My name is Nicole Strong.
I am a proud US Navy veteran who was a Damage Controlman or naval fire fighter during my years of enlistment from 2000-2003. I taught shipboard fire fighting, trained a main space fire team, commissioned a Destroyer, all the while enduring execrable treatment at the hands of superiors.
I was raped and sexually harrassed, and my career was deliberately messed with when I tried to resist. But that wasn’t the worst part.
After I reported everything I was subject to horrific repercussions that would forever change my life. I was humiliated publicly before all my fellow shipmates, then punished, and kicked-out. I was an angry broken shell of a person for a very long time. In many ways I still am haunted by the past, and am still coming to terms with the smoking crater that is sadly my short military career.
The details are laid out as truthfull and painstakingly as possible in my debut memoir Darker Than Navy Blue.
Since my discharge in 2003 I have slowly begun to put my life back together and heal from the inside out. It’s been hard; I’ve been on and off tons of meds, had anger issues, and even had to go inpatient several times for suicide. For so long I hated myself and everyone around me. I was on the edge of despair, but angels came to me in the forms of people who care. Like my husband, our children, my family, and all the therapists and doctors who have had nothing but patience and compassion with me and my list of issues.
I know who I am now: an artist, writer, poet, and extremely happily married mother and wife. I now enjoy reading, writing, working on websites, creating art, cooking gourmet meals, and living a quiet life with the one’s I love. It is hard dealing with these scars that no one can see. Sometimes I have to distract myself to get through the tough days; the nightmares, anxiety, despair, guilt and pain are a lot to handle at times.
But it’s made me a survivor. I know what it is like to almost lose everything and learn how to forgive the most heinous injustices. The only drive I have is to bring my message of healing and compassion to anyone who needs it.
I am grateful to everyone who has supported me in getting to this point. God bless you all!