Saturday, September 20, 2014

Reporting Your MST to the Veteran's Administration



We gave to our country, in ways that no one should have to.. We gave our minds, body and souls; but we did not do so to become Victims!  Silence was pressed upon us, and torment was a daily fact of life after we gave what we were forced to give; which was not a part of our oath of office.

Often, our silence has destroyed our lives, even after our obligations were terminated; either by our own fulfillment of original obligations, or terminated by our superiors prematurely.   The suffering in silence, for years and even decades, losing families, friends and careers; not able to trust or connect with others.  Not able to trust even ourselves, much less others.

IT's Time It Comes To An End!  It's Time to Stand Up and Shout!

Our ghosts and demons be put on notice, that we are done dealing their intrusions and we are going to break our silence!  It is not enough for us to keep the specter of our past, lurking in the shadows; we must let them out of our minds and tell someone.  It is time for us to consider letting the system know, that we are tired of being victims and need to move our lives to survivorship, so we can live our lives and move forward in a productive and positive way.

It's Time!  Time to report our intentions to get through our pain and heal.  Haven't you suffered enough?  After 30 plus years of living like this; I am.. Come join me, come join others in reclaiming our lives.  Come report your story, to the Veteran's Administration and Demand your Freedom!  Lord knows, you deserve to be free!













Here is a link, that will take you to a VA fact sheet.. click on the highlighted letters and a link will either pop up, or the link will allow you to click on it and you will be taken to the page, that is full of information for you.  You may wish to bookmark that page for future reference, as the links are valuable, if you are going to report sexual assault which occurred during your military service.

Fact Sheet and Links about MST






Reach out!  Even if it is reaching out to me, You can do so on Hubpages.com, then search for me under the profile of  repoprimo (my pen name).  Then, click on my profile and send me "fan mail."  I will answer your inquiry as soon as I am notified of your message.  You can also follow this and other posts on this blog by filling out the "follow me" form with your email.

Honestly, I do not share or give out email information to anyone.  Your contact with me will be confidential..


Please feel free to look through the Archives.  It may give you a better sense of what my background is, who I am, and what my intentions are by building of this blog.

I wish you good luck, and welcome to your days of recovery.  I am still working on mine.  Come join me, won't you?

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Are All Male on Male Sexual Assaults, Commited by Gay Participants? (A Discussion, to Possibly Aid In Healing).







Hello, and Thank You, in advance, for coming and showing some interest in the subject matter; of which is addressed, here on my blogs.   The other day I addressed some statistics, concerning male victimization, in the act of Rape, Male Sexual Assaults in the Military.   Now, as you probably can see, this video was produced and posted on as recent as September 14, 2014; If I read it correctly.

The statistics that are described and disclosed here, are not anything that surprises me., However, they are much more in number of reported cases, which brought these statistics into the light.  There is, on the other hand the most chilling reality; is these statistic are not complete or completely accurate.  Why?  Well, because there are men out there whom have never came forward and reported their sexual assault/rape, or the inappropriate touching that occurred to them.  The most disturbing among all of that, is that there are all of those whom have not told their story, and who remain living with their shame and the injuries, in Silence. 











I am not sure, that I agree with this persons personal assertions; as it relates to the importance of whether or not the perpetrator sexual orientation.  Logically, one could assert that since the attack was conducted by someone whom was male; that the perpetrator has to be Gay.   I agree and disagree with this.

I have had actual discussions with people whom were both Gay and Straight, regarding male on male sexual activity.  One thing that has came to me, in my discussions was that during many male sexual lives (especially during adolescence and young adulthood),  There are times when every male goes through sexual discovery and experimentation.   Some of the sexually oriented contact, with other males, are consensual and are out of experimentation. 

During my Educational ventures, I had the pleasure of being in some Criminal Justice level classes that discuss mob dynamics, mob mentality issues, as well as "Peer Pressured Group Based Activities."   I have looked at these dynamics and other influences which involve multiple assailants in a criminal activity, and have seen some pretty harsh realities and connections with my own "Gang Rape."

In either case of whether, or not, a person or group, are of a "Gay" oriented background or "Gay Sexual Preference," is maybe important; but I don't think that is the only foundational concern here.  In Any situation where an assault or other case of criminal activity; there is an "Alpha" personality, that seems to guide or direct his/her influences, upon less dominant personalities, where he/she builds a sense of obligation, with lesser assertive or more subjective personalities.  Those personalities assert their perceived power, over others of less ability to be in control thereby falling in line with the masses; feeling like they would be compromised, and left out of their group.  (I hope this makes sense.)

I believe, in general that "Male on Male" Sexual assault, that the Alpha personality may be of some Gay orientation, or is close to one of his confidants, whom are Gay, and the dynamics of their influences may drive other "Lesser" assertive personality of their group following.  I believe that once the acts are started, the Alpha in the group activity and the other members of the group begin moving in the same direction; others of personalities whom are more prone to being followers; become energized and begin following the Alpha's action, thus building a series of dynamics that intensifies the actual act (s).

( I think you get the point I am trying to make here, I hope!)

Now, I have to say that there is a stronger sense of what the speaker in the above video; of which would direct one to assume that a "One on One" sexual assault/ Rape, would have some sense of being committed by someone whom had "Gay" tendencies.  However, in situations where there are multiple assailants, I think the dynamics are a bit difference; and fall in line with the "Mob" Mentality, where the "Alpha Personality" asserts peer pressure over one or more participants and then the pyramid or dynamics, include the other participants by asserting "Peer Pressure" over the lesser Personalities.  Trust and obligation is then transferred into the situation, between the assailants, through culpability, of  shared responsibility by grabbing the less strong personality, within the dynamics of the attack.

Funny, I am wondering why I went to the psychology of  the perpetrator's actions.  Maybe it's to justify why more than one person became involved with my Rape/Assault, and how others could not only observe; but interject themselves into the act; rather than stopping it.  I honestly don't know.

As I said, previously, I am not convinced that in all cases, that all Sexual Assault Assailants are of Gay Orientation.  I think that regardless of our sexual orientation, we all see other people, of the same sex, and find attractive features of their personalities or other attributes that are attractive to us.

    I also think that based on that; either jealousy or admittedly some feature of their physical form, attracts the interest.  What ever gives the attackers the final motivation, to attack that person; varies, I believe may range from "Getting Even or Revenge," "Jealousy," and Yes Definitely to "Assert Control."   I also think, based on my assertions, that some sexual attacks are not only opportunistic, but also out of experimentation, on the behalf of the attacker(s).

Now, I am not excusing Sexual Assault, or the actions of those whom commit such a horrid and devastating acts.  I am merely trying to find and discuss the issue, as to find some peace and a means of finding a deeper sense of forgiveness, for my own attackers/rapists/sexual predators.  I am also trying to open an interactive means of discussion, on the matter.. It is to me, as means of healing; not prompted by my Therapist or Medical advisers, or as part of my prescribed treatment plan. It just is a topic that pushed me to examine what the Gentleman above asserted, in the video.


Thank You Again for visiting.. I hope this discussion, is helpful. 

I would like to suggest that if you feel like you, or someone you know is a "Victim" of Sexual Assault, or have been Raped, please reach out and don't continue to "Live in Silence," as I did for years and years.  There are people out there whom care enough to want to help you, find the help you,, or your family, friend may need, to find peace.

 I would also ask that if you are suffering, in Silence, and feel like you are at risk of harming yourself; Please, I mean from the bottom of my heart, please reach out.

Mental Health Concerns and Suicide Prevention Resources:
HelpGuide.org
http://www.helpguide.org/mental/suicide_help.htm



http://veteranscrisisline.net or
(888)273-8255 #1

If you feel like you or someone you know, is going to harm themselves or others,
please call #911 immediately.








Thursday, September 11, 2014

Hazing and Sexual Assualt In the Military



There are over 26 thousand reported cases, of Sexual Assault reported in the Military. Some are the product of or start out as "HAZING" incidents; which lead to the sexual assault.
The Department of Defense has continuously revised the numbers of sexual assault victims, due non-reporting of Sexual Assault.   As time has passed, it is estimated that there are approximately twice as many Male Victims of Military Sexual Assault, then Sexual Assaults on Women.

This is one story of an Army Specialist First Class, who went through such an Hazing event, that later turned into Sexual Assault.  (Let me warn you, it is graphic).




 
 
 
The reasons for non-reporting of sexual assault, depends on who you speak to.  The investigative body of the D.O.D (Department of Defense), suggests that reasoning goes to embarrassment and rejection concerns, by family and friends, as well as fellow Military Members.
 
 
 
 
 (This Video Is approx. 60 Minutes Long and has been monetized)
 
 


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Reaching Out For Help and For Myself.




I am not a Mental Health Professional, nor do I pretend to be.  So, being that as it is; I can not give any other advice to anyone who is either suffering, think they suffer from, or have a family member who they believe may be a sufferer of any Mental Health Issue.   However, I am a sufferer of PTSD and a Survivor of MST (Military Sexual Trauma).    The only advice I can offer is that you may wish to seek out assistance from a local or area Mental Health Professional, A Physician, or your Local Church Administration for guidance, if you believe there might be issues relating to the safety or welfare of a loved one, or yourself.


All I can share with you, is my experiences; and information that I have been made aware of and share my interpretations of what I have learned, from those whom help me make my journey, through recovery.     It is my belief, at this point, that with my journey the assistance and support of the people in my life (to include primarily my Mental Health Network), has been most invaluable to make my journey rewarding, educational, and also a bit easier on my crazy life.


I will share with you, things that impact my life and my recovery to provide several benefits to you, the reader of this blog. I am hopeful that if you do not suffer from PTSD, or are a Survivor of Sexual Trauma (regardless of the origin or perpetrators background), Then this may be able to allow you some insight as to either dispel or acknowledge belief that there may be something wrong, should someone you know and love be suffering in silence.  The second thing I hope; is that if you are suffering in silence; that this material and the information and stories here in this blog, will give you strength to seek out the assistance you may wish to consider obtaining.


Due to my own experiences, My belief in Mankind, as a whole; my belief in my God and myself, My trust in others and even in myself; has been forever changed and challenged.  I have forsaken all of the previous groups, for so long that getting back in touch with these group members, will take a long time and a lot of work.  However, It is my belief that in my perception I feel, regaining some level of relationship and trust in all of those groups is possible.


I have heard and have always been taught that without love of self, trust of self, belief in self; there can be limited (If any)  of those attributes, in relationships with others.    I am not sure to what degree this is true; but I do know that when I ask myself questions like;


Can I love this person, who is in my life?
Can I trust in this person, who is at the door of my life?
Can I turn my back on this person and feel comfortable?
Can I believe that this person or God, be trusted not to harm or bring harm to me?


I often find myself having to ask myself the questions with myself as the person I am inquiring about.  The answer from doing this, guides me in deciding whether I am equipped with the tools, to extend any give attribute to anyone else.


Often however, as with anything, there are exceptions; and in my life there are a very few exceptions that will allow me to remove asking the questions regarding trust, love, feelings, and belief.  However, even with these exceptions; it has to be measured with experience with the people who have fallen within the exceptions.


Let me explain what I mean.  As a baby, we are not able to change our own diapers, to teach ourselves how to use the toilet, to teach ourselves how to experience our first bites of solid food; without some elements of others, with whom we have to waive questioning.  Because as a matter of survival, we need guidance and limitations placed upon us; to give us the tools we need to continue growing and thriving.


With the events of my own Sexual Assault; the resulting PTSD  (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) from that assault; had wiped out all that I believed to be true. It challenged my very existence and still continues to challenge that existence, to this day. The frustration of not trusting myself, believing in myself and resulting insecurities of my viability as a friend, and the ability for me to believe that  for others will stay by my side, has become a daily challenge and a daunting chore (both for me and those who continue to have to re-enforce my trust in their willingness to stay).


I am not sure what is more upsetting to me; the fact that I have to struggle to find self worth, or to have to continually seek out re-enforcement of others having the willingness to stay by my side and fight with me.   Consistently, even at the age of which I am at, I am finding myself acting like an infant, seeking out constant reminders and re-assurances that I am worth while and that they are not going to leave my side in this fight. (and it is a FIGHT!  Make no mistake.)


I can not stress enough, the impact upon my life in not believing that I am worth anything, worth being loved, worth being considered a friend, worth the affection and attention of people around me, worth the respect, and worthy most of all, of self worth and love.  To be honest, I have lost so much self love, through my journey (previous to and up to this point), that it is frustrating for me to not even have a sense of what it is like to have. I know it gets frustrating for those who work with me, in my recovery.


As I said earlier, I had to realize that as I was, as a child, I am now in so many ways again in my infancy.   AS such, I had to swallow my pride, and find a way to ask for help; much like an infant child has to ask for dinner to be made, ask for a structured way of thriving, ask for a diaper to be changed or ask for the love and attention repeatedly to seek out reassurances that I am okay and worth the effort and time.


I believe that, due to my own experiences; most sufferers of PTSD and most Sexual Assault Victims who wish to change their own status into becoming a survivor; these feelings of inadequacy exist and the same sort of reassurances exist; even when they probably will be wishing to deny them.   But I am willing to believe that denial is a basic element; at least openly.. However, privately, we do hold some elements of this truth deep within us and will not come out with this element of our issues without being told it is okay and that there is help available to restore hope.

I am finding it hard to believe in very much, right now.  However, I am beginning to think that, with the help, and encouragement, I am receiving from my own network of support,  I have a lot more than a chance of getting to where I should be, in life.  With all of the Issues and doubt that once existed, and from time to time, still remains to some degree;  I have to say,  I am starting to feel like there might be hope trickling in.  ( I am sure that my therapist will be happy to hear that, for a change).

I have had problems with going back and reading some of my past postings.  They often remind me of the trauma and roads, I have been down, during my fresh 6 month journey, towards my recovery.  However difficult,  the reality is that the posts make it evident that I am making some progress, on my own journey.   It allows me to reach out to others, whom has been tormented by trauma, and hopefully gives them the strength to seek out the help, they need for either themselves, or a loved one, whom might be suffering in silence; like I was.

A note to my friends and therapist;
I am feeling and learning that there is a glimmer of hope, that I didn't know existed, that is now and at this moment, starting to get through.  
With that note, I wish whom so ever should read this blog, and is either suffering in silence, or knows someone who is,  will be able to see;  all is not lost. There is hope for those who reach out and ask for it.   If nothing else comes from the posts I'm sharing with you,  It my best of hopes that faith and healing will come your way, through the process of sharing my journey and reaching out for the help, you might be seeking.  

The help is there for the asking.  Just make the first step.

take care.





Saturday, September 6, 2014

Who Am I? Why Should I See Justice? Why Have I Worn A Mask for So Long? (Part 2)



In part one, I merely laid down a foundation for this part; and hopefully I can look more deeply into the actual theme of these posts.


For Male Sexual Assault Victims, Justice is rarely seen in the proper sense, as it is compared with those sexual assaults, which occur to females.  There have been protections in place, for so long, which are designed to protect women.  Much like the programs which are, and have been put into place, for Women.   There are very few equalities for men, as it relates to Domestic violence, rape or sexual assault.


Not only mentioning the legal aspects and the aspect of public and society views, male programs are minimal at best, for Male Rape/Sexual Assault Victims.  The reasoning behind this, is merely too complex to really cover here, but it might be at least on a minor scale, there are no male shelters for battered male victims,  there are no or limited shelters or programs that deal with Male Sexual Assault or Rape.   Mainly the cause of these widely gapped programs, is because as a male; we are not supposed to be able to be put in such a place where we could be placed at risk.  To further this, as males, we are supposed to be the protectors, not the victims of such matters or attacks.


Society has placed such a image upon the Men in our society; that there is too much pressure being socially applied against the male, to acknowledge that they have been sexually victimized by another male, or even a female.  Much like the domestic violence offender, is perceived that a small and slight woman, could never assault and harm a fully developed and grown male.  Although things are changing, when it comes to domestic violence, both Rape/Sexual Assault against males and domestic violence against the male in a household is at least embarrassing, demoralizing, and deemed as weak and shameful for the male victims of these crimes.


My seeing Justice, in my case of Sexual Assault and gang rape, plus the level of violence which was perpetrated against me, mainly due to statute of limitations.  The next reason, I will never see justice, is because the main players are long out of reach and some of the people whom are accessory to the crimes against me, are deceased.. Bless their little black hearts.~!!!!!


So, because of the threats I received from my superiors (The Accessory's to the crimes against me), who forced, limited, and threatened me to seek justice for myself; not to mention the shame, the embarrassment, the stigma society placed upon such victims back in the day, was too much to allow me to pursue seeking justice, when the incident occurred.  We can also throw in the fact I was only about 20 years old and na├»ve about how the laws and the ability of threats to be carried out.


So, for me, justice is not an option.  Instead, I have to be satisfied with just seeking validation for what happened to me, through my filing of a claim against the Veteran's Administration, and hoping that the powers that be, agree that something devastating occurred; without having to actually admit that I was in raped, and assaulted brutally.


Now I can not speak for other Victims/Survivors of Male Sexual Assault, I can speak for myself with the assumptions I have, based on my experiences.  


As a PTSD Sufferer, and a Male Rape Victim the needing of "wearing a mask" was a natural step for my protecting myself. Not knowing who I could trust, not willing to trust, the embarrassment, the pain, the shame (and the list goes on), was some of the reasons I remained in silence. I imagined that if I had let anyone know of what I had gone through, I would be ostracized as a male; I would and was minimized, I would always be perceived as a victim who was available for repeated victimization, by those whom would come to know.


In the previous post, with the same name, I put out a scenario where just the mere mention of my being a PTSD sufferer, brought about attitudes which were counter-productive, through the ignorance of my boss; as to the fact that having PTSD, was no reason for me to act in ways I had been acting; and his view of PTSD not being a disability.  This has made life at work, almost unbearable. (Let me also assert that prior to his knowledge of my having PTSD, we were friends for over 5 years.)


At a previous job, in a neighboring county, I let it be known that I was seeking help for PTSD. the attitudes of my employer, after a year and a half of proving my experience and skills; of which I honed for over 30 something years, changed drastically when they found I was in need of psychological help for the PTSD, and I started going to the Veterans Administration for assistance. 


In both instances, of the recent past, my employer's views of me changed almost instantly.  I sometimes wonder what their attitudes would have been if I also let it be known that I was Gang Raped, while in  the military.  I could only imagine, but am glad that I will not suffer those attitudes; as these folks will never be informed of that fact.


Being a victim and now a survivor of Male on Male Sexual Assault, has allowed me to put on a mask, to cover my pain, my anguish, my shortcomings, my failures, my lack of self esteem, my minimizing life events (as well as being minimized by others), and the list goes on; merely on the perception of what I though would come, should anyone see that I had shortcomings of mental health.
My own perceptions of Male sexual assault victims (if there was such, in my perception at the time), were quite different, prior to my Assault and Gang Rape.


As with most survivors of male on male rape, I learned very quickly to hide myself behind a mask; which was re-enforced by violence, hatred, rage, defiance against authority, as well as numerous other emotions and actions; which disallowed anyone to even suspect that I was weak, to the point of allowing anyone to sexually assault me.  Hell, I even went out on frequent violent ventures, just to prove I was viable as a man..


IN my perception, of both myself and others, was that by hiding behind a "mask" and perfecting the camouflage of being what I perceived a "man" should be, I was safe.  If I put the fear of "God" into those around me, to allow them to carry stories of extreme violence and lack of concern over life and death, that the story would move outward; people would be forewarned, and therefore would avoid pissing me off, at any cost.  I rarely had to prove anything after awhile, because my family and friends (acquaintances) would carry the story line forward. In the reality of my life, I was crying for someone to see that there was a broken hearted person, who genuinely cared and would give the shirt off of his back, to anyone in need.  Someone who would stop and patch up a broken or injured person, and try to help them to a far better place; than where they were when they were hurt.


But the mask, which was hiding the pain; was over-compensating by displaying outward disregard for property, life and safety of others; but mainly my own life and safety.  


I can see and have realized that although I could not continue striking out against others and should be looking out for the welfare of others over my own self.  So, I changed my mask and started making arrangements to exclude the participation of dangerous events and acts; where I could have witnesses, but be the only one being placed into harms way.. A sort of self inflicted suicide; with the appearances of an accident waiting to happen.    Without my masks; I was fearful that employers would say or take a stance that since I obviously had mental issues; I could not be trusted, therefore would not be willing to hire or utilize me expertise and knowledge.


Masks, has allowed me to move through some simulation of life, where my mistakes and misgivings were not only verifiably accidents; but also by my own design made out to bring ultimate harm to myself; with out suspicion by those in charge..   My masks allowed me to hide my intentions and lack of concern for my own life; from Law Enforcement, from Medical Professionals, and most importantly from employers and potential employers (and yes, from former and potential spouses.)


Now, I am telling on myself; in regards to almost every aspect of my life, for a reason.  I want to stop other victims/survivors from getting away with their pain and isolation, developing into a similar pattern.    I figure (probably wrongly) that if by telling the world what I did, that they too can look more closely to their loved ones; and hopefully stop the cycle of destruction, that I found myself on.


The plain truth is that It hurts me to know that there are others out in the world, who are living what I have been living; in some sort of distorted form of what I was living; whom is on a path to destruction of both their physical life, as well as their family and personal life. 


I hope this helps.. If you see someone you love, who is showing some signs of what I described anywhere in my blog posts, please reach out for them or with them, to get some help.


Please make a call to reach out for them, and hopefully with them to:



Or to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Phone Number


1-800-273-8255


Talk to a professional, and get them the help they deserve. I did, and it got me on the path to recovery. It made a difference, in my life; I guarantee it will help make some changes in yours too, if you give it a chance. So call, and get some resources to help you or a loved one, the help they deserve.




Who Am I? Why Should I See Justice? Why Have I Worn A Mask for So Long?





I think we all have been made aware that people perceive us, in our varying roles, differently.
We act and react to stimulus within those roles, accordingly to what we perceive is expected of us, as individuals.    We are all perceived both by our peers, as well as we carry an image of whom we wish to portray, within our roles.   Are those images wrong, or are we merely being judged by those around us?






Is it fair? or is their judgment of us aligned with our perception. of who we are trying to portray, as well as the role we wish were trying to portray?  What ever the answers to the previous questions are, I am sure that your taking the time to answer them, is or will be thought provoking and somewhat valuable to you, during your day.   I know, it seems like I have just made the proverbial cat chase her tail. and maybe I have.  But, in my defense, there is a reason, why I put you through the thought process, which will help you better relate to the remainder of this post.  On many occasions, I have been subjected to what other's perceived me as, and who they perceived me as; and having the information they shared, helped me realize who well PTSD sufferers and MST survivors hide who they truly are. I was astonished, to find a huge disparity between who I am, and who I the images that my employer has held for such a long time.  I then started seeing that the images which were held by neighbors and associates, whom I associate with, had of me; and which did not align with myself perceptions.









Now, I am finding out that all of them have ranged from being "sugar-coated" down to out-right wrong, including the images I have held of myself outwardly.  All of which had some common elements, but core elements of "who I am, were all way different.          It was a warm evening, just a few months ago, and I had spent most of my scheduled day for work, used up running medical and mental health appointments. I was supposed to have been back at work at 11:00am, at the latest, but my appointments had taken to around or near to 5:00pm, when I am normally off regular shift work and go on call, for the company I work for.  Due to the confusion of things that were going on at my Doctor appointments, I was unable to call and inform the boss, of my impending tardiness and evidently the requests for the nurses to do so, when unanswered and unperformed.  Either way, It all ended with a huge "blow out" between my boss and I.
 I had previously worked for this employer several years ago, and had recently returned to work for him again, and he had brought up my personality and my lack of showing any signs of having PTSD, or any needs for any psychological assistance.. His comments of which included; "You never shown signs of these issues, when you worked for me previously, and now all of the sudden it's in the open and you are out being seen by mental health professionals with a whole lot of issues, popping up; maybe we need to make changes."  After showing him several instances, where I had faltered in hiding my PTSD, and other symptoms, which he had not been paying attention, brought about some really deep discussions and revelations to him; that his lack of seeing the signs was not only the lack of his paying attention; but also his lack of caring about the results of those instances.


 However, despite my seeing that he had not been able to recall those instances, really helped me realize how well I was able to don a mask, and hide my pain.  IT also allowed me to operate in life, without questions which would have been embarrassing and humiliating to say the least; regarding my PTSD and my being a MST Survivor.  Now, in further discussion after the day, where my boss and I had sat down for the previously described discussion, I have had other discussions regarding PTSD, with my boss and with other people whom have been in my life, recently.  Each of them, had no clue that PTSD, was a disability or could be debilitating.  None of them knew or realized that PTSD falls within the Federal Disabilities Act, nor the State Disabilities Act.  But it does.  .


I was amazed on how people and myself were perceived when we brought up the fact that we were PTSD diagnosed.  Most of those who are ignorant of this fact, are unaware that the sufferers of PTSD, are doing anything  more than just making up excuses for doing nor not doing given things that are normally accepted, in society.






Is it fair?  Nope!  IS it discriminating?  Yes, it is; and it lends to those of us whom are suffering from mild to complex PTSD, to being discriminated against.








Put together, the average idea's of "Joe Public" in with MST, or Sexual Assault; which is suffered while in the military, and then on top of that throw in the idea of a male being a victim of Sexual Assault (whether male on male, or male on female, or even female on male) and you have a whole picture of why victims of MST, remain silent and try so hard to hide their suffering.  IN fact, a male MST survivor whom suffers from any form of PTSD, which stems from that sexual assault quickly becomes a "Master of  Disguise."     Hiding from the truth of their pain, and the truth of their suffering; becomes a pool of life long lies, to cover the fact that they were victimized.  It usually is easier, in my estimation if the silence was brought about by physical, psychological threats, or even the sufferance of career ending or life ending consequences; should they discuss or reveal the events or accuse anyone of committing such horrific and devastating act.






Over time, the systematic results of life and reality takes over and the assault and the excuses not to come out and wage such an accusation against someone, especially in the military, becomes all too scary and threatening.   Again, I ask; Is It Fair?  NO, it is not and it is also nothing which can be merely "swept under the carpet" as even the silence is more devastating than the actual immediate consequences.


Had I known, or realized, that the aftermath of my Sexual Assault would have came back on me, much later in life (as it has), I would have gladly weighted out the differences and went outside of my "Military Chain of Command," and told that Psychologist whom I was seeing for my Anger Management treatment; after my rape, what actually had happened. Why? Because it would have had possibly less of an impact, long term wise, than what the immediate consequences would have brought to bare.    The Scales of Justice, can not take away the pain, nor can it replace the innocence of which was so pure, prior to the Sexual Trauma.  In fact, there seems to be no real remedy for the act, which can put someone who has suffered and lost so much, through the acts of Sexual Assault or Rape, or even unwanted Sexual Contact. 



No amount of money, no amount of apology, and definitely no amount of justice, will replace what was lost; especially when it is kept quietly hidden under layers of lies and other trauma, which soon follows; later in life.  There is no way to weight or balance, the actions of those who commit those crimes against us, and others.  There is no amount of years behind bars or being tortured that can be imposed, to allow us to put aside the guilt, the shame, the embarrassment, the masks we wear, and the load of other negative emotions we, as Rape or Sexual Assault victims must bear.



I am a Sexual Assault Victim, who is moving towards becoming a Survivor.  AS one person has put it; "Every day my eyes open; I spit in the face of my attackers!,"  With every breath I take, I spite in the eyes of my Rapists!", With every wish, I spit in the eyes of those whom refused me justice." and with every moment of laughter, no matter it's origin, I not only spit but I Crap in their Lives!"
That is the only justice I can see, and the only comfort I can take with me.






Final Words:
If you suspect something is wrong, with a family member, research and find out if they have been possibly hiding symptoms of PTSD. If you think or have a story, which might include trauma, go seek help! If you find that the origin of that trauma is from Sexual Assault, Rape, Unwanted Physical Sexual Contact; Please seek out resources to get help, to bring your family member, or yourself the peace of knowing that justice is within your grasp.

If you find yourself being threatened; spit in the face of that threat! By doing so, will save you years of anguish; only to come to the conclusion I did; that the immediate consequences of reporting the incident, is far less than the consequences of hiding it and trying to live with the assault or trauma by yourself for years (like I did.)
Listen and do not judge someone, who claims they have been sexually assaulted.  Then give them support to find the needed resources to cope with it.  If you see signs of a loved one, who is being over protective of their bodies; for no apparent reason, be compassionate to their need for space; and let them know that when they are ready, you will be there to support them in finding help, and getting through the darkness.  But most of all; do not give them any message that once they embark on such a journey, that you will leave them alone.  They will be automatically looking for that.  Just love them and love their pain, and help them love themselves.

Be Blessed and Believe help is out there.  All you have to do, is look and ask for it.  From my heart, I wish you and your loved ones a blessed recovery.















Taking Back Of A Life

I have been hearing a lot, regarding "Taking Back of a Life," and wonder all too often; what that could possibly mean.  I guess the reason someone would ask such a simplistic question, the base of it is "Who's Life" are we talking about?





The lines of life and truth, as it pertains to myself (as a Survivor), and to who I should be often become not only blurred; but also sometimes disappears below the midst of clutter of life events and the events of others. I sort of liken it to a lawn, cluttered with autumn leaves where the leaves cover up the green grass; and the green grass has no way of getting life sustaining sunlight; thus, turning brown.


Taking the time to uncover the ground, to uncover the beautiful green grass only takes someone to use a rake, to wipe away the leaves and to peal back the seasons'  blanket, to uncover the life that resides just below.  Occasionally, the wind may let some of the leaves to be slightly brushed aside; but never quite enough to reveal what truly lives below.

PTSD, no matter the cause of someone's trauma, is much like the scene depicted above. Although the outside world takes for granted the grass and the foliage of the native ground is there; the reality of what is on the outside, often over-shadows all that lies below the shadows.  Until the layers of leaves are removed, the state of what lies below withers and is slowly taken away to leave areas of bare, unrealized potentials of growth and life.

I suppose that the more trauma that one suffers through, and the different sorts of trauma, is like the leaves or ground cover, that has come to lie upon the ground; thus requiring different tools and different amounts of time to uncover what lies below the surface of which it sets.

IT often is upsetting to me, as a PTSD sufferer, that it seems the harder I try, the harder things seem to become; causing mounds of frustration and thoughts of not only giving up the fight towards uncovering who I am, but also at times questioning whether or not I should continue the fight.

There are good days, and there are bad days, in my battle to find out what lies below the surface.  Always questioning myself, my motives, and whether or not my journey should continue at all.  I think that because I realized early in my treatment for "Complex PTSD," To make what seems to be significant promises both to myself and to my therapist. 

An Unspoken Promise:

Promises come and they go; some are just to get by with a single task, but others are made for life long fulfillment.  One such promise, which is such a difficult one to keep; at times, is that I  promised my therapist that I would not do anything derogatory to myself, in regards to my safety, without giving her an option and time to intervene.

I suppose that is one difficult promise, that anyone could ever make; as I know it has been for me.  But one very important promise, which often is unspoken and often times over-looked in the "fulfilling" of promises is this;

I realize that lying or holding back from you, (both the Therapist, and yourself), I am lying and withholding from myself the potential to honestly look at cause and effect; to often over-look the lack of room for half truths or muddled grey lines of reasoning. 

Personally, I believe that I have the most difficult time evaluating what I am deciding to share with my therapist; even to the point of opening negotiations as to lead myself down a path of half-truths, or half-hearted assertions, in order to leave myself a "Back-Door" of escape.   Thankfully, I have been able to see it when these times appear, and when the negotiations begin, I have found myself just letting my therapist into the conversation and the negotiations; thus letting everything out which is pertinent, and removes the road-block; as I treat my conversation to my therapist and our conversations, as if she is in my mind as a partner to the negotiations.  Believe me it has helped me.

Trust:

Everyday, as a PTSD Patient/Sufferer, I have a what seems to be an issue with Trust.  Now, I am not even going to say that I have conquered the "Trust" thing. IN fact, the opposite is true.  I am chipping away at the "lime" build up of the trust issue, in my life, and since I am only a short time into my therapy and recovery, I know that the "lime scale" is deep and is hard, and will be for some time.

It can not be stated enough, even to the point where I am now in my treatment, where trust comes into question on a daily and sometimes in a moment by moment situation.  I am not sure, but one would think everyone has this issue facing them regularly; however, with me as a PTSD sufferer it is most pronounced, most regulated and most questioned aspect of my life.

Admission to the fact that even though I have built up significant amounts of Trust, with my therapist and network participants, I often have times that I have to battle with not only who to trust; but also in what amounts of trust should I allow to be revealed.  Even with my therapist, we cover areas where I have found myself questioning whether or not to trust her with subjects and feelings.  I suppose it will be a battle for some time to come; for myself and I know will become the same with you.

Frustration:

Nothing can be stated enough, regarding the frustration that has come into my life, since seeking out therapy.  I often have issues where my therapist will ask me a question, or assign me a task; and I will set out to work on answering her questions, my questions, and under-taking the tasks being asked of me to complete; only to have "Set-backs" and "Road-blocks" tossed in my way. 

Fighting with finding the right medications; even when none are wanted
Fighting with internal voices of negative emotions, and negative influences.
Fighting with that second voice, which sometimes guides us in making decisions.
Fighting internally with the negative emotions of others whom we have to share our world with.
Fighting with others whom do not recognize that we have a true disability; which can be dangerous and debilitating.

and the list goes on,

Each battle or task towards recovery from MST and from PTSD, is bordered with doubts and questions.  There is not anyone whom can share with you, the frustration levels which comes with treatment.  (Lord knows, I face this daily.) 

Sometimes I fail to realize that I am not the only one, suffering with the effects of PTSD.  In other times, I feel that and know I am not alone, in dealing with aspects of PTSD, I often feel like I am coming up short on my recovery.



We al have a problem with trying to compare things to another. This is especially true
when we are looking at ourselves.

The problem is;  We are all individuals and we are all unique in our various ways.  (This is something I have a long standing problem realizing.)
The problem is that I have found that by comparing myself with what I perceive of others, I often am left feeling inadequate and more flawed, than I felt previous to my doing this frivolous exercise. 

I often leave myself feeling less adequate and less of a person, because I am not measuring up.  I am starting to realize that although other sufferers of PTSD are suffering, they may or may not be suffering in the same manner, I am.  So many facets of the PTSD animal, is frustrating to see and to deal with because they are unique to each and every one of us.

Most likely my going through the next assertions, is going to seem frivolous and not even worthy of stating.  However,  Since each of us are unique, our pain and pain threshold is unique to our own perceptions, and past experiences.  By minimizing another persons pain, is to also minimizing the truth of our own pain.

I wish to share something that I shared with my Nephew's Wife, who was distraught over some pain in her life.  I had no idea of what that pain was, nor the level of her discomfort, but I could see she was hurting and feeling frustrated.  Funny thing about the pain I saw and perceived she was going through, a thought came to mind; that I just had to share with her; I wish to share it with you as well.

"Although obstacles keep coming in our way, even when it seems that a mountain is too hard to climb, sometimes taking a step back and taking in what we have done, will give us a refreshed view of life;
Stop trying so hard, and being so much; and let the world and God show us how blessed you are, and you may realize that you are actually past those obstacles and on top of that mountain."  (G.Brents 2014).

Now I did in fact just come up with that verse, on my own, and all by myself.  I later came across a man, who was down and feeling all alone, sitting outside of my humble apartment.  I took time to talk with him.  By the time, we parted ways, I retreated to my home, got into bed and realized I had one more task to perform.  I got up, got dressed, and went to the man's front door.  I asked him for a moment of his time; then shared the verse to him.  He seemed to stifle back his want to just let go; and he told me that what I had shared with him, was exactly what he needed to hear.. I hope it is also a little of what you need to hear and realize.. I know, it was and is for me.

I get frustrated, on a daily basis with my recovery, with my life and with my short-comings.  And in reflection of what I shared with my Niece-in-law,  I also found a message here for myself as well.
I only hope that this also helps all of my friends, whom have stayed to help me, all that have decided to move away from me and my recovery, and all of those who will come. I especially hope it bears some impact upon the frustration I am sure, my poor therapist feels with my progress.

Be Blessed.
Gary
(aka repoprimo)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

No Man Is An Island

They say that "No Man Is An Island."  I wonder sometimes if that is not an untruth, of a statement.
You see, I have been writing blogs about my experiences, with no responses from but one person. I am truly grateful for that one response.  However, it seems that I am on an island, by myself; Isolated and alone. 




I have been told that due to my experiences, I am self feeding a sense of  "Hopelessness," and yet, although I know there are others out there, whom have had similar events happen to them; they too reside in a sense of hopelessness, depression, and Isolation.  I suppose that is what God wished for us, to live in hope that there are others to connect with; only to find that they are timid, untrusting, and unable to come to grips that they are not alone.  In effect, those feelings are leaving all of us; "Alone" and "Isolated."


Tonight, I reflect on the journey I undertook, to find peace with myself and my past experiences; both self inflicted, and inflicted upon me by others.  Not really feeling like I am beating myself up, over either; but just sitting in where I find myself today; and where I have came from after my assault.
It's been a very treacherous road, to say the least.


I have found out how to reach out, and to find some glimmer of "hope", from time to time; peaking out from behind a dark veil, of past memories and lack of trust I once had, that now is beginning to lose some grip over me. 


However, I still feel like a stranded traveler.  A marooned passenger, left here by a sinking ship, called "life."  I can see ships passing in the darkness of the night, with passengers waving at me; but the ship still goes about it's route; leaving me behind to fen d for myself and not to allow others to get too close.


I know for those whom have suffered any of what I have, to any degree, you are feeling the same way.  I know that, because I suffered in silence for over 30 plus years; by myself. When someone would try to look in, I would go on the defensive and lash out or run all together to separate myself.


You will never know my reality, nor my pain; as I will never know yours. (nor will I pretend to know.)  But I am here to share with you that although the memories of my attack haunts me still; even after finally opening up to a professional therapist. (A wonderful Therapist and a wonderful friend, whom is also a therapist and a wonderful friend.)


I have fought to trust, in the network I have built; and with the help of my friend, (whom doesn't speak to me anymore,) I have started down a rocky road of finding trust in others again; to the extent I have never known.  In that trust, I have found that there is moments of a "shinning light," I am being told is trust and hope.   But, I had to do something that I never thought I could do; That one thing, opened my eyes, and my heart a little, as well as the biggest of it all; I asked for "Help." and did not stop until I found it.


You know, I am not only encouraged to keep writing my blog for male victims of PTSD, derived from MST; but also now I am speaking to all whom have experienced the horrors of MST, men and women alike.  Despite my original goal; I know through my therapy that all victims, whom have not found a way to become a "Survivor", has suffered injustice and some deep violation of not just their person; but also their soul in a most horrific of ways.


Through my ignorance, and selfishness, I was upset that so much attention has been given to Women who had been victimized; that men were not being given equal billing; in Society.  However true that may be, We who have been assaulted, in the manner which we were; all have their own views of their sufferance's and their losses.  I am not in a position to rob anyone of their claim to what is rightfully theirs;  Their peace of mind, their peace of heart, their peace of life that can not longer be violated and torn away; without their approval.


I still struggle, and I still feel alone.  But because I had an old friend who cared; I found the strength through her, to reach out and find a new friend whom is holding me up when I feel like falling down; who watches my back, when I feel like the world is sneaking up on me; who waves to my island as she passes by and assures me that I will one day come home, away from that Island of being a Victim.


Be strong, not stubborn.  Be optimistically available, and yet be vigilant and let someone know; you need help.  Especially, if you have not done so yet.  You will go through a rough path, at first; but it will be well worth the journey.  Come join me in finding recovery and healing, for all of us.


Take Care and Bless
G.Brents





Saturday, July 12, 2014

I Am Learning



Hello Again, and thank you for joining me in today's post.  I hope that all is well with you and the family. 




I am wishing to share some things that I am learning, to help me recover from and to deal with the stresses and issues associated with my PTSD and MST recovery.  I am in hopes that my story, and previous blog posts, are helpful for you; as well as informative; towards you or your family member getting help from a professional source, to deal with PTSD, and especially MST issues.


I am learning so very much, in regards to myself and my life, since finding my mental health professional.   In fact, she recently gave an opportunity to give back and to "Pay It Forward."
I am honored that she has given me the opportunity and that I am here to accept the project.  As a result, I am learning so much about myself and how to deal with the mal-adjusted ways I have coped with my issues; which stem from my Assault and the nightmare that encompassed the Attack upon me.








You see, when I first found my therapist; I was abusive to her sense of boundaries and not realizing it; I violated any normal senses of inter-personal boundaries that are held highly by others.  I did this, not even realizing what I was doing, and how it might have effected her as well as punishing myself in the process.








She demanded I purchase a book called "Boundaries"; but I never took it seriously and I honestly could not afford to purchase this book; as I live on a very limited income and most of my funds are dedicated to basic living expenses.  Well, as time went on, she held me to consequences of my choices, no matter the motivation of my choices; she had to establish ground rules of contact and enforce them with some heft costs for violation.












I would like to say that the actions I took, and the frequency of my contact with her out of disparity was excessive and was becoming very demanding; on my part.  When she would bring the matter up, to establish a clear boundary, of which we could work mutually and productively, she had to make some of the choices I made to be costly and with some pretty severe consequences, which I will not go into here.










Recently, due to my situation, my therapist gave me an opportunity to do a project with her; that I jumped at with no reservation.  She said it would benefit other clients of hers, whom were not described with any one sort of condition, but in a general setting.








Anyways, upon her purchasing Boundaries for me, to complete her project, I took it and had to read the pages within the cover.  The things I found in that book, was so familiar and so revealing to me; as it pertained to my responses to the various emotional and rational lines, which were being crossed, due to the level of the PTSD I was suffering with.  The words on the pages, brought to life a realization of my lack of proper boundaries; which were both derived from my childhood as well as the assault.






From the date of my assault/attack, I have been always resentful of those whom I tried to let close; as it felt at times they were using my willingness to pacify them and to perform at their requests; only to be personally disappointed at their lack of appreciation of my limitations.  I know that those people did not have any idea of my situation, in it's entirety, nor could they appreciate the impact upon me and my situations, but the ultimate responsibilities I had to myself was defiantly being ignored; by myself.




I was told that being a victim, does not have to define who I am.  And reading some of the materials that were suggested to me by my therapist, has showed me that I could be able to move on to becoming a survivor, and not merely a victim.   But none of the resources, she has put into my hands, Boundaries seems to be the most substantive in making me realize that I have control;  And it's my job and right to exercise that control, instead of giving control over me to others and later becoming resentful of my situation.


Now, yes I have been pushing the topic of this book.  I will let you know, that all of the textual content is Christian based, and seemingly very relevant to a Christian or Christian based living, and is backed with references to scriptural insight.   Unlike most of the other resources, I found that I related more with the textual contents of this book, and to the examples of writings.


I personally think that almost any sufferer of any trauma, who is diagnosed or not diagnosed with PTSD, will find very relevant information within the pages of this book.  I would not have ever imagined that one single book, or writing could impact my efforts towards recovery, as much as this one has.


I will say this much; If I did not believe in its ability to be of help to not only your recover, but to dealing with family and other future relationships; as a PTSD sufferer, I would not have dedicated an entire posting on my blog for it.  Just take the time to click on the highlighted portions of the text, and you will be directed to Amazon, to view the book.. I urge you to not only purchase the book, tonight, but to also purchase and share it with your spouse or significant other.  IT has the potential to help you and your family, in improving your relationship and how you deal with them. 


Have a Good Evening; and I hope if you can trust in my recommendation, that you will view the book and hopefully decide to spend the little bit of money, to purchase it.  I believe with all my heart, it will bring some very startling revelations to you and anyone else who might read it.


Take Care and Be Blessed
Gary Brents.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

For Families Of, Friends Of, Care-Givers Of, Suffers From PTSD Derrived From MST.



I often struggle with the events of my assault in ways that I can not even describe.  From Flashbacks, to Anxiety, Depression, to being disenfranchised from the human race, and let us not forget not feeling like anyone cares and that if they knew; they would treat you like you are infected with the plague; then laugh as they walk away.


Letting go of things, and  connections with people becomes easier as time passes; but on the back side, you long for personal connection with someone besides your service dog or service animal.  Even at times, my service dog gets on my nerves; even when I know he is ultimately here to help me survive daily events and set-backs.


Waking in the mornings, is a chore at best. The pain from the beatings I endured from my assault, plague me daily.  I can not sleep in an elevated bed; so I sleep at night on the floor; atop of a mat to cushion the hard cold floor.  So, when I get up I roll off the mat onto an often cold floor; racked with pain in my back, hips, shoulders, legs and neck.  Every morning is like waking up on a medieval rack, used to stretch out the human body to the point of being torn apart.


when I do wake up; I go into the Head (the restroom) and if I look into the mirror; I see a monster looking back at me; not the person who is supposed to be looking back at me.  You have heard the saying that waking up with that person in the morning, becomes ugly and un-kept and that ogre looking person stares back?  Well, imagine that along with the distorted look of a twisted and blurred out demon; staring at you from inside the mirror.


Now, even after seeking out and being in therapy for four months; my therapist says she is seeing progress.  I have to take her word for it, and keep struggling on until hopefully one day that monster and the pain will subside and the monster I see in the mornings; as well as the pain, will subside.


Trust!  Hmmm.  well, since I have not had a sense of trust or personal connection for over 30 years; Trust comes hard, very hard to say the least.  I mean I am just beginning to trust my therapist; Lord knows I put her through her paces.  The people she has placed on my side; well, I am starting to feel like because of my therapist; I am trying to trust but verify everything they are claiming to be doing on my behalf; but there are not one connection so far. (I am not one who relies on hope; but working on this one as well.)


Well, My therapist tells me that I need to fulfill my basic needs; which by the way are supposed to be basic needs of any healthy human being; I am being told.  you know; housing, security, companionship, and something else.  this list is short, but resides in something called "Maslins hierarchy of needs"   Since issues of these called needs; keeps rearing up into my therapy sessions and distracting from my recovery; my therapists decided that we need to stabilize my life.  Okay; let's give it a chance, and try to trust in the processes.


Well, I have been told that I have accomplished more in three or four weeks than most folks are able to do in one or two years.  with the help of my therapist and connections; we have started my claim process with the help of an attorney, to go after my VA benefits.  We have found a place for me to call home, we have secured other much needed assistance to help me maintain and to give me a stepping stone to move forward.


Now, I have found that even with all this going on; everyone around me is excited for me.  I should be as well.  I have a seemingly terrific support network with the agencies and the attorneys who are working with me to build and take control of my life; and lest me forget the most important of that network; my Therapist who has been awesome to say the least.  She has been my "Rock" when all the ground around me has seemingly been filled with quick-sand.  I also have to give special recognition to people who have unselfishly allowed me access to utilize them as a personal support network; who are friends from my childhood, whom have crossed paths with me from time to time up to this point in my life.  For them I am very Blessed.


A lot of the things I am in process of building the stepping stones, towards a productive and rewarding life; something I have never known.  A stable home, which I have not known in over 33 years; since my assault.  Everyone who knows what has been going on, in my life is excited and thrilled about what is going on, in my life and what I have accomplished thus far.   However, with all that has happened; I have learned not to trust in anything or any process or progression to last.  Therefore I do not and can not attach myself emotionally to anyone, or anything. This remains to this day; but I am trying to re-learn.  I am trying so hard, and often end up frustrated with myself.


The reasoning for my sharing of this is to show those who love people, whom have suffered with PTSD, and Chronically Severe PTSD from MST, can understand a bit more of what sufferers are going through.  To help you understand the processes of which suffers like me deal with daily, second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour, etc...  I think the point can be inferred here.


Now, the above is an actual account of what my life is like.  However, as a Family Member, Care Giver of, Friend of someone who is suffering from PTSD derived from MST, you might be able to better see where your loved one's mind may be resting or living.  This is meant to allow you a window of the daily turmoil that your loved one is going through.  Although their habits may be difficult, for you to deal with at times; please take a deep breathe and focus on the fact that what you are going through; is intensified over 100x's with the sufferer you love.


I hope at minimum, This gives you insight enough for you to appreciate the reasons for their sometimes and sometimes often sense of disconnect; lack of emotions, lack of trust, lack of personal connections, lack of appreciation for accomplishments they achieved.  It's not that they do not appreciate all that is given, or all that is shared, or all that is gained materially and gained ground in their lives.


I just want to give insight at what seemingly helps me the most, in my struggles.  It sometimes goes further than medications, and allows me to focus on what is "here and now." Which helps with the flashbacks and the anxieties.


This is a Biggie:   Just re-assure your loved one, that they are safe and away from the place where their trauma occurred.   Let them know you love and care about them, and do not come into direct contact with them; at the onset of any episode.


Let them know that no matter what they say; or how disorganized their ranting is; get them to slow their breathing and to focus on something in the room that allows them to see what is happening now.


Here is another Biggie!  Just listen and don't judge them for what may spew out; no matter how much it may lead them to say things that are attacking of you or others you care about; just realize they are venting and frustrated.  In most cases, what is flowing is not based on a personal attack upon you; but just something to get the flow of the venting stages towards getting the deeper issues out; so they can be processed.  In other words, go into this with "thick Skin" if possible and don't let their seemingly harsh attack; set you into a conflict of words based on your feeling like you have to protect yourself.


In the end; and with practice with both of you, a deeper bond will develop with you and your loved one who is suffering.


I hope this helps you, help your loved one; who suffers from PTSD and especially a PTSD sufferer from MST.


Be Blessed, I know I am. 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Remembering The Past

I am brought to a point where, A man who served his country, was revered.  Although I was raised through the Viet Nam Era, and served through the Post Viet Nam war era, I had served three years in the Air Force, during what was called "Post War" Vietnam Era.  I never say military action during the war in Vietnam.  I have however, conducted may interviews while in college, with War Time Vietnam Veterans, whom served in Country.


I recall tales, by Veterans whom served during the actual conflict, which was unjustly re-classified as a Policing Action, and not a war time consideration. (A travesty to say the least, as we lost a lot of good men and had many good people in the wake of injury; both mentally and physically.


Although I have served, in the era of the Vietnam conflict, I feel somewhat disgraced that I had not seen action, in what I consider to be amongst the most honorable of wars, conflicts and Policing actions, we as Americans have had the task of participating in.  I am often harboring a wealth of respect for those who had served during that conflict as well as the most recent conflicts in Afghanistan and in Iraq.


I also have been fighting another war, which was remnants of an action or series of actions, which had caused me to become disabled and functionally unable to pursue the career which helped me deal with the effects of my service to the United States, while in the Air Force.  Even if it was Peace-time, I feel like I have been fighting my battle for over 33 years, in silence and all alone.


Now, I am not going to go further into my service, my ailments, nor my woes alone; as the item of note, far extends beyond my needs, wants or situation alone.  However I will not a somewhat detailed summary of my situation, is documented in the archives of this blog; if you feel like taking some time to read the archived notes, and posts of my blog.


Recently, we have seen the Government show disgust in the Veteran's Administration of support, service and assistance, given to Veteran's of all Conflicts between the Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan conflicts.   Supposedly, the military and the Obama Cabinet, has been bragging about services supposedly now available to current Military Veterans, as well as Veterans of prior military actions.


Now, my interests lie within the walls and confines of Military Sexual Assault, Military Rape, which is going unpunished or inadequately researched and reported over the years.  My blog is not to ignore the impact on Female Victims of Sexual Assault/Rape; however since there is a huge disparity in reporting of rape and sexual misconduct with male victims, in relation to those claims by women of Sexual misconduct. 


I departed the military in 1983.  I returned home, under questionable circumstances, and when I arrived, I paid a visit to the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Long Beach, CA.  I became all to  familiar with the delays for help and treatment, which were much worse than those reports by the government would have most believe.


Since I returned and since my time in various states, through out the United States, I have heard horror stories of time delays and deaths due to the Veteran's Administration's unwillingness to complete and pursue medical attention to those who were among the walking dead.  (I refer to the Walking Dead, to note more that there are people who are left with scars of war and peace time violence, who are not getting the assistance; thus causing them to suffer silently.)


Today, I heard that a head Administrator for the Veteran's Administration Health Care system, had tendered his resignation, based on allegations that he did not do enough to correct problems within the Veterans Administration and their handling of Claims for medical assistance and disability.

Back in the early 80's, I attended College to try and make a life for myself; after being beaten up while in the service of my country.  I was seeking out a finance degree, which I finally completed back in the 90's...  I was told two things and found at least one, to be true.


1.  If you wish to become wealthy, open a Church.


2. If you wish to get help, stay away from the Governmental Agencies to get you there. (later to find that the person who shared this one with me, was a Vietnam Veteran.)


Now, in current news headlines, I am seeing a man being forced to retire and tender his resignation, based on the Veteran's Administration, lack of ability to hire, maintain and serve Veterans ailments and medical needs. 


I have to say, that although it does not surprise me that our Government is dragging their heels in getting the health care system with in the Veteran's Administration, where it should be and would be deemed as acceptable.  What bothers me, in all of this mess that the Government is sweeping the Veteran's Administrations lack of utilizing trained personnel, to administer aid, medical assistance and medical mental health assistance to Veteran's who served our country.


Now some time ago, I would say about six or eight months ago, the Government held hearings and later handed out directives that such services be available to all victims of military based crimes; which were committed against military personnel by Military Personnel, Rape/Sexual Assault, and war time injuries with more vigor.


The problem is, that since I can recall the norm is not a norm for sexual abuse/ or sexual assault victims, nor adequate medical or mental health for War-Time sufferers of PTSD, is not even adequate.  Let's look at untrained or inadequately trained personnel, trying to help PTSD and medically challenging injuries.


I think my knowledge, as it relates to War Time Veterans suffering from injury to both mental and physical aspects of their bodies;  The Veteran's Administration has at minimum, discounted the importance of time, when addressing an issue.    Time is not on the Veteran's side, when seeking out help for what ever the ailment they suffer from


Now, in current time, the United States Government is holding accountable, a man who served his country, who is by all of my research a model soldier, who has been put into place as Head Administrator of the Veteran's Administration, accountable for past results (or lack thereof), within the Veteran's Administration.


Now, it has been my experience, that in any Governmental Agency, in any branch of Governmental body, or agency over-seen by the Federal Government, changes come every four or six years.  Now, you may disagree, but normally during a change of administration of a given entity, it takes the first four years for the newly appointed administrator to get a glimpse and idea of what needs to and can be changed.  It takes approximately the fifth or sixth year to get new policy in force and about the next two years to get the new policy to start becoming effective.  Even under Congressional and Senate over-sight, this has been historically the pattern that is followed and plays out.


Now, I am not necessarily a supporter of the new Administrator of the Veteran's Administration.  However, he is being used as a "Scape-Goat" for all the prior failures of service, on hand in regards to the VA's Medical and Mental Health services.


As of this moment, there are no specialists or services, to address Male sexual assault, or Male Sexual Rape Victimization.   As of this moment, the services that are being offered is based on the norm of "Male on Female" Sexual Assault and Sexual Rape cases.  However, it has been noted by the VA themselves and male Victims, that the programs that are in tact for Male on Male Sexual Assault is the same as the Male on Female programs.


It must be noted, that although either sex victimization is very serious; Male Sexual Assault and Male on Male Sexual Rape, can be more devastating than a Rape of  a female victim.   I wish not to discount the effects upon any Female whom has suffered the trauma of Sexual Assualt/Rape.  Please do not believe that is my opinion.

However, in contrast to the Female Rape Victim, the Male victim has primarily Egoistical issues and Social Psychological issues that come into play.  Sexual Identity, Sexual Preference questioning, Self Doubts, Depression based on the prior issues, to include some added insult to the Rape or attack, that would be suffered by the female.  These issues are societies pressures that are applied to men, as the stronger sex; which has been in existence since the "Caveman Times."


However, if a man were to approach the Veteran's Administration, in effort to deal with the matters at hand, they are considered Weak, their attack is discounted and in some cases (as in mine) minimized by blame shifting, to include that the victim has for some reason, asked for such treatment by the attacker.  There is no "Due Process" in most cases, as most Sexual Assault Victims whom are male, often suffer in Silence.  I suffered in Silence for over 30 years.


Now, although this is not only on the sexual assault victim populace, but it also includes the medically needed services, needed by Veteran's of Foreign Wars, such as Vietnam, Iraq and also Afghanistan campaigns.


I am sure most have heard of the potential 40 plus Veterans whom died after being put off, by the Veteran's Administration, to schedule routine procedures.  Although horrific, the Veterans Administration and the Department of Defense has discounted the events, tremendously to mute bad publicity.


Every day, thousands of Veterans are scheduled out to over 30 days for basic services, on average.  The same procedures that are sought after by public health care providers, are mandated to be within a more reasonable time frame, via HEPA policies.  Why should the Veteran's Administrative health care system be held to a higher standard?  I affirm that my belief is that it, the Veterans Administration, should be held to a higher standard of care, than the public standards.


It is funny that in the Military Sector, Air Craft has multiple redundancies to ensure safe operation and safe return of Military personnel.  It is notable that Public transportation Air Traffic systems and requirements, have only two or less redundancies  for safety.   Why are the same number of redundancies in tact, for the Sufferers of War time Injuries and mental health concerns follow the same pattern of redundancy count?


Personally, I feel the resignation of the current Veteran's Administration's Chief, is no more than the President Obama denial of responsibility and putting the Administration's failures and short-comings, onto the back of a man who has served his post a limited amount of time, to save the political parties face, for the up-coming running for the Presidency, and due to Coward-ness on part of the President.























Sunday, April 27, 2014

It's Not My Fault. The Attack Was At The Hands Of Others, But Also Is Recovery.


I don't know about being a good writer, nor being the next Hemmingway.  I just know I have a tale to tell. I am upset with the level of efficiency within the VA. and the folks who fail to perform their duties, and to fulfill their obligations to Veterans, who serve and protect our Citizens on a daily basis, or whom have served in that capacity. 

I am neither brave, nor am I courageous, in what I have been doing or in anything I have ever done in life.  I just don't want anyone to suffer the impact of being put in the situations I have been in... I don't want anyone to have to search out help, that is currently not available through the Veteran's Administration, nor do I wish to have anyone suffer the disappointments of being turned away from an agency that was designed to help Veterans, whom have served their country.

If you are trying to decide on whether or not to file a claim, through the Veteran's Administration, you are in fact heading down a long and arduous path.  Especially on a claim for PTSD and/or PTSD related to Military Sexual Assault.  here are some things you will want to have with you, when you begin your claim.

This information was found at the website located at:  

 The VA has also relaxed the evidentiary requirements necessary to validate a claim. Claims-rating specialists now look for “markers” that indicate a specified traumatic event. These can include:
  • Records from law enforcement authorities, rape crisis centers, mental health counseling centers, hospitals or physicians
  • Relationship issues, such as divorce
  • Pregnancy tests or tests for sexually transmitted diseases
  • Statements from family members, roommates, fellow service members, clergy members or counselors
  • Requests for transfer to another military duty assignment
  • Deterioration in work performance
  • Substance abuse
  • Episodes of depression, panic attacks or anxiety without an identifiable cause
  • Unexplained economic or social behavioral changes
  • Sexual  dysfunction.


Now, these are the basics of what I am hearing, that is required for a good chance of approval on your claim(s).. However, who knows how long or how much of a standard this will be and for how long it will or will not be the standard..  

According to the website, cited above, the Veterans Affairs is supposed to be relaxing the burden of proof, required to prove MST and related PSTD, suffered by Veterans.. However, the site suggests that reviews of previously declined claims, can be reviewed for approval, under the supposedly new guidelines.

A Friend of mine stated something to me, in passing, that I should submit a statement.  The fact is; is that the statement she suggested, was very true and a matter of fact.

"I have no issues with family members, as I have no family members."  This not only will work with Friends, as well as with family members.   It is funny, that only someone who has suffered as I have, by means of my own Assault, but also the PTSD which had been carried in silence for over 30 years.
 
Recently, however, I can start to say that is slowly changing into a more positive outlook.  Since my breaking my silence and seeking help, I have realized that connections with others are slowly coming about.   And I am beginning to be thankful for the issues, which come along with those connections.

Now, I know the Veteran's Affairs and Mental Health programs, not to forget the medical programs, are lacking to say the least.  However, if that is all you have; Utilize that and get your claims started.  Most importantly, get someone on your side and take a stand for what is rightfully yours;  Your Life and Happiness.

I am slowly coming to know that the attack that took so much from me, is and was not my fault.  There was nothing I could do, to prevent it or to thwart it.  It was in the hands of others, not mine.  Well surviving the attack also is in your hands, but will require a huge amount of assistance which is outside of your hands.                                                                                                                                                                                                             If you decide to go to the Veterans Administration for assistance, and I strongly suggest doing so, you will probably want to seek out a Veteran's Claims Specialist, through your local American Legion, or through the VA clinic's in your area.  They will be most valuable in packaging your claim, for submission, as they know the guidelines of what is expected through the VA claim processes.


It is neither my fault that the attack on my person occurred.  Nor was the attack within my hands.  It was at the hands of others whom I have no control over.  With that being said, I must also say that Recovery, or moving from victim to Survivor, is in your hands and others whom are being supportive in the right and proper manner and in the proper settings.


I pray for your recovery and for your finding your new life, being all you ever hoped for.  I also pray for your regaining your self-respect and self identity, which you can be proud of.


There is help out there for anyone whom can just swallow their pride, pull up their sleeves, and just muster the courage to ask for help..  Believe me, I never asked for help and always tried to tackle life on my own, with out ever knowing how to ask.  But when I did finally ask for help, I was surprised on who all came to my aide.


Good Luck and Bless..