Septembers saturday night post

transformationWell as I have spent sometime today finally updating my windows seven device to windows 10, I began to reflect on a time when I had no concept of the internet or the working’s of a PC.

I harkened back to when my Son first encouraged me to purchase a computer in the late 1990’s or early 2000’s,at the time it was a frightening and very strange thing to me, a foreign concept that I only feared because of my ignorance of something I had absolutely no knowledge of.

We assessed  what we thought my needs were at the time and he ordered and had sent to me a marvelous new thing that I   only looked at for a few days and then began assembling it per the instructions,once hooked up again I just looked at this electric monster afraid that if I turned it on I would somehow destroy it instantly.

Via phone conversations with my son I was finally convinced that I could in fact turn this behemoth on and not destroy it with my ignorance.

So forge ahead I did only to open up a grand new world of information that would eventually ,render knowledge that I wasn’t crazy and that there was an explanation to my condition.

I wasn’t nut’s or going out of my mind,I was gaining the knowledge I needed to heal a life long struggle I had no way of learning about it until this point.

And learn I did I must have and still do seek out understanding of my life ,the pain and the part’s I seemed to understand but not fully.

It eventually led me to seek the treatment I desperately needed to end my, in and out desires to end my life out of the total confusion my condition seemed to leave me in,at many junctures of life.It opened doors I would have never gone through without out this fabulous tool,I had now discovered.

And so with this and my very Happy new life I say to you all who have been beside in my journey ,God bless you all and many thanks for your undying love.

Back soon Butterfly

Facing Reality and Moving On

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Well here we are a brand new year a clean slate to begin a new piece of life art,in that spirit I have to take a long hard look back and then turn back around and see if I’m not seeing things in my future which surely should be left in my past.Truth is I see things that I mistakenly let myself indulge in that just don’t have any foundation in reality I fooled myself into believing that I had somehow eclipsed some precipice and could just go forward thinking I had somehow left behind the reality of what I am and live a normal life as a woman the bare bones truth is I can’t while in my everyday life and dealings with most people I interact with it works like that,but certain of my relationships will never let that be anything near the truth I just have to face the fact that I am what I am and it will never change.I can never enter into a relationship with anyone man or woman ever in my life without this truth being  the focal point of the picture so I must learn to live with the fact that there will always be an asterisk beside the person I am and learn to move on from there and find the positive things that come from  my special God-given character.So I must realize that as I am a woman I’m a very unique kind of woman not one offered that gift by birth but one who took an inner strength that I was born with and turned it into a remarkable gift I can share with the world.Here in front of all of you is where I belong sharing with you my special life and my  failures and successes as I navigate this complicated journey that is  real and all me and all those like me instead of setting my sites on things that will never be I need to celebrate what is my reality and know that it is a gift to some and to me that goes far beyond my here and now understanding something that’s growing and continues to bloom in the springs of life.I’m obviously horrible at finding a relationship that bears the fruit of my life experiences but maybe that’s because I haven’t yet learned to present it in way that is palatable to the right person I’ll work on that,I was born full of passion and passion can be a great tool there are many kinds of it the kind that drives us to better and loftier things and a kind we can share in a very intimate way with someone or many others,all this is the real me and I will learn going forward to share it in the spirit God intended.

Butterfly

Our History

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I encourage you all to read this great article about transgender history,we are all an ongoing part of it.

http://books.google.com/books?id=kEfZ1knAguMC&pg=PT51&lpg=PT51&dq=Cercle+Hermaphroditos&source=bl&ots=Rp7hMcAyz3&sig=K8rpo7sP-JInUVucixz33CV1oaY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=tqswUv2uBIep2gXXpYD4Cg&ved=0CFkQ6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=Cercle%20Hermaphroditos&f=false

 

Remembering the Horror

40 yrs ago today the largest LBGT massacre took place in New Orleans at the Upstairs lounge,this is one the most horrific things to ever happen and it barely made the news at all you will never believe how far we have come in our civil rights struggle until you watch this.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/06/24/remembering-the-upstairs-lounge-the-u-s-a-s-largest-lgbt-massacre-happened-40-years-ago-today/

Butterfly

About being born in November

“November”

 

by Thomas Hood

No sun–no moon!
No morn–no noon!
No dawn–no dusk–no proper time of day–
No sky–no earthly view–
No distance looking blue–

No road–no street–
No “t’other side the way”–
No end to any Row–
No indications where the Crescents go–

No top to any steeple–
No recognitions of familiar people–
No courtesies for showing ’em–
No knowing ’em!

No mail–no post–
No news from any foreign coast–
No park–no ring–no afternoon gentility–
No company–no nobility–

No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member–
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds,
November!34874_137555692941847_2432477_n

Any one born in this gray and dreary month can surely relate to this Poem.

The Haunted….Part four

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I am not here writing about these things to show you how ugly the war was in terms of death and destruction it has been done  ad nauseam  by the media and others what I want to do is bring a another face to this tragedy.As I said in part three I was able to make friends with the very people we were told we were told we couldn’t trust and were out to kill us they needed us to hate in order to fulfill their mission in all this which was purely political in nature. I came to Vietnam during the time when we had the highest troop levels of the war under President Johnson in 1968 we had 549,500 that’s a lot of young men focused on killing and mameing people.So you see I was just spit in the ocean in the grand scheme of all this,really nothing to be even noticed but I want to say that each of us was changed by this in someway,from minor to major changes depending on the level of carnage we were exposed to.

As for me I saw my share of things no 18 year old should ever be exposed to I was airlifted to the jungle with a Marine rifleman on a bulldozer many times to clear landing zones so marine troops could be brought in via chopper to forward assault positions.

One of the Marine units in our area was the 5th marine division they were among the fiercest most feared of all units by the enemy,when there was a trouble spot they were moved there and soon the enemy left or was driven out. These were guys who spent most of their time in the jungle staying so long their socks would rot off their feet ,guys with such bad attitudes they wore fingers and ears around their necks no one the enemy was anxious to encounter in battle.

So you see these young men had been transformed to almost an animal status by being involved in this horrible political game,so I consider myself one of the luckier of groups  While I saw my share of gore it must have paled in comparison to what these guys went through.

Tragedy was happening on all fronts of this, family’s were being killed and separated and young men’s minds were being changed forever.

Thousands of us came home with varying degrees of mental illness,over 50,000 would be lost and their names enshrined on a wall in our nations capital,tragically some who came home were just as dead as the ones named on the wall they fell through the cracks of society and are still out there by the hundreds homeless defenseless and alone suffering a slow death in an ungrateful nation that forced them into service.I lost nearly all my respect for my country over this and don’t think I can ever be on the side of a government that can allow this to happen to men and stand by for over 40 years as they suffer sleeping under bridges in alleys or boxes any where they can with no dignity left stripped of their humanity by the people of a self serving nation that they served with pride.Even as I went down in 2010 with cancer and needed help I was denied by the veterans and the government only to be rescued by my son before becoming one of those fellows.How do I find respect for a government who allows inner city drug gang members to pop out illegitimate children one after one and get there rent and groceries free, while these men of honor suffer in the streets and alleys of my country.Am I bitter about how we were treated by our country damn right I am and so should every one in America with half a conscious.None of us was offered any counseling or mental heath help when we came back we were left to just deal with our issues on our own the best we could and for me and I’m sure hundreds of thousands of others that took years.I feel like I am very lucky to have the level of sanity I have if it were up to my country I would surely have met the same fate as my fellow soldiers who remain in the streets begging to get by day after day. If I ever win one of those mega lotto prizes not one of them will be left out in the cold alone for another minute they will get their lives back and the dignity they deserve for their service to country.I salute you all every one of you and spit back in the faces of those who spit on us as we returned home.

More in part five

Butterfly

The Haunted….Part three

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I assume that from part two you would now be thinking I was going to speak of the horrors I saw on the battlefield,But before we get to any of that I want to relay another story that left deeply embedded images in my mind from Vietnam,and changed the way I began to think about why I was there.

I returned from the DMZ and for a while was put in charge of 80 Vietnamese civilians that had been vetted and cleared to work on the main compound.My duties were to be a liaison and to pick them up from their Village off the compound in the mornings take them to their work stations and get them started each day preforming the various tasks they were hired to do.

Very menial and sometimes awful jobs  that they did for $.50 a day and thought they were rich.These things were cleaning the showers, burning the excrement from the outhouses,Image

these out houses were a plywood building with half a 55 gallon drum under each hole filled with diesel fuel,that were periodically removed and set on fire then replaced and refilled with diesel.

They also filled sand bags and placed them around our vital areas this was done by running a ditch-er in the sand while they held the bags under the discharge,most of them were very small women and this was very hard work especially when the man running the ditch-er was a hater and ran it at speeds they couldn’t possibly keep up with there were times I wanted to drag him off there and beat his ass he was a very mean person.

Anyway Back to the images this experience brought to me,here were people so poor living in grass huts and makeshift shanties without shoes mostly and only one pair of clothes which they wore pretty much round the clock,they had none of the things we have and they are being treated on my base no better than a pig in a pen,yet each day when I picked them up and took them home in the evening they were smiling happy to have a chance to make their $.50 a day.They Had no connection to the war really they were surviving day to day not part of any political direction or ideology.

As time passed I was able through an interpreter to communicate and befriend many of these very wonderful and simple people.I found myself becoming very attached to them and wanting to do something no matter how small to improve their lives. they smoked and chewed this awful plant substance called betel nut,which made them somewhat high as I heard but I would never try it because of the way it made their teeth look.Imagethey seemed fascinated by American cigarettes and were crazy about the menthol varieties especially  Salem and they dearly loved to get their hands on a bar of soap,so I started buying a case of soap 72 bars and a few cartons of Salem cigarettes on paydays and handing it out to them at the end of the day they used those bars of soap to wash everything they owned,I guess even people with dirt floors long to be clean as much as anyone else, as you might imagine I became an instant celebrity in their hearts.I also began smuggling out as many scraps of wood and building materials as I could  for one particular old man eventually papasan told  me he was able to use the wood and materials to build the best house in the vill and now he would be voted king, his family became very close to me,each day bringing me a bottle of (Tiger beer) it was made at a brewery in Quang Tri City built and run during the time the french occupied their country. I couldn’t believe that people who had so little in life could be so generous when it really must have been a big burden to their overall budget.Anyway I guess the point of all this is that my relationship with these nice people caused me to begin seeing our mission in Vietnam in a completely different way,It made the the other more gruesome things seem more odd to me than real.they are all burned permanently into my memories and I often wonder what must have become of them.

More in part four

Butterfly

The Haunted….Part two

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Well now that I’m here let’s get a reference as to just where here is…Image

As you can see by the map Quang Tri province and city are about as far north as you can get in South Vietnam only a few short miles from the Demilitarized zone that buffer between north and southImage

On this map you can see that place I went on my first day Dong Ha was even closer still to that line,and in the next few days I would end up so close I could spit on it ,clearly this is not a very safe place to be any troops coming from the north had to pass by where I was to get into the Republic Of South Vietnam.

As for how I ended up on the demilitarized zone was by quirk of fate one of the things my battalion was charged with during our deployment was up grading 27 miles of the main north south highway and building three bridges over rivers along the way, we were charged with making  a rather run down two lane road with a lot of bomb craters into a four lane super highway  like we have in America.Building roads requires stone there was a quarry On the demilitarized and I happened to be the only one in my unit that took the school on how to set up and operate a mobile rock crusher it arrived with the supply ship that carried  all the things that were to big to come with us by air,and when it was trucked to Vinh Di I was ordered to get it set up and running and train a crew to keep it going.This place was so bad that everything was built underground  because at night it was bombarded by 102 mm rockets almost constantly, during the day we were able to work because we had Marines protecting us. It took about two weeks to get this massive machine going and train about ten men to operate and maintain the thing before I was released back to the rear for further orders.I was very happy by then to be leaving a place that kept you up all night and scorched you while you worked in the day.

Very soon now I will receive an assignment that will begin to burn thousands of horrible images deep into my brain they are still there like they have been taken by some indelible camera. I wish I had never seen these things but they are part of what will change me for a long time to come.

See you again in part three

Butterfly

The Haunted….Part one.

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Occasionally even after over 40 years now something triggers a memory of how my life became entwined in the war is southeast Asia, and how it changed me forever.

I guess it must be a similar story just like hundreds of thousands of very young naive boys of my generation,I was fresh out of high school and just beginning to spread my wings in life,starting a career on the railroad,trying to learn from a new flood of input just what my life’s direction might be,I was and had been flooded by conflict about my own gender,and not really even close to imagining how that would play out in my life.

Of course it was a time in our nations history when the young men who turned 18 years of age had to register for the draft,a selfish political invention of my generation that continuously fed young boys as cannon fodder to the war machine,back then we were heavily indoctrinated toward love of country and duty to it. This knowledge was ever present on the minds of the kids in my generation as we all knew there was a better chance than not that we would be drawn into this,I can remember some of my friends who were even looking forward to going to war as the violence and chance at killing other human beings seemed a thrill they couldn’t wait to experience,while I didn’t at all have this as a dream for my life I did feel a great sense of patriotism toward my country.And then too were the ones whose family urged them to quickly get into college in order to be deferred from the draft rolls,I guess I was too busy thinking about how my life would play out that I just didn’t give the whole thing a lot credence and just wasn’t worried about it too much.

Then came that day when I received that letter from my dear uncle Sam,I opened it knowing just what it was and this set into motion a new and very long set of events that would transform my life for decades to come. I told my mother and I think she began to tremble from that day until I did finally return to her alive,I always knew it must have taken years from her dear and wonderful life I guess that war did that to a lot of moms and dads. We discussed how best to deal with this circumstance and I took my mothers advice,quickly threw the draft notice in the trash and went to see the Navy recruiter the next day,I was a hostler on the Railroad at the time,and operated the locomotives that came in and out of the main rail terminal to get maintained in the locomotive shop,with this equipment operating skill as these locomotives weighed 272,000 pounds each and I sometimes operated them in multiples of two or three,the recruiter said I qualified to get into the Seabee’s on the direct procurement petty officer program,he said if I could pass the tests I would be sent to a school and get out of it as an E-4  which would give me a decent pay scale and I would likely not have to go to Vietnam,that turned out to be a big lie on his part in the end but the whole thing seemed more appealing than just being a ground pounder in the Army Or Marines so I signed up never realizing at the time I would end up attached to the Third Marine Division as a support group for my entire tour in Vietnam

Within a very few days hardly enough to get my civilian affairs in order I and my paper work were on a bus to Indianapolis were the main draft center in my state was was as I waited there on the benches to be processed out to my duty station I saw rows and rows of draftees come in  and get their assignment to service,they were lined up in long rows and the military Sargent’s  would walk down the rows point to each of them saying Army Marine Army Marine,I thought to myself that could have been me. Finally my paper work was processed and I was assigned to my duty station to join my battalion in Gulfport, Mississippi.I would receive my basic training and my advanced training with MCB-128,along with some side trips to Camp Lejeune in the the Carolina’s for hand to hand combat training with the Marine Corps,and a trip to Fort Polk Louisiana for jungle warfare training. Finally after a lot of schools and training I was ready to graduate be assigned my unit get 2 weeks leave and report back to be sent off to Vietnam and begin my tour of duty.I drove my car home and had my last visit with family and friends for a very long time to come,my stepfather God bless him drove me all night back to Mississippi,in the next few days we began being processed for our trip abroad we received what seemed like an endless number of vaccines and last minute instructions before we boarded an aircraft owned by the CIA (Flying Tiger Airlines) and just like that we were bound for Da Nang In Vietnam,a long long flight with stops in LA,Fairbanks AK,Yokosuka Japan,Subic bayPhilippines,and finally we were IN COUNTRY as they said in those days. I spent the night in Da Nang and was sent by C-130 cargo plane the the Air taxi of the Vietnam war a scary aircraft with an open fuselage where you could see the cables that operated the plane moving as you flew along we soon landed on a metal landing mat in Quang Tri which would be my rear base when I wasn’t out in the field,this was a heavily contested combat area along the countries main north south highway surrounded at most times by about 18,000 NVA,it was a compound with about 10,000 American troops from many battalions moving in and out,we deplaned and were loaded onto a cattle car behind a semi trailer and transported to our unit as we passed by the surgical hospital   I could see through the cracks in the car dead bodies stacked in body bags in the hot sun like cord wood 283 of them,and I remember thinking oh my God what have I gotten into will this be my fate!

Within about an hour I stowed my gear in a hooch I was assigned to put on my helmet and flack jacket and was sent to the motor pool to go to work,when I arrived there the man said get take that White tractor and a lowboy trailer and go to the dock in Dong Ha and pick up a load of cement in bags.I replied I just got here Sir I don’t know where Dong Ha is,he said get on that road out there as he pointed and head that way you will find it,I hadn’t even been there long enough to get my rifle yet and I was going off the compound into the country unarmed,I was scared as hell just then but off I went,I did indeed find the dock and got my load and started back then is when things really got scary my White tractor was very old a rehabbed model from the second world war and lacked enough power to get the 22 tons of cement going at times more than 12 miles per hour as i was going down the road Vietnamese people were jumping a board the trailer opening the cement bags and stealing it in what ever containers they had available and still others jumped on the running board of the truck looking me right in the eye jabbering in their language and scaring the living hell out of me,I just kept the petal to the metal hoping I would hit a down hill stretch and get going fast enough to scare them off the truck,I managed to make it back with what was left of my load and cursed the man like hell for sending me out like that with no weapon or protection,He just laughed and off to my hooch I went, this was my first real day “IN COUNTRY”

See you again in part two.

Butterfly