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Synopsis: Living for 20 years with undiagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) caused by military sexual trauma (MST) and Gulf War Illness (GWI) has not made life an easy path for Sergeant Stephanie J. Shannon. In this, first book, Battling the Storm Within, Stephanie shares how her time of military service, and the resulting trauma she experienced, continues to affect her daily life, even 20 plus years later--a common story among military veterans.

A brave and deeply personal memoir that details Stephanie's military experiences, and especially her struggles when transitioning back to civilian life, this book is a bold step on the path for recovery for all veterans. This book serves not only as a lesson of how to reclaim your life after PTSD, GWI, and MST, but also a call for change in legislation, government policies, the VA system, and military practices and procedures that impact the veteran population and their families.

Stephanie's story is a story of struggle, survival, and healing; that empowers others to address their own personal traumas and overcome them, bring awareness to the public the many issues the veteran population face, and provide resources and solutions to veterans and others in need.

Her mission is to empower others to face their own personal traumas, be healed, be restored and live again.
 BattlingTheStormWithin.com

From the Author: "I developed coping mechanisms such as denying that it was happening, I wrote it off as it was just how men act that didn't have access to regular sex with their partners. I removed the responsibility off of them unto myself as I must have attracted this. I became very conscious of what I wore and tried to keep myself covered even in the extremely hot weather conditions and temperatures of 110' degrees in the Saudi Arabian Desert. I tried to rationalize it and make up excuses saying things to myself like, well all men must have a lack of sexual control especially when there was such a lack of access to women.. I didn't want to deal with these offensive emotional incidents, I tried to deal with it in a logical matter. Because I felt like what could I really do to stop it, I had no power. So I rationalized and excused many of the behaviors of my harassers. I often used humor as a way of drawing attention away from myself in order to reduce the anxious feeling of being sexually harassed and sexually assaulted."  


Sgt. Stephanie J. Shannon - "Battling the Storm Within"


What is Military Sexual Trauma (MST)?

Military sexual trauma, or MST, is the term used by Veterans Administration to refer to experiences of sexual assault or repeated, threatening sexual harassment that a Veteran experienced during his or her military service. The definition used by the VA comes from Federal law (Title 38 U.S. Code 1720D) and is "psychological trauma, which in the judgment of a VA mental health professional, resulted from a physical assault of a sexual naturebattery of a sexual nature, or sexual harassment which occurred while the Veteran was serving on active duty or active duty for training." Sexual harassment is further defined as "repeated, unsolicited verbal or physical contact of a sexual nature which is threatening in character."

More concretely, MST includes any sexual activity where a Servicemember is involved against his or her will -- he or she may have been pressured into sexual activities (for example, with threats of negative consequences for refusing to be sexually cooperative or with implied better treatment in exchange for sex), may have been unable to consent to sexual activities (for example, when intoxicated), or may have been physically forced into sexual activities. Other experiences that fall into the category of MST include unwanted sexual touching or grabbing; threatening, offensive remarks about a person's body or sexual activities; and threatening and unwelcome sexual advances. The identity or characteristics of the perpetrator, whether the Service member was on or off duty at the time, and whether he or she was on or off base at the time do not matter. If these experiences occurred while an individual was on active duty or active duty for training, they are considered by Veterans Administration to be MST.

According the Pentagon 38 men in the military are sexually assaulted every day. MST is a epidemic that affects 1 in 4 women and 1 in 100 men unfortunately 1 in 3 women in the military are raped and 1 out of 7 don't report it and 1 out of 10 that do report it don't go to trial. Military Sexual Trauma  is  an experience, not a diagnosis or a mental health condition.  

Although the reactions men and women have to MST are similar in some ways, they may also struggle with different issues. Race/ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and other cultural variables can also affect the impact of MST.


Some of the experiences both female and male survivors of MST may have include: Strong emotions: feeling depressed; having intense, sudden emotional reactions to things; feeling angry or irritable all the time, feelings of numbness: feeling emotionally 'flat'; difficulty experiencing emotions like love or happiness, trouble sleeping: disturbing nightmares, difficulties with attention, concentration, and memory: trouble staying focused; frequently finding their mind wandering; having a hard time remembering things. 

Problems with alcohol or other legal and illegal drugs. Difficulty with things that remind them of their experiences of sexual trauma: feeling on edge; difficulty feeling safe; going out of their way to avoid reminders of their experiences. Difficulties in relationships: feeling isolated or disconnected from others; abusive relationships; trouble with 
employers or authority figures; difficulty trusting others. 

Physical health problems: sexual difficulties; chronic pain; weight or eating problems and even gastrointestinal problems. Although posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is commonly associated with MST, it is not the only diagnosis that can result from MST. Fortunately, people can and do recover from experiences of trauma, the Veteran Administration has effective services to help Veterans through this. However, some service men and woman do not experience recovery some experience death and injustice. Have you heard the story 
about PFC Lavena Johnson ? (Video available on Youtube)             

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Book Description Createspace Independent Publishing Platform, United States, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Living for 20 years with undiagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder, P.T.S.D. caused by military sexual trauma, M.S.T. and Gulf War Illness, G.W.I. has not made life an easy path for Sergeant Stephanie J. Shannon. In this, first book, Battling the Storm Within, Stephanie shares how her time of military service, and the resulting trauma she experienced, continues to affect her daily life, even 20 plus years later, a common story among military veterans. A brave and deeply personal memoir that details Stephanie s military experiences, and especially her struggles when transitioning back to civilian life, this book is a bold step on the path for recovery for all veterans. This book serves not only as a lesson of how to reclaim your life after PTSD, GWI, and MST, but also a call for change in legislation, government policies, the VA system, and military practices and procedures that impact the veteran population and their families. Stephanie s story is a story of struggle, survival, and healing; that empowers others to address their own personal traumas and overcome them, bring awareness to the public the many issues the veteran population face, and provide resources and solutions to veterans and others in need. Her mission is to empower others to face their own personal traumas, be healed, restored and live again. Bookseller Inventory # APC9781499380385

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Book Description Createspace Independent Publishing Platform, United States, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Living for 20 years with undiagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder, P.T.S.D. caused by military sexual trauma, M.S.T. and Gulf War Illness, G.W.I. has not made life an easy path for Sergeant Stephanie J. Shannon. In this, first book, Battling the Storm Within, Stephanie shares how her time of military service, and the resulting trauma she experienced, continues to affect her daily life, even 20 plus years later, a common story among military veterans. A brave and deeply personal memoir that details Stephanie s military experiences, and especially her struggles when transitioning back to civilian life, this book is a bold step on the path for recovery for all veterans. This book serves not only as a lesson of how to reclaim your life after PTSD, GWI, and MST, but also a call for change in legislation, government policies, the VA system, and military practices and procedures that impact the veteran population and their families. Stephanie s story is a story of struggle, survival, and healing; that empowers others to address their own personal traumas and overcome them, bring awareness to the public the many issues the veteran population face, and provide resources and solutions to veterans and others in need. Her mission is to empower others to face their own personal traumas, be healed, restored and live again. Bookseller Inventory # APC9781499380385

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