one by jayfherron
one, a photo by jayfherron on Flickr.

Everything begins as one.

Today! It is just one day-this day,and if you believe me enough,in reality it is the only day.

I wish it could be truer than the way I am saying it. Oh, it is just one day, but that day has lingered in my head and heart and soul since it began 42 years ago. It is today as it has been all of those days,every day,since then.

I have said this before, I did not know what to do the day I began writing these parts of my life. The day I began writing I had a narrow path in my head thinking that if I wrote these things someone important would see them and a fire would strike beneath them and a change would be the outcome. By someone important I had in my head a person of power in politics that would be disgusted as I was disgusted by the way the VA (Veterans Administration) allowed the process of disability claims (due to post traumatic stress disorder) of those sexually traumatized while serving in the military.

Most of the veterans that have been so mistreated stay silent about the attacks and the subsequent wounds that trail our lives since. Those who decided to come forward to report the attack typically are shut down and told to shut up. Fear keeps the victim in line, especially in the fact their perpetrator is still in the very ranks they serve with; the person the attack was reported to is the commander of both, and this did not happen in his unit.

I thought I was alone all of my life since the beginning of my attacks. I never thought passed myself. Not out of selfishness but out of not realizing that I was not alone. Rape has happened to countless victims. Not wanting to categorize this trauma but need to say there are thousands of veterans yet discovered to be survivors of this type of trauma. Discovered? We know who we are but fear,shame,and guilt has kept us silent. Because of the diverse unknowns this trauma creates we are forced into silence.

Many of the unknowns comes from ignorance! The lack of knowledge that causes those to continue to believe that rape is ‘not as serious as they make it out to be’! Like the veterans representative that was to take the information of my disability claim, his ignorance became an immediate bias. His comments when I told him of my rapes were those of someone who mistaken the crime as something sexual and not harmful. His ignorance was worsened by his inability to keep bigotry out of rape. His assumptions that black men did this made it worse. These things add to reasons why so many choose to remain silent.

Our families don’t even understand. Maybe not out of ignorance, but out of social stigma, or of previous abuses-or trauma in a family where sensitive issues are never discussed. So we hold in a lot of our pain. Many of us abuse ourselves to help.

I have written several times in the recent past that it time to bring these writings to an end. I had exhausted my self through the disability claim process. A lot of anger,which made the fear and the shame and the guilt churn hotter. In the beginning I thought the sympathy would be the catalyst for help. Up until filing I had lived 35 some years with no one knowing directly why I had ended up drinking and doing drugs and quitting job after job and being inconsistent with my life patterns. No one knew,no one cared. I only got blame for my being unable to hold a job-or stay sober. When somebody finally showed a true interest (my therapist at the VA) and the fact of what had happened in 1969-70 revived out of being solely my silence and into the ears of someone who cared. I believed! I believed any person who heard my story would be appalled and would want to see justice. Instead I was confronted with the comments and attempts at jokes from the veterans representative.

I was angry then and I am angry now.

I am angry because it took a lot of energy to go in an office to a person unknown to me and sit down and describe the details of a humiliating act on my body. And I am not the only one!

One! One!

I went across the Atlantic Ocean this past five weeks. I did it for one…me,to close the door behind me and move along. Yes, I did it for many other reasons,yes! I did it  to relive something that had been a link to where my life got stuck…to be a sailor. I did it to feel the Spirit of my soul speak in whispers as only the sounds from the ocean can make. I did it to resume being a boy,and not a man with so many struggles. I confronted the big building paranoia by being in this giant of a ship, and did it without getting drunk. And it was the end of this ‘blog’ that was considered.

But it cannot end. Ahh,the blog could, and it may…because really,I have no more that could be said. I have told my story a millions times around,right here! And made my complaints about the VA and its system of giving a more sensitive path for MST survivors to follow, to be gently led through a disability claim.

When the ship I was on came into American waterways, my cell phone caught a signal and the message alert went off, and it kept going off. The number of messages escapes me, I really did not count. It amazed me the many MST survivors, those who I have come to know through this ‘blog’, who had telephoned me-and still needed me. And part of the reason for the trip was to determine what I am supposed to do next? I seem to have raised awareness on a small-scale and that scale needs to get stronger. The message needs to continue, the power comes from one! Not me…not just me. It comes from each of us who have been dealt this blow. Each one of us have got to show our number one is a many numbers of one!

No one is going to really know unless they truly see the Silent Wounded-each one!

The field is ripe with the fruit that has sown before us. The class action lawsuit Susan Burke filed earlier this year is some of that fruit, and the recent issue of Newsweek displayed an article about MST. The knowledge of this crime is growing.

One can file a disability claim independent of DVA assistance-and one should file if PTSD directly related to MST is evident in your life. One after another if one would file a claim for MST related disability to show the numbers are more than estimated,then maybe a voice can come out of this to speak louder for the survivor.

And,I am going to try to do more!


3 Responses to “one”

  1. nancy Says:

    Welcome home, Jay.

  2. Panama corporation Says:

    The social security administration will in a percentage of .cases A lose the paperwork that has been submitted by a claimant for .example appeal paperwork or B will fail to notify a claimant that .their case has been denied. Regarding B a claimant whose case has been denied will have a maximum .of 65 days from the date of their denial to file an appeal this .includes the 60 days that are indicated on the denial notice plus an .extra five days for mailing time . The disability examiner is located at the state disability .processing agency in most states called DDS or that makes decisions on disability claims for the social security administration…

  3. Calvin Says:

    Glad to see your home, I got your email and I’ll will call you this week

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