Tag Archives: military

The Eggshell People

The Eggshell People live in an Eggshell World
with an eggshell mind in an eggshell house.
They teach their children to be kind,
they wouldn’t hurt a mouse.
But they would be horrified to find one
living in their eggshell house.
They’d buy a sticky board to bind him
or a trap to let him out.

The Eggshell people don’t teach their children about war
or the horrors in the world.
They protect themselves and children
by censoring every word.

TV shows are banned, violence not allowed.
Guns as toys discouraged,
they cling to religious vows
they inspire and they encourage,
their children are terrors to be around.

“Be yourself!”, they say, “Be free in what you do!”
But not too different, and they’ll enforce their rules on you.
To protect their Eggshell World and their eggshell ways,
they will do anything that they can,
shutting out the outside world.
Demanding you be like them.

“Don’t conform!” they say.  But don’t act different from them.
“We treasure individuality!”
As long as it’s indistinguishable from them.

But perhaps you were brought up different,
not in an eggshell world.
Where guns were allowed and horrors abounded
and by five you’d heard every cuss word.
Where the struggle for survival was a struggle to survive
beyond your eggshell world.

The Eggshell people.
Children so unprepared.
Live in ruin around them.
Blind to what they see,
denying all that is around them.
Protecting their culture from reality
in order to build a reality around them.
Like an eggshell world,
their dreams if it comes crumbling down on them.
When reality pokes through,
raising its ugly head,
when faced with pain and horror,
they shrink away in dread.

The Eggshell People.
I have spent my life defending them,
hiding them from the horrors,
telling them “all is all right”
while I died and cried along their borders,
patrolling the world, patrolling the night,
in distant far-off lands,
committing atrocities and horrors
they condemn and can’t understand.

The Eggshell people!
How I envy them,
their minor squabbles and their grace,
not knowing that I died fighting for them,
giving up happiness and my place
peace and contentment
to protect the world they see.
The Eggshell people might condemn me
but without me where would they be?

(the lament of a young soldier . . . a long time ago.)
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Filed under Marine, Matthew

Training

“Animals are trained.  Children are taught.” – E.T., July 2011

That is something that he (E.T.) taught me, along with a few other things.  (“We eat people food.  People food comes from the grocery stores.  Why don’t you STOP asking me if this plant is edible or that is good to eat.”  This from my friend who was also abusing me (verbally and mentally that is).  He is an ex-Intelligence agent (really and truly, he is!).  Worked for the CIA (or MK if you want to put it in other words).  Had me confused with someone else.  But we ‘stopped him’ (albeit a bit) . . . by doing the things that we had been trained to do; taught to do, even as a small child.

And then I came across a post by Faith Allen, called “Child Abuse as Traumatizing as War“.  It immediately set off some issues for me.  And then I realized: it’s because as a small child, I’ve always been preparing for war – a war of some kind against somebody – whether that be my own brother (who, in his turn, was waging war against me – in his own time and his own way, including methods of extreme violence.)  We covered some of this in “The Armageddon Child”, but . . .

We were learning and knew how to make puji stake traps at the age of eight years old.  We knew to cover them with feces to make them enemy die.

We knew how to make basic deadfalls and sh** by the time we were 13.  These were for killing a man.

We knew how to set up a claymore mine by the time we were 8.  The important thing is to always make sure it stays outwards.  There’s a side printed with words like that.  “This Side Towards Enemy” I think it says.  And then you connect the two little wires and run like rats down into your little ‘foxholes’ and wait.

We were practicing firing RPG type weapons – not loaded, but disposables with telescoping tubes and fold down sights – when we were 9 and 10.  We rode in tanks (and learned you’d better be tied down to something – or hanging on tight – as they bounced around).  We did the same “ground jumps” from stationary towers . . . but this was being in the military.  This was part of being “a brat”.  So it was the ‘usual’ thing.

I’m betting a lot of the children ‘in there’ (meaning “The Fortress*”) were trained like me.  Trained in the arts of war.  How to deploy your forces.  How to build a trap.  Smearing puji sticks with feces and stuff.  Playing games of war.  Riding in tanks and traveling with the troops; squatting inside APC’s listening to their commanders give out orders and take reports in . . . cruising the countryside “looking for them” – meaning the enemy soldiers and commanders and things . . . learning how to ‘observe’ them, noting their movements – then going in and ‘taking command’ by misdirecting them and things . . . stuff like that.  Sneaky kinda stuff.  The kind of stuff you do on your time off – for ‘shits and giggles and things’.  That’s the way we were.

I remember being trained on a bow when I was 7 years old.  It was a light kind of bow, and we shot it often until we were very good at that thing.

We were all given BB guns when we were eight years old.  You would get into trouble for shooting someone with them, but we had wars anyway.  BB Gun wars and stuff.  Taking pain – that’s what it was all about: our ability to withstand pain.

We were set on by our first dog by the time we were six or seven.  He was a big one and he was a German shepperd.  He was chained to a tree so he could only stand up (on his hind legs of course) – we thought he was muzzled, but no, I guess not (seeing him quite clearly right now: chained to a big ol’ pine tree set in the neighbor’s back yard – he’s rearing up and we’re approaching him – fearful at times – he’s barking loud and waving his front end all around . . .

and somebody shoves us in; shoves us to him, and he starts clawing on my chest; ripping me down from stem to stern, hurting me kinda bad.  The adults don’t step in (it was one of them – I think my mom, or the other mom – I don’t kinda know) – and I’m left there to fend this dog (he stands way taller than me; I can only reach his chest) – and I’m pushing away and crying and things and the dog is ripping me apart – and then I step back (it’s clear right now) blood running down my chest.  I’ve been ripped from shoulders to bladder and on down – I didn’t have my shirt on, no one wore them (they were too precious a thing; they had to be kept with our pants in the drawers and things, along with our other good clothes)

and he’s hurt me kinda bad I’m dripping blood and things and the adults take me to the back of the brick sided single story ranch house (with white framed windows; there are six panels in each window, each three panes wide, and there are six windows in this house – at this side only; chck chk chk

yes we have seeen the front of this house before and we can describe it to a T but that just goes to show . . .

our training and all

is incomplete.

* – you should read “Military Brats: Legacies of Childhood Inside the Fortress” by Mary Edwards Wertsch if you were (or are) a military dependent of ANY kind – or want to find and know (albeit only somewhat – nobody can truly know or understand anything about it until they’ve been there – and I was “with” the military in one way or another during my first 26 years . . .)

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Sleeping in the Snow . . .

The frosty blew a cold frozen mist across our faces as the deuce and a half plowed along the roads, whipping in from the tailgate end under the green canvas cover.  The heavy green canvas, military grade, was stiff and frozen, like us.  The wind blew sharp ice crystals against our red cheeks, stinging them.  Every once and awhile came the heavy labored huffing and chuffing as the multi-fuel engine struggled to go up some hill.

I looked around.  I sat huddled with some others – our team was split; not out of necessity, but because some of our gear kept us warm.  Having our sleeping bags and backpacks piled up on the ends of the twin rows of hard wooden bench seats helped some.  Having a cigarette in my hand helped some more.  I hunched over the glowing coal, cupping it in my hand for the smoke’s warmth, wishing some of it would drift to my body; then I took another toke.

I was eleven, maybe twelve.  No more.

The boys – all of us, there were about six or seven, I suppose, plus those two G.I.’s – were going on a ‘camp out’ somewhere in the German mountains.  It was cold and it was the middle of winter; the skies were overcast, gray.  Foreboding long fingers and curtains of steel lay across the land; from them a pelting mist fell – half hail, half sleet, and sometimes snow.  All of my compatriots and I were dressed in the same thing: a long pair of ‘Long Johns’ (long underwear), a pair of boots – some  good thick socks on (I think I had two pairs of them), plus a set of warm drawers.  Add to that a set of mittens – or gloves (which I preferred, though mittens kept your hands warmer since your fingers were together all the time).  And field coats – the military kind.

All of us kids wore “Army jackets” – for the pockets if nothing else – especially on these kinds of missions.  We’d spent our days (and some nights) in the bunkers, planning.  These were the old WWII bunkers, left over by the Germans – and there were some secrets there.  Many, in fact, and to tell the truth: some of them are still hidden there, buried beneath that airfield at Fleigerhorst Kaserne.  Seven layers down (I’m told) it went – and only 3 were open to us boys.  Above secret airplanes flew – and sometimes bombs, some of them nuclear.  Us kids weren’t unaware ofeverything that was going on – and we had been told (sometimes right down there in them bunkers; sometimes in some old stuffy office or drills) what was going on.  The shuffling of weapons; the breaking of treaties; it was all old news to us.

We were training for this – how to become expert guerilla fighters (in some ways) – ones who needed no direction, who would ‘band together’ naturally and of their own accord – smart enough to take on the enemy in small groups using hit-and-run warfare; able enough to survive on their own in a ‘nuclear environment’, despite the use of ‘pesticides’ (meaning killing us, meaning killing little boys – and by ‘pesticide’ I mean either a nuclear, chemical, or biological weapon: weapons of mass destruction that they can sneak in through the woods; the smallest crack in our lives – and doing us in.  The good ol’ USA wouldn’t be the good ol’ US of A anymore.  It would be the United States of Russia.

And we were the front guard.

Just a bunch of little children – Army brats being trained; being told: this is what you do.  This is how you survive.  This is how you fight back when you engage the enemy.  This is where you run to.  Things like that.

Things like ‘how to hook up a Claymore mine’.  “How to fire a machine-gun (look out; it rises and bucks to the left . . .)”.  How to open a parachute.  How to come in for a landing when wearing one (low; at a half-crouch, preparing to take the shock; rolling, rolling, rolling with the thing – then out comes the knife; off snaps the lines – and you are prepared.  Grab your weapon and move on . . .)

How to live in a cave – a dirt shack; a ditch; in the woods; in a meadow – how to ‘hide’ in plain sight (if need be) – how to stay motionless for HOURS; not to move, not for anything (not for a bug biting you – or a million of hot ants crawling all over your body – or bee stings – or even dying some of the times . . . it felt like that sometimes; like you were dying inside.  Usually from ‘holding your breath’ – though someone was holding it for me I suppose, on the other end . . . dunno.)

Crazy stuff to be sure . . . but getting back to that trip in the snow.

We spent three days there – living off cold C-Rations, wrapping ourselves up in our sleeping bags (Bag, Sleeping, Artic: Down Filled . . . good down to 0-30Degrees. Centigrade.)  Sleeping with just our nose sticking out – buried in the falling snow at night, snug in our warm little cocoons.  I still sleep with a fan on me, reminding me of that thing – how beautiful (and cruel they seemed sometimes!) – the stars staring back at me from out of the night; my breath warm and frosty at the same time; those puffs of air rising out into the cold . . .

You could look around you – this would be at about three o’clock in the morning – and you would see these humps where these sleeping bags lay – and at the end of every one this tiny dot; this little cave, with steam in the moonlight rising.  It looked cool – and the silence of the snow bound woods (except for the occasional thump of falling snow somewhere from some branch that was off-loading) – and the dark pines rising up – white above; dark below; their thin trunks like knees hugging the ground . . .

It was a beautiful place; a haunting memory; just one of several.

And I don’t really know what all it means; who I was a part ‘of’ (it was supposed to be in Boy Scouts; but we met in a bunker and things.  It even had gas-tight doors which swung closed with great iron lever bar latches.  Grey in color they were – and heavy as all get-out.  It took two of us boys to make the really big doubles ones swing sometimes; it was all I could do to push one – just a heavy one – closed.

Just strange.

I think I need – I should – examine the period some more.

 

 

That’s a type of truck; a military one.  It looks like this:

 

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Infiltrate, Assimilate – Move On: The Army Kid

Infiltrate, assimilate – that is what we were trained in.

But on the other hand, isn’t every kid ‘trained’ – instinctively driven by Nature – by the need to infiltrate and assimilate the world around him?

It makes sense to take a kid – subject him to all kinds of different environments – and see how well he fares – how he assimilates and integrates the world around him into a life of his own.

And what happens when you take this kid – as soon as they have ‘assimilated’ and grounded themselves in the world they are in – and yank him into a different world.  And then another one.  And another.  And another.  Ad infinitum.  On and on it goes.

What happens when you do this to a child who is six, seven, eight years old?  Nine, ten, and eleven?  When you keep jerking him to and fro – changing not only the outside aspects of his world, but the inner ones as well?

What happens when you yank him here and there – letting him assimilate one culture at a time – in a whirlwind blur?  When you go from abusing them in one moment – and then ‘abuse him nevermore’?

Never happens, never did: the abuse goes on: it just changes form, like the world around him.  It went from physical to mental and beyond.

What you end up with is an extremely adaptable child – one who can fit in anywhere – and yet due to what’s happened to him, fits nowhere – nowhere at all.

A lost child, but NOT a bewildered child – one who is just struggling to get along – cope with what he is feeling (without having those skills – that, too, is something he has taught himself: how to get along.  Not just with others, but himself as well – learning to ‘manage’ his disparate selves; how to ignore them – how to ‘get along’.

(shhhhh . . . don’t tell him how.  Let him figure it out on his own . . .)

You are not allowed to ask any questions.  Puzzles placed before you – entire foreign lands – and you are ‘dropped’ in to ‘assimilate’, infiltrate, move on . . .

And being from a military culture, what does this kid zoom in on?  Why military things of course!  Targets and assets and the like.  Noting them in his mind.  As well as the way the people speak; dress, do their hair.  Mannerisms and gestures – everything! we simply absorb it in . . .

making it ‘ours’ – or rather, a ‘new one’s’ – that is, a new personality in our mind.

That’s what I think we did.  Making a ‘new’ one all the time – each time we’d move (which is why I don’t remember the thing; ‘we’ were blanked out for moving, and we’d ‘awake’ into this new environment – and the the assimilation process would begin.  We would begin to change, inside as well as out (meaning in behavior, thought and things).  We would begin to become one with them (whoever ‘them’ are – or were in the past) – those ‘foreign beings’ – becoming one with them, in them – because of them – our mimicking skills gone wild – adjusting and controlling from within . . .

until we were ‘there’.

We would have one of ‘him’ – or ‘them’, if you prefer.  An ‘alien’ entity; another part of ourself to ‘carry on’; move on – thrive and survive in this ‘new society’ of ‘his’ . . . becoming ‘like them’, one with them in ‘mind, body, and soul.’

All the good Germans said “What a good German he’d make!” not only when I was just a child, but later on . . .

the black folks at work said the same thing . . . how I was ‘like them’, was ‘one of them’, which was why they could talk to me so freely.  (and yes, I can imitate them quite well . . .).  Not dispargingly so – but FEELING it, and BEING that sort of thing – not a white man anymore, but something different – a kind of ‘blend’ . . .

same goes for abused children.

Same goes for just about anything.

I can sympathize with the psychotic; I can get into their head; I can sympathize with . . . just about anything – which kinda tears apart my mind, heart, emotions sometimes.

Being DID is more than just a feeling . . .

It’s a way of thought.

(thinking I might assimilate this thing . . . this computer I’ve been working on . . . LOL’ing going on . . . nothing, no emotions, just pixels on the screen . . .  and I’m turning it off right now.)

Until later . . .

a troubled Jeff, et all, and Friends
(mostly Matthew’s in here; this one, as well as our small child, and I, the being called ‘Jeff’ am a little bit perturbed . . . this ‘job’ I’ve had in mind is a little bit more difficult than I’d thought, my friends inside . . .)

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Don’t Ask; Don’t Tell: Random Art

We’ve been working the last few days on some art.  Or rather some art has been working with us.  What started as a simple “Shapes and Colors” exercise turned into something else . . . a therapy session I reckon – I don’t know.

Don’t ask – we don’t know exactly what or where this all comes from.  And we aren’t quite sure we could tell you, anyway.  The following art was done while ‘processing’ – letting the images flow and feeling the feelings that come.  I just know that even now – doing this artwork was somewhat unsettling – stirring anxiety, ‘hidden’ feelings – and the feeling that I should keep this ‘stuff’ well hidden – never showing anyone these things.

We know what some of this ‘stuff’ is – and we suspect other things as well.  But you be the judge.  This isn’t some art contest (otherwise we would have used better materials and techniques).  It’s about discovering something about our collective pasts.

We know what we think: we think ‘this’ is the product of “13” (one of our alter personalities) – or Mikie’s interpretation of what “13” saw and/or did – or perhaps even another one, “Jeremy” – the boy who was stationed in Germany for so long.  (Each of these names, by the way, is another aspect of my personality that ‘broke off’ from the main one . . . a long, long time ago.)

With that said, here’s the “art”:

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This was the piece we did about four or five days ago: 

Since it is important to know what we were feeling and thinking while doing this (and believe me – just looking at it on this screen gives me the heebie-jeebies) . . . it started with the Bunker (which wasn’t a bunker at all; it was just going to be shapes and colors) – and then it grew into this thing.  Phrases started to develop towards the mid to end of the work.  Second was the “small packages” and the strong feeling that we were going there to ‘pick them up’ – but that it had to be done in secret and nobody in the Bunker could know (they are supposed to be ‘hidden’ in some bushes there, but we had to show them – which feels like a ‘wrong thing to do’ – showing someone else where the packages lay) . . . and finally there is the APC (armored personnel carrier) which (strangely enough) we labeled “The Welcome Wagon” – that is our ‘destination’ after we’ve gotten done. . . .

Weird stuff, I know, I’m sure – but the second pic has so much more going in it.

 

Again there just slightly left of center – our beginnings of “Shapes and Colors” . . . and then it ‘evolved’, us just letting it flow . . . and this is something weird.

We know what most of this stuff is and where.  It is in Germany – and those are the German mountains in the background (See the cross?? It functions as an antenna.)  There are planes (spy planes – the word that comes is “Warthog” but in fact that is a cross-link in my head between the appearance of a Warthog and the real thing: A Mohawk, a type of military spy plane used during the cold war over the border (East German border right here) – and that “Untergrund?” – a variation on the word “Underground” – for this is an underground installation (you see the arrows ‘going down’?).  There are military trucks (we count two of them, deuce and a halfs, two, just two – and some men are meeting them) . . . a ‘facility’ (underground?) – more Mohawks taking off into the air – that’s one there in the bottom left hand corner, we’re sure.  And the cell phone – is it a cell phone?  We are not sure.  The vast rings surrounding everything are communications going out and going in.  The color was added last – we tried to color some bushes over the underground ‘cubicles’ (the “Untergrund”) – just a lot going ‘on’ in this picture . . .

and ‘we’ are the one with the phone.

Thirteen years old; maybe younger.  Not certain if this was real – this could be a misinterpretation of events by the 13 year old, or little Mikie (his friend) – seeing things through ‘his’ (13’s) eyes – we’re not sure.

And so (final tally): being as we have NO clear memory of doing this (spying, counting, sending in logistical info; intel on their troops and things) – we are going to “discard” this thing as a “not real” – a figment of our imagination . . .

and hope that it is true . . .

while at the same time feeling upset, antsy and anxious whenever we view these again

without ever really knowing why.

Sincerely,

et all

jeff and crew

(sorely confused by now, LOL!  But good.)

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Filed under 13, art, child abuse survivor, DID, Mikie