And So it Begins….


Hello, Friend.

On this Blog you will meet two of us.  Both strong women, capable of surviving anything.  I’m just the first, sort of like Dickens and his three ghosts, but not with the happy ending.  Not yet anyway.

My name is Joan.  Well, not really, but St. Joan of Arc is sort of like my big sister, so I am going to borrow her name.  If you have never read her story, she is the patron saint of Women Soldiers.  She led an Army only to be burned at the stake.  I sort of know how she feels.  Even though time has passed I still don’t feel comfortable using my real name.  What if someone should discover me?  Then what?  How do I explain?  Can I take the chance? 

Hello.  My name is Joan and I am a survivor of Military Sexual Trauma.  I have a story to tell.  It doesn’t even really feel like MY story – but it is.  I own it although I certainly never asked for it. 

I was raised with a Patriotic family.  God and Country and Baseball.  It wasn’t always the best childhood, but one that started me on a solid path.  When I was 17 years old I joined a branch of the military.  I loved every minute of Basic Training.  My drill sergeants were great NCOs and when I grew up, I wanted to be just like them. 

The military was good to me.  I was having the time of my life.  I found that I was really, really good at my job.  I was proud. 

I got married and that is when all of the trouble began.  After 6 terrible months he finally handed me our marriage license and showed me the door.  I was 20 years old and my world had fallen apart.  He was a fellow service member whose favorite past time was beating the tar out of me.  However, now that it was over I knew where to go and who to turn to…one of my Sergeants.  They would know what to do.

“You know, if you got raped you should have given it up…If you got beat you should have shut up.”

That is what my Sergeant said to me – those exact words – and I will never, ever forget the sound of his voice or the smell of his breath as he leaned in closely.  Devastation doesn’t begin to describe what I felt.

It was okay, though, my bad for having such lousy taste in men.  I moved on and after awhile my tour started to come to an end.  With 6 months left I was given a nice and comfortable job as an assistant in charge of a nice clinic.  Life was good and I looked forward to that new assignment.

It didn’t take me long to figure “Clarence” out.  After I was called into his little closet of an office and he rubbed up against me I told him to, “Knock it off.”  It did little good.  Everyday, he called me into his office and everyday he got closer and closer until he was licking my neck and humping against me like some rabid dog in heat.  I tried to avoid his office.  “That’s an order, Specialist.”  No matter how hard I tried – my only hope was going to be discharge.

“Well, there, Joan…Why didn’t you just march right in to your senior NCO’s office and tell him what “Clarence” was doing?”

Hey – that is a damn good question…Why didn’t I think of that??  Oh, I know…the same Sergeant that told me that if I was “raped I should give it up and beat I should have shut up” was old “Clarence’s” boss.

And so it begins.  The start of the journey.  I wish I could tell you that it gets better – but it doesn’t.

However, my story, such as it will play out…has a purpose.  That purpose is to bring awareness to this horrible dishonor called Military Sexual Trauma.  It is NOT the VICTIMS DISHONOR – it is the DISHONOR of every person that either perpetrated the act or that stood idly by thinking it was funny or just grateful it wasn’t them.

That is the final purpose.  My enemy was “inside the wire.”  The men who did this were supposed to be my Brothers in Arms.  Let there be no more enemy inside our own perimeters!

Blessings,

Joan

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3 Responses to “And So it Begins….”

  1. jay Says:

    I am proud of you Joan of Arc-a very good beginning of a path that will lead others -you will see…thank you for YOUR bravery!

  2. jay Says:

    You are like a seed in a well watered garden-you will grow and from your seeds you will help others grow too!
    I am very proud of you for this beginning-you are stepping up to the plate to add a voice for the others…the silent wounded!
    peace

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