Archive for October, 2010

an honorable discharge

October 30, 2010

me on the USS Vulcan

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

It is what you get.

I have been stuck these past few weeks as to what to say. Congratulations were offered to me by my attorney,but at the same time he explained he understood that congratulations was hardly fitting due to the suffering of sexual trauma survivors….in our case,military sexual trauma. I have only been able to shake my head in the wonder of it all.

I still can’t think of what to say. The end of it all is here…the end of appeals for the disability claim that my counselor at the VA once told me would validate me.

The judgement on my claim was answered three weeks ago. The Veterans Administration has decided my disability is 100% and permanent. This is affirmed with notations which directly link my mental health disability is result of ‘military sexual trauma’.

Also noted on the judgement was my being ‘ the honorably discharged veteran’. I have never felt any honor. Only the shame and the pain.

It may have made some difference if this judgement was made December 31 1969 when the intelligence officer that was first to see my external injuries had separated me from being in barracks D and had found me someone to begin a course of support all those years ago. Instead I was laughed at by the very person who could have helped me,and sent back to live two more months with the men who attacked me.

How do you explain the pain? How do you go to any other person and describe how it eats at you seemingly more and more as the years go by. How does anyone really find a way out of it after trying for the 40 years I have tried? This morning the memories are just as vivid. Even now I am trying to explain the emotion,now 59 years old and finally a judgement on my behalf in my favor does acknowledge a crime was committed against me and that it has always and permanently wounded me in a way that will never heal.

I am numb inside. A strange sort of feeling of a certain kind of peace has come over me. I assume my body is returning to some state of relaxing since the stress of how deeply the events of the disability claim affected me. As this has affected my entire life since that time. However,the concentrated addition of the past five years stirred up more turmoil than I ever imagined,beginning with going back in time when the Florida DVA representative remarked as how mystified he was that homosexuals needed a reason to rape each other.

I can’t think of what to say which is why I have not written about this weeks back when the news came from my attorney. Being numb inside includes many parts of this past that I can never regain. My Dad will never know that I was not a troublemaker and that my being sent to a detention barracks was a wrong done to me,and not that I had done wrong.

I got an honorable discharge!

just to know how freedom feels

October 9, 2010

best panther

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

This is Colin. In some minds he might be considered a pet,he was raised in a human home but lives his life in a cage. His collar tells the story,the broken piece of rope tells us he would rather be free. He won’t ever be free. His home is a pen of chain link fence 16’x16′. There is a strange path a captive animal walks,back and forth against the wire that holds him in,an automatic turn at each corner of his pen of almost surreal swiftness,the entire scene is sad as he walks back to the opposite corner to repeat this over and over for every day of his life.

Colin is a majestic looking fellow,actually happy to have his head scratched,he puts it up against the wire to  show you he wants the touch. He may be majestic but has never known how freedom feels.

I know what it is like because PTSD is like Colin’s cage.