Sunday, January 26, 2014

New Year Goals and Plans

Written Jan 1, 2014

2014 Is starting out watching the Lord of the Rings Trilogy with K, seems appropriate for 2014. A looong story of how the smallest and simplest was able to save the world with the help of a few loyal friends and protectors who believed in Good overcoming evil. -nods- That small group overcame insurmountable odds and grew in size. It gives me hope that change for the better can be wrought if we work at it together. Let us all as a community work togther to foster what is best for all. To be as loving and kind as we can be, to be of service to others and to give benifit of the doubt, and Grace. That is my over arching goal.

The last doc that the VA sent me to at the beginning of Dec for my last eval told me that I needed set goals, and to find a couple of causes to get behind next (now this) year and work actively towards changing something helps me move from survivor to advocate. The things I care about most that I can do something to help change. She asked me what those things would be and I told her. She strongly encouraged me to be as proactive as possible. So, I am following doctors orders, being a good little sailor and here are my goals for 2014.

This is not actualy a goal, but a way of being. To keep K as happy and healthy as possible. To be there for him, as he is for me. To keep him feeling valued and adored as my Precious. Yes.. he is My Precious.. and I can get golum like in my obsession to be sure that he is at the best he can be, and that I do the best I can for him as he does for me. I adore him with all my heart!!!

The first actual 'goal' that I told the doc I was going to do is to be actively working with other veterans to promote the passage of the Military Justice Improvement Act. I am a survivor of military sexual trauma. I never reported because I knew that the perps were best buddies with both the Chiefs and the Commanders who decided if cases went forward or not. I also saw Commanders overturn a guilty verdict because they were buddies with the guy and felt that the training of e-5 of e-6 was worth more then a measly e-1 or e-2. This Act will take that out of the chain of Command. The military is fighting this tooth and nail. They say they will change it. Well, my attacks happened 76-80 and NOTHING HAS CHANGED. If it were your son, (1 out of 5 males will be sexually attacked in the service) or daughter (1 out of 3) sibling, grandchild, mate, or friend, what sort of justice would you want for THEM? Would YOU want to leave it at the odds of how good of buddys the perp may be with the Commander. Or that Commanders mind set? Or would you want someone impartial (geee, in the civilian world a judge with some connection to someone involved in the the case in't allowed to be on a case, they must recuse themselves) to look at the evidence and make that decision??? A vote comes up in Jan for this. I ask every one of you out there to think of a veteran or service person that you love.. and call your Senator or Representative and tell them you want them to stand behind and pass the Military Justice Improvement Act.

Here is a link to more info about it:

This vote comes up THIS MONTH
Click on this to find your representive if you are here in TX:

The next 'goal' is a bit more controversial, but interestingly enough, the Doc was very much in favor of my doing as much as I could to promote my next cause. Which will be much harder here in TX. And that is to work on changing the laws regarding medical and recreational cannabis here in TX. I have joined the Texas Normal group and plan to do my best as a veteran who has had 6 out of 7 doctors (including VA docs both here and in CA) tell me that cannabis is the best medicine for my PTSD. It was a Marine veteran with PTSD, who stepped up to a counter in Denver at 8am this morning to be the first person in our nation to buy cannabis legally in 70 years. I pray that by 2016, I'll be able to do the same thing here. This doc told me that she had read studies on how much cannabis can help with PTSD, and 'off the record' she encouraged me to pursue its legalization for medicinal purposes.

Here is a link to Texas Norml.

For both subjects folks need to step up and do something. Here is the web page again where you can find out who your reps are and get the contact info here in TX.

The other thing I'll be doing per docs orders is some travelling. Which I will be doing with a very dear friend. <grins> We have travelled from CA to Maryland together by car and all up and down the CA coast. I'll be flying out to CA right after Valentine's Day, and then she'll drive me back to TX. That will be my first trip this year.

(Edited- I wrote this before I had my decision and before I knew I was coming on this spontaneous trip to France, so CA will be my 2nd trip of the year.)

The next will be our trip to Europe. We are going to be going to the Munro Clan gathering at Castle Foulis, which has been in my family for over 800 years. Over 300 Munros are expected to come. It will last for 3 days. Hikes, pipers, history, Highland Games, Scotch tasting and a formal Scottish dinner and dance on Sun night! My Da used to talk about Foulis.. and the family there. I look forward to meeting Hector, Chief of Clan Munro. I also firmed up on Mon that our trip will start in Amsterdam (per recommendation from my German friends who live 3 hrs from there), where my friends from Germany will meet up with my friend and I and we'll head to Germany for a couple days before catching a train up to Scotland. Then we'll come back down through London, meet up with my German friends again and then we'll spend a few weeks seeing London, Cornwall and Germany with them. We may then be in Spain for a couple of weeks, and then Italy. I want to see a fjord while I am in Europe, and my friends have promised to take me to see one. I have always wanted to see Europe and I look forward to it bunches. It looks to be about 8 weeks of travelling, and I'll miss K something terribly! But its something he strongly supports as Cindy and I have been planning this trip for two years now, ever since I saw that the Munro's were having this clan gathering this year, and she got her retirement from the state of CA.

Oh.. and as an avid reader, I am thrilled that the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon is coming to Starz in 2014. Love the cast they have so far. Keep an eye out for it if you have Starz, it's a great story.. better then Game of Thrones to me. Set in Scotland, and I am going to see if we can go where they are shooting if they are when we are there.

This year has started out amazingly...I post this from France, where I am visiting a long lost childhood friend.

I have more to write on the subject of cannabis, most of which I will finally begin to relate soon as it HAS been by FAR the best medicine for my PTSD.   It is a horrid shame that I cannot have it here as I did in CA as PRESCRIBED by my doctors.  They had more concerns about my using the prescribed meds for depression and anxiety which all the honest ones said had many negative side effects that cannabis did not.

God is good and I am exceedingly grateful for all the blessings that have come my way.  Things are already happening and I am excited.  I will be putting myself out there to some degree, and I pray it will help others, just as I have hoped this blog will help others.

Over and out,

Monday, January 13, 2014

"Here, at the end of all things"

Well.. dearest friends and readers.  It. Is. Done.  I got the unemployability, with the magic sentence that it is permanent and no further appointments are required.  Andddd.. amazingly enough.. they back dated the pay to when I got my 70% a year ago July!  The relief from this.. there are not words to describe.  It has been like silence after years of screaming.  Peace when there has been struggle.  No more uncertainty! I have worked since I was about 14.  But now... I am officially 'retired'. I have not been able to work the past two years since my breakdown but I worried about it.  Was it just me who felt like it was too much?  In the end, no.. it wasn't.. It was reality of things that have happened in the past, catching up in the present, but firming up a financial stability I have never known.  My friends all know I have always struggled to work, being successful with people and helping, but not so much with money.  For a few years, I did really really well, but I was mostly supporting others besides myself.  Now, my beloved partner fully supports me and my goals.  I have not had to 'worry' about a home, well, unless something happens to him.  But, now, I have that assured by being able to handle it financially.   I am glad he knew me when I was doing well enough to take him on a vacation to the redwoods one time.  I am incredibly grateful for the love, care and pampering he has given me for all the years I have known him. 

 Justice, not really.. but it is a form of reparation. Following in other's footsteps, I made goals that I am now being able fulfill. A newer car, and mostly travel!  I WILL get to travel freely in Europe with my friends, and that is my main therapy for the year!  And my partner is very supportive of it, even though I will miss him terribly. I hope to be able to fly him over for a few days while I am there. Huh. Fancy that.  

I am sorry that I am rambling.. I am still in a bit of shock.  We had a double birthday party that had been scheduled for a couple of months that was happening at the exact same time.  I am in the midst of planning 3 trips, two to Europe  (one NEXT WEEK!!! To Paris to see a childhood friend) and one to CA next month. And then, what is looking like 10 weeks in Europe this summer.

This HAS all felt incredibly surreal to some degree.  From the finding out (and I still haven't gotten their official letter yet) the case was closed (a week ago today in fact) and I know you can't call.  I didn't want to wait if I could figure out how to find out. So I checked the 'download benefits letters' section and OH MY GOSH.... THERE IT WAS!  That I was now given 100% status for being permanently unemployable.  I printed out those letters before they could vanish from the ether.  Oh, and K was travelling at the time so I was home alone. 0.0  The excitement.. and more.. the relief was.. humbling.  And so I did thank the God who loves me beyond all things and who I am so grateful to.  A new mindset.  So.. yes.. I got a new computer, the one I was using was 8 years old.  I got a mostly new car, the one I was driving was a 98.  The timing was such that I was able to put my Corolla's key on a new key chain, in a little box and give it to my sister friend here as a gift.  Her car was squished by a tree in hurricane Ike.  If I had wanted to plan the timing this way, I could not have.  How amazing is the Unknowable Essence of Love that although I had wanted the $$ for Christmas, this timing, of coming so I could gift this amazing family with my old car, which is still very reliable is 1000's of times better then my plan.  

Soo.  I will still be here though.  I am still watching the boards and commenting every where I can on behalf of veterans rights and MST awareness for both men and women.  I tell everyone I can about it...I owe it to the the others who can't speak out.

But I do want everyone that reads this that might know someone who needs help from the VA, to get it.  I know others that came long before me are still waiting.  That gives me sorrow.  So I will keep speaking out on expediting processing of of claims for veterans too.  

I will say the ebenifits web page really was up to the moment on what was happening and I found that AWESOME!  I didn't know about it when I did my initial filing so it was all a mystery and a surprise. Hmmm.. not sure if it was better to see it processing then be clueless... ah. yeah.. knowing was better.  Although the dates were WAAAAYYYY off.  When it moved to the 2nd to last stage, the ending dates got further out then they had been before.  0.0    So, I figure the VA folks are like Scotty.  They say it won't be done until May 2014-Dec 2015... then the last update was March 2014-Aug 2014.  But ended on Jan 6.  Soo.. they throw out this long ass date, then poof, magic, its done' months and months early! Just like Scotty.. "Right Capt. will be 8 hours."  Capt: "No, I need it in 6!" Scotty " I canna do that Capt, we'll blow the engines, but I'll try"  3 hours later- Scotty: "We ready to go  Capt!" Capt: Your a miracle worker Scotty!"  Scotty with a grin and a wink "Aye Capt!"

Thanks to all who came here.. thanks especially to beloved Joan (from Enemy in the Wire) whom I did text as soon as I found out!   Whooohoooo!!!

So.. signing off for now,
over and out,