Do you think there are ever moments in our lives where if we had done just one thing different, no matter how small, we wouldn't be where we are today?

Think about that.

Now do you believe that our lives are on the courses they're on because that's the way its always been planned? Maybe not destiny per say, but regardless of the decisions we've made, we are exactly where we're supposed to be? Even if we had taken the left fork of the road instead of the right, we'd still end up in the same place?

I've always had the mantra of "No Regrets!" because without every single one of the decisions and choices I've made, the people I've let into my life, I wouldn't be the person that I am right now. I've also been raised with the belief that our lives, our families, every obstacle that is thrown in our way, was CHOSEN by us, for us before we came down here to do the whole Earth thing.
I chose to lose my babies?
I chose to be raped?
I chose to not be able to have kids?

Most of the time, that is REALLY hard for me to reconcile myself to but I think deep down, I still believe it.

Back in the summer of 2009, Mr. Superman was gone at BMT and I was living with my parents in Arizona. I ended up having surgery and getting my gall bladder and appendix removed about 3 weeks before I was to drive the 17.5 hours from Gilbert, AZ to San Antonio, TX to attend his BMT graduation. While living with my parents and confined to the couch, I tried to acquaint myself with the military world. I read everything I could, blogged about my end of the BMT experience and posted his letters, discovered military blogs, joined military spouse forums and found a military spouse Facebook group that allowed you to connect with the significant others of the people that were also at BMT and would be graduating the same time as your loved one.

After weeding out the whiners and crazies, or so I thought, I began regular correspondence with 4 military wives whose spouses were going through BMT at the same time as Mr. Superman and who would all be graduating the same weekend as him. It was a HUGE relief to be able to talk with other wives that were going through all of the same emotions as I was and as his graduation drew closer, I got more and more excited to not only see my husband but to also meet these girls who seemed so nice and who had made this experience a tad easier.

Now at this time, I had never even heard any of the stereotypes regarding military wives and tales of infidelity, contract marriages, drama llamas and I had NO idea what a tag chaser was.

My good friend guest blogged for me a while back and actually inconspicuously shared her thoughts about this very thing. Drama Llamas and the very people involved in this story which you can read HERE. She says it perfectly. As new spouses to the military lifestyle, you develop friendships and trust very quickly despite the oft times shallow and superficial nature of the people in the relationship. 

Oh naivety. 

I think I just automatically assumed that other women going through this huge lifestyle change and transition just like me, would be sweet, kind, and full of pride and love for their husbands. Little did I know that one of these women would soon be a part of the most horrendous thing that has ever happened to me.

I made the long drive to San Antonio with a friend and the few days spent there were so much fun. Seeing Mr. Superman at the Airman's Run was a shock. That crazy kid had lost 35lbs and 4 1/2 inches off his waist! Watching his flight at the Coin Retreat Ceremony was the first time I experienced that overwhelming pride inside my chest. The sting of tears in my eyes, my heart beating and racing so fast I thought everyone around me could hear it, the smile so huge my face hurt. I've felt that same pride innumerable times since then and it has got to be one of the most incredible things that comes with this military lifestyle that I am SO grateful for. Being able to come down from the stands and search for my man was chaotic but the minute I saw him and got that first tight hug, everyone and everything disappeared.

In the course of all of the events that weekend, I was able to meet up with two of the four wives I had been corresponding with and it just so happened that one of them had a husband who was in Mr. Superman's Brother Flight. She was a bit young but seemed to love her husband and told me she couldn't stand to be away from her husband for another 3 months while he attended Tech School in Wichita Falls, TX so she was renting an apartment down there. I was a bit envious so without giving it a second thought, I jumped at her invitation to pay half the rent and come down there too.

See Mr. Superman every weekday for an hour or two and longer every weekend? Yes please! Plans were made for this girl to drive down to Wichita Falls and leave her belongings and car with a friend, get on a flight to Arizona where I would pick her up and she would drive with me from Arizona to where our husbands were. She made a point to let me know flying was never an issue because her mom was a flight attendant. Nice! After driving the 17.5 hours from Lackland AFB back to my parents house in Arizona, I packed everything up, picked up this new friend from the airport, loaded my car, and began the 24 hour drive to Shepard AFB.

Looking back now at my choices leading up to me being in Wichita Falls, TX on October 4, 2009, I view everything differently. Every single conversation, every single thought and nagging feeling. Certain things seem so clear and obvious now while others, I don't know if I'll ever truly understand. I told you that I have a hard time reconciling myself to the belief that before I left God, I chose to live this life I'm living. The hurdles placed in my path, the hardships I've faced, and the heartache I've felt... I chose all of it. Regardless of what you or I believe, none of us has the power to hit the rewind button or the delete button. The things that have happened to us, the things we have done, the years that we have behind us, they happened, they were, and that fact won't all of the sudden cease to be.

I was naive.
I was betrayed.
I was raped.
I was choked nearly to death.
I was humiliated.

“But the past cannot be changed, and we carry our choices with us, forward, into the unknown. We can only move on.”
Libba Bray, The Sweet Far Thing

To read the other posts where I open up about my attack, they can be found on my 'I Am A Rape Survivor' page


Val said...

I believe we chose things up to a degree. I believe that our lives are also affected by choices that other people around us make. I also believe that we are given trials and hardships. I don't believe we choose those. I think they are given to us to help us learn and grow. You can't prepare for everything, especially other people's decisions, no matter how hard you try.

Team Mama said...

While I definitely believe that we made choices before we came down here, I don't think we knew everything that would happen. Some things- yes- other things are a result of not only our own choices, but the choices of others. I think we knew that we would have trials but maybe not in detail what those trials would be. And how easy it would be if we could always keep the end in sight and never waiver from it- but we don't and so we wander in the wilderness trying to figure stuff out. And sometimes evil people make bad choices and we have to suffer because of their choices (as you well know). But I think we are meant to learn from everything and to use what we learn to help others. I don't know why you had to go through the trials you've had to in your life so far, but I can't even begin to tell you how much I admire your strength and your determination to get through it and to not let it make you bitter and hateful. Because you aren't- you are an amazing woman! And that is also due to your choices! <3

Val said...

I believe we chose things up to a degree. I believe that our lives are also affected by choices that other people around us make. I also believe that we are given trials and hardships. I don't believe we choose those. I think they are given to us to help us learn and grow. You can't prepare for everything, especially other people's decisions, no matter how hard you try.

The Flight Crew said...

I agree whole heartedly with what Team Mama has said. We made choices but I don't believe we chose everything.I'm about to watch my Hubby graduate too and this story helps me remember to be vigilant of my new "friends". Thank you for being a strong and inspiring woman in spite of these awful people and awful experiences.

Anonymous said...

My heart feels sad for you. I don't know a better way to put it. From the initial paragraphs, I related to the story. My husband finished BMT last August. I was lucky enough to meet other girls. I really don't know if I would have made it without those girls.. as dramatic as that sounds. But Im sure you get it.

I too, moved to boring Wichita Falls, TX and was neighbors with one of my mil friends. So I can relate to thinking all millies are good. Then theres that awkward moment when you realize they aren't. And then we got stationed at Moody in February. Ive always wanted to reach out to you, but didn't want to seem like a weirdo.

I think life just happens. And some really bad people get in the way of things that should be good. I don't know.. it's hard to explain. I also think that in some way all our moments make us who we are. Its just unfortunate what some of these moments are. I joke that I would have liked to build character or strength in other ways. I was molested and sometimes wonder if I put myself in that situation. Could I have done something differently? But Im so happy that you found the strength to keep moving. And while I've never said anything over the years.. your blog has helped me so much. Thanks for sharing your stories.

mountains-to-climb said...

I have missed you! I remember having this conversation with you awhile back and am glad you are coming forward.

I sit and ponder the same things too. I don't know if necessarily we chose the path we are in now because ultimately we have to consider our free agency and especially those of others around us.

Did you choose to be rape? Heck no! But unfortunately that was someone else's decision forced upon you.

You, my friend, are a beautiful and strong woman. He has a plan for us and I know you know that. Perhaps yours is sharing your story to comfort those around you and uplift them.