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Yesterday, I was talking my mom about things that is going on in my family. All of a sudden, my mom tells me that I am living in the past. I start crying when she says this, tell her not to go there, and end up going to my bedroom. I have been raped six times. I have been told all of my life, just move on, just forget about that, pretend it did not happen, it’s your fault that you were raped, you do not matter, the laws do not apply to you, we are going to emotionally abuse you, retaliate against you, ruin your career, fire you when you get triggered and tried to just ignore my feelings. That does not work for me. I started sleeping around to ignore the pain I was feeling. I started drinking to take the pain away. I started eating more and more to numb the intense feelings. I worked out every day and destroyed my knee trying to take away the pain. I have cut my arm and burned myself to numb the emotional pain that I feel. Nothing worked to take away the flashbacks, nightmares, grief, depression, anxiety, and depression.
I am not living in my past. I am taking steps to move forward. I am going to therapy two times a week. I go to dance. I have created a playlist to choreograph music. I am moving forward and I do not dwell or live in my PTSD. PTSD is what happens when one is threatened, is raped, emotionally abused, retaliated against and is told that one deserved to be raped. There are nightmares, flashbacks, and constant memories that come to the surface. It’s not that I am living in this space, it’s that the past is not letting go of me.
Since getting out of the Navy, I have had four jobs. Each of these jobs, I have been fired because of PTSD. I have re created who I am by taking Nia White Belt, Green Belt and Blue Belt. I have wrote two books telling my truth. I have advocated for myself and others to change society. I have called, tweeted, wrote Senators and Representatives to try to make people realize the effects of rape. I am not stuck or living in my past. If it was that easy to just “FORGET IT AND MOVE ON”, I would have freaking done that a long time ago. What my mother said yesterday hit what I heard over and over again from chief’s on the USS Ronald Reagan and her statement caused severe pain for me yesterday. I do what I can do every single day to take care of myself and to move on. I am tired of not being worthy in my mothers eyes.