How We Learn To Teach Others Thru Surviving…
By: Tiffany L. Marler
I am a child of the 70’s and was born into a proud military family, wound up being the 4th generation to go in, but it is also full of pain and hurt. Not knowing if I would even enter this world, my parents were told I would be a boy, my name was picked out — Brandon Jacob, imagine growing up as a boy with the initials BJ all your life, ugh! I stayed an extra month in my mothers womb which is why even at the beginning the birth was difficult for my mother.
I came out a girl, thank you Lord, with the fight of a tomboy, literally — I got in trouble for beating the bullies up in grade school by my father, I had some anger issues…but no social skills. My parents divorced on my birthday when I was 6 and my first molester and trafficker was introduced into my life. When other children were outside with their friends playing normal kid games, I was inside “playing”, or being groomed, with other types of much older friends by my mother’s second husband, my stepfather. This trauma set me up for a long standing will to survive and do better in today’s world. I came forth on my own about ALL of his abuse and the complicity of the adults involved at the AGE OF 10 and found out in 2020 that my case was thrown under the rug by all the adults involved. The problem with today is the unwillingness to commit to this cause and not standing up and taking action. When I met my son’s father he was an abuser and it took me 4 years and the courts to leave him in 2004; yet today he has undergone treatment and done his time and he is a totally different person and has a normal relationship with our son and is very active in his church and is married and is doing well. My daughter’s father was plain evil. He committed acts that one should never have to endure in a marriage. Domestic rape, Domestic Violence, Domestic Sexual Trafficking, he got me hooked on drugs after being sober after 8 years and then i found out after self admittance in Nov 2013 that he was injecting me with drugs i didnt know about to knock me out and record these events happening to me. But I again went back to therapy and inpatient counseling and had “Had” enough. I had been stuck.
When we strive to become the best we can be, that many times means that a person will stumble various ways along the way. I believe, and it was ingrained into me at a small age to either learn from those mistakes the first time or you can get caught in a trap, one that’s stronger than any venus fly trap known to man. That’s addiction, abuse and in my case unwittingly having a hand in my son’s rape even though I never knew it happend. That’s the tragedy there, that’s who I am today. For so many years I wanted justice for me and those other girls and I still do; but now I know through a lot of time and healing and arguing over the best course to take going forward now that my son is over 18 and can make his own decisions; I must be there for him now as no one but my father was there for me. Nothing else matters.
Our dreams to help individuals are because we survived not only abuse by others, but my children also felt the lack of care and protection from the one person who was too traumatized to know better. For example the ability to know better than to let a predator into her home. It’s all I had ever known. Living with my head in the the proverbial sand, I fled my ex husband, because it was the only option I could have stayed alive in, but I noticed I swallowed that ugly, black pit of regret and pain and loss inside of me that I had left for almost 30 years and I came back to St.Louis, I came back home, I came back to the “Lou”.
I suffered terribly, yet always managed to stay true to my faith that God would see me through and with my many prayers and painful rehabilitation over 20 years would prove me to still be here. I proudly served with the US Navy, Deployed with The Mission Continues, Team Rubicon USA, consulted in research with Doctors Without Borders, (MSF). I’ve gotten my degree as a CNA, Medical Assistant, EMT(B), FMF (HM) Corpsman in the US Navy.
I realized the other day that in some way or another I’ve been called “Doc” since 1993 when I was head of the Youth Red Cross Division at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. That’s when my service journey began, and “Doc-T” since 1997, and my favorite…“mom”, since 2002. All of the other titles I hold onto with the Boards of Directors and Founder or Survivor Consultant are just bonuses I never expected to be here for and/or alive for.
My ask to everyone is to become more aware of Human, Labor and Sexual trafficking (because they all fall under the arena of human trafficking, but they have specific differences), and domestic violence in all areas in your lives and communities and state. Every state has a Coalition Against Sexual Trafficking, please find out yours and see who is active in your area and how you can help out. Please support our survivors because I have had to do this on my own in my life and to build this wonderful network that I’ve helped build that will help has been great but extremely hard to do, but I could not of done it without all of the ones that have joined by my side at https://www.Nomoretears214.com/, thank you.
Public narrative written for graduation from The Mission Continues. Women’s Veterans Leadership Program, Cohort #3, December. 2021. — t.marler
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