Archive for August, 2010

Proverbs 30:28

August 28, 2010


Originally uploaded by jayfherron

The verse I think of every time I see a spider says that the hands of the spider are all over the walls of the kings palaces (too!)…

This past July 12 issue of TIME has an article about female veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which the females express the discomfort of being treated at the VA hospitals,they note the care is still set up around male veterans.

The article also speaks about ‘military sexual trauma’ but as typical leaves out the fact that males are victims too. There is much to learn and many who must be afraid to come forward. The Silent Wounded!

One female vet described how fearful she was when her appointments at the VA would mean waiting in an area predominantly filled with males. I fully understand that fear…I HATE the VA waiting areas! I FEAR the VA waiting areas,I FEAR the men….I FEAR the VA hospital.

It is very easy to relate to the interviews in TIME’s article. It shows that the effects of PTSD are equally disturbing in woman as they are in men. I feel like I am in a room filled with serpents when I would attempt a VA appointment. Our fears are equal.

The article touched on sexual trauma-a few words,not enough,but did mention. There needs to be more said. I know that there are many who agree with me. unfortunately (yet I understand) there was not a word about how sexual trauma injures males too.

More and more as time has given me to write in my hope to raise awareness I receive comment and contact from men who have served as far back as Viet Nam stating that they too suffered attacks by their own troops and thanking me for the courage it has taken to write (and write) about what happened in my ow accounts of my rape and continued assaults. They all seem to say the same thing…they are afraid to speak out,afraid to come forward,afraid because when they reported the crime to superiors they were told to muster up and buckle to…in other words,shut up.

This is so unfair! So unjust because a truth is kept from being! This is no small thing.

Like my family. No one ever asked me (I once told my kid brother years ago) what happened in the Navy that brought such a dramatic change in me.

Because I was in a detention barracks all they ever saw and knew was I got in trouble and the Navy booted me out! No one knew any more than that. So in my description of the “truth is kept from being” I share this because it is what it means! Except…the truth is being kept from the rest of the people! Military Sexual Trauma is the truth being kept from ears!

I once had an occasion to grieve over an incident and as my usual way of dealing with the matter I bought a couple of 12 packs of beer and built myself a fire in my back yard. I drank one beer after the other trying to get as drunk as I could,but the adrenaline in my body kept me from getting so. Near the end of the 24 cans of beer I looked up and saw myself as if mirrored in the night sky. The thing that disturbed me the most was that I realized God saw everything there is about me. Things I have kept secret from my family and my friends were not secret to God.

I don’t mean this in a good way either,or a bad way…the proverb about the spider says such.

My lifestyle of living alone with my PTSD has been erratic and often ersatz in lack of normal. My family,my sons,no one could comprehend my drug abuse or my alcohol abuse. They still can’t and I hardly can. More so I have hidden from them and many the way I have dealt with the monsters of me. Our group of neighbors once had a woman who was constantly being beat up by her boyfriend,and yet she still went home to him. And,being beat up again. I know that need. I once had an active practice of similar abuse desires. Once the injuries landed me in the hospital for 12 days. No one ever knew.  The secrets I had to keep. The Silent Wounded!

 Through my silence I helped perpetuate the truth being kept from being known.

Had I known there might have help available maybe life would have been different. There is no way of knowing now! My generation was at the age of not understanding. Rape was not mentioned in the news in the 50’s and 60’s we hardly knew of sexual predators…that stuff was locked behind doors. So there was no one to turn to for help. To me the shame of what had happened and what I had to do to survive it for two months,to keep from being beaten up or having my arm crunched behind my back all the time-I submitted instead. I can never erase it from my self. It was not something wanted like fun but something I individually had to do to keep certain pain from happening to add to the pain of what I was made to do.

No one talked to me about it.

So it happens that I learn of another male my age who has lived like I did in silence. I speak with two others my age who lived in silence. We actually enjoy our conversations because we understand what we are saying about our fears and individual phobias,our private lives. Somehow the recognition from a like soul and learning they feel the same as me helps to realize that we were twisted up the same way. We suffer the same. Females too. I learn from the woman who have confided in me too. We are the same-we hurt the same. Our suffering is the same!

Why is it then that we are not recognizing sexual trauma in the true reality?

I agree with TIME. There is a new era of soldiers and a new era of veterans coming. They say the influx of new veterans being treated at the VA has doubled since 2004 and that number is to double rapidly. They say over 230,000 females have served in Iraq and Afghanistan-and say that the nations 144 VA medical centers are not prepared for serving that many female patients. They lack the expertise required to attend to many female needs.

I am stuck on the number of 230,000 females and wonder if I was able to configure the math to determine what 32% of that would total to? According to Department of Defense estimates…32% of the females serving in Iraq and Afghanistan would be victims of sexual trauma. I know the numbers are many.

A month ago I had to go to the VA here in our area. There is construction to add 280 more beds and the expansion is huge. I had to drop a sample off at the lab. Currently the lab is in basically the same location as has been for years…in a major corridor of the hospital. The overflow of veterans waiting fill the sitting area of perhaps 25 or 30 chairs and span out into the corridor and lined the walls. It was like entering a rock concert the crowd was so many. Obvious to older vet’s are the younger faces. Many younger faces.

We are at a place right now where changes need to begin for treating MST related PTSD. Because we are a different military and there are newer veterans much different from my era and those before…the needs are different. Because we are hearing more,a little at a time,that military sexual trauma is a fact then there needs to be awareness of how survivors are being treated. Thanks to TIME many will read the few words bout sexual trauma (refered to as sexual  assault)but I ponder how many might also be knowledgable about the truth about MST?

stress test

August 21, 2010


Originally uploaded by jayfherron

Yesterday I had a stress test! Yesterday I got the answers!

I begin this way-I received a letter two weeks ago telling me that a CT scan done at the VA hospital showed damage in the LDA and the RCA and that there was myocardial compromise of the something-a-ruther. First available appointment to discuss this was in January 2011,6 months from now!

Not knowing what the LDA or the RCA was-thanks to the use of this computer-I looked it up. Coronary artery disease!

One begins to worry…I did almost immediately! I wanted not to,thought for a few minutes I had this thing under my control. No worry Jay! But I did. It ate at me-and naturally so…anyone would begin to think,what is this going to mean? Surgery? Stents? My favorite was death! You can’t help to think about it!

It took me almost two days of telephone calls to find a route to an answer. My MEDICARE insurance!

I phoned several cardiologists before I could find one who accepted my Medicare with out requiring VA referal,and would see me with out a referal…a hurdle I have met many times before.

Last Friday 13 I took my VA letter and drove over to the big hospital complex north of the city and entered what must be the mall of cardiologists. The entrance was like a museum that heralded each of its staff of physicians and nurses with a display of portraits. The waiting area was huge (larger than my comforts like) with so much space one almost expected to be moved about on a golf cart.

I showed my doctor the letter and he agreed that I be concerned and that he was concerned. He said that just with the three sentences these abbreviated initials read danger….but how much danger was yet to be discovered.

We spoke for a few minutes while the nurse made the appointment for a stress test. The doctor fully agreed that it was unreasonable to send anyone a letter of the kind the VA sent me! He nodded his head in agreement with me that something of this nature should be addressed immediately in a personal conversation,a telephone call at least,to explain the details and the impact. Not to just send it and expect someone to comprehend its meaning on their own. He told me these were medical details for a doctor and in fact told me as a patient nothing. He expressed his dissatisfaction with the VA saying his years at the medical college at the University of Florida the place was practically the classroom. He looked at me and said “you guys don’t get anything that you really deserve” and added “I saw it from our side of the line as a doctor and consider it sad”!

Yesterday was the stress test.

Yesterday afternoon my phone rang. It was a second cardiologist from the heart mall. He began by saying I should interrupt him at any point in the conversation if I was confused by what he was saying…but it was easy enough as he said that the results showed scar tissue from where I had a heart attack in 1998. He told me the stent that was placed there was remarkably in good shape. He told me the muscles of my heart were stronger than one would expect for the time frame of my heart attack…he gave me some numbers (frankly,I don’t concept numbers very well) and told me they were pleased with what they saw. Then he asked me why I came in the first place?

There was a silence and then a sigh when I explained about the letter from the VA. Then he commented back! He said the VA was like finding treatment in a third world country with a caste system. He said there was so much trouble “over there” that the medical ‘professionals’ of the area should be ashamed “that they turn their heads” at such a travesty. He made remarks about socialized medicine and suggested openly that “citizens should visit a VA before they let government get involved with health care”.

I began to apologize…my usual standard…for taking up the time. Then he got very candid! “Gad dong man…if someone sent me a letter about my heart I would be doing the same thing you are doing”! “Give me some answers”…”Not next month,not next year…NOW!” “It is YOUR HEART…and you deserve better and now you ARE getting better!!”

So…that is off my back.

it ain’t just me!

August 18, 2010

I try to insert a photo but my limited computer skills seemed to have even become worse-they refused to communicate…so just imagine something!!

The week has been busy!

The news in has been quite open about military sexual trauma and the fact in two days time two commanding officers of US Navy ships have been ‘fired’ for sexual misconduct!

The CO of Gunstan Hall (an amphibious ship) Cmdr.F.Wilhelm along with Cmdr.K.Rafferty and the command Master Chief reportedly have received NON-JUDICIAL punishment for not reporting and even participating in sexual harassment and (?) ‘simple assault. They forfeit one months pay! Another Gunstan Hall officer,Lt.J.Randolph has been sentenced to two years in jail for having sex with a 19-year-old in his command in his stateroom. There is no mention if this was consensual sex.

And Captain D.Schnell,CO of the USS Pelelieu,has ben ‘fired’ after investigators found inappropriate improper behaviour towards several crew members.

To date the Navy states 7 ships CO’s have been ‘fired’ this year for inappropriate improper behavior!

It is not just the Navy-nor is it the Army,or Air Force or Marines or the Coast Guard. It is larger than we all will understand.

Although the ‘simple assaults’ were not exactly defined-the part about being ‘fired’ is a bit curious as to how are they (the Department of Defense) really handling these crimes? Surely it is different from in civilian standards-sexual crimes warrant more than just being fired in civilian life!

Sexual crimes are not simple! Sexual trauma places a permanent injury in the soul of the victim. What might be considered a ‘simple’ touch may very well harm the touched! I cannot define simple assault,I just know that if an investigation saw that simple assault was serious enough it went to the lengths of firing the top man in leadership aboard a Navy ship…that ain’t that simple! Seven CO’s in this year alone? That is almost one each month.

The Gunstan Hall sounds more serious. Three high-ranking men ‘fired’ and one more  jailed? This is more than ‘simple assault’. This sounds like a very serious problem.

It does open up eyes! It does say-this is happening,MST is a fact! It does say…this is an issue that cannot be ignored any further!

Please don’t misunderstand me…sexual trauma is a sore in all social levels of life,it is not singular to the military. It is interesting to look at power! For one…sexual assault is about power! Control! But there is some kind of difference in that the enlisted military are separated by the officer and it is clearly understood what level your are in the social structure and you realize the power of the Commanding Officer and in the training to respect that power (realise that in the military speaking against the President is a punishable offense-power!) is to be respected and feared all at once.

I am not saying that being an officer in the military automatically makes the possibility of sexual trauma much easier to commit…I am saying that an 18-year-old kid is more vulnerable to assault and easier prey-for anyone,but just as much while fresh into military service and trained in boot camp that you are a peon.

 A deviant can dress in any uniform.

Democratic candidate for United States Senate Alvin Greene in South Carolina has been accused of showing pornography to a student at the University of South Carolina and was trying to coax her to her room in the dormitory. The article says he had been using an old dorm ID card to access the building and had been reported to the police before-and was told not to come there.

The former Congressman Mark Foley from the State of Florida…sending sexually obscene emails to pages in the US Capital.

These are positions in life we are raised and taught to respect and know the power of these jobs.

I have sons in uniform! I practically insisted they join the Navy. My oldest is nearing retirement. My youngest son has never been out of uniform either. Since age 18 he has worn four types,Navy,Army,Sheriffs deputy and the Coast Guard,these two are current. A young man I raised took my advice and enlisted-on his second tour of duty,his second enlistment. I raised my sons to know the real honor of military service. My sons grew up watching me weep at nights about the shame of my own military service. My oldest tells me he enlisted because of those nights hearing me-he says he did it for me!

  I tried to teach my sons that the military is an honorable duty to volunteer for. I know there are other families that carry the same value. Despite my own short-lived time and the tragic part that mis-shaped my life,I respect military men and woman everywhere. I am just saddened that it takes leadership and makes it look like nothing when officers like those on the Gunstan Hall commit the acts they were ‘fired’ for. And what is troubling forfeiture of a months pay! Is that the cost? The damage to the moral of the entire ship,the slack in true leadership,and the harm to the sailors victimized,most likely silent because of the instilled respect and fear of ones superior officer. It also extends into the community the military is in place to protect. When you take a ship and taint it with disrespect towards your crew in such a low way as to sexually harrass,it goes home! If you think of a small town collected in a vessel like a ship-it would not only be investigators knowing what was going on.Every bit of the ships population hears. The word passes-letters get written home. Being fired does not sound like much. The damage is bigger than that.

I am pleased that this is being reported-honestly! It does show some effort to admit…this has happened. A little at a time we are going to learn that MST is a valid serious problem. We need to learn-those who have experienced military sexual trauma as a victim are more injured than the respect shown to them proves. We suffer!


this most likely will trigger-talking about death,so caution!

August 15, 2010

I don’t really know my exact age in this photograph-I imagine around age 12!  Looking at my brothers rank as a seaman apprentice-he has just come home from boot camp.

I did not really know my brother-so I don’t know how old he is either-so I am figuring a six-year difference!

He gave me the sailors cap-this to go along with our  fathers Navy patches made my sailor’s uniform complete.

 The era was different. There was some kind of pride about growing up to be a man-and serve our country.

I am stuck somewhere. I told somebody this,a psychologist,who listened as I told about everything I do seems unfinished. It seems a part of me is stuck back then. The psychologist said I was still trying to live through a boy’s mind where everything seemed safer to me.

 Could be…I mean-it is strange to me how as with a VCR/DVD my mind can reel back to a certain instance (yet can’t recall my neighbors name at times) with absolute recall. I still see my baby brother as his shoes were blown off at the impact of the Chrysler that ran over him. Every time I drive and pass a random shoe on the road I remember that day. The pictures are so vivid!

I remember that as this boy in the photograph I was already collecting any picture I could of houses-floor plans were even higher on my list. Something the kids I played with then had no idea of my secret-I wanted to be an architect. My eyes were always attracted to the structures of that period.

 There were incidents of nature that took place when I was a boy. My sister died (age 11) when I was about 6-I remember even now the stool the funeral home attendant put in front of her casket so I could see. Death was an obvious matter-it seemed important then for undertakers to show the gathered crowd the remains of the deceased before they are properly attended to. As a kid I can almost run out of fingers counting the’ back yard viewings’,seeing dead folk in assorted profiles. On my kid brothers birthday my mother had sent me with a chunk of birthday cake for our neighbor Bennie. Bennie was an old drunk that sat in his Buick all day-smoking and drinking and watching traffic go by. We kids loved old Bennie. Arriving at his car that day it was empty. A funeral car was there-parked right behind the Buick. I walked up to Bennies porch-I had never been that far before. His sister opened the door-I had never seen her before. The undertakers rolled out the stretcher-and made sure I got my last look at Bennie. He was blue-his eyes were open,he had no teeth.

Mr.Hoke-more of an example of them all…he blows his brains out unknowing before a couple of kids- one of them me. I was not even as old as I am in this photo. Later in the day when his wife found him and the undertakers came and the neighborhood gathered the undertakers gave us a back yard viewing. A few days later my parents take me to the funeral home-and there is Mr.Hoke in exactly the same room my sister was. His casket was in the same spot. A ‘bingo’ goes off in my mind,things connect. And Mr.Hoke is ‘fixed’! After all…we all saw the damage.

I saw more death by the time I was 18 that it drew my curiosity (especially about Mr.Hoke and how they fixed all that up) when I was a young 21 years old. I began training as a mortician. Oddly enough! (although I learned what I wanted and quit)

I dealt with death in all manner of ways-and understood the truth of how it does not respect any one at any age or…if anything death was what always drew my heart towards knowing God. It is obvious,this part of life is so unfair of all who is touched by death.  It became more easier to understand when I took a position in a funeral home in Washington DC. Sometimes we had up to 5 funerals a day-sometimes all 20 of the repose rooms were filled with families-all bereaved,and always we heard various messages of a God and of a heaven,although different versions,always the promise of a new life.

For some reason-I had to have this experience! It is something we will all have an experience with one way or the other!

I am certain it is about my having to deal with my sister’s death,although I was just a little boy,I still knew somebody was missing!

No one sat me down and counseled me then,nor was any form of touch attempted when Carl was run over by the car.

I had to find out how they fixed Mr.Hokes head so he looked the same as usual…so working in a mortuary was a place to learn and to heal.

Crazy,aye? And not everybody gets to have that portion of a lesson. We all are different vessels-we all have some experience another might not have and that I cannot explain. I learned to understand death in the mortuary and through seeing it from a boy up…a man I once knew had a daughter that was viciously murdered-he sank into a wheel chair and died from grief. I have no explanations. My next door neighbor had a teenage son disappear. She never hunted for him but some hunters found him dead. He had been dead for months. She never ever seemed to grieve. I have no answer. Like I said,crazy.

So why is it one form of tragic events can be nothing-and another can blow your life apart? Why is it ?

I still connect with my funeral past. I briefly operated a tombstone business. There are still stones here. I collect funeral home items. I have a small collection of various items like toy cars (hearses) and advertisement materials like thermometers. I have a coffin in my living room,I am ready to rock on! I always say…”we should put the ‘fun’ back in funeral” !

So,why is it these things seem less unfortunate to me? Why is it I have the natural feelings of loss when someone I love dies! I cried when an old curmudgeon of a friend died so I know I am normal about grief.

I don’t get it.

I was asked the other day why I can’t get past barracks D? I was told that it seemed to my questioning friend why I bring everything around and blame it on barracks D.

I can’t explain why it is that I drive by a shoe on the road and say in my head “boom”…and in a short while I will enter my bathroom and nearly freak out about how many memories come to me from being raped in a toilet. It is those memories that haunt me. The very sound of a rest room,the smell of the cleaning fluids all trigger me. I am going to forever fear being in a restroom. Not death,but the countless times a day the toilet is necessary. I don’t get it. Everything! It seems everything I look at and wake up to-connects me with that past. I can’t quit dreaming about it and I never wake up with out remembering it. I am unable to get away from it.

PTSD? What a creative monster it is!

bedside manner-VA style

August 8, 2010

My anxiety level must be soaring-it has to be the reason I am so paranoid about going anywhere…for the sake of food I finally went to the grocery store yesterday. I forgot about it being Saturday!

I spent the past two days feeling worse stress than my memory can recall. I feel like a fence post is in my throat and stuck at my chest-I am trying to breath around the post! The rest of it feels like a squeeze from some huge hand coming up from behind. Okay…I’ve known in myself something has been wrong for several years. We know these things!

I have mental health issues! I am post traumatic and with that comes anxiety and stress. I spent all day yesterday trying to justify NOT going to the store,but the crumbs here forced the task. It is just that hard-getting out the door sometimes!

There are times when simple issues become quite an ordeal for me to understand. Like the simple word ‘and’!

Recently like other times in other similar situations-I had a verbal outburst about that one word. It was at my bank…long story,and I won’t tell it all-but I was confused over the use of that word (and) on a certificate and could not settle its understanding in my head,so I blasted out at the teller. I have since apologized to her. 

If something so slight as not understanding why the use of ‘and’ can screw me up so bad one can imagine what this letter from the VA regarding my blocked arteries has done.

I wonder what they think? Send out this letter? Why not-no one knows what it means anyway!

What a strange thing to do-really! Is this how private medical care does it…send the patient off for tests and good or bad-they jot the results down in a letter (in terminology not familiar to any lay person) send it in the mail and that is that?

I wonder if the doctor that sent this letter read my record-and saw that I am PTSD and likely to be a sufferer of anxiety-stress? I wonder if any consideration is taken to think what any patient might begin to go through just thinking about it…my heart is sick? My heart is sick? My heart is sick? And with anxiety put in this…my heart is sick 100 thousand times 100 thousand!

Coronary artery disease? Hey…I had to look it up-get some reading in,learn what it is this letter is saying. No doctor has called to say this is severe. My consult date in January 2011,according to this letter. Let’s see? In January 2009 I had to call 911 rescue. The pain in my back-and the nausea I experience ALL the time hadthis time knocked me to the floor. I was taken to the ER at the Gainesville (FL) VA and from that point on I was treated like an interference and an hour later I found myself standing on the curb.

Looking up the symptoms of coronary artery disease on my own I found that the nausea I have described to them (VA) then-and in the past,and the present,and that I lose my breath when ever I simply lay down is included.

I also learned that coronary artery disease has a direct link to ‘post traumatic stress disorder’.  

My friend tells me I never have anything nice to say about the Veterans Administration Hospital.

I have never felt that I had a right to be there as a patient. My military service included just about nothing! I should have been injured in Viet Nam,or in some way connected to being a soldier-or sailor,but being raped in a detention barracks is not the honor from the legitimate wounds.

Interestingly my first knowledge that I could be a patient came from my having severe abdominal pain back in the  1970’s. I collapsed and emergency 911 was called. I was asked en route if I was a veteran…and ended up in the VA hospital ER. The doctors were ready to remove my appendix-but a nurse showed them the hardness in my belly.

From barracks D to this day-I am afraid of public restrooms! My mornings-for every day of my life,the toilet and shower are triggers/reminders. Never a day! Travel and other away from home recreation are not easy for me. The need for special time in the bathroom is an everyday chore.

The nurse back then had discovered I was impacted! Up until then I had avoided the toilet as much as I could-any interruption and I could not relax enough to go. So I quit taking a shit!

I was a patient there for over a week. They gave me something…and I had no choice. It un-packed me!

To this date-I have the blue ID card they gave me.

I have always remembered that-it was back then when everyone smoked and the ladies from the VFW came around and GAVE us cigarettes!

My next experience was about 10 years later. During the deepest times of my practice of ‘damage control’ when my self-abuse was seriously damaging-I ended up in the VA the second time. I had gone out and gotten myself attacked…like a battered wife,I needed to be touched-and the consequences put me there for nearly two weeks. Anyone then could have read my chart-it was not something I would want anyone to read. The doctor at my last consultation was so gentle about telling me what she thought would comfort me-and it was comforting. But I still was doing things out of the normal and right. And did not understand exactly why.

That was in 1982-there about…It was not until 1999 did I find myself back at the VA again.

Even today-I feel I have no right being there. It seems to me all wrong…even though countless others say I do deserve to be there. I have always ALWAYS felt that the description of my military service is documented there for any clerk to see…that is a level of treatment regulated by the level of your active duty service. Bronze Stars and Purple Hearts got the best when grunts and swabs got median care. And my military record had nothing to impress anyone with. Why should I be there?

I’m rambled off the word “and”!

And? What does this letter mean? At what level of worry should I reach? To what degree of ‘preparedness’ should I go for? Is this squeezing in my chest something that should concern me….or am I okay waiting until January 2011? After all,I’ve only been feeling this way for a few years…must not be much! After all-I am sure by now someone would have called me personally!


without words

August 7, 2010

The other day I wrote that I am stuck…I am still stuck-and burning up my clutch trying to get loose!

The bible tells us there are angels that are encamped around us. Who knows all of that mystery-or many of the mysteries of God. I try to rationalize everything I can with some spiritual seasoning included…I’ve seen too much,too much has happened,and all of it has made me who I am.

God is a mystery to all of us who consider God. We all seem to have the ‘answer’ but are confused by the various messengers that pass along our path. Instead-we ought to crank the eyes of our heart northward towards the sky and ask for the real truth.

I had a neighbor visit the other day-a VERY rare sort of occasion. Hardly any neighbor ever stops in!

This person lost an adult son-a young man who grew up with my sons. He in reality died from injuries received in auto accident several years before. He more specifically died from his body being tired of trying to digest the countless pain pills he took each day and night.  The injuries took his body and twisted it to where walking was difficult and ugly. The toll from all of it must have been hard to bear.

The mother explained to me she felt like God was punishing her-just the morning she visited she lost a wallet full of money,something like 4 or 5 hundred dollars…and was asking me why God was punishing her like so?

First I asked why it was God to blame-I mean,it was just money? And if it was her son she was putting the blame on…it should not be-we all know death knocks on our door knob at the unexpected times in life.

It was kind of interesting having that conversation. Like I said-having a visitor drop in is rare,and my neighbors are the rarest of them all. So this person has-if any-sporadic information of my life,or who I am. Sitting there listening to her while holding my own pain inside was  powerful because the way I was able to explain to her that  I had just days ago gone over to the ocean and stared up at the sky knowing beyond it somewhere was a heaven that no one is able to describe! And made her cry!

 I don’t know? I think I gave her some peace. I know it left me amazed! Why is it? Why is it a person more or less a stranger would be compelled to come to my house and lament about lost money…and trying to blame it on God punishing her some way. Her not knowing at times I’m trying to plan a way to make stale bread taste better…or just go without! Or the stack of mucky muck I am going through in my life.

I think it is why the visit to the shore is so vital to me-to be able to look out and see just the ocean and the sky. The void-void of any issues, just pure.

Well…pure in the Spiritual sense. To realize the content of my own self. A less pure vessel. But yet knowing the love of God to know there are angels encamped around me!

The Hopi have this cast of various dancers. They are colorful-and meaningful…they are like the group of angels that are assigned to camp around us. They are medicine! Each for a different healing or season. Kachina is the name. They are of a variety of reasons…I see the dancers like my friends-each for a different reason,some for healing…some for humor-and those for guidance. Like my friends-I have a variety,someone is humorous to me and someone else has wisdom that helps.

The open sky-the blue no artist can conceive in the mix of their colors…holds a place for me somewhere up there. Thanks to my angels and my spirit dancers.

Peace…that is where I am with that!


August 2, 2010


Originally uploaded by jayfherron

There are times when you just get stuck. Everything stops.

I wanted to stand out in my woods the other night-and scream! I shake my head and bow to the weakness…I had no voice-it just plugged up. The weekend was the same,this morning is no different.

Interesting that my usual and always memory of my past has been joined by the remembering of the notification I received last week about my heart.

It took a little bit of searching the ‘web’ to learn what the results of my recent CAT scan meant. If I was a tad poorer and unable to access the information-I would be stuck.

I wrote a letter to my doctor explaining how I feel…how in the world would someone with zero medical training know what these papers are saying? How long was I going to be expected to wait for the answers?

Damn…now that I figured out the abbreviations and the numbers-this sounds like the rear exit! To be honest-it would be much better not to know instead of sending a formulated letter which only a trained physician can cipher instead of sending it to a mentally detached nit wit like myself. We just get stuck-worrying.

Why am I worrying? I praise the peace of death here all the time…so why am I worried? After all…the medical center sent me a similar letter a few years ago saying I had an aneurism (had to find the full meaning of that message too) only to go into the VA for a consult to have the student doctor give me a chewing out for what seemed his determination that I broke in to the MRI unit and took the head shot myself. He was from a part of the world where the English does not come off the tongue easily so I could have misunderstood…but don’t think so.

Maybe it will be the same thing. But I doubt it. I’ve been doing some reading. It all fits. I’ve been complaining for several years about how nauseous I get-with out vomiting-and that when I lay down in bed I spend 10 or so minutes trying to get my breath. Always confused about that,but not any more-I read up on it.

Interesting-the things I have learned! Coronary Artery Disease is connected to PTSD. It has been determined PTSD contributes strongly to the disease-because of stress. My artery disease truly became obvious in 1998 when I suffered a heart attack (actually a series of attacks-I was a long distance trucker and traveling with chest pains) I was 46 years old in ’98! My heart attacks led to a stroke. In reality-there is strong evidence that CAD is a service connected issue. I have fretted and stressed for so many years-40 now.

I don’t know-like I said…I am stuck.

 I am not wanting to get off the track here! This is a ‘males life after rape’ and not the ‘coronary artery corner’…but what interests me is what I am learning by reading some of the on-line medical resources. I looked specifically because of my recent stress elevation and my use of alcohol to knock myself into sleep. I want to know if I am advancing or stalling…or what? First off…the drinking to sleeping plan has not helped-my nightmares are increased ever since my recent conversation with my attorney-that conversation being about the accusation I am  malingering. My sleep has been violent-like as if I was in a state of levitation to rise up out of the bed,yet a feeling of aggressive hands pushing me back down. I can hardly remember when my dreams were so violent and full of action…it seems like every ten minutes or so my body is sitting up,and then being shoved. I am worn out by all the work. Maybe that’s why I am blank-and the words are stuck. Because…I AM TIRED! But dang…I sure have a lot to do.

I drove the ocean Friday.

There is a place once very private-more crowded now complete with lifeguards,but still the limited parking keeps the beach less crowded. I usually try to go to this spot every year for my birthday. I discovered how the world can whisper to your soul when standing by the surf. One such visit some years ago I began to realize the significance of the story in the bible about Jesus and walking on the water. Peter walked on the water too. He was a follower-but doubter of Jesus. One of those on the edge believers-the kind of guy that would be on your side as long as things are going good…but would casually step back into the crowd if things were not so great.

It was like that the day they arrested Jesus. Peter took a change in the depth of his friendship-and denied he ever knew the man.

But…the scene of those two walking on the water-it is one that lasts in my head all the time. The look past the words and the look at what is around Peter at that very moment-what a picture that  is!

I walk up to the edge of the surf where the waves come and push at your ankles-and if your eyes are aimed straight it appears that you are moving from the waves coming in and swirling back out. But the true vision is the pureness of it…and the peace that comes while meditating what is in my heart.

All you can see is the clear beauty of the sky-and the heavens at night…and the clear beauty of the seas. There is nothing else in the scene-just the cleanliness of what it is.

That is what is so perfect about it for me. The one place where none of the past makes any difference when you can focus completely on what the bible is saying. The mathematics of being alone in a pure place with the Spirit of God-where all is gone away,what ever the reasons why one accumulates riches or one never can find a place to sleep. It is hard to figure it all out…I am never going to try-there is no need. It just happens with that one moment of faith that Peter had-out of all those others still on the boat-Peter finally came to a moment of absolute peace and trust and stepped out on the water.

He stayed there too. Until he started to think about himself. Hard for us not to do.