MST – do I have sufficient alternative evidence? (TW: assault, PTSD, and more.)

Trigger warning: sexual assault, rape, PTSD, suicide attempt, possible miscarriage

Hello, everyone. I’ll try to keep this as brief as possible.

My main question:

I’m looking to see if what I have documented would be sufficient evidence for markers/alternative evidence as this assault wasn’t reported. 

I just want to apologize ahead of time for being scatterbrained and long winded. I’ve been carrying this for awhile. Some minor details are altered to protect my identity, but those details don’t change the bones of it.

Background:  

This was 15 years ago. I was split op National Guard (basic training one summer, AIT the next while in school.) I drilled for 10 months before shipping to basic training with zero issues.

Assault Event: 

Made it to basic and was in reception battalion. A male holdover who was desperate for a quick discharge (threatened suicide, caught stealing, sneaking into barracks and having sex with a female holdover who also wanted a discharge) targeted me on night 4. I won’t describe the event in detail, but I was raped after he was let in by that female in the middle of the night.

First 24 Hours:

I don’t remember the end of the event. I remember waking up and my clothes being wet from the standing water in the shower room. I don’t remember anything after standing up. Because of records, I know that we were in the chapel cleaning around 7pm the next night. I remember snapping to, crying and hyperventilating. I thought I was having a heart attack and about to die. I was transported to the ER.

Documentation of hospital stay:

Medical records show that I was diagnosed with hyperventilation syndrome, labs were drawn and I was given Torodol for chest pain (which they later said was probably from pulled muscles.)

I was kept overnight. I don’t remember anything past calming down in the hospital bed.

Records show the EKG was fine, and that they opted to check for thyroid issues. Apparently I told them I thought I had a “seizure” – which I’m assuming I meant panic attack since I was out of sorts.

Records then show a diagnosis of Adjustment Disorder with Anxiety, Tachycardia and Hyperventilation Syndrome.

I was sent to sick call for a psych eval. I remember bits and pieces of that sick call. I remember waking up on the floor to someone helping me up. She told me that she thought I was sleeping but I was shaking. This was documented in my record.

Apparently 3 days went by, which I don’t remember. I had an evaluation and was cleared to go back to reception as a holdover until I could get a psych clearance to ship to training.

After being cleared to go back to reception:

I was there the next week and a half. There were a few days where the barracks were empty besides the holdovers until the next shipment of people came in. She let him in and he harassed me – kicking my bed while I was hiding under my covers, pulling at my clothes. Both of them laughing at what he did.

I ran into the bathroom, grabbed my razor, and tried so hard to get the courage to push down harder. I ended up with a superficial laceration that my drill sergeants saw the next day. I hate that I did this. I hate that I was in a position where this was what I thought was my way out, but it is what it is.

I was transferred to sick call on a suicide buddy watch. This is all documented.

I just told everyone I didn’t know why I did it when I was pressed. I couldn’t tell anyone what happened. I don’t know why. I could hardly verbalize as it was… I was traumatized.

Basic Training

Another week passes, I go through psych appointments and again – diagnosis stays as Adjustment Disorder with Anxiety. They had no idea about the assault and since they had nothing else to go on, they assumed that I was anxious about basic training. I remember just staring at the healthcare workers/psychiatrists feeling completely hollow and not caring whatsoever what happened to me.

I’m shipped off to basic. A drill sergeant was warned about me and she took me under her wing. I credit her with getting me through basic as I don’t remember much of it. I fainted twice the first day, so as you can imagine, every drill sergeant knew my name from day 1. It was hell battling what happened to me on top of the normal “break you down to build you up” process.

2 months after the assault, and just before graduation, I still hadn’t had a period. One day I had cramps and passed some blood clots. I went to sick call, determined I was going to tell them what happened. When I was in triage, they said it’s normal for women to skip their periods during basic and I shouldn’t be worried about blood clots. Worried they’d assume I was fraternizing if I had a positive pregnancy test and knowing I didn’t report the assault, I decided to cancel the appointment. They documented the blood clot/cramping complaint.

It kills me thinking that I may have had a miscarriage. I hate all of it. I xxxxxxx hate it. 

After Graduation

I graduate, get back to normal life and drill for another year before I’m due to ship to AIT to finish my training. Anxiety, depression and flashbacks happen. Panic attacks are regular. I won’t let my boyfriend of 5 years even touch my arm. My mom asks me regularly what happened to me at basic because I’m not the same. She was called when I was a suicide risk and I think she’s a bit traumatized from that call and lack of communication of my status afterwards. I didn’t tell her what happened. I was ordered to almost a month on Active Duty for Special Work since I was still drilling with a unit.

Discharge

I wasn’t able to ship to AIT in time, and due to the National Guard 24 Month Rule. At MEPS they asked about anxiety and I told them the truth… that I am absolutely riddled with anxiety and depression. I’m given an entry level/uncharacterized separation, which I welcomed with open arms as I was terrified of going back to the same base and being back in barracks.

The ~14 Years Since 

Since then, I’ve been diagnosed with anxiety, depression and ADHD – Inattentive – on and off meds. Just diagnosed PTSD due to the sexual assault this past year when I opened up to my psychologist about what happened.

I didn’t tell a single soul what happened until then. The only person who knows is my psychologist, and soon to be my husband.

I have nightmares, flashbacks, I’m angry all the time and I have to force myself to have sex with my wonderfully amazing husband once every couple of months. I live life in a constant fog. I haven’t developed any relationships past acquaintances since – besides my husband. I’m physically present with my family, but I don’t feel happiness or laugh. I’m a bundle of nerves at all times. I’m miserable to be around.

My husband has told me he can’t handle not being physical after years and years, and that something needs to change. That something is me finally telling him what happened to try to save my marriage because I love him so dearly.

I can’t afford treatment anymore. I can’t work – I have had 6 jobs in the past 8 years, started and stopped school 3 times since I was discharged due to anxiety and panic attacks. My psychologist told me I should contact the VA for treatment. After a little reading, I see that I could claim this as a possible service connected disability, but they need alternative evidence.

I know the guys name. I can tell you what his rank was. I remember everything I knew about him. I know it’s outside the SoL, but I have this information if it helps corroborate my story as he was caught in the barracks one night with that girl and finally removed from that reception battalion.

Before I open this wound and bare my dark past to multiple people – am I even in the ballpark for alternative evidence?