in two for six

the ship by jayfherron
the ship a photo by jayfherron on Flickr.

This has been a difficult time.

I began writing this journal of my life as a male survivor (dumb word) of ‘military sexual trauma’ (MST) only because through the recommendation of the Veterans Hospital near my home led me to appeal for disability from the VA. Doing that I had to go file this claim in my home county at a DVA representatives office. There I told my story to an absolute stranger who was supposed to be an advocate and counselor for veterans, but he had absolutely no understanding outside of the normal and was unable to comprehend that rape is not a sexual contact. He was perplexed that “homosexuals needed a reason to rape each other” which is a statement that can be compared in ignorant values in more ways than one…hoe stupid can somebody be? Also,to cap it off…the man could not accept my attackers were white.

Advocacy? No,not from that point of view.

I’ve said this over and over,I spent three attempts to graduate from the ninth grade. I am not exactly an educated person. I saw the statements the DVA advocate made as a huge black hole military sexual trauma ‘survivors’ will enter if and when they were to follow the line towards seeking justice.

Over the four hundred some entry’s I have put out there I have told everything about myself (some things are mine alone) and about the process of getting my own justice. I have also remarked about the VA hospital here in my area much in a negative way and much of that correct,but then I never mentioned the good parts and the good people,and there are many. My dispute mainly came from the immediate drop of therapy for several MST veterans,the severe reaction I had was not healthy at all from a medical point of view,it made me angry. I began to see the VA as an enemy.

Now I have no connection with the VA for as long as I live. I can now only draw on my past experience,but want to move on from it.

I have tried to end this journal several times now. Each time it seems another veteran comes forward and asks for advice , or someone writes or calls and asks for advice. It is hard to walk away from that,and I have made many friendship among you and that is solid gold.

For the last five years I have been vocal aloud about something that was mostly my most hated secret,because there was no one to ever share it with. After the VA got involved and the DVA guy made his bigoted remarks my story has been repeated so much more than I ever thought could ever happen…a New York City NPR radio interview? No,one could never imagine that! Fly to Washington DC,and meet in the offices of a Senator and Congressman? I just have no idea how these things come together in the way that they do and how our lives have such amazing turns.

I need to move on! I need to go off to the ‘wilderness’ and think. I have to find some of the things that were lost.

In two weeks I embark on an experience that I hope to see as a return to being 18 years old and a seaman apprentice on an US Navy ship. The sea and the ports and being on such a giant floating ship…I was thrilled to be given that opportunity when I was a kid,it got was abruptly stopped by the jealousy of my older brother and my life was twisted around from there.

I have written about it all in these pages.

I am going to spend up to six weeks on the ship like the one in the photograph. Just find a chair and sit there and look up at the great majesty of the sky and out at the great power of the ocean. I know I am going to weep…many times. I know this because already I am feeling the power of what this is,a gift from God to give me this chance to see what it might have been like.

There is no contact from the ship with the exception of intermediate emails. I will not be able to write here for almost six weeks. So I am going to write a book while sitting in that chair.

This has been an incredible healing tool for me to use the Internet as a voice. I have had my heart humbled many times by the many of you that have entered my life….humbled in that your story’s have helped me!

Proverbs 25:25

6 Responses to “in two for six”

  1. randi Says:

    they are twisting my words into there words then writing them down va doctors

  2. randy Says:

    you know i have been hiding this for so long i have been wondering what was wron with me i have yet to find help with the truama only that i need too stay sober and then they will decise what to do i have been seeking help since mat 2010 i am on the right track i know but i think a group with my trauma would be beennificial i have been told about meno park cal and bay pines ,fl i have yet met with the mst coorinator i guess iam doing the right thing i do have a claim in but i dont even know if i done my paperwork right i need a advocate i know i know they think iam makin this up i know or they would get me some kinda of treatment i have been thru lots of rehabs but not intil last yr i finnally figure that the assult has something to do with my alcholism i know it does thank you

    • jayherron Says:

      I hope you do find MST counseling,it is important that you have your records grow with the information you provide. If you have filed a claim,even without advocacy on your side,you should automatically recieve a denial…a big NO. That is standard,everyone gets that. When that happens,you can find an attorney…DVA advocates are not my catagory of helpful. Whatever you do,if you indeed have filed a claim…DO NOT give up. The process is long and unfair…but you will be stronger by fighting for justice. Yes,you being alcoholic is a part of PTSD. You should find a composition notebook and begin a log/journal of everything in your life that MST has destroyed. If you have friend or family that has knowledge of your rape,have them write a statement for you. If you have friend or family that can attest to you being very different now than whenn you entered the military,have them write a statement. They need not know you were raped,but can identify that you distinctly changed from before to after military service. These statements can be used as testimony in your claim. I wish you the best,and suggest Bay Pines,as it is the only facility that I have heard good things about. peace

  3. laura tattoo Says:

    jay, i’m excited to hear about your sea journey: now you will be the hero of your own life, but then, jay, as long as i’ve known you–a year and a half?–you have been a hero. your words have helped so many, so articulated, with so much feeling, self-dialogue, all that humanness open to anyone who is wise enough to listen. i’ve learned a lot from you, mate.

    i sincerely hope you write that book, but even if it gets too much to do–i got six chapters into mine and had to stop, i hit a place in my story where i felt safe and i just decided to stop there because, well, after that, life was hell until i met ron in 1993, and for about five years after that, it wasn’t always pretty–you will still be on the journey. just allow yourself to be human, as you always have, and life will take care of you. many of have seen the darkside, but the light, well, that’s INSIDE us.

    i’m sending you all my love and wishes for a great voyage. bon voyage, mon ami. ~lt xoxxoxoxoxooxoxxo

    • jayherron Says:

      I am always thankful for the knowledge that my writing has touched another and has been an inspiration to many. It is hard to comprehend. The battle against the VA was in my mind the fight I wish I could have put on in those days in barracks D. If I had become weary and stopped my claim those who attacked me would have won forever. Fighting the VA was an unimaginable trauma in itself,but I refused to quit. Praise God for faith. That it was Spiritual intervention that led this all the way,no man could be so able,I am still in awe that it has come this way this far for so long and is over and now my life can revive while I am out at sea! I wanted to be a sailor all my life,it seems. It seems inbred,imbedded in me somehow. Mingled with doing the American way of defending our Constitution,the US Navy was the key for me then. I have no idea why what happened did happen. I praise God about all things,but always that I never hated God for the tragic…just wondered. Now I am going aboard a ship and finding the sea and feeling the feeling of the air as it goes by fast at sea,I know that from when I was 18. I am going to try to get back something that was lost. Thank you for your support. peace

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