The R Word

written by Haili G

The R Word

It's a trigger. Nobody can talk about the 'R' word, since it is SO taboo. Not me! I WILL voice my experience and how it has changed me!

I will never forget the fear, anger and self hatred that followed, as well as the feeling of disgust.
I was the victim, yet I had so much self hate. I told myself it was my fault for years.

IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT!

I was in the Air Force when the rape happened. Not once but twice. I reported the first rape but the Sergeant laughed in my face and still gave me the LOR (Letter of Reprimand). Later, I found out my roommate in the military had the same situation, with the same Sergeant, and the same consequences were given to her.
I didn't know she had been raped. I would have gotten the courage to speak out. The Sergeant was endangering the lives of so many people. If this happened twice, who could say it didn't happen more.

After being out of the military for five years, I had to accept "defeat" and go into therapy. "The hardest part is admitting you have a problem," NO! The hardest part is admitting YOU NEED HELP!
Therapy was the hardest decision of my life, but also the most rewarding. I have gotten to know my 'triggers' and what I can do to ease the side effects of the triggers.

If I could go back, I would have spoken louder so everyone could hear my voice.  My chance is now:

IF SOMEONE ABUSED YOU, DO NOT BE AFRAID, BUT TELL A PERSON YOU TRUST RIGHT AWAY!
Keep trying until someone listens to you and helps you. Call the police.

IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT!
IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT!
IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT!