Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Triggered by a movie - Again....

Welcome Friends and Readers,

So, a movie got me again.  This time, it was the movie Fury.   I wanted to watch it, although K had some concerns. I don't like thinking I'm a wimp, and can't even handle a movie.  And this one was a WWll movie, and I thought I could handle it.  Until the scene with the new bootie. A kid just in for 8 weeks, and his first job was to clean the up blood and brain's of his predecessor in the tank.  The kid has to come out and puke part way through it... and I had to close my eyes.

What started the anxiety attack... was the look in Brad Pitt's eyes as he watched the kid, knowing what was to come, what he would face, what he would see..what he would feel.  He tells the kid not to get close to anyone. I could relate too much.. having been young and so trusting, so gullible, so innocent. I saw that same look on the faces of some of my fellow lady sailors who had a good idea what the asshats raping me were up to. Pity.  Inability to help. And I had that look for some of them too.  We were all powerless to stop what was happening, any more then that young soldier in WW2 could say he wanted to go home, instead of rumbling to the front.

 The scene that got me really bad came a few minutes later is when  the tanks are rolling, and the kid thinks he sees someone in the bushes. As he peers for a better look, the tank in front of him is shot with a missile of some sort, and explodes in flames.  The top pop's open and a soldier engulfed in flames falls out screaming.. then the flaming man stands up, take his pistol and shoots himself in the head, and falls.  My first thought was 'Thank God he had that pistol".. and then I started shaking very badly.. uh oh... before I know it, I am rocking and sobbing. K has stopped the movie and is comforting me.  I tell him, I don't want to be a wimp.  He says I am not.. that I have been through so much, more then he ever could have, and that takes strength, and that I am not a wimp.  He is also apologizing over and over for having let me watch the movie.  K plays the game Tanks with some of his buddies, and he is very interested in history. He is very sane and stable (thank God) and has been my rock while I have had my breakdown. He has held the shattered me gently and supported me in all ways.  I know some of my good friends are online, and so I tell him I'll go pop in and visit with them while he watches the rest of the movie.  He suggests I go have some 'medicine', and asks if I am sure sure that I am okay.  Now, it took about 10 min before I could stop shaking and have this conversation with him.  

This all hits when I least expect it.  I can barely to go movies in the theatre anymore, because I won't let us spend that kind of money, just to have to flee.  I can't go some places for the same reason.  Someone or thing triggers me, and I need to leave.  K has to deal with this every day.  I try so hard to be solid.. but sometimes... I feel like a diseased leaf, fluttering before a wind I cannot see nor control.  Up and up.. swirling around.  I want to be grounded, I want to be solid. I want to go places and be strong.  But.... I am accpeting.. that I have to avoid war movies.  And other ones..  I had the same terrible affect when we went to see one of the Hunger Games movies.... Donald Southerland was soo awful, so horrible.. that he WAS the face of the men who attacked and raped me. Same smirk.. same self satisfied power trip.  

The two things that have helped, have been the therapy I have been getting at the Vet Center, and medical cannabis.   And now, advocating for medical cannabis, is giving me a shred of the illusion of control of my life.  My life, and sanity are in the hands of the politicians in Austin.  Going there to meet and speak with them, is very powerful for me.  It is making me proactive.  So is letter writing.. So towards that, I did my handwriting letters to my two Texas state reps.  

I hope they read them, and it touches their hearts.  And they will help us.  I read something else that got me very, very upset today. And it was this article:

I posted this to facebook:

Wow, so the aprox 22 veterans who commit suicide a day - Is from 2012, and is the stats from ONLY 21 STATES, & that DOESNT INCLUDE TEXAS - THE state with the MOST VETERANs per capita!!!! And DOESN'T INCLUDE CALIFORNIA either. Geeesh I had no idea - did YOU? (David Bass?) Holy friggin moly....all the more reason to fight for cannabis for PTSD and other ailments veterans have.
February 24, 2015
WOODLAND PARK, CO - In a public statement issued today, Roger Martin, Executive Director of Operation Grow4Vets, accused the Veterans Administration of murdering more than fifty Veterans a day.
According to Martin, “More than fifty American heroes are being murdered every day of the year by incompetent, heartless, bonus-driven bureaucrats at the Veterans Administration.”
When asked if “murder” might not be a rather harsh label, Martin responded, “What would you call people who, despite knowing that their actions are killing people, continue to order doctors to violate their Hippocratic Oath by shoving totally ineffective, dangerous prescription drugs down the throats of their patients? I call them murderers!”
Martin notes that, “On February 12, 2015, President Obama signed The Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act named in honor of a much-decorated Marine Corps combat Veteran who took his own life on March 31, 2011.
Clay Hunt was a true American hero in every sense of the word. Like far too many Veterans, he suffered from the aftereffects of war. Worse yet, his death was the direct result of the quagmire of red tape known as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. This quote from Hunt was included in his obituary, published by The Washington Post. It is but one example of what Hunt had to deal with after returning home:
“You fight for your country, then come home and have to fight against your own country for the benefits you were promised,” Mr. Hunt told the Los Angeles Times in 2010. “I can track my pizza from Pizza Hut on my BlackBerry, but the VA can’t find my claim for four months.”
Martin labelled the signing ceremony a “dog and pony show” and something most of the politicians in attendance simple saw as another opportunity to gain political points under the false pretense of being pro-Veteran.
Martin went on to say that he watched the entire 22 minutes and 53 seconds of this ceremony and the President made the statement that, “Sometimes talk is cheap.” Most importantly, President Obama also noted that “…. American hero, Clay Hunt, struggled to find the right medicine to help him with his PTSD.” Martin’s message to the President, “The right medicine is cannabis, Mr. President.’”
All Veterans are asking is that the President walk-the-walk. He can order the VA to mandate that their doctors offer Veterans cannabis as a safe alternative to the deadly drug cocktails that, once again, killed at least 50 Veterans today….just like they did yesterday….just like they do every day of the year.
It is an unfortunate fact that VA medical personnel have their treatment options unethically restricted by the Veterans Administration. Too many of these people are concerned only about keeping America’s bravest in a drug-induced stupor until they either give up hope and take their own lives, or die from a prescription drug overdose. Far too many Vets are being forced to take 10, 15, 20, or more different drugs a day.
Martin is calling on VA medical providers to stand up for their patients by demanding that VA administrators allow them to recommend cannabis as a safe treatment alternative.
Many Operation Grow4Vets members have been able to either reduce or completely eliminate deadly prescription drugs from their treatment regimen. “Countless Veterans have told me that cannabis is the ONLY thing that has ever helped them in dealing with the horrors of PTSD,” Martin says.
The VA claims that twenty-two Veterans take their own lives every single day of the year. Martin wears a “22” dog tag around his neck in honor and remembrance of those lost American heroes. This number now seems to be touted in virtually all Veteran-related media coverage.
Until a few days ago, even Martin accepted that twenty-two might at least be somewhere in the ballpark. He was wrong!
Here are the true facts: The twenty-two number comes from a 2012 study conducted by the VA that included statistics from only twenty-one states. And, of the twenty-one states that supposedly provided numbers for this study, twenty-three percent of the reported deaths had no ‘cause of death’ classification listed at all.
Worse yet is the fact that Texas, which has a population of almost 27 million people and is home to almost 1.6 million Veterans, was NOT included in the study. Neither was another state that the VA must consider statistically - insignificant - California! That’s another 38.8 million people of which nearly 1.9 million are Veterans. From just these two states, alone, the study omitted 65.8 million people and a Veteran population of at least 3.5 million.
Operation Grow4Vets has scheduled seventeen of their Cannabis Giveaway events in Colorado in 2015. The next event is:
February 28, 2015 — Denver, Colorado (11:00 AM - 2:00 PM)
Quality Inn Central Denver
200 West 48th Avenue
A second event will be held on the following Sunday:
March 8, 2015 — Colorado Springs, Colorado (11:00 AM - 2:00 PM)
DoubleTree by Hilton
1775 East Cheyenne Mountain Blvd.
About Operation Grow4Vets – The mission of Operation Grow4Vets is to help reduce the staggering number of Veterans who die each day from suicide and prescription drug overdose. We provide Veterans with the knowledge and resources necessary to obtain or grow their own marijuana for treatment of their medical conditions. We are working to raise awareness by enlisting the public’s aid and support in ensuring that all injured and wounded Veterans receive the respect and dignity of life that they deserve. Our purpose is to provide Veterans with unique products, programs and services designed to assist them in living with injuries sustained while protecting our freedom. Operation Grow4Vets is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Colorado. To get involved or to learn more, visit www.grow4vets.org.
Individuals can show their appreciation for the sacrifices that America’s heroes have made by making a donation online at: http://grow4vets.org/donate.html, by sending a check to: Operation Grow4Vets, Post Office Box 4348, Woodland Park, CO 80866, or at any Operation Grow4Vets event.
Cannabis related activities are conducted only within jurisdictions allowing such activities. Operation Grow4Vets is a 501(c)(19) nonprofit, exemption pending organization.
Press Contact:
Robyn Peterson
Media Relations
(720) 296-9230
Like ·  · 

I am asking any who come here, to please, do you best to help us change the laws, so that we can stop the horrors of this suicide epidemic.  I wanted to kill myself too.. and cannabis is the only thing that kept me above the water.  I NEED  THC, that horrid chemical that makes one feel HAPPIER.... when folks say, "Oh, that THC will get you high".. as if that is the worst thing in the world. I replace it as my grandma did, with HAPPY.  I remember her saying "what on earth is wrong with a medicine that makes us feel HAPPIER AND BETTER???"   So when you are all up in it about keeping THC away from anyone that it make make 'high'... try changing that word with HAPPY.. and see what that brings to the context.  

Over and Out,

Friday, February 20, 2015

Welcome and Reposting some Links for Newcomers

Welcome Friends and Readers,

Well.. so.. now I am.. out of my own closet.  I have put my name here. GULP... but I do it for myself, and for others.  For the Legislators and their staffs that I hope will come here, you gotta know who I am and that I am a resident of the Great State of Texas.  

First... here is a link to: The Invisible War

... I wrote much about it lower down, but for ease here it is easy to find.  Please take a moment and watch the trailer.  It sets the stage for who I am, and what happened to me, and my survival of the Invisible War. It was nominated for an Oscar for best documentary two years ago.  The producer has been here, and sent me some Invisible War dog tags, for myself, and for the ladies in my group. I wear it when I have to go do 'battle' for justice.

The next, is a link to "Should Grandma Smoke Pot". 

Which  I include, cuz yeah, she did while she was free to.  This is in memory of my Grandma Ruth who intervened alongside my Uncle with me, because I was about to follow my brother into death from alcohol alone, they wanted me to use cannabis instead, and it saved my life. If Ruth could have put something together, it would be like this.   Most importantly,it shows Irv Rosenfeld, and he talks about the prescription can of 300 joints a month that the FEDs have been sending him for THIRTY years.  Yes, you read that right, 300 joints a month, for 30 years.  From the Feds.  Prescription. Watch the video, even if you think you fully disagree with it!  See it with your own eyes!  

I am now gearing up to go to PACT day on Feb 24th and then I want to spend the week in Austin at the Capitol Building Educational Exhibit - TRMP Coalition.

Back when I first came forward, and I had my first Vet Center doc, Dr. L, and I was so shocked that I had broken down to the degree that I could no longer work. She had me file for disability. I remember so clearly saying to her "But doc, I"ve worked since I was 14, I don't know how to NOT work! And she replied "You've always done volunteer work in addition to your paid work, so now, just see it that the Govt is paying you to do volunteer work when are you well enough to do it. Use the opportunity to do the good works you never had time for in the past becuse of how hard you worked for so many years,  And, she was right, I did literacy tutoring for years, and then in my last 15 working years, I also did hospice volunteer work. I didn't feel at the moment like I could even keep my head up. But now, a couple of years later, in this Legislative year, I have had to come back. I knew it was coming and I used last year to travel and prepare, and I have hit the groundrunning. This is my way of turning a negative into a positive.

I have lost dear friends whom opiates have killed, who alcohol has killed, who cancer has 
killed. I believe medical cannabis could have saved their lives. Cannabis - it DOESN'T KILL. An 'over dose' can make you shaky and or sleepy, and perhaps scared if you are someplace its illegal. But... none of that will kill you. Stopping smoking cannabis.. some irritability, some difficult sleeping maybe. A return of the terrible symptoms you were using itffor-most likely. When folks ask 'are you addicted?', I'd say not anymore then I am to my cholesterol pills, or other meds the VA gives me to keep me healthy. I would surely BE addicted if I used the pain pills the VA would give me for my smashed jaw and ankle. So myanswer is a hearty NO, I am not. What I AM, is alive and functioning, and being able to stand up and help others too!

I have listened to folks rag on California's medical program. Having lived in a medical state, I watched things get better first hand. I watched the dealers disappear, I watched empty buildings get filled. I watched the community come together to help each other. On the app Weedmaps, folks reviewed different dispensaries, and any that were shady quickly died cuz no one would use them.
Some of the larger dispensaries held cooking classes, had free massages for patients, has support groups for veterans and a wide variety of illnesses. It was NOT the horrible mess folks who have never lived there say it is. yes, you can get a recommendation for it for just about anything, because it HELPS just about everything. The security guards at the dispensaries loved working there as opposed to bars. They said folks never fight, were polite, and no one puked on them. Once you have lived in it, you see the reality. Folks who use cannabis are the easiest to arrest. Mellow, and as the guards said, often very polite. We are easy money for them. Things in Colorado have gotten better, not worse. All crime is down, teen use down, drunk driving down - and taxes are up so much the state may be giving refunds! It's time to stop destroying lives of patients and families because the police and sheriff's don't wanna lose their easy meal ticket!!!
I also do this in memory of my grandma Ruth... she was a retired school principle, and she was always furious that the Govt's lies had made her a criminal for using cannabis.  I am a 3rd generation medical cannabis user.  Well, I guess more then that, because many times Grandma Ruth told me the story of when she was about 12, and her family doctor had to tell Great Grandma that he was very sorry, but that he couldn't give her the cannabis or hemp oils the he brought her every month, and had for as long as Grandma could remember.  Great Grandma used it for everything from muscle spasms, teething, colicky babies, 'lady problems' (aka menstrual cramps) irritability, anxiety, insomnia, and a whole host of  both internal and external illness's.  The Doc had to tell her that marijuana had been made illegal, and Great Grandma said she didn't want any of that marywana stuff, but she wanted her cannabis.  Doc told her that it was the same thing, and Grandma said there wasn't anything wrong or dangerous with cannabis.  The Doc agreed, and said that a bureaucrat had pulled the wool over the eyes of the Washington crowd.  It was a big upset, and really had some drastic consequences on my grandma's family.  The discussion was so loud and passionate that Grandma says it made a huge impression on her. And Great Grandma, lost all confidence in anything the Govt was involved with after that.  
So my Grandma, and my Uncle, who was a very successful aviation engineer used it, as well as my biological father, who used it for his Parkesons, and to get off alcohol, he had damaged his liver past surviving, and when he moved to N. Carolina in his latter years, he had no access to it, and the drugs didn't help, but toxified him.  So I am a multi generational medical cannabis user.  
I want to have control of my life, I don't want to be a zombie.  I'd prefer to be doing hospice volunteer work, but I will keep in this battle until it is won.
Thanks for coming and reading.  Please leave a comment if you are so inclined.
I'll keep posting as this journey continues, just like my doc wants me too.
God  Bless you everyone.. and God Bless Texas, and the USA.
Over and out,

Thursday, February 19, 2015

First (but not the last) Day at the Texas State Capitol!

Greetings friends and readers,
The Beautiful Texas State Capitol

Some 300 cannabis advocates showed up to lobby with our Texas legislators yesterday!
Here are some links to some stories about it that came out today.

Yesterday, I got up at 5am, which is HUGE for me, cuz I am not an early bird, but it was for an excellent cause.  My good friend J agreed to go with me, and Houston Norml arrange a bus ride for us with RAMP, ( Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition) a great group.  Now I am a dyed in the wool non-partisan voter, but I do have some tendencies from both sides.  In this case, I couldn't have ended up with a better group.  My friend J and I were part of the 'patients' group.  I have been working on this goal for a long time, and going back and forth with my letter with Tracy,  Texas Norml's patient coordinator and she's been awesome. She only had me change a couple of things in my letter, and she said it will do for my testimony too.  

This is a copy of the testimony I provided in my packet. And yeah, it does have my acutal name on it. I am coming out of the closet I guess. If you click on it, you should be able to read it.  0.o If you can't read it, then here is the body of it:

Honorable Senator, Legislator or Representative,
I am a proud Texas Veteran, 100% disabled with PTSD from four years of military sexual trauma (1976-1980), including one by an Iranian pilot who had 'diplomatic immunity' and I was told it was 'National Security" and I was given a direct order to never discuss it. I suffered other rapes and beatings during those four years by supervisors on 2 bases, being threatened with being thrown out in disgrace if I spoke up. I followed orders. I survived. I got my Honorable discharge and used the GI Bill.  I buried it when I got out, thinking it would go away. It didn't, instead, it ruined much of my life until my total mental breakdown in Dec of 2011. I lost my career, home and family and have had to start all over again.   Since then, I've had to face those ugly truths to try and heal.  Dispite all that, I am still a patriot who would do it all again, even knowing what would happen. That great is my love for my country.

 If not for medical cannabis recommended to me in Calif by my WW2 veteran Uncle, I would not be here. I was well on my way to drinking myself to death over the secrets I was commanded not to talk about. I never even told my mom the truth that I was beaten so bad I couldn't have kids. Every day was torture, until I smoked some cannabis with my Uncle. Then, things began to lighten up, even before it all came out. Drinking would have killed me like it did my older brother who died from alcohol poisoning, which is why my Uncle intervened, he could see how close behind my brother I was.

I will be visiting the Capitol several times this session to share my story and testify at bill hearings.  I look forward to meeting you  as my elected Representative, and have a heart to heart discussion about what your biggest concerns are about implementing medical cannabis for the sick and dying in our state.  Currently, roughly 22 veterans a day kill themselves. I am sure that medical cannabis could have saved some of those lives, like it did for my Uncle and I, and many of the friends I have.

I've have  tried all the different psychiatric meds the VA prescribes.  Some of them have terrible, terrible side effects, they made me want to die... really. But medical cannabis helps in ways I can't even describe. My Vet Center therapist has strongly encourage me to be a part of changing the medical cannabis laws as a part of my therapy.  Of course, she has to say that 'off the record' to keep her job, but God Bless her for helping keep me on the planet with her open mindedness.  I do this for her also, so that she can honestly talk to veterans about this as a legal option.  She had read the research and scientific papers on how cannabis helps with PTSD.  You will also untie her hands to help us veterans!!! 

My grandma, who used it for her arthritis and depression encouraged me to use it instead of alcohol as well. There are sooo many folks this can help, but please, for those of us that put our lives on the line, and those of us that lost much of our sanity, this IS a vital medicine.  And it NEEDS TO BE WHOLE PLANT, NOT JUST CBD.  I tried CBD only in California, and it did NOT help me. I do not support the CBD only bills as CBD only leaves the majority of people with no help.

As 'for the children'.. well,  I am sure you have already heard of brave little Alexis Bortell and her fight to secure her right to medical cannabis in Texas to treat her severe seizures.  She is fighting for all Texans, and I in return fight for her, FOR ALL OUR CHILDREN.  It is shameful that now, Alexis has had to move to Colorado to get the medicine she needs, and I fully expect you to help pass a law to bring her home.

Along with medical studies; I am also enclosing a copy of the article War Without End by William Martin of the Baker Institue,  that was published this past June in the Texas Monthly on behalf of myself, and my fellow veterans. I am the Myst written about in the article.  William apologized that he was only able to tell half of my story.... because the editors felt it was too strong and would take away from the subject of medical cannabis and make it more about military sexual trauma.  Imagine that.. having lived a story so ugly they could only tell half of it. 

Please go to my blog below and read more if you wish to know it. All my paperwork that I filed with the VA is there.. the first hand accounts of the almost destruction of a soul... one that cannabis gave some smiles back to, even in the midst of remembering the horrors.

I pray you have the open heart to listen and help us.  Thank you for your service to this great state of Texas!

Romana R. Harrison

Contact Info:   swanmyst@yahoo.com   

I got very good in my professional life at putting together informational packets for different things.  I know how important it is to have a good impact on folks.  So I output some cash and made some nice looking packages.  They had 2 studies about cannabis and PTSD that Tracy helped me with too, And a copy of the article, War Without End that I was interviewed for.  
This is the list of legislative Representatives offices that RAMP organized for us to go. Sorry its so blurry, but you can see there were 6 of them, and then we did one extra.

It was an amazing, although very difficult day.  I had to tell my story to 7 different groups of people.  The first time I told my story with the patients team I was with... there was a distinct shocked silence.  My friend J knew my story... but that was it.  I was shocked again as I told it.  I could never do this, if this subject of medical cannabis wasn't so terribly important to me.   Thank goodness for our wonderful patient team leader Bonnie, who got us all to where we needed to be, and was able to combine  all our testimony, and had great answers to the staff and legislators.  I mean WOW!!!  And it was... cathartic indeed, to have a hand in both changing law.. and meeting with folks I don't know, and having to tell my deeply personal story.  At one point, later in the day, we had just been speaking to a legislator's staff, and he came back.  He originally only had a moment, and so Bonnie said, "Well, if you only have time for one story, then I would like this lady to tell you hers." and pointed to ME.  GULP.... my first actual Representative.  He listened.. but he defiantly had a different point of view.  There were a couple of mothers of kids with autism, and spoke from their hearts about how much it had helped their kids.  And a mom with a son with epilepsy that CBD only won't treat.  And a young lady with a severe case of pancrititis... and cannabis is one of the few things that helps her. 

At the beginning of the year, our Vet Center doc has us come up with 2 goals to accomplish between now and March.  I don't know if I have written here about my ex not having filed the taxes for 12 years that I thought he had... as he was a f'ing atty and I gave him paperwork and signed taxes... but he never sent them in... so I have had to get a tax atty to help me figure this mess out, and two weeks ago, I got 10 years of taxes filed.  And last week, sent off an offer and compromise to the IRS.  So my #1 goal after finding out this horrid news (only because I did a credit check on myself and saw a $92,000 tax lien that about gave me a heart attack, and I have been scuttling money away to pay for the atty and now the fees) was to get this taken care of.  So, that has been accomplished.

 My second goal, was to go to Austin to lobby and advocate for medical cannabis, and to support HB 507, which makes possession of 1 ounce or less a ticketable offense.  No arrest, no jail, no record.  Texas is waaaay behind the curve on this.   Anyways.. to as of yesterday, that goal was accomplished.  I feel today like I was hit by a truck... quite exhausted. No sooner had I got in last night, then I was contacted by Tracy again, and asked if I would come to the PACT, (Patients Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics) next Tue.  I had thought I wouldn't... but now.. I think I need to.  It's only once every two years here in TX, and now is the time.  Some 350 cannabis advocates descended on the Texas Capitol yesterday, as you can see in the top picture.  And not all of us are in that pic, I'm not as I ended up with another group.  

The rotunda of the Texas State Capitol

 A True Texan Hero... this is Ann Lee, founder of RAMP (Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition) being interviewed just moments after we walked into the capitol.  I have a exceptionally soft spot for Ann, because the first time I ever heard of her was at the Baker Institute panel on PTSD and cannabis.  In that entry I refer to her as the 'elderly lady'  who had stood up and spoke so very passionately. She especially took them to task for how cannabis was made illegal in the first place.  So when I knew I would be riding on the RAMP bus from Houston, I didn't think she would be there.   Her husband Bob just passed away this weekend, and yet, bless her heart, there she was.  She had several special appts to go to, so she was not with the patients group I was with.  It was beyond inspirational to have her on the bus, and then listen to her talk to this young reporter who came and asked her to tell her story.  She started out to prove to someone that cannabis was evil, then found out how it came to be illegal. Then her son had a terrible accident and had to move to CA to be able to use medical cannabis legally.  As a mother, like so many here I know, she is outraged.  And I am thrilled to have been able to be there on that historic day with her. Here are some links to stories about her that came out today.




 The lady standing up in the pic is Bonnie, our team leader and wonderful lobbyier!  The big seated fellow is a Dr. who was in our group... wish I could remember his name (edited, I found him in this clip,) he is Dr. Elias Jackson..  He was fantastic telling the staffers and the legislator about some of the science of cannabis.  He was also excellent at saying why just CBD doesn't work alone and that cannabis is an 'entourage' plant, and needs the whole part of it to work at its best. The lady to his left is one of the mothers there to testify about how much cannabis helps her austic son, that like me, it gives him his life back.
This, is taken on the bus after the busy, busy day of meetings.  Was glad I wore my ankle brace as it kept my ankle from flopping at a 90% angle at the wrong time.  It was a beautiful day as you can see.  And I will be back!!!!

Today, I have been writing my TX State rep, and my State Senator.  I plan on meeting up with them, hopefully next week if I can. It has been very therapeutic for me, although it is very hard to tell my story.  I am working on turning the negatives of the past, into a positive right now.  

If you have come from either my letter or my card... thank you. And I please do ask.. if you have any power or are in Texas.. to please contact your local reps about these issues.

Over and out,

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veterans Day 2014

I had a great time in Europe, and things have been pretty busy since I got back, with K and I looking at land to buy and homes to put on it.  This past Sat, he put a offer on a lot, and after some negotiating, we reached a price. Now to see if the appraisal matches it or not.

I had a great lunch with 3 veteran friends, two of them single that I hope might hit it off.

A big part of my therapy is taking control of things in my life, and working to change those things I feel are worthy of effort. The two things I chose to work on, and is supported by my docs at the Vet Center and the VA, and civilian, are MST awareness and advocacy, and getting medical cannabis legalized here in Texas, so we don't have to be criminals to use the medication that works best for us with the least side effects.  So Norml and Texas Norml, and other veteran and cannabis advocates have been calling for us veterans to contact our local elected reps today and tell them we want their support for this.   There are some great 'canned' letters I say, but once I started writing.. this is what came out, it's brutal, but factual.

Honorable ___________,
I am a proud Texas Veteran, 100% disabled with PTSD from four years of military sexual trauma. I suffered rapes and beatings during those four years, being threatened with being thrown out in disgrace if I spoke up. I buried it when I got out, thinking it would go away. It didn't, instead, it ruined much of my life until my mental breakdown in Dec of 2011. Since then, I've had to face some ugly truths. If one thinks that cannabis is a terrible thing, then it takes courage to look at it with an open heart, and I am asking you to do that please, for my sake, and the sake of so many other veterans. If not for medical cannabis recommenced to me in Calif by my WW2 veteran Uncle, I would not be here. I was well on my way to drinking myself to death over the secrets I was commanded not to talk about. I never even told my mom the truth that I was beaten so bad I couldn't have kids. Every day was torture, until I smoked some cannabis with my Uncle. Then, things began to lighten up, even before it all came out. Drinking would have killed me like it did my older brother who died from alcohol poisoning, which is why my Uncle intervened, he could see how close behind my brother I was. I will be coming to Austin next year, and hopefully as my elected Representative, you can tell me face to face why you might disagree with medical cannabis.
22 veterans a day kill themselves. This short clip is about them. It's Veterans Day, and I ask you to watch it.


I've tried all the different psychiatric meds the VA prescribes. Senator_____, some of them have terrible, terrible side effects, they made me want to die... really. But medical cannabis helps in ways I can't even describe. My granma, who used it for her arthritis and depression encouraged me to use it as well. There are sooo many folks this can help, but please, for those of us that put our lives on the line, and those of us that lost much of our sanity, this IS a vital medicine.
I pray you have the open heart to listen and help us.
Thank you for your service to this great state of Texas!


If you came here from this link... welcome in a sick kinda way.  But you will find here some ugly honesty. Please keep an open mind and heart, and help change what can be.

I want to also say, that many of the docs I've talked to here in TX would like to be able to recommend medical cannabis for me.  Some have gone as far as to read some of the Israli studies about the benifits of cannabis on PTSD.   They have told me that they really hope I  and others succeed.  So not only do I do this for myself, and the brethren, but also the doctors who are frustrated that their hands are tied as well.
So where every you are, please, please think about advocating for the VA to allow veterans access to medical cannabis, wherever we might live.  For many of us, it's all between us and 'suicidal idiation'

Over and out,

Thursday, June 19, 2014

First Public Steps

Greetings Readers,

So, last night was the event that I mentioned in the previous blog. I dug out my Invisible War dog tag, and my MST teal ribbon from the Vet Center's showing of the Invisible War. Girded for battle so to speak.  My dear friends and 'service' people J and D accompanied me.  J drove, which I greatly appreciate as I knew the evening would be emotional for me and I had had a cookie before we left.  

I was fine until walking into the venue, and then a sudden anxiety attack took hold. The reason I used the medication I do, and the reasons I even need it came up and were almost overwelming.  I used the restroom and then came out into the hallway trying to calm myself.  As I looked at faces I mostly didn't know who had come to this place to be part of a panel, I came across this one of Nelson Mandela.  My heart skipped a beat when I realized I stood in a place this Great Peacemaker had stood.  I closed my eyes and asked his spirit to be with me, and help calm me. At the same time, I had sent a txt message to K, telling him I was having a bit of a anxiety attack and he was sending me Reiki.   I managed to get my breath and calm down enough to sit.

And then we sat down and the panel arrived and seated themselves.

It was very emotional for me, and I found myself weeping though much of the discussion.

The participants were, from left to right- 
Brian D. Sweany, a senior executive editor at Texas Monthly.  Next to him is William Martin, Director of the Drug Policy Program at Rice University's Baker Institute, and the kind man who interviewed me and wrote the piece.  On his right is Texas State Senator Joan Huffman, R-Houston District 17, On her right is Dr. Neeraj Shah, Physician at a medical center in Hays County.  He worked for the VA for a long while and got a lot of experience with veterans with PTSD. On his left is Maj.(Ret) David Bass, Director of Veterans Outreach, Texas Normal and the person who asked if I would be willing to do the interview with Dr. Martin as he felt that PTSD from MST needed to be included.  I was and am very very grateful to him for his kindness and friendship.  It means a lot.

It was an excellent and informative panel.  Unfortunately, the turnout was pretty small. Maybe 30 people.  The most vocal were behind us, Republicans against Marijuana Prohibition.  While I have been a non-partisan voter since 1986, I am all in favor of changing the laws and it was encouraging to see their passion for their stance.  

One of the hardest parts was then Dr. Shah did a short slide show presentation of PTSD and its effects and I know I wept harder and squeezed D's hand tightly, feeling all of those symptoms rising over my head and choking me.  But... I had had my little cookie before I went (and K suggested I have another to keep me calmer, but I passed on that) so I was feeling at least present.  Which when you tend to dis-associate during stressful times is a good thing.  Early on in the panel, Dr. Martin's eyes found me, and he could see my distress, and his sympathetic smile meant a lot to me.  Major Dave's testimony was also very powerful, and I agreed so much with him in that we just want the medicine that helps us live.  It IS an exit drug from alcohol, opiates for pain and psychological drugs that are more dangerous then helpful.  We don't want to be be criminals, we want to be able to have access to the best cannabis strains for our conditions. We want to do what must be done to accomplish it.  The Senator seemed to be pretty much against the idea of most medical cannabis.  She used my home state of California as an example of the system gone wrong.  But in CA, it is a county by county and city by city issue.  So in some areas, there are zero dispensaries.  In others, they are like Starbucks, or bars.  Even wrong, its better then dealers on the street and the cartels running it all.  She said several times that she didn't see medical cannabis happening anytime soon in Texas.  Which makes me just want to fire her ass.  But.. on the other hand... perhaps I can reach her.  She did allow as that she did think that veterans should be able to have access to medicine that really helps them, and that if legislation was drafted that was very narrowly defined just for veterans with PTSD, then perhaps she might even consider supporting that.  She said there was not enough research, but both Dr. Martin and Dr. Shah were able to dispute that listing many research reports from different places in the US and the world. They both spoke about Israel in particular and how it was already using cannabis to treat their soldiers with  cannabis.

The question and answer part came up at the end, and I really, really wanted to stand and say something... but instead, I sat clutching my Invisible War dog tag that I had worn.  I decided then, that I would simply talk to the people on the panel I wanted to thank, and introduce myself too.   One of the most poignant moments came when an elderly lady stood up and asked the panel if they knew WHY cannabis was made illegal.  She really did cry as she spoke about Harry Anslinger and his corrupt and racist testimony in 90 min session after which it was made illegal, most of the Senators having no idea what they were voting on other then 'some evil drug'. The AMA had a witness there to plead with them not to take cannabis from their medical tool kit.  
The Senator was peppered with questions about her stance, and I respected her as she kept her cool, even as I vehemently disagreed with her stance.  She did seem well acquainted with the folks behind us from where the questioner had come from.  There was also a question from a dispensary operator from New Mexico who rebutted the Senators statement that Texas wouldn't want to be growing and selling cannabis, and that Texas didn't want it like California. The dispensary owner countered with "Texas always leads the way, I find it interesting that in this case, Texas is willing to be New Mexico's little sister in this. I'd think Texas would want to lead the way, bigger and better."  I think the Senator was beside herself with this but held her tongue, but not her face.  She should not play poker. It was obvious she was quite against it.  I found this article about her online.  Things that make you go ohhhhnooooMr.Bill...........

After the panel ended, I was able to meet, hug and thank Dr. Martin.  I also thanked Mr. Sweany for doing the article and he thanked me for my bravery in doing the article myself.  He also apologized for not being able to include all of my story in the article, and I did understand that.  He did say that they were still discussing a article on MST in the future. I'll send him a thank you card and suggest they do that.

The hardest part, was stopping the Senator.. she wanted to hurry off.  She'd taken quite a bit of flack in the Q&A parts of folks upset at her anti-cannabis stand.  I asked if she had read the magazine article, and she allowed as she had, and I said "I am Myst."  She stopped then, took my hand in hers, looked sincere and thanked me for my service and said how sorry she was for what I had gone though.  I cried as I told her that the VA had sent me here for treatment for my sexual assault, and yet, my VA and Vet Center docs had been concerned about my not having safe, legal access to cannabis as they both felt it was the best medication for my PTSD.  I begged her to keep an open mind about it, and she seemed to think she might.  Whew... that was.. so huge for me.  I actually did it though.. I talked to my first anti-cannabis politician face to face and held it enough together to get my message across.  

Next, with dear D and J standing a few comforting feet behind me I finally got to meet Dave.  I simply said "I'm Myst' and he opened his arms and hugged me tight.  I wept more.  He said how wonderful it was to meet me, and how many folks had written and told him how powerful my part of the story was.  He thanked me for coming.  I pointed to D behind me and told Dave that she had already agreed to go to Austin with me next year.  Dave made it all real for me by saying that we would be testifying in front of Senator Huffman next year.  Well.. so I have met her already and she knows who I am.  Dave spoke again about our testimony next year at the state capitol, and I felt shivers as I realized that this is all real, and next year, I will be stepping forward and putting a name to my face and meeting the people that change the laws.  I will need to find a place to stay in Austin that has a good deal and that I am comfortable with.  I plan to be there a lot next year.  

But first... this year is also the fulfilling of goals, in particular my travels to Europe for 10 whole weeks!  From Amsterdam, to Germany, to Scotland  to England, back to Germany, to Spain, and then to Austria to visit my beloved Hillu before returning to Amsterdam for our flights home. My dear friend C is going with me, and my dear friends from Germany are meeting us in  Amsterdam and driving us up to Scotland and back.  It will be quite the adventure I am sure!  

So.. this event was a biggie, and now, its past and I firmly face the future, knowing that next year will be fascinating in quite a different way.

Oh... and... just to throw something fun into the mix... two weeks ago my beloved K formally asked me to marry him... and I accepted.  Weeee!  I don't expect the wedding for at least a year or more, so it won't be for a bit still, but there it is.  

Happy trails,

Over and Out,

Edited and added... the ring!

Friday, May 23, 2014

War Without End

Greetings Readers and Friends,

So, the article I wrote about previously has come out, in Texas Monthly,and the author has done a bang up job of it!  George Strait is on the cover, and I expect he'll get a copy of it, which means he may well read it too.  I've had some feedback already from folks who thought it was quite excellent.  I'm happy.. that my horrid experience's may somehow be used to promote something good.  Then I suppose.. all of what happened will NOT have been in vain... not ever having babies.. and never being honest with my mom about it.. and... and.... and.....

Anyways.. without further adieu, here is a link to it: War Without End, click on the PDF and you get just the article.

It's been a bit triggering, but darn if Bill didn't do an awesome job.  Taught me a lot I didn't know (Like there are some 1.5 million veterans here in Texas) along with several big bases, it makes it a Texas issue.  I will be going to the event Bill invited me to in mid June, and two dear friends are going with me.  I think some other local friends will be a well. 

Some of the things our Texas politician's have said about cannabis I'm sure comes just from their lack of actual knowledge of it, or how much it can help folks.  As a 3rd generation medicinal user, I have seen it help all those in my family that allowed it too.  I'll never, ever be able to thank my Uncle J for helping me sooo soo much in teaching me to use cannabis instead of alcohol. And after my mother died, the last of my immediate biological family, all dead from AL-FRIGGIN-CO-HAUL(you off to death) while we 'water brothers' are still alive and most doing very well.   

This is.. very scary for me. To talk about my military sexual trauma like I have to do.. is one long kept secret, but my cannabis use, is quite another.  The sheer amount of help it gives me to cope with my over active emotions, from up to down, it keeps me steadier and happier.  Some one in the article mentioned the feeling of 'well being'... and that.. is about the crux of it.  When you have been tortured for years by the actuals, and then, forced to repress yet relive it for more years.. well, any sense of 'well being' is hard to come by, and cannabis is one of those things that can do it.

Thanks to all that comes here. I am still... having a hard time.  Sometimes, I cry over the dangest things.  Or I rage at the injustice that continues on a daily friggin basis on so many levels..  Like the kid recently busted with pot brownies, and they are charging him for the whole weight of the brownies. Heck, even if they were hash brownies... goodness, they are talking about life in prison for a 17 year old. When is this insanity going to end???  And a colonel's conviction of sexual assault and sodomy plus other charges was overturned because of the directive that came out telling prosecutors to go harder on sexual assault predators. And so for fucks sake, they let him off because of the negative publicity about it???? REALLY?????   Okay.. deep breath. .deep breath. think peaceful thoughts.... 

Meanwhile in Colorado... where cannabis has been legal for almost 6 months... robberies and violent crime is.. DOWN by a significant amount.. Hmmmm... well then.

<sigh>  I just know the good people of Texas will come around.. they love us veterans as much as we love our state.

Over and out,