Thursday, November 29, 2012

More therapy homework


The men who raped and assaulted me were demonstrating their power or control over me. They took away my power. I couldn't fight back. Now I feel like I have no control over my life. I feel helpless. Because I feel like I have no power, I am afraid of people in general. I feel vulnerable to the whole world. I have no control over my life. I am afraid to leave my home, so many decisions are taken away from me. I am afraid to be around people, so many decisions are taken away from me. I am afraid of loud noises, so many decisions are taken away from me. I feel weak, I feel I have to hide. So many of my decisions are taken away, and I have no choices. It makes me angry at myself for being so powerless.


I don't feel safe. I used to be able to feel safe around people, but not since the rapes. People are dangerous, or at least have the potential to be dangerous. I take steps to help myself feel safe, but nothing really helps. I feel afraid if I don't take those steps, even though they don't work. I sleep with a knife and a teddy bear to help me feel safe enough to fall asleep. I don't feel safe outside of my home. Even when Jon is with me I don't really feel safe. Jon is a comfort to me, because I feel safe when I am alone with him. He tries to look out for me and help me feel safe when we are out of the house. Jon doesn't see danger everywhere like I do, and doesn't believe me about some of the dangers. This makes me angry and frustrated. I know some of the dangers that I see are greatly exaggerated, but others feel like they are legitimate. The world is not a safe place. People are not safe.


I don't trust people. I particularly don't trust people in positions of authority, because my squad leader raped me and took advantage of me. I believe people in authority abuse their position and hurt others. It takes a long time for me to become comfortable around an individual, and even longer for me to stop waiting for them to do something to hurt me in one way or another. I also don't feel like I can trust myself, I can't trust my judgment because I am always afraid. I feel like it is safer to mistrust everyone to protect myself from being hurt. I feel paranoid about people. I'm always on my guard around people I don't know, and it is exhausting. I was surrounded by enemies in Iraq, even the other soldiers were my enemies, and I still feel like that sometimes.


I don't feel good about myself. I can't trust my own judgment. I hide in my own home and don't eat well, or exercise. I don't like the way I look. I feel like people don't like me. I am ashamed that I had sex with people in Iraq for protection from the people who raped me. I feel weak, and I don't like myself for feeling weak. I get angry at myself. I have trouble concentrating and it makes me feel stupid. I know I don't behave appropriately around people all the time because of my fear, and that makes me feel ashamed. I forget to shower, and brush my teeth, and change clothes, and that makes me ashamed. I feel like there is no place in the world for me, so it is easier to hide at home.


I have a hard time getting close to other people. Jon and I, established a very emotionally intimate bond very quickly, because I was very open with him when we first met. I don't feel like I can make friends, because of my fear. I feel like if I let people get close to me, then they will hurt me. I worry people think badly of me. I don't understand people. I don't even feel like I am a real person most of the time. Watching people feels like I'm studying an alien race. I just don't understand. I don't like to let myself be vulnerable around people. I don't like to feel judged.  

Monday, November 12, 2012

Damn it all

Lord what a mess. My life seems to be a sequence of ever increasing crisis'. My anxiety is running a muck. Not the least of it is because of therapy. I am starting to feel like a punching bag again. Nightmares are back naturally. At least with the prolonged exposure therapy I started seeing progress right away. It gave me a certain limited freedom from my agoraphobia. I still have to have someone I trust with me in order to leave the house, but at least I CAN leave. I'm less terrified of the panic attacks now. I'm willing to try to make an effort, in a small way at least, to leave home.

This new therapy thing is going to be the worst sort of hell imaginable. Already my mind is consumed with these memories that are pure torture. Can't stop thinking about the rapes and the assault. I'm constantly on edge, anxious. Non-stop panic attacks. It's exhausting. You can imagine my resentment when my therapist told me I had to write a paper entitled "Why I was raped". How stupid can you be?

Friday, November 9, 2012

A paper I had to write for therapy

Why I was raped

I was raped because I was the only female assigned to an infantry unit. I was raped because everyone was angry and frustrated because soldiers in our unit kept dying. I was raped because I was on outsider and nobody cared what happened to me. I was raped because there was no one to protect me. I was assaulted once because the soldier wanted to humiliate me. I was assaulted other times, because they were stronger than me and didn't think I would fight back.

I was raped because I was not in control of the situation. I was raped because they wanted to use me. I was raped because people I thought I could trust took advantage of their position. I was raped because I was told that I had to get along with the infantry no matter what. I was raped because I was told that I couldn't cause trouble or I wouldn't be able to do my job because the infantry wouldn't trust me. I was raped because they made me to feel powerless, helpless. I was raped once because I was drugged. I was violated and humiliated and furious. I had no one I could trust. I felt alone. I believed I was going to die in Iraq and I stopped caring. I stopped wanting to survive, and hoped I would die to make it all stop.

I had sex with people I didn't want to in order to gain a “protector”, because the infantry doesn't poach other soldier's girlfriends. I don't like myself for that.

I learned that people cannot be trusted. I learned the depths of human depravity, and now I can't see people without remembering the evils that men are capable of. I learned that I am never really safe. I was afraid to sleep for a long time, because I was afraid I would wake up and someone would be touching me or raping me. Once I was out on mission and I woke up and a soldier had put his hands under my clothes and under my bra and was fondling me and apparently he fell asleep like that. I learned that there is no point in crying although sometimes you can't help it, because it always makes you feel worse, makes you feel weak. I learned to be afraid of people touching me. I don't believe someone will be there to help me if something like that happens again. I learned to be afraid to say no to sex. I had to keep going on my missions no matter what happened. I was good at my job, but I hated having to be around the infantry. No one cared about me. No one helped me, and even when they tried I was afraid to report the rapes and the assaults. I was afraid to be thought weak, so I was angry all the time to protect myself.

Shame and guilt. Fear and anger. Always feeling alone. They tried to punish me for not subjecting myself to sexual assault by an Iraqi man. I had a screaming match about it with one of my “bosses”. I hate that man so much. The “boss” not the Iraqi. I tried to get the “boss” to help me but he wouldn't. He told me to do whatever I had to in order to make that person help us. The commander on that mission told me if I couldn't handle doing my job to go wait in the truck. I went and waited in the truck and felt humiliated and ashamed for not getting the job done, but I wasn't going to let some Iraqi man touch me that way. I wanted to shoot that guy dead, but he had valuable information we needed.

Always I felt that rules were against me, made me unable to protect myself. No one helped me when I needed it the most, and so now I know that when things get that bad, I have only myself. I have Jon now, but I still don't trust people of authority. I really don't trust anyone very much. I don't like people. No one understands what I went through, and even my boyfriend doesn't really understand what I am going through now. How afraid I am all the time. How I can't stop thinking about these terrifying things. How I can't stop remembering it all. When I remember I'm filled with anger that is so intense I feel like I will die if I don't get it all out. And still, I feel so alone most of the time. I feel like I'm lost in the desert with no one around for hundreds of miles, and no one is coming to save me.