Tuesday, December 11, 2012

"Sexually Enslaved"

I heard that term for the first time in connection with MST yesterday.  It came from here:

Uniform Betrayal: Rape in the Military (Movie)


 My wonderful Vet Center counselor mentioned in group that she had come here as I hoped (thanks tons and tons Doc-C) and said that she had watched that movie.  Its from Jennifer
Norris's link Justice for MST Survivors here on my blog roll.  I hadn't seen it yet, so I watched it yesterday.  Wow!    Very powerful. Thank you bunches to Jennifer for posting it!!!

I got a lot out of it.. and even took notes. Took me much longer to watch it because I kept stopping it to back it up, hear what they said again, and then wrote down what I felt were important aspects of it.

The words in today's subject line jumped out at me.  I know that many of the MST survivors were raped repeatedly, by different men on different bases.  Same with me.  But that term 'sexual enslavement'.. stuck.  Because it really, really accurately describes how I felt on both my bases. 

Both times.. 
The first... C-the-MM2 was my boss, and put me wherever he had the best access to controlling me at any given time.  Usually it was a closing job at one of the Special Services assignments.  Like the tool room at the auto shop area.  Or running the on base theater.  I learned that was to be the 'norm' of my life on the air-station I was on.  He's put me where he could attack me anytime he wanted.  And I had best comply if I wanted it to end quickly.   So I did... that lasted for almost 2 years. I was indeed, his personal sexual slave.

On my next base, it was two Sea-bees,  BU1 L and his buddy CE2 P (both supervisors over me) that took turns torturing me.  Like a pair of vicious Velociraptor'sSometimes it was one at at time.. others.. it was both of them at once.  They were mean fucks.  Didn't matter how much I begged them to leave me alone.. they'd just laugh. They had been on other bases before, and it was obvious they had their tag team drill well oiled.  On a huge wooded base, in the grounds maintenance dept.. turns out there were years of opportunities, again, for continued abuse.  My supervisors would send me out to a isolated part of the base with a weed whacker and then come attack me where no one could see.  It was.. terrible.  L was the most violent of them. He loved to hit me in the jaw before he choked me into unconsciousness, just to wake up to him slapping me awake so I didn't miss any of the 'fun'.  And if I didn't cooperate with him, do all the things he wanted... he hurt me much much worse.  I learned to do it to get it over with as fast as I could.   They were all careful not to leave marks where they could be seen.  But the bruises on my other parts were often horrendous and I would have to be very careful that no one saw them.  That also meant it was hard for me to ever be with anyone intimately.  Which funny enough, I did crave.  Just to be held and cuddled.  To be able to share my nightmare with someone.   There were some I think I could have gone and talked to, but I didn't want someone else to blow up and damage their careers because of me.  So I just.. sucked it up until I got out.  They were both there, still at it with others when I left.  I'm so sorry.. I wish I'd had the strength to stop them. But I didn't.  I could only do my best to survive. 

So for me.. the first was a rape... when the Iranian pilot attacked, raped, sodomized me and beat me specifically so I couldn't have kids two weeks after I got to my first base was a one time rape. That it was covered up, I was told to never tell anyone and that it was a matter of national security in 76... was one thing.  But I never had a term for the long and continuous abuse heaped upon me for years by the other 3.  Sexual enslavement. Yeah.. unfortunate. but that's the term that feels most accurate in describing my experience.  


I can see and feel so much of what they took away from me. How they made me live my life, how they screwed it up and how I have been so so messed up.  How did I keep it all secret for 35 years???  How is it I can feel guilty for not stopping them, for not keeping them from doing it to others?  I knew there were others. We could never look at each other or even talk to each other.  It was just too awful to contemplate.  Too embarrassing, and certainly humiliating. 

There was never any choice about what happened to me.  I didn't get to decide and participate as some folks like to claim happens in these cases.  This was not consenting adults remotely. 

Well.. I guess it's all come home to roost now. And it does sometimes feel like all 35 years are here, right on top squishing me down.  


It's out in the open now. I have friends, an amazing Vet Center Counselor.. a great psychiatrist at the VA,  and my special K.. who keeps me grounded and supports me like no one ever has in my life.  He has given me back parts of myself that they tried to destroy. But because of him, I am also stronger then I ever was.  He has given me back a joy in intimacy that they took away for most of my life.  And he's been there since before it all blew up.. and he's supported me every step of the way. 

I am more then blessed...and I know it.

I am so much better off now then I was just a year ago.  And there are these amazing comrades in arms.. all the ladies and men in the Invisible War, Uniform Betrayal.. representatives like Jackie  Spier and others who are shining lights on the military cockroaches to watch them run for cover.  STOP THE LIVING SHIT OUT OF THEM I SAY!!!!!!

Yaaay for my blog where I can be as snarky as I wanna be, and any asshats will get thrown the F out!

Thanks again to any who come here to read.  Your comments and support are greatly desired. 

Over and out, 


Friday, December 7, 2012

The Invisible War Showing's in March and April in Houston

Found this online today.. putting it here for a reminder and to share! 

Spread Truth.  Hear It.  Speak It.  See It. 

If everyone knows then it’s not a secret.  #NotInvisible

Presented by the University of Houston and the Women’s Resource Center {Houston, TX}
Wed, March 6, 2013, 8:30am – 7:30pm
Houston, TX
Invisible War Screenings
March 6, 2013 08:30 am & 5:30 pm Presented by the University of Houston and the Women’s Resource Center Houston Room (Rm 251) University Center (Bldg. 565) 4800 Calhoun Road Houston, TX More Information: (832) 729-3413 www.uh.edu/veterans
and this one too:
Presented by the University of Houston, Clear Lake {Houston, TX}
Wed, April 17, 2013, 5pm – 7pm
Houston, TX
Invisible War Screenings
April 17, 2013 5:00 pm Presented by the Intercultural & International Student Services, University of Houston, Clear Lake University of Houston, Clear Lake 2700 Bay Area Blvd Houston, TX More Information: (281) 283-2578 www.uhcl.edu/ii

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Invisible War and Triggers

Last night, K and I went to my local Vet Center's Christmas dinner.  I knew that several other ladies from my MST group would be there and sure enough, two of them were there when we got there.  We got our chow first and then sat down with them.  There was a nice lady sitting directly across from us who turned out the be the wife of one of the male counselors at the Center.  After a bit, an older vet sitting next to her and asked me what branch I was in.  Navy. Then he asked if I was in Desert Storm, I said no, I was in '76-80.. then he asked if I was a Viet Nam vet. (See, only combat veterans and now, MST veterans go to the Vet Centers for therapy, not majority of veterans.) So he persisted in asking what war I was in. I finally said "The Invisible War".  After a moment he said "That doesn't exist".  WRONG!  I was there, I was in it. I can't have kids because of it, I was beaten and raped for four years, by my BOSS'S!!!  But I didn't say any of that out loud.. and today, I am kicking myself for it to some degree.

 I immediately stiffened up and K put his arm around me, giving me Reiki and comfort as I struggled to to not A) call him a bad name B) break out sobbing.   I had to give myself Reiki and take some really deep breaths.  I struggled and struggled.

I'll let it go that he just doesn't know about it.. But .. if he goes to a Vet Center.. and we ladies are going there because of it.. then I think they SHOULD know.. it was very upsetting to be challenged until I came up with the 'war' that 'qualified' me to get help at the Vet Center.  And then, to have him say it didn't' exist

Thank goodness for K... as he knew as soon as the exchange started that it was gonna be rough. I had been doing mostly okay till there. There was more then a little of that macho veteran vibe going on in the room.  But up till then, I'd been able to breath through it. After the exchange, I sat and shook for a bit.  The man left at some point, but the damage was done. I watched the clock until it was time to go. 

What did help, was that some of the girls from the group were giving me the thumbs up on K, saying how cute he is and how sweet. Yup.. that's him, my RL Hero.

By the time we got home, I was mostly alright.  I got much better after looking at Facebook and seeing the boost I needed:


Pretty good for something none existent huh???

Later, I heard K call his buddies something that made me both laugh, and give a harsh nickname to that veteran. MONKEY FUCKER. Yup... crass as all get out, but I likes it!

Let's keep our fingers crossed that The Invisible Warm gets Documentary of the Year.. That would sure say a lot to those of us that are veterans - and survivors of it.   And maybe, educate some others about the existence of it and then help end it.

Over and out, 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

What I'm Thankful for? Getting rid of The Tooth!

The Tooth came out today.  

I was upstairs, when I sneezed, and it flew out.  I stood there in shock for a moment, then sadly picked it up.  I let out some sort of wail, and K called out to me in return and I went downstairs holding the sorry stubble of  it in my hand.  He met me in the living room, and held me as I cried.  He asked if I was okay (meaning physically) and I said yes, it hadn't even bled.  

It wasn't unexpected, but as they say, still a shock.

I'll write here about The Tooth just as I had to tell the story to K last nite, and my best friend this morning on the phone. We are camping with her and her hubby over Thanksgiving and I know this is gonna affect me some. She's been of amazing support as my first and best friend since I got here.  She is a National Guard veteran and went with me to my ENT appt.  I don't know what I'd do without her!!!


>Deep breath<

The story of The Tooth...

The first time that L forced me to give him oral sex I was stunned by it all and was scared to death and so capitulated easily.  The second time however, I was was in a foul mood and I 'accidentally' bit him.... well.. he hauled me off of him by my hair and punched me in the front of my mouth, stunning me into submission. I clearly remember feeling the bit of broken tooth in my mouth and thinking and feeling terrible pain in my jaw.  And then "Oh fuckin shit, the bastard broke my tooth!!! Which one? "  shortly before he choked me into unconsciousness.   He did his thing with no further interference from me. I came too and he was gone.  I then felt the sharp edge of the newly chipped tooth cut the underside of my tongue. I sat there in the weeds that hot summer day and sobbed.  I never fought him or anyone else again.  I looked the first chance I had when I got into the bathroom back at the shop (we'd been out on the back 40 when he attacked me again) to see one of my lower teeth chipped and now notably shorter then the others.  My perfect smile that my mother had been so proud of, that she hadn't had to pay for braces to have straightened like my brother, was now off.  It was only noticeable if I smiled widely.  But... for the rest of my life, The Tooth would haunt me.  

The first time I saw my mother after that had happened, she mentioned it right off.  "OH, NO!  What happened to your perfect teeth?"   I had totally forgotten about it.  I was frozen, and then, the incident that someone else had gone through flashed through my head, and I found myself using their story. "Oh, I was dumb, I was standing too close to someone when we were golfing.  I thought I was far enough away, but they turned and I got smacked."  In reality, I had been the one swinging the club and a friend had been standing behind me, and had gotten one of their front teeth chipped from it. My mom looked at me stunned.  "Well that WAS not so bright."  But thank goodness, she never mentioned it again.  

So over the years, the tooth has always been just a little lose and has hurt but stayed mostly steady.  I've tried to be careful to not have to take bites straight down with just my front teeth.  I tried to never look at my smile too long and I became reticent to be in photographs with too much of a smile.

About two years ago, one of the other teeth on the left side of my jaw broke and then shortly after that another on the left, but closer to the front.  I had no money to pay to get them taken care of and they were not terribly painful if I kept temperatures away from them. But then at the beginning of this year, they began to give me more and more pain. After K and I relocated to TX in March, I developed a awful infection in my jaws and the pain got terrible and (bless his heart and a gazillion thanks to God for giving me a Hero just when I needed one) K had me find a dentist and gave me the money to go get them taken care of.  He had planned to redo our kitchen wares after we moved, but felt this was much more important. I hope to be able to do it for him after I get granted the unemployablity.

I want to say I was again, blessed in that I came across two wonderful lady dentist's and their assistants and nurses who were all very kind and understanding to me.  Because I can't talk about my teeth without crying these days.   i mean.. you have to tell you doc why you are in the condition you are in.  

 As expected, the lady dentist I found via Yelp gave me some antibiotics, but then told me that she did more cosmetic surgery, and the results of my 360 scan was that my jaw was in too bad a shape for her to be able to work on it.  

She said because of the sever damage done, I'd need to find another dentist to help me though. She did give me a huge discount for being a veteran and she was amazing.  She also give me antibiotics and a refill because it took a while to bring the raging infection down so the next dentist could pull them safely.  I then found a very nice one, and she also gave me a veterans discount after hearing my story and did an amazing job pulling my teeth.

 A note about the emotional side of this was that after first dentist he sent me to did a 360 Xray thing. She said that my jaw looked like it was disintegrating, I had severe TMJ, and had I ever been hit in the jaw?  I was stunned by her question... and suddenly.. it all came back.  The numerous times that I'd been hit in the jaw by L in particular over the 2 years he did his thing.    After I buried it all so deeply, I never connected my tooth and jaw problems with that.  And she noted, as I had tried to ignore, that The Tooth, was getting wiggly.  So I have been dealing with the mentality and reminder of these teeth and jaw problems origins.  This was a huge eye opener for me, and I have discussed it at both group and with my therapists since I've been here.  The ENT docs who told me to get a private dentist... well.. the angst with that was also part of all the jaw and tooth pain from that abuse years ago manifesting now. 

On Monday - yes, Veteran's Day ironically.. The Tooth began to feel much worse.  It got looser and looser. Last night, as we were driving to dinner, K asked me what I was thinking (as the blessed man is so prone to do to keep an eye on my brains thinking, cuz the rule is I HAVE to tell him the truth about it) and I began crying as I told him that I think I am going to be losing The Tooth soon.  He asked why it upset me so much.. and then.. I lost it. .I began sobbing and began to tell him the story I have just written to all of you.  And this online Journal, which it still is.  Last nite, when I was telling K about it,  is when the name "The Tooth' actually came to me.  Ever since Mon it's been hurting terribly, feeling like a knife cutting into me, and hence my decision to lose it and not save it. I'll start new with an implant first chance I get.  So this has brought it all roaring back up.  

This morning, when The Tooth was finally expelled from me, I held it in my hands and then felt the bottom of it, and it is VERY sharp, a point.  And that's what's been digging into my jaw all these years. Rocked away from it's roots by that blow, it's just been there.  Now my damaged jaw couldn't hold it anymore.  But you know what? It feels better now.  That dammed this is out, and it almost feels like expelling L.  Except now, I have this horrid space in my once perfect smile. Brought on by an asshole.  

K and I had a good talk about it though, and in the New Year, I'll be going to the dentist and finding out what to do about getting it fixed.  Maybe a plate to start just to cover it up until I can get the implant.  I'll call my cousin sometime this weekend and get his opinion.  

As I've been writing this all out, it comes to me that I'm gonna try and look at losing The Tooth as a metaphor for getting rid of L's control of me by not having to feel that dammed thing  I have to say, it feels better to be rid of it, then have it. I'll look forward to accomplishing the goal of getting nice strong teeth to replace the ones that L distroyed. But for now.. The Tooth has been vanquished and resides in the bottom of my jewelry box.  And as I get better and survive, and then advocate, I'll use it to spur me on, as it was a spur within me for so long. 

We have plans for a Thanksgiving party with our new wonderful community of friends tonight, and I'm actually glad that thing came out when I was alone then at that party like I was worried it might.  So I'll go off with a clean slate (as best I can) and have a good time.

I'm also Thankful for everyone who comes here to read this. It's is my journal, but to know that some support is here means a lot to me.  Please leave a message about something your thankful for if you can. 

Wishing everyone the best Thanksgiving possible!

Over and out,

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I'm Baaack!


I have returned from my 30 days in California and am back ready to write some.  

First, the rest of the trip was quite awesome. I got to see my cousin B, and that was a lot of fun.  Then I got to see my beloved Uncle J and his son, my cousin B.  There were some shocking family revelations that brought us all much closer together, and my cousin has offered to help with my dental problems, and my friend I was staying with, C, lives just about 30 mins from them (which by LA standards is very close) and she said I was more then welcome to stay with her as long as I need once my cousin starts to do surgery to rebuild my messed up jaw.  Ouch....

And.. one of the most awesome part of the entire visit, was hunting down Endeavor.  
And we found it.. at 2:30 in the morning, we watched her roll out of LAX with a few hundred other folks. It was truly amazing!  We watched for a couple hours and finally got home and was in bed at around 5am.  

 That night, I took the train back to Houston. I boarded at 10pm Fri nite, and arrived back at 11:10 am on Sunday morning. I had my own little 'roomette' and I loved it!  I went up to the dining car to eat, but other then that, I stayed in my room, enjoying the solace and view of the wild west going by.  

To catch up since I've been back.

I had my appointment at the Houston VA with the ear, nose and throat docs.  They diagnosed me with sever TMJ on both sides of my jaw.  And I got to explain to two male doctors about how it happened.  They were very nice, but in the end, they told me to go get some ibprophene, a night guard and a private dentist.  Geee, thanks guys! The only good part was the official diagnoses and that it was service connected. 

The following Mon I saw my new psychiatrist again.  The Zoloft didn't arrive till almost two weeks into my trip so I hadn't taken it yet when I went to see her. 
I've been on it for a week now, and so far I am feeling disconnected, having a harder time thinking clearly and terrible night sweats. Ugggh.  I much prefer my CA medicine of cannabis for my PTSD. (that all my docs in CA fully supported, including the ones at the VA and Vet Center, even if they couldn't 'officially' sanction it, they certainly did 'off the record'). But being here in TX now makes that very dangerous and that also really, really pisses me off.   

The psyc doc wasn't happy with the ENT docs, and she put in a prescription for the ibprophene 
as she said it wasn't fair for me to have to pay for everything.  I got the night-guard at the grocery store and it feels weird but I know its helping me with my teeth. My dear cousin in CA (whose been an orthodontist and dentist for 27 years) has said he'd help with my teeth, and I'll need to go back to CA for treatment when I'm ready.  But  new X-rays would be good and my psyc doc is trying to get my general practitioner to take them to have a visual record of my TMJ.  Bless her heart, she's trying to save me some $$.  She is really wonderful and very supportive.

When I got back, I contacted one of the other ladies in my MST group to find out when the next meeting was, and what our assignment was.  She told me and I got all caught up.  

It was good to be back at group, and we have a new member.  A nice lady, L whom is also from CA.  She was in the Air Force and had a very ugly time of it also.  

Our assignment was to do a 'progress report' of sorts as C, our new group leader and therapist at the Vet Center wanted us to be able to look and see what progress we had made.  I'll do a post about that next.

Otherwise, socially, I've tended to want to isolate some.  I loved the trip, but there was soooo much going on all the time, and so many people with almost no time to be alone.  Its been wonderful to be back in my TX home with my partner and seeing a few friends.

Tonight is Halloween, our first in the new house here.  We live in a nice little subdivision that seems to have quite a few kids, so we'll see what tonight brings.  

So, that's about it for now. Its great to be back home for sure!

Over and out,


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Vacation Almost Over


I've been in California the past couple of weeks visiting family and friends starting with friends in Antioch, San Francisco then Sacramento and finally, down to Los Angeles, where I am now. I'll take a train back to Houston leaving on Fri nite. I'm actually in Santa Monica to be exact, where i was born, visiting with my best friend from 6th grade.  Over all its been an excellent and very healing experience.  I got through a couple of assignments my last Vet Center head doc gave me before she relocated.

One was to participate as a volunteer at the Sacramento Stand Down for homeless veterans.  I did it last year and loved it. I work at the Community Service desk, and I trust the Marine who runs it.  He knows what happened and assured me I'd be safe. I knew this, and certainly trusted him to look after me,  but my breakdown happened after that, and I've had a lot of difficulty being around many veteran since then.  This was 99% good. I did have a couple of triggers, and had to work to hold my boundaries a couple of times, but that was good too. Before, I would have caved to any 'Commands'.  A defining moment came the first morning when one of the tent leaders told me I needed to get on the camp microphone and call for the 'community service' folks to show up for a work crew, but we didn't have the assignment for it yet, and I was in charge of the Community Service desk and  was supposed to make the decision.  I told him I wouldn't do it till I got the job assignment.  He pushed me to do it again and I got sorta mad and told him no again, and that part of my therapy for my PTSD was to hold my boundaries, especially with other veterans.  He said something about being disabled from being shot in the leg in Viet Nam.  He asked if i was a combat veteran, I said no, I got my PTSD  from MST.  Well.. his eyes got huge and his entire demeanor changed in a flash.  He  said "Oh my gosh.. I'm sooo sorry.  Right.. you DO have it worse then me for sure!".  And after that, he became something of a protector.  He'd come around and make sure I had cold water, and got food when the lines were going.  I was first, surprised that he KNEW what that acronym meant... (I dread explaining it to folks) and deeply touched by his brotherly and protective attitude during the 3 days in camp.  My friend Marion went with me, and it helped a lot to know she was near by too.

First evening in camp

 The next afternoon
Breaking camp Sun morning

It was really an wonderful experience and it was great how well everyone got along and the amazing services that were provided.

The other big assignment was to talk to my friend C's parents, as they had been like (and often more compassionate) then my own engineer parents. I wondered when the 'right moment' would present itself, and it came last Friday when her folks were at the framing shop the family owns while C was working.  I cried while I held her younger sisters hand, and both her parents were upset, especially her father.  My only living parent is my step father and he has Alzheimer's too much to really understand what happened, and he doesn't remember where I've moved to and why.  But my doc was right, it felt good to tell my other 'parents' and have them respond the way I wished mine would have.  C's younger sister was always like having my own little sister and I love her and the rest of the family sometimes more then my own.  They've called me their adopted daughter since the 6th grade.  Everyone is so wonderful and supportive that it's really been one of the best vacations I've ever had.  

Today I got to see my beloved step daughter Ms. P. for a short brunch and it was great to see and hug her.  She just got her Master's in psychology, I am sooooo proud of her!  Tonight, I go see my second cousin B, who I've not seen since the mid 90's.  And tomorrow nite, I get to see my beloved Uncle and Cousin, who I've not seen since the mid 80's.  Whew! Getting lots and lots of catching up done.  Tomorrow is also the LA County Museum and La Brea Tar Pits.  Thur we go to China Town for (hopefully) some dim sum and shopping, then on Thur evening dinner with friends and then we're going hunting for the Space Shuttle Endeavor as it will be parked here in LA overnight on its journey to the museum and C is determined to get pics of it. 

I've enjoyed this trip a lot but it will be nice to get home to Texas and my friends and new family there.

I'll fill in more sometime next week when I get home... 
Over and out,

Friday, August 31, 2012

Are you REALLY that disabled?

Greetings all,

Sorry that it's been a while, but we do the best we can everyday.  Some day's, many days, I'm not up to writing.  Others are so busy that I don't have the strength or compunction to do much but hang on tight.   Yesterday was a long and busy day.  I had an eye Dr.apt, a appt with my VA doc, and got my new psychiatrist, a very nice but busy chief of psychiatry.  She read the letter from my Vet Center doc had given me to give her, and she almost cried.  She was sooo very sweet and kind.  She was good at asking me some pretty rough questions.  She sighed very sadly when she said how many times she had heard these same stories of sexual assault.  I had to tell her to story of how my career ended that day my disabled client started poking and barking at me, and how I had fallen of the horse and can't get back on.  She agreed and said that time of my life is over now, and I am doing good in my therapy at the Vet Center. 

She put me on an anti depressant (Zoloft) and a sleeping aid.  I hate the idea of taking the anti depressant, but I hope perhaps the sleeping pill will help me get a better night sleep. She told me to be sure to file for 'total unemployability' since I have only 70% for the PTSD, and you have to be about drooling and not know your name for the 100%.  She also told me to be sure to file for SSDI and that she would write any letters of support I needed to back it up. She is very busy, and the VA cut her staff by two, so now she has more patient's and less staff to help them.  How very VA of them. Pfffft!!!

Annnd.. to get to today's subject line.   After all that, I had a terrible trigger moment last night with a long time friend.  I told him what that psyc doc told me yesterday about my filing for 'unemployability'. Which means that while I am 70% disabled from the PTST, I can't hold or maintain a job.  I am truly liable to whack any unfortunate male who makes the wrong move or comment to me, and make a mess of things for us both.  I've lost my normal 'filters' to be able to handle 'spontaneous' outbursts of rage and giving waaaay to much imformation.  Now my friend, (of 10 years) hasn't seen me since my breakdown last Dec.  He hasn't been around when I've had total freak outs, or uncontrollable and pretty profane rages.  My feeling was that he thought I didn't need that much pay, and he seemed to resent that if I got the total 'unemployability' then I'd be getting more from the VA then he earns out on the hot Arizona sun as a welder.   He said "are you REALLY that disabled?'.  BAM!!!  Thank goodness my dear partner was at his computer right next to mine, and he could tell by the way I froze and something about the look on my face that something was terribly wrong.  He looked over my shoulder and read the conversation.  He knows this friend as well, and I think he was shocked by the attitude.  I felt.. sucker punched.  I was shaking and sobbing in moments.. all of the horror's came back to me.  I typed out to my friend "Yes, I AM!  Nothing will ever pay me back for not being able to have children, for being beaten, raped, choked, sodomized, attacked, humiliated and taunted almost every day for those 4 years. " Or how my jaw was fractured and now, I've lost most of the teeth on my left side where L was so fond of punching me before he choked me as part of his sick 'foreplay'.  The buzzing of the insects around me as he and his buddy took turns raping me and terrorizing me like a pair of velociraptors.  My friend says "Well, you never told me about it, so what I am supposed to think?"
WFT?????  You are supposed to believe me, support me, help me and wish me well!   My dear K reminded me again that this friend has not seen my breakdowns and rages, did not know the whole story.  I gave him the link to this page, and have asked him to come read my statements so that he will understand the  HELL I have been through.  He stuck around in Second Life a while (where we were having this chat) to make sure 'we are ok'.   I said yes... but.. are we?  I don't know. If he comes and reads all this, and can finally get it, and can see and feel what I have been through, then yes, I think we can get past what he didn't understand.  But.. if he doesn't.. then no.. after all these years... If he doesn't care enough to get the depths of the pain that I have suffered, and that F%$@ yes, I deserve every friggin' PENNY I can get, well, it's not justice, and I still won't ever be able to have kids, and I'll always have some anal problems and head aches and clicking jaw and can't hardly hear out of the side I was hit on the most. The money will never fix ANY of it!!!  The docs can't fix it, and I can't fix it. Somethings, once they are broken, they'll never work again like they did... and I am like that.

 I was making $36,000 at my most (not a lot granted but I don't need a lot, just enough to pay bills, feel somewhat comfortable and have some to help my friends.) And the VA pay for total disability, or 'unemployability' isn't as much as I've lost.  I can't even envision working again at this point, except maybe some Reiki on the side where I am in control of what I do totally.  But not for a business or agency. Nope.. done with it.    

So today.. I feel sick, sad and pretty depressed. This friend asked me last nite, what I had to be depressed about now. HIS FUCKING ATTITUDE AND THOSE OF OTHERS LIKE HIM!!!!!!!
(Sorry, that's one of those 'outbursts' I tend to have these days.. I'm really not too fit to be around sometimes if you have tender ears) I read about how all this is still going on like this that triggered me again this morning:

I worry about my best friends daughter, out at sea this very moment on a ship, and pray she gets through her time in the service safely.  I rage about the the fact that so many want to cover it up still.  I rage, I rage I rage... and..
I pray. for wellness for myself, and all the others out there. For Joan and Brigid, for Devyn, for Ani.. for all the ladies in my group, for all the new stories that come out here: 

Now, I'll take a deep breath and try to settle down, having used this as I'm supposed to, as a place to vent and release the pain for the moment.  So now, I give it to you, the readers...

I wish you well, and I'm sorry this is hard to read sometimes..
Over and out,

.   .  

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Back in Action...

Greetings Readers...

After a vacation break enforced by a stream of visitors, the house is now quiet again.  And there was some big news while I was away... but first, a huge huge congrats to my friends over at Enemy in the Wire.. they have gotten to share their story with the Cedar Rapids Gazette. It takes real character and courage to step up and tell the things that have happened!!!

As for myself, two weeks ago, K went out for the mail and came back with what looked like... a .. check???? It said for VA Comp and disability!  Already???  It was only about 3 weeks after my psychological testing at the Houston VA!  No letter, just a check that K quickly figured out was about 6 months of backpay!  So I sent a text to Joan asking if that was normal, to get a check before formal notification of some sort.  Bless her dearest heart when she texted right back that yes, that's how it rolls, and congrats.  I sat and cried for a bit.  I was really, really in shock!  It meant... so many things to me.  Especially that now.. although this won't make up for the 35ought years of hell, after the 4, but it does give me an income again, of which I've been without since I had my breakdown and almost abandoned my disabled client in Jan, after he began roaring, barking and poking at me..effectively ending my working career.

So on Mon after the check came,  I had MST group at the Vet Center... after that, I drove down to the Houston VA admin center and waited to talk with someone to see what I could find out.   They had my name wrong on the check, what it was when I got out, but good 'ol USAA Bank just told me to sign both names on it and it would be good.  But I wanted to get that fixed, and get direct deposit started too.   After a couple hours I got to talk to someone.  Turns out I am yup, 70% nuts. Think I'll be a macadamia nut as they come from Hawaii and I like it there a lot. *grins*  Although Dr. Oz says that cashews are healthier.  In two days it will be 2 weeks since I got the check, and still no 'official' letter from them yet.  Still, I'd much rather it went the way it did,, that I got the $$ first and am now waiting on the letter, then have the letter and be waiting on the $$!

I finally got to see a VA doc up at Conroe.  The VA is soooo slow it took 5 months.  She is a nice lady named Dr. Yee. And she says that she thinks due to the physical trauma I am still suffering from (busted left jaw, loss of teeth on left side, loss of hearing in my left ear, crushed trachea and being beaten so i couldn't have kids) are things that they still need to recompense me for. The disability award now is just for the PTSD. So she is sending me to some specialists to get it in writing so I can submit that to increase the amount of disability I am getting. I thought what I was getting was good, but she felt very strongly that it isn't. She and my counselors have also told me to file for SS disability as well, especially since the 70% isn't near enough to live on.  She also got me an apt for glasses and to see the psychiatrist.  So while it's taken a while, I feel much better that I an now in the system and got some good apt to get things worked on.  

On Mon, I got to meet our new Vet Center counselor. I'd been very anxious about it as my friend Ani had a TERRIBLE doc at her Vet Center in her state. I've been blessed to have two wonderful ones so far. But the new doc seems nice enough so far. All the 'Ladies of the Group' were and to some degree still are withholding judgment to see how she does running the group as our current counselor was still there too. In our group, or in our lives... getting someone new to have to re-explain the horrors we survived is never easy. We HATE having to start over and tell new people about it all over yet again. She seems nice enough..  I'm still not really looking forward to that first time I have to sit down with her alone and start over again. 

Because my doc was leaving, she didn't have a chance to really push for the Invisible War, and with my company around, I didn't have much time to work on pushing it.  But now that they are all gone, I will have free time again, and I expect to become a pain in their ass until they get it here and showing as well

Well, that's the update for now.  Many thanks again to Joan and Brigid for their inspiration and courage!

Over and out, 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Hello All,

Earlier today I came across this article and decided to comment on it.. I got a charming response.

Nancy Parrish


Tailhook Whistleblower Demands Congress Investigate Lackland Sexual Assaults

Posted: 07/11/2012 10:30 am
More than 20 years ago, 87 servicewomen were sexually assaulted while serving in the U.S. Navy, in what became known as the "Tailhook scandal." Paula Coughlin-Puopolo was one of the 87.
The Navy Lieutenant reported the incident to senior officers, but they did nothing. So in June 1992 she went public.
President George H.W. Bush said he was appalled and invited Coughlin to the White House. The former president apparently started to cry as Paula shared her story, and he promised a full investigation.
Unfortunately, our military leadership has made no changes to stop this type of predatory criminal behavior. The epidemic of criminal sexual assault and rape within our armed services has only gotten worse. In the Navy's official report about the Tailhook scandal they recommended "intelligent measures to prevent a recurrence." This never happened.
The mission of our military is to protect the American way of life and our freedoms, yet this very mission is compromised by leadership that allows, perpetrates and condones sexual assault on the very members of our armed services.
The military has tried to cover up the epidemic of rape and sexual assault in the military for decades. The Department of Defense estimates that over 19,000 such incidents occurred in 2010 alone but that only 13.5% of sexual assaults are ever reported. Why? Because victims are often blamed, fear career ending retaliation, and are required to report their assault by fellow soldiers to a superior, not law enforcement or medical personnel. And according to the DoD, of those few who did report, over 75% would not make the same decision about reporting again.
Now, a new criminal scandal at Lackland Air Force Base has put one of America's most disgraceful secrets back in the headlines. At least 31 female trainees at Lackland say they were raped or sexually assaulted by their instructors. Many did not come forward for years out of fear of retaliation from their superiors.

Gen. Edward Rice, commander of the Air Education and Training Command at Lackland, says that the misconduct is not limited to just Lackland and has ordered an investigation into "systemic issues" in the Air Force.
The Department of Defense reports that 1 in 4 young women who join the service will be raped or sexually assaulted and 1% of men. The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs estimates over half a million vets have experienced military sexual trauma.
The unfolding scandal at Lackland shows how little has changed since Paula dared to come forward and speak out about the predatory criminal behavior at Tailhook. Unfortunately, there are thousands of similar stories every year in our armed forces, but because of our broken system of military justice -- nothing changes. It is like Groundhog Day.
Paula has decided to speak up again -- starting a petition demanding that the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Buck McKeon hold a congressional hearing about Lackland immediately.

How much longer and how many more of our brave men and women in uniform need to be raped or sexually assaulted before our elected officials do something to end the crisis? The military has proven that it is unable or unwilling to Protect Our Defenders. Congress should open an investigation immediately and then put an end to the "systemic issues" of military rape and sexual assault by legislating fundamental reform.

Our government must do more.


Wisconsin Patriot:
6 hours ago ( 3:08 PM)
The "Tailhook" thing is completely different than what happened at Lackland. At "Tailhook" - it was a private association event. People chose to come there.

What happened in Lackland is much more of an issue, as it was on an active military base with people performing military duties, with clear policies on relationships with trainees.

Also, it takes two to tango and one must also realize lying about sexual assault in the military is not unheard of either - to save your rank and benefits.........when you are busted with misconduct......

My comment:
8 hours ago (12:15 PM)
It's been 35 years since my attacks while in the US Navy. I had hoped that things would have changed by now, but I see that they haven't. I was attacked and raped many times over my 4 years of service. I was told I would be set up for court martial if I ever told. And it was my supervisors on two bases so I had no one else I could report to. The last one also threatened to hurt my friends careers if I did not cooperate. Now I can see the destruction this has caused me all along my life. Time for things to change from the top down!

Reply to comment by: Wisconsin Patriot:

6 hours ago ( 3:13 PM)
You just found out a month ago that you can get VA disability money from the govt if you lie about something, and hoping no one will figure it out since it was 36 years ago.


 Really?  I mean REALLLY????

Geee... thanks...  

I understand that there are some real butt heads out there, and by speaking out and commenting I am taking risks of getting feedback like this.. but gosh.. after all the poo I've been through, to be accused of this???

*shakes head sadly and goes to have some medicine*
Over and out,

The Lotus Project for Women Veterans

Greetings all,

Dr. J sent us out an email yesterday with a new link for us.  So I have added it to our links list here, but I also wanted to be sure and bring it to everyone's attention. I like that they offer chaperones to the VA medical and benefits appointments.

Here is what their main page looks like.

The Lotus Project for Women Veterans

The Lotus flower is planted in mud and yet still grows upwards toward the light to break through the other side clean and beautiful. Female veterans are growing stronger physically through combat, yet are stuck in the mud of sexual trauma, separation anxiety from their children, PTSD, and Homelessness. The mission of The Lotus Project is to empower female veterans to rebuild their lives after military service.

Program Details…..
· Permanent and transitional housing placement for homeless female veterans
· Referrals to financial assistance programs for rent, utility payments, and moving expenses
· Career Coaching and Job Placement Services
· Assistance with filing VA disability claims
· Chaperone veterans to VA Hospital and/or VA Benefits appointments
· All female veteran support groups and counseling

State of Affairs of Female Veterans

  • Women make up 20% of today's military
  • 11% of the combat force in Iraq and Afghanistan are female (roughly 212,000 troops)
  • 30,000 Single Mothers have deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan as of March 2009
  • In 2008, 2,908 sexual assaults were reports involving service members (9% increase from 2007); Alarmingly, its estimated that more than half of the assaults go unreported
  • According to a 2008 study by the RAND Corporation, women develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and/or Depression as a result of traumatic experiences at more than twice the rate of men
  • As of September 2009, the Department of Veteran Affairs estimated 13,100 homeless female veterans; Women Veterans are up to 4 times more likely to be homeless than non-veteran women
  • 23% of female Veterans have children under 18 years old

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Today was The Day.. VA Psylogical Testing for PTSD

Well.. its over.  Finally.  At least this part of it.  Now... I guess.. comes the waiting?

Didn't sleep well at all last nite.  Kept waking up and worrying about how today would go.   I did know I had a female doc, I had called to make sure as soon as I had a number to call and ask.   

I was sooo grateful that K took the day off to take me down to the Houston VA.  We left at 7:30 for the 9:30 appointment.  We got there at 8:26.. and it took about 10 mins to find a parking spot.  Which is great by the standard there.  It only took a minute or too after we entered for me to have a major panic attack. I started crying, and couldn't seem to stop.  I wanted to dash into the bathroom and hide.  But K was very strong and encouraging and  I was totally lost.. something about taking the blue elevators in this huge, overwhelming maze.  But K smoothly found our way, and I was checked in and seated by 9.  While we were siting and waiting, I kept trying to calm myself, but felt things building up instead.  A part of me didn't want too be a mess... to hold it together.. but on the other hand, if there was someone to see this side, the mess.. the obvious trauma.. this was the person.

They called me just a bit after 9:30.  The lady doc was very nice and  she made me feel very comfortable.  She explained that this was a 'psychological test'.. and that she would be asking me lots and lots of questions.  She asked about my childhood... pre-service life.. and then.. the service.  I had to tell her.. and relive.. the whole ugly mess.. all f'in four years of it. And then.. the aftermath of it.  The mess my life has been. The puzzle pieces I can see now, that I never could when it was all hidden away.. even from myself. All the way up to my breakdown and the end of my working career.  And then, all the physical stuff that goes on.. and then all the mental stuff that goes on.  

I liked how she phrased the question "Do you ever think about ACTUALLY killing anyone?" I had to muse that over for a minute.  'actually'... well.. no...but I had made some revenge plans in the past in my rabid imagination... but they never got past the beginning stages plans.  She asked about suicide.. yes. I think about it.. it would make the pain stop. But I told her I was a chicken.  The doc said that wasn't a bad thing.  *sighs*.   I spent most of the time weeping and trying to answer clearly... and the rest of it twisting a series of tissues around and around in pretzels.

At the end of the appointment, she mentioned the MST facility that is in the Houston area that my first Vet Center doc had told me about, where she wanted me to go and that I have written about here before. She stressed that that is what they specialize in.  I took that as a good sign that she felt I needed that heavy duty help of in patient treatment.  I asked her if that was the place where they 'lock you up'.. and she said  'well, it's for your safety'.  She asked me to think about it, and I told her I would. Uh huh.

As I was walking away down the hall, she leaned out the door and called to me. I turned around and she looked at me and smiled in a kind way and said "And thank you for your service!".  My eyes filled with tears again and I nodded my thanks.. and then went to find K to take me home. 

I think I wept half of the way home again.... remembering all the terrible things in the clear details I'd had to tell the doc.. Was like ripping the scab off yet again.  But the miles flowed past, and K reminded me that now.. this part is over, I have to have faith that it will all work out.  

Now.. it's just to wait and see, and work on getting well, and time to be a hostess.  Summer is here, and the first of our guest's arrives next week.  They are sure to keep me busy for a while.  I do still have my blood tests and then my first appointment up at the other VA on July 31st.  Doc said today to be sure I talked to mental health about some drugs to help me sleep and with my depression and moods.  I will do that.  

Had a good group on Mon, and got a new assignment.  Doc J will be with us through the beginning of Aug. Yaay.  Although. I screwed up last week.. I was supposed to see her on Fri and I was sure the appt was at 11 as it's always been, but it was a 10, so I missed it.  Doc said at group on Mon she had used the time to do other things, but I felt like an idiot.  

Anyways.. so that where things are now.   I will relax some.. relived that at least this part is done!
Over and out,

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

"Visible Honor for Invisible Wounds" National PTSD Awareness Day

So, today is National PTSD Awareness day, and I want to start by thanking all of the veterans and the famlies who care for us. 


Posttraumatic stress disorder[note 1] (PTSD) is a severe anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to any event that results in psychological trauma.[1][2][3] This event may involve the threat of death to oneself or to someone else, or to one's own or someone else's physical, sexual, or psychological integrity,[1] overwhelming the individual's ability to cope. As an effect of psychological trauma, PTSD is less frequent and more enduring than the more commonly seen acute stress response. Diagnostic symptoms for PTSD include re-experiencing the original trauma(s) through flashbacks or nightmares, avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma, and increased arousal—such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, anger, and hypervigilance. Formal diagnostic criteria (both DSM-IV-TR and ICD-10) require that the symptoms last more than one month and cause significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.[1]

Soo.. today honors and recognizes our 'invisible' wounds.  What today feels like to me, is just another day.  Things are still going on out in the world, and I am so far from my original home and family.  But... I have a new home and a new family now, one that stretches across the country, into place's I don't even know of. And that family, is like Joan and Brigid, folks I may never meet, but are Sister Warriors of my heart.  They can listen and understand in ways that my 'real' family cannot.  I worry for a friends daughter, serving in the Navy. She's promised she'd never keep the secret that we have, but, what if she HAD to.. like so many of us did?  I hate to think of her spirit broken like I felt mine had been for so long.

Keeping that deep of a secret can't help but mess with your head, and for me, it changed my entire being, who I was for a very long time. And no one really knew.. because.. of the invisible wounds.  Those that you can't see.  And it's certainly not just us MST folks, it's  the combat vets who got to see stuff that I would not have been able to handle.. heck, I can't watch some stuff on TV, and I sure wouldn't have handled battle.  I can't say enough how much respect I have for the Breathern who have fought and died and lived as wounded to some degree for ever more.  Strong brave warriors who carry lots of invisible wounds.  Thank you for your heroic service!  Even just getting up and putting on boots in a war zone is heroic to me! And all those that have to deal with those as well, carry them gently with your words and be kind to them.

 The help and therapy that I am getting now from the VetCenter has been invaluable, I'm afraid I would have have been 'committed' to some place in a padded white room by now if not for them.  Especially since I am STILL waiting to see my first VA doc since I moved.  And still, over a month to go too!  

It's funny in that after keeping such a big secret for so long, sometimes even from myself, I can start to see patterns in my life of avoidance that I never saw before when I was compliant to 'stay alive'.   But now, as I go through the therapy and this recovery, it seems I am being led down a path, but I have no idea where it goes.
It feels  a bit like this:

And that's just fine for now.. I go in faith that with my actively working on it, support of friends and loved ones, real life and virtual, that we'll all pull through this somehow.. I have to have faith.. that it will.

What I wonder is.. if the wounds are invisible, how can we tell if they have healed?

Over and out....