From the Ranch

From the Ranch

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

I Have Come to Know an Exceptional Young Woman

In life many times you have to deal with people who are not honest, people who will lie to you, cheat you, or otherwise do harm to you.  Those who have faced Military Sexual Trauma are especially familiar with those kinds of people.  Many times in the past, those persons who have perpetrated sexual crimes in the military have gotten away with those crimes.  Even though things are changing in this area, there are hundreds of thousands of victims for whom the changes did not come soon enough.  Their assailants remain free and unpunished, and the devastation caused by their crimes haunt everyday of the victims lives .

That is a very difficult thing for the victims of these crimes to deal with.  Someone they should have been able to trust, has betrayed and harmed them, and then the Military fails them in a system that has historically covered up the crimes of the offenders.  Anyone who tries to say that anything different was the rule, is lying.  The investigation and prosecution of Military Sexual Trauma has long been the shame of the United States Military.  I do see things changing, and I am encouraged, but there have been many who have not survived the crimes, and how those crimes were handled by the Military.

Some lives just go to pieces, and people become addicted to substances or bad choices, unable to struggle through the grief, despair, and injury.  In extreme cases, some even become homeless, not being able to deal with the PTSD, (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder,) which develops in the aftermath of their life altering ordeal.  Regardless, no one walks away from such a crime unscathed, and the road back to a normal life is long and difficult.

There are those who go to dark places and never return, and they wind up taking their own lives, unable to deal with their suffering.  There are also those who go to dark places, and with the love and support of family and friends, and professional help, make it back to the light of successful living.  I know one such young woman.

I met my friend on Facebook as a result of attending the SWAN, (Service Women's Action Network) Conference in Washington D.C. a few years back.  I have written of what happened to her, and watched her struggle from defeat to triumph.  She is now a published author, and will soon finish her degree to become a substance abuse counselor.  What once defeated her has become her power, and she will soon become a beacon for others, for whom life has dealt hard blows.  She loves horses, and many times we have discussed the special relationship that horses bring a person.  She has told me of experience with horses which have given her courage and stamina to go forward toward recovery.

I remember how angry and negative my friend was when I first met her, and I have watched as she has overcome those two things.  Not that her life is completely void of those feelings, but now they are just feelings, not life controlling handicaps. She is still facing difficulties in life, her mother has been very ill, but such things no longer send her into the dark.

There is hope of recovery for even the most painful and difficult situations life can bring to a person.  My friend is the living proof of that.  Congratulations my sweet friend, for all you have overcome, and for all you have accomplished.  I know even more success is to come!  The tragedies of your life have been made into the tools which empower you, and they are going to be a resource to help empower others.  Watch her very moving video, and buy her book, some things are worth a person's time, and listening to the story of this young woman will encourage you in your own life.