I am one of those female vets you read about. One of them. I won't go into detail, but lets just say some bad things happened to me while I was in the service. Things that left me with PTSD.
I know that this scares people when they learn this. Like I could go bonkers or something if I get scared enough. Honestly that never happens. I do get upset, but I retreat. I write, I paint. I garden. I find productive ways to be alone with my condition to get me through this.
I am one of those older vet females, though, that didn't receive any assistance from the VA. And quite frankly, their kind of "help" I could do without. When I got out there was nothing for my kind. And when it finally arrived, they had no way of helping me with day care. And then I saw how they treated other female vets like myself and I chose to avoid that establishment.
This condition has cost me a lot. But it has also been a strange sort of blessing in disguise. It has given me great insight into the world, into sexual politics, into our culture. I started this exploration from the slimy underbelly side of things, but I promise you, you can reach a point to see the sun again. It just takes time.
I don't normally talk about this anymore. People just don't understand. But since we are about to return to the bad old days of women's health. I am willing to put everything on the line for other women. Even then when I am finished typing this, I will probably hide somewhere for a while.
I have Rape Related PTSD. I have survived a lot. And going to any kind of OBGYN is a major trigger for that condition. Going to any doctor at all is a major trigger. Just being around people in white coats is enough.
But being a mortal human being, sometimes I have to go to the doctor. Sometimes I hurt myself. Sometimes I develop issues and I have to seek medical care. And I am forced to face my deepest fears, and hold still for someone in white coat, who often doesn't know my history. And often doesn't understand even when I tell them, even when I warn them.
Really all that happens, is that I get very tense. I like to make awful jokes. And I cry. I cry so much I think that sometimes I shouldn't be able to cry anymore, because I should be completely empty. I don't always get this bad, when I go to see just any doctor. Really the worst is with anything gynecological.
Well one year, I started skipping my periods and putting on a lot of weight. I started breaking out on my face, and all kinds of other stuff. So I had to see a gynecologist. A very nice man. He gave me a preliminary diagnosis of Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome, and said that he needed to conduct a transvaginal ultrasound in order to properly diagnose this condition.
I agreed. I was in total agony, and was willing to even go through that to make it stop.
So the day came, when he had to do this procedure. He was very gentle. But someone like me cannot relax. I get so worked up, that sometimes even drugs cannot help. Who knew--that adrenaline could trump things like valium? But it can.
It hurt. It was humiliating.
Even though this man is a professional, that he is kind, and compassionate and gentle.
It still hurt like an SOB.
The wand they use is a lot longer than 6 inches. Its hard plastic with a bulb at the end. And it is stiff and unyielding. So that it feels like someone is giving you an examination with a crowbar rather than a specially designed medical device.
But the best part is, I had a complete meltdown.
I love that part. [not really]
Being a big strong military vet, bawling my eyes out like a little kid in front of people I don't know well.
Being unable to relax.
And then going home to try and function, knowing that for at least the next 4 to 6 months, I am going to inhabit planet-weirdsville, because after the tears, the next part of this PTSD trip is disassociation. I become emotionally numb. I become very very tired, and depressed on and off, etc.,
I will have difficulties sleeping.
I will not enjoy sex so much with my husband and I know I am not supposed to admit this, but because I am a slut, I think I can--I love sex. Sex is awesome. I am with a beautiful man. But I will be torn, because I will want to be very close to him, but I will experience other difficulties at times. It could be worse, but it still stinks.
I will become very forgetful, out of it--if you will. I will struggle to maintain some kind of routine sometimes. I have gotten better at it. But for a long while--It felt like I forgot to attach my head to my neck before leaving the house.
I will have intrusive thoughts on occasion. I will experience powerful guilt, and shame and sorrow and grief. And any of these things can strike at any time. Meanwhile I make myself function throughout the day. Because life doesn't stop for me.
It's a good thing to make myself do this. But it's not easy. I want to be more joyful in my life, but I just cannot feel much in this state.
But I have to say, I am one of the lucky ones. Can you imagine?
I have known other survivors whose conditions are so much more intense that they simply stop functioning altogether. They could not hold down jobs, they could not leave their homes or function in a normal setting with other people.
This condition is disruptive for a life. It's bad enough, but there is a scale of disruption. And I feel like as bad as things can get for me, that I do not by far have the worst of it.
When people bring up "Rape or Incest clauses" It just makes me want to slap the shit out of them. They have no fucking idea what they are talking about. And I know, because for all they like to talk about helping people like me, when we speak up--well, then we learn what people really think of survivors. And it ain't pretty.
They don't want to hear from us.
I know from personal experience, telling others I have PTSD puts them off. Oh now you cannot believe anything I say--I am mentally ill! Better write that one off. She's a nutter!
Rape survivors--they aren't supposed to speak up either. We are supposed to disappear so as to not make the rest of humanity uncomfortable with the reminder that rape exists.
This particular assault happened over 25 years ago. And it is still enough, after all these years to stop me in my tracks. My other experiences, are from so long ago, and yet with a single wave of a wand, you can bring them back to life--rehydrate them for me like magic.
The man who did this to me? He was angry at me because I was sexually active. He wanted to shame me and hurt me for being such a "slut." He was a doctor.
So I know, intimately the mentality behind these illegal proposals. I know from personal experience what Rape by Instrumentation is, what it feels like. I know what it feels like to have a person who feels invested with the power to judge me and punish me for my "wanton carnality".
I learned later as I researched this aspect of violence perpetrated upon women, that violence done to women in OBGYN type settings are more common than most people realize. That threats, coercion, and even experiences like mine are perpetrated against women giving birth, against women having gynecological procedures, and against women getting abortions.
And these abuses are often perpetrated because some medical personnel feel that they need to teach the patient a lesson of some sort.
Because we all learn--Rape isn't about sex, it is about power. Sex is merely the vehicle. The power to hurt and punish and humiliate and to remind the survivor that they are not in charge.
Yes, well I guess you showed me!
It was bad enough when this happened, randomly to women in the medical field. But now we as a nation are going to codify this as law?
Shaming a woman while you have her with her bare ass in the air, and legs spread while you hurt her unnecessarily with a probe is rape. And even if she didn't have PTSD before the procedure, no doubt many will have it after the fact.
Because those are the magic elements of rape.
Shaming and Humiliation
Feelings of extreme Helpless
Violation of trust and/or social contract
Penetration and/or sexually charged behavior or situation
Threats and/or coercion
All the elements are there.
I am not surprised really that the Church-Lady brigade is all for this. As their Lord Jesus once said, "They Know Not What They Do." They are totally fucking clueless to the damage they will inflict on these women for life.
Well most of them are clueless.
Some of them are probably getting off on that notion though. They not only know what it is they attempt to inflict on these women, but also probably get some perverted pleasure from it. I get that distinct impression from the Catholic Hierarchy, and the GOP Clown Car.
Either way, both the Clueless and the Perverted both savor the ability to hurt women. Especially women who are free, and who refuse [like me] to bow down to their bullshit.
The fact that they have found evil females to sponsor these bills shouldn't make you hesitate in the least, to fight with all you have to stop this insanity. There will always be traitors and sell-outs. There will always be Benedict Arnolds, always a Judas with the kiss of death--waiting to profit from your pain and humiliation.
I will say that the legislative hesitation with regards to the Violence Against Women Act makes more sense when you consider the broad attempt to pass these other State-level-Medical-Violence-On-Women-Acts.
The resistance is probably to keep from passing a federal law that might trump these newly minted state laws.
What do you want to bet?
I and other women have been watching this build up for years. I still cannot believe that it took this long for most other women to wake up and notice that they are halfway back to the 1800s legally speaking.
So I have to say that when I read LaFeminista's post: Take your Vaginal Probe and Go Stick it Up Your Ass!
I totally agree with that sentiment. These people should just stick that up their ass.
I am tired of their bullshit.
And when I read Glendaw271's Diary: Rush, I'm Certain you'd call me a slut
That inspired me to have my say here. I am exposing several personal vulnerabilities. I don't like putting personal stuff like this out to the world, but If I don't speak up, if I wait for everyone else to do it first, then I might be waiting til it's too late. Maybe I have provided one or two facts in this sadsack story that will change one mind. That will inspire someone else to speak out too.
Rape and Shaming make you live in fear every day. I know. I live in fear every day. I live in fear that all the good things that I worked so hard to build in my life after the fact, in spite of all these adverse experiences will be taken away, to punish me again for being a slut, for being raped, for daring to stand up AGAIN.
Why can't I just stay down?
Because that is not who I am. It never was. I cannot be me and be silent.
I have been shamed by men and by other women. I survived. I am still here. I am still strong. I still have a voice.
And another thing:
I served this country because I wanted to contribute to something greater than myself.
And Greater, not only meant Bigger, but also great-er. Spiritually and Socially grand and positive. But instead this is what I served for?
For a bunch of closet rapists to hurt and violate my fellow sisters--Citizens?
WHAT THE FUCK YOU MORONS? And what did you think my reaction would be GOP? That I would just lay back and take it? That I would just turn a blind eye while you hurt the people I care about, that I swore to defend and serve?
Goddamn you GOPers have some serious mental fucking issues. You need to take some inventory in your own fucked up lives, you goddamn pieces of shit and pull your heads out of your ass, before you turn this country into a smoking shit hole. We are already half way there with all the theft and graft from your buddies on Wal*Street.
I don't give a flying fuck about the words you put in the mouth of your Savior. Jesus is not a puppet. You are not authorized to stick your hand up his ass and clack his jaw to suit your purposes whenever the rest of us resist your idiot schemes. You are not above the goddamn law. And if you try to act like you are, you are going to get your asses handed back to you on silver platters.
This is a Nation of Laws.
You want to worry about us Sluts, then go pray on it. But stay the fuck out of our bedrooms, out of our pants and out of our doctor's offices.
I am not your property.
And I VOTE.