Sunday, December 15, 2013

Interchange at the End of my Career

I wanted to save, for posterity perhaps, this interchange between
 myself and my then Vet Center Doc.  This is the end of my 
statement to the VA that I then mailed to the doc, and her 

My letter to her was followed by my statement to the VA which is 
one of the first links here.

Dear Dr. L..

I had a very rough week.. and felt like I needed to write you a bit about it too.  Seemed if you have
 time to read this then it will save us some time and my having to say it all over again.
 I hope that's okay.

I have been working on my statement for the VA.. I'll paste it below since I'm not sure that you
 can get an attachment at this address. I did something of a Hemingway and decided to hole
 up with my laptop and some decaf coffee on Thur nite to get it done.  And I did. 
Until 2:30am.  All 10 pages,although its 14pt font. But now.. its done. 

The next day, I had to work with the severely disabled man I've been working with since Aug. 
 He is very unpredictable and had been known to have violent temper outbursts.  It takes all
 I can to focus and keep calm to work with him the past few months, but I've managed. 
 Fri though, I was very tired and feeling a bit beat up from the recounting of the whole ugly
 mess. Anyways... Joey suddenly started poking me and growling and roaring at me loudly
 in the movie theatre on Fri. It startled me and I asked him to stop and he did for a bit. 

Then after the movie, at lunch time, he started doing it again. Every time he poked me, I couldn't
 help but jump, and it took all I could not to just run away.  I told him to stop that he was scaring
 me. *sigh* That was the wrong thing to say in retrospect.  But I was jumpy and scared and he was
 throwing bad energy at me.  Then when I was driving me home, he poked me again several times
 and roared, growled and barked.  By the time I got him home I was totally shaken.  My back isn't
 the best, and when I'm stressed like I was, I have an even harder time with his wheelchair. 
 I got him in, wrote about the poking in my daily notes, and when I stopped at the office afterwards,
 I told the secretary about it It was hard to hold it together, and when I got to the car, I lost it and
 just shook and sobbed for a bitbefore I could get home. 

 My husband was at the house getting some things, and he was upset at how upset I was.  He said that
 he hated seeing me that shook up and that one of the last things he was going to do as my husband, 
was tell me that he felt I needed to quit immediately.   He didn't want me to have to go back and work
 with Joey even one more time.  He said he'd try to get some money to help us get thru till I am able to 
move at then end of Feb.  So, I called the office on Sat morning, and got the same secretary I had seen 
the day before. I went into more detail and she could tell how upset I was.   She apologized for Joye's
 behavior and I told her that he knew now that he could scare me and that I just couldn't handle him
 anymore. She said she could see that I was traumatized the day before and she hadn't wanted to 
make it worse by prying too much. She said she was sorry, that I'd been an exemplary employee and 
if I ever came back from Texas, to see if they had any suitable clients. 

  I feel like such a failure doc.. i can't even handle this guy... but. I do feel better that I don't have t
 go deal with him anymore either.  I hope you feel I made the right choice.. 

One of my friends suggested that I add a note to my statement about what happened and
 my having to quit, so I did. 

Looking forward to seeing you Tue,


End of my statement below:

It was of some note to me to realize after talking with Dr. L, that indeed
,  I have not been able to hold any job where a man was my direct
 boss, or even interview with men bosses since I left the Navy.  I 
thought I was just a failure and a loser like they told me I was.  
Turns out, I am not those things, but I was and still am severely
 traumatized by them beating that into my head, heart, and body.
 Only my soul remained true to me, and by God’s grace,
I have survived.

NOTE: Jan 7, 2012
Yesterday was a terrible day. on this statement all night. And then,
 yesterday morning, the severely disabled man I have been working 
with kept poking me, suddenly barking and growling loudly at me.
 I kept asking him nicely to stop and told him that he was scaring me. 
 He did this all during the movie I had to take him to, during lunch, 
and then while I was driving too.   He is totally untrainable and
 unpredictable..  After my shift, I sat in the car and sobbed, totally
 traumatized.  I wrote it in the daily notes at the end of my shift, and
 then I talked to the secretary at Indecare and then had nightmares all 
nite.  So this morning I called and quit my job working with him. You can
 also call and talk to Indecare ###-####, ask for Cheryl.  She can tell
 you how upset I am.  I just can’t make myself go back and face another
 day of it. I just CAN’T!!!

“I hereby certify that the information I have given it true to the best of 
my knowledge and belief”

 I emailed the full document above, with the added note in it to my
 Doc at the time, and I love what she wrote back.  
Made me feel like I had finally made the right decision.

from Doc L
to me
R, it sounds like quitting was the right thing. Having a man, even a disabled one, physically 
touching you without your permission (and after asking him not to) would obviously trigger your
 PTSD. I read your account. I knew there were more incidents but I had no idea how frequent or 
severe they were. I am so sorry for all you  have been through, and the toll it has taken on your
 life. I am here for you, and hope I can help you to get through this. Thank you for trusting me
 with this intensely personal information.  I’ll see you tomorrow afternoon.


 God Bless the Doc, she was an awesome lady for sure!

Over and out, 

Post Pension and Compensation Eval Catchup.

Greetings Friends and Readers,

So, on Dec 4th, I had my appointment for the C&P.  My friends J and D came to take me since K was out of town and I know I can't go to these things alone.  It was also decided that D would stay the night in case things went sideways.  One never knows how its going to go.

So I was fine until we got there.  What is it about those places that trigger the hell out of me????  Knowing I'm gonna have to tell the whole ugly story from beginning to now.  We sat down, and the tears just started falling as I felt the past sweep up and over me.  I could feel D holding my hand, and J, rubbing my shoulder.  Do you have any idea how mortifying it is to be sitting in a Dr.'s office weeping uncontrollably??? There were only a few folks in the office, but one of them a man, sat across from us, and stared at me.  I wanted to fall through the floor.  The tears got worse, and since we had gotten there plenty early, I sat and wept for about 45 min.  The man looked sympathetic and said "They ought to give you a pain killer for that".... well. I looked up, smiled wryly I think and said "Well, this is from PTSD, no painkiller for it"  He blanched and nodded and looked sad.  Sigh.  

Finally I got called in. The doctor said she would give me a diagnosis before I left.  Okay.. I've had a series of those before for the same thing, by the VA themselves, but I guess they feel they have to pay someone outside the system to verify what they say inside the system.   Seems like a waste of money to me, but, I suppose I can see the point.    

So, yes. I had to tell it all. From childhood though that morning.  It was... as hard as it always is.   My Veterans advocate Wendi had told me to feel that day as if it was my worst. I didn't have to do anything for that to happen.  In the blink of an eye, a good day can send me hiding under my covers, doing my best not to cave and drink myself oblivious like I used to.  I try to hang on through it.  So. I told her all.  Answered all her questions.  I could tell I had shocked her a few times.  Yes, the barbarianism of our own troops to their own brethren. She told me that I do indeed have severe PTSD and depression. Ya think????    She was very nice and kind and that was helpful.  These things I never even told my family or closest friends, I now have to recount to a complete stranger.   Sighs.  Well, now it's done thank goodness.  She did have some good things to day.   She told me that I should continue getting therapy, and working to move from victim to survivor to advocate.  She felt strongly that the advocacy for myself and other veterans would go a long way to helping me heal.  And I agree. 

So right now, the Military Justice Improvement Act will come up for a vote in January.  I spent time yesterday composing a letter, and looking up my local Representatives to ask them to support it.  I tell an abbreviated version of my story with a link to this blog.  I hope that if they do see fit to look into the true story of one survivor, it will lead them to help others by supporting this act.   

Other then that..  I've had a harder time lately with emotions being out of control.  I lost it during Hunger Games 2.  Donald Sutherland's character was such an asshatlying and changing rules, that he reminded me of the Petty Officers and Chief's that I knew while I was in who did the exact same shit to me.  And my life was threatened. I was told numerous times that I could easily get lost on a base that had hundred of acres of woods to disappear or be lost on. So it all really trigged me.  Poor K, he felt so bad, but it wasn't his fault of course.  The first movie didn't affect me that way at all. But I was crying so bad we had to go home after the movie as I wasn't up to having dinner out and being stared at.  

Then, this Fri, we tried a reboot of last weeks dinner.  And I was fine, till I mentioned a fellow MST survivor for whom the system has gone all wrong. Annnnd dang it.. found myself awash in tears again.  DAMN!!!   And the waitress gave me that look of both pity and not knowing what to do, so she just ignored me.  I woulda felt better if she'd asked if I was okay and I could have mumbled about service connected PTSD.  Sigh.  Again.  The past screws up the present.   As least I got myself together enough to go along for grocery shopping.  Thank goodness that K is so sweet and patient with me.  My ex could never handle the waterworks and made me feel bad for being so emotional.  But we never knew the cause like we do now.  And knowing sure does help!!!

So, now we wait. And see how long it will take the VA to make a decision on my unemployability.  I pray they grant it so I can get my teeth fixed and be able to be more independent financially. And to feel like I've gotten a tiny bit of reparation for the decades of insanity caused by years of hidden beatings and rapes.  

I don't feel at all Christmas'y this year.  Just... wary.  And waiting.  And hoping that my Representatives will do their part to change the injustice of the current military justice system.  I do wish everyone else a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

I am still here. I am still trying.  That's the best I can do.. but I hope to be free soon to be done with tests and trying to prove the truth.  It is what it is. 

Over and out,