How dare you! How dare you call us "Media Whore"!!! Who the hell do you think you are? What gives you the right to put that label on us? Haven't we been abused enough by our assailants? Haven't we been attacked enough by other Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coasties? I know I was.
I made a career out of the Army. I am proud to say that I am a card carrying Retiree. During my career I was called every filthy name in the book. I was told early in my career that I had no business in the Army; that I belonged "at home, barefoot and pregnant". I was told that by NCO's and Officers in my chain of command. I was called "bitch, dyke, whore". I was accused of "husband hunting" during that first tour overseas though I dated the same Soldier almost the entire time I was there (RIP SFC Anthony John Scheehl).
My virginity was TAKEN from me by my Platoon Sergeant. I was barely 18 years old. He took me to my Squad Leaders apartment, got me drunk and took me. I remember the stink of his breath on me. It smelled like vomit though I don't remember the act itself. I remember after sitting in a boiling hot tub feeling very dirty. He stuck his head in the bathroom to ask if I was okay. I was an E2 and he was an E7. It happened just that once. I think. It's the only time I recall. So far. I've just started to have flashbacks about him. If there were other incidents I'm sure there will be other flashbacks to follow.
I write about things that happened to me. I write about things that are helpful, in my opinion, to Veterans. I publish links to my blog everywhere I can think of. I ask my friends to post links to my blog. If that makes me a "Media Whore" than so be it. I've been called worse names by worse people. But here is the thing. Have the fucking guts to say it to my face. And then tell me what you are doing to further the FIGHT! Are you jealous of me? Are you jealous of the others who are out there fighting this MST CAUSE? What the fuck is your problem?
WHO THE HELL WANTS TO BE FAMOUS or INFAMOUS FOR BEING RAPED???? Do you realize how much COURAGE it takes to stand in front of the cameras and speak out about this? Can you do it? I can't. I know I can't. That's why I write about it. I have so much respect for my brothers and sisters who get out there in front of the public. I would name them personally but this blog would never end if I were to list them all. They know who they are and they have my respect and my love and loyalty.
So, yeah, if writing about Military Sexual Trauma makes me a MEDIA WHORE than I guess that's what I am. At least I'm speaking out. I'm telling my story. I try to help other victims become survivors and I am proud of that. I don't attack other advocates. I work with them and support them and I will mentor anyone who asks me to. I teach others how to file claims the Susan Avila-Smith and Jim Strickland way. I listen. I lend a shoulder. I do what is necessary. And yes, I am often very triggered by the things that I do. Most of us are. Does that stop us? FUCK NO.
People in glass houses, my friends.....
Until the next time.....