Dark Places

It’s been a while since I was able to really write anything of any substance. What with the anniversary of Mike’s death and trying to stay on top of my favorite mil bloggers, I have kind of felt out of touch with a lot of things. Then I also realized as the Michael Jackson case ran its course that too had a disturbing effect. At the end of the day I am often left with the feeling I have been away and have not yet fully returned.

I find I spend a lot of time worrying about the safety of those brave souls I have begun to develop such a fondness for over the last few months. I often feel like someone or something has reached inside the very core of my soul or maybe my heart and it’s like they sent me a shock and both have begun to wake up again. Before only my kids have been able to penetrate the barriers a life time developed.

I often feel naked or vulnerable. I am not sure I really like this feeling. Other times, I feel like I have just been made aware of this great emptiness that was always there only I simply never realized it. In any event there is an addictive quality to the whole array of emotions, fears, and pain that have begun to make themselves known.

I feel as though I am leaving one survival mode and entering another. There is a feeling of safety accompaning the mode I have always lived in to date. There were few surprises, no major uncertainties. Of course when your life has been one long existence of constant uncertainty, then that life provides its own comfort in its predictability. It has been quite a paradoxical existence.

I became aware at a very young age that I was quite shut off emotionally. Not that I didn’t feel anything. Of course I did. I was just incapable of showing emotion. Or maybe that isn’t really totally accurate. I am incapable of trust. I don’t mean the type of trust that allows me to loan you $20.00 because I know you will pay me back. I’m talking about the trust needed to allow human relationships to develop.

In order to develop friendships or love relationships, a certain degree of trust is slowly developed by both parties in the situation over a period of time. I am not nor have I ever been capable of that kind of trust. I don’t even really have a true understanding of the concept. It took me years to realize this.

I have spent most of my adult life searching for an understanding of what makes one so removed for everything. After years of therapy, reading, and studying I now know that childhood sexual abuse was the culprit. There was never a time before for me to relate back to for comparison. On bad days I can’t look back on good days and say to myself remember how you were before all this.
For years I didn’t even remember all of what had happened to me as a young child. I only remembered a couple of the later incidences in my pre teen years.

On one occasion my family and I were visiting my grandfather in the country. While we were there my step-grandmother’s family came by for a visit. Her brothers also came, both being grown men. One of them started showing off for the kids and climbing a tree trying to make himself look cool. The more I watched him the more I began to feel this over powering rage. I kept thinking what a ba$t%#d he was. It took every ounce of strength I possessed at the time not to follow through on the urge to go inside and get my grandfather’s shotgun and shoot him. All I could think of was not wanting to allow him to hurt any of my brothers and sisters the way he did me! I just knew he deserved to die. I didn’t really remember why! It was an overwhelming experience that frightened me. Nothing has ever made me feel that extreme anger and hatred since.

Sexual abuse has that effect. It strips away your humanity. It takes away your ability for trust and intimacy. Not sexual intimacy, but emotional intimacy. Although it can lead to sexual disfunction either in the form of frigidity or too frequent sexual activity, prostitution, drug abuse, or alcoholism or combinations of any of the aforementioned. Except for drug abuse and prostitution, I have come pretty close to all of the others. What I think drew me back was the fact that my abusers controlled me for most of my childhood. These other activities always represented to me a loss of control over my own life. I refused to give up any more control of my life than necessary.

As for my nephew’s death. Well, that pain will always be with me. Maybe not in the same way as now; but, it will still be there. I think the circumstances were what made it so much harder to handle. We didn’t really find out the truth about his death until recently. What was supposed to have been an act or terrorism turned out to be an act of betrayal.

A fellow Navy man made an illegal turn into the path of an on-coming car. Mike died as a result. The driver and two other men were badly hurt and hospitalized. They were later returned to duty and came home before their unit if I am not mistaken. The betrayal came when he lied to the family about what actually happened. The military’s refusal to try the man because he was on active duty and therefore had “diplomatic” immunity as a representative of the US in Kuwait made it an even greater betrayal. What a load of b.s.. The Kuwaiti government and the two Iraqi in the car showed more compassion over the circumstances of Mike’s death.

Originally we were led to believe one of the men died. At the trial of the Iraqi driver for speeding it came out that both survived and that when the two men found out my nephew was in the military serving in Kuwait in support of Operation Iraqi freedom, they were very upset. Of course the Naval personnel who came to my nephew’s home and the funeral were very supportive and kind.

The betrayal was at a higher level. I hope that coward enjoys the retirement he lied to protect. I also hope his nightmares continue until he develops enough courage and backbone to apologize to Mike’s widow and family for the lie he told. Accidents happen. But that lie, well that was his crime. I feel no sympathy for him at all. I also lost respect for a branch of our armed forces that doesn’t look out for its own. Except for comments posted on support sites, as far as I know there has been little support from his unit. None of Mike’s fellow Navy personnel came forward on Mike’s behalf. Such disregard for the truth and the brotherhood of the troops would never have allowed this to happen had Mike been in the Corps. However, I do realize that not all Naval personnel should be held accountable for the cowardice and lack of humanity of a few!

But even worse is the feeling of helplessness I feel over the failure of the last year and a half’s efforts to get Mike his Purple Heart. Mike was only in Kuwait for a little over a week as far as we can determine. His unit was coming back home within a week or so because they managed to do what they were sent there to do in Kuwait faster than expected. But, I can’t help feeling I failed Mike in some way. I knew a Purple Heart wouldn’t bring him back.

But it was the “principle” of it all. Those mem and women who are killed within 60 days in accidents or other situations still gave up much to serve. Then they gave their life. But it’s like they are a part of a nameless bunch of men and women who don’t really count any more. But they are just as dead as they would be had they been shot by a sniper’s rifle. Granted they didn’t go through what our troops in the field experience every day, but there ought to be a better way to keep them from becoming just faceless numbers. Their hearts, spirits, and self sacrificing ideals were all there. They never got a chance to die a soldier’s death, if they had to die. I don’t guess I am doing a very good job of explaining myself but I think you all understand what I am trying to say. Maybe it’s all just a moot point anyway.

I did find out in my task to get Mike his Purple Heart that there are other troops who deserve the Purple Heart but because the Guidelines still need to be re-clarified to cover the terrorists activity in today’s world they were denied the medal. I got one email from a medic just returned from Iraq who wanted to encourage me to continue my quest. He treated three Marines injured in direct combat who were denied their Purple Hearts because “their injuries were not severe enough!” He was furious on their behalf and thanked me. At the Iraqi Freedom Forum
I got several comments from others thanking me and supporting my petition efforts. So, I will continue the petition efforts I started. I just have to figure out how to amend the Petition to reflect that Mike is no longer eligible so it invalidates the Petition as it now stands. I guess I could start a new Petition but I hate to lose the 530+ signatures I already have to date.

Well, I have digressed from my original topic but it does all fit together in the grand scheme of things. It has been a help to get a few things off my chest. So thanks for an ear. I don’t intend these comments as a whining session. My personal situation is my responsibility and I may falter at times to regroup, but I never give up!


~ by devildog6771 on June 20, 2005.

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