the shrink…the VA…and the hearing!


Originally uploaded by jayfherron

There has got to be an end-somewhere! There has also got to be some  perspective to all of this…I am not sure if I will ever see it though.

In four weeks I am to appear before a judge-another judge…this will be my second hearing at the Veterans Administration at St.Petersburg Florida. This is yet one more time to defend myself for something that happened 40 years ago…a crime against me-a crime where no one gave a rats ass about me,and no one was convicted…and I am the one going before a judge?

I had thought a year ago that most of this could just quiet down to just the horrid dreams and the usual bouts of social confusion and the usual phobic moments-such as what happens going into a Wal-Mart or some such. I thought when I reached the judgement from the first hearing…I thought it was over. Now I find I may have to defend this over and over-as the VA has deemed my PTSD has improved,we must now fight to raise the claim to where I never have to come back,the unemployable status is what they call it.

I had not expected this-until last Fall when the notice came that an appointment was made at the VA to re-evaluate my mental health. I did not feel comfortable at that meeting at all…and my attorney spoke to me saying the evaluation was not a good one-he suspects the agent had it out for me.

I had to go to a private psychiatrist,an expensive deal…very expesive-I ran two toll exits NOT understanding the roadway and the signs and the fact it was a fee required exit that did not have a toll collector…you had to have a pass-with out one the photograph of your vehicle will be sent with the bill.

I didn’t need to say anything about that…what difference does a fine make? Honestly I’m trying to avoid thinking at all…thinking of all of this-it is all-consuming,it always has been,but now it seems so magnified and intense.

The expensive psychiatrist sat me down-he took 15 to 20 minutes…I’m still trying to calculate that,my appointment was at 11 and I was driving out of the lot at 1120 feeling incredibly depressed that I could hardly impress someone what 40 years of living in my skin has been like-and 650 bucks (850 including the fines) and 20 minutes later. It is so insulting.

I had to pee! Just like in barracks D.

I drove down early in the morning-130 miles-and was in front of the building two hours early to do my mental adjustment (hypnotize) myself for the entry and the meeting. I had to pee! I walked around the parking lot-totally void of any wooded  area…there was a jiffy-john,but it was locked inside a fenced compound. There was an enclosed dumpster…with gates,and they were unlocked-but with my luck some office cleaner would be needing to dump trash at the moment I got started.

I waited two hours-standing in the sun…the wonderful lady in the office kept bringing me cups of water,not knowing how badly I had to pee.

Like in barracks D I waited. I fear public restrooms…restrooms trigger my anxiety-my first attack was in the ‘head’ in barracks D.

Maybe it was a blessing that the meeting was so short…and thank God for the eternal construction the Florida Turnpike is so proud of,where I found the jiffy-johns. An old road trick I learned from trucking.

Really…my words are subdued this morning,it is almost like defeat! Now I have to prepare mentally for the date in four weeks. I’ve been to the building where the hearings are held-large multi-story place. The hearing rooms are enclosed cubes-hardly room for more than a table and chairs. The restrooms are a one seater-the doors open right in to the waiting area…the hearing is at 1100. I am again-one more time-have to repeat the details….trying not to forget-the man back in 1969-New Years eve said “get used to it” (the officer I reported the rape to-which was the early morning of New Years eve 69-70). That has never been…I still suffer from the memory to this moment.

I was told to file a disability claim to find validation. Biggest joke that has ever been!

Just this experience of mine…which seems to  be typical of all who suffer from post traumatic stress from MST-is the insult to our privacy to have to continue to defend the assaults on our being. It was bad enough being victim,worse that those who should have helped-DID NOT,my hope for help laughed and said “get used to it”,and it has been the same for others-many many others….just by what I am saying here should raise cries of the need for change in regards to our PTSD treatment-too!

 What really pisses me off…I lived with this alone for 35 years! No one cared then…no one understood me afterward-and then the VA gets involved (sure…I finally said something) it all just seemed so perfectly right when my therapist told me I should file a disability claim.

I worked around things in my life to put this together-it never really worked. I hard times with jobs-I’d get one and do good for a while,and then something would trigger-and things went askew from there….drinking-or the drugs years,and then-a new job…

I fought the battle and got a lot of it under control…my drinking was non-existent for five years,the longest ever, and moderate after that five years dry,and my self-abuse was seemingly over-long long over….

It seems like the battle is still going on!


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