Written by Lynnette Hager
If you have been in the military for any length of time then you are familiar with acronyms. If able, they will turn any group of words into one. I firmly believe a group of soldiers could carry on a conversation with ninety percent of the verbage being solely acronym based.
In the civilian world the secret-squirrel-talk isn’t used as often. However when you do hear it, the familiarity bounces off your eardrums and for a brief moment two people recognize a similiar spirit. Just a glance at someone and it is almost as if you just know they have been there and done that.
Personally, I do not think all things need an acronym. I am a call it like you see it kind of person. So, when the military wanted to place what I consider an inaccurate label on my “incident” it forever changed how I look at acronyms.
I understand the military wanted a blanket term for a myriad of possible prerequisites that may apply. However, I personally felt the one they chose minimized what happened actually happened to many people.
The military wants to say Military Sexual Trauma. Yes, it happened in the military. The word “sexual”is what I have a problem with. By definition the word sexual is “relating to the instincts, physiological processes, and activities connected with physical attraction or intimate physical contact between individuals”. I assure you by definition, for me, this was one sided and forced.
Personally, I know many who have a problem calling their assault for what it was because it is triggering and traumatic. It took me years after reporting it to utter the words rape and sodomy. It labeled me. It made me feel dirty and disgusting. I do not wear those words like badges of honor. I do however refuse to call it Military Sexual Trauma because that is not what it was. It is My Stupid Trauma. My MST. I own it. I live it and I am getting through it. Nothing more nothing less.