The names in this episode have been changed to protect its’ participants. Jennifer is a 30 year old veteran and Military Sexual Trauma survivor. Like a phoenix rising from it’s ashes, Jennifer aims to turn the negative experience into something that serves her.
Jennifer tells Airial a little about her story, and how the military felt like a calling. She also gives her perspective on what happened to her, how she denies focus on it, and how she tries to view it. She uses the metaphor of a Phoenix, rising from the ashes to describe what she’s doing with her past.
Airial asks about the reporting process of the MST, and Jennifer goes into small detail about the process, the lack of anonymity, and how vulnerable and exposed she felt during that time.
She talks about how finite military service is, and how veterans lose their identity when they give up that part of themselves. She also tells Airial how she went about finding herself after leaving the service.
The conversion moves into the Dark Night of the Soul, and staying in limbo, as well as how crucial it is to reach up for help.
“When people throw stones at you, you can stack them and rise above.”
“They say they break you down to build you up, and I’m still waiting for the build up part.”
“With adversity comes courage and strength”
“The military doesn’t define you. You define you.”
“The military has some growing up to do, in a big way.”
“I as too afraid to make the changes I needed to make in order to move on.”