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Feeling So Frurstrated With Ptsd Claim And Va


BXairforce

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Hello I’m an Air Force vet I really feeling lost, confused and frustrated at this point. I’m currently service connected for Migraines at 0% and just put in new claims for PTSD and M.R.S.A. After the advisement of my Psychologists to research more in the process I found this place. I really feel frustrated and have been honorably discharged from the Air Force since 2005. After reading about what constitutes for disability percentages for migraines, it frustrates me more knowing I get migraines that are “prostrating” twice a week, and twice a month is the guideline for 50%. But I hate going to the va, I hate going to therapy, and battling to get benefits. But alas I’m here because I’m really feeling at my wits end. From all the info I’m reading its worse to put in a half ass claim then no claim at all, and that’s what exactly what I feel like I’m doing. I have paper work for support of claims and further information for my claims I have no clue how to fill out and get anxiety just looking at, I just from reading here learned what a C&P is and how important they are, well I was at the va yesterday supposedly I had a c&p last year in july for migraines I never remember being at or what was askedL. So I’m sorry if this is a little long, but I would really appreciate some honest advice, and maybe to just try to get my whole story out for my mental benefit as well.

So I enlisted in the Air Force at 17, originally I was in the delayed entry program for the Marines, but after having a trip to Parris island with my uncle who was a drill instructor, I was shocked and scared to join the marines. Well I ended up switching and joining the Air Force in August 2001, fresh out of high school. My mother and Father had to sign release papers basically giving parental rights to the U.S. government and something about that day will always stand out in my mind as a life changing moment. I got to basic training in August 2001, 2 weeks into basic training on Tuesday September 11th the terrorist attacks of the world trade center took place. I remember I was in second clothing issue having the name tags sewn on my BDU’s and had such a sense of pride, and then base sirens started alerting all around us, and sounds of base lockdown was heard. We were all told to sit in the barracks on lock down, people with family in, New York and DC were allowed to call home to family but no one else. People who came back from our flight who had spoken to loved ones just told us there were several terrorist attacks. Drill sergeant’s spoke of “bombing the towel head fucks who did this”, before my very eyes what seemed like training for the military, suddenly took on a much more real wartime feel.

I was frightened, this was the first time I was ever away from home, my family, my friends, and I sat in the bunk at night crying wondering what I had gotten myself into, would I be going to war. Several of my flight mates felt the same. But we didn’t know anything of what was going on in the outside world shielded into this military bubble. But that Sunday five days after the terrorist attacks, at church the preacher felt as though we needed to see the news and what was happening. I will never forgot how the hairs on the back of my neck stood up as we all stood in church watching as planes were flown into the world trade center buildings. People were cursing, screaming out for God, and frightened. That night my friend “Shump” said he wasn’t going to die in no war, and he was leaving. That night he went awol, but was caught, I saw him two weeks later walking in the out-processing flight, waiting to be shipped home. A lot of troops left or tried to leave after seeing this. I cried that night and knew I wanted to leave. I sat there and really started to question God. Question God about evil, and religion, and for the first time in my life I thought that maybe God didn’t exist, maybe it was really all bullshit. I didn’t want to die, I didn’t know what I believed. I eventually just thought I could get kicked out, and started to act up, I would go back to sleep when I was supposed to be on dorm guard, sneak out without permission to use the phone to call my family. For all of this I wasn’t kicked out, I was recycled in basic training twice, each one week a piece, having to waste my mom’s airline ticket for my graduation after she got nonrefundable tickets.

When I graduated from basic training and tech school, I had just turned 18 as soon as I arrived to my base in Fairchild afb, Wa. I was told that I was going to be under investigation because for my job in the command Post, I need a Top Secret clearance. We handled emergency actions and that needed to stay knowledgeable on our actions in emergency’s because the command post was the secure center in emergencies, where the commander and all actions would be coordinated. It all sounded scary as hell to me! Since I was 18 and had no life experience my security clearance came quick and I was quickly shipped off overseas, to a classified location at the time, that’s al test what my orders said. During this deployment I this was right before the invasion of Iraq. We had as part of job, of course to coordinate all emergency actions, keep in contact with security forces, keep daily logs of all events, and make briefings and reports for the base commander and all units. If anything happened, any explosion, threat, potential threat, we were first to be notified, and we notified the big people. We also had this computer that had a missile warning system. It would beep, and if an incoming missile or attack was imminent we had 15 minutes until impact. We had of course a checklist to be ran, in the event it went off. Sometimes it would go off then stop, just the sound of the beep was enough to almost make me piss myself. One day while I was just coming on duty we had a suicide bombing outside of base. The system didn’t go off but we could hear the explosion. Security forces called us and the other command post controllers on duty jumped into action. I stood there frozen in a surreal state watching all of this take place but like I wasn’t in my body, like I was just in the room stuck to the wall watching all of it take place in slow motion. No American forces were hurt, and the way the security forces talked about the “dumb Muslim” sickened me. I felt frightened, helpless, powerless, and numb. I just kept thinking what I would do if I was here alone and this happened. Could I be strong enough to run the checklist? One of the major aspects of the checklist was to sound the base siren as soon as the missile warning system went off, so everyone on base could put on their chem gear, and head for bunkers. And as everyone prepared for a chemical attack and put on gas masks and retreated for bunkers, I was supposed to remain solely in the command post running the checklist until the end. It made me feel so insignificant, expendable, every night I’d do reports with death numbers; I’d just be one more.

I felt isolated, alone and depressed for most of my deployment, it was meant to be 3 months but ended up being extended to closer to 8 months. While out there I did have a female friend out there I had gotten close to. She was an airmen from Travis AFB and we began spending time and became intimate. Well sex was prohibited in deployments and condoms were not sold on base. Well inevitably she ended up becoming pregnant out there. We were so frightened both new to the military we didn’t want to get into trouble. She was soon to rotate out, and we hoped we could keep it a secret. One night while on duty by myself, I was about to call my mother, it was 3am and daytime in the states; I was waiting for a phone patch, the missile warning system sounded. My heart sank, time slowed down, I could hear my pulse, feel my breath. Again it was like I was outside of my body watching me. I hung up the phone and quickly hit the base siren, I ran the checklist notified the base commander and embraced myself to die. I was frozen and playing back the moment of hanging up the phone, should I have stayed on and told my mother goodbye? What if she never picked up and I didn’t put everyone into bunkers? What about joy and the unborn baby she was carrying. So many things raced across my mind, it seemed like I spent days in that moment. I was helpless in the most literal sense of the word, as to what would happen in the next moments of my life. Then suddenly an airplane radio’d in sorry for dipping in too fast and low on the approach. Apparently a new pilot we use to just call “L.T” dipped in too fast and made the missile warning system go off. I was PISSED! After landing when he came in, I cursed him out! So bad he pulled me to the side and almost tackled me to calm me down, saying he understood but if someone else seen him talking to me like that I’d get in big trouble. I didn’t care I just embraced myself to die. For the woman I love to die, and a baby that I never seen to all die at the same time. At that moment I really ceased caring about anything. After calming down, the base commander praised me for handling the emergency in a professional and timely manner. They said they would put me in for an Achievement medal for my work I did. I don’t think I slept the week. I would wake up in sweats hearing the system go off, always on the phone debating to call or hang up. Sometimes I’d stay up for days and right when id fall asleep id hear the beep of the missile warning system. I felt ashamed I was so afraid, I felt like a coward. I was at a base with other branches of service who were going down range being shot at, losing lives, and here I was afraid of my own shadow. Shortly after that an army friend Sid, didn’t come back with his platoon, when I was told he had died from an attack downrange, my numbness really set in. I just thought about how fragile life was, and how what were we out there for? The religious aspects of the war and how God could let evil happen. I wished I would have died in the missile warning system alert. It’s the first time I thought of it. I would have died a war hero. L.T. noticed me on base depressed a lot and surprised me as a token of his apologies with a bottle of Jose Cuervo tequila he gotten in Bahrain. He told me to keep it in a safe place and never tell. But I was quickly getting drunk all the time. It was a huge bottle, I was 18yrs old never really drank a lot before, and was hit instantly. One night while going past the command post to do a phone patch I left my backpack with the bottle of Tequila in it at my job. I went back to my tent and passed out.. I woke up sweating with 2 MP’s standing over me saying Airmen _____ report with us to the base commander immediately. I quickly got dressed and walked into the General’s office escorted but M16 holding MPs.. My supervisor who didn’t like me was there with the base commander. They asked me if it was my backpack, I responded “yes Sir” he said then the contents in the back pack were also mine then. I replied “No sir”. He asked what I meant. I said that “ last night I was going to do a phone patch and FOUND the bottle of tequila put it in my book bag to turn in the next day because it was late and I was tired”. As I stood there with what felt like 80% proof alcohol sweating out my pores, I was told that if I told how I got it I would be let off, if not given an article 15 court martialed and tried for disrespecting a host nation laws. I really didn’t care, I didn’t care about the military, the host nation, God or my own life at this point. I was given just an Letter of Reprimand and let go without being article 15 I’m not sure why. But I really didn’t care.. Joy left shortly after that and later so did I. When I got back to the states she told me she had a miscarriage, to this day I never know if that’s true or not or if she had an abortion, but not a day goes by where I don’t think about it.

When I got back my nightmares of the missile warning threat kept reoccurring, and I kept drinking. I was asked about seeing mental health several times but having a Top Secret clearance you would lose it for going to see mental health. I got into trouble a lot after coming back. I got into fights off base knocking someone out outside of a club. And like clockwork a year later of the holiday time, because I was single with no kids and family I was shipped off to another deployment. This deployment I was very depressed I kept to myself a lot and was constantly getting in trouble at work. I was befriended by a master sergeant who I ended up hanging out with a lot. Then something of a sexual nature happened involving another person, and my life was changed forever. It really most likely falls outside the scope of what we be deemed trauma for PTSD, and is one of the most embarrassing things of my life, so I’d rather not go into detail, but I will say. There has not been a day that I’ve woke up and not thought about killing that master sergeant.

When I came back from this deployment most of the friends I had made on base were gone. I was living in an apartment off base and really reclusive. When my term for my four years was up I was excited to get out, but so anxious and afraid. Since 17 military life was all I knew, and all I was. I felt helpless still, and unsure, I still felt life was pointless, God was nonexistent, my government was not fourth right and my life meaningless. Still several times a week I woke up sitting in my desert fatigues hearing the beep of the missile warning system. Many times I wish I would have died out there a war hero. When I came back from my first deployment, I was riding with my supervisor at the time Sgt Dukes and I got nauseas, the lights were blinding to me and my head started pounding. I didn’t know what was happening, he rushed me to the hospital, and they told me I was having a severe migraine attack. That was the first time I had been debilitated by a migraine ever since that day. Sometimes like now up to twice a week. I also at the time found a large golf size knot or bubble growing on my left side of my waistline. My command post coworker said “oh that’s a cyst. I just had one cut off my ass, its going around it just happens” I had it cut open and drained shortly after, it oozed of puss, and blood of all colors, a foul, sour smelling odor escaping from the open wound. They then stuffed it with this alcohol iodine Gauze and proceeded to the wound with this long tape like paper stuffing it deep with a wooden cue tip. I was told id need to do this twice a day to dry it out. That was the first cyst I later would continue to get them until now. I had 3 this past year, and my girlfriend also got them which swelled in her to almost baseball size. I was tested at the va hospital and they said I was a host for carrying something called MRSA and that was what was causing them. They said it is an epidemic in va and military hospitals yet I was never told or even heard of this before.

I took terminal leave and had the whole summer of 05 off with pay, I left in June and wasn’t officially out until August. But I had my best friend fly to Spokane Washington to drive with me to Atlanta Georgia where I planned to move. We had been friends since 2nd grade but the first day staying with me he kept telling me how I changed. How I was so angry. And I he was appalled at the things I said about Jesus and my life in general. And then about the second day after finally making it to Atlanta we got into a fight. I’m not even sure what it was about, but I blacked out and started punching him. When my sister grabbed me and I came to, johns eye was blood shot red, a blood vessel was popped. He shortly went back to Pennsylvania where we are from and it was a while before he forgave me and we talked again. I still felt suicidal, I was unsure where my life was going, what I would do, and didn’t have any desire to leave the house.

My mom who was the reason I moved to Atlanta wanted to cheer me up one day after id been in the house for days. We went out to a restaurant and sat at the bar, she was talking to a guy and I’m not sure what he said. But I blacked out, I started cursing at him and yelling at my mom was embarrassed and wanted to go. As we left we argued in the parking lot on who would drive, we were both very drunk. I ended up grabbing her keys and saying I wouldn’t let her drive, as we sped off we were arguing and I didn’t see a red light and smashed into the back of truck. We panicked! I was still technically in the military and we quickly switched seats and my mom said she was driving. I was so scared. I felt so powerless. And just wished I was dead. The cops came and I had to stand there and watch as they humiliated my mom, made her walk sobriety tests, and when I yelled at them for how rough they were cuffing my mother. They barked back at me and I wanted to snap. I felt like such a coward letting this happen to my mother. I wanted to go crazy and kill these men for forcefully putting my mother in back of a car. I started to yell and curse and was quickly grabbed and arrested too, for Disorderly conduct. My mother and my being booked together. Cells across the jail from each other. The most embarrassing night of my life. They didn’t call my first sergeant. I thought on terminal leave I’m about to go from an honorable to dis-honorable discharge. The next day I was let go, and I quickly put up the money to bail my mother out, I also bought her a new car that next week. She had to go to d.u.i school which I paid for and a fine. But nothing could make up for how low I felt. I really felt like I just wanted to curl up and die. Me and my mother argued more after that. And once while driving in the car with her I was so annoyed told her I wished we were both dead and in the middle of rushing traffic went from driving and put the car in park. Cars breaked and dodged around us. My mother screaming. I didn’t care…

I could barely hold a job after getting out and was fired by many. I got my real estate license but was fired from 2 brokers for arguing with them. I was on unemployment for the maximum amount of time, being more reclusive and drinking. One night with a friend we couldn’t get into a night club, and drunk leaving the club, I shot my gun off in the air and drove off. He was terrified, I was numb. Everyone knew I was suicidal I never sought help. I only went to the va one I got a severe migraine and there was someone to drive me, if not id just tough it out alone.

I ended up getting a job selling heating and air conditioning system. The owner of the company was an unconventional business man. And liked how I had a knack for selling customers over the phone. I was a push salesman and he liked it. He knew I had issues, I told him I didn’t sleep, would come up late as I do with everything, id snap at people, customers, employee’s, but as long as I was signing customers up and pushy enough to sell people over the phone. He kept my job for me, and paid me well. It was like the perfect fit. Until he sold the company. The new corporate company seen me flip out one time and let me go. I was back on unemployment and lost, depressed, when that same boss called me and asked if I’d like to move to new York with a new company he started. That was a Tuesday by Thursday I left my stuff in my Atlanta apartment and was in New York. But he could sense my attitude and mental status was worse. He quickly told me he could not have me at this new location I was not only bad for the company but personally making him look bad as having brought me up here. I was alone again, in New York City, no family, living in a basement apartment on a month to month lease. The basement flooded constantly and on one time when my belongings were soaked the landlord told me I had to leave he couldn’t replace my things. I was homeless! I had one friend in New York from the military a very close friend. He let me stay with him and told me about the hud vash homeless veteran program. But after a short stay he was soon fed up with me. His neighbors told them she was frightened of me. And I blacked out on him, he said he was scared id get violent with him and I had to go. I was out on the streets for months. I tried to go to college to use my benefits but couldn’t perform in school, couldn’t concentrate on work. I finally got my section 8 veteran housing, and am living off my Post 9/11 G.I bill benefits. I have a case worker counselor who is in charge of me being in the homeless vets program and she is the one who advised me to seek counseling for PTSD. Before her I never even thought of it. I started to go to counseling but found it upset me and hated going. My counselor also told me I needed to put claims in for ptsd and my mrsa, and also let them know how bad my migraines are. I submitted the claims but didn’t do much else. They people at VA hospital actually did it for me. I just received paper work in the mail later saying it was open and I needed more supporting documents. And that brings me to where I am now. I’m in school; I failed two classes even though my professors said I’m the brightest student. I just can’t find it in myself to concentrate on finishing works. This is probably the longest thing I’ve wrote in months and I’m a full time college student. I have migraines that won’t let me leave the house 2 or 3 times a week. I don’t sleep and if I do it’s in short spurts and I wake up with a nightmare shortly after. And one of my favorite past times is watching the sun come up while I cry uncontrollably. I don’t know if it’s because I’m sad or happy, it just happens. I still feel like I’m living for nothing, I’m 28 now and watched the last 10years go by from a view point of outside myself. I don’t know who I am, why I’m living or if I even want to go on. I feel like it’s such a process to try to fight for disability, even though more and more people are telling me I should be getting compensation. This is the first time I actually got this all off my chest, I don’t even think I’ve been this fourth right in therapy. My therapist says I have extreme avoidance issues, as well as guilt for feeling so afraid. I’m tired of flashbacks, of helpless feelings and of powerlessness over my life. It’s no meaning and no purpose. I’ll never feel the connection with my family I once did and my friends are few and far between these days. I have no clue how the VA would want me to frame a “case” as to why I have trouble working, or whatever it is to get disability. Hell they have me rated 0% for migraines. If anyone read this I truly appreciate it. I’m not sure if this was for advice or for me but any would be greatly appreciated. I think I may just copy and paste this and send it in as my supporting claims documents. Because I’m really at a loss, and scared of a PTSD C&P

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  • HadIt.com Elder

If you want to win your claim you need to go to the VA and see a psychiatrist and tell him/her everything. Leave out things about your childhood except to say it was great. This is not a run of the mill PTSD claim but I think with new rules you can win it. It is not so much what happened to you, but how you felt about it. If you thought you were going to die then that puts you in the ballpark for PTSD.

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Hello I’m an Air Force vet I really feeling lost, confused and frustrated at this point. I’m currently service connected for Migraines at 0% and just put in new claims for PTSD and M.R.S.A.

Welcome,

Go to therapy and see if the docs can provide some help.

Hopefully a VBA decision maker will request a C&P exam be scheduled

but this might take a while to happen 6-12 months.

JMHO

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