I called my mom approximated 5 days after that night. I asked her to swear not to say a word to my dad. She told me to go to medical, report it and I did. After tears, crying and speaking to the woman, another individual came into that room. Together they told me that if report the assault, I would be medically discharged. That’s not what I signed up for. I’ve had a plan. I was going to serve in the military as a dental technician and travel the world. I didn’t sign up to get told I have to get out.
So here it begins.
I was on my own and I had to deal with this on my own. No help, no guidance. I was panicked, I didn’t know what to do. My mom did follow up with me, and my new mantra, “Mom, I’m fine and everything is under control.” I was the first to volunteer for a temporary duty assignment out of state. My conclusion, out of sight, out of mind.
Four kids (girls), and 3 husbands later. And all that life throws at one person. I’ve done so crazy stuff. I was a drug addict, a stripper and a few other unmentionables. I have never been arrested, never had my kids taken away, not like there was probably a time I should have, but I cleaned myself up without any help. Its amazing what happens when a doctor tells you, to stop doing drugs or you’ll never have kids can do to a person.
At least for me, I definitely wanted kids.
Marriage 1– was my “Great Escape”. Married (pregnant w/twins) and was discharged at the urging of my husband. Convenient for him since he I later discovered sleeping around with another corpsman while we were married. It took me longer to divorce him then I was married to him. I have 2 amazing twin girls. They rescued me from being lost. I had purpose in my life again.
Marriage 2– well it lasted almost 14 years. Some would say it was my fault, it’s all about a matter of perspective and truth. Not everyone knows the truth. He and I know the truth: that’s all that matters. My kids would say, life for us got better when I decided, enough was enough. I will leave it at that.
Marriage 3– He is my partner, my best friend and the most patient person I have ever known in my entire life. I cannot put to words how amazing John is. He is my protector, and shield as I maneuver through this curve ball at my own pace. He refers to me as a butterfly that is slowly emerging from my cocoon. And he is looking forward to what emerges as I slowly take the steps necessary to heal.
So Here I Am
Over the last few months, I have spent much time adding myself and searching out for women like me in various social media groups. Maybe it was so that I could find someone who has walked my path, both in the past and currently. I think the biggest reason was so that I don’t feel like I am alone. It’s hard to put to words the emotions that I have experienced over the last few years. The emotional rollercoaster, personally and that I have put my family through. If I could put to words what it feels like, I would have to say I am redefining who I am with these memories that I have so long forgotten. How do I move forward? So now what?
A part of me almost feels guilty, as I read the stories of my fellow warrior sisters. Your probably wondering: Why do you feel guilty?
This is the reason why I still feel alone.
I am one of the (if you wanted to say) the lucky 5% of MST survivors that didn’t get a denial from VA when I filed my claim the first time. I don’t know why, I have my ideas and assumptions so that’s all they are and I will leave it at that. My heart breaks for my fellow warrior sisters’ stories that I read. The constant battle they still have for trying to get help. I am really one of the few. I have been extremely fortunate with individuals helping me through the claim process, hospitalization stays, therapists, psychiatrists, yoga, meditation, vocational rehabilitation. The list goes on and on.
I am almost certain some who read this, it will make them angry! I don’t blame you. That’s why I feel guilty, days that I lay low and not post anything! If I could wish all my sisters to have the ease I have had with this whole process, I would. It hurts to see so many struggle day after day, year after year. It hurts to see that this is still even a problem today in our military. So I ask~