My Epilogue ~ After The Fateful Night Everything Changed… Now What?

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~

Now What?

2 thoughts on “My Epilogue ~ After The Fateful Night Everything Changed… Now What?

  1. Bonnie, reading through your blog posts I see such similarities of our stories it’s scary. But the best part, is that we are survivors! Yes, I totally understand the feeling guilty part. And the long haul of getting to where I am now.

    I have hit a lull in my life, though. I thought I had reached that point where you are now – a point of purpose with your project. I’m still doing well, but seem to have started slipping. I need a purpose again. I’m encouraged by your writings and it’s giving me a spark to start journaling. Maybe that will help. I never did that before in any of my therapy. Anyway, I’m just rambling out loud. Just wanted to say you are doing a great thing! You are reaching people who need what you have to give. Thank you!!

    Dawn Whitaker
    USAF MST Survivor

    1. Dawan, thank you so much for reaching out! Definately write, get it out, we all have a purpose and I sincerely hope that you continue to stay strong, and if you but start to feel like you are slipping, reach out! One of your fellow warrior sisters will be ther for you to help pick you back up! much Love for you! Bonnie

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