In this place of healing…

Writing about my mental health has given me the ability to really think about how I feel about the situations that I am living with in ways I never thought I would before.

When I was working, I didn’t stop to think about why I was feeling the way I was feeling, I just understood that I was genuinely unhappy in my life. Whether I was at work or at the club, I was consistently faking happiness, all the time.

I don’t do that anymore, and I think that’s why I am having such a hard time with my fiction writing. I can’t fake it until I make it anymore, because that’s a part of living in survival mode that I don’t have to do anymore.

Once the truths of what I experienced came out and the people in my support group heard my story, I stopped having to fake how I feel and I’ve come to this place where I am mostly genuinely happy.

I am happy with where I am in the world, even though I admit it’s a bit lonely now that my support group has been whittled down to my mom and a doctor who doesn’t believe me about my abuse.

I really realize how lucky I am to be where I am, because even though I am lonely I am finally living authentically in ways that I wasn’t able to before.

In my past life all I was doing was lying to everyone around me, drinking so that I could hide the shame and the fear that I was constantly living with, and treating the men in my life as if they had some kind of supernatural power over me.

I remember asking permission for things like going on a trip from a man who wasn’t my boyfriend, do you know how fucked up that is? I do, I recognize that subservient behavior was a part of my survival technique, in ways that I didn’t back then.

Recognizing the ways that we lower ourselves for the benefit of others is a huge part of the healing journey, and while I know that there will always be a part of me that is somewhat subservient, I hope that what I am learning now will teach me to strengthen my confidence so I don’t have to submit all the time.

Being submissive by nature comes from being emotionally, physically and sexually abused. In some people submission is a choice that they enjoy because it is kinky and sexy, for me it is a survival technique that I used to prevent myself from being abused.

If I submit then it won’t hurt as much. 

For me, submission as a kink was never something I truly enjoyed, and any relationship where submission was required or expected had me acting like a brat out of my natural inclination to fight back against authority. I’ve never been great at submitting to men, specifically, it wasn’t until I asked someone for permission to go on a trip that I realized I had crossed a line I couldn’t come back from.

It was also that moment that set me free. This man as I said was not a man I was in a relationship with, he had no power over me, and yet I had learned to treat him as if he did, because I had just been badly gang raped by his friends.

That event changed the way that I treated this person, and made me realize that I didn’t want them in my life anymore. It was this moment when I asked if I could go, that I suddenly felt the need to close the door on that relationship. Needing to ask permission from this man was the trigger I needed to set me free.

When I look back at my life from five or six years ago I see someone who had a lot of people in her life, that I can’t honestly say were my friends. They were just people who hung out at the same place I did, because we were all in our own ways living in different forms of misery.

At this place of being in my mid thirties, I am far more respectful of my boundaries than I was in my late twenties, and that’s largely because I realize how lucky I am to be alive. I am lucky to have survived everything I have, call it God or Angel’s or whatever you want, I got lucky. Not every girl whose been through what I’ve been through is so lucky. Some of us don’t make it to the other side.

In this place of healing I am realizing how precious friendships are to me, and while I’ve had to close the door on all of my past relationships, I am looking forward to the day that new people and experiences come into my life.

Mind you it might just be that I got a good night’s sleep for a change.

What about you? What was the trigger that set you free? Let me know in the comments below.

Se

 

Author: Devon J Hall

Devon J Hall is a thirty-seven-year-old Writer and Author from Surrey, British Columbia by way of Calgary Alberta. She lives with three cats, one mother and is addicted to coffee, cigarettes, and weed, not necessarily in that order.

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