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First ever #AfterAbuseChat

I came up with this idea one night when the character voices in my head wouldn’t shut up and I was high thinking of things I could do, to heal from all this darkness.

I kept hearing it play over and over again, and so the next day I asked my friend Heather from Twitter if she’d consider hosting this chat with me.

You should know I am writing this post before and after I do the chat with Heather, because I am curious about how I am going to feel when the first chat is over for the week. We plan to do this on a continuous basis, because we both need some positivity in our time lines.

It’s one thing to talk about all the things we’ve been through on our own, to share our stories on Twitter and hope that someone is listening, but it’s quite another to do so in a group, filled with actual strangers located across the globe.

It’s scary and difficult, but I hope that we’ll have at least five people who decide to join us, even two or three would be great as far as I am concerned, because I am eager to see what others have learned along their journey.

I am trying to figure out what I can do to heal some of my time now that I am starting to feel marginally better after accepting all I now know about myself to be true.

I am learning that I am bored and right now “cleaning up and organizing” is just not a thing for me. I don’t have the energy to do the things I know I should be doing, I am just tired and I get more tired when I think about doing the more practical things that I know will eventually help me take another step towards healing.

I’m just not ready for that kind of responsibility, and I know that sounds lazy or selfish, but it’s how I feel and how I feel is valid so I’ll take it.

Tonight’s topic is “How regain your voice and get that aggression out in healthy ways.’ Which Heather picked and I personally think is the best topic to start with, because that’s what we’re doing as we heal.

Each time we tell our stories we learn how to share them in a way others are capable of accepting. We learn how to hone our voice until it can be used as a saving grace or a finely toned weapon against the darkness that threatens to rip us apart.

Knowing the difference is a huge win, and that’s something that only comes with time, and with practice. Which is exactly what this chat is about, so yeah I’m pretty proud of myself for asking Heather what we should talk about. I am asking her to take the lead in picking topics, but the truth is I am still freshly wounded, still learning about all the damage that was caused. Heather has been practicing the art of honing her voice a lot longer than me so I guess I am leaning on her a little bit for her wisdom.

I genuinely hope she doesn’t mind that too much…part of it though, if I am being honest is that admitting that you’ve lost your voice, that you’ve been abused, means that you take a huge confidence hit.

It gnaws at you that you know all the rules, you spend so much time trying to figure out what you did wrong, that you really start to believe that it’s actually your fault. Largely because it feels like a punishment, being abused does, for existing.


 

It took me four days to finish writing this post. To really comprehensively decompress from the trauma that I went through afterwards.

I checked in with Heather and she didn’t feel any major triggers, but I did. Not because the chat went bad or good, but because it happened at all. Like a muscle, talking about abuse is going to hurt for awhile and it’s going to take time before I am really able to talk about it without being overly triggered.

I am often struck dumb, when something triggers me because I wasn’t expecting it. Last night for instance, I was meditating and I started crying like my world had ended, largely over the death of a man I’d only ever seen from afar, not someone close to me.

I think it’s because he was so young when he was murdered, younger than me I believe, in such a violent way…and I have to remind myself, he lived a violent life, and as much as it sucks, it’s not my fault. We did not in fact switch places….I feel a lot of guilt over the fact that I survived when so many who have been through what I’ve experienced, or many things worse, have not.

The chat brought a lot of this up, and over the last four days I have been really thinking hard about how I need to make some serious changes in my life, to the way I approach certain situations and experiences, because the way I used to just doesn’t work any more.

My friend and sometimes emotional support Human, Agnes Bookbinder talked about feelings and emotions recently on her blog, and it occurred to me…it’s okay to feel the way I do.

I don’t always understand my emotions, but I always know when I am not feeling like myself, like I am too heavy, too impatient, too sad, too angry. Too many emotions lead us to being triggered by things that should make it easier to heal.

Like I keep saying though, my emotions and my feelings are like muscles and the more I exercise them the better it’s going to feel.

Heather told me she doesn’t feel nearly as triggered as much any more, so I have that to hold onto, that it is going to get better and I am not going to feel as miserable in my future.

I am excited for future chats, and even for the darkness that may come because I know I’ve survived a lot that the Universe has sent my way and I’m all about believing that the world isn’t trying to actively destroy me any more.

Jeeze, I’m not even high.

How are you feeling this beautiful Sunday? Let me know in the comments below.

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall

 

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