PTSD…damage control…and me!

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.



2 Responses to “PTSD…damage control…and me!”

  1. niki Says:


    welcome back. 🙂

  2. jayherron Says:

    It is where I need to be! Thanks!!

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