Good evening friends. And welcomeback!
In the last post, I talked about how my counseling led to some revelations of me SURVIVING. It's a big word considering the circumstances. But there was more to come.
After I had spent some time under construction, I felt isolated... Unsettled somehow. A lot of people don't know what I dealt with while I was stationed in Mississippi. I was in the process of healing and I didn't do much outside my dorm room. I met some great people there and still to this day, I wouldn't mind going back. But what exactly made that go south? (pun not intended)
I used to smoke and met him at the smoke pit. A simple hello, harmless. But that simple hello turned into date requests and a lot of me saying no because, like I said, I wasn't wanting to do much outside my dorm room. I guess he caught on to that and thought it was appropriate to knock on my window late at night to wake me up, wanting to talk to me all the time. I blocked his number and he would always message me through those apps that give you a different number; this guy just wouldn't leave me alone. Soon I was late to work because I was avoiding him; I just didn't feel safe. I even told my supervisor about it and she made sure my coworkers would take me to and from places to make sure I was safe, I wouldn't let her do more than that because I wasn't sure if I was being too cautious or making it a big deal. (She did communicate this to leadership, but nothing had really happened so it was a "wait and see" situation)
I should have.
My roommates took a trip together, money was tight for me so I didn't go. I heard pounding on my door and seriously thought it was my supervisor because she had done it plenty of times before. But what could she want at 9 pm? Well, it wasn't her. It was him. Once I had noticed, I tried slamming the door shut right in his face. When I noticed his boot stuck in the door preventing me from closing it, I was mortified. Quick thinking, I let go and shut my rooms interior door because I knew I wasn't strong enough to push back on the door he was forcing himself through.
(Our doors had a main lock on the outside and had four rooms inside. It was like a little apartment with bedrooms, but the bedrooms had special locks on them. Only I had access to open my room door inside the dorm. I closed it and locked all my things inside because I didn't want to be stuck with this guy in my bedroom. I don't know why I did it, it was just important for me to do so at the time.)
Obviously when I let go of my front door that he was pushing on, he just fell in. I went to run out, but he grabbed my arm and started wrestling me. He tried ripping off my clothes, but I'l be damned if I ever am assaulted again. I refused to let it happen and fought back. And I fought hard. I remember thinking to myself, "If I hurt him, will I get in trouble? Will I lose my career?" The more tired of wrestling I got, the more afraid I was at the reality of what could happen. That's where things get strange.
He just stopped. He just dropped his arms down and walked out my door. He gave up, I guess.
I called the on call phone for a night lockout, they unlocked my room and I took a three hour long shower. I had bruises, but nothing too extreme. But I was stunned. Was that survival? Was that a victory? Was that good or bad? What the hell just happened to me?
Work the next day was strangely normal. This guy texted my phone all day the next day saying, "That wasn't rape. I didn't do anything." And other statements along those lines. I just wanted to leave. I still love that base, but I hated what I was going through and I hated that guy. I kept it to myself for the most part, no one at the dorm knew anyways because no one was around. And what would I say anyway? Some guy came into my room and was an A-hole? I just didn't know what to do or say or how to feel.
But, I picked up some orders to Korea. I had mixed feelings about it but I thought it was good for me to get away from that experience. But something BIG happened to me and I've already learned I just can't leave it behind because it'll cause problems. And it did.
I got to Korea and turned 21. If you know anything about that place, it's known for the drinking. I fell into the trap for sure. It's not anyone's fault but my own. Almost every weekend I could barely walk myself home. I was promiscuous, drunk, and very stupid. I had two very good friends there who practically did interventions with me every weekend but I didn't listen. I drove our friendships over the edge and continued to damage myself further. I had zero self respect. Once it started affecting my health, job, and relationships, I went to church. Now I'm not here to push religion on anyone, I just went and did something that I believed would correct my behavior and put me in a reflective state and it worked. I realized that all the people I would go drink with didn't even care about me. I just followed them around and drank myself into oblivion. Some people argue that a 21 year old can't be an alcoholic, but I know I was.
So I signed up for counseling again. She told me to put down on a piece of paper who I hang out with and how they add to my life. How do they influence my character?
I tried and I honestly couldn't write anything down. These people didn't ask how I was or wonder why I am the way I am. They didn't know me and they didn't try to know me. I wasn't their friend. I was a chick who could choke down alcohol and make them feel good about themselves. And if that wasn't the way they felt about me, then I guess they didn't communicate it with me. The only people I could think of was my friends who I abandoned because they wanted me to stop drinking and stop destroying myself. So I called one up and asked her to lunch and thank the Lord she said yes!
We rekindled and I did things differently. I mean, I still drank, but things were at least a little different. This is around the time I met my Husband. I knew him through an organization we both just so happened to be a part of, but then our personal worlds intertwined. It was interesting for someone to actually want to know ME.
As soon as we got close, I settled. I stopped going out with the old crowd. I stopped getting so drunk I could barely walk and if I did, he was there to take care of me. He cleaned my barf. He held me as I cried about another man. He fed me. He took care of me. I don't think he realizes what and who he was taking care of and how damaged I felt inside, but he did it anyway. How could you not fall in love with that? For once in my life, I could imagine myself years ahead. My then almost-boyfriend had orders to the same base as me after Korea. So I could visualize our future relationship in my head. So I stayed with him. And here we are, our third base together, married, and a 16 month old beautiful baby boy. I got lucky.
Since I've been married, my life has been a lot more stable and consistent. I met a man who wasn't disgusted by the fact I was a sexual assault survivor and thought I was strong instead. Of course, we've had our challenges over the years like anyone else, but I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.
That is the basic journey of my life. Of course it isn't every dirty detail, but some stories and life lessons deserve their own post and don't really fit into ME and MY story. Now, there are a lot of things that have affected me and I learned from them and trust me, we'll talk about them. But this four part story was so you could get to know me better and understand where I'm getting all these lessons from.
I took these dark things and transformed them into something positive. How? Subscribe and stick around. You will definitely find out. Thank you for your time!