Coast Guard rape survivor express how much it hurts.

I was raped in the Coast Guard. I already shared my story on here but want to talk about how I am feeling now, this very moment. I had a flashback of my rape. Felt him on me again, ripping my clothes off and raping me. I grounded myself and was able to get back into what I called “reality” and tears were rolling down my eyes.

I come home from work roughly 3 hours before my husband did. My plan for the evening was to have a snack of a fruit or something and then head over to yoga class. Instead I had this flashback of my rape and felt so scared of even leaving the house.  I walked over to the bedroom and laid down on my bed, beneath the comforter and laid there crying because of what the Coast Guard did to me.

My husband came home, hugged me, talked to me and tried to calm me down. I took my medication (Valium) that was prescribed by the VA for moments just like this. It helped a little. I took a shower to rid of all the dirtiness that I feel by thinking that he was on me. I was able to get on the computer and write this post.

I feel nausea , my heart feels like its beating a billion times a minute. I am shaking. I am scared.

I miss my old life, my pre-Coast Guard life. I lived a pretty sheltered life. Growing up I had the ideal childhood, raised in an affluent family home, with one parent that was able to stay home to take care of the kids. I was sheltered from trauma, lost, and pain.I was happy, bubbly and always talkative. I was full of ambition and hope.

After the rape I am nothing more than an emotional mess. I cry everyday. My hopes and dreams for the future are non existence. The only job that I ever wanted was to be a member of the Coast Guard. I am doing well at my civilian job but it’s not the Coast Guard. I have my own office which I decorated from top to bottom in Coast Guard paraphernalia. I even have the Semper Paratus the Coast Guard ringtone on my phone. Surrounding myself with everything Coast Guard is just my way of not being ready to let go of my lost career and my innocence..

The Coast Guard felt that my rape was a false allegations. My rapist was never charged and since forever I have heard various rumors about where or what he may be doing now. I don’t know what is true and what is not so I won’t post that on here. What I am going to say is for my ease of mind I want to know where my rapist is. Right now I am always on alert when I am outside. I don’t know if my rapist is in my city and I could run into him at any time or should I relax a bit because he is living in the other side of the country and I am semi-safe in my city? I tried every possible way to find out where he was, googled him, looked him up on a facebook, I asked mutual shipmates and no body really knows where he is. He kinda just dropped off this earth. Constantly looking over your shoulder is very tiresome.

Recently I have called a Coast Guard recruiter and he denied my ability to re-enlist because I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and a whole range of physical injuries and chronic physical pain that resulted from the rape or being beaten. I am a mess because of the rape that the Coast Guard decided was a false accusation.

It hurts so much. I want to get better. I think I am going to go back and hide in bed. Tomorrow I hope to be a better day.

 

14 comments

  1. I am so sorry for the pain you are going through. When you are raped or assaulted, everthing changes within. You don’t trust anyone, You feel like running far away, thinking that will help, it may, but you have to force yourself to face, what many of us refer to as are demons. Not in the biblicel sense. I remember not wanting to get out of bed. Feeling life is no longer beautiful. These are all signs ptsd, normal feelings. What I have learned is to not let these perps win. Work on that problem, then you can have a moment of peace. Then that moment can turn into more moments. I try to live like that, but I do have moments of flashments, anxiety etc.. Keep writing on this board, it does help to put the words down on paper, or computer. I am here for you, anytime you want to talk.

    Terri

  2. Shipmate, As I was reading this I felt that I was reading what I went through last year. Your husband is obviously very supportive as is mine. We have some great men.

    Here is some that I have done that helped me:

    1. I too had my office decked out with everything Coast Guard. I have since changed the decor, got rid of everything Coast Guard related and replaced it with happy memories. Pictures of places that I traveled and loved, pictures of loved one.

    2. I put in a box and in the basement my Coast Guard uniform and everything else related to the Coast Guard. I am not ready to throw them out yet but for my sanity I should not see the CG uniform every time that I open my closet. This way I still have it but it is out of my sight. There are times that I’ll go down to the basement and look through the box and cry. In a way crying is okay because it is therapeutic. Perhaps one day I am able to get rid of them but for now a box in the basement would do.

    3.I had Semper Paratus on my ipod. It was the song I woke up to every morning. I finally figured that waking up to a song from an organization that gave me so much pain was not actually the best thing for me.

    4. I too called a recruiter to try to re-enlist. I was denied. I tried to join the Coast Guard auxiliary and being a rape survivor I reach a barrier but I am still determined to over come the barrier and join to serve my country.

    5. I understand everything else. The fear, shame and anger. You said: “I feel nausea , my heart feels like its beating a billion times a minute. I am shaking. I am scared.” and I can’t tell you how often I have had that. It is PTSD. The compulsive showers–it is something that I still need to work on stopping. I always feel so gross like he is on me at all times.

    You can take some of my suggestions or none at all. Healing is always about going at your own pace and doing what feels best for you.

    I don’t know which other post on here is yours so sorry if you already said it–if you are in the Cambridge MA area I am going to start a yoga program specifically for veterans with military sexual trauma. So if you are in the area let me know if that is something that may interest you. It is free for veterans. Even if you don’t come to my program I noticed that you mentioned yoga in your post and many of my clients did find yoga to be helpful to some symptoms of ptsd.

    My cell phone number is 802-578-4769. It is on 24/7 so call (preferably text if it is too late-for the sake of my husband’s sleep) and I would get right back to you.

    Hang in there. You are loved, believed and supported on this page. The Coast Guard is borrowing our dignity and pride so we have to somehow find a way to get it back.

    1. Hi Panayiota,

      I too tried to hang on to vestages of the past. Yes, I too even tried the CG Auxilliary, but despite my REAL CG training and experience, I wasn’t rich enough to own a boat so that was that.

      As far as my uniform, it ended up in the city dump. Just continuing a family tradition. It’s what my Dad did after the Army put it to him during WW2.

      I told my wife that I didn’t want my coffin draped with the flag (the same one that was my Dad’s unless this government gets it’s act together ! As far as my medals, ribbons, etc… My wife objected to thier disposal so I told her OK you keep them. I never want to see them again. The only thing I’m still proud of is a Qualification badge that I earned before it was even thought of.

      All I would add is that the CG didn’t borrow our dignity and pride, they stole it from us.

      To my mind, some of the terrorists in this country are the ones in uniform

      Regards, Rufus

  3. Thank you for writing this. I am sorry that you are in so much pain. I can relate to a lot. I wear my BDU blouse everyday as my way of still feel connected to the Army. I know that it is probably not the healthiest thing to do but I am not ready yet to move on. I lost my career because I was raped and that is the hardest thing that I ever had to deal with. I can not get over that pain.

    I too get nausea and break down in tears everyday. I take like at least 4 showers a day to clean off his’ dirt. Never knew until I read it on here how common that is.

    Find a support network and know that we want to help you.

  4. God Bless you and give you peace! As a victim of sexual assault, you are not alone as is evident by this web site.

    I was not a victim of a sex crime – so I would never even try to compare my story/betrayal by the CG to anything you victims have and are enduring. My wife (in her previous “legal union” I won’t use the term marriage) was for over a decade a victim of spousal abuse/rape. So, if even to a small degree, I can understand. I too gave the CG everything I had and for what? They got more out of me than I from them.

    I understand the feeling of giving all only to get the shaft. I would not place too much faith or trust in the VA. For what it’s worth I would say have nothing further to do with it or anyone still in

    If you have the means, try to find civilian medical care. If you can find some spiritual care.see how that goes. But – Do not allow anyone, medical, religious, rtc… to judge you! I;ve gotten up and walked out on such people.

    I would tell you to try pursuing legal action, but the sad truth is the only justice you can get today is what you can afford. At the very least, try to get the VA to get you into school or something if you are up to it.

    Thiscweb site is a good place to start, but it alone is not enough. I’d love to stand across the street and hand out copies of the stories here That would only make us targets for retribution.

    Our weapons must be the pen as opposed to the sword.

    Tonight I ran into a vietnam vet suffering from the efects of agent orange. I refered him to this website.

    Last night when I paid my monthly car insurance on the phone with a company that gives military discounts, as usual I was thanked for my service. I told the lady if she really wanted to thank us, then go to this site.

    Forget our duly elected representatives. Any of them who claim they are doing it for the people are liars. just look at all the DC scandals.

    This is an arrogant country.. These atrocities have to be gotten to the media, especially the international press. Shame and embarrasment is whats needed.

    How dare they send us, as volunteers not draftees to bring freedom and justice to other countries only to have it denied us!

    If I had the means I’d become an expatriot and leave.

    I hope I live too see some of us get justice.

    We must all do what we can to get the word out. I’m so computer illiterate it’s laughable. I don’t even know how to send an attachment to an e mail. Nut there are thosev of us ou there that know how to use these gizmos.. My only suggestion would be for those people to use a public library computer so the internet provider number can’t be traced.

    We must not do anything that would bring us down to the level of those who hurt us or covered it up.

    For what it’s worth we can’t let what has happened to destroy too much of us because if we do, the SOB’s have got us again.

    They may escape justice in this life, but they can’t escape the final one!

    I’m not a “bible thumper”, I despise hipocracy which is why I don’t feel comfortable in church.

    My wife and I often tell each other that our best revenge is for us to be happy despite what others did to us in the past. I know it may sound trite, but it helps us keep going.

    We don’t have to even know the names of our sister and brother victims to pray for them God knows his own.

    In conclusion, let us not be afraid to use what little good we got from serving either on a resume’ for a professional license, etc… I uded my service weapons training to get a gun permit good in 35 states so I didn’t have to pay some clown $300 to go to some gun permit school.

    God bless all of us!

    Rufus Firefly

  5. The reason that I said borrowed was because I am confident that we can get our dignity and pride back. It’ll be hard but not forever gone. Rape destroys so much of you. Living in an environment for close to a year where it was nothing but constant abuse and victim blaming does take a toll on you but we can rebuild.

  6. I know exactly how you feel. I too was raped and then threw out with the trash. People are going to say that our symptoms, PTSD-related stuff is the reason that we got kicked out of the military in the first place (even though my DD214 says Personality Disorder) The thing is that my PTSD and everything else mostly came AFTER I left the military. It is like for the time that I was in, as bad as it was, I was still in a way naive thinking that “of course someone is going to see what is happening and rescue me from the abuse” but when my DD214 came through then I realized that there are certain people in the world who are so low, so fucked up (excuse the language) that they see nothing wrong with pushing a rape survivor out of their CAREERS and instead choose to work with a rapist.

    My partner who been with me since day one is so jaded about the entire incident. They just can’t believe what they have witnessed.

  7. I was in the Air Force from 2008-2010. I feel the same way as you do. I can not get over the Air Force and immerse myself into everything Air Force.

    I am going to take Panayiota’s advice. It’l be hard but I know that living so attach to everything Air Force can not be healthy.

    It is okay to still love the military but we have to accept what have happened to us. We have to realize that the military propaganda such as the commercials and such that we see never did exist and the reality for 1/3rd of the women serving is what we all had to go through.

  8. I was in the CG in 1990 and suffed an assault by several of my shipmates. I reported it when I finally became conscious three days later, my hair was matted in blood and my body was covered in bruises and hickies. I went to my XO and was threatend with an alcohol incident. The men involved were put in charge of me and I was physically assaulted on a regular basis. Months later, I can’t tell you how many, my ship returned to our home port I was finally able to report it to the support center. They were prosecuted over three years and I was raped again at another duty station as a revenge rape. I was blackballed and called a lier at every duty station I went too. I was honorably discharged when I completed my 4 years. While on active dutyI was forced to go to PTSD group couseling. I was put in a small room with 10 angry men who only talked about how horrible women were. I was diagnosed with failure to adapt due to sexual assault. I was told if I put any of my syptoms on my discharge paperwork I would be held in the coast guard for up to a year. At the end of my enlistment, It was get out or take my life. I loved the Coast Guard, leaving it was one of the hardest things I ever did. I am currently 100% UI for ptsd due to mst. To this day, I know I could have overcome the assaults, but I could never overcome the betrayal of my XO and CO. The betrayal from the Coast Guard for not prosecuting the men that allowed my torture to continue and watched as I was brutilized and further physically assaulted. The men who dehumanized me, and made me nothing. The men who had the power to stop the torture, but chose my assaulters over me for the good of the CG! I met an amazing man right before leaving the CG, we married and we had two amazing kids. He made up for all the pain I had suffered. He was a Marine! He gave me the strength to leave the CG. He died serving our country… The only consulation I had for fighting my battle was the belief it would pave the way for future women in the Coast Guard. I was wrong. Nothing has changed!

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