Never under estimate me…

Truth be told, of all the fights I’ve had in my life; there have been many, the majority have been with a guy.  I grew up with brothers and hung out with them and/or their friends often.  I was a Tom-Boy growing up, so the likelihood of my getting into a situation was pretty high.  Couple that with the fact that my youngest brother and I are only two years apart, it was pretty much a given that if you messed with one of us, you’d be running the risk of messing with both of us.  No matter how things stood between us, there was no way you were going to eff with my family.  I can’t say I was a mouthy kid, that was mostly my brothers and their friends.  I was more the silent, vengeful type who’d open a can of ‘Get Right’ and unleash it like a wild cat in pursuit of her prey.  I’m actually still very much that way.  As long as I’m still talking, you’re pretty much safe; however, it’s when I’ve stopped talking and you think things are cool, is when I’m likely to strike.

whoop ass

When I was in Basic Training, I went through it with two male platoons, which was pretty much unheard of at the time.  There wasn’t enough girls for start a company without keeping us for weeks as holdovers and the males were a platoon short of a full company, so the powers that be decided to merge us all.  Many of the girls were unhappy about having to compete against the boys citing they had greater strength etc, than they did.  Really?  You’re in Basic Training hun!  Take off your Garanimals and put your big girl panties on!  Basic wasn’t going to be a cake walk for anyone regardless of gender.

Given that I’d grown up with the boys and had infiltrated their world, I had some insight to how they operated.  Couple that with my having been schooled about the ins and outs of Basic from guys friends and family who’d already been through it, I know how to play the game and roll with the punches.  Over the course of the eight weeks, I became a force to be reckoned with and was both feared and loved by my peers.  There wasn’t a challenge I wouldn’t accept and there wasn’t anyone I allowed to try to punk me.  Not that I’m actually proud of it, but I was actually quite the bully in my platoon. I’d cash checks on those that wanted to write them, dared both genders to try me, and refused to allow anyone to intimidate me; that included the Drill Sergeants.  The odd thing was, it wasn’t that I was so strong, it was that I had so much repressed anger and pain bottled up inside me, that environment was the perfect place for me to unleash it all and unleash it I did. I was strong.  I was fierce.  And I was determined.

Some of the girls hated me because I wouldn’t be or act weak or try to use my feminine wiles to get over.  C’mon chick!   That was neither the time or place and I especially despise when women reduce themselves to this tactic.  The guys actually respected and feared me because I wouldn’t play dumb and I met them head on.  A few were literally scared of me given some random acts of violence I inflicted, but at the end of the day, it was all about survival and achieving the ultimate goal of graduating.  I’d given up too much to not succeed.

Since Basic to now, I know I’ve maintained the same source of strength and refuse to ever appear weak, even if that’s really how I’m feeling.  I’ve overcome too much to let a man think he can rule me or that I won’t stand up and fight.  My ex-husband came dangerously close to testing me on that one.  Hence, his being my EX!!!

I won’t speak for all women, but I know this about myself…I’ve earned who I am as a woman and I’ve earned my strength by never allowing a man to think his balls are bigger than mine.  I give as good as it gets and I give as good as I can take.  I still prefer the company of men to women and am the “go to gal” with my guy friends.  I have a couple of women in my life that I know would employ from frightening means of having my back and me theirs.  I’m not game for the bullshit and drama that often comes with having too many women friends.  As you saw in my post Blog Challenge: Day 16 — Someone or something you definitely could live without, I strive to avoid the drama as much as possible.

In closing, I’ll rest on this quote and let that resonate in your spirit for a while…

betty white

 

 

Yea, I said it!

 

Stand by your man…? (Conclusion)

Flash back to my time in VA…One of the girls in my squad was sporting an engagement ring that could’ve sunk a modern-day Titanic who seemed very much into her future husband. Well, that was until she met Specialist Jackson. They immediately hit it off; against training standards, and a sexual relationship quickly ensued. In spite of my warnings and those of the company commander, she continued. Well, one day I was checking the dorms to make sure they were clean and everyone was out when I heard the shower running. A quick peek to see who it was and why revealed said young lady with hickeys and other sexually created marks on her body. I advised that she hurry and her response was hysterical tears. She confided that her fiance would be arriving that evening and she didn’t know what she was going to do. It was supposed to be a surprise, but someone in the office messed up and told her. The mix up afforded her time to come up with a way to get out of having sex with him, but it certainly needed to be good enough to justify the marks on her body. I didn’t feel bad for her because she knew better and had been warned, but hard ears makes a soft behind; or in her case; cost her a ring and marriage.

Back to me…If I had a dollar for every married man or man with a girlfriend, I’d have a decent chunk of change sitting tax-free in an offshore account. Yes, infidelity was that serious!

Some were more discreet in their flirting or ways of finding out where my moral compass pointed; however, most were pretty overt and made countless attempts to have me be their side piece. Hell, my ex-husbands father used to make passes at me back in the day before his son and I got together. Makes my skin crawl rethinking it! Let me clarify something as not to be misunderstood because it takes two to tango and trust me when I tell you that there were many married women engaged in various acts of infidelity. I wasn’t surprised per se, but it was funny how they handled their business with a little more finesse and discretion.

I heard men plotting on the new girls that came in on how they’d be their weekend girlfriend or their Annual Training wife. They made offerings of helping them with their training or whatever else they could to sway her into their favour and once they had her, she became shop fodder amongst the men and another notch on their proverbial bedpost. When I was approached, I made it known I’d be no one’s tabloid discussion and there’s nothing they had that I needed to compromise my character for. Oh, trust your girl was “stuck up”, “she must think her p*ssy is lined with gold”, or some other snarky remark. I proudly wore whatever moniker they gave me instead of being anyone’s cum dumpster.

Rank had its privileges because the lower ranking girls thought themselves special for hooking up with the higher ranking enlisted or officers. As I said, it was not limited to men as I saw an E-6 hook up with an E-4 for no other reason than him being cute and having a nice body. Officers and high enlisted alike made promises of special treatment to those who took up with them and their boys were sometimes given preferential assignments for being alibis and such. Olivia Pope would have been proud of how they handled their indiscretions and cover ups…lol…I digress, but they did take esprit de corps to a whole new place!

Being one to never want to be in the lime light and shied away from anything that even remotely stunk of drama, I hated that I knew what I did and found myself being questioned here and there about the (alleged) actions of others even if it was just for curiosity’s sake. It’s sad to recall how many no sooner kissed their kids, spouses, and significant others goodbye and then began kissing their military spouse hello.

Military marriages suffer high rates of divorce primary due to a cheating spouse, which I’ve personally witnessed. I saw a good friend no sooner leave for a 30-day deployment and his wife’s boyfriend keep the bed warm in his absence. Neighbours knew and said nothing; they were probably likewise guilty. It was a gut feeling on his part that caught her in the act. He told her he was leaving for training, packed his stuff and left. He parked around the corner and double backed on foot to the house where he saw an unfamiliar car parked in his driveway. He let himself in through the side door and found his wife and lover on the couch in the act. Talk about coitus interuptus!! Although she was a civilian, she ended up losing the most to include custody of their daughter.

Conversely, there are many spouses who condone infidelity by citing long or extended deployments, recurring training schedules, or some other reason because they’ve grown accustomed to the lifestyle provided by their military spouse. General Sinclair’s wife alluded to such in her statement. Sorry son, I’m not going to make such excuses and there is no amount of lifestyle that will make me think otherwise. I’m not standing by my man and I’m not going to be made light of or become a part of media sensationalism as a result of his actions.

Again, I understand military life, but there is no excuse for the behaviour these and many other have exhibited. A military career is hard-earned and fought hard for and shouldn’t be reduced to something demeaning and seedy to end it. I want to feel bad for either General in some way and maybe if I hadn’t been in the service, I may have a little compassion, but since I’ve been there, I can’t and won’t. I’ve seen how many high-ranking men use and abuse their authority. I’ve seen them manipulate, coerce, cajole, threaten, etc., to get what they want. Sadly, I’ve seen women counter by giving of themselves with hidden agendas; however, any way you slice it, both parties are wrong. In this instance, these men displayed blatant disregard for their marriages, careers, reputations, and whatever else it has cost them. I feel for the spouses; slightly, but I mostly feel for the kids who will have to live and relive this scandal. With today’s technology, there is no undoing what’s published. Personally, I might be inclined to want to change my last name to reduce any known or future associations, but it may never truly remove the human stain. Actions speak louder than words and theirs are the beacons that we will see for all perpetuity.

Stand by your man? Depends on what I’m standing by him for!

That is all!