And the day came….

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The above quote has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.  It is a quote that captured my soul from the first time I heard it.  I do not know why; but it has always given me strength when debating a risk in life.

I have suffered debilitating shyness, anxiety and depression over things I have had no control over and at one time, I let it rule my entire life.  NO MORE!  I’ve needed and used this quote to get me through so many things that come naturally to some people.

Suffering through PTSD is hard.  Coming to terms with it was a challenge.  The first time I was in counseling, my therapist worked with me on being raped in the Marine Corp.   Shortly after I had surgery and was on large amounts of narcotics for the pain, my roommate got a phone call in the lounge and left me, asleep, in our room with some guy.  He proceeded to assault me and left before she got back.  Despite the fact that I was heavily medicated, I was able to get up, stumble to the duty officer and report the incident.  I was taken to the clinic and things moved forward.

What I didn’t expect was that the SgtMaj would blame me for the whole thing.  Standing in front of his desk, he proceeded to tell me that had I not been asleep, on drugs and let a man in my room, I would not have been assaulted at all.  He didn’t care that my roommate was the one responsible for creating the situation, he blamed me for not being in my right mind at the time of the incident.

The Court Martial was a joke.  The SgtMaj tainted those who were there and I was basically further humiliated by a man who thought women in the military were only there to slake the lust of the men.  So glad he retired shortly there after.  He was not a man, he was a coward.

For years, I carried this around in my heart, letting it make me sick.  It nearly destroyed me; but I was finally able to overcome it all when I completed 2 years of therapy.  I was able to forgive them all.  My roommate, the SgtMaj & the rapist, not for them; but for me.

I was to the point in my life that I was living in fear.  If I got separated from someone I was out with and could not find them, I’d have a panic attack.  I went from zero to 100 in rage in less than 10 seconds.  My life was out of control.  I needed help.  I am grateful that I found someone who knew how to help me and was able to do so.

My second time in counseling was after my husband tried to kill me.  I am grateful for the therapist who helped me get through the horrible domestic violence, which was close to bringing me back to the darkness.  I was also lucky that my son also received help at the same time, as he was a witness to the events.

June will mark 8 years since I broke free of a 14 year lie.  From October 2009, I spent 2 years in therapy for all that he did to me and I was able to breath again.  This may sound cold and callus; but when my ex died in October 2016, it was such a relief for me and my son.

I was not allowed in session with my son as he went through his own trial with domestic violence; but I was given a report of the abuses he suffered.  I am so glad he was also able to overcome what he experienced.  I never once influenced him.  He began by telling me about what was going on behind my back and I knew if I needed therapy, so did he.

Anyway, I just wanted to share this wonderful quote.  It keeps me going, it reminds me that life is a risk worth taking.  It brings a smile to my face and pushes me to be brave.

The Fallen

I just finished watching an episode of NCIS: LA about a man who was under investigation for “espionage”. He was accessing classified documents and in the end, we found out that what he was really doing was making a tribute to all the brave men & women who died in service to their country in Secret Operations. A tribute to those who gave their lives for me and you!

This brought up memories of another story I know. A true story about an Air Force woman during the Korean War. She was a very good friend of mine for the first 10 years after I left the USMC. Together, we stormed the VA for better treatment, respect for women and better services for all.

JP enlisted in the Air Force during the Korean War. She worked in communication and was on the line each day reading all the communication messages that came in listing those who were wounded, missing or killed. JP, being the sensitive and caring person she is, cried for each and every man and woman listed. She later was diagnosed with an ulcer over her worry and strife.

She later married her USAF sweetheart, had three children and became a crusader for veterans with the American Legion. What an honor and privilege to have known her. I carry her in my heart, like the other women veteran’s I have known and love. She’s a wonderful, wonderful person.

Together, we were lucky enough to have gone to the dedication of the Women In Military Service for America (WIMSA) in Washington, D.C. in 2007. We put together a charter bus with 3 buses to go of Women Vets and their loved ones. What a beautiful adventure that was.

JP & I traveled the state of NY, meeting other Women Vets and championing our cause. Twenty plus years ago, Women did not have the kind of care necessary within the system. I remember my first time at the VAMC where the doctor, after spending more than 5 hours to see him, decided that my pain was secondary to my mental health. My pain was (on a scale of 1 – 10) at a 20 and I was on verge of vomiting, when he decided I was depressed and needed to see a shrink. It was a hard start for me. I went to their mental facility only to be given a “pat down” by two male guards and put into a state of distress. To say the VA was women friendly was a joke. I did later report the incident to the head of the hospital; but the lasting effects were hard on me.

Anyway, we had a number of women who met together and made plans, implemented changes and helped to make the VA more women friendly than it ever was. At the time I entered, you couldn’t get much in the way of women’s services. Mammograms, Paps, etc. were not the standard. Oh and we also made sure that men and women were given gowns to wear during exams, which at our hospital was unheard of. Anyway, I am grateful to my dear friend, who has a heart of gold and a beauty that is rare. Still great love for her and her family. ❤