The Nightmare of PTSD: TELLING THE TRUTH ABOUT PELVIC EXAMS

Nurse practitioners and physician’s that do pelvic exams on rape survivors should read this. They should know how to be caring. They should know when a patient calls and asks for a medication before hand for a pelvic exam that they should listen and hear them. They should be trained as SANE nurses and doctors.

Journey Back To Myself

The nightmare of PTSD is that one never knows what is going to trigger it. One never knows how one is going to respond in a situation and I have learned to try to keep my triggers at a minimum level.  But there are some things that I can not control and tried to do the best I could with this particular incident that has thrown me into full blown PTSD since Monday.

One would think that reaching out and telling medical professionals your truth would be a good thing. That these medical professionals would be supportive and want to help you in any way possible. I thought that the conversation had went well. I thought that we were all on the same page.

It all started when I went to the VA to get my ankle checked out. The Nurse Practitioner noticed that I had not done a pap…

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The Nightmare of PTSD: TELLING THE TRUTH ABOUT PELVIC EXAMS

The nightmare of PTSD is that one never knows what is going to trigger it. One never knows how one is going to respond in a situation and I have learned to try to keep my triggers at a minimum level.  But there are some things that I can not control and tried to do the best I could with this particular incident that has thrown me into full blown PTSD since Monday.

One would think that reaching out and telling medical professionals your truth would be a good thing. That these medical professionals would be supportive and want to help you in any way possible. I thought that the conversation had went well. I thought that we were all on the same page.

It all started when I went to the VA to get my ankle checked out. The Nurse Practitioner noticed that I had not done a pap smear for over five years. I told her that I was there about my ankle. There was a student NP in the room and I was not comfortable talking to the NP any further. She kept pushing the issue. I got made and said, ” I have not done this in five years because it is really triggering.” Then she joked and was like we could knock you out. I told that sounded great because that would be the only way that I would ever do one.  So she told me to get myself prepared, call and make an appointment.

I kicked the idea around for two weeks. I called the VA made one appointment and then called and canceled that one. Then I called back and made another appointment. I reached out to the Military Sexual Trauma Coordinator. I opened up more to the VA then I ever have. I was told last monday that the NP would call me on Wednesday or Thursday of last week. It got to be Friday,  I was pissed that I had not heard from the NP. I  called to the VA to cancel the appointment. It took me getting loud and angry for them to have the NP to call me back.  I told the NP my truth about why I was so scared of the pap smear and pelvic exam.  I thought that we were on the same page and there was an understanding to how triggering this exam was to me.

So on Monday, I go for the exam. I start crying. I turn red. I stop breathing and they tell me to keep breathing. I get a massive headache. They give me a ice pack for my back. I get dressed and leave. They take my blood pressure in another room where it is 144/115. I am still crying and cry the rest of the day and night. Tuesday, comes along and I call the VA to talk to the NP. After seeing my reaction of PTSD, they finally prescribe a medication for anti anxiety.  So today, I have been on the phone fighting with the VA and telling them that I want to be in the Choice Program and I will never step foot in the VA again.  The lady that I talk to says that they will get the ball rolling.

I spend the rest of today crying, talking to the suicide crisis line and talking to a couple of my friends. All of this could have been stopped if they would have fucking listened to me when I said, “This exam is very triggering for me and I am asking for medication. Or better yet, it would have been better to see a real doctor that is a GYN that knows about rape and PTSD.” What happened is fubar and I will never be having another pelvic exam.

So tomorrow, I see my therapist for the second time this week. I have cut my thigh because I feel like I am nothing. No one can or will respect me. I feel like I am just a walking piece of meet that no one cares about.  I am tired of everything being a fucking fight. I am tired of no one listening to me or other survivors. I straight up told them what would happen during this exam and they did not care.

I want to be able to sue the VA and Military to get the pay back to the day when I was raped, lost my career, emotionally abused, retaliated against, betrayed, emotionally abused,

Everything that happened this week is FUBAR and I should have been taking care of by the VA. I should have a CHOICE IN WHO MY PROVIDER IS. I SHOULD HAVE A CHOICE OF WHAT MEDICAL FACILITY I GO TO. I SHOULD HAVE REAL INSURANCE AND NOT HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE FUCKING VA.  I DID NOT ASK TO BE RAPED, RETALIATED AGAINST, LOSE MY CAREER, HAVE MY LIFE CHANGED FOREVER., LIVE WITH COMPLEX PTSD, NOT ABLE TO WORK.

THE MILITARY AND VA SHOULD HAVE TO PAY PAIN AND SUFFERING!! SURVIVORS SHOULD BE ABLE TO SUE THESE IDIOTS.

Shut Up and Listen to Survivors, a Poem from The Journey Back to Myself: A Book of Healing Poetry

Journey Back To Myself

This is a poem that I wrote after Vice President gave his speech. It is directed at those that protect rapists, make excuses for rape, blames the survivor and protects rapists.

You were not there when I was eleven years’ old

And a friend forced me to give him oral sex.

You were not there when I was choking and crying.

You were not there when he forced himself on top

Of me and did not care that I was crying.

You were not there when he

threatened me to kill me and

My family if I told.

You were not there when I was told to

Just forget about it and move on.

You were not there when two men raped

Me in a dorm room at University of Cincinnati.

You were not there when a police officer looked at

Me and told me that I deserved what they…

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Open Letter to House of Representative’s and Senators

Dear Representative’s and Senators:

I am writing you today because I am more then fed up with you and your staff. I am a woman. I have been raped multiple times.  I have been advocating since 2012 after the man that raped me sent me an email and NCIS did nothing about what he said in his email. I am writing you because you will hear what I have to say. I am done with military bearing. I am done being nice to you.

I am the Navy Veteran that sent you my service medals, along with two other peoples service medals,  and brought the reminder of the Navy crap to your office. I am the one that wrote my truth in the book, The Boulders In My Life That Shaped My Journey. I am the one that was raped and know perfectly well what the chain of command does and does not do. Also, I wrote the book, The Journey Back to Myself: A Book of Healing Poetry.

Rape is not a pre-existing condition. I did not ask to be raped. That was the choice of the six men that raped me.  PTSD is not a pre-existing condition. It is a response to being raped, betrayed, victim blamed and retaliated against. PTSD is a response to not being believed. PTSD is a response to emotional abuse and being told over and over again that you are nothing because you are a woman and deserved to be raped. PTSD, Anxiety, Depression, Suicidal thoughts, Self cutting is all a response to no one giving a damn about what happened to you and allowing a rapist to continue to have his career, promoting him and allowing him to rape more women. Do you know what it is like to be afraid to go outside because you are scared of all men and want nothing to do with men. Do you know what it is like to live in fear? Do you know what it is like to wake up with nightmares, have flashbacks, be hyper vigilant, severely depressed, and want to cut yourself? Do you know what it is like to want to get help but the place where you go to, to get help is a place that is full of men and you are terrified of them? Do you know what it is like to not be able to work because you have Complex PTSD and can be triggered into fight or flight in a second? Do you know what it is like to lose three jobs because of PTSD?

My life has been changed forever since the days that I was raped. Here are four of the poems I have written about being raped, betrayed, victim blamed, forgotten and told that I do not matter:

Born a Girl
Born With a Vagina,
I was given the label of girl,
I was taught to dress a certain,
I was taught to follow what my mom did,
I was told that I was supposed to wear dresses,
That I was supposed to do house work,
That I was supposed to be skinny,
That I was supposed to wear makeup,
That I was supposed to play with certain toys
Such as Barbie dolls, house, care bears, girl toys,
And that I was only to be interested in girl things,
That I was not supposed to be good at science or math,
That I was weaker,

Once I became I tomboy I no longer fit into what
Society wanted me to be since I was born with a Vagina,
I wanted to climb trees, play basketball, football, baseball,
Ride bikes, get dirty, and play war there was something
wrong with me and I had to be shown where
I belonged in society,
I had to be taught a lesson that is when Ryan
showed me what porn was, what violence was,
And raped me,
Then I was threatened that I would be killed if I told anyone,
My friend told his mom and his mom called my mom,
I was then grounded to the yard and told to just
Forget about what happened to me

I was told that since I had been born with a Vagina that
I was only here to be raped and that the laws do not apply
To girls that have been raped.
As I grew up, I still did not fit into what society wanted
Me to be because I wanted nothing to do with being a woman
I wanted nothing to do with wearing dresses,
I wanted nothing to do with wearing makeup and having long hair,
I wanted nothing to do with sex or my sexuality,
Then two black men raped me when I was
intoxicated and could not consent,
Then I was once again told by Female Police Officer that I deserved
What they did to me because I was drinking underage and that
Entitled two black me to rape me.
Then the University of Cincinnati sent me to be evaluated for a mental
Health disorder instead of doing anything to the two black
Men that raped me,
I became suicidal and wanted to die and I tried to kill myself
Once again I was told that since I have a Vagina that I am some how
Weaker and do not matter as much as men.
That is was perfectly fine to be raped by two men,
After all that was what I was born for since
I was born with a Vagina and men were entitled to rape me
And the laws do not apply to me.

Then when I was 23, I was raped again and did not bother
To make a police report,
I knew that no one would do a damn thing
Then when I was 25 I was raped by a third class petty officer
Twice in the same day,
I did not say anything until the next day when a friend
Asked me what was wrong
She went and told the chain of command
They took me to have rape exam done at Wilford ER,
OSI came and talked to me,
The chain of command blamed me for being raped,
Master Chief said, “We believe you but there is not a damn thing
We can do about it. Here’s your orders to your next command. Promise
Me that you will go to counseling.
Then the retaliation started,
I was not allowed to go to counseling at rape crisis center,
I was told that I was lying,
I was told that I was fat,
I was told there was something wrong
With me because I bleed once a month,
I was told that I was to emotional,
I was told to “Control my emotions.”,
I was told that I was not strong enough,
I was told that I was only here lay on
My back and spread my legs and take whatever men did to me,
I was told that I was nothing more than a walking mattress
That deserved to be raped
My career was ruined and I was given code of JFT erroneous enlistment
Then in 2013 when he straight up admitted to raping me they still did
Nothing.
I was told that, “We have to investigate you. We have to know who
All you have slept with. About any other reports that you
Have made. We do not care what he said in his email to you.
So once again I was told that since I was born with a VAGINA
That I am nothing
That rape is fine and we do not give a damn about you
That rape is not against the law and we only protect rapists.

Next poem is called Forever Changed:

Forever Changed
I was eleven years old,
When he decided to take me
I thought that I could trust him,
I thought that he was my friend
I did not know what porn was,

He took me into the bathroom,
I was crying and choking,
He did not care that I was choking and crying
I did not understand why he hated me so much
He did not care that I was crying
He did not care that he was hurting me

Next thing I know is that we are up in his bedroom
And he is on top of me,
I am frozen, outside of my body and crying
I have left my body, wishing that I was up in the sky

He threatens me
Tells me that if I tell any one that he will kill me and my family
I do not ever say a word until I am in high school

That day changed my life forever.
I learned what hate was and did
Not understand why he hated me so much.

Next poem is the one I wrote that is directed towards those that do nothing about rape and think that rape is a joke:
Shut Up and Listen to Survivors
You were not there when I was eleven years old
And a friend forced me to give him oral sex
You were not there when I was choking and crying
You were not there when he forced himself on top
Of me and did not care that I was crying.
You were not there when he threatened me to kill me and
My family if I told
You were not there when my mom told me to
Just forget about it and move on
You were not there when two black men raped
Me in a dorm room at Daniels Hall at University of Cincinnati
You were not there when a police officer looked at
Me and told me that I deserved what they did because
I was drinking underage and the two men had
Every right to rape me
You were not there when I went upstairs
And wanted to jump off of the building but
The stairs were blocked with a locked gate
You were not there when I broke down and
Sobbed and sobbed
You were not there when everything I ate
Was vomited back up
You were not there when a friend took
Me in the bathroom and raped me
You were not there when my friend looked
Right me and told me that her friend would never do a
Thing like that
You were not there when I fell apart and
Started drinking more and more because I wanted the pain to stop
You were not there the day
When he forced himself on top of me
You were not there the night
When he waited for me to pass out
From drinking too much
You were not there when he
Took what I did not consent to
You were not there when I had the rape kit
Done and the stupid male officer forgot to
Cut hairs and had to come back in to cut hairs
You were not there when I talked to OSI
You were not there when I was told that it
Was my fault by chain of command.
You were not there when command had safety stand down
And I could not sit in the room because it was very triggering.
I kept on getting up and going out into hallway
Then a Chief followed me and told me that I had
To sit in there and listen to this.
They were blaming me for being raped twice.
You were not there when I fell apart.
You were not there when Senior Chief said to me,
“We believe you but there is nothing that we can do
About this. Promise me that you will go to counseling. ”
You were not there when Chief called me a liar and
Would not let me leave the ship to go to counseling
I had appointment at rape crisis center and had
Appointment card in my hand and he still called me a liar.
You were not there when I started to cut my arm and
Burned my arm.
You were not there when I started to have flashbacks, nightmares
And wanted to kill myself
You were not there when Chief started telling me that I
Was fat and that I was nothing more than a walking mattress
That deserved to be raped.
You were not on deployment and had no one to talk to.
You were not told that you are going to talk to a male about being raped
You were not there when I told chain of command there was no
Way in hell that I would talk about being raped with a man
You were not there when the chain of command would do
Nothing about my knee and called me a liar about that too.
You were not there when the chain of command sent me to
Anger management classes with men that abuse there wife’s
You were not there when I was discharged because I had gained
Weight because of Post-Traumatic Stress and the problem with my
Knee.
You were not there when I started going to the VA for therapy
And fell apart during EMDR.
You were not there when the bastard that raped me sent me
An email straight up admitting to it and NCIS still did nothing
You were not here when I got call from Special Agent saying,
“We do not care what he admitted to. We have to investigate you
And know who all you slept with and about any other sexual assaults.”
You were not here when I threw phone across the room and fell apart.
You were not here when that destroyed me and I wanted to die
You were not here when I was triggered by the way a woman
Came at me and I got into fight or freeze.
You were not there when I lost my job because of Post Traumatic Stress.
You were there when I went to an intensive 15 day retreat center
You were not here when I cut my thighs over 40 times because I hated
Myself and wished that the bastard that had raped me had killed me.
You were not here when I lost three jobs because of Post-Traumatic Stress
You ignore what we survivors have told you over and over again
And you only listen to the damn brass that have everything to lose.
Then you ignore survivors of university rape, childhood rape, and do nothing
About human trafficking.
You were not raped so how in the hell do you know what it is like?
How you do know what the chain of command does and does not do?
You have not been raped, so shut up and listen to survivors
That know firsthand what it is to be raped, betrayed, thrown away,
Have life destroyed.
You have not been in my shoes.
So sit down, shut the hell up and listen to what I have told you and
Other survivors.
My life has been changed forever.
I cannot just forget it.
I do not want to hear a damn thing from you until you
Know what it is like to be raped and have your life destroyed.
You do not know what it is like to live with Post traumatic Stress
You do not know what I go thru each and every day to just function.
You have not had to pay thousands of dollars for therapy after you were
Raped
Why should I have to pay for therapy when I did not rape myself?

Senator I am tired of you and others not listening. I am tired of you only caring about damn men and protecting rapists. Have you even bothered to watch The Invisible War, Justice Denied, The Hunting Ground? Have you bothered to read my book The Boulders in My Life That Shaped My Journey, The Journey Back to Myself: A Book of Healing Poetry? Have you not listened to those that have testified on Capital Hill. Do you know what it is like to be an E-2, raped and then betrayed, kicked out when you worked your butt off to serve this country?

Also, my mother has invasive lobular metastatic breast cancer stage four. Do you know how much chemotherapy costs? Let me enlighten you, it costs any where from 5,000 to 20,000 dollars. So if you make cancer a pre-existing condition how in the heck are we supposed to pay for her therapy? Do you know what it is like to take care of a cancer patient?