Archive for February, 2017

February 23, 2017

Forty-seven years ago-yesterday, February 22 1970, I was awakened with five other men housed in detention barracks D…USN station, James River VA. We were roused up at 0430-unexpected-and were told to get ready. We were being discharged.

All of this was a surprise. Up until this moment we were expecting some sort of sentence to prison; I was told five years for my ‘case’. There was no-case.

I do not know all of the story! Oh yes….it happened to me-but there are missing pieces, many-many missing pieces. For my part-I was trying to go home to DC to wish my grandmother ‘merry crixmix’ then Christmas now crixmix and my poorly planned idea landed me in the detention barracks….AWOL due to the big blizzard of December 1969.  Every detail is written among the pages of my blog….except those missing pieces….so to expedite to reach what I really want to say this morning, 47 years ago I was discharged-freed from the two months of sexual torment endured by me in detention barracks D.

Why? Why am I writing this?

Every man and woman with a history of sexual abuse-has a story. All of us can tell about what led up to the incidents-and what life has been since the terrible time. It is complicated; some of us told, some of us hid in fear-shame-stigma of some origin in disregard for how serious the victims of sexual trauma have been injured.

Military Sexual Trauma-MST-is a further depth in injury. What happened to any victim in the military is no different than the effects of an assault is to a civilian. It is a crime-and it destroys. It is not-pleasure to the victim.  What adds to the injury of the sexually assaulted serving in the military is multiplied by the fraternity of military platoons, or company of men and woman all assigned to one group of specialized teams; privacy in keeping an assault confidential-is missing! The ‘fraternal’ history of such platoons of persons is deemed in jeopardy to be tainted; the chain of command would be involved; the treat of ruining one criminals career in military service; all among many threats to the victim / survivor. Justice is often avoided, and non-existent.

Enlisting in the military was my impression of serving my country; my era of the 1960’s was exploding with civil rights marches in the south; violent scenes. Also-equally in focus those days was the War in Viet Nam. It was easily understood that young men 18 and older were to serve in the military after graduation from high school. It was the natural thing to do!  I was proud to enlist, most all of us are. I never expected what would happen only few months from boot camp.

Today-I have friends from over the years; friends who served in Viet Nam. I am forced by shame, and embarrassment, and guilt…the guilt that I do not deserve, and yet it eats at my soul-to keep quiet about my service. I was injured in the most humiliating degradation one person-or more-can inflict on another, but-not in combat. I enlisted intending to serve.

Each one of us-survivors of sexual trauma; molestation-rape; each of us has our individual story to tell; not one is pleasant nor easy to tell about. I lived for 35 years after the date before I was angry enough to finally speak out; I know-as a man-there are many of us as silent, yet-I have a female friend who described her own story of being raped-and she kept silence out of fear longer than I, her era prohibited any such notion to be talked about.

The crime itself is disgusting enough; but-the unfairness to the victims, and injustice of so many cases, so many cases never heard because of silence from fear, so many cases silent because of a victim not even knowing the trauma is a crime. Murder is almost polite in a sense-there are answers, the crime is considered so serious….efforts are made to capture a criminal, a funeral answers everything to the  bereaved-at least of everything, they know what happened!  For those of us who understand-the disservice our rapists left us with is a troubled mind, my attackers would have solved so much more-if they had killed me. My family-to this day, my children and grandchildren, live around me in my post traumatic world….only-the do not understand what it is that makes me be the way I often am; sullen…anti social…no interest in public crowded places….alcohol and drugs of every imagination, all of these things have been or still are; thankfully-I no longer feel like being drunk, and-I managed to end hard drug use 20 years or more, back then. Never the less….sullen and fear of my phobic ways in public places still exist.

And-there is no equal justice.







February 4, 2017

Like the song ‘Deja Vu’ from Woodstock; or like the movie favorite ‘Groundhog Day’; today is yesterday-and is yesterday-and is yesterday. Every day begins the same. The memory-the after effects….the same.  It is something that I want to go away, but instead as older sores break away new ones like a cancer grow back. The same-each one, each time. It is called post traumatic stress disorder-and I will never be able to explain how miserable it is. I definitely can not explain what triggers the blast of fear.

Trying to explain this-the post traumatic stress disorder -PTSD-to anyone who has no clue is a fairly mute point. I’m being honest, I can’t hardly figure it myself. There are times when things are perfect and it seems all of life is surrounded by rainbows with a pot of gold at the end of each one. And then-boom….a black hole of misery attacks the peace.  It does-me.

This time last year-one of my sons family was affected by a sexual crime. His father in law….it is just-bad. He did plead guilty this past July; he is serving 12 years in the state prison.

I knew the man, and his wife, and the children-one the victim-only by casual if only by brief “hello”….nothing else.  It is how this man did what he did all the time thinking of himself, and-no one else. He is in prison. His wife-in shock; his adult children-in shock. It is beyond shock! It is devastating how his vile actions are whittling away the love of what remains.

Me too! I am hardly someone the man may have considered waving to as often as he never stopped by my house to say “how’s it been”….hundreds of times; easily-but it never happened, but even then-I could hardly care. There is something about some persons; he had something.

It made me sick. I explained this to my son. I am not a victim in his deviance, however-to have known somebody who has done this to a child so close in the family; to know somebody that has done this to a child-anywhere….but this being so immediately in our family circle (more so my sons….they all attended church together). Anyway-the point I’m trying to make is how this one man being a demented criminal has emotionally destructed an entire family of good people.

Those of us who have endured the unwanted; we know how the world crumbles around us after the perpetrator is gone. A few years ago at a sexual assault awareness rally I spoke at the open mike portion of the program; I told the crowd that murder is more polite than rape. At least in a murder case the family and friends know the obvious answers…what happened. With rape-and sexual trauma-our personalities hide; mine-has been joined by disassociated behavior – much to the confusion to everybody close to me. Unless we have told anyone, usually we do not, the confusion of what is wrong-can last in a family for the rest of your life; it has mine. Deja vu…..good morning, good morning, good morning, good morning…..