– Proverbs 15:21 –


011

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

The poet Maya Angelou wrote something like this…people will forget what you said-people will forget what you did-but people will never forget how you made them feel…

I once worked in a funeral home in Washington DC. The owner had these special coins crafted-he would hand you one when ever he had a point to share with you,or a lesson he wished to teach-the coins had one word on each side! SILENT and LISTEN!

The man would hand you one his coins and he would always say “These two words have the same letters of the alphabet and although spelled differently they mean the same thing” and then he would go into the lesson he was trying to share with you.

His lessons were always valuable-he was particular in the lesson of the tongue! Not from a morticians standpoint-but from the standpoint of what should be said…and what should not! The tongue can be a mighty sword…and yet can be  a  dangerous tool. He would hand you one of his coins and say things like “profanity is the effort of a feeble mind trying to express itself forcibly”!

In a mortuary you need extreme caution as to what should be said. To be discrete is the foremost rule-you never say more than needs to be!

One of the things from my military past-the past which is the always present…always present thank you to post traumatic stress disorder-one of the key things that stick out is the ship-mate named Billy that spoke out the morning I was unable to make roll call. I was snowed in at the Greyhound Bus Station on New York Avenue in Washington DC. Billy saw fit to suggest to our division leader why I may not be there…his suggestion was based on a conversation he over heard-but not enough so he could base a fact. Somehow he was able to formulate a reason…which had no reason,because his own conclusion was not a fact! His conclusion was told to my older brother (who I was stationed with-and who was not happy about that being so) and my older brother made it worse!

So…I am talking about truths and facts and cussing and the quote from a poem-which says “people will never forget how you make them feel”.

I am also trying to tell about the trip to Washington DC!

Ever since Billy spoke his words that ended up putting me in a detention barracks I have exercised a caution of whom I say what to-or how it is said. I have raised a barrier-a gate-to prevent myself from become close to others,or trusting them with any involvement of my life what so ever! One trys to trust…one trys!

My day on Monday May 10 began looking out the window of a high dollar hotel on DuPont Circle. I was on the telephone with a young man-the man who arranged the meetings for the day,meetings with officers of a Senators staff. Our agenda was to speak about the crime of Military Sexual Trauma-and how there needs to be a change of how veterans who survive such must be treated.

My conversation-shall I say,the things I listened to while being the first to speak with this young man…he was lost while trying to return a rental car! He was trying to formulate sentences but each attempt was filled with the forcible language of a feeble mind! The F words intermingled with words damning God that were mixed with any other foul word that could be brought in-and associated with his anger and tirades immediately affected my post traumatic triggers. This was first thing in the morning (not that after noon the language could be understood any better).

I was shut down from that point on!

Benefit of the doubt-I followed as we trekked across the city by Metro car.

You will find that I am having difficulty in writing what I want to say.

I was most of my life a long distance trucker! Many many meals in truck stops all across America. I always hated when another driver wanted to sit at a table with me…I always hated when ever the waitress would come and another would speak to her as if she had been waiting all of her life to have him come in and call her “darling” or “sweetheart” or “where have you been all my life”. It was offensive at any time to hear about the “ass on her” or other descriptions of sexual matter of some persons body.

My companions on this day May 10 were two young men-one a ‘military sexual trauma’ survivor and the other his friend from home,an aspiring politician running for a seat on a local commission. Along also a photo-journalist. The young men were gay-which is not any reason to concern one,except that when we approached the security check points at the Hart Senate Building the comments regarding “the ass on him” were not at all appropriate for the somber mission we had ahead of us. I felt in the presence of some gutter mouth trucker.

Yes…I began by saying Maya Angelou said “people will never forget how you made them feel”!

Rape is a subject no one is comfortable talking about. Rape is a subject which very word itself musters up a vision in any intelligent persons mind-RAPE is not a pleasant subject,and any can get a clear picture as to how horrendous the act is.  In the funeral business we make a death call to notify a family with such discretion-not by saying we are sorry to notify you that the automobile accident was so full of blood and destruction…you pretty much can understand that telling a person their loved one died in an accident-they know the picture! One can leave out the horror of the details.

That was the trouble my companion in the visits we had at each meeting could not seem to understand. He was unable to see past himself to be able to see any reasoning!

During our second meeting of the day-we met with Congressman Michael Turner (Ohio) Military Legislative Assistant. She was joined in the conversation with the Congressman’s Military Fellow.  We entered the office building (I am thinking it was the Cannon Building) as we did the Hart Senate Building-a security checkpoint. There were more comments from the two young men-the “asses on them” comments-remarks about the police!

It was in the Congressman’s office when I began to feel the most discomfort with the two I had teamed with. The young veteran went into his story-the young Military Legislative Assistant  halted him in mid conversation….his details were too graphic,and she was uncomfortable. I was uncomfortable too!

Then a change in his details.

Our first meeting he told of his attack experience with a very key point! He described how his attacker came to his bunk and kissed him on his lips. At our second meeting-his second telling of the story-he explained how his attacker came to his bunk and pushed his tongue in his mouth. Why wasn’t this detail the same in his earlier telling? It IS a prime detail?

It hit me then! I was uncomfortable…the Military Legislative Assistant was too! This young veteran was not seeing it clear enough. He was seeing what he wanted to see….but could not see the others!

I took a move of swift separation!

I went to Washington DC believing in the words of another-we were going there to fight for the rights of the entire platoon of the SILENT WOUNDED! All I heard from this young veteran was “I lost this-I lost that-I wanted to be-I ….I…I..” ? Hello…? Hello…?

I DID NOT feel this young veteran had any other agenda! I felt by his NOT hearing the young female assistant saying she was uncomfortable would have swayed his conversation to a more beneficial path-he heard nothing,it appeared,and he kept on with his descriptions! I felt that all of a sudden-THIS IS A SINKING SHIP! and he was working the hole bigger so the ship could sink faster! I felt NOTHING positive was going to come from these meetings…as a matter of fact-I felt the participants from the legislatures being turned off! Only listening politely!

I FLED!

Last night I received a telephone message from the young veteran. He announced he will be attending and giving testimony at the Congressional hearings next week regarding MST. How sad a representative this man is! I am sad-there is no doubt-NO DOUBT- that this is a tragically injured individual…and I will not take away from what he has endured,but…it will be a shame if his actions and words are exactly the same content as he used in front of the people we met! His ability to discern discretion is destitute as it says in the Proverbs-his ability to stand up for others lacks any quality of integrity.

I am sorry that I trusted this man.

To end this long piece of the journey…let me say-the journey is still underway! I TOO have been invited to testify…although my ability to travel there to DC in just days short of a week may deter that! I HOPE for the means to come my way.

I want to speak for a hope! The hope that one day men and woman come to understand that RAPE is not at all…AT ALL connected with sexual behavior-straight,gay,up or down or any shape and form of sexual preference! Sexual contact is not even remotely a part of sexual trauma! I want to speak of hope that MST survivors are soon given a right path to follow to seek out medical and financial benefit-one path which has no bigots…only RIGHTS!

I DO NOT need to explain the day after day of abuses I experienced while in barracks D-the things I was made to do! The picture is clear enough to ANY intelligent mind!

I humble myself before my readers and before those that entrusted me with their messages to the Senators!  I will write-hopefully Tuesday-about the way my path went after I separated from the un-wise and went on my own search for the ears to hear! I FOUND THEM! And I will bring that information to you quickly as soon as I am confirmed it is fact!

Proverbs 15:21 Folly is Joy to him that is destitute of wisdom: but a man of understanding walkth uprightly

One Response to “– Proverbs 15:21 –”

  1. enemyinthewire Says:

    I can only imagine how tough it must have been. You are stronger than I am…I am not sure I would have seperated…I just might have totally lost it!

    It is like the one girl at our campout. She is trying so hard to overcome her issues that she makes all of us very uncomfortable with her constant talk about sex.

    It amazes me, sometimes, the lack of perception that some people have about the people around them.

    Stay strong!

    Joan

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