"We served in ways we should have never had to. It was supposed to be peacetime, but they brought war to us" -Manya-
WELCOME TO THE LADIES OF THE MST GROUP THIS IS FOR YOU TOO (AND TO ANY OTHER MST SURVIVORS ALSO!)
I HOPE THIS JOURNAL HELPS US MOVE FROM VICTIMS TO SURVIVORS TO ADVOCATES FOR ALL THE BRETHREN WHO NEED IT LIKE WE DO.
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 response.
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, Romana
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
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!