January 26, 2013

Military Sexual Trauma in Aberdeen, Part III

Warning:  This article contains graphic descriptions of Military Sexual Trauma. 

Molina walked me back to The Quiet Room and disappeared. I wanted to crawl into bed and go to sleep. I was still drunk and still trying to choke back what happened in the woods. A little while later, another group of people from base showed up to join the party. One guy in particular had heard I was there with Greg. John and I had gotten along, flirted and hung out together. He was possessive and didn’t like Greg much. The feeling was mutual, if I remember right. I was already anxious, drunk, and running on adrenaline. I talked to John in the hall and swore nothing was going on with Greg hoping John would go to the party room and stay there. He came to The Quiet Room instead. I thought I was keeping the peace by not sharing one of two beds with Greg, where I wanted to be, and laying on the floor with some blankets with John. During the night John wanted to have sex. Saying "No" didn’t work with Molina, so I kept my mouth shut and did what he wanted. The whole time, I figured it was best to go along with it, let him enjoy himself if it will keep the peace. No one takes "No" for an answer anyway. This is all I am worth. I didn’t want to be there. I wanted to be up in the bed next to Greg who I knew was sweet and nice and liked me and would never hurt me. Anyone else who might have helped me or kept me safe was thousands of miles at home and wouldn’t want me after that night.

The next morning, Chris was in the other bed next to Molina. She was sleeping on her stomach in her bra and shorts. The back strap had been undone. She accused Molina of trying something while she was asleep. I thought I might have an ally in Chris. I spoke up. "You too? He raped me last night after saying you were missing and I had to help find you."

I turned out that Chris had been in The Party Room the entire night until late when she came to The Quiet Room to sleep. Greg didn’t seem to believe it. I knew he knew what happened with John and me and he just wanted to get as far away from me as he could. He never spoke to me again. Verch, the platoon leader tried to sort things out. The unanimous decision was for everyone to keep their mouths shut so no one would get in trouble and Molina was suppose dot stay away from me and Chris. I wanted to forget the whole night.

We all tried to act like nothing happened. Chris invited me to the post pool and loaned me a swimsuit. While swimming around the pool, one of the guys from another platoon hit on me and started making out with me in the pool. I let him. Saying "no" means nothing. It was better to let them do what they wanted and pretend to like it because that is what they wanted. Another guy asked me to a movie and I went. He wanted to mess around too. I gave him a hand job in the dark. It was what he wanted and I didn’t care about anything.

Turning into that was a way from me to survive and be invisible to most but still find a way to get someone to give me attention/affection even if it wasn’t real. I could be close to another human being although still feeling very alone. Being close to someone even for a little while and for all the wrong reasons made me feel like I was still normal though I clearly wasn’t and really didn’t feel it. If I could immerse myself in someone or something, I could forget. If I could get through the rest of AIT, I’d never have to see any of these people again.

Those that did know what happened stopped talking to me within days. I went back to class and sat across the room form Molina who laughed and joked with his friends like nothing happened. Fewer people talked to me and when they did I snapped back. I fell further and further into a dark hole in my mind. I could pretend anything outside of class. I could be tough, mouthy, and aggressive. I could be forceful and assertive. In class was totally different. I had nothing to think about, no act to put on. Just listening to lectures of motor pool safety and reading wiring diagrams. And I thought. I thought about every second of that one night. I thought about what could happen if anyone found out. More than thinking, I was so totally consumed with anger and disgust. He was right there, not more than ten feet from me and I could do nothing. I didn’t want to go near him. I wanted him to disappear. I wanted to disappear. I wanted to be invisible and in class I was…at first.

Time weighed heavily. I had weeks left before his light-wheeled class split from my Fuel and Electrical class for MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) specific training. We were still in the basic classroom curriculum everyone had to take. I felt angry sometimes and sad much of the time. Most of all I felt numb. I discovered that if I cut myself, I hardly felt it and mostly didn’t feel anything. I had bought a camouflage watch with a compass that I wore with my uniform. It was a buckle style and the pin that fit through the holes in the band was quite sharp. One day in class, I was absent mindedly playing with my watch and started scratching my hand. I didn’t feel a thing as the pin scratched away layers of flesh. It didn’t bleed much, especially if I scraped the skin wider instead of deeper. When the first scratch on he back of my hand at the webbing of the thumb and first finger started bleeding, I moved on to another spot below the knuckle on my thumb. I was enthralled by cutting into my flesh without feeling more than a light sting.

When I looked across the room or the memory of that night came into my mind, I cut a new spot moving from my hand to my wrist. I cut several one inch slashes on the inside of my wrist. When one started to bleed more than the others, I pressed it to my uniform and started on my forearm. This has got to hurt. This is sensitive skin, I thought. I scraped two longer gashes into the inside of my forearm. It burned a little but for the most part was painless. I started to worry that I might cut too deep. Who cares. No one sees me anyway. When I bled I grew concerned someone might notice and I would get in trouble. I kept cutting anyway.


  1. I see you. Thank you for sharing your story, it's my hope that Military Sexual Trauma survivors will read and find the strength to come forward so that they too can find the way out of the darkness. I look forward to hearing where you are today in relation to your trauma.

  2. I became bulimic I was trapped into such control I went numb and he had no power of what I ate or did not eat. Purging gave ne relief or pain for a few hours and when night came I relived him sticking his fingers in side me while he said"I'm your 1st sergant and I own u u r mine and 2 years later after deployments I was sick of being powerless and I was sent to the psych ward when I was caught with quarters in my pt uniform for weight in because I lost 27 pounds in 6 weeks. He and my captian came to the hospital and he whispered in my ear u know better. I reported after I came back from a eating disorder clinic and was forced to take a lie detector and it was truth ful but I got no trial because I was mentally in stable. That was 18 years ago I still am stuck I understand and I'm so sorry no one wants to see the silent war to may of us go through in our own unit/battery / battalion or post it's sad.

  3. I am battling through the freshness of the emotions and memories. I was a cutter. Some days, I still want to cut to feel something other than what I do. I call a friend instead.

    The more of us that speak up, the more people will have to listen and do something. There are many that are not letting the military forget who we are or what happened. We are fighting to get ourselves back and to make sure what happened to us doesn't continue.


Please share your comments, stories and information. Thank you. ~ Scott Lee