After A Sexual Assault And A Pregnancy, Vet Kept Her Pain Secret Trista Matascastillo was in officer training when she was sexually assaulted by someone she served with. Then she discovered she was pregnant. For six years, she didn't tell anybody what had happened.
NPR logo

After A Sexual Assault And A Pregnancy, Vet Kept Her Pain Secret

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/360462758/360629407" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
After A Sexual Assault And A Pregnancy, Vet Kept Her Pain Secret

After A Sexual Assault And A Pregnancy, Vet Kept Her Pain Secret

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/360462758/360629407" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

In 1998, Trista Matascastillo was training to become an officer in the U.S. Navy when she was sexually assaulted by someone she had served with. Trista told no one about the attack. Five years later, she met her husband, Army 1st Sgt. Hector Matascastillo, and they both sat down for StoryCorps to talk about what Trista lived through.

TRISTA MATASCASTILLO: I used to say when I put my uniform on, I was in my Superwoman suit. Nothing could happen; nothing could hurt me, and yet, it did. Someone who I had worked with, I had served with, someone that I had called my brother, ultimately became my perpetrator.

HECTOR MATASCASTILLO: How did you deal with it after it happened?

T. MATASCASTILLO: I kind of fell apart. I just remember feeling the complete shock, the betrayal; even though I thought I was hiding it from everyone. After just receiving the news that I was pregnant with Hunter, I was thinking, I'm just going to go home and kill myself anyway. It doesn't matter. Once I decided I'm just going to keep doing what I've done and survive this, I never told anyone because I thought they're not going to believe me. Nobody ever asked me, and I assumed that was my license to keep it all a secret.

H. MATASCASTILLO: Were you worried about telling me about your assault?

T. MATASCASTILLO: You can imagine how afraid I was - how you were going to react. Would you suddenly see me as weak, or would you suddenly not trust me somehow? By the time I told you, it had been six years, and I hadn't told anyone.

H. MATASCASTILLO: After finding out that you were assaulted, and that Hunter is the product of the assault, I remember questions and a lot of emotions and a lot of anger and needing to somehow rectify things.

T. MATASCASTILLO: That dramatic event happened to me. It also didn't define who I am today. And though as much as I try not to, there are times that clouds enter into our relationship. Do you wish that I hadn't told you?

H. MATASCASTILLO: No. Knowing the choices you had to make, to me, validates your strength. You are still a miracle.

T. MATASCASTILLO: The support that you've given me through the years is unbelievable. I know that if I were to fall, you'd also catch me. It's meant everything. And I know that we're in this together.

SIMON: That was Trista Matascastillo with her husband, Hector Matascastillo at StoryCorps in St. Paul, Minnesota. Their conversation will be archived at the Library of Congress. And you can hear more from the Military Voices Initiative on the StoryCorps podcast, which you can get on iTunes or at npr.org.

Copyright © 2014 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.