I am writing a poem about sensing into my pelvis and as I write this poem more questions are coming out of me about what Congress, Vice President, President, Department of Defense, Society gets from allowing rape to happen every two minutes in this country. You have the military that has the core values of Honor, Courage, Commitment, Country, Shipmate, and Self last. I want to know why these values do not matter. I want to know what people get out of protecting rapists, sexual predators, domestic abusers, human traffickers. I want to know who is lining the pockets of politicians so they do nothing about this issue. I want to know why this is accepted by our society.
In writing this poem, I am tapping into incredible rage, grief, hurt, fear and depression. Writing this poem that I am working on that I might share or not share I feel nausea. After I was raped at University of Cincinnati, I could not eat anything and when I did the food ended up being vomited back up. My soul was ripped away from when I was 11, 19, 23 and 25. Then it was ripped away from me even more when I was victim blamed, shamed, emotionally abused, and retaliated.
My life was flipped upside down and I lost my childhood, university education, Navy Career while the bastards that raped me had nothing happen to them. In 2013, when the rapist sent me an email straight up admitting to it and NCIS still did nothing about it, my soul was ripped away even more. When Congress, voted to keep the freaking chain of command involved in rape cases, after survivors testified on Capital Hill, more of my soul was ripped away and even more grief, anger, and fear came into me.
In May, when I had the pap smear at the VA and was not listened to when I specifically told the Nurse Practitioner my history, advocated for myself and was not listened to or believed until I had the body response I had and a full blown panic attack; I just want nothing to do with that part of my body.
There is so much hurt, betrayal, rage at the Nurse Practitioner for not freaking listening. There is anger at the six men that raped me. There is anger at society for blaming me and not doing any thing. There is anger at my chain of command for the retaliation, emotional abuse, ruining my career, calling me a liar and protecting the rapists sorry asses. There is anger at Congress (the democratic controlled Congress), Vice President Biden, President Obama for not doing a damn thing and allowing this shit to continue on.
I truly want to know:
- What they get from doing nothing about child sexual abuse, university rape, military sexual trauma, sexual assault, human trafficking, domestic abuse, sexual harassment
- Why they do nothing about Military Sexual Trauma when you have the military having the core values of Honor, Courage, Commitment, Country, Duty, Shipmate. Please tell me where protecting, promoting, excusing and allowing rapists to continue to rape over and over and over and over and over again comes into those values.
- Who is paying them off and keeps them from doing nothing
- What they get from allowing this to happen every two minutes in this country.
- Why they think rape is funny.
- Why this is acceptable to them.
- If they would really stand by and do nothing if one of there loved ones where raped, sexually abused as a child, trafficked, sexually harassed, beaten
I know you are there,
when you scream so loud,
I am paying attention to you,
When the pain starts,
It takes me back to when,
I fell down the stairs at UC
And broke you,
You remind me of all of
The pain from UC,
Somehow all of the trauma
Has gotten held in you,
Now I touch you,
I feel you throbbing with pain,
I feel the tears well up inside of me,
I feel the nightmares and flashbacks
Coming to the surface,
I feel the anger about what happened
That night in the dorm room,
I know there is still pain that I have
I know there are things
That I still need to talk about,
I know that I have anger from
The police doing nothing,
I know that my life changed forever
On October 17, 1997,
I know there are many
Let tears that need to come out,
You let me know that I need to
Forgive myself for drinking,
I did not ask for what happened,
It’s not my fault what they did to me.
I did not choose any thing that happened
I have taken time to stay off of you,
I have allowed myself to cry
I have told you that I love you
And hear what you are telling me
Please stop hurting.
I am protecting you now.
I am listening to you now.
One of those things I have heard a
few times from different people through my life,
Many times I got angry, cried and ignored what
they were saying to me,
Pushed people away from me,
I was not in the place to hear about forgiving
myself or them for what they did to me,
Now, in this moment, I am ready to forgive
myself for what happened when I was
11, 19, 23 and 25,
I know that the things that I hold
on to that keeps me stuck in pain, anger
grief, and from living my life,
I forgive myself for not knowing what I
know now, for not leaving, not fighting him,
believing his threat and not telling
everything he did to me,
I forgive myself for not saying any thing
until I was in high school,
I forgive myself for sleeping around,
I was doing the best to cope with
how I was feeling deep inside,
I thought that by going to a university two hours
away, I could escape the pain that I
felt deep inside,
All I did was stay on campus over the weekend,
Drank alcohol for the first time,
It’s not my fault what they did to me,
It’s not my shame,
I forgive myself for drinking for the first time,
I forgive myself for drinking when I was 23,
I was not ready to feel my feelings
so I did the only thing I knew to do,
which was drinking alcohol to numb
all of the pain I was feeling,
I forgive myself for throwing away a year
and half of sobriety away when I was 25,
It’s not my fault what he choose to do
I forgive myself for all of the self-harm and
self-hatred I have put myself through.
None of this was my fault,
They choose to commit a crime
and took what I did not offer,
This was their fault.
There violent act.
I work every day to take
back my life, live my life
and forgive myself.
I am so glad that I am able to write,
Because writing is the only way,
I know to get the thoughts out
of my head, to tell my truth
and to continue to heal
one day at a time.
Forgiveness is something
I work at every single day.
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.
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.
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.
A post from what happened to me back in June/July.
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 spent 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 meat 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.
It’s the following Wednesday and I am still triggered. I am still having severe PTSD
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.
#TheJourneyBacktoMyself:ABookofHealingPoetry #PTSD #ComplexPTSD #Depression #Anxiety #Selfcompassion #Selflove #healing #inspiration #truestory #authentic