Evonne M (Nicholson) Schneider, United States Air Force
I joined the Air Force, 3/92. While at tech school (police academy) I was sexually assaulted by another airman. I notified my chain of command a few days later, as I sat in my dorm room for 3 days scared to death. They shipped me out w/o completing all my training because within 2 weeks it was discovered I was pregnant. I tried for years to forget, to hide it in my past and keep that box closed tight. I never told anyone, not even my family of the incident.
I went through with my pregnancy, and had a beautiful baby girl. For the next 16 years I held it together, I have no clue how. I managed to stay in the military for 2.6 years…and recvd. honorable discharge. they wanted me to cross train me because I couldnt focus nor could I pass the tests to move up in rank. little did I know, years later i find out my focus, concentratin…were just the begining of my mental health showing me the warning signs. I ignored it, took my discharge and i was out.
Oct. 2008, i “snapped” ; suicidal thoughts, couldnt hold job, isolated myself, i would be up for days literally with my mind racing. On top of all that my now 16 year old daughter asking me who her father was. I never told her she was a result of a sexual assault. Now, that beautiful child refuses to speak to me because I won t disclose his name to her. I have been in prison, was in for 2 years for physical violence…I was never in trouble in my life. I now, over the past year, in counseling and on alot of medications to keep me stable, help me sleep, etc. at 19 years old I had the world at my hands ; all i wanted to do was to be a cop in the airforce. Now im 38, on ssdi, and a measly 60% s/c (we deserve more than that for our lives being torn from us), i have lost custody of my children, i am divorced, and i rely on my parents & live with them. I finally told my mom of “the incident” last november, the look on her face i could tell it hurt her to hear it as much as it has hurt me to live with it. Did i mention, while raising my 4 children, every chance i got i was at the bar & learned how to hide my alcohol in my house and my family had no clue that i drank heavily for many years (except while pregnant).. 3 1/2 years now and i havent had a drink I still, as my psych doctor says, “am very guarded” w/ details. I have slowly begun to even tell people “I was sexually assaulted”. I am no longer ashamed, nor afarid to speak up; regardless of the judgements. I had to literally “LOOSE MYSELF TO BE FOUND” Thank you.