Caged Eyes: An Air Force Cadet's Story of Rape and Resilience

TitleCaged Eyes: An Air Force Cadet's Story of Rape and Resilience
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsHall, Lynn K.
Number of Pages253
PublisherBeacon Press

Desperate to realize her childhood dream of being an astronaut, Lynn K. Hall was an enthusiastic young cadet. For Hall, the military offered an escape from her chaotic home--her erratic mother, absent biological father, and a man she called "dad" who sexually abused her. Resolute and committed to the Air Force Academy, Hall survived the ordeals of a first-year cadet: intense hazing from upperclassmen, grueling physical training, and demanding coursework. But she was dismissed from the Academy when, after being raped by an upperclassman and contracting herpes, she was diagnosed with meningitis and left with chronic and debilitating pain. Betrayed by the Academy and overcome with shame, Hall candidly recounts in this memoir her loss of self, the dissociation from her body and the forfeiture of her individuality as a result of the military's demands and her perpetrator's abuse. Forced to leave the military and return to the civilian world, Hall turned to extreme sports to cope with and overcome PTSD and chronic pain. She, in turn, reclaimed herself on the mountain trails of the Colorado Rockies. An intimate account of grappling with shame and a misogynistic culture that condones rape and blames victims, this volume is also a transformative story of how it's possible to help yourself and others in the aftermath of a profound injustice.

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