the VA…depression-and suicide


my tombstone

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

It is Sunday-so some time for a little reverence.

My mind is stuck on this past week-my visit to the VA Medical Center. I havent been in a while-the crowded lab and the crowded waiting area,even the line at the small coffee booth-had my nerves on edge. Going there had my nerves on edge. There is always that one veteran that catches your eye and determines you are ready to hear how “they don’t know what they are doing” and “if they let me run this place” and you have to try to ignore it-knowing in my heart already I am stressed about being there.

It scares me! I am 59 years old and I know more about my body and my mind than what can be understood by a stranger in fifteen minutes. It also scares me that my truthful manner-you ask me the question and you will get the truth in detail. Indeed-I hate this life…it is mine-and I can hate it all I want! Yes…I am depressed-and I am freaking out in my own skin,trying to calm down and get settled. There is so much pressure-the VA hearing (again) coming up. I am wondering what good is coming out of any of it!

During the interview the doctor (a step past the nurse that wanted to make the joke about STD’s and life) begins to ask me about my depression. There was the usual sales pitch about the good of taking anti-depressants…there goes the medication push! I said No.

Then we came to thoughts of suicide! The doctor asked if I ever thought of suicide?

“Yes I have…in which direction do you mean”? Meaning-how can one avoid it?

The doctor asked me when my last thoughts of it came to me? I respond….”a little while ago-out in the waiting room”!! And…I was serious-from sitting out there looking at some in wheel chairs-and some with wheezers,to help them breath. Dang right!! I think of what I might do if my ankles were to start turning purple-and my ass getting so huge that only a wheel chair can tote it around! Or if a doctor was to take me aside and give the bad news that chemo had to start real soon….yup,I was thinking about suicide out there in the waiting room.

Wrong thing to say!

I got a little afraid of what was going through my head when doctor said she was going to have me hospitalized….whoa,just wait one minute! I realized she meant it-and it could happen…and what would that be?

I told her-dying is a part of my life that would please me….but death belongs to God,and if I took my life I would be stealing from God.

She reminds me…I was thinking about it-I just said so! And she wanted to let me know she was required to have me put in the hospital.

I gave her the whole picture…I live with my casket in my living room! I have a grave in a great little cemetery and on that grave is my tombstone! All ready-just like I am-and have been ready! I seen a vision (telling the doctor that gets the look) and it was about the beauty of being alive in eternity-and not the darkness most think death is! But suicide? It is not hard for me to think of that either…but only as a last resort when the physical pain is too much to bear.

She asked the dumb qustion…”have I got a plan”?

Well…I guess so-especially if everything is all arranged. I even have the funeral plans-my sons met with the undertaker when I gave him the instructions. Yes…it is all arranged-and so…that is a plan! My casket is in eye’s view right now…I saw my tombstone just yesterday-as a matter of fact. The only thing left now is the lift off. When God is ready.

Not that that makes me happy…but it makes sense,in the same sense the Garden of Eden does. Don’t eat the apple!

But…it makes me curious? Why is it we all know one way or the other we are going to die. I got fined one time for not wearing my seat belt-the cop chewed me out saying he “didn’t want to have to pull me out of a car dead someday”…and I promised him that one day someday someone is going to have to pull me out of somewhere-DEAD-and when the dead day comes there won’t be a seat belt strong enough to stop it! He did not like that at all. But-it is true. I worked in a funeral home for four years-I saw it all the time!

It wasn’t just the other day either!

I got up later than usual this morning. I’ve found some stronger than beer pain pills and have been adjusting my sleep with them…the up-coming VA hearing date has me so magnified on the PTSD triggers that I’m just a basket case of nerves and stress….so I woke later than usual-and after a cup of coffee-to the bathroom. The bathroom! Reminder ONE! Trigger the thought-trigger the memory…remember the rape the first night…remember the days after…remember why you are like this Jay…wish you were dead,don’t you? I will never be able to go to the bathroom and NOT remember!!! Yes…being dead would be a better place.

In my own life-with my brother and sisters death,and Mr.Hoke,and the time working in the mortuary…I saw the truth about death not respecting people. That matches what is says in Acts 10:34 “God is no respecter of persons”-which in my head tells it like it is…the mystery of death belongs to God.

I get to a point where I may not make any sense! But the thing really bothers me as why it is anybodys business of your living or dying (when it is by our own choices)!

There is a church near here-I went to it once upon a time ago. There was an old woman who lived in her bed in the living room of her house. She had a serious stroke some years before-the church paid some younger lady to live with this invalid old lady…a 100% need to have a care-taker including diapers and such!! Ooomph…and sometimes the old lady (who couldn’t talk-only mumble and drool and needing that wiped off)…sometimes she’d get a little worse-and the care-taker would tell the church about it on prayer night. And they would pray-out loud-for God to give this old lady strength and be merciful. I though of the mercy too…let her go! What’s any faith doing in asking God to keep this woman alive? To trust and believe there is  a ‘better place’ than believe in it and instead of praying to keep some bed ridden diaper clad woman alive-pray that God will slide her in to home plate…swiftly!

See what I am saying?

4 Responses to “the VA…depression-and suicide”

  1. bookwitchery Says:

    I’ve been in that place, Jay.
    Been there recently, as a matter of fact.
    A couple of weeks ago I hit a really, really low point. Called my therapist several times after hours…I NEVER call her, so that was how bad it was for me. She asked me if I was a danger to myself. My answer was no.
    I am not a danger to myself. I have a little girl who depends on me.
    All the same, it is unfair to pin that on her ( and no, I don’t tell her any of this stuff, she’s only 8.) But she is my reason for living.

    Every day I wake up and give myself a reason to get out of bed. A reason to get dressed and go to work. A reason to make it to physical therapy. A reason to make it to the therapist. A reason to do anything, ANYTHING, other than hide in my bed and not come out for days or weeks or whatever.

    I hate it when people ask you questions and then don’t like the answers you give. If you don’t want to know, don’t ask! I agree with you.

    I have to say that I do hope that if you ever reach that point where you’re thinking, “this is it,”, that you’re able to reach out to someone you can trust to get you through it. But I know how you feel. I do know how you feel. No, I am not a danger to myself. But I sometimes get just so damned TIRED of TRYING. I get tired of trying.

    I wish we could tell doctors that and not have them immediately go into panic mode. If they would just listen, instead of being afraid that if they miss a clue they’ll get in trouble something will happen….

    I’m fortunate in that my therapist does believe me when I tell her I’m not a danger to myself. But yes, I do get tired of trying, of going through it every day.

    Keep hanging in there, Jay. You’re helping people by doing what you’re doing, whether you realize it or not. That’s not just idle flattery, I really truly believe that your blog, and your constant moving ahead, your constant standing up to the VA system…I truly believe that you are helping someone, and that you are laying the foundation for change to be made.

    Many bright blessings, my dear.

  2. jayherron Says:

    My first wife-my two sons mother-left me in charge of being the full time parent.
    It was more like my sons and I grew up together…sometimes I think they raised me!
    We live very rural-deep in the woods…and them as boys (they were in elementery school) had a different lifestyle,our house a mere cabin built out of scrap wood and the luxury of a large travel trailer. Most of the time-transportation was my right thumb-or my feet!
    Lots of the time I was unable to work-or if I did,I couldnt get there.
    Lots of the time I’d get plastered-always trying to shut my real self away by being high.
    My sons watched this-they heard me lament about the navy-and the rapes,me a bumbleing idiot for saying -ever saying-more than should be.
    But-they grew up with it…my oldest son actually spending 20 years in navy duty “just for you dad”!
    You could not find a better set of love-my youngest son (a deputy sheriff and coast guard reserves) lives just up past me…still here,we still part saying we love each other,so-I am rich!…my oldest-the same way,and even my newly returned daughter-all good,all love.

    They understand me too!
    I once told them-if ever my pain went too far and too much…I might walk down in the National Forest and veir off the path and find a nice spot.
    But…not to worry-it will be when or if it is best,and NOT exactly this week!! But dang-if that time ever came it’d be like I walked into the wilderness,which it would be. I explained if I ever was to ‘disappear’ to have joy and know I am okay.

    They know I love God and that I am kicking the ceiling ready to catch up and resume the walks in the garden!
    But-like I said in my post…to get there to that garden does not belong to me-yet.

    I really thank you for the words of support-it means so much to know I am helping.
    It is rewarding-and that I mean is better than money…like my sons,it makes me rich in my heart to be blessed so,thanks!

  3. bookwitchery Says:

    I am so glad you have your family, your sons and your daughter. Family means so much, and you deserve that, so much more than (and I hope you will forgive me for saying this, for I am about to speak ill of the dead.) than that idiot brother of yours who caused you so much harm because he was jealous, and who told you you were a disappointment.

    You are anything but a disappointment. You have done so much, you’ve accomplished so much. Really, you have. Look at your children. Look at the men and women who will hopefully have more recourse when it comes to getting help from MST because of the fight you have put up and because of this blog you have where you get the word out.

    It is so important, not just for women to speak out, but for men, because men who go through this horror most especially need to know that they are not alone, that they are entitled to care.

    I am proud, very proud, to know men like you, Jay.

    • jayherron Says:

      yeah…I could dig deeper at my brother here,but won’t. Although-his death bed statement of me being a disappointment seeths with the hate he had for me.
      Things I will never understand,which is why I appreciate my friendship with God so much.
      My kids have been more than any man could wish-we never end a conversation with out saying “I love you”…very important!

      The criminal act of rape-or any interpersonal violence,effects all ages,all stands in life,all genders. That it happened to us in a place where we stood protect and serve-to defend,and yet were not defended or protected-cuts a scar so very deep.
      But-I believe that the scars of this kind of attack are equally deep in each of us who have had this crime commited upon.
      The mental disinitgration that survivors carry-for the rest of thier lives-is evidence that sexual trauma is not a gentle thing to shrug off as ‘behavior’. There is no way to be free of it. And the it harms the family of the survivor-the confusion of not being able to understand.
      It is larger than many ever know.
      peace

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