Posts Tagged ‘sexual trauma’

“I am a drunk”

July 16, 2011
right turn by jayfherron
right turn, a photo by jayfherron on Flickr.

There is no special group for us! Bill W., founding the AA has no answer for a fellow like me…AA is for alcoholics,I am a drunk! Okay…this is bound to raise some eye-brows!!

I get asked the question almost every time I visit a doctor!… “Do you drink?” …I answer (honestly) “No,I am a drunk!”

“Oh,so you do drink!”

“No, I just told you I was a drunk!”

“Then…you drink!!”

“Well no…I do not drink,I am not a drinker!! Huh?¬† I AM A DRUNK!!”

 

I usually explain it this way…I do not like to drink alcohol, as a matter of fact-I don’t even like the way it tastes! It has to be confusing , I am sure! A drinker , in my opinion, is a person who steady has a (since I never drink booze…we are talking about beer here) beer in their hands…every day,day after day! Sure…this may also fall into the category of being an alcoholic, but the fact is by being a drinker the difference comes in that I am not a drinker because I do not feel like having my body feel the agony of being hung over day after day. My body is not requiring me to do that to it! I suffer it on my own inflicting the miserable feeling I have the day after my drunk!

It begins without premeditation! I have no agenda to go and get a six or twelve pack of beer. I might pick up beers at the grocery and they may sit on my kitchen floor collecting dust with no interest from me. I do not drink every day and sometimes go for weeks or longer,no thought of drinking. If I have a beer in my hand then it is sure getting in a drunken state is on my mind-wanting to get life off of my mind.

But something triggers it! My opening my first…

I guess you could say a drinker is also someone who can stop and take a break during the heat of the day and pop open a cold beer for refreshment. And that’s it! Or maybe go to a restaurant for a nice steak dinner and have a beer to wash it down…and that’s it! I do not fit that category either!

Most likely for certain if you see me with a beer you can bet there are ten or more to back that one up! I am in the mode of wanting escape…the beer is the legal drug and fastest concentration of ‘medicine’ that can push the shit out of life and bring out the hap-hazard,I could give a shit attitude…the power and the strength of escape! I know I have escaped when the day after comes and my morning begins but calculating what all is askew and locating the empties and learning how far I went.

I don’t want to do this! I hate it! I hate it all the following day…the greatest curse of it is the feeling so badly lasts longer then the feeling of escape. I just want to escape! To forget! To kill it! To get it away from me!

Why? That is what I try to answer every time, why? I know what it is that I want to get away from. I also know that it does not free me….no matter what kind of support or personal supervisor or meetings will ever fix this! Of course…I know what it is I want to be free from.

Talking about this has been on my mind for a few weeks. I have been seeing a therapist that treats sexual trauma injured folks like us who deals (so it seems so far) in helping us…helping me to determine the joy of love in separation from sexual contact,being that individuals profess ‘love’ to us but we can’t comprehend it because of the distorting way the other half of ‘love’ was presented to us. I have to say I am not sure of how much longer the relationship with the therapist is going to go…I went in the beginning to try to stop myself from being self abusive (self-abuse is not always from drugs or drinking) and the fact that I turn 60 years old in one more week and have been absolutely alone for the past 12 years scares me!

I want to find love. I want to believe in love. But fuck all if it comes to me. I am afraid of it. And yet, I want to feel it for sure for once.

No one is ever going to understand me. And if it is the same for the other many thousands of sexual trauma survivors that we have this same problem,what a state of confusion.

It has always been suggested that when a person dies their whole life replays in the last seconds of life. That is what getting drunk does to me!

I cry so much about what it all has been!….and the confusion it all has created!

I am just telling you the truth about me! I am not a tower of strength as many say I am. It is why I write this…the truth about me! To show the damage of post traumatic stress and from the view of sexual trauma causing it.

A few years ago I attended a conference (I wrote about it here) and heard a woman speak about her own rape. Her experience was something that was so horrid I think about it often! She too has a lifetime of memories, her attacks left her blind. I am not going into the worse of what she endured. I want to find the strength that woman has found to stand up. I am perplexed in how it is managed! How can one rise up and another keep falling?

I apologize…there is not much encouragement here.

Peace…and ending with a poem I wrote in 1981:

 

Quitting again,

open another farewell beer,

and tell this one goodbye

how many is this? this year?

another farewell lie!

you drunken waste!

give me one more drink and lots of time to think!

Think of what? you’ve thought it all, you are trying to forget!

You’ve drunk a bottle miles tall , and have’nt finished yet.

 

 

 

catching up…

June 13, 2009


IMG_0679

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

The past two months have been blank…then I return home to what should have been a time of relaxation did not work out as such-I became fatigued on my return flight from Hawaii. That wore me down where I got sick-and stayed sick and tired for a number of weeks.
Then the computer died-or,perhaps,caught that I was tired and it bogged up. That meant a call to the Dell Indian who vacuumed the thing bone dry removing with it my photographs and certain bookmarks and my will to want to!

I have not lost the motivation to write. I have come to a point where writing my story has got to come to an end somewhere-I said this before…this is not really meant to be about me-although what happened to me is important for others to understand. In basics-the reader just needs to read back and the whole story is there. Also ,what I am saying here seems to have had influence on others-so I don’t want to end it-writing! I would like to transform into hopefully helping other veterans-survivors of MST to approach the long battle to get what is rightfully belongs to them…admission-acknowledgment from the military that you were indeed victimized on their watch.

It would be better to see the attackers convicted. I know that is asking for a little much-but I do feel emotions from having papers saying that MST did occur and that I had no blame in what took place. No blame being because I was in a detention barracks and that I had done nothing to warrant being there.

I’m not an educated person so I don’t have all these powers of a degree and fellowships to give me a boost in becoming an advocate for others. Actually-I’m thankful in some ways that I’m not a degree scholar. I happen to see a hole in the way certain classes of veterans are treated-and perhaps a gap in how a survivor sees themselves as a veteran. I see this from the perspective of a survivor-being a male survivor myself.

What I do see are men in position as advocates-sanctioned by the individual states Veterans Affairs department…uneducated men particularly where the crime of rape and sexual assault¬†is considered.

What I will continue to advocate for is a change in how MST survivors appeal for medical and financial benefits. I will keep shouting the best way I can to hopefully be heard on behalf of change…military sexual trauma -MST (any sexual trauma) is horrific to live with. Sexual attacks change the victim so deeply-fear consumes the survivor.

To send an MST survivor through a process of appealing for compensation where they are required to seek the confidence of a veterans advocate who may not ever understand the details of a rape-is wrong.

The way the system is set up every veteran who has been injured in military service must file the beginning papers for a benefit claim with a Veterans Affairs (BVA) officer in the home county of the veteran. Every veteran! This includes a claim for MST.

For those that do come forward-the veteran who responds to the question of unwanted sexual contact,they most likely would be doing so at a veterans hospital. They rountinely ask the question during a scheduled physical-yet the veteran might find other channels to find a confidential ear.

When the question is answered ‘yes’ there should be an automatic open avenue for the MST survivor to go through. A medical professional should be in place instead of a BVA representative-the MST survivor should be treated with sensitive attention to his or her injury and case.

I was sent to my local BVA representative and he was challenged to confusion as why homosexuals would need to rape each other-he was certain my attackers were blacks…he was nearly dumbfounded when I told him they were not. There were later comments that sounded more like jokes about me. I am angry that someone who suffers from the shame of sexual trauma is subjected to that kind of rudeness and ignorance-and bigotry.

I want to see it different for others. I hope some way comes to lighten up the path to show what trauma this is-and to inspire a change in how MST survivors find healing and hope through a gentler system.

Peace