling your pain! Thinking of you during this time…from one survivor to another survivor. I truly admire your strength, Jay! One day at a time, is how I dealt with my personal pain wiht being voliated. Warm regards, Holly

  2. jay Says:

    Your kind words are appreciated very much Holly,thank you-and thank you for your strength and your work and advocacy for victims and survivors…you are also strong Holly to stand up as you do.

  3. Cam Says:

    Jay-

    You are amazing. I am currently dealing with remembering the violation I suffered at the hands of a man I thought I would marry, 25 years ago and have just had come back to me in a flood.

    Reading your story makes me think that those of us who are female survivors need to reach out to our brothers who have suffered, and in many ways more, because of all the cultural stigmas regarding male rape.

    Reading your story took me out of myself, and made me feel compassion towards a man – and for that I thank you with all my heart.

    All the best,

    Cam

  4. jayherron Says:

    Thank you for sharing that with me Cam.
    Society has trained us to think in one direction regarding the gender of sexual trauma,stigma keeps many male survivors from coming forward.
    Society offers us statistics-but the truth discredits the numbers because many remain silent.
    I am thankful that my words of my life have helped another grow and feel compassion towards another-and that is you!

  5. Camilla Says:

    Thanks, Jay. Not to add to your burden, but I am just having a hard time. This man was the first and only one I’ve ever felt true passion with. I have a wonderful husband, and I can’t feel that with him. It just hurts right now. Especially since I know he went on to marry someone and have kids (kids which we had talked about at one point).

    Drugs just destroyed our relationship with one act of his, and I’m feeling like I will never feel that passion again.

    Thanks again for sharing your story.

  6. jayherron Says:

    These kind of attacks on our person are not as easy to ‘wash away’ as many would like to think that we can. I am troubled by the definition ‘sexual assault’ because the ignorant cannot seem to relate and seperate the word sexual as something that is ‘okay’ with out knowing the lasting damage which is done by the cruelty of the act.
    You have not added to my burden,don’t think that you have…my burden is that this crime is so misunderstood by everyone-except the victim,and the victim has their own course of not being able to understand…why? Why did this happen?
    I also understand what you are saying-the first time in my life I was ever treated gently by a woman I was a teenager and she was a student teacher-the system seperated us-I enlisted shortly after (in the Navy) and learned sometime months later that she had become pregnant,I a father…never being able to fulfill that obligation because of the way we were seperated. I rarely mention this. I hurts tremendously-our first love is supposed to be forever. In our case-there are three hurt individuals…me,her,and a child-a child whose life I will never know of.
    The reason I write this journal/blog is to purge myself and tell my story-much to hope others will learn,hopefully find a way to heal…healing is not easy,as you see in your own feelings. You comment-write anything you need to say Cam,please-because it also helps you to be able to express yourself-vent,or purge the poison of the past! I am okay with that-I’m not okay that we’ve been so badly hurt by the hands of others…but am here to hear you!
    I appreciate your trust in conveying your feelings to me. Thank you!

  7. Cam Says:

    Oh, Jay – I am so sorry to hear about that. I think you bring up the hardest part – unfulfilled potential. Have you ever tried to contact your child? And student teachers are VERY young so I could easily see how that would happen!

    When/if I ever get past this point, I really would like to reach out to male survivors, but I don’t know what they might think. I just think there could be some special healing that could happen on both sides.

    The hardest thing for me to deal with at the time was that my friends didn’t understand why I would talk to him or still cared; (after this happened, he had gone into 12-step recovery he contacted me to make amends.) I told him at the time he would regret the loss of our future relationship and later on, after much time went by, he did reach out, but I had worked so hard to snuff/exterminate every loving feeling towards him, that I just started messing with his mind. He wound up going onto marry someone that to this day I think “why”???

    And yet, how could a relationship “be” between two people when one had wounded the other so much.

    It just wasn’t so black and white as my friends wanted it to be. I was very conflicted. Part of me feels like that while I may be married to the love of my life, the one who is the passion of my life didn’t happen, and since I’ve just remembered all of this again, I feel like I’ve lost him all over again, at the same time wanting to hurt him the way he hurt me.

    It’s a screwy screwy world.

    Feel free to email me off line if you want (wasn’t sure if you got my email address as part of the reply)

  8. jayherron Says:

    Cam…I need to red your comment through a few times for the words to absorb and for me to reply with confindence!
    I really appreciate your saying these things-you have opened up and that is good…say all you can Camilla-it is good for you!
    I will say more late too!

  9. jayherron Says:

    Yes Cam,you are correct-it is a screwy screwy world!
    I would like to skip by replying to your comment because some of the items are out of my reach to offer comment-I feeling the man you are refering to has mental health issues and I have mental health issues and I am not comfortable giving analisis of his short comings.
    Most of my life because of my injuries-mental health injuries-aka PTSD-I find myself giving me lessor credit than I deserve and tend to associate with others who are not able to pick themselves up from the troubles that anchor them…usually tending to choose these kinds of friendships because I thought there could be no better-no smarter-no kinder-no gentler people,those who want to nuture us instead causeing us stress and anxiety. Unfortunantly-some of my reaction usually finds me isolated,because I am afraid of trusting others…you can understand,so many let you down that the trust factor gets worn.
    I know this does’nt not directly answer your comment-mostly because I am not a trained counselor and some of the things you are writing about are serious and could use a counselor to help you work through them.
    Abuse is a serious crime-any kind of abuse,but abuse where there is dependency on drugs or alcohol is escalated and more volitile because the substances cause the emotions to cause the brain to become very erratic-and dangerous.
    No one needs to stay in an abusive situation-and any one that is needs to find help and shelter-and showed get as far away from the situation as possible.
    I don’t know if any of these things are associated with your life-I’m only speaking in general…but I do hope that in your home area there is support available-for both men and woman.

    I know this does not answer you point for point-I hope that my writings might help you understand the diversity of my life as a survivor-to help you understand I struggle even today…so I’m limited on knowing how to help-but help in any way I can.

  10. Cam Says:

    Thanks, Jay. You are great.

    My prayers for both of us and all survivors:
    *Peace within our own skin
    *Ability to rest and ease the vigilance
    *Calmness and serenity

    Take care, and thanks for letting me post.

  11. jay Says:

    Please…it is your voice too-comment at any time,say what you want to say…and thank you for your humble prayer!
    God Bless all survivors-you too!

  12. Susan Says:

    Jay, This is very powerful. It helps me to understand you, myself and others. I have to “step back” to not get myself caught in the emotions for now, as I have been fragile for this week.

    I plan to continue to read your blog, and share it (if I can) with others.

    There is a guy who is working on an art project around MST, who would be interested in reading your blog, is it ok to pass the link to him? I trust him.

    Thanks for sharing your soul. I hope that you are finding it healing to know that others have heard your words, and understand (what we can) of your story. I am going to close before the tears come…Susan

  13. jayherron Says:

    Thank you Susan,and PLEASE share my blog address with any you know who may learn and understand what being an MST survivor suffers from.
    It is important for me to continue to shed myself of the memories-and share what life is like with PTSD.
    I am thankful you have taken an interest in my journal!
    Peace

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