Posts Tagged ‘males sexually assaulted’

Catfish Hotel

November 9, 2009

catfish hotel-St.Johns River,Florida

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

Along the St.Johns River (Florida) there are small camps various distances apart-long distances! This place in the photo-known as Catfish Hotel-is so away from anything,anywhere,and is only accessable by boat. The river banks at this point are approximately 8 miles apart-the nearest highway overpass about 4-but it is guaranteed,you are not walking out of here.

It is fair to say the Catfish Hotel is a sanctuary for escape from thunderstorms-which Florida is famous for. It was built by airboaters (oddly,out of steel) to escape storms-yet,it has been used as a camp for many years and it comes complete with a cook out grill for a kitchen.

You could drop me off to live there-the isolation is so welcome (however-gallons  of mosquito repellant will be required)…and yet-isolation is so uncanny for what I have in my heart.

I spent yesterday visiting a friend who vacations at Siesta Key-a posh resort town next to Sarasota,an island,but not quite like the island our Catfish Hotel has been built.

Siesta Key runs with the Gulf of Mexico to the west. I remember when I first drove Midnight Pass Road which runs parallel to the beach-this was in 1970…you could see the waters for as long as Midnight Pass lasted. Not today. It is nothing but condominium after condominium. It gives me a sad feeling to remember 1970.

I have dealing with depression again-usually it becomes compounded with the hints of the crixmix season (christmas-for those who do not know). 1970 pry’s at my mind most all of the time but it becomes more pronounced as this time of years comes close-my rape happened in this season.

I’ve been asked a certain question about myself-twice in the past few years. I about to be interviewed in regards to ‘military sexual trauma’ and that I am a male survivor…the journalist asked it exactly the same way as my attorney once asked…”what is your sexual preference”?

“I don’t know”! This is my answer. I never had the chance to find out.

Shocking to some – dumbfounding  to them too. According to the Bible-it is only supposed to be one way. Oddly,I have no comprehension…how could I?

I am a father. I always say my sons and I grew up together-that because it is so. To be a father I had to be with a woman…and may I say-I am sure to be a father of children that I do not know. No matter what the mental capacity of a man or a woman-as long as they get together in some form of sexual moment a child is likely to come of it.

I am attracted to woman-that is why Siesta Key had an impact on me yesterday. European tourists seem to flock there. European people seem to be less inhibited by their bodies than Americans-they dress more freely closer to nude,at least at Siesta Key. I do admit-my eyes tried to drink in as much as they could,the closest I had been to a naked woman (or,nearly naked) in years and years.

My drive home is 3 hours long. I thought about the day as I drove along…more honestly,I thought about the young woman my eyes were longing for. Not  longing for them sensually….longing for the experience I had missed as a teenager-and as an adult,never having the fun and laughs these young people were having. I had never had a date (my first date ever was disturbed by my brother being killed) except some ordeal my parents arranged to help out a cousin of ours. My wives were not products of courting and dates and normal engagements. My first marriage was a true shotgun wedding (less violent then it sounds) and my second was two six packs too many and a blindness only a fool can have…but no dates.

More so-I drove along and thought a lot about what is wrong with me. I am broken because of what happened to me in barracks D.

The insanity of the sickness of what happened there is something I have never been able to walk away from. Some years ago I would do something that I have always known in myself as ‘damage control’ , which is my way of being like a battered wife who keeps returning to her battering husband. I tried to control it but it controled me-I needed to return to what it was that was given to me. The abuse became the only form of touch I could have-because the gentil touch of I love you was not something I could understand…it never was mine.

Through the years I have had many encounters with woman. Beautiful woman…and sometimes not so beautiful. I tried to find someone I could love and accept love from…but the results of the punished life I received at barracks D always stood steadfast in the very moments a moment of intimacy were to begin. I became so afraid-the discoveries…the need to explain-the wish none of it ever existed,but now seems to have existed forever.

Am I attracted to men? Am I a ‘homosexual’ as many have asked? I really and honestly have no idea…I do not know what is normal or is not,I had no other choice but to learn it that way-what was given to me at barracks D. Drunk I could be blasted enough to fall for a woman like my last wife-long gone 12 years now and the last time I was sexually active with someone-ANYONE!. Like a deer with its eyes in the headlights I would have to re-do the marriage I had with my first wife…I only did it because I was scared to death of her dad.

I hated ‘damage control’ too. I did it to abuse myself…plain and simple-my body wants to vomit from the memory of it, but like the Bible says-“a dog returns to its vomit”. Sometimes the urge to return is so over powering, I wish to be dead to be free of it.

The choices would be easier if one could dwell in a place like Catfish Hotel.

The incredible thing about yesterday at Siesta Key…I wanted to be with someone-I wanted to hold a hand and feel loving breath on my neck. I wanted to be 18 to find out what it really was supposed to be…not like it ended up-and what it is. I missed something.

Military Sexual Trauma-exists!

June 5, 2008

Originally uploaded by jayfherron


I remember the days when my sons were still in high school and the times they inquired about the future and college.
I can fairly say my income at any time was not going to be able to send my sons to college-but I knew enough to suggest the military,more specific-the United States Navy.
I actually encouraged my sons and several of the young men they grew up with to enlist.

My own few months in the Navy ended with me feeling ashamed about myself-all I really saw was my failure and my discharge was not offered the way that I wanted it to be…my hope was to follow the directions my ships education officer and finish school and go to one of the schools the Navy offered.
I was taken another place that many don’t hear about our service men being. A place called barracks D.

Barracks D was a detention barracks.
My crime? I really make no sense out it it when I try to explain it…there was no crime.

In barracks D-really only hours after I arrived,I was attacked and raped and left unconscious in a urinal trough.
The following morning an intelligence officer inquired as to why I was so bloodied up and bruised-and when I thought this man was going to help me,instead he chuckled and told me to get used to it.
I was 18,weighed about 120.

I thought this was because of where I was. There wrongly-I had done nothing to deserve being locked in with these men…it was my sense of redemption to assist my sons to enlist,to ensure that my failure was mended through my sons. I did not fear the same things happening to them because in my mind I was a the bad one and that is why I was sent to barracks D.
Yet,I had done nothing wrong.

It is hard to believe the rapes took place nearly 40 years ago. I am amazed at how the memory of the days of my Navy life have never gone away. It is almost as if it happened just the other day. I believe sometimes it is because I am locked in a time zone that was stuck in place for the time that I really missed-being a good military man.

To be honest-I thought my situation was an isolated thing-circumstance made it happen,and…it was not really anything to do with the military. I thought that for years-never really considering that my safety was never cared about while I spent my time in barracks D. I just thought it was the way it was…just like the man said “get used to it”.
After answering a few questions at the VA several years ago the interest in barracks D grew from just being a time that will always haunt me to the interest of the Military Sexual Trauma team at the Gainesville (Fla) VA ,where I met and spent nearly three years with Charlotte-my therapist.

I never once considered that rape and assault’s of personal violation took place in the military….I always thought my incidents were only because of where I was.
I was just 18…a life of normal sexual exploration had never been mine to try-to experience. What some deem as ‘sexual’ is not exactly of the way the nature of sexual intimacy is made,having someone force themselves on your person and rip your anus to a place it is often sore and always a reminder of what was once happening (which mentally happens each morning on my toilet)….that is not sexual intimacy,nor any other kind of gentle contact.
I never really got to explore that in the true sense of how it is supposed to be.
To this day-it affects me.

It was only at these meetings at the VA that the size of the problem was understood-this happened to others and in various situations to active duty military persons. Enough so that there are two full time VA facilities that treat only MST -military sexual trauma. One is here in south Florida.
During my meetings with Charlotte it was suggested that I file for a claim against the Navy for the wrongs that were done.
That process was like re-opening a big wound so that it will never heal.
The veterans advocate who was to be in charge of taking me to the hearings to attempt to earn me something of a compensation (how it will replace what has taken is not sure in my head) had such a bigoted mind he thought because I lay there and allow several men penetrate me-with force….that this was somehow homosexual conduct,and actually expressed such thoughts.

It was then that my attitude changed and that I needed to say more-to speak up and fight this. Hey….my case was as I said-nearly 40 years ago….and stayed in me alone,in silence. It might have been better to keep it in silence,but when the veterans advocate made jokes at my expense it pissed me off as much as it made me sick.
I began writing-and writing and as I wrote and had to research for my topics I learned that my case is not isolated at all…MST is a serious problem and it is growing.

Just the other day I wrote about Demetrius Busby-an ROTC instructor that had been assaulting a teenage male in his charge. In my research just to learn about Demetrius Busby I was stunned to see the numbers of ROTC so called leaders who had been arrested just in the last six months,for sexual violations against students.
That worsened the feelings in me-even at the high school level,military sexual trauma exists.
It is trauma…the sexual indicator deceives us.


The above article is among the most recent numbers to come feely to the people-I’m not sure I can say “to the public” as not many folks in civilian life are going to be reading Air Force Times or Army Times or Military times….so the information is not really published to edify the community in general…we in civilian life are not too observant to the whole of the problem. Me? I too had no idea until I started writing about how large this is.
I don’t want you to take my word-I suggest doing research of your own….seek out the truth,and then join me in my campaign to change as much as we can for the survivor and earn as much help for the victim as we can,because they are not recieving the proper care-only a number…that is all,only a number.

As with my sons and the many many others who walked into the recruiters office-they do so with a feeling of honor and a sense of doing the right thing-standing up for our country. We send our sons and daughters into the military with the thinking that this is a place of great leadership and disipline and do not expect to learn that the criminal element is even filtered into the troops….rape and sexual violation no matter where you are is a crime.
I am perplexed at the problem that exists and that not only are the crimes commited-they are often shoved aside.
That is so wrong.