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.

 

November 7, 2006, Journal entry from The Boulders In My Life That Shaped My Journey

Dear Journal,

I started to work a little in the book, The Courage to Heal. I talked to two of my friends because I just did not want to be by myself. I was feeling overwhelmed and like I needed to cry.

I skip around in the book because there are certain things that I am ready for and other things  that I am not ready for. It would be really nice if I could just let myself cry but I cannot let myself cry.  What happened to me really bothers me and I keep on blaming myself for being raped.

 

 

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,