When I look back at my life, I can very clearly see a girl who should by all reason, not have survived being a victim of early childhood sexual abuse.
I was passed around from one pedophile to another, some gentle some not so much so, by men who should have stood up for me and in the end decided that my only worth came from my body.
Now here is something I am only beginning to realize, I never wanted a relationship. I’ve never been the kind of girl who waited around for a man to realize my worth, I’ve always just done my own thing and figured that he they or them would show up when the time was right.
I’ve very rarely gone looking for relationships and in times when I have, I met lovely people that I wasn’t all that interested in being with, largely because I’ve been holding back in absolute terror that any person I was with, would find out that I was abused.
I pretended not to be ashamed of abuse by refusing to talk about it, if I didn’t talk about it, it didn’t exist. You know what I mean?
I’ve become so good at telling myself lies to deceive everyone around me, that I started to believe the lies myself. I started to believe there would come a time when it was over, because I figured at some point something had to give.
I even asked a Buddhist Monk once why I kept being abused in every corner of my life, his response was annoyingly accurate. “Karma.” Was all he said, at the time I thought he meant that it was what I deserved, but now I realize that what he meant is that I had to learn something. I wasn’t paying attention to the lesson.
I had forgotten about Rainier for a lot of years, while simultaneously spending years wondering what the fuck the name meant. It was always there in the back of my mind, I just couldn’t bring myself to really talk to…myself about him, or what he had done to me.
I had always known I was raped, vivid memories would shift through my mind and I would pretend they didn’t exist so well that I’d forget about them moments later, only to have these memories reappear again and again through my life.
My behavior became like that of a living zombie, half in the world half out of it, hiding my shame and my secrets without ever telling a single soul just how bad it had really gotten when I was younger.
I look back at my life and I’ve cried for myself, felt sorry for myself, apologized to myself, and said I love you, to myself for a lot of this past year.
I’m going to continue doing that, because I realize how much my younger self had to survive, and how hard she had to fight, so that I could grow into this person writing this post right now.
I often say that those who fight against sexual abuse are soldiers, and in a very real way we are. The abuse we suffer is our version of boot camp, it teaches us how to heal, how to fight back, we learn how to help others because we understand the deep life altering trauma that is abuse.
When I was a kid in the 90s, I grew up next to CFB Calgary, and my greatest and deepest wish was to grow up and be a soldier. I had such respect for men and the few women we got to meet, who travelled around the world fighting for our freedoms.
I don’t agree with war, but I understand the need for our armed forces, because the wars we’ve been fighting through out the centuries are the map for where we are now.
Looking back at my life I realize exactly how hard I fought to get where I am today, I also recognize that the freedoms I have to say what I need to say are largely because I was smart enough to remember enough details.
I’ve talked before about making arraignments so that people knew who and when I was abused by, so that I am safe, but there are millions of soldiers out there who are not safe.
Donald Trump has recently come under fire for apparently and allegedly threatening key witnesses’ during the Impeachment Inquiry, and it got me to thinking just how special and important those of us who use our voices are.
I never thought I would experience this kind of existance, I always knew I was destined for something special, but it didn’t really occur to me until this week just how special I am.
I am the only one in Canada who can openly say that I was molested by Keith Rainier at one of his stupid “Light Bringer” cult meetings. No matter what anyone says about me, I know that I experienced that, and that it happened.
I know that I survived that, and a lot worse, throughout my life time, and I am still here to tell the tale. Don’t feel sorry for me, feel sorry for the girls who come after me, who don’t survive.
Feel sorry for the boys and girls who are taken from their families every day and never returned. Feel sorry for the children who are still being abused and being ignored.
Stop locking kids in fucking quiet rooms and traumatizing them even further. Abuse already feels like a punishment, we’re trained to believe that if we were different it wouldn’t be us, experiencing the abuse.
Don’t you dare feel sorry for me when I tell you my story, don’t shed fucking tears, man the fuck up and join me and my friend Heather in ending child abuse.
Pay the fuck attention when you see a kid acting out of turn, when their behavior seems strange or odd for a child, and ask the right fucking questions.
If one person had noticed, asked the right question I probably would have found a way to tell the truth, but instead every single adult I ever came across as a child, made me believe that I deserved the way the world treated me.
I didn’t, children are gifts brought into this world for those of us who came before to protect, cherish and teach. It is our job to make sure their lives are better than ours were as children. That doesn’t mean buying them fancy toys or clothes. It means making sure their experience is one filled with love, laughter and joy.
A few months ago, I bought a man a sandwich because he was being kicked out into the cold from a store I happened to be at. I remember looking up to the sky and telling God to do better, I was fucking irritated because of how the staff of the store were treating this man.
He was hungry and obviously had nowhere to go, he wasn’t wearing warm clothes and he looked absolutely devastated, because he couldn’t vocalize what he needed. When I said what I said, I heard the words, “that’s why there’s you in return,” which just pissed me off even further.
I don’t want to be the kind of person who saves the world, I don’t want to help people all I want is to sit and write and be left the fuck alone. The world hasn’t been very nice to me, and I am tired and all I want to do is go on vacation and sit in the sun and not think about what a fucked up place the world is.
I don’t have the privileged however of sitting on my ass and doing nothing, I keep thinking I need to go out and get a job, and then I say “nope fuck it still healing, the world’s been mean and I’m still on hiatus.”
Which by the fucking way, I feel fully validated in doing, I need to heal from abuse and from doctors who tell me that abuse makes me psychotic because they know for a fact somehow magically that it didn’t happen.
I am tired of trying to convince myself that the abuse didn’t happen, because I did that my entire life. It was the only way to survive it, if I pretended not to remember, if I pretended that what happened in the dark nights stayed in the dark nights, then it did not fucking happen.
I convinced myself of that for years, and it was exhausting, which is why I am still pulling the pieces of my soul back together, one by one, achingly slowly. It took years for them to destroy my life, but now that that has happened, I am comfortable with the fact that when I introduce myself it’s as a “blogger and writer.”
I’m not writing the book that I thought I would be writing, because I am too busy healing from twenty plus years of drama.
I am still learning what it is that that abuse taught me, and when I say that I mean it literally. When I was quite a few years younger, I went to a Buddhist Monk and asked him why every relationship I had at the time turned to shit. He shook his head and said “karma,” I thought he was telling me it was my fault, which took me away from the lesson.
He was trying to tell me to look inside myself, to ask myself why I was attracted to these negative relationships filled with people who had broken dreams and no drive. I didn’t understand the kind of pain they were in, was the same kind of trauma that I had suffered, because unlike most of my friends, I made the choice to forget it happened.
For years I was around the same people, all kids who had been abused in one area of their lives or another and I convinced myself that I had been blessed it hadn’t happened to me, because I was lying to myself.
I didn’t have anyone to show me the ropes because I refused to admit that I was being, and had been abused since the age of five years old. I refused to tell anyone and that somehow made me worthy, somehow special because I could keep the secret.
I never imagined there would come a time when it would end, because rather than look at all I had learned about myself, what I had come to believe was that I deserved it. So when it happened, I chalked it up to “Karma.”
It was only this year that I started to put names and faces to the abuse, and making sure that my support group knew those names and faces. I had dates, I had names faces and I had an identity again, because I’d lost mine in all those lies.
I hate the idea of being a survivor, a solider in the war on rape and abuse, this is not the war that I want to be fighting, and I mean that genuinely. I wanted to be a Soldier when I grew up, because I grew up to CFB Calgary and the men and few women I met made me realize what it was to be a part of something.
For the first time in my life, I had a passion for something and I didn’t even realize at the time, that the kind of Soldier you become depends entirely on the war you fight.
I didn’t choose to be the kind of person that helps others, and I am not sharing that story because I want you to tell me how great I am, I am sharing it because I learned that the reason I am here is to help make it easier for someone else.
I am an adult now, and there is power in knowing that, in understanding that, and it’s fucking terrifying.
A few nights ago I was meditating, and I felt orange. I mean I genuinely felt the color to my core, in ways I can’t possibly explain. I will say this though, I learned that there is something better out there.
There is better than being a survivor, being a victim and being in pain. There is hope out there in the universe, because I survived, thanks to my younger self. I decided, at some point along my journey, they were not going to completely obliterate myself.
So now, I am a Blogger, and a Writer. Now I am an advocate and a supporter, and now I am studying the lessons that come with healing, so that like my friend Heather, and many women before me, I can be a part of someone else’s journey and I fucking resent it.
This is not the war that I want to be fighting, it’s the war that I have been chosen to fight.
So we do what we have to do, right? That’s all I needed you to understand.
Sending all my love to all those healing,
Devon J Hall