One of the things I’ve refused to do since I started this healing process, is to look at what I could have done differently. If I spend my time worrying about what I could have done differently to prevent myself from being raped, I would drive myself absolutely crazy.

There are probably a lot of choices that I could have done to change the outcome of my life, but as the abuse started when I was five years old, I seriously doubt it.

When we go through the reasons about why I was raped the only thing that comes to mind is that when it happened, different men at different moments in my life decided that my body, that what I wanted and needed was less important than what they wanted at the time.

It was never about me, it was about power. Rape and abuse is how men specifically, taught me that I mattered less than they did. They had power and I was a vessel for which the message was conveyed, they had power and I was nothing to them.

Most of them probably forgot that I existed at the end of the day, but I never forgot them, and I never forgot that I survived what they put me through.

When we think about the abuse that we suffered we often thing that it is our fault, but I beg of you to paint yourself tenderly. This is a lesson I am learning, no one is one hundred percent innocent, but no one deserves to feel the loss of self that comes with sexual, physical, emotional or verbal abuse.

No one deserves that. It’s not a punishment it is in fact a crime, even if the RCMP and the Police Officer’s of the world refuse to do their jobs until it’s too late, it’s still a crime.

Paint yourself tenderly, take care of your heart, because in a very real way it’s been broken by the abuse that you suffered, it’s been scarred and burned by the men or women who have hurt you, and it’s going to take time to heal.

So when you think about what you could have done differently, remember that no matter what you survived, and if you can survive the act of abuse, you can survive anything.

My Psych nurse doesn’t much like it when I say like I’m fighting a war, but that’s exactly how it feels. I feel like I am surrounded by men and women who have been abused, and I feel like we could start an army with the number of people around the world who use the words “Me Too”.

The fight isn’t over, the storm is coming and when I say that, I am not talking about the sheer volume of the fight, I am talking about the moments in between.

The quiet moments are the worst parts of the storm, because those are the moments you want to cherish and enjoy, but you can’t because you’re afraid they might come back and do it again. Those are the worst moments because if you’re alone, you are in fact alone.

If you’re not alone, then you have to pretend you’re okay for the outsiders who either don’t know, or expect that you are going to be okay, because you being okay is better then them having to deal with the fact that you might not be okay.

The storm rages on, no matter what we think about ourselves, so I ask you again to paint yourself tenderly. When you think about who you are as a person, as a human being, think about the things that used to give you passion, that used to set you free, and remember that they still exist within you.

If you feel broken, be broken. If you need to yell or scream or dance or get into the ring and beat the crap out of something to feel better, fucking do it, and don’t let anyone stop you.

That’s the hardest thing about healing, is that we often don’t want to do the things that we know will help us heal because we’re afraid of how other people will react.

If you need to cry, let yourself cry. You are allowed to feel these things, because they are natural human emotions, that enable us to heal past the darkness so that we can live in the light again.

What you cannot do however is lash out and hurt other people because you are hurt, I spent years doing this and I will never fully forgive myself for the people I hurt on my shame spiral. I wish I could take it back, but all I can do now is carry on and keep going the best I possibly can.

I hope this post helps someone out, but at least I feel better, that’s three posts I’ve written in one day, which is about the only time I feel sane…when I am writing, so I’ll fucking take it, because it might not mean much to you but it means the world to me.

Here’s to those who have the “Fuck it Im going to feel this way” feeling,

sending all my love,

Devon J Hall

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