VA Part 3

I waited all day for a call from the supervisor.  No call came which, on the whole, didn’t surprise me.  I am contacting an attorney tomorrow.  If they take the case i’ll probably have to stop talking about it here but we’ll see.

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VA Visit, Part 2

I was awake all night.  couldn’t sleep for shit, i was too angry.  i spoke with several people and became more and more convinced that what happened was blatant discrimination.  so much so that my veteran friends urged me to go back in the morning and contact the Patient Advocate.  so i did.  they couldn’t believe it.  they agreed that what she did was illegal and were going to write a formal reprimand for her.  they then took me and we went to the records section where they hand walked my name change all through the system until it was done.  it took about five hours to complete rather than the “two weeks or a month…but they won’t accept it and they will send it back” than the clerk originally assured me would happen.  her supervisor agreed that her actions were illegal and was going to write her up.

i asked her why she was so angry, being so mean, contentious and disrespectful to me… she simply rolled her eyes up, turned her back on me and muttered something about me being too stupid to understand what she was saying.  with incredulity (given that she had not been able to read the document that she had recently handed me) i asked her if she was actually serious… if she seriously thought that the language that we were both sharing and communicating with was something that i didn’t understand.

it was one of the single rudest, most disrespectful experiences of my life.

i have decided to retain an attorney and the Patient Advocate and her supervisor thought that may be a good step to take.

i was screwed over in a civil rights way before and i didn’t understand and was too fearful to fight for my rights.  not any longer.

San Francisco, Oct 2012

San Francisco, Oct 2012

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VA Visit Part 1.

Met with the psyche treatment team and they seemed concerned and interested in what was going on with me.  it remains to be seen if that is actually the case however.   they seemed, on a personal level, nice enough.

The real issue, however, was what happened when i tried to get my name changed.

The clerk behind the desk asked for the last four of my SSN, which is a common way that the military/VA does shit, and so i gave it to her.  While she was pulling up the record i was laying out two valid forms of documentation showing my name change:  a valid state issued drivers license and a court ordered name change.  The clerk rolled her eyes at me, smirked at me and then asked me for my Social Security Card.  i told her that it wasn’t a valid form of ID and, more importantly, i had two other valid forms and, if she really wanted, i could verbally verify who i was and even provide other information demonstration who i was.  she laughed, told me she was following regulations and didn’t do it.  she claimed continually that the VA would not accept a court order.  she then condescendingly highlighted the document requirements and told me she wouldn’t do the paperwork.

Angrily i left to take care of another task in the VA hospital.  while waiting in line i pulled out the document she had given to me where clearly, since she had highlited it, it listed that i only needed ONE piece documentation and that a court order or drivers license would have worked.  i was livid.  i walked back to her and told her to read the paper.  she didn’t understand it and said that she’d have to call her supervisor but that he was gone for the day and all the rest of that crap.  i finally just dropped into command voice and told her to do her job as she was legally required to do, to shut her mouth and just do it.   as she was doing it she then started, quite loudly, praising Jesus for bringing people like me into her life to teach her patience.

I deal with PTSD already and it’s taken me years to get the courage to go seek help there and then this happens?  i even explained that there were new regulations and all the rest… none of which she was aware of.  she claimed that policies issued by the VA don’t make it down to her level.  i was incredulous.

Jan, 2013

the holidays were really hard.  harder than i would have possibly imagined that they could have been.  it was one of the most depressing and horrible times i’ve ever gone though and knowing that i wouldn’t be able to make it back East for my son’s birthday was even worse.  the end of the year is going to be problematic for many years to come i suspect.   the ex has been particularly mean recently even going so far as to actually make fun of me for being abused as a child.  what sort of person would or could do that, to anyone, let alone to someone that they once professed to love?

i’m scheduled for my first VA intake appointment today and i’m terrified.  i will get through it but i’m terrified of the humiliation and embarrassment that will, inevitably arise, from being misgendered and misnamed.  it’s a process but it is a very difficult process.

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