Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself
Updated: Oct 2
Hey Y'all ... allow me to reintroduce myself. I am a veteran that has overcome MST (Military Sexual Trauma) and Domestic Violence. I discovered my love for the military in high school when I blindly chose to join JROTC. My moher could no longer afford to keep me on the swim team which also counted for P.E. and during that time it was near the start of second semester, I had two choices. Flag girls or JROTC, I knew I didn't want to be a flag girl, but I had ZERO clue what JROTC was. I was up for the Challenge. Our Daily instructor was Gunny and if you haven't guessed yet, he was a Marine. Overall, the program was amazing, and it offered many opportunities and lessons that I don't believe I would have gained from any other program. We learned leadership, discipline, brother and sisterhood and were constantly motivated. Ultimately, I believe that Gunny was my inspiration to join the Marines. He impacted us all and really cared about all his students. But for me, he was like the dad that I missed all my life. Not only was he a father figure, but he pushed me and believed in me, in ways others didn't. My mom hated ROTC she always said they were going to force me to join the service, and man was that one of her greatest fears. I guess she wasn't completely wrong, maybe mothers' intuition. No one forced me to join, but ultimately, I chose to join. The majority of my high school career was engulfed in JROTC, with drill team, knowledge and physical fitness competitions. Most of us joined the military, but from our group I was one of the first females to join the Marines. Joining was not an easy journey, since I graduated at 17 my mother refused to sign my contract. She asked me to do anything but that. I tried community college and even cosmetology school, but the military was still calling me. I went and joined "behind my mom's back" whatever that means since I was already 20. I was so motivated and excited to be there I couldn't wait to leave for bootcamp. I was injured at the end of bootcamp and continued to MCT with an injury. When I arrived, I was not allowed healing time,I was told and I quote "You knew being a Marine Corps. was hard, suck it up". So, I sucked it up until I my injuries spiraled. During my recovery time I was sexually assaulted by a fellow marine, and that became the end of my military career. After getting out my life was a disaster full of debt, physical and mental issues. I was sent home to start over, but not with a blank slate. In desperation I married a fellow Marine and that is when my life really turned upside down. This relationship turned violent almost immediately after marriage. I lived in fear and violence for over two years. Not only was I afraid to report it but I was embarrassed that I was a "victim" of domestic violence. I went through constant mental, physical and emotional abuse. I was constantly cheated on and my self-esteem was ruined. It wasn't until the birth of my daughter that I gained the strength to walk away for her sake. I refused to raise her in that type of toxic and dangerous environment. I wish I could say that walking away was our salvation, but it wasn't. After leaving the abuse continued, not only through me but through my daughter. After many years of fighting, court battles and healing we were able to really start living life. Our journey inspired me to advocate for MST and Domestic Violence. As a survivor of both I feel that it is important for us to have a support system and recourses to help manage the stress and the healing process. For survivor the journey can feel very lonely. But it is important to know that we are not alone. I hope that through my efforts, and writing I can connect and help survivors navigate and be supportive to their healing journey.