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#464672 - 04/28/14 04:22 AM Childhood trauma that survived my military career
andyp3 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/25/06
Posts: 6
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
My mother sexually abused me from the age of 7 to about 12. Aside from the beatings and other sexually charged violence, she would many times compare my sexuality with that of my estranged father. It was only in my late 20s, as I was beginning my military career and after both my parents passed away, I discovered I was adopted as a baby. I had a White House Security Clearance and could not go to a therapist for fear of loosing my clearance and my military career. Because of my particular training, I would have great difficulty finding civilian work to provide for my wife and children. I am now 62, I've been married three times, and I have five natural children and nine grandchildren from my first wife. I'm still trying to get over the idea that it's not all my fault. I feel lonely and abandoned most of the time, I've been through years of therapy, and I still can't get over the belief that the reason I'm so lonely and have no friends is because I'm such a bad person. On the surface, I seem to be a happy person but underneath I wonder if this will ever be resolved. Guess I'm going thru a phase of self doubt, depression and loneliness.

#464690 - 04/28/14 12:44 PM Re: Childhood trauma that survived my military career [Re: andyp3]
I Want 2 Thrive Offline

Registered: 04/04/14
Posts: 110
Loc: Florida, U.S.A

When my childhood trauma first bubbled to the surface, I was not handling it well. I was lucky my director of operations was a psych-major in college and realized how prized my security clearance was, I had a Top Secret SCI - NATO COSMIC. He realized what going to military mental health would do to that security clearance. We were able to keep my abuse off the books until I went for another assignment. Everything was fine until the in person interview began. The questions changed, when I enlisted the question was are you a homosexual. I could answer that question, no. The new question in 88 was have you ever performed a homosexual act. That question had to be given a conditional, yes. I was hooked up to a polygraph at the time. I explained my abuse to the investigator who documented it in great gory detail, I hate the DIS (Defense Investigative Service). The DIS investigator (Special Agent Swenson, yes I remember that son of a bitch) actually did try to make me admit to being homosexual. He read me my rights under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. He also accused me of fraudulent enlistment. It was a 6 hour interrogation, that was ultimately stopped by my director of operations and my commanding officer. The end result, I kept my security clearance, but did not get the assignment I was hoping for.

I also understand being able to put on an affable facade so the world can see nothing but the surface. It reminded me of the amazingly beautiful facelifts that some of the buildings in East Berlin had. Just under those remarkable facades were the bullet holes and scars from World War 2. I could identify with those buildings very much. Beautiful to the eye but just under the surface, the deadly reality.

Remember you were not at fault for your abuse. You are not alone. It was a run of four days of flashbacks and nightmares that brought me to MS, and back to counseling. I had to remember temporary setbacks happen, how I respond to them is all me.

We all heal in our own time. I am 20+ years into my healing journey and still learning. Be well my brother.

Edited by I Want 2 Thrive (04/28/14 12:57 PM)

"There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind" C.S. Lewis

#470674 - 10/01/14 07:32 PM Re: Childhood trauma that survived my military career [Re: andyp3]
Bardo Offline

Registered: 09/24/14
Posts: 321
I am new around here and just got to your post. I can relate to your circumstances, I had a 25 year Navy career during which I was afraid to see a therapist as well. Unlike Izzy, I lied my ass of to the interviewers! My abuse occurred when I was 11-15 y/o, and it was my brother who abused me. It affected my career because I began to have symptoms like anxiety and panic, which made it very hard for me to execute my job at a certain point. I was an aviator, and had learned early to compartmentalize my feelings while I was flying. This may have been the only thing that allowed me to finish a great 25 year career, about which I have no complaints. I still have not fully committed to a therapist, even three years after retiring, and I think it is the "suck it up" gene that we all have that has prevented it. Your situation sounds very hard, and I am really sorry that you had to endure parents that did not have your best interests at heart. Did the fact that you ended up being adopted change the way you felt about the abuse? At any rate, know that you are not alone! I am learning every day that there is a brotherhood of men who have "soldiered on" after these events which color their lives. I know you will emerge from your isolation when you are able to see yourself as the victor, and give yourself the space to be happy, which you certainly deserve to be! I too was abandoned by my father, who left us when I was three, and that fed into the pathology of my brother's predation I think. Do you have a relationship with your kids?
Through these fields of destruction
Baptisms of fire
I've witnessed your suffering
As the battles raged higher

And though we were hurt so bad
In the fear and alarm
You did not desert me
My brothers in arms

-Mark Knopfler


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