1 November 20
Every morning is the same routine every day… Get up and get ready for work, head to work and work my eight-hour shift. My current work environment of two months is definitely better than my previous one which was a hostile work environment with all disgruntled employees. Yes, all of them are disgruntled thanks to our so call boss of the section. I was one of two veterans so it’s fair to say, the non-military civilians did not understand that we had daily struggles, nor did they even try to understand.
During my deployment to Afghanistan, my first boss was an Army Captain (O-3) with a line number to pin on the next rank of major (O-4), I was an Air Force Captain (O-3). Started off smooth until he started becoming possessive of me which turned out to no one wanted to talk to me because they didn’t want chaos. I’ve become so depressed and more so when he pinned on his next rank. Now he felt he had control over me and even though I know he didn’t, I did my best to keep the peace considering where and what the circumstances were. We were in a blackout camp and my boss made it known to everyone that anything can happen, and no one will be brave enough to tell the truth because they just wanted to get home to their families. I struggled with his mental and emotional abuse, and it scared me for life. After reporting my situation to leadership, nothing much happened, and it was a quick band aid fix. After witnessing a death, I finally went to a two-week rest and recovery break and was transferred to my new camp. It helped a lot, or so I thought. I was still on edge having to deal with more people who went to training and knew my old boss. Talk about torture… It was the last four months till I was able to meet up with my husband who was also deployed, we made it back to US soil. The struggles continued on to my new base on Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii.
The traumatic events carried on with me to my new work environment which was hard to adjust. I was still in the war zone mindset, but I did start back up in treatment. I became the flight commander of a flight which consists of both military and civilian personnel and being that I was still living life as if I was still in Afghanistan, I struggled every day with everyone and everything. From driving, to meetings, to crowded rooms, grocery shopping, you name it. I had a really difficult time transitioning back to the so-called normal life as I didn’t even know what normal was anymore. When the stapler fell, when the door closed, or when the forklift is in operation, I would get startled and be anxious. As much as I was struggling, I did my best to keep it together because as a leader, I couldn’t show weakness. But it all caught up to me and I ended up being medically retired as I wasn’t mentally and physically fit for the needs of the Air Force anymore. I’ve become very depressed and still seek treatment till today. After three years of treatment and vocational rehabilitation training, I was able to complete another degree and became employed at a law firm. That didn’t last more than four months as I realized that I didn’t fit it with non-veterans. So I continued treatment, faced the death of my mother and in September 2019, I became employed again, this time for the Navy.
Starting back up with my new work section was horrible off the bat. My nonveteran boss was horrible and the environment as a whole was hostile. He treated me like my deployed boss treated me, so I struggled from the start. This new boss checked on me whenever I wasn’t in my office. I would get a text when I was using the restroom, going to appointments, and also while talking to my coworkers. Although this is purely a civilian environment, I still had daily triggers because of the similarity of their behaviors. It’s really interesting and yet disheartening that different supervisors with almost similar behaviors can still trigger us on a daily basis. Slowly and surely, once again I suffered from PTSD as it relapsed. No matter what I did wasn’t good enough for this new boss, I was always told negative comments which brought my self-confidence down, just like how it did while I was deployed. After almost a year with this torture, I was finally reassigned to my current wonderful work environment with both military and veterans closer to my age, where we can share and appreciate each other’s stories. Although I’ve been in my new and current position for two months, I still have anger and depression because I’ve been trying to get out of that hostile environment, but no one took me serious at first. Once again, I had to file a complaint to get leadership’s attention but glad to say so far it is working in my favor.
We all have some daily struggles stemming from our past and will probably be some time until things get better. We all have our challenges and deal with it the best way we can. I want to encourage you all to keep your head up and take things one day at a time. You have a wonderful life ahead of you.
Visit Roz at: https://roselinesalazar.com
My interview with Roz on StarzPsychicsNetwork: