Archive for June, 2010

indecent disability

June 29, 2010

blue head-jay herron 2007

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

I’m worn out!
It was only 1998 when I was out on the open roads driving my semi truck. My crazy bride was with me and things seemed fair. Then it all came to a halt-I had a stroke.

Then-coming home and trying to get well I began to really see how crazy the woman I was married to was!

Then-walking out in the forest behind my place I meet Rose.

Then-my crazy wife leaves….forever!

Then Rose tells me her past-and present…she is wanted by the FBI for murder and escape.

That turns into a long fiasco!

Then the veterans hospital asks me if I’m ever depressed??

Damned right I am! That’s what I tell them…would’nt you be? I’ve had a stroke and lost my livelihood and my wife was crazy and stole us blind and disappeared and my neighbor slays men and flees from the consequences and tries to convince me to help her-which ends up with me pointing the finger at her to the FBI…and that puts her in prison for life!! This was before-and leading up to my exposing my MST.

And that was just 1998.

So…the VA prescribes a drug…they called it a medicine.

I’m not naive. I’ve most likely met them all in my life-the illegal drugs! My nose has shined many a glass plate! So I know what ‘getting high’ feels like. The pills the VA gave me made me feel high.

By this time I had remained relatively sober! I certainly had not done street drugs for many years-the hardest thing there was in life was to shed myself of that!

After the night Rose was arrested-I had cold stone quit drinking. That lasted five years until my pal and I found Ed Gardner…that’s another story for some other place-but dang did he stink and the circumstance was so nasty that having a few drinks to splash the past-and wash the nasty taste of Mr.Gardners stink out of my mouth. Well-an alcoholic can’t drink just one drink,even after five years.

My point? Sobriety is an every day challenge-which I often fall from…worse more lately the other night it took ten long neck beers before I could find a blank spot. Not sleep-no one sleeps when drunk…they just pass out.

So the battle of staying sober has still been lost.

Todays paper has an article about a traffic stop netted the officers a large drug bust. A portion of the stash…by the way,we are talking hundreds of pills-was Xanax.

I’ve heard before that a Xanax pill is a costly little morsel on the street-that folks use them to get high…I’ve heard they actually grind them into a powder and snort the stuff like cocaine.

Well…this bottle here-from the VA was prescribed to me-and it is called Alprazolam. The generic Xanax. They made me high. After a while-they made me think strange things like how interesting it might be to see brain matter flinging across a restaurant if someone was to open fire with a shotgun!

I had a few other kind of thoughts like that…and my real mind said “whoa??”

Interesting thing! In my entire past history of drug abuse and alcohol abuse…the only person I ever thought of killing was me! The prescribed medicine from the VA had my mind going crazy and thinking alarming thoughts-and began thinking of massacres.

I wrote about this-I looked the stuff up on the web and read several interesting notes-one is that the drug is ment to calm down horses and vicious dogs. Another-that no one should take them full life span-but only 14 should be administered in ones entire life?? I had like 120??

I wrote about how two days after I dumped them down the commode I fell on the floor and lay there suffering for 8 plus hours-going through withdraws. I was so sick and the pain was like getting teeth pulled with out sedative.

I had been through that with cocaine years before…but not nearly as bad!

I admit-this past crixmix season I fell on my duff…crixmix is the time of year my impacted memory comes out-my rapes were on new years eve…so the season of jolly jolly does not work to make me feel any better.

Worse things too.

My surrounding issues…and crixmix I fall and seek the ‘comfort’ of ‘damage control’….my wagon tossed me!

It seems that is what is causing me trouble with the VA…and appears to possibly cause them to stop paying me a disability for PTSD. The doctor feeling my being unable to remain sober is obvious my mental health is improving??

Why not take this drug? It will help…ex aye en aye ex Xanax?

Get me a six-pack!

I really cannot control it. I try. I even do good at it…sometimes it is weeks before the moment comes that self medication is the prescription. It is usually not a premeditated thing…it is what is hitting you at the time. At least-that is-with me!

I don’t suppose I am very encouraging here-and I’m not lifting anyones spirits. That is what truth is. Blunt. Sometimes good-sometimes not so good.


the perfect place-catfish hotel

June 27, 2010

catfish hotel-St.Johns River,Florida

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

The most peaceful place!
One of the hardest parts of our lives it is hard to find the perfect place. The most peaceful place.

If I could have my choice-it would be here at ‘catfish hotel’.

There is no road. As a matter of fact-there are no convieniences-anywhere…unless you had a boat.

The river is the only neighbor-this the only dwelling for a five-mile radius!

I wish that I was there right now…and that in my head and heart I could feel that I was the only one in being. Everything else was void.

Some years ago I had this amazing Spiritual experience.

I was in a semi truck-we were loading cattle for the long haul across to California from Rebecca,Georgia. I always thought this was interesting-Rebecca being a key figure in the Old Testament. But it took a few years after to realize the significance of it being in the town of Rebecca.

Believe me when I say this-thanks to the help of drugs…our eyes had been open for a solid week-and we were yet to bound off for another 3000 miles. My heart gave up and said “no more”.

I felt like someone came up from behind me and slugged me between my shoulders-on my back. I sunk down to my knees-trying to breath.

The other drivers-all as popped up as I was…they all came to my rescue and helped me in my truck. And once there I felt a second fist-same place and same hard hit feeling. And I fell into my bunk.

I felt myself becoming the horizon. Voices were singing-very beautiful singing in a language I’ve never heard-but I understood.

The scene ahead of me was the most beautiful I had ever seen. It was also a horizon and I was becoming a part of it-and going towards the light…but I saw the darkness too.

I felt the beautiful comfort I’ve ever known in my life. I wanted to go forward.

It seemed somehow guilt entered the picture. I had been subjecting my body to the poison that was ready to kill me…but seeing this I could not dispute that what we consider death may very well be more beautiful than anyone knows. After all-the most of death we see is in funeral homes and in hospitals or as the last flash as we hurdle through the windshield. But none of us see the actual presentation to the individual as  death comes to them.

I feel we are dead already. And have never seen life yet…because of what I saw then and what I see now.

So…my guilt woke me back to this place (just to adjust time-this was in 1993-or 94). In my mind as this was happening was that I was so toxic from what I was doing to my body. I had somehow the conscious thought that this was how they would find my carcass-dead from the way I poisoned my body.

Well…I can’t say much of the lesson stuck. I still find a way to escape my reality-and usually in a toxic way…sometimes moderate,and then there are times like the other day-the kind that lasts into the next day into a long period of regret.

Well…I can say much of the lesson did stick! I know there is a God…and I know it is each one of us-individually that finds that peace from the Spirit. And-I know this is not the special place (earth) every one wants to think it is.

This world overwhelms us…the oil in the Gulf-and children living under cotton sheets in Haiti…kids in Africa and in places we never heard of-suffering. The strange thing-there is never any understanding why any of us have to suffer. But it seems we all experience something that makes us despair.

I get ashamed of myself at what despair does to me. The things that I do that I have to hide from others…and yet fail to remember that I do it ALL in front of my friend-the Spirit of God.

I’m trying to recover! Just from this past week…along with all of my life. But…this week has been memorable-I still feel toxic from the abuse. Rare that it lasts this long.

I could handle a space-an open space like Catfish Hotel.

I would like to be there and hear the pure silence. I would love to lay back-and take it all in…and hope my meditation would return that horizon that I found in Rebecca. It was so peaceful. And…none of this was there.

Peace…oh,BTW-I never saw the next 3000 miles. My cattle hauling life did end that day. I just was able to walk away from it.


money is nothing!

June 22, 2010

my kind of design

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

The sun came up today…it reminded me of the old monk (I think he was a Hari Krishna guy-an Oriental looking chap in gowns) I met one night long ago-he made remarks about my owning five acres saying “you own nothing!” and I kept arguing I had a deed for the five acres…he kept insisting that I had nothing-that I owned nothing.

A while later-that night-after the debate of ‘ownership’ I stepped into the darkness to relieve myself from the beers that collected in my kidneys-and I was looking up into the stars…the amazing sky so full of them. A voice came up from behind saying “now those you own”!

The wisdom in what he was saying took many years to come to fully understand. His point was no matter where you stand in any place in the world-in freedom,or in prison…the sky is there-never changes-it is there just like clock work. No one can take that away from you. Land? You can loose it-foreclosures or back taxes or even by growing weed on it. Yes the old wise monk was correct-we own nothing.

Yesterday I received a call-I am still stunned…I will be stunned for several more days-if not forever.

I received a call telling me that a re-evaluation I attended as required by the Veterans Administration that the doctor that met with me for ONE HOUR was able to determine that my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has improved…remarkably!

I will soon see an end to disability checks!

I never asked for this!! The money!! Well…in a manner of speaking, yes! But…in the long run of it all-no! What money?? For what??

My therapist at the Gainesville Florida VA hospital told me that I should appeal for VA disability for PTSD. Her opinion was that I am classic PTSD.

I took her advice-believing what she said about an award would be empowering and validating. It has been nothing but a form of torture…to be honest.

Now…a few years ago-I got a letter from the VA hospital telling me that an MRI I had done of my head (because of light blindness in my left eye) had shown positive for an aneurism. I was scheduled for a consultation…there the doctor made it sound like I broke in the MRI unit and somehow snapped this picture and punctured a hole in it with a pin. End of consult….still curious about the aneurism,wondering about the flashing light in my eye.

A couple of years now have gone by since,but-I showed up to a regular scheduled weekly appointment with myMST-PTSD therapist. I was told to go home by the clinic director…three weeks in a row-those three weeks followed by three months of silence! I swear-I thought the woman had killed herself from hearing the grief of so many others. Instead-she a veteran a favor-and because it backfired on her-we clients paid the price! Mental health patients!

A year and a half ago I fell in my living room with my body screaming in pain. I thought it would soon stop-but did not to the point I dialed 911. I was in misery from a pain that has persisted in my body now for 9 or 10 years-this day it was more than I could take. 911 carried me to the ER at the VA. My son followed the rescue unit-his comment as the ER staff put me out on the curb was “Dad…they treated you like a convict” (he should know-as a deputy he sometimes transports convicts to the ER).

Later that same night the pain was once again too intense-and I dialed my son and he dialed 911. The EMT team saw it was me and said “Mister…you don’t want us to take you back to the VA-they won’t take you further past the waiting room,and you will wait there all night”!! So-they took me to a real hospital. In their ER they saw the pain-and treated that first off. Then they took me for some body scans (are they called CT’s?) and I was told that I have a large cyst on one of my kidneys.

That paperwork got sent to the VA. One and one half years ago. There has NEVER been any consultation about my kidney-not once! I remain ill from this-I was offered a shot that would put me in a zone for three months-to ease the pain and nausea. It is best to die! Masking the pain-with pharmacy drugs?. No answer for the problem. I am still sick and suffer pain.

This January I arrive at my scheduled appointment with my new MST therapist at the VA. With me was Lynn J. and Annie O.,a team of photo-journalist who are recording parts of my life as an MST survivor who struggles with PTSD. The reception was cool and cordual but the following appointment I was told not to return! It was the last time I have set foot in the VA.

I pay 100 dollars each month for ‘Medicare’! I receive Social Security because of a stroke that disabled my ability to drive trucks long distance (my only real skill-and my choice of life) and have tried unsuccessfully to use it in this area. I need a referal…that must come from my pyhsician, mine being the VA. They don’t refer patients-I was told. The advice given was to have myself transported to a hospital ER (hospital of my choice) and they have to see me-and have to accept my Medicare. The hundred bucks are useless.

That is unacceptable-just as much as everything else I’ve said about the ‘medical care’ at the VA.

I NEVER asked for money! It was suggested to me by my VA therapist…”go do this-it will validate you” is the closest I can come to the way it was said!

I go to the DVA officer in Levy County (FL) and tell the man about having been raped! He responds by saying it was hard to believe homosexuals needed a reason to rape each other…he was in disbelief that attackers weren’t black. He was trying to make jokes about my being a victim-there were none of them that were funny.

I decide to flee the aid of the DVA and  hire my own attorney….months after I receive a letter from the Veterans Administration saying “your attorney is not in our list of approved attorneys” thus your case is void! I still have that letter-a US citizen being told he cannot provide his own legal representation?

I NEVER asked for this-I was told to pursue a disability claim from the VA for PTSD….I was told (and this after about two years of determination) that I was classic PTSD and that a disability claim would not improve my life-but would serve as validation!


I don’t get it?

A few weeks ago I got some forms from Social Security-they seem to think I also have improved from my stroke and wondered why I havent shown up on the records as far as my medical care is concerned?? Well…it has to be because the VA has literally blocked me from ALL directions.

I might lose that source of survival too…and just as much as the VA disability – Social Security is not a large amount of money…but it is all I have. I cannot return to driving trucks ever again. But THANKS to the VA a man with a blind left eye (who is afraid of night driving-the flashing light in my left eye spooks me) that might be my next step-but I wouldn’t make it out the driveway. I’m not able to pass a DOT physical-so…not to worry!

Why do I thank the VA?…because there has been ZERO medical care for me from there! Nothing!! I look back-and almost as far as I can see….nothing!

Well-I did have the ‘fake’ MRI….and still wonder about the aneurism?

So…back to Janurary and the re-evaluation and the doctor who interviewed me. He did not like me from the beginning…I requested the lights be toned down (light blindness) and the questioning was one step-generic,and permitted no room for a deep response-mostly just ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers! My attorney called me yesterday (the new one-approved by the VA) and told me the news…they said your PTSD has improved and you are about to be denied further disability.

ONE HOUR! My life of shit for 40 years was judged by a man who resented that I insisted the lights be dimmed…I am LIGHT BLIND!!

I cannot figure it out….except I cannot shake the memory of that old monk-you never own something they can take away from you!

Ahh,the sun came up today…that belongs to me!

Fathers Day

June 20, 2010

city…under construction

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

Unusual for me.
I never write in the evening…my time of day is the wee hours before dawn-the pure part of the day,and the most quiet. Unusual for me. I usually write when it is quiet…but traveling back in time tonight-listening to the familiar sounds of a time long gone…Surrealistic Pillow will do-and is playing as I think back on this day 40 years ago-sitting perhaps on a tombstone in the Jewish Cemetery in Gainesville Florida. Perhaps? I know I was at the cemetery…it was an unusual day,surreal.

If it were 40 years ago I would be telling you about yesterday and last night…last night-I was in the suburbs of Washington DC,today I am sitting in a cemetery-and have no clue where I am.

If it were 40 years ago-I would tell you that we got caught…well,I got caught. Yea-caught in a crime,but just as much a victim-someone else was forcing me to steal. That person sensed something about me…my weakness. He used that to force me in doing his will. Just like in barracks D-and from where he must have sensed the broken part of me.

I had been interviewed by the police-the day before…40 years ago. I was given until the next day to tell it all-and turn in the other man. I knew I was going to go to jail-and I knew what life would be like.

40 years ago last night I was with a friend-we went to a going away party for a fellow…I could only tell you about his Ford station wagon,and some of the drive-the old way-down U.S.17 all the way to South Carolina at what is known as South of the Border. There was hardly an Interstate 95. There was hardly a South of the Border-a ferris wheel and motel next to a coffee shop. I can tell you that because angels saw fit for me to ride away with this fellow.

We drove to Florida-straight through.

In Jacksonville we met my drivers cousins-they all loaded surf boards in the wagon and looked at me as if to say “well?”….I was’nt invited to the beach-as much as I was only a hitch-hiker.

So-my ride was extended to Gainesville. I knew of Gainesville because of the university ( I believe I heard about it in the Navy) but am not sure how I knew it was there?? My driver and his cousins offered to drop me there-the highway heads east to Crescent Beach from there.

There I was-the sole living resident of a Jewish cemetery!

I think it was all appropriate! The graveyard seemingly  a Spiritual message-yet to be understood. Understanding would come years later-at least,clearer thinking.

I go by that graveyard all the time. I try to visit there every year on this date…fathers day-today being my 40th year. Today is no different.

the interview

June 18, 2010

me on the USS Vulcan
Originally uploaded by jayfherron


Last night was a gift for all of the SILENT WOUNDED!

Last week l was asked to consider being the guest on a radio program-The Rape Declaration Forum (WBAI-FM 99.5 NYC…the program airs the 3rd Thursday of each month).

The invitation was because l am a male-and survivor of sexual trauma.

Earlier this week I was contacted again-by the co-host of the program-and l was asked to do a promo…and l was unable to say anything intelligent. The co-host remarked “usually a spokes-person has something prepared”!!

I had to think about that-l was dumbfounded too,after all-l talk about MST in my blog all of the time…and then l realized why l was stuck! I am not a spokesperson about male sexual trauma-l am a spokesperson about ‘military sexual trauma’….and not necessarily about male victims-as important as that is also,but to inform others about MST is paramount.

Military Sexual Trauma-MST

I could not believe my ears last night as the hosts began the program-and introduced me as a “whistle-blower” against the Department of Defense (well…they said it,but it ain’t that accurate-the DoD already knows the problem exists) …

…and,they introduced me as a spokesperson for the SILENT WOUNDED.

I was very proud of that moment-hearing them say SILENT WOUNDED…and knowing then that there were no gates-and no closed doors…and that freedom was there to say what so many want to say! We have been wounded in a dishonorable way…we remain wounded and feel guilt and shame and pain.

Our voice was given an hour on a New York City radio program. The program will be loaded into their archives next week. I hope I handled the message responsibly.

I am truly thankful to the hosts-Jay Grayce and Rebecca Myles for allowing us to speak!


WBAI-FM 99.5

June 15, 2010

drawing by-jay herron

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

The radio station WBAI-FM 99.5 (NYC) this link will connect you to has invited me to be interviewed Thursday June 17 at 10 pm on an hour-long program ‘RAPE DECLARATION FORUM’ and the topic will be about male sexual trauma survivors !

I hope that you will listen-and because the program is listener participation…that you will join in the conversation!


PTSD…damage control…and me!

June 13, 2010

zulu warrior

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

One month ago today I was standing in Washington DC-a far cry from the reclusive life I have deep in the woods of Florida.
 The trip to Washington was emotional for me-my childhood was spent on summer vacations there,my grandparents lived in the SE section of the city…both are buried in Arlington National Cemetery. My baby brother was killed just a few miles North of the city-his body lay in repose at a Washington DC funeral home before burial in Pottstown (PA). I attended high school just miles North-our family history is entwined with the DC area,I was born 11 miles West in Prince Georges County Maryland. I enlisted in the United States Navy in a recruiters office on Georgia Avenue. The trip was filled with emotions.

Being honest-I am still recovering from the trip one month later!

I am a very sensitive individual. I am not able to deal with conflict-any aggression sets off a series of emotions…in certain cases-I black out what happens. That scares me,which is why my reclusive nature grows more and more everyday. I feel safer here in these woods where I am than anywhere-as long as there is food in the fridge I can stay here for days and be satisfied not seeing another living soul.

The journey to Washington DC was one of great importance to many! It was a somber mission-one that could eventually see results that could change the lives of many others. There are voices that are not able to speak up and there was a sense of dignity that needed to be in place of any other thing as the mission began the morning of May 10. The mission was to speak for these silent voices-the SILENT WOUNDED,veterans of the United States military who encountered a less honorable active duty by becoming victim of the crime of rape-raped by fellow soldiers.

Any time…ANY TIME-I am spoken to by friend or any person in a tone of aggression and much more is triggered if that aggression has been expressed with the words fuck,or mother fucking-or fucked up or such like….my head goes in a whirl. I have no comment-and at times not any ability to respond! My head goes in a whirl….a dark black whirl.

You can see! Just by my use of those phrases of F-words that it is out of category of dignity!

It’s not exactly the words-hey,I use them…but-it is in the delivery and time-and around whom they are used. If somebody comes screaming at you and is unable to form a proper sentence-unless it has a half-dozen ‘fucks’ and ‘fuckers’ in it,most likely you will cringe as well.

The young veteran that arranged our meetings in Washington had only made his acquaintance known to me one month earlier. The first time we spoke was an emotional experience-I know I wept!

A few phone calls later I am invited to be part of a delegation with this young veteran-to attend several meetings in Washington DC in Senate offices,to speak up for veterans who are suffering as MST survivors with PTSD. A mission that deserves dignity.

The morning of May 10-the morning our meetings were set, I am standing in a hotel room overlooking the DuPont Circle-the telephone was handed to me…it was the young veteran-he was lost trying to return a rental car…he was cussing more than he was making any sense. His sentences were compressed with the word fuck-and more! I wasn’t even lost…but just listening to him triggered my emotions-and I became lost in the blackness of his demeanor. As the paces of the morning continued it became evident that I was not comfortable being in this persons presence-and did not wish to continue being associated. I cut my ties before too many meetings went behind us-as a matter of fact-I split right in the middle of the second meeting. Cut and dry…honest goodbye!

My decision was based along with the consideration for the dozen survivors who had offered me their written statements of their lives as MST survivors-and the countless numbers of the silent. I had an obligation of trust given to me by these persons-and they deserved the dignity that this mission required. I chose not to represent MST survivors in tandem with this young veteran-I only wish I made the decision earlier!

I am not the one who told this gentleman that his words were making people uncomfortable! The representative for Congressman Turners office said it directly to his face requesting he tone down his description-she clearly stated she was uncomfortable. I had heard her say it-he had heard her say it…but kept on. I just told it as it happened.

 I had an obligation to those I represented that morning-I made an honest decision to leave-and I have a moral obligation to explain to those who trusted me exactly what happened. And I did that!

A few weeks ago I received some comments-demanding that I shut up….quit writing! The comments even questioned my validity saying l am unable to prove my actual status as a veteran…demanding my DD-214…saying l cannot prove any of this happened (I have)…saying that l cannot name names. (I can’t! So?)

My need for isolation makes sense. In adversity I black out. Okay…there’s my weak point! I wonder what are the parts in between? What takes place? What is it that l lost-and what is it that l don’t know? Where did I go? It appears that l have my own riots! It must have been built up inside of me from the trip-that is my only thought. I was tense from the F word tirades-I was tense from the journey itself-being in unfamiliar surroundings-a city! And lost most of the time myself…and airports-and restrooms and all of the people compressed inside the metro-trains! So l return to the woods here…and the contrast-and the isolation. I blacked out! I was the lightning that struck my computer…like Thor with a sledge hammer-I buckled that box into flattened steel,the screen into a bent mass of glass. I had not known it yet…the morning after-I woke and as I walked down the hall I saw the remnants of my destruction. Not able to remember one thing.

Like I said…the appearence of my own riots. Or…evidence that I did!

Too many times! Too many times-my son even pointed this out…how I get in a black zone and damage things. As I pointed out earlier-the events scare me!

This was only two weeks ago. I thought of quitting this blog many times now-and the adverse comments a few weeks back obviously struck a cord in my PTSD-triggering the event of my riot…..damage control…..

Well…I’m still pissed off! I am still angry at the system that needs to be held accountable for the many survivors of MST,and further on-all survivors of sexual trauma! I am angry STILL at a veterans advocate saying to me it was hard to imagine that homosexuals needed to rape each other (as if rape was something  jolly between folks) and his perplexed look that my attackers were not black-that still sticks in my crawl. I am angry-still. I angry that there are so many of us-and without support from the country we enlisted to serve…only because we are swept beneath a carpet of injustice.

I tried it! It won’t work…at least,not until something is done! I had thought I could sit in the public library and commute my words that way…but the empty space at my desk won-I cannot quit. And I am not. Thank you DELL!

MST and those who live with the PTSD are far more important to express and shout about-until we are heard…for me to allow adversity to stifle my tongue.



in a few more days!

June 7, 2010


Originally uploaded by jayfherron

There is one thing for certain…if you have not learned this on your own-the computer is an addictive device!
Mine has only been gone a week or not much more…and every morning I keep finding the blank spot where it once sat!

A new one is on its way…it will be at least another week!

I will resume writing then-more freely than I can now…the public library,it just won’t do!



June 1, 2010


Originally uploaded by jayfherron

hey…not much I can do except moan the blues!
Lightning killed my electronics…back soon!