Setting The MST Record Straight
⦁ It was the military’s policies and failure to enforce other policies that would have protected gay service members that left me vulnerable to victimization by others within my own ranks.
⦁ The MST victim not only has to deal with the results of the physical act, but also the devastation of their ability to trust.
⦁ I choose today to reject the actions of those who wanted humiliation to mark me forever, so that they would never have to answer for or explain their actions.
⦁ Instead, they saw in my confusion and fear an easy way out of their guilt, or even a justification of their willful cruelty and cowardice.
⦁ They were the ones who acted inappropriately, not me.
⦁ I believed, and still do to a great extent, that I may never be able to run far enough away from those memories to be fully healed.
⦁ It was the military’s discriminatory policy that made clear I may have no role in defending our country while at the same time being fully honest & authentic.
⦁ It was only my abusers (and possibly my chain-of-command) who benefitted from my self-imposed silence.
⦁ What was done to me was a CRIME. The environment in which such acts were tolerated was negligent and sadistic.
⦁ My rage is a call to battle.
⦁ My heart has so loved life, and is so profoundly optimistic in spite of these circumstances, that I have never fully given up hope that there are others who appreciate me for the whole truth of who I am, and not need to hurt me or hate me because of it.
⦁ These acts perpetrated against me have made it difficult for me to trust anyone.
⦁ My only choice in addressing this is to live in in fear or to develop a degree of strength within myself I may never have otherwise.
⦁ I have wrongly blamed myself for allowing these assaults to take place.
⦁ The devastation caused by these assaults have turned further sexual activity into one laced by anxiety and enmeshed with distrust.
⦁ If we view “diversity” as inherently bad, it is only a small step to sanctioning the punishment, rejection and/or abuse of those who look, act, or think differently.
⦁ The cultural dictates that we must “deal with it like a man”, “pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps”, and that we “stop living in the past” is bullshit. It is a rare individual who has not internalized some of thier afflictions to one degree or another. It is by confronting these cruelties we can accept them for what they are, learn what we can, and become a stronger, more resilient person as a result.
⦁ Some survivors of male/male assaults resort to bizzarre parodies of “hyper-masculine” bahavior to counterract the “victim” or “gay” self perceptions. That certainly is a part of my own story. Many choose to give up, and accept such victimization as “inevitable”. Not today.
⦁ Male survivors often think that he must conceal the fact that he was abused for fear he will be rejected, disdained, or exposed to ridicule. Again, this is a part of my story, too.
⦁ Since acceptance was not a real choice (I have at times felt), the only success lay in concientiously (and completely) “keeping up appearances”. My only victory was to be in keeping people from uncovering the true extent of my shortcomings.
⦁ The price of the above self-deception is exhaustion and isolation.
⦁ Why did I wait? Some common reasons include:
– The abuse may have been too fresh. (Not in my case.)
– I had not defined it as “abuse”. (Yes, I chose other words, like “harassment”, “bullying” or “tormenting, therby minimizing the full impact of the assaults.)
– I was afriad. (Yes, and in a multitude of ways.)
– I was still too “caught up” in the (Yes.)
lies I was told to break my silence.
– The time and place were not “right”. (Yes. However, it never is.)
– Didn’t know I had options/resources. (True. But I never asked.)
– Feeling weak/battered/hopeless (Not in my case.)
– Too much else going on (Again, not really a part of my story.)
⦁ Perpatrators of sexual assault are not just behaving illogically, they are harming another person deeply. Furthermore, it is not just illogical to assault another human being, it is wrong.
⦁ The victim of a sexual assault is NEVER at fault.
⦁ If folks express impatience at the speed a survivor recovers recovers from an assault, it is thier problem, not the survivor.
⦁ As bizzare as some parts of my story are, and there are parts that I would change if I could, they have enabled me to survive to this point.
⦁ I hope that I can begin to see the younger me as doing what I believed I needed to in order to make it through these ordeals.