Military Sexual Trauma: Retaliated Against

For the past two weeks, I have been slow diving deeper into my mind to peel back the onion. What I am finding is what still truly bothers me from what happened to me in the Navy. I have more memories of events that I blocked and am ready to share on a much deeper level.

When I first got to Lackland Medina, I was in another division until I came down with pneumonia and was temporarily assigned limited duty. Once I was cleared, I resumed training in another division. I was so proud that I had achieved my dream of serving my country that all changed on January 17, 2004 when I was raped by a third class petty officer that was a fleet returnee.

I did not say any thing for a couple of days when one of my friends that was a Seaman asked me what was wrong. I started telling her what happened and she went to the female first class that was on duty. They told me to go up to the mess hall and get something to eat. They then set a messenger to get me and the duty driver took me over to Wilford Hall’s ER. Once I was at the ER, they performed a rape kit. The male officer did not know what he was doing. He had to come back in and cut hairs because he did not do that during the rape kit. There was a female OSI agent that came into the room to talk to me. She told me that I needed to come by her office to talk to her and gave me her card.  I got dressed and went to another part of the hospital to talk to a therapist.

I went to the telephone and called my command to let them know that I was done. They sent the duty driver to pick me up and took me back to the barracks. Once at the barracks, CS1 talked to me and I was being moved over to the other side of Lackland.  I was assigned a room with a roommate and then was given a Sexual Assault Victim Advocate. The first time I met my Savi, she was on the corner of the building yelling at everyone and she was a Chief Petty Officer. I was immediately scared of her. I approached her and told her that I had been told to report to her.  We started talking and she took me to Burger King to get something to eat before going to see the OSI agent.  I told her that I was really scared to talk to the OSI agent. She told me that she would be there with me. I told what happened the OSI agents and they asked the Chief why the Navy was not using NCIS.  Also, I was asked where my hands where at and if I consented. There was no way that I could consent because I was drunk and passed out. I woke up to him being on top of me raping me.

The next thing, I knew was the chain of command was sending me to see a Chief about “my problem”, with drinking and what happened to me was my fault according to the chain of command. Next, they were evaluating me for psychological disorders at Wilford Hall. Third, they had a safety stand down. I kept on getting up and going out into the hallway because I could not sit there and listen to them blame me for being raped. A Master chief followed me out into the hallway and told me that I had to sit through this when they were blaming me for being raped. Fourth, they started sending me to do extra duty at the garbage site on base. I was told that if I wanted to go to the rape crisis center that I would have to go after 1700 and take a taxi there. Also, one day Troll came to the side of the base I was on and I saw him. I freaked out. I took off and went up to my barracks room where I locked the door and just started sobbing. Fifth, there were times when I walked around base and was thinking about killing myself. Sixth, I thought about just going a wall and never coming back to the Navy.

I was called to the Master Chief’s office where she told me that they believed me but there was nothing that they could do and here was my orders to my next command. I just looked at her. Next, she made me promise her that I would continue to go to counseling. In the next couple of days, I was getting my flight to my next command. I wanted to go home but did not have enough money so I took the flight and went to stay in a hotel for a while before reporting to the Reagan.

Once on the Reagan, the retaliation started when I was assigned to division S-5. There was a Chief that would not let me go to my therapy appointment at the YMCA Rape Crisis Center in Norfolk. I had the appointment card in my hand and he called me a liar. We started to take the ship around the horn and Chief made my life hell. He was always talking crap. He told people that I was worthless and that I should be in the brig.  A second class petty officer shoved me into the hall. I went to talk to a legal chief and he told me that he did not give a damn about me and that I was lying about what happened. I tried going to Fleet and Family for counseling. The only thing that I found there was therapist’s that knew nothing about rape and did not know how to treat any one that had Post Traumatic Stress. I was told that I was going to talk to a male about being raped and I told them there was no way in hell that I was talking to a male about being raped.

They sent me to talk the Drug and alcohol chief because ” I had a problem with my drinking and it was my fault that I was raped.” The next thing that happened was S-2 First Classes would not let me get any thing to eat. The Chief Warrant Officer and Master Chief kept saying that I was fat and that they were going to discharge me. I was told that I was going to FEP to work out because I was fat and disgusting. There were several times when I was called in to talk to Master Chief and he would say, “We are discharging you. You are nothing but a problem to this command. We do not care that you were raped. You are lying about being raped. You are nothing but a walking mattress that deserved to be raped.”  Then I was transferred to another division and was being sent to XOI for saying something that I did say. They put on liberty risk for being a problem child to the chain of command. When we pulled into a port, I was not allowed to leave the ship. Next they were assigning me a mentor that did nothing to help me and sending me to a program with the Chaplains called About Face.

We were doing an inspection and we had to take the fire hoses off of the fire hose stations down to the pier to do a pressure test. Then take them back onto the ship. I had hurt my knee some how. I went to medical and HM1 would not let me see a doctor. He told me that I was lying about my knee and go away.  I would take over thousand milligrams of Mortin, used icy hot, knee brace, went to physical therapy, limped, and could hardly move my knee. When the PRT came up, I was told that I was going to run. I could not run because of my knee and once again they were sending to FEP instead of taking care of my knee.

The chain of command sent me to Captain’s mast where I was given seven days restriction and sent to anger management classes at Point Loma with men that had abused there wives. I started cutting and burning myself. I was not able to go to therapy on Navy time.  I paid for therapy out of my own pocket when I was off of duty. I tried to reach out to SAVI’s on the ship, but it was nothing more then a secondary duty to them and they could care less.

In SS40, we got a knew Chief and he would call me fat, did not care about my knee, made sure that I went to FEP every day and made me clean deck drains. We went running on the base once and I was doing my best to keep up. He came back to me and told me that I was faking and that I was nothing. A couple of days later, we were having a party at the pizza place on base and Chief asked me in the hell I was eating pizza. I stopped eating and just sat there.  There were several times where Chief gave me extra duty of staying when everyone else left to clean deck drains or do more maintenance. They made my life a living hell. All that I wanted to do was to commit suicide. Next thing I knew he was starting the emotional abuse of saying that I was going to be discharged. At first I was upset about this but then I realized that this was my way out of this hell hole.  I was done with all of the emotional abuse, institutional abuse, physical abuse and told them to stop playing the damn games and discharge me.

I was transferred back to S-2 where I worked night shift. My knee was a lot worse and I went to medical for the last time. This time LT CDR actually put in an order for me to go to Balboa for a MRI. I went to that appointment. When it came to getting my MRI read the master chief of S-2 would not let me leave the ship to get my results read.  A couple of weeks later, I was given my DD-214 and I left the USS Ronald Reagan for the last time. I went to Balboa to get my MRI CD and medical records. I did not know it at the time but I was given the discharge code of JFT which means erroneous enlistment. I was raped, did the best I could do. So how in the hell is my enlistment erroneous when they do nothing to a rapist that does not stand for any thing?

I drove across the country and went to the VA where they read my MRI. They scheduled me for surgery where they did an arthroscopy and Fulkerson osteotomy and put in four screws to fix what the USS Ronald Reagan medical command said did not exist.  I had so many feelings that came up and started EMDR at this time.

Things got a lot worse in 2013 when Troll sent me a message on Navy Together We served. He admitted to raping me and NCIS still did nothing about it. I got a telephone call from the Special Agent where she told me that they had to investigate me, know who all I slept with, and about any other reports that I had ever made. I asked her, “What in the hell that had to do with what he admitted in the email.” She said that what he said did not matter and that I was lying. That is when I yelled at her and threw the phone across the room.

I was sobbing and felt so betrayed. Once again they were doing nothing and protecting a rapist. I fell apart and became suicidal. My Post Traumatic Stress was made a lot worse.  This has been nothing more then one betrayal after another. All of this is why this is so hard for me. I worked my but off to enlist in the Navy. I would run over 2 miles every day. I did the 6 grapefruit a day diet. I would take laxatives to lose weight.

Serving this country was a family tradition. Every single war, there has been someone from my family serving in the military.  My dream career was ripped away by a rapist and those that protect rapists. There is so much grief, betrayal, rage, depression and anxiety from all of this. I did not enlist to be raped, betrayed and retaliated against by my own country. All I want is for someone to do what is necessary and stop defending rapists. No one deserves to be raped.

Do the right thing and pass Military Justice Improvement Act.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author: shellback0608

Julie "Jewels" is an Author, Poet, Nia Blue Belt, Green Belt, White Belt dance instructor, Reiki Jin Kei Do Energy Healer, and advocate. When she is not writing, you can find her learning new Nia routines, listening to healing music, taking photographs, playing with her dog and spending time with her friends and family.

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