marinemommyvictim

The Story of a Female Marine Surviving MST and PTSD

Lost Girl

Every single time I think my life cannot possibly get any worse it does. 

My SNCO will not lay off me. 

I’ve had to request mast and the investigation is on-going but no one tells me what to do while it’s going. I’m still in the SNCO’s care and no one else seems to care. 

The only person I feel like I can relate to lately cannot seem to actually be my friend because his significant other hates me… or at least seems to… and it’s because I’m attractive and confident but I’M NOT THAT ATTRACTIVE AND I’M FAKING ALL THAT “CONFIDENCE” so that I can have some control over every single situation because contrary to popular belief trauma group makes me even more crazy and less in control. I feel legitimately crazy all the time. I’m losing control of my emotions…. I’m not sleeping, I’ve lost over ten pounds in just under two weeks…. I have to work nights which means I don’t get to see my son and he’s with his father and we all know what an awesome guy that d-bag is. Plus, the cherry on top of this is that my grandmother, the woman that I have always always always loved had a heart attack, has pnuemonia, needs another surgery on her leg and has a spot on her lung. 

 

The only time I sleep I have night mares. 

 

I’m lashing out at everyone and there’s nothing nothing nothing I can do to control it. It’s like words vomit but with anger and at the end of it I’m just sad and alone. 

 

I’m just so so sad all the time now. 

It takes everything in me not to cry all the time. 

 

I think of this thing a stranger said to me once, when I was crying… 

“Don’t cry little pin-up girl, life can’t be all bad.” 

But lately it all feels bad. 

Everything hurts. 

 

FML. 

The Book of Revelations

I have a book… it’s like a journal but looks like a book and it’s what I complete all of my assignments in. 

My last assignment was to write my trauma account which means a detailed account of the most traumatic event in my life. I wrote about Bill and I wrote it in detail and then in group or class or whatever we were talking about it and I realized that I’ve dealt with Bill; I did the anger, the sad, the acceptance, the talking, and it’s not the big issue. The big issue is William. The Doctor wants me to pick out the most traumatic event in my life and it’s those straight three years I was with him. It’s not a single event in there it’s the total event. It’s being brain washed day after day with hateful words, it’s believing that I wasn’t worth love or trust, it’s being guilted into sex no matter how I felt… The most traumatic event in my life has been being married to Will. 

This week’s assignment is to re-do the trauma log but this time in parenthesis you write how you’re feeling as the emotions come… So I’m actually going to write about William instead of Bill this week. I’m nervous. I’m going to sit down and do this today so I’ll try my best to come back on here and tell you how it went. 

 

Thank you for your support on here. I know I need to write more on here but it’s hard. I get… very very emotional sometimes and that’s hard to cope with. 

Procrastination of repeat

I’m in Trauma group… learning to deal with my trauma and such…. and the lady who leads the group assigns homework. This weeks assignment was to write, in handwriting, the single most traumatic event experienced in detail. I’ve done that. I did that and then typed it out and posted it on here. Long story short I’ve been procrastinating on this assignment.

Today was SAPR training too which made everything way worse. This C.O. at least seems to be taking this very seriously which is fantastic but the Marines weren’t and the SARC didn’t seem very interested when a girl who had clearly and obviously been victimized in the past went to him for advice… I guess having the C.O. is better than nothing.

I’m so so tired all the time lately. Husband is being wonderful about everything but half the time I forget my effexor and the other half I’m just too wound up from Trauma Group. Trauma group is terrible. I’m uncomfortable about everything and I want to scream from the rooftops at this lady who leads it that I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR MY RAPES. I’m not. I know that. I’m not having crazy panic attacks and I’m not super duper depressed anymore. Yes, I still get sad and yes I still get anxious about rape scenes in movies and cry through some but I don’t think this group, or any other group, will ever take that away. I’m happy with my husband and my son. I’m happy with our puppy and our life. I just… this is three months of crap I don’t feel like doing.

Should

I’m in a trauma group to help me cope with everything that happened and I’ve been saying the worst thing was Bill. It wasn’t. It was my ex-husband. Everything that happened… everything he did… he literally made me believe I wasn’t worth anything. I’ve figured that out. My new doctor (the one who leads this group) noticed I’m angry a lot and wants me to figure out why. She thinks it’s because I have these ridiculously high expectations of the world and people around me. I suppose that could be true. I do expect people to be as decent, caring, kind and honest as I am. I expect people to live by their words and do what’s expected. I thoroughly believe everyone should do the right thing. I believe my mother should have loved me for who I was, who I am, without doubt or question. I believe my ex-husband should have helped me build myself up, not tear me down. I believe the Marine Corps should have helped me more to pursue justice. It leaves you feeling angry. once the anger abates there’s just sadness.

My mother (who reads this) commented on my other entry basically saying I made it up and that I’m lying. My siblings only back me up when they are angry at her.

I’m always angry at her.

I hate trauma group.

I disagree with the leader and every time she comes near me I feel like bolting. She wants to know why I don’t want her near me but I can’t explain it. I just don’t like her. She puts me on edge and it bothers me. I don’t know if it’s just the group or what.

Today she wanted to know why I haven’t been working out so I say “hip dysplasia” she dismisses me. Like hip dysplasia isn’t a real issue. It’s not something that could possibly make it impossible for me to work out. I want to work out. I’d love to work out. I can’t.

I want a candy apple.

See? I crave comfort food.

I am just thankful for me amazing husband and our beautiful son.

I am Jack’s Inflamed Sense of Rejection

I told you how my mother and I are no longer speaking at this point but what I left out was that my grandmother and I aren’t speaking either. My grandma more or less raised me. She was the biggest influence on who I was, who I am and who I want to be. She’s eternally stylish, honest and smart. Always ready with some little quip or remark. I love her. I even have a tattoo for her…. strange that’s the only tattoo of mine she likes… 

She’s up in arms over a misunderstanding. Something she said that I repeated was then twisted and taken out of context and she thinks I’m intentionally doing this. Like I’m intentionally making Ducky think grandma hates her. The funny thing is my grandmother actually does hate Ducky. She’s done nothing but bitch about Matt being with Ducky from the word go. She’s even gone to the lengths of trying to say Ducky was after Matt for his money (back when Ducky worked and Matt didn’t). It’s ridiculous. I have never said something behind someones back that I would not say to their face and it drives me crazy that my whole family does this. 

Either way, here I am today going through my little wedding planning guide and there’s all this stuff for the mother of the bride and the grandmother of the bride and I can’t help feeling… rejected. 

Alone.

I know I have some of the best friends a person could have (trust me, they’re awesome) but sometimes I think to myself that I wish I had a mom. One who cared about me and accepted me and loved me. People now tell me to just wait, that I’m marrying into a family and their mom can be my mom but my Fiance’s mother hates me. Or at least seriously dislikes me. 

I think the worst part is that I know that I’m not being the greatest friend to Ducky because I’m so far away and her new best friend is my ex-girlfriend who I have been trying to be friends with for forever…. Every time I hear that they are together I feel happiness that Ducky and Bettie have each other but I’m jealous. On both behalves. I want to be there too, ya know? 

The last female friend I really bonded with aside from Ducky and Bettie ended up being a lying, manipulative little bitch and there was so much drama and crap to clean up towards the end of our friendship that I just gave up and left.  I guess that sorta makes me sound like a bad friend but I promise I put so much into that friendship that I barely had anything left for me…

I have a few friends out here that I’m close with but I either don’t see them often or there’s something that seems to block any deepening of our bond.

I am trying to continually focus on my amazing significant other and my awesome son but every now and again there’s this feeling seeping through… I mean… if your own mother can’t love you what’s wrong with you?

I love my son, I love my puppy and I love love love my fiance I just wish I had more people to share the joy with I guess.  

Mommy Dearest

I’ve had a rocky relationship with my mother to say the least. I’m one of four children and from the time I can remember we five lived in a two bedroom trailer wherein you walked on top of almost two feet of trash, dirty clothing and animal feces. We had more pets than the average animal shelter I think and we were never well cared for. Lynn (my mother) worked at a bar for much of my childhood and she would pick up men there and go home with them. I met a man, years later, who had been with my mother for a few months and never knew she had children. She never told him. She kept us her filthy little secret and it took  a fire and cps to finally get her to literally clean up her act. There were days, weeks, that we went without food because she didn’t buy groceries and didn’t come home. She used to drop in at 3am with mcdonalds or taco bell and wake us up to feed us because she would have suddenly developed a moral compass but within 24 hours it would be gone and we would be alone again eating cans of mushrooms or staining our fingers with koolaide because it was the only thing left in the house. We used to beg our neighbors, grandmother, cousins for food because we were chronically hungry. We went to school in clothes that weren’t actually clean, weren’t actually washed, and usually stunk of cat pee. We didn’t bathe often and we never learned to clean because there was never anyone there to teach us or help us. When my mother finally drank herself into enough debt that she couldn’t finagle her way out she had to give up the trailer and coerced her boyfriend into letting her live there…. notice I said her, not us. We children were shipped off with my grandmother, in the middle of the year, to a new school in a different city. Lynn didn’t visit. She didn’t call. She didn’t care. My grandmother eventually grew sick of the boys (I have two bothers) shenanigans and kicked us out. It took us sitting on the curb for what felt like hours in the dark before my mother came to retrieve us… it took her longer to explain that we were going to be living with Bob from then on. We traded couches in my grandmothers to couches in a basement. A cold, dusty, spider filled basement. It took upwards of a year for them to make that livable for us and even then it pretty much sucked all the time. We didn’t have doors on any of our rooms! Imagine being a 15 year old girl, living in a basement “bedroom” with no doors and whose brothers share a room mere feet from you. Eventually My older brother began dating this amazing girl, we will call her Ducky. Anyway, she would do these amazing things like bring us dinner because instead of using the extra money Lynn saved to buy food for her kids she ended up bowling in three leagues (sunday, monday and tuesday) then subbing in on thursdays. Bob refused to be responsible for feeding us. We would sit in a decently clean house (thank to Bob) and still not eat until Ducky. She brought us food. She would drive us up to whichever bar Lynn was in so we could pound on the door and yell into the smoke filled rooms for our mother until she finally was drunk enouggh to find the kindness in her heart to come to the door and hand us 5 or 6 dollars to feed three children. Ducky can verify all of this. Ducky saved us, and saved my brother, Matt, from being anymore screwed up than he already was. Eventually years went by and Ducky and Matt married and had a baby but he treated her terribly and the whole family (excluding yours truly) talked shit about her behind her back. They said terrible things and many a time I was found to be at odds with my family over their treatment of her. Matt cheated on Ducky, several times and Ducky always found out, always took Matt back. Finally, recently, Ducky left Matt. She had enough. He was cheating again, treating her poorly and ignoring their child. She left. The whole family had since turned against her, strictly behind her back, and when I stood up for her, they turned against me. I’m sure that they will not attend the wedding if invited and I’m not sure I want to invite them. 

Lynn said I wasn’t allowed to have opinions on marriages since mine failed… I guess I was supposed to stay married to the man who raped me and tried to kill me. My bad. 

Lynn, my grandmother and my older sister also all sat around and talked about how controlling my fiance is and how they all think I’m making some terrible mistake. 

Part of my hates them but more of me just feels sad and alone. My family rejects me for having morals and standing up for what I believe in… I refuse to cave on my morals and beliefs simply because we share blood. I won’t do that. 

 

Masochist?

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I watch a lot of rape movies… like a lot of them. 

It’s almost borderline obsession. To see how the characters deal with it, to see if I can relate at all… It’s like self-education… I don’t know. 

Today I watched one called “mysterious skin”. It’s got Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Michelle Trachtenberg in it and it really was great acting on Joe’s part… the directing was a little if-y. For me at least. But the whole movie deals with trauma. Sexual abuse. While I knew that when I decided to watch it I still wanted to watch it. I knew that it would rip open part of me, make me hurt but there I was, eyes glues to Joseph’s face, hanging on his every teenage swear whilst my blood pumped cold… 

It’s like masochism because it hurts to watch the traumatic portions of these movies but I know that because they are movies, at the end, the characters will be well on their way on the road to recovery. It almost gives me hope. 

There’s a new girl in my group therapy… we’ll call her Sharon. Sharon is a member of the rape club too. She’s in the actual trauma group that everyone thinks I need to get into. I’m scared of that group… I’m scared that they’re gonna judge me, my trauma against theirs… that they’re gonna wonder how I can sit, glass eyed and monotone and discuss it… I’ve learned to turn off almost all the emotion behind it. Learned to trap it in my chest. It sorta feels like a bird in there trying to escape but as long as I keep in control it’s locked away and I’m stone faced. 

I sorta think I might be depressed again but I’m still on the anti-depressants and I don’t want to up them at all. I just don’t know what it is. It’s like… I know I’m happy, I love my boyfriend, my son, our puppy, our new house but at the same time I’m just…. sad. I feel guilty for feeling that way. I want to be happy. I want to be bubbly and cheerful and together but I can’t seem to manage it. 

I don’t want to get out of bed. I don’t want to be awake. I feel tired all the time but I know, I know that I have to get up. It’s strange that when you’re depressed you’re body works against you… You need to get up, see people, be social, eat… but when you’re depressed you don’t want to do any of that. You want to sleep. Cry. Skip meals…. 

I feel like I’m rambling… I’ll go to bed now. 

Thank you for your time. 

Social Weaponry

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I announced on my Facebook that my ex-husband, Will, sexually abused me while we were together. He doesn’t think it was so and maybe it was because I didn’t say “no” enough times or fight back but it was abuse… assault…

He used to do this thing where he’d sidle up next to me in bed, in the dark, and kiss on my neck or rub my hip… I’d say I wasn’t in the mood, didn’t feel like it, whatever and he’d go “but mehhhhh” in this annoying, whining voice. Over and over. Until I agreed OR he’d guilt me. “Its been forever” “why can’t we?” “do you really hate me that badly?” “what’s wrong with me that you don’t want me?” until I felt so bad I’d just roll over and let him do whatever. He used to tell me, after I had our son, that my best friend looked great, the nanny looked great, there were hot girls everywhere… I’d have to practically beg him to tell me I was ok looking. He used to ask when I was going to start working out, when I was gonna lose the weight… He’s always say “you can’t turn a whore into a housewife” because I was a “whore” in high school. I slept around, no more than the average person I just did it in my high school days instead of my early twenties. He always thought of me as a slut, someone who could never be more. He was always trying to “fix” me.

Once I called him out he posted a status about how I’m such a cheating whore and I’m this awful, terrible person and he’s such a saint and I let it make me feel bad… I don’t know what power that ass has over me but he knows exactly what to say to just cut all the way to my core and make me hurt for weeks. It’s such absolute shit. I wish for one day he could feel the pain he inflicts on me. He always says it hurt him more that I cheated (he cheated too) than he ever hurt me but he tried to stab me in my sleep. He refused to let me leave the house. He broke my phone. He was a monster while we were together and I don’t care if people think I’m some sort of crazy whore because I cheated on my legal husband; I am not the person now that I was then.

I would never cheat on my current significant other, I wouldn’t even think of it. He’s wonderful and supportive and loving and honestly has made me happier than I thought I could possibly be.

I’m not saying Will deserved for me to cheat on him but honestly, what do you expect when you treat someone like they’re less than dirt? Eventually they will find someone who treats them better.

Bill

I’ve been struggling with how to format this blog since I decided to write it. How do tell you what happened? In what order?  Chronologically? Worst first? Most violent? Most traumatic? Lizzie says I should just write whatever comes to mind but I’m just not sure how readable that would be… how understandable.

Not this past spring but the spring before it my best friend, we’ll call her Catherine, basically told me I’d become a super bitch. I was angry all the time, I was sad a lot and I had no patience. I thought she was bluffing, maybe I was having a bad week or a bad month but then when I changed duty stations I heard it again. I’d never been called a bitch unless I was angry at someone but I wasn’t angry, I thought I was behaving normally given the stress of moving a household 50 miles and dealing with my ex husband being a super douche and a son going through the terrible twos. Of course I was moody, temperamental, agitated… but it was more than that. I gave it time, I got more sleep, tried eating better, exercising, sleeping but I was still angry. I could hear myself saying mean things and I couldn’t stop it. Sometimes even now it happens. Like “word vomit” and I can’t help it, I feel bad but I can’t make it stop or go away. Finally I caved. In November of last year I went to base medical and asked my doctor for a referral for depression.  I didn’t care about the stigma or about anyone thinking ill of me, I wanted to get better. That’s how I met Lizzie. She told me the truth. I went in and I was facing a probable hip surgery, my father had died, my divorce had been finalized,  my son was going through terrible twos, I had just uprooted my entire life for the Marine Corps and she told me depression and anxiety were normal. Then I told her about the last sexual assault.

By the time the last one had happened I thought “this has happened to me enough I know I’ll live, it’s not a big deal.” I was lying to myself. Just because you were beaten up once doesn’t mean that it’s not gonna hurt the next time and dealing with lots of trauma only weakens you. It doesn’t help you get stronger. It’s not like breaking bones.

In February of 2011 I was raped. In my own home. By someone I had thought was a friend.

My boyfriend at the time was deployed, on a ship hundreds of miles across the sea from me and I had reached out within my command for support. A man, a few years older than me who worked in our Administration section responded. He was going through a divorce, he was having a rough time, he needed a friend and so did I. We hung out a lot, talked a lot; he even crashed at my house once or twice. One night he was too inebriated to drive, couldn’t get home and I let him sleep on my couch. I said good night to him around 1100, walked down the hall (past my sleeping son’s room) to my bedroom and climbed in bed. I didn’t think to lock my door, I’d known Bill (let’s call him Bill) for two years and we were friends, I didn’t need to lock my door.

I heard footsteps a while later, in my sleep boggled mind I thought it was my little man trying to climb in bed so I flipped back part of the blanket and dozed off again. Seconds later I was AWAKE. Bill was on top of me. He had me pinned and he was trying to kiss me, I panicked.  “No, you can’t. We can’t. Please stop. Please don’t. Don’t. No.” Nothing I said mattered. I tried to push him away, I wriggled and squirmed and kicked. He had my wrists and forearms pinned to the mattress just above my shoulders, weighing the rest of my body down with his. He dug his knee into my legs until he got between them and pushed them apart with enough force that I was sure he’s dislocated my hip. He told me “shhhh, its fine.” I cried and just kept saying no over and over. Eventually I remember I stopped saying anything, I just prayed in my head for it to be over. I watched the leaves outside of my window rustle in the breeze and prayed my son didn’t wake up.  When he was done he got up and walked out, grabbing his jeans along the way. I waited a minute, got up and locked the door and cried. I leaned on the door and cried. The sun started coming up and at some point I fell asleep because I woke up to shmookums knocking on the door saying “Mommy? Mommy?” I righted my clothes a bit and wiped my face then opened the door and went to breakfast and clothes for my toddler.

I went in for a rape kit that day, turned over the clothes, had pictures taken of my bruises and went home to shower. I remember my arms hurting with every movement and seeing a grapefruit sized bruise on my thigh… and it comes in flashes so it’s hard to explain but it’s like a super long, drawn out, strobe light memory. I just remember seeing things, hearing certain things, nodding a lot… My eyes were really swollen and at some point I think I must’ve tried to scream because I had bruises on my neck and collar bone… my throat hurt… I remember when the camera kept flashing and latex gloves moving my limbs to get better views…

The rape kit was for naught. Bill had worn a condom and the kit came back “inconclusive”.

No one at work believed me.

So I stopped talking about it.

Ignored it.

Worked with Bill for another six months quietly.

Tried to move on.

It wasn’t the first straw but it’s the one that broke me.

It’s the one that in my opinion was the worst.

Bill.

The Rollercoaster

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Have you ever been on a rollercoaster?

You know how you go up and up and up and down then after a while you know there’s gonna be twists and turns and more drops but you’re not sure of the order and you’re not sure of the timing but you just wait… wait for the next big drop… wait for it to feel like you’re crashing to the ground, about to be swallowed whole by the adrenaline you feel… Living with anxiety, depression and PTSD is like you’re whole life is a rollercoaster. There are good days, bad days, complications… I’m not sure when it’s gonna hit, when my adrenaline or anxiety will start or when the world is gonna rise up to swallow me and I think that’s what makes it so hard. I’ll be out at the movies with my friends, laughing and talking and suddenly, smack in the middle of a movie is a rape scene… and it happens in flashes… The guy grabs the girl and my heart starts pounding. I open my eyes and he’s shoving her onto a couch and the blood in my ears is louder than anything near me. He tears her blouse and I can’t breathe. He grabs her waistband and I’m crying. I’ll cover my eyes, my ears… but I can still hear her screams… her cries… and for the next few minutes I’m not sure if it’s that actress I hear screaming or me… if it’s her nightmare or mine playing up there for everyone to watch…

I always feel like you can see it written all over my face and apparently, according to the people who profile the men who do this, perpetrators can see it. That’s how they target you. They look for the people who are already victims, already in trouble… people who have low self esteem. I would like to believe that I always present myself as confident, outgoing, sarcastic, hilarious… but I’ve been told in the quiet moments, in background of the chaos, you can see it on my face. You can see the trauma, the pain, the sadness… lingering in the corners of my eyes… In the lines of my mouth. I’ve been told I look like I’m on the verge of tears, like I’m just waiting for the right moment, the right words to release the downpour of tears that has built up quietly over the years. I like to tell myself that I’ve come through and I’m still me, that I’ve not changed but I have… I’ve gotten meaner… I’m more obnoxious, less trusting… I push everyone away so I don’t get hurt because friends aren’t protection. Every time I was assaulted I was set up, I was betrayed by a “friend”. Some of you reading this knew me before the last one and you can understand what I mean… others of you maybe not so much.

Trauma changes you. 

Rape.

It hardens you, leaving thick, rough scars. It’s like being a burn victim… an amputee… flesh that was once soft, a caring, kind personality… turns hard. The only thing is no one can see my scars…No one can see the parts of me that were taken, by force, in the night. Whole parts of my heart, my soul… ripped away carelessly, recklessly… and I feel disfigured. I look at people who trust others freely and I can’t understand it. I look at men in the near vicinity to assure I could fight back… or plan my escape in case it’s needed. It’s like those men; they stole my trust, my confidence, and my belief that the world can be peaceful and beautiful. They took that from me. Now I’m learning how to take it back.

It’s gonna be a rocky road and I don’t want anyone who reads this to feel bad, there isn’t much you can do aside from support me and listen when I need to talk. Maybe help share this story, help other people see that you can survive… Maybe you’ll tell someone who really needs to hear it.

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