An Open Letter to Department of Veteran Affairs, Congress, Department of Defense From MST Who Is Done

To the Department of Veteran Affairs

 

My name is Julie Francine Smoot. I served in the United States Navy from 2003 to 2008.  I got a call from you stating that I must come in for re evaluation for PTSD due to Military Sexual Trauma.  I will not be sitting down to have a conversation about this and I will not be re victimized, retaliated against, emotionally abused and re traumatized.  I have proved that I have PTSD due to be being raped by a third class petty officer on Jan 17, 2004. I did not ask to be raped. He took what was not offered when I was passed out from drinking to much. then when I went to the chain of command, I was told that it was my fault and that I was the one that had a problem.  Within two days the retaliation started when the chain of command ordered me to go talk to a Drug and Alcohol Chief. First thing the Chief told me, was that it was my fault that the third class raped me.

I have proved the retaliation that I occurred on a daily basis, standing extra watches, told that I was fat, sent to fitness enhancement program, no care for my knee, not allowed to leave the ship to go to therapy appointments at Rape crisis center, told that I was lying about my knee being hurt, being denied medical care and mental health care, sent to captains mast, XIO and to anger management class with men who abused there wives. I have proved that I have been emotionally abused by the chain of command and now by the Department of Veteran Affairs. I have proved that I have nightmares, flashbacks, hyper-vigilance, fear, depression, grief, rage, have cut my arms and thighs, burned my arms and have suicidal thoughts every freaking day. I can not sleep during the night. I take Ativian to keep my anxiety under control. I keep my stress level low so that the PTSD is not as bad as it right now.

I have proved that I can not work or function in society because I do not feel safe and have PTSD from the hell my chain of command has put me through, NCIS and now the VA.  I have proved that there are days when I do not even leave my house.  I have called the VA suicide hotline seven times since Thursday, when I was informed that I must come into have another C and P examination.  Well I will not be coming in, when it is documented in my medical record that the VA is unsafe place for me and that I am in the Choice Program with a provider that actually cares about me.

In May, I came to the VA to get my ankle examined. During that examination the Nurse Practitioner looked at my chart and noticed that it had been five years since I had pelvic exam. She wanted me to do this examination at that time. I told her there was no way. She pushed it again and then I told that these exams trigger all of the memories. She did not hear me and pushed the issue again. Once again I told her no. On the way out she asked me to make an appointment with her. I kicked it around for two weeks before I called to make this appointment. I was very scared and nervous. My friends told me to advocate for myself by calling the VA and telling them my history. I did that and asked for anti anxiety medication before hand.  This fell on deaf ears. I went to my appointment.

During the examination, I got severely triggered. I stopped breathing. I turned red. I got a massive headache. They gave me an ice pack to put on my shoulders. I was crying. Then they took my blood pressure and it was 154/115. I told them that I needed to get out of there. The rest off the day, I was crying and very upset. The following day, I called and asked for anti anxiety medication and know all of the sudden they cared about me and knew that I was not lying about being raped because of the body response I had and that was PTSD.

The NP then told me that she was going to put me in the Choice program. They put me in the Choice Program. I had to wait close to a month to get an appointment. During that time they sent Cary Police Department to my house to do a wellness check because I have become suicidal. I finally got an appointment and see Rhonda Chesson twice a week.

Since this call from Compensation and Pension on Thursday, I have been severely triggered again. I have been going from crying, to feeling like I am nothing but a worthless pussy, to being enraged. I packed the remaining Navy Shit I have and put it in a box to Kirsten Gillibrand. I want nothing left that reminds me of the Navy and do not consider myself a veteran any more. I am done proving that I was raped over and over again. All you have to do is read my medical records.  I will not subject myself to another C and P exam that is re-traumatizing and re victimizing. I will not tell my story again and I am really considering cutting the VA completely out of my life. I have already gotten rid of everything that says I served this country.  It is sad that the VA has made me this angry and has made me feel like I am nothing but a pussy that deserves nothing.

I will not be putting myself through another evaluation.  Everything you need is in my medical records.  I proved that yes I was raped by the email the rapist sent me in 2013, where he straight up admitted to raping me and NCIS still did nothing.  It’s been nothing but betrayal after betrayal, after abuse after abuse and I am done being a punching bag.  I am done being a victim that you people continue to abuse. Also at this point, I do not care if I lose my compensation.  Everything you need is in my medical records. There is no reason to sit down and have a conversation. There is no need to go through all of the details again.

I guess I will just be another veteran living on the street because of your failure to take care of me and the continued abuse  you put sexual assault survivors through. I am done jumping through your hoops. I am done being your punching bag.  I will be making a national media story out of this.

 

In the last letter I mailed to Winston Salem I included my Veteran ID. I am done being  a Veteran and I am done with the DOD, VA or any government agency.

Suicide: The Answer Sometimes

Suicide a thought that runs through

My head every single day,

It has been there ever since I was 19

years old,

it’s something that I fight every day,

There has been several times

when I wish that the ones

that hurt me would have just

killed me,

I am tried of fighting so damn

hard to just heal

I am tried of flashbacks, nightmares,

constant fighting, re victimization, retraumatization

I was not born to be retaliated against, sexually abused,

raped, and emotionally abused.

I did not serve my country to have to deal

with this and the feelings I feel every day

I am hurting so much deep inside

and the pain does not go away,

When you can cry for almost a whole

day, one knows that the pain I feel

is very deep inside and ingrained

Suicide feels like the answer sometimes.

 

Journal entry from 11 June 2006, From The Boulders In My Life That Shaped My journey

Dear Journal,

I am really in a bad mood. I am really tired of working my butt off and getting no respect. I am sick of being treated like I am nothing but a robot, and not being able to go to counseling. There’s just so much going on inside of me, trying to talk to Chief, but finding she does not care, and it is getting to the point where I am afraid of Khaki’s. I am not respecting any of them any more. I just straight do not give a crap about anything anymore. I am so tried of all this bull crap.

There’s been times lately where I have just wanted to hurt myself. I have wanted to cut and burn my arm and times that I have wanted to die. I am so sick of this pain. I am sick of not having anyone to talk to. I am sick of being called a liar. I am sick of not being able to see a counselor. Life just does not seem worth living anymore. I keep replaying that night over and over again. Everything is all mixed together. I feel dirty, used, sad, betrayed, violated, hurt, angry and depressed. I am to the point that I just do not care any more and part of me wants to commit suicide.

I’ve had nightmares about what he did to me. That night I drank so much, passed out and woke up to him being on top of me. I have been trying to keep my feelings on the inside but I cannot do that any more. The thing is that I have to because my chain of command do not care. Why can’t these feelings and memories just go away? I hate how I am being treated. The I was before I joined is one and this place is just for men. The chain of command does everything they can to protect rapists. To hell with me who spoke up and told my truth about what the third class did to me that night.

Oh and there new retaliation that they are doing is constantly having me go to urinalysis. This is the third time in less then two weeks.

Feelings:  Hurt, Alone, Betrayed, Depressed, Sad, Fearful, Scared, Rage, Anger, Nausea.

November 8, 2006 A Journal From The Boulders In My Life That Shaped Journey

Dear Journal,

I really needed to write today. Today has been one of those day that makes you wish that you were dead. This guy had a lot of rude comments to say today. I am just so sick of the mistreatment and I am so ready to get the hell out. I am really hurting so much inside. I feel like I should have just fought Troll and made him kill me.

I ran the Physical Readiness Test with my knee being messed up and of course, I did not pass. I did enough push-ups and sit-ups to pass that portion of the PRT.  Just go ahead and do me the favor and kick me out. I am so sick of being in pain and being abused every freaking day.

Since I was raped at A School, I have not cared about serving.  That person that wanted to serve her country is dead.  Troll killed her when he raped me and so has the chain of command with their constant abuse. I want to kill myself. I do not want to be here any more.

November 4, 2006, a Journal Entry from The Boulders In My Life That Shaped My Journey

November 4, 2006

Dear Journal,

I am not out to sea this weekend because something on the ship is broke. I was able to go to the women’s meeting and I was able to face of couple of my fears. For some reason, I was really afraid to be there today. I met a newcomer at the meeting and was able to talk to her. It was just nice to be able to be there for someone.

3:56 PM

I am watching  Ohio State Buckeyes play and they are winning again. During half time, I took a nap and then called a friend to see how she is doing. She told me that was making chocolate chip cookies and is going to a barque tonight. My knee has been bothering me for most of the day, so I have had my knee up on two pillows, iced it and taken pain medication.

I am not wanting to be around any one today so I am just relaxing at a hotel room. I am trying to figure out what I am going to do after I get out of the Navy. If I stay here, where am I going to live? What kind of job am I going to have? Do I star looking for a medical records job? Then I need to find a apartment to live in.

I am feeling really sad, tearful, betrayed and hurt. This has been nothing like I thought it would be and all it has been is abuse.

Broken

You set me up to be violated,

You lied to me when you told me that your mom

Was home,

You took my innocence away from me,

You did not stop when you were hurting me,

You did not stop when I was crying,

You did not care what you did to me,

You did not care the pain that you caused,

You knew that I did not want to do what

You were doing to me,

You knew that I was crying and scared,

You did not care the damage you caused

When you were done, you threatened to kill me if I told,

 

You tried to steal my soul away from me

But what you have done is made me stronger

You have made me stronger to fight against

Predators like you,

You have made me find my voice and speak

My truth,

You have made a warrior that shouts my truth

From the roof tops.

I am healing every day and untangling myself

From you,