Woman warrior workouts are named after women who have been affected by Military Sexual Trauma (MST). Christine still struggles with the effects of sexual trauma, but has seen some major improvements over the last month. Here is her story and the workout to represent her fight.
Christine joined the Army in 2006. She chose a job that attracts only a small number of females–63B, all wheel vehicle mechanic. Throughout her training and service, she took pride in keeping up with the men, achieving a higher physical fitness score than many others. Her plan was to have a full military career until she retired.
The Day Everything Changed
September 17, 2009 started as a day of celebration and ended as a day that is difficult to remember and that Christine would like to forget altogether. It was her daughter’s second birthday party and they celebrated with good friends near her duty station of Ft. Carson, Colorado. After the celebration, Christine’s daughter went to a friend’s house for the night. Another friend who had attended the party invited Christine to his house to watch a movie. That’s when everything changed. Christine’s “friend” violently assaulted and raped her.
Although she knew better, Christine didn’t report the assault that night. She reported it the following day, and the police decided that it wasn’t rape because Christine had kissed the man and “led him on,” even though she had very real bruises and injuries. 2 days after the assault was the first of several suicide attempts, before which she tried to contact her chain of command and none answered the phone. When the paramedics found her, she was admitted to a hospital recommended by her Commander where she spent the next three months in the psychiatric ward, grouped with schizophrenic patients with no sexual assault support. Tired of being drugged in the hospital, Christine wanted out.
“I’m not the person I was before.”
Since the day Christine was assaulted, she was medically retired from the military in October 2010 and has attempted suicide several times. Today, at 30 years old, she is 70% disabled and 100% unemployable, meaning that she can never work again. She doesn’t sleep at night, simply paces the house with a gun until the sun rises. Due to the lack of support for Military Sexual Trauma and the VA being 2 hours from her home, she has been unable to get the treatment she needs to heal.
Christine has recently found some hope. She said that the Operation 22 MST community reminds her that she’s not alone; she does CrossFit workouts in her yard and looks forward to connecting with a CrossFit gym in her area. 3 weeks ago, The SD Gunner Fund also provided Christine with a service dog; “Guy” is his name and he has made such a difference in Christine’s life. Guy has allowed Christine to celebrate the 4th of July for the first time in years, take her children to the beach and go to Dave & Buster’s, activities that she couldn’t do before. Christine is now ready to share her story and take back her life.