When we were children, very bad men convinced us that we didn’t deserve to believe in ourselves. For a variety of reasons, chief among them that we were colored, but also because we existed in a world of powerlessness, surrounded by adults who couldn’t understand what we were going through. Being abused will do that to you.
It will convince you that you don’t deserve to be happy or live without pain and sorrow, pain will convince you that you deserve to feel worse than everyone else around you and that you don’t deserve to succeed.
Those who know how to twist that pain will convince you that you are less than they are, and that they are somehow in charge of your life. They convince you that they know what is best for you, and that if you follow them you’ll be happy. They will tell you that pain is happiness and happiness is pain, and you believe it, because it’s easier than fighting back.
I inspired someone to believe I see myself as a wolf, the truth is I see myself as the Bee. I dance like a butterfly some days when I am happy and thrilled with my life – tho those days are more and more rare, but when I am angry I lash out and I sting like a bee, I go for your death because I would rather you be emotionally dead, then ever allow anyone to have that kind of power over me again.
So to prevent that, I have kicked every single person out of my life with the exception of my mother. I sent them all away with promises that one day I would return, and one day I would be ready to face them.
I’m not there yet. I am not ready to have friends, to have supporters and allies, because I am afraid that I am and will forever be, that little girl who is not good enough. I still believe that because it was only recently I began to realize how wrong what happened to me is.
I told my friends and family to go away and leave me alone until I write my book, forgetting in it’s entirety, this is my book. Every post, and every page is a part of the Book of Devon, the girl who wasn’t supposed to survive being trained to be a sex slave.
I should have by rights died by now, at least once. The fact that I wake up every single morning is a fucking surprise to me. Not just that I wake up in Surrey, which in of itself is it’s own kind of horror, but the fact that I wake up at all, is a fucking constant surprise.
Largely because I go to bed every single night expecting that this night will be my last night, that the luck that’s kept me here this long will run out and I will die before day break.
The night I was raped by men pretending to be men that I loved, and still love, in order to confuse me, something magnificent happened, because I made it out alive. I shouldn’t have. At least one of the handful or more men who raped me, tried to conceal their identities, and beat me, tortured me, should have wanted my death. At least one tried to choke me out until the others pulled him off.
I am sure they thought I would be too afraid to say anything, but I am stronger than that, I said something because they tried to blame people I love, and we used that to make sure that the Police and the RCMP got the true story. I still don’t feel safe.
I will never feel safe again, and it won’t matter if I have a man by my side, it won’t matter if I have a security team, I will always know that every single day I wake up is a gift from the Elders, or God, or the Goddess’s or something that I will never understand as long as I live in this body.
I make the choice to believe that what Stephen said was kind, lovely and in some parts very true. I choose to be grateful that someone, at least one person on this earth, thinks that my life has value.
That’s all I need, is one person from somewhere on this planet, to believe in me. Last night someone posted this on twitter, and I am sharing it here, because that means there are two. There are two people on this planet who believe that I am special, that I am someone to watch over, to keep track of. That means I am not alone.
It never occurred to me how important social media has become, not just for finding people to talk to or date, but to inspire us, to push us, to believe that we can do better, and more for this planet than what was done for ourselves.
There is someone in my life who stabbed me in the back so hard, so painfully, that I will probably never come to the place of forgetting what they did to me, and why. And yet I am grateful because it’s one less person that I have to worry about these days.
There is a responsibility in knowing that there are people who believe in you, like Harry Leeds. He expects that one day he’s going to look at me and say “yup, I knew you were a force to keep track of.” I know this because he literally put me on a list that says “Writers 3 Keep track of”. That’s pretty fucking powerful motivation to believe that someone other than myself, and Stephen believes in me.
My friend Sylvie and her wife Jen are both there to answer the call no matter the time. Jen even answered one night when I got stuck at WWE until three in the morning, still pissed about that by the way. Fucking Abbotsford.
They believe in me.
There is a responsibility in that, because I do not want to let these people down. I want them to tell me one day that they always knew I was going to become a success, whatever that means, but more than that, I want the chance to prove that by dedicating my published works to them.
I want to be able to tell the whole world on a huge scale, how having someone believe in me changed my life, in such a big way that more people envy me, and much like the Talk and their discussion on Gweneth Paltrow’s arm pits, I will always have those girls who didn’t get invited to the party with something to say about everyone who was there.
I know that my life has meaning, because somehow, those men decided not to murder me that night. Maybe they were trying to send a message to the people they thought I’d blame. Maybe they thought they’d send a message to the world about their power.
Here’s the thing, it doesn’t take a lot of power for more than a dozen men to kidnap, beat, torture and rape a woman. That’s not power that’s fucking weak.
It’s pathetic and the fact that I survived and without fear share that story every day on this blog is proof that they didn’t win. I won. I fucking survived, and even still there is a part of me that believes that I didn’t deserve to, because other girls didn’t have to go through what I went through to live to this point.
Except here’s the thing, Heather did,Heather was gang raped, and she could have died, but she didn’t. In that, we are not alone.
Those who want you to suffer will tell you that you are alone, but I am alone by choice. This is what I asked for. I wanted time to write, draw, paint, dance, sing, and most importantly learn who I am, I wanted to meet my body mind and soul as one person, without anyone else’s influence.
Until I started engaging with Stephen on Social media, which is a new occurrence, because I don’t really “talk” so much with anyone.
After Justin Trudeau’s apology, my friend JC, reached out to me too. To ask how I am doing, knowing that this was something that would affect me deeply. I didn’t even realize she cared, and that was important, because I didn’t realize….that she cared. It never occurred to me anyone did.
It’s only this year, in my thirty-sixth year of life that I started to unravel the lies that I was taught to believe in my trauma. So if you’re feeling badly or you think that no one loves you, all you really have to do is ask someone to write something about who they think you are as a person.
As I’ve recently learned, it’s often those who you think don’t notice you, who often notice the much, and if you’re the kind of person who knows someone who hasn’t been loved enough, please, PLEASE tell them.
It’s not just enough to send a tweet, reach out to those people you think are strong and powerful who have a voice and use it to help others. Reach out and share a little kindness today, in honor of the amazing men and women who remind me that I am not all alone either.
Thank you Stephen, Heather, Harry, JC, Jen and Sylvie for believing in me. I wouldn’t be here if you weren’t part of the reason I survived.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall