I miss the view of solitude


little window Pete

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

I am missing a space. Odd to think-it is about the most peaceful place on earth.

Sometimes I bring home a six pack of beers-a good dark style beer…and I go out and sit in the cab of my truck and listen to the music and drink. I don’t drive anywhere-but do sit with the engine idling just as if it was a semi truck. Looking out the windshield at a clearer way to think.

Many times in my last days of heavy haul trucking I would be sitting somewhere in a empty field waiting to load a piece farm equipment. I would find these places so restful-to just be out in the middle of no where…no nothing, just the open air (hmmm…that is if you got out of the truck).

I chose the heavy haul part of trucking just for the main reason-most of the hauls were machines such as bulldozers and excavators or cranes or some type of mobile machine. We would find find these things and load them and move across country with them until unloading some where else…all with out seeing another living soul.

Yes. Some might pass a road grader sitting on the side of the interstate somewhere-and we would be hired to find it load it and move it to another location. There is always a key hidden somewhere on the rig…that always amazed me.

This past week I was subject to a hearing. It was gently titled an ‘evaluation’…an evaluation to determine if my PTSD has made any improvements. This,I understand,will give the VA control over the adjustment of my level of disability-and reduce my benefits along with that. I told the interviewer I wish I never brought this up ever in my life-meaning allowing someone to know about my being raped in barracks D. I should have lived out the rest of my life with out saying a word. I managed to adjust to a way of life in the big trucks. A way of exile from being attached.

I found somebody I once thought I could trust-the first ever such person,and then all of a sudden that person is gone. It was my first therapist at the VA.

After that separation I resigned from being a patient. I have never felt like a veteran-I have never felt the right to be seen at the VA Hospital was something I deserved-I always felt each person there that had a computer screen saw the same things I knew…this man is not a proper veteran. I failed my country-that is the shame I feel…I failed the men I should have been injured next to-in combat where these things would make better sense.

The doctor that interviewed me the other day will never grasp the way my life has been-from then in 1969-70 to this morning just shortly after waking from another violent dream of being in a prison…I am so tired of them.

Ever since  I opened up to the VA about my injury I have had to explain it to newer people…and newerr people after that. Much with a strange sense of doubt. Perhaps the doubt comes from the reaction I was given 40 years ago…”get used to it!” was the comment made by the officer I reported the rape to.

I was able to escape in the big trucks. I was able to go and not form bonds and not be in a click or not become involved in some way in any way that would cause me a period of incarceration-by keeping out of trouble. The truck was a freedom-perhaps THE FREEDOM.

It is so abusive to sit yet with one more stranger and say what it is that describes barracks D. Equally abusive is the shuffle how we are treated at the VA Hospital period! It is not health care. They do not want to deal with us or our strangeness.

I was told two weeks ago I am not receptive to therapy. I want to know when the therapy was going to begin?

I spent three years trying to learn to trust someone finally and the VA health care system shuts that down. I was finally able to trust and was about to tell the person the fullest of it all…all in hopes to get help.

My past experience a few weeks ago had nothing to do with health care-had nothing to do with anything …except I broke a rule-and brought a pair of journalist with me to my scheduled appointment. The doctor has never fired anyone before-she put the frosting out before the fire came…it was so impersonal. She brought up the journalists first-then I was told I was not receptive to therapy.

That might be so-it took too long to get there anyway. Sorry that you can’t understand-it is not easy to pack 40 years of torment into short monthly sit downs.

I don’t know why this is. Why did I have to let them know? No one cared for all these years..it just seems so strange. I was pissed because of  alprazolam-a drug! That is what started my big mouth rolling about being raped! My alcoholic past and mixed with the years of drug abuse…kicking those habits only so the VA can give you one of their own!

After writing this journal for these past years I have come to learn that I am not alone! I am NOT the only one!

I have commenters that have come in contact with me beyond this forum-speaking by telephone and hearing the treatment and the way the system shuffles each aside and never up. The stories come from Washington State-from New Mexico-from Michigan-from men and from woman who have never met each other but by seeking justice with in the VA system have found each other by the greatness of the Internet. We all have the same story-suffering from PTSD and above that-shame,because we were raped. So-I know it is not just me.

I looked at my doctor this past week and pity came to my mind-I pitied somebody that could achieve a degree and not even have anywhere to use it.

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10 Responses to “I miss the view of solitude”

  1. bookwitchery Says:

    You know, I look at the VA system and it frightens me. It also makes me want to look at these people who fight for a government health care system and say, “Look at the VA and then tell me you want the government in control of your health care.”

    My husband’s grandfather had to have a colonoscopy. He’d had colon cancer, and it was to check and see if all the cancer had been removed. Here’s the thing: someone FORGOT to put it in the computer that he’d had it done, so the doctor made him have another one. Why? Because if it isn’t in the computer, it hasn’t happened. This 80-something year old man had to go through that AGAIN because some idiot forgot to put it in the computer system.

    My heart aches for this senseless lack of human care.

    • jayherron Says:

      Yes-I as sent a letter saying the MRI I had taken showed an aneurysm in my brain-then the consulting doctor accused me of fabricating the thing?? Do I have an aneurysm? Who knows?

      • bookwitchery Says:

        Wow…uhm, that’s something I think they’d want to take a closer look at, as it could be very dangerous. Yeesh. I hate it when doctors do things like that.
        I think I told you about my punctured lung? Sent home told I was fine, and by the time my husband made me return to the ER, left lung was 80% collapsed. The doc who punctured the lung told me…AFTER I had been cut open to repair the lung…”Man, there was only a 3% chance this would happen.”

        Yeah, well….

  2. bookwitchery Says:

    I wanted to give this its own comment.
    I am about to say this, not to negate or discount what you are feeling, but to give my view of things.
    From what I have read of your journals, I do not feel in the least that you have failed your country. Your country has failed you, and continues to do so. From what I remember of reading (and please tell me if I have misunderstood or have this wrong), you wound up in barracks D because of your brother’s jealousy. You WANTED to serve your country. You wanted to be on that ship. You did not ask for any of the horrors that happened to you, from the rape to all the mistreatment you’ve experienced since.

    I will say again that I admire you for the courage you’ve had to speak up and tell your story. You give people hope. It is my sincere wish that more and more men speak up, so that more treatment options become available, so that rape crisis counselors receive more training, so that men who go through this will know that they are not alone.

    • jayherron Says:

      It is ALL a basket of crazy mixed up feelings-yes,I know I stood up t the plate…not running to Canada like many did! There is some strange stigma,it confuses me too-my brother being my ‘brothers of Joseph’….that makes me confused about love. Thank you for reading me so thoroughly-it makes me feel rewarded because someone so interested. peace

      • bookwitchery Says:

        A woman I know has said about her own mother, “I love my mother because she’s my mama, but I don’t really like her.” (Her mother was mean, vindictive…you name it.)

        When people we love, admire, trust, abuse us…it is really, really confusing. We actually have to teach ourselves what love is.

        Sheesh, I sound like I know what I’m talking about, don’t I? Bleh…just trying to find my way through the fog.

  3. Mike E Says:

    Hmm. Beers in the cab of your old rig? Sounds like a Good Time! I could drive my taxi down there & park it & we could drink beers in that too. Maybe have a Race..

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