Archive for the ‘guilt and panic’ Category

portrait of me in public

October 12, 2006

self portrait of myself and ‘self portrait’

Originally uploaded by jayfherron.

Trying to go to public places is an ordeal for me-my stress level is so extreme I can hardly think. The painting shows my muddled mind.

shame and guilt and panic attacks

October 12, 2006

It really is not an easy thing to explain what it is like to fear about every day things all of the time. My home is in a very rural setting set way back in the woods next to a state forest-secluded and quiet. I probrebly know most of the people scattered through these woods. However-if I am out in the morning strolling the road and an automobile comes-or worse yet…another person-I begin to choke as if some one has taken thier hand and locked it around my throat. I actually have to train myself to go into large buildings-any place where many people are-like a department store-or the mall…I have to park way away from the entrance and as I walk towards the building I self hypnotise myself and put myself in a trance like additude where I begin to walk and look as if I was the baddest meanest person anyone could confront-but inside I am scared to pieces. Some places I have to go to earlier than required-perhaps a court house-where I have to orient myself to the place and surroundings and be familier with where entrances and exits are.

Restrooms are another story. To try to put it so you can understand it-flying in a plane to Seattle I had to pee and waited until we landed and finally arrived at a motel. I do use restrooms-carefully. I have stood out side a restroom and monitered the people going in and out until I am certain the room will be empty. Any time I go in a restroom and there is a scent of those toilet deoderizers-I have instant deja vu with the memory of Barracks D.

Aquaintences give me a strange look-I used to offer no explaination as to why I park so far away from places-or go so early or why I become so silent or agitated when doing the everyday things like shopping for groceries , my voice getting crackly when I meet someone in public and I loose control over how I speak…in situations where defense is needed I become worse and usually say things that are damageing and too hard to turn around after they are said-many times comments about death or how easy it woul be to kill. Sounding horrid-but only said out of sheer panic trying to act crazier the the next guy to keep from being overtaken.

I have’nt been to a movie theatre in nearly twenty years-before always feeling compressed and ready to vomit because of the dark and the voices and the breathing all familier sounds from the sleepings barracks D and the only way I could manage any social event was to be totally drunk and a shame to those who knew me…so I had to quit both.

I felt shame…always shame. Always thinking about that time…always. Some can try to say to get over it…but thats all they can do is say something like that-it can’t be over ever. I’ve always felt guilt and would sometimes lie about my service to veterans from the Viet Nam war trying to impress them that I had a more glorious reason to have only served a few months saying I got arrested at a peace rally in DC and the military found me out. Ashamed because these guys-guys just like me…had to serve time in Viet Nam and live with the memories they have. I should’ve have been there-could have been there…the Vulcan it is my impression served there in some gulf. I always felt my personal failure and that was worse than the failure image already placed on me by my family. When my brother Frank died and I felt obligated to see him in his last days…his comments whispered in a dying mans breath was that I was the biggest disappointment my family ever knew.

the Navy

October 12, 2006

sailors on deck

Originally uploaded by jayfherron.

Some people might say that many of the stories in the Bible are just stories. My brother and I being stationed together in 1969 is simular in ways to the story about Joseph and his brothers-they hated him so much that they sold him to slave traders. Who would have guessed my brother was so jealous-that is what it had to be as was with Joseph and his brothers.
I was given some exams when I got aboard ship – given by the education officer to prepare me for navy life and advancement- and everything the man did for me to give me advice for my future my brother would kick the stool out from under me.
I cannot express how much the navy meant to me-it put equals exact and everything in perspective…you knew who was in what position by the stripes on thier shoulders and not by the fancy clothes people out wore each other in out in the civilian world..
Being able to stand in formation and to march as we did in boot camp-the flow of the feet to the cadence sung out by the platoon leader and the beauty of the sound of a hundred pair of shoed feet hitting the ground in order. We wore these white leggings in boot camp-earned after our fifth week of nine. Marching then became more beautiful-the white leggings making it all more majestic , and giving that honor to be there in service and in union with others.
Ship life with my brother was miserable. If it were with out him it would have been so much fun to become a working piece of this great and mighty ship-the Vulcan had over 1200 men…a city at sea,and I wanted to be there.
The times were wrong-people did’nt understand a lot of things then and did’nt accept a lot of other things. My plea for help the day I met the naval intelligence officer was met with a chuckle of a laugh and I was never able to trust again. Somebody should have known…and noticed differently than they noticed back then. Ignored more less. The abuses that took place in that big closet upper decks was so humiliating and did so much to my mind that for years after I would have to re-enact those things to punish myself…and yet-to seek some type of troubled pleasure-troubled. Like a teenager with a razor blade as they mutilate thier skin with cuts for the pleasure of the pain. Its all hard to explain-it is like being a ghost unable to control the want of the agoney because nothing else seems right. All comes from fear-of people and of trust and yet wanting is so natural and getting is so uncertain,you want to be with people and you want to trust….but the fear is so strong….I want to be with people,and can not. People want to be with me-and I am afraid.
Proud I was to be as one of the guys in the picture-in my dress whites and in parade formation-the events in the navy stole so much from my life and replaced it with so much charred material.

there were times…

October 9, 2006

There were times that I did’nt want to live anymore but the one time I tried to kill myself and was a split second from doing it-a car drove up behind mine and I was found out. I’ve never tried since but it was on my mind many times through out the years.

My life is reminded to me every morning when I use the bathroom…every morning. Not once has one gone by with out my head bringing back that night in barracks D-I can not wipe my ass with out thinking of the place because of the damage done being evident to this day. I am 55 years old and still feel the same emotion over and over.

My life was stolen from me that night. My parents nearly all but shut me out-and ever since that time never have they asked me for my version of the events leading up to my discharge-allowing me to clear my name with them. It has been continual-always…each and every time-if I fail at something they’d say ‘just like in the Navy’…or worse, just being treated like the failure by the entire family. My late brother Franks widow has never acted any way towards me but that of how one looks at a looser…and the woman has not an inch of an idea of what my life really is like. But the judgement is there.

Jobs? Jobs were the worse-I’d start a new job and there’d be some one there that reminded me of nazel voice mister and off I’d go…quit before I started. It was my saving grace to finally find employment with a huge construction company that had hires and fires and walk offs return! I’d work there until the time would come some one would remind me of those people in barracks D or say something that would set me off…and off I’d go. I’ve had so many jobs people make fun of me about that too…how many jobs have you had?? Thats a lot. Fortunantly the construction company would simmer down or I would simmer down and get my job back…but not always.

For years and years I did’nt own an automobile and was left out to hitch hike every where I went…the real walk great distances to work story. It was inevitable I’d get picked up by a character that held simular possesion over me like the men in barracks D as if I had some signal on my forhead or some indicater…but always I would have to succumb to the beckoning of thier request-a mental twisting of the arm,and do what these persons pleased. Funny…success and succumb are on the same page in the dictionary. Like the words ruth and ruthless.

I wish I could die from all the filth that has entered me-unwanted filth.

a portrait of me-my self portraits

October 5, 2006