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.