Sunday, July 30, 2017

My True Army Brat Story: Cage of Pain and Danger

My dad returned home from Vietnam when I was about 4 1/2 years old. He was
shaking when he got in the passenger seat while my mom drove us back to the
civilian housing we stayed in for that year. Some other military families waiting too,
and some civilians who were nasty to us. He kept shaking so I climbed over the seat
onto his lap and shook too, I couldn't speak for a long time. A few days earlier
another family 2 apartments over got the formal visit and left without their dad.
Then we went to D.C and saw angry protesters yelling at us on the way to the
capital center. My dad said they were hippies and that was their American right. The

shaking never stopped in any of us. Slowed down a little bit though. He continued
his career for 24 years, and I grew up a hard core Army Brat.

Being a Military brat isn't  all great food, travel, cultures, castles and skiing the
Zugspitz. My story isn't happy, but it's not as rare as some would like to believe.  I
learned a few years ago that Vietnam was NOT the cause of their behavior like I had
always thought. It was there before he commissioned into the Army.

There are others like me who suffered severely inside the Military Machine.  We have a right to our negative stories being told instead of holding them in and walking around with chest pains, exhaustion, and bleeding ulcers. Civilian  mental health professionals practically drop their pen and notepad and go into a fugue state of inability to even understand our military upbringing and our unique vocabulary of terms.

I was born in Lexington, KY in the 60's and immediately put up for adoption. I was
adopted 18 days later by an evil Army Captain and his even more evil wife and was
taken to Ft Knox where the torture began.

Next, we went to Ft Leavenworth, KS, for his training at the War College and he was
promoted to Major. In less than two years their son, she and I were in Green Cove
Springs near Jacksonville in a mixed civilian/military apartment complex while he
spent a year in DaNang with the Army's 1st Cav, Artillery Division.  It was hell. I was 3 years old and she starved me, beat me, cut off my oxygen supply while I was trying to sleep, told lies to the family next door to keep me isolated and more. When he came back he supported everything she did. They are not really hiding that they are lunatics.

The Army promoted him to LTC and transferred him to the Pentagon for 7 years
where my hell worsened. I was held under water until I passed out and had the
back of my head slammed on the bottom of the tub. My dad later found me and took
me to Andrews AFB hospital. Again, nothing changed. They were told I would not
see the age of 6, but to their dismay,  I didn't die.  I was brainwashed that it never happened. And sabotaged every second--still to this very day--while trying to live and reach out to others for help that I was trying to live and get help with a serious brain injury. I was told to say things which were the opposite of the truth to everyone so that I would be always isolated. They still do this bizarre behavior even now.

They brought their civilian pastor over to confirm that I was full of satan, and they
were good christians. She was the church secretary. She kept me up at night
terrorizing me; I was locked under the stairs, locked in a box without air. I had to
sleep naked on the freezing floor while she poked me with her yard stick when I fell

asleep. She did everything for me to appear messed up and make her out to be the
victim who told people she tried. I could barely speak, I passed out in school.
Some of the civilian neighbors knew, and did nothing, but I could see the horrified
look on their faces and prayed for rescue that never came.

That last year in Maryland, the wife of the son of the great WWII General Patton,
also a general and also in the DC area started ACS...Army Community Services to
help military families in crisis. ACS never knew my crises. Not even the policeman
and teacher next door or anyone in the church contacted anyone to help me.
They moved twice in those 7 years at the Pentagon. They put drugs in the food or
water that I snuck out of their kitchen at night.  I was never not drugged and

hungry.  There was even another Army family who had a son and daughter that
lived in Virginia that my dad once served with in Furth.  The mother also tortured
her daughter, but not their son. She had burns on her face and sunken eyes like me.
No one called Joanne Patton, the founder of ACS, or anyone else to have me

In late 1976 I woke up in a stupor at the Frankfurt airport in Germany.  I have some
memory of leaving JFK in New York and I was hoping another place would mean I can finally,
somehow get away from these real demons.

The sponsor family drove us through Stuttgart looking at the posts and schools.  I
once again felt some small hope that I would get away from her.  I was far too tired
to speak, but I liked seeing the buildings and a glimpse of some kids my age.  We
then drove onto Kelley and stayed 3 days in the Officer Club guest quarters.  I think
we bunked on the floor, my parents, brother, our beagle Snoopy and a small
transistor radio that only picked up Paul Harvey on American Forces Network.  This
was really different from the suburbs of Maryland.

That's where even more chaos and near death experiences began. Sitting in the
back of their car starved, beaten, drugged and confused while they drove through
quaint villages, enjoyed German bier, schnitzel, Gasthauses, castles, Volksmarches,
and ski trips.  Dragging me along, calling me names or punching me in the face for not playing
their fake game of all is normal.  I was punched a lot until they could find someone
or somewhere to leave me behind.  I was still eleven years old and they seethed
with hatred toward me every second.

They found an apartment nearby until our housing on post was available. She kept
me from elementary school most of the time those first 6 months on the
economy in Moeringen near Stuttgart. She put a bottle of pills on top of the boxes

she stored on my dresser, because I didn't deserve a room like my brother. The only
thing in there besides the furniture was some clothes, toiletries, and boxes of their
things. Everything I ever had she got rid of.  No toys, cassette tapes, or hair
ribbons. She told me that I was really bad and the more pills I took, the better I'd
be then walked away. I woke up in the Bad Konstadt 5th General Army Hospital
even more brain fogged than ever. They were ecstatic, but pretended to be
concerned. I kept telling the nurse what happened but she just gave me a blank

 When they got post housing on Kelley Barracks, they gave me a key but it didn't fit
the apartment. A girl in another building gave me one of her jackets because they
wouldn't get me one and it was February. Her father was the top Sergeant of the MP's. I

wasn't 12 yet, but because I was locked out, I hid in the bus stop across from the
commissary and fell asleep. Big mistake, drunken GIs dragged me into a barracks,
pushed my face to the side so I wouldn't see their name tags, and repeatedly raped
me. They poured burning booze down my throat and blasted Rolling Stones music in
my ears until someone dragged me through a window and into the housing
stairwell.  My parents shut their door and ignored that I was covered in blood. The
last song I heard before this place was The Jackson 5's ABC123 back in the states.

There wasn't anywhere to go. I never had a safe place to sleep at night. I ran away
from Kelley many times. The German Polizei brought me back to the post. An MP

walked me to the apartment and I handed him the key and when it didn't unlock the
door, my dad opened it from the inside. I wasn't told to go inside which didn't
surprise me.  I woke up in the MP's apartment in Tubingen tied up to furniture after
being repeatedly raped by him and other GI's.  They were sick, drunk, crazy and
cruel.  I weighed about 80 pounds, they weighed about 220.

I was very ready to die now at age 12.  So many people knew what was going on
and I asked for a way back to the states, maybe my dad's sister would take me in. 
I was ignored.  My dad gave him $300 in an American Express passbook with my
name on it. He drove me to Kelley to get the cash and then drove me to Patch PX to
get a duffel bag and a sweater. I don't remember what else. Sometimes they fed
me, usually they were wasted and spouting all kinds of military exercises
comments. I don't remember taking pills, just drinking the alcohol.  I do remember
that MP and sometimes others driving me to the hospital pharmacy to pick up pills
in my name.  I know they put them in my food and drinks they same as my mother
always did.  Sometimes it was her driving me there and I would pass out in their
apartment for a few days.  It was just as dangerous to stay as it was to try and find
a way out.

I guess in a way that one rapist MP protected me sometimes from the other random
rapes and attacks.  I hid in places where ever I saw people around.  Other kids
preferably, but I could go into the NCO/EM club and the bartender would just hand
me a triple rum and coke in a plastic cup.  I have no idea what else was in it.  But, that
was usually breakfast, lunch and dinner.  I've never forgotten his face, or his eyes. 
He was aware, that I was a kid and who my father was, but like everyone else was
always fucked up on something.  He stared right at me, probably wondering the
same thing I was.  Would I live through the night.  Would any of them ever get
busted for this continuous set of evil and demented atrocities.

Many times when I was dropped off on post meant it was open season on my life

and safety because nothing had been done to stop it before, and now everyone
knew it including officers wives, teachers, and church personnel. Not one agreed to
stop it all the while acknowledging it was happening even though they
could have.

One older kid jacked a GI up against the wall in the HQ building tunnel. He told me
about it and was so angry that no one was stopping what was happening to me. The
Army had my dad take me to the CID on Robinson Barracks and stood behind me
the whole time. The CID asked one question, was I raped. We were in a small room

where I was wedged between the officer and my dad.  I looked over my shoulder at
my dad,  and he sternly shook his head no. I could barely repeat the word to the

CID guy, but I did. When I was standing in front of our stairwell that I hardly was
allowed inside, I saw the boy's family looking at me in shock. He had been deported
back to the states.

Next thing I know GI's are handing me pills out of an aluminum package right out in the open.  Near the bowling alley, the DYA youth center, by the chapel and day or night.  I later found out the
drug was Mandrax an opioid. I couldn't recognize who they were because everyone looked the same;  haircut, clothes, and walk. They always told me I had to have them and that my mother said I needed them. I saw the gym teacher from Boeblingen elementary and I told him what the GI said, he paused then told me I better do what I was told. Then he want back to playing tennis on the little Kelley court. Somebody GOD please save me. But it never was to be. I was a walking corpse.

Sometimes I sat on the grounds in front of the DYA smoking morphine green hash in
a coke can with the older kids. They never really tried to hurt me, and the MP jeeps
driving by didn't think anything of it. I was glad for a moment to breathe and not
feel all the physical and psychic pain because it had been unbearable for 13 straight
years by then.  Kids my age had such a shocked look when they saw me on rare
occasion and asked me where I had been.  I didn't know, so I shrugged unable to
speak much.  How do you describe living in a constant, graphically violent
nightmare for the first straight 13 years of your life?

The strangest coincidence again, Joanne Patton lived in Roosevelt Village on Kelley
just 600 feet from our housing.  Yet, again, no Army Community Services came to
get me.  I was taken by an MP Major and his wife to their housing, just across the
street from ours when a gate MP saw me covered in bruises from my hairline to my
jaw.  I had asked my dad to go to the movie theatre with friends my age, I should

have known better.  I was punched in the face repeatedly and picked up and thrown
on the coffee table.  I was left laying there for awhile and my back and head hurt
really bad.  After a few hours at the Majors apartment they told me to return
"home" to my utter shock.  He said the same thing everyone else did; that's just the
way things are.  I wondered if it was because I was a girl or because my dad was
some kind of powerful LTC.  I don't believe it was either now as a grown up.

I woke up more than once with an Army doctor shining a light in my face.  They
acted like everything was normal.  Although, sometimes they too had a horrified
look on their faces at the amount of injury and distress my body was in.  They gave
me IV's, strong medicines and surgeries.  Two of them I saw a lot over the next
year and a half.  One had been in Andrews when I was first admitted with head
injury 8 years earlier.  So, now there was three groups of people who are supposed
to be protecting me, but really weren't.  One doctor took me with him on trips to his
different field office locations in and out of the country as well as his private offices
in two countries.  Why would I ever want to explain yet again the obvious liberties
that were taken with me as had almost every one else in authority positions.  I was
bounced around even further and was now having the scariest experiences of my
life.  I should have died.  Most parts of me already were.  What level of authority
would it take now to rescue me from this torture.  Apparently, the answer is
Washington D.C.
Somewhere between Dover, Delaware and Andrews AFB, Maryland I was living like a
child-wife.  I was fed like a bird, but often and everyday.  It was all healthy food, I
think I only had one part of an orange just once in my earlier years.  But, I had
never eaten like this before. I was watched constantly, always medicated in their
terms, simply just the same constant drugged state by adults under a different name. I'd wake up
to this creep forcing himself on me and pinning me down telling me not to move and
that this was normal and for my own good.  I hated him to my core.  The Lutheran
minister assigned to Germany and Belgium had done the same days earlier.  He
wore a regular uniform with a different name tag.  I would have laughed in his face
if I could have since all of a sudden that tactic didn't work anymore.  Didn't this
idiot know he was too old and to shove my face to the side so I can't look at him? 
Thanks Doc, for all the drug cocktails except for all that throwing up.  I knew by
now to show no weakness.

I turned 14 in a private jet somewhere between Guam and California.  He went to
where the U.S. Military dignitaries needing personal medical treatment were located
and sometimes I was brought along.  It was either ignored or laughed at.  I now
knew I wasn't going to live very long.  I was getting old now.  I also knew that they
emanated that same energy toward me.  I wasn't old enough to have seen others'
experiences or learn the grown up vocabulary outside of the military yet, but I
sensed what they were thinking and I knew it was time to give up fighting and
running.  It's really hard to do on aircraft or on private compounds with absolutely
no where to run to. There was now, no higher authority.

In the summer of 1979 I heard the doctor and a joint chief arguing outside of the
downstairs window.  I knew it was about me still being there.  I was supposed to be
a kid living on Kelley Barracks in Stuttgart Germany who goes to Jr. High school,
plays sports, hangs at the DYA, takes bus trips though Europe, and loves eating
pretzels and drinking Fanta orange soda.  But, that's only for the living children of
U.S. Military personnel, and not dead people no one cares about.  I did do those
things that totaled in amount to a full 2 weeks out of 3 years.  Oh yeah, and some
very cool ski trips.  Wasted and scared, and I have about 2 pictures of that.  Must
keep up the facade!    By now, I knew this, my 3 years was almost up and the
boiling rage began to surface in yet another fight for my life.

I woke up coughing and spitting.  I heard it hit the tile floor and I couldn't move.  I
was laying on some block face down and my arms and legs were strapped to it.  I
could see the machine next to me and hear the doctors voice telling me to stop
struggling.  I didn't have time to think when the electricity bolted into my head.  I
kind of heard him say that he wasn't dealing with me anymore, but that I wouldn't be
returned to the abusers home.

I was still nodding off and feeling vomit in my throat and nose when I woke up
sitting in a small room.  The female Air Force MP there was telling two others in the
room that I couldn't hear well and that I'd have to be facing them to understand
what they were saying.  I was told I would be getting medical treatment and then
driven away in some kind of a van.  I saw the signs by buildings and on the roads,
we were in Belgium.  I only had a vertical view because I was strapped into a
stretcher, as in almost every trip that I wasn't supposed to be a part of.

When we arrived on the economy near Stuttgart I woke up in an apartment and the
MP had changed to her civilian clothes.  She kept asking me if I remembered her.  I
kept telling her no.  I didn't remember my name or anybody.  I had trouble breathing so
I slept some more.  I of course knew her quite well, she was the wife of the first MP
that my dad paid to take me away from their housing who was also involved in my
being raped and tied to furniture so that I couldn't keep running away.

The next day when I woke up she told me that they couldn't take me back to the states
because I was a minor and that my parents were transferring out of Germany in a
few days.  She took me to a pay phone, dialed the number, said it was my mother
and handed me the phone.  I didn't know who she was, but I felt my throat constrict and didn't know what to say. I asked where was she.  Her only answer was we're leaving.  She sounded completely
defeated.  I realized as still a young teen and throughout my adulthood that she had
done everything she could.  Everything she could to kill me, get me killed, or get
me to kill myself.  I of course had a normal survival instinct and no concept of a
parent wanting me dead.  I did not want to go near her, but didn't have a choice.
I asked the MP about medical treatment and she said they would take me to the
hospital back in the states.

The next day I was in the second floor of the HQ building being asked questions.  I guess they were checking if my mind had been completely wiped.  It was, I was just  left with decades of screaming night terrors. I started to recognize the Major that worked for my dad in Human Resources and
lived in the apartment beneath the one I was supposed to live in.  He stood up after asking me a bunch of questions that I couldn't answer, I was so thirsty, and opened the door.  He handed my passport to my dad through the door then closed it and stood behind me.  I had no idea what he said after that because my hearing doesn't work well anymore.  When my dad looked in my face he looked like he was going to throw up.  I know I was in awful shape, and I wasn't sure who he even was until
that exact moment as the door was being closed.

I walked down stairs and my dad walked me through the tunnel to the rear gate.  I
can't remember walking through housing to their stairwell.  I woke up in a room
that used to be for me.  There was a bed and dresser but no sheets, pillows or
clothes.  I had on a sweater that I hadn't seen in over a year.  There were a few days
in the O club again, while processing out, but I didn't recognize anything.  Not even
the few people who came to say goodbye to me.  Their eyes looked frightful and I
had trouble talking, not mentally as I wanted to ask who they were, but physically
like something had burned my throat really badly.

Leaving post for the last time my parents drove me past that MP they paid to kidnap
me, but no one looked at him. I saw his face and his jaw dropped and his eyes bugged out.  I had no idea who he was.  This was also the first time my brother had seen me in almost two years.  His eyes were confused and painful looking as we sat at the now built Stuttgart airport.  All he said was why is that plane a TWA and not a PanAm.  No one answered him.  The sound of nothing was throbbing in my head and only left in recent years.  No one told me I was partially deaf, I had to figure it
out on my own.  I wasn't even enrolled in the stateside Jr High school until a neighbor of my mom's asked why.  And, I was never taken for medical treatment the way I was promised.

I was not allowed in their kitchen, had no clothes for August in Florida but I met
some kids in the neighborhood and ran away as soon as I could.  They called me that Army brat or kid.  It was okay though, they were safe.  The main thing I know of is that I was now in a combo pack of drug withdrawal and didn't know it.  Alcohol was already a part of daily life since my dad returned home from Vietnam, so I was glad to drink daily for some sustenance as well as cutting the shakes, confusion and pain some.

They raised my brother and sent him to college.  They seethed at me for needing food and clothes. It was a brand new childhood trauma to try to survive from.  My body was so badly damaged, I couldn't have children or complete community college that I begged them to let me go to.   I was just trying to figure out who they were and why my stomach hurt all the time.  Sometimes they gave me soup and pills, so I guess that's the way things are.

I was about to turn 16 when I met my ex husband.  He had just joined the Navy and
was assigned to a submarine in Virginia.  His mom had him take a note to my
parents for them to sign permission for us to be together as he was about to turn
18.  He helped me to stabilize somewhat.  He and our friends found that I didn't like
drugs much but I could drink and hang with them okay as long as I had some
qualudes.  I had no idea why or that that was the same drug I had been kept on all
my life!  About the same time the government took it off the market, the Military
was cracking down on drug abuse in their ranks.  It was the early 80's and I was
grown up now.  I had no idea what that meant and he didn't realize yet just how
fucked up my parents were.  We were both just glad to get away on our own.  I
found out much later his mother and sisters insisted my parents hold a proper
wedding for us.  So, we came back down to Florida to get married a couple of
months after I was 18.

Everything was great until he shipped out for 6 months.  I couldn't eat, shop or leave the apartment.  I didn't know how.  I think it was in my husbands command structure that some stay behind from deployments and they brought a doctor into the apartment to see me, and they brought my husband home a month early for medical leave to take care of me.  I wasn't old enough to buy booze in the
common wealth state so I was for the first time ever in an unknown to me state of severe detox.  He realized I could never have kids and we had a simple divorce after returning to Florida.  I sadly wound up back at those parents people's house.

I drank myself out of community college now that I was able to buy liquor again.  A very nice lady got me into a 30 day rehab program on a scholarship through her therapist.  I dried out very well, told their psychiatrist that I had no interest in any medications whatsoever even though I didn't know why!  The best part was eating 3 meals a day, every day. For an entire month.  I did try to break out in the beginning, but they talked me into staying.  They called my parents in for family days and instantly knew my trouble wasn't alcohol or drugs.  They had me go back to my parents house and we all agreed to attend the aftercare program.  It was kind of cool.  Food, shelter and people to talk to about my future.  She even took me to my second mall trip and bought me two outfits.  I was about 23 by then. My only other mall trip was my sisters in law found out that I had no underclothes in my
suitcase.  They took me shopping, had me pick them out and then boldly drove to my parents house with the receipt!  That was very cool.

I could never gain enough physical strength to return to college, I hadn't even completed a full grade since the 5th grade, but the doctor had me studying and reading college level material, plus with all that high level travel to several historical sites around the world I was in some form or another homeschooled.  I knew things, I just didn't know how I knew them.  I almost married again, but withdrew to sleep and rest, I still didn't really know how to cook or how often to eat.  I did read a lot
of library books on many topics. A bunch of that, except for meeting basic needs topics mostly
seemed like deja vu.  I had studied a lot of material before being brain zapped.  What a waste, that pedophile.

I had night terrors every night up until a few years ago, about the year 2013. The first flashbacks were around 1994 when I saw a MP's hand through a window while I was home alone standing in the  living room of the dilapidated trailer my father exiled me to after I failed marriage and college.  It all started coming though the cracks, it just took decades. I avoided drug use, alcohol most of the time and just learned how to live and try and get on my own.  It never happened and they still don't acknowledge that I'm suffering from brain damage and left alone to die.  Before that I had 95% amnesia, everything and everyone gone from my memory except for a few people and events.  How adept they were with committing psychological warfare of a child.  I have most of my memories back, but there are so many more things that happened. 

As a child, I was told we were on a mission and I felt astounded at the scenery
whizzing by, and the numbness cloud in the car and all around me.  I felt like a piece of luggage, and still do.  I've been on borrowed time since I was a kid.  I wasn't allowed to feel. I was severely punished if I even looked like I was having a feeling. As the military machine marched on, which I still respect to this day, I was left behind as just a walking corpse.
I don't know if I'll live through the day with this sickness done to me and trying to tell it vs. the Stockholm Syndrome. But, I will die trying if I have to.  The only thing I know is military bratitude brought me air in my lungs for this long, despite the bad people trying to get me to just shut up and die.

My last mission in this broken body that I have fought so hard to heal, survive and thrive for decades, all the while keeping up the charade because those actions despite giving it my all, failed and I'm in no mood to call an ambulance after being told repeatedly by the abusers to not waste resources for all these years. I will not take this to my grave.  I am still waiting for rescue or die trying to escape.

Some of us had a cloud of pain and danger over our "good times" so we kill ourselves trying to toe that false line put upon us, because of the pain and danger we were constantly in to keep quiet about it.  Many people today want to deny the facts.  The truth that those of us keep inside, but can't keep that up all the time.  The truth is that a mil kid is a piece of old luggage to some service members.  Because of my experiences, I want to keep a place open for all the others like me, and to tell them welcome home, there's no cover up here.  I am the founder of the Facebook group for Military Brats called Dandelions Healing.  We've already had 2 members who passed away before they could come home.  It's for all military brats in every situation that we grew up with or come across as adults to get support and feedback from like minded people who learned a unique way of speaking as we grew up.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Early Beginnings

One of my first memories is waking up in the family station wagon surrounded by Styrofoam coolers and household supplies. Traveling from Fort Knox to Leavenworth and all the vacation spots from Key West to Wyoming.  Soon after we added airline flights to our lifestyle.  We were one of those "military families. "

There was a war going on. Plunked down in Florida for a year waiting for dad to return home at age 4 is the first time I heard some Americans didn't like my family.  It would have been the worst memory if we weren't vigilant for my dad to come home alive.  That was what that entire year was about.  He finally came home and after some R&R received his orders for his next duty station and off we went to Maryland.

During that year I saw two families who packed up and moved without their dad. Their dads were two of the many that were gone. There were horrifying nightmares and life lessons for me at the earliest age.  On one hand I saw adults giving us dirty looks and heard some really bad names along with wishes that my dad would die.  On the other hand I was taught that life isn't guaranteed and to stand for what I believe in.  I wasn't going to believe in a nation that didn't defend itself and since we have a military might and my dad was a part of it then I followed and learned those beliefs.   I never saw the non military families displaying any such standards.  I was taught that we were doing something for our country and the others were benefiting from it.  And of course they should or what was it all for?

My biggest loss was my dad retired when I was 14 after 24 years of active duty.