Welcome The Struggles That Sharpen Your Senses

Being a female in the military is hanging up the phone, then pausing to reflect on what was just said to you by a professional colleague – one who outranks you:

“I would love to whisper bad things in your ear right now,” made perfect sense (swearing at me) when I didn’t get him the information he wanted. 

My reply of, “well that’s not very nice Sir, I did my best”, made sense to me when I didn’t realize the context of his sentence. 

He ended the thought with, “oh, not in a mean way”, and that’s when I got it. 

“Okay. Um. Well. Have a great day Sir, good luck getting that info”.  I hastily hung up as he said, “okay now Sg-“.  

 

What was he thinking?

 

Why would anyone at any time decide that that is an appropriate way to speak to a subordinate? Or to ANYONE? 

 

He doesn’t even work in my section. We barely have a working relationship. Definitely not a friendly one where we tease and jab. 

 

Most of all, why is this still shocking? Why does it take me so much time, still, to understand when yet another male is being disgusting towards me? Why do I still give most everyone the benefit of the doubt, especially when they’re in a leadership position?

I see the stats on sexual assault and misconduct in the military. Hell, I am part of those statistics. So why do I ever still trust in basic human decency?

Why am I second guessing MY words? Looking back at what is on this page; could it be misconstrued as me flirting with him if I say a word to anyone? 

“Well that’s not very nice Sir”. 

Who speaks like this if they’re not trying to be flirty?

Me. 

I do. 

It wouldn’t be nice for him to swear at me when I got him all of the information I could, but was stopped short by my improper security clearance. I would rather he swore at me instead of speaking to me like I was some sort of thing. A little plaything to be toyed with. Speak however you want to them, they’re just dolls. No voices to speak up, limbs frozen in fear. Don’t worry, you’re safe because there’s nothing we can do.

 

The US Military has a really wonderful Sexual Misconduct unit that is all about helping people who are in the situation I am in at this very moment. I spoke with them about a year after an assault, when he showed up at my new base. 


Put a file on that one, please, and keep him the hell away from me.


Not much they can do to keep him away without a public file, but at least it’s there for me to publish at any point in time. Filed a year after, because I could no longer forget he existed when I walked into a room and he was sat there, waiting. Not waiting for me. Waiting for his chance to pee in a cup. But still, waiting.

Back to those wonderful personnel, who are always here to help.They’ll never blame you. Tell you you’re crazy. Tell you it’s not a big deal. They give you forms to fill out, help you write down the facts. Even when you’re crying so hard you can’t remember your social security number and mix it up with your cell phone number, they’re just there for you. The victim. 

But that’s the thing. 

I went. I cried. I filled out paperwork and gave them his name, rank, and unit. They set me up with counseling (where I went two whole times to speak to a counselor who only wanted me to see how, “this is all part of God’s plan”) and let me know that I could contact them directly if I wanted to. If I didn’t feel safe. If I needed to talk. If I needed a friend.

I do feel safe. I do have friends. I don’t need to talk – not to them. I need to speak to people who I already know and love. People who won’t treat me like a victim. I don’t want to be a victim.

So why write all of this down, if I don’t want to be seen as someone who was duped?

The man on the phone today even told me, “You seem too gullible to be from New York”. Was that his “in”?

I don’t want to feel helpless and passive in the face of those who wronged me. I am not voiceless, and my limbs are not frozen in terror. I am not a victim in those ways. I am a victim in the simplest way. I was wronged. I have been wronged. Many, many times in my life, and mostly by fellow military members. Is it this bad for my civilian counterparts? It may be. It may be worse. I don’t know because I don’t have their experiences – I only have mine. 

 

I don’t know how to end this little…rant? We’ll call it a rant. 

Lin Manual Miranda said in one of his good morning tweets recently, “welcome the struggles that sharpen your senses”.  My senses are sharpened. Never again will I hang up in shock.

 

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Any 2018 Resolutions?

I started a bullet journal.  Spent 3 days or so creating pages where I can put my thoughts, moods and habits. I think I’ve touched in twice in the 8 days since the new year. How fun.  Maybe one of my resolutions should be to do that daily.  Also, not to wreck this computer any more than I have (the enter and screen brightening buttons no longer works). Okay, 1) no spilling booze (or ANYTHING but honestly the problem is booze) on my laptop.  2) hmm maybe this one should be to stop drinking so much booze? A friend reached out a few months ago genuinely concerned about my intake. I laughed her off because KOREA IS A PARTY. I’m not in Korea anymore, but England is continuing that party. Maybe Molly should check out AA (I’m not an alcoholic. I went a month without drinking not long ago because I knew it would be good for me. It was not difficult. I just have trouble having only one or two when I DO drink, you know?). What about 3)?  Care less about what people think and more about what I think work-wise. I know I do a good fucking job. If my bosses don’t see it, there’s not much I can do. I refuse to kiss their asses. Hopefully they won’t want me to here. 4) hygge  5) Fucking DATE somebody this year. At least go on one date. Maybe even two dates! I don’t care if I get married but I’d like to find someone to spend time with. You know? I’d like to date. I hate relationships because they cause bullshit and drama and it means that I have to answer to another human being. But I like relationships because of closeness and there’s always someone there for you. My best friend thinks I should date my roommate. I don’t think I’m interested in my roommate. He’s great but he’s a fixer upper. I don’t want a fixer upper.                                                                                                                                                                              Okay, using the space bar to add line breaks is too slow. What are your 2018 resolutions?

Five Foot Two

My friend Kylie died a couple years ago. Very suddenly. Cancer. She was out of country, felt ill and went to the Doctor. They airlifted her back to NYC and she died a couple days later. No one knew what was going on.

I recently watch Gaga’s documentary Five Foot Two and she just reminds me so much of Kylie. So giving. So loving. So concerned about everyone else. Also their looks and the way they speak. It’s really uncanny, and makes me miss her so much more.

I hope there’s a heaven so that Kylie is in it.

I hope there’s not so I don’t go to hell.

Death is so complicated. What do you believe?

Also

I just found some draft posts on here. One from 3 years ago when I went through some really rough shit. I’m glad I wrote it down, but I may never post it.

It is 15 paragraphs that sum of 4-5 weeks of my life. 4-5 weeks of horrible pain and anxiety. I got through it (obviously), and one of the last things in the post is about how I texted my best friend and said, “we did it!”. She wrote me back, “I always believed in you”.

I don’t remember those texts, but she is still my best friend and has been for over 20 years. I am so grateful for her. When I feel physically lonely for friends, at least I have her. Not everyone has someone like her who they can call, even from the other side of the world.

Child Free

Many moons ago (okay like 5 1/2 years), I realised for a fact that it is OKAY not to want children. I realised that I am not broken, or defective, or deficient. No matter how many people look at me and say, “how are children a CHOICE?  You HAVE to procreate, it is your duty as a healthy person with decent genes!”…it’s my choice. And it is so freeing. And it is so lonely.

At 25, most of my long-time friends have children. Having children doesn’t mean that I can’t be friends with them, but it means that our lives are significantly different. In the last few years I have gone to visit friends, offered to pay for babysitters and our night out, and have been told “no”. They “need to be with the baby”. “It’s too much, too soon”. They get home from work at 1700 and go to bed at 1900; I take their car and go find somewhere to do something besides sit alone and watch television while on vacation.

This isn’t just two or three friends who I am talking about, this is almost all of my old friends with kids. It’s not their fault. Their kids come first, and I understand that fully and completely. What I don’t get is not having even a couple hours for me.

Last Thanksgiving I was supposed to go to Germany to visit a very, very good friend of mine. Her husband no longer thinks I am a good influence for her, since I let my Child Free ways be known. He told her to tell me not to come, even though that is the closest I had been to seeing her in over a year.  Even though I had other places to stay and people to see. He told her to tell me that she couldn’t spare two hours to catch up during a four day weekend.

I met this girl in Korea. Catie. We were great friends for the five months we overlapped, but she’s gone now. Catie is also Child Free, and related to me in a way that so many of my friends don’t. When children aren’t your future, you are different than the people around you. You stress about different things, need different things, treasure different ideals. Catie moved to Europe a couple weeks ago, and hopefully I’ll see her next year…but now I struggle for friendship.

Moms have Moms. Who do I have? The people I grew up with, sure. So many of them are Moms now. I was speaking to one who I’ve known for 13 years (at least) and she was saying how all of her friends only see her as “the Mom”. She is one of the few Mom friends who I have who cares about me still instead of just my ovaries and lack of wanting to use them. She gets wanting a life outside of children.

I need friends in my vicinity who are like her. Even if they have kids, they see ME. They value me.

It is hard to find those friends.

what the fuck

I feel like every time I get on here it’s because someone died or is dying. This time it’s my Aunt Colleen. Last time I was home, she had her leg amputated shortly after I left. Her shit’s getting worse, and she wants to fight. Good on her!

and guess what

my Mom is her nurse.

My fucking mother just told me that she thinks it’s time for Aunt Colleen to die.

I get it. They believe in heaven and an end to suffering.  They believe that it’s better not to struggle here on earth for too long. But how can you tell someone to stop fighting? What could possess a person to do something like that? To say it and mean it?

Maybe if my parents ever get to that stage I’ll understand. I hope not. I hope they are never suffering enough that I say to them, “you need to stop living”. I can see myself feeling that way about me someday, but how do you get there WITH ANOTHER PERSON?

 

I’m angry. I’m sad and I’m angry and I don’t know what to do. I can’t go see Aunt Colleen before January. I don’t want to visit her grave. She was not that sick last time I was home. It all happened after.

 

I hate being away. I don’t want to be away for the big things, but I just re-upped for 5 more years. Why did I do this? I was gone with Bapzi died. When my Uncle died. When Thom died. I miss out on last moments with all of these amazing people because…what? I want a steady pay check? What’s wrong with me? Isn’t life more important?