He was a Chief Petty Officer when I met him the first time. An E-7 in rank. When I was in my Navy "A" school.
I was a Seaman at the time, an E-3 in rank. I was just out of boot camp, with a short leave time before my school started. I was new to the Navy, and excited to be in the service.
He was in a position of authority over me. Not one of my immediate superiors, but when you're in the military, anyone who outranks you is in that position.
I had never seen him before, and only saw him that one time while I was at school. That first time that I met him was brief. But it shook me. It was very demeaning. I don't think I'm ready to talk about it yet.
Anyway, I finished my schooling, took some leave time, then transferred to my duty station in northern California. I drove out from New York state. It was a great, beautiful, exciting trip.
The next time I saw him was when he was transferred to my duty station. I remember walking onto the watch floor where I worked, and there he was. I was taken aback.
My mind immediately reeled back to that first time I met him, and I felt so very uncomfortable with him being there. It didn't help that he stared at me the whole time he was there that day. He stared at me like that all the time.
When he arrived at my duty station, he was a Senior Chief Petty Officer. An E-8 in rank. So, he had been promoted. Advanced up in his career. He was someone to be admired for his sense of duty, his job performance, and the shining example of what a sailor should be.
At least, to everyone who didn't really know him.
Dr H and I talked about how great everyone thought he was, how wonderful a Navy man he was. How totally wrong I know that was. How the people on the base didn't know what he was really like. How, if I had told anyone what he did to me, probably no one would have believed me.
Chances are more than great that no one would have believed me. After all, with his stellar career, no one would ever believe that he was what he is. Besides, I probably wouldn't have been believed because of what was in my service record.
After he assaulted and raped me, he told me no one would believe me. And I believed him. I know he was right. He hid who he really was behind his uniform, behind his job performance, behind his career. My word wouldn't have ever stood up to his.
I just still can't get my head around how everyone thought he was so wonderful, when he was really just such an absolutely evil man. It isn't fair, doesn't seem right, and it just makes me so mad.