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..

Veteran's Administration, Disrespecting Our Veteran's and Thier Sacrifices.

There seems to be no shortage, of those Veterans, whom have died needlessly due to delays of the help, both medically and mentally.  All of us know that Veterans sacrifice their minds, bodies and souls while in service, of our country.  Even in non-combative eras, Our Veterans are separated from familiarity of family, friends, and still selflessly give their allegiance towards the safety, the soundness and the serenity, of all citizens of the United States; both abroad and here in the States.

I know that I do not have to point out, nor can I adequately cover the immenseness of sufferance, nor the depth of the services that our Veterans give; no matter which era, or what war they did or did not serve.  The fact that they downed the United States Military Uniform, should speak volumes about our Veterans, and the selfless efforts they have contributed towards the institution of Freedom, and the safety of our Country.

With all said, it is our duty; including the duty of our veterans, to be there for our Veterans whom are coming out from active service and to support the Veterans whom have been out, dealing with injury and hardships.   As a Veteran, I feel that all Current Veterans and all of the Veterans to come; are owed the dedication to our safety and our health; and yes the support from our Governmental Agencies.

Now, as it was back when I came from service of our great nation, the Governmental Agencies have been fast to turn Veterans away, or delay such services which were designed to assist Veterans with easier migration, back into society.  More specifically, the lack-luster way that the Veterans Administration has handled medical and mental health claims, has been nothing short of shameful and disrespectful to our Veterans and their families.

Last week, I believe, It was brought to light that 40 Veterans had lost their lives, due to delays in Medically needed services.  These same delays, will not surprisingly be rewarded by bonuses to the Veteran Administrative authority, within the facility and network management/Commanders.

IT is not uncommon for basic testing to take up to 5 or 6 months (if not longer), to find a diagnosis or to treat an already pre-existing condition.  It is not uncommon for disruption of services, to lower over-head and to accommodate lack of trained personnel availability issues.  By unjustifiably denying services, or delaying services, the Veteran Administration can then report less money being spent during a fiscal year reporting period.

Is one to believe that those deaths, in Phoenix, AZ. are an isolated issue.  I Submit that it is not even the tip of the proverbial ice-burg.  It may be that the matter occurred during a short period of time; and has been reported into the news agencies, to draw attention to the matter.  However, it is far from being the strange and uncommon facts of truth, that has existed for as long as I can recall; and probably since a lot farther back than that.

Yes, since the leak which was reported by a Veterans Affairs Service Worker, whom was assigned to that particular facility.  However, the matter extends beyond this one incident. It is an ongoing event that holds Veteran's lives, in the balance while the "Bean Counters" and Administrative bodies play a Sick game of Monopoly with our Veteran's and their families lives and safety.

They, whom ever "They are" decided that Senator McCain and other Governmental representatives, needed to make a public speech or two.  To discuss their distain. their dissention and their disgust at the matter.. 

Now, I have to put emphasis on the sentence just proceeding this note.

So, Senator McCain, who is a multiple time Veteran and POW, who supposedly is the outspoken spokesperson in the governmental body, for Veterans and for our Troops is speaking NOW on how amazed and upset he is at the matter that cost those 40 lives.   However, he has known of the Veteran's Administration's Medical and Mental Health shortcomings, since he came back from Viet Nam Campaigns of service, where he served our Nation.

Yes, I am picking on Senator McCain; and maybe it is unwarranted to some extent.  I know the matter at hand, goes beyond him and any one person; unless of course, you are the Commander of the individual Veterans Administration Medical/Mental Health facility who is getting a bonus for short falling services, to our Nation's Heroes.   (Let it be said, all whom have served, are Heroes.)

So, what is the solution?  I have not the answer. However, in the realm of helping all forms of aid to all Veterans, should see significant improvement.  I suppose that any sort of assistance, to anyone Veteran will be all too late coming and probably will be all to late to help those families whom have lost family members.   What Catches my eye, is that with this "Whistle-blower" coming forward and making such a "Stink" with the Media, it will probably only cause a "blip" on the radar in our Government no matter how many Senator John McCain's there are, who are all of the sudden willing to address the matter.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

You Can Never Understand

I have been writing this blog, for over six months.  I have addressed some issues and the lacking nature of agencies, Rape Crisis Agencies, and our Government's lacking discipline to properly address the lack of training.  Lack of training, lack of asset allocations, lack of interests, while putting out the pretense that they  are trying to address Male MST/PTSD Veteran survivors.

I have taken most of my time addressing issues that I deal with on a daily basis, and things I am doing to find assistance for my Issues, concerning PTSD and the MST I suffered, during my Military Service.    I know that I have spent most of these six months addressing this aspect of my life, for a reason.

Now, you may not be an actual victim of Military Sexual Trauma, or suffering PTSD.  You see, it's not whether or not you actually have suffered the direct attack, or the direct impact of the trauma that someone else has suffered to be effected.  A loved one, a neighbor, a friend, a family member, who has suffered through these aspects of the trauma, needs to have others around them to ask questions, to identify cues and hints, to not just brush mild displays of depression, anxiety, anger, rage, or other mental issues, to lend a hand.

Reading through my blogs, of both present and past, can give you some sort of indications that someone is in need of help.  But just because they, themselves may claim they are fine, it can seriously rub off onto an innocent by-stander, who is close to the person, whom is suffering.  Reaching out for assistance, even for yourself, to empower yourself to cope with the stresses, can mean the differences between the longevity of any relationship.

Personally, I have suffered the losses of two marriages and the loss of family members, friends and missed opportunities, due to my own mental health issues and due to the fact that the Military and Veteran's Administration had and has turned their backs on me.  I hid all of the issues by pushing the ones closest to me away. withholding emotions and trust and even commitment, all in the name of my injuries and the sufferance's of my Sexual Assault, and the beatings I endured.

Reaching out, is not something to be ashamed of.  Realizing that you need help finding yourself, or helping someone find themselves, through therapy of some sort, may not be welcomed at first.  However, after the initial shock of admitting there is a problem and seeking out help for yourself or a loved one, the rewards are tremendous.

I used to push help away in several ways, but mostly by becoming very defensive towards anyone who asserted my need for help.  I had the attitude that if no one had suffered what I had, they would not ever be able to understand.  If someone could not understand, how can they help me?  I personally am in the process of realizing that the person who is helping you, does not have to understand, to be of assistance to you, or your loved one.  It is the other person who can help you, or your loved one whom is suffering, understand the issue enough to file away the matter.  By properly addressing the issues at hand, the sufferer is capable to move past the individual sticking points of the trauma (s), and the attack itself.

As features come available to me, through my own journey  into understanding my pain and the various facets of my traumas, I will share the progress and the set backs.  I will be trying to integrate the short comings and the progress professionals are taking, to address Our issues.  I will try to share with you, both good and bad points, as I see them, and let you decide your own points of interest.

But the main thing of all this, is that if you have a friend, a neighbor, a family member or other loved one is suffering in silence; help them help themselves without becoming consumed into the trauma yourself.( IF possible.)   Looking back on my past, I see where my wife (wives), have suffered as I did and am.  I was so caught up in hiding my pain, that I failed to recognize their pain and therefore brought relationships to their ends.

So, from this point I am working towards doing more research on my posts, towards education of both my readership and myself, on the progress of our military, our Government, and the Veterans Administration, in preparing their staff towards addressing and properly treating the needs of our veterans.  From time to time, I will also be looking at civilian efforts in addressing male sexual assault, as well.

If you wish to contact me, or reach out to me, please leave a comment asking for me to contact you.  IF you are a someone who is looking for help, you can reach out to me, and I will try and assist you in finding help, as best as I can.  IF you have questions, please reach out to me and I will try  to answer your concerns.  However, if you are questioning my qualification, or my being capable of understanding, please take time to read previous posts of mine, and then make a decision.  But in either case, please reach out to someone.  DON"T SUFFER IN SILENCE.

A Glmpse Into What Could Be

You know I have struggled on what to write on today's blog post.  I have ranted and vented and informed the readers on my attack, the events and feelings I have struggled with over the last 30 plus years.  As I have lived in silence, and as I have stated in previous posts, lived in a self made prison of emotions, anger, rage and the wish that the people who took part in my Sexual assault, while I was in the Military, I also have let life pass me by.  Well Today, I am going to discuss something that happened to me, just this weekend; because of what I posted about last week.  Letting go.

I have accepted what has  occurred to me, and have found an avenue of helping me live past the aftermath of my Attack.  After 30 plus years of sufferance, after two marriages and losing my family and friends, after losing everything I owned, multiple times;  I became weary of losing and of losses I could not control.  I went past the Veteran's Administration, whom by the way has been ineffective in assisting me, and hired a private Therapist.  (I want to mention, she has been fantastic in her efforts.)

The point is; I reached out and realized I needed help!  I did not stop at finding an outlet. On the verge of giving up on life, and already given up on all hope, reaching out has been invaluable to finding out that there is no need to give up, when there are folks out there who are willing to step beyond themselves, and stretch out their talents beyond their "Norm" to reach out a hand to you..

The messages which lay within the lines of this post, is that no one knows you need help, unless you tell them and put aside your pride. Just search and reach out to find someone who will listen and lend a hand.  Ever since the day of my Sexual Assault, I found out real quick that asking for help was pointless, therefore I gave up on asking for help in every aspect of my life.  As an assault victim, especially a Sexual Assault Victim, you find out real quick that no one wants to hear the realities of being in that position. No one wants their lives tainted, and pretty soon you begin feeling that there is no point in asking.

Putting your head down and dredging through the pain, building up the defenses, suffering when no one is looking, is the new "Norm" of life you will come to, or have come., to know.   So, you construct a "game face" and live your life behind that mask while in public; not letting anyone close to you see the real you.  The draw back to doing this over time, is that you not only start hiding from those close to you, you also lose your own self identity.  Over time you lose everything; including yourself.

Well, through the help of my therapist I was given a chance to get "a glimpse into what could be."
By this, It was mildly suggested that I venture out to experience something I have never experience before.  No, not anything dangerous, nothing self revealing, nothing which on it's surface would be seen as putting anyone at risk at all.  But for me, it was something that made me face a long laid fear, along  sense of anxiety, and not only had me reliant on one big feature, which my Attack had taken away, It made me put trust in both my therapist and the person I was now asking to help me, face these fears and anxieties.   (By the way, the second person involved was never before known by myself.)  In the onset, I had to place trust and faith in my therapist, that she would not place me in any sort of danger, or in a compromising position. (A difficult leap of faith, To say the least.)

Well, as things would happen, it turned out to not only a means to face many anxieties, and my fears, it actually ended up opening up many more things that I had never before experienced, on the positive side.  After my adventure, I took the rest of the evening and explored a place and experience, I had once enjoyed, prior to my entering the Military and thus prior to my Sexual Assault...

It took a place, that I had visited over a million times; and turned it into a new adventure of and into itself.  You see, for a little while I saw this familiar place through a different set of eyes.  I saw the people in a different light and was actually light hearted. (something I had not experienced in over the 33 years of being a victim.)  The relaxed nature with no pretense, with no obligation to hide, with no inhabitations, and with the sole intention of being there for ME, changed my view of hope which I had never before seen it.

After walking the pier and the beaches of Huntington Beach, CA. I went to a sidewalk cafĂ©/ bar and grill and had what seemed to be the best dinner, I had experienced in as long back as I could recall. I had a half glass of beer to wash dinner down.  It seemed that the food amazingly tasted better, People gathered around me, as I was joking and laughing, light heartedly, with both patrons and the waitresses and staff of the establishment.  I even experienced a spontaneous request from a person whom asked to join me, at my table.  The reason for me to share this, is because for the first time, in what seems like forever, I felt like I was someone who was likeable, who was engaging, who was worth something aside of being referred as a monster, or someone everyone was fighting to get away from.

I had experienced a new set of experiences, that I had never before allowed myself to experience, because of self constructed walls and barriers. I was able for some reason to experience this without the heavy heart, the heavy load of my past.. In fact, there was no discussions of my past and for a while, my past or anyone else's past never came up or into question.  It was just a bunch of folks enjoying a hearty laugh, and a memorable memory.  This normally would have been an experience I would have had avoided at all costs.

I know you probably are thinking something along the lines of  "Well, good for you!"  I understand why you would say this, or something like this.  But by saying or taking that position, you are also taking away from yourself if you are someone who had been Raped, Sexually Assaulted, Attacked, Mugged or suffered any other type of trauma; and refused to reach out for help in dealing with it, or for trying to seek a way to self-rediscovery.

I hope that my Glimpse into what could be, and the fact that I realized that I had lost so much.  I want to encourage you to  take a pro-active approach towards getting help and working through the ghosts, monsters and even demons, which were saddled along with the identity of being a victim.  

In the limited time, I have utilized the aide of a therapist; I have learned and discovered so much about myself and my life.  I do honestly know it is only the beginning. However, even through the hard road ahead, I look a little more forward than I had previous to this weekends events.  I could not have done this, without asking for help and being encouraged by a long time friend, to seek out local assistance and therapy.

Bottom line:  IF you know someone, or are someone who has been suffering in silence (as I did) for any length of time, Get that someone the help, or get to someone who can help them; help themselves.  If you are a Veteran of the Military, who has suffered at the hands of your comrades, who you trusted and put your faith in; go to the Veteran's Administration and ask for help.  The point is: Get help, it will serve you well.

Good luck on your journey.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

There Are No Pictures, No Words, No Reasons

There is always, and has always seemingly been a quest for a picture of Justice.  Justice for the Attack I suffered while In the Military. Since It has been such a lapse of time, between this moment and the time of my being victimized; the only justice shall only come from the judgment upon the four individuals, which shall come in their passing into the hands of their Lord, their creator, their Idol of warship.

My attack left a shambles and fragments of a life, to fend for itself and to try to flourish into what and who and what I have become today, in this moment.  Still fragmented, still experiencing all the hurt and all the hate and rage.  Still filled with doubts and always questioning my every day of existence.

Shifting Anger among each of my attackers, at myself.  Shifting Blame between what was unnamed and unidentified attackers, and myself kept me at bay from going forward.  Searching for the answers, has only thus far only left me with more questions.  30 plus years, of sufferance kept in silence with no words to express the darkness, the loneliness, the isolation.

As I left the military, I was jailed within the walls of my living quarters, to which I was assigned during my service to my country, at the base I was also assigned.  For over 30 years, I lived in a prison of the past and went into search of a way to escape that prison of brick walls, hard concrete slab floors covered with a blue and green colored carpet.  I sought out answers and the key to remove myself with the Veteran's Administration, and as previous posts suggested was left to fend for myself and to begin a life of isolation.

Finally, I found some glimmer of hope with a private source to begin my path to healing.  After 33 years of sufferance, I am now only just beginning a road to hopefully beginning to find answers and hope for some form of a productive future.  Recovery,

Anger and Rage, Hate are all too powerful of not only words; but also actual emotions can lead to some pretty solid and tangible effects on one's life.  These have guided me down paths that are not productive for my life, for which has been a part of all the limitations I have placed upon my life's path to move forward.  

Although, I must admit it is a struggle to put these emotions into a proper order; I realized that doing so is a must for me to make more productive and progressive advances, in working past my past experiences and trauma.  You see,  This last week I realized a lesson I learned when I was younger.  A very difficult lesson in morality, and in reality which I had held onto all of my life and has guided me into being able to keep fighting.

You see, I finally realized something after a session past, which has been with me all along.  I was taught that judging another is of no consequence, as is hating and holding onto anger and rage.  A revelation was made clear to me, in the referenced session, which led me to see that all these years; the anger, rage and Hate being placed upon my attackers; has potentially kept me imprisoned in that very room, where my attack and the aftermath had pyramided to take on a life of it's own.

There are not any reasons which can properly give justification for the attack which had launched upon me.  There are no words to remove the experiences and the pains of which were placed upon me. There are no pictures which can depict the shame and feelings of defenselessness and self degradation of myself; nor the years of aftermath which had followed.

It is not my job to forgive, as I am sure that will be either dealt with within the soul of my attackers; which will have to be rectified and judged by their maker.  It really seems pointless for me to decide to forgive or not to forgive.  Not to mention, it is an added burden I wish not to bear.

However, one might decide is the role of forgiveness; it is my feeling that it is the hate and the rage and the self inflicted inadequacies that has to be addressed.  It is however my choice to work on redirecting that anger, that rage that mountain of other feelings towards not the people who committed a horrific onslaught of devastation upon my life, upon me, upon my past families; and try to fight towards placing those emotions towards a place that is manageable.  On the acts, the decisions, the bad choices; which were undertaken and acted upon by the people whom attacked me.

If ever comes a time, that my attackers are to come to read this; I want them to know something;
I am working hard to refuse to hate you.  It is a huge mountain I choose to climb; but it has to be conquered; that right now is my mission in life.  But I do want you to know that I will work towards placing more of those emotions towards your actions, your choices and towards the path and devastation you caused through those actions and choices; of which you beat me down with.

I will also extend this message to my attackers.  I wish you well.  I wish you well, because I have a feeling your creator, your God will carry all the weighted harm, and judge you himself.  that now is not my job, it is now between you and your God.  I am working on moving forward.