I am a 44 year old woman, who served in the US Navy for approximately 7 years, For many years now very little in my world has made any sense and I can trace that perception back to the beginning of my service.
Bootcamp was uncomfortable, but I expected it to be, I mean come on I had watched Private Benjamin, Right? Plus, I was 18, I knew EVERYTHING!!!!!!!! So bootcamp was eventful and MILDLY educational, But nothing traumatic.
Then there was A school which is where we learned the basics for the specialized job we would do in the fleet. Nothing significant here, until the very end. I lost my virginity to a complete stranger. He offered me a ride home from the bowling alley and like the naive young woman I was, I accepted. He asked if we could drive around for awhile, he then stopped at a hotel up in the hills and proceded to take advantage of me in his car. Then he took me home. what a gentleman. I think he was stationed on one of the ships that were in port.
That was the end of me ever feeling safe again.
At this point we were getting our first duty assignments. My three choices were Italy, England, and Scotland. Of course I got Italy. POOOOOR LiL Ole Me. I was so excited and really hoping for the best. not smart enough to realize at that time how unimportant I was to anyone over there. I HAD NO SAFETY NET! But I figured it out pretty fast. My first week at work I was confronted by this creepy guy who was in charge of me. I say creepy because he always looked at me like he was watching porn or something. It wasnt long before he started his reign of terror on me. Not a day went by while he and I worked together when he didnt grope me push me into corners and dry hump me or pin me between the copy machines and his groin and tell me what he wanted to do to me sexually. I was horrified, devastated and demoralized continually. This went on for nearly 2 years.
During this 2 year torture, my roommate was gang raped at a party. She had the balls to report it and the whole thing was turned around on her. She was publicly humiliated, and completely let down by the only system we had. Shortly thereafter, I was raped by my ‘boyfriend’ and one of his friends. I wasnt EVEN going to put myself through what my roommate went through. Nothing was ever said.
I left Italy a very broken young woman.
I have to stop right now because I am having an episode and I think I am bringing up too much at one time. I will continue this as soon as I can. I apologise.