Posts Tagged ‘Veterans with MST’

look out ma-here comes the elephant boy

February 15, 2010

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Originally uploaded by jayfherron

 

The title comes from a John Prine song.
What was in his head when he wrote it has not been explained to me-but what is in my head when I hear it is the story of an oddity-a kid with an odd something about himself.

Call me odd. It won’t matter-it truly does not matter. It is too late to change me to any other way,I have adjusted to living like this after so long. I might as well. My life has been this for so long that it is a callous. Just as if I was a hand that worked all of its life with pick axe or a shovel or some kind of hard work.

There is a movie by Werner Herzog-titled “Where the Green Ants Dream”. It is a strange story about an Australian mining operation that is disrupted by a group of Aborigine peoples protest of the destruction of a sacred ant species. The people end up in court to fight for the right to keep the land sacred-and the judge calls a man from the Aborigine group to testify. This guy rambles on in a language of his own and the judge asked for someone to interpret what was said. No one could-he was the last of his people,his tribe-his language. Only he spoke it-and he knew what was being said.

That is the odd part about me. I feel silenced and isolated. I feel like an elephant boy. I feel as if only I understand what is being said.

I spoke to a survivor yesterday. We have been talking about organizing to rally against the Veterans Administration for the civil rights of veterans who have suffered from MST contributing PTSD. My conversation was with another elephant boy…elephant man…elephant woman…elephant girl…elephant white…elephant black….elephant odd ass person-an oddity. An Aborigine with out a language-because no one can understand what the oddity has to say.

As I spoke to this veteran-a United States Army Viet Nam era veteran-a rape survivor…I heard me talking! I heard my language being spoken. It was almost as if I was on the telephone and listening to myself. The things that were being said could only have been understood by someone like me. That someone understands the pain of the loneliness of our lives-the secret we have to endure…the self hate and self destruction-all because of what happened at the hands of others.

It is such a confused life. The Military Sexual Trauma survivors life. My conversation was with a soul just like me-growing up in an age where defending our country and our Constitution was the important key to survival and freedom…we were raised on values to salute the flag of our nation and march against any that would cause us a threat-to teach other lands,not as free as ours,the rights and freedoms-a word called democracy is used….the rights and freedoms of our United States.

We are elephant boys now…elephant men…elephant woman…elephant black…elephant white…with out a language-except with in our own group,but-the group is so isolated by its silence. We are oddities! We are not like the rest-we are silenced. We have no rights.

Look out Ma here comes the elephant boy-all dressed up in his corduroy!

Military Sexual Trauma is just a title-it once upon a time was not even known as anything….unless perhaps it had a behavioral title-such as ‘sexual activity’ or ‘homosexual behavior’ but not as an injury.

Imagine what it is like to look up to heros from eras past-like the men of Iwo Jima…or the those captured during war time and kept as POW’s. Just imagine what it might be like to want to be like those-to be a hero,to fight the battles and defending what is right,believing in what is right….and then it is shut down,and shut away by the devience of another’s power over you. Everything is taken away-the desire…the belief…and the ability to defend. We no longer feel the honor of the duty we stepped forward to do-and feel the right to stand up next to the others who made it through-the true veterans…we feel the right is lost.

Silenced!

Look out Ma…