September 2003 -- my entire world was crumbling and I needed help. So, I made an appointment to see a social worker at VA's Women’s Health Clinic. After talking with the social worker, I decided that seeing her was not the answer. I continued on with my life, and in the process I stuffed more and more problems deeper and deeper inside, not realizing eventually they would overflow and the overflow would affect not only me but my family as well.
In August of 2003 I had an appointment at the Women’s Clinic and the nurse checking my vitals asked me if I had ever been sexually assaulted while in the military. When she asked me that question I could feel my anger inside and answered very sharply: “Yes.” When I left the clinic, not only had I seen a doctor-I left with an appointment to talk with a therapist.
Going to the therapist was hard for me, but deep inside I knew it was time to get help. After completing a session, I shared with my therapist that I felt I needed more help. I needed to be away from my children in a program concentrating on me. My therapist told me about two programs offering PTSD hospitalization, one in Florida and one in Menlo Park. I took her up on her offer and came to California.
After arriving and going through orientation I began asking myself, “What have I gotten myself into?” The program is the hardest thing I’ve encountered since Basic Training-as far as the training goes-but, if nothing else, the extensive physical I received made it worth it to come to the program. After the psychiatrist evaluated me and changed my medication I met the psychologist and her very caring staff. The staff taught me how to focus on myself and the problems I have been encountering for years and years. It’s a great feeling to learn new ways of thinking, talking and acting.
If you’re a woman veteran dealing with negative things from the military or other things you’ve encountered, I highly recommend the NCPTSD in Menlo Park. It’s the best thing I’ve done for myself in a long time.