Eleven years ago something terrible happened to me since than it's been hard to trust people. I've been let down by so many but nothing can compare to what took place that night and the course of the years to follow.
I am a disabled veteran who has PTSD due to rape, sexual harassment and gender discrimination. It took me years to finally come out and talk about what happened to me. It shocked them, made them angry, it allowed them to finally understand why I act the way I do. It is so hard to face those who you keep at an arm distance in and learn of your darkest secrets.
The odd ball, the one people don't understand, she is crazy, oh her... That was me. I was bitter angry and always on the defense because I felt I had to prove myself time and time again. My mind was full of information but to sit down and carry out a conversation with,,, which is not my gig. I didn't know how to carry a positive conversation. I feel like I scare people off.
Going to school was a constant battle, making myself get ready for class having to face myself in the mirror and say I'll be the best one out there and try to understand what I need to learn. I made myself out to be superwoman when in reality I'm just me, a wife and mother. Bottom line I was running... Running away from a past I wanted to forget. To stay busy so I don't have to confront those dark secrets that I was trying so hard to forget.
Forgetting is not so easy, you start to have flashback, triggers they say and you find yourself full of sadness and depression. You’re plagued with nightmares and is forced to stay up because the pain of sleeping only to wake up in a cold sweat scares you. If only those damn memories can go away. When you’re in the public eye you are looked at as a crazy person not as a veteran who needs help, who needs comforted. Women are not seen as veterans, only men are. Welcome to my world.
The VA is one heck of a scary place to be. At one point I had a cocktail of pills without being assessed. I'm just a number a person to process; I won’t know the difference... Yea right. I'm still scarred to go to the VA but if I don't how am I ever going to address my depression? The VA is a constant battle ground. I need to be fee base out but no one hears me when I scream I need help. Finally a glimpse of hope, a patient advocate comes to pick me up so I can see a psychiatrist. He helps me, I'm not a number anymore, I'm human who has feelings and he sees that in me. How he helps me by assessing my needs and acknowledging me when I told him how I was being taken care of before. I thank him and now I'm taking the right antidepressants.
Still, I'm at battle with a person who works at the VA again. My chapter 31 counselor. I'm not a true warrior because I don't have missing limbs and TBI. My disabilities are invisible yet I'm not a true warrior. If she only knew we lose the majority of our veterans every day because they commit suicide due to having PTSD she wouldn't compare me to those who's disability is visible. What a rock, what a freak in my book. A civilian who just doesn't get it. I keep reminding myself I'll keep going until someone hears me again. So I turned her into her supervisor. Finally I am standing up for myself and begging for help.
I need to enjoy being me before my family can enjoy having me. I need help, my depression, my dark secrets has kept me from living a happy life. This is my journey home...