Today I tweeted out that I had been gang raped on three or four separate occasions by the same men.
It started when I was fifteen, at that time they were just boys, like me, children. The last time they raped me they were full grown adults, who made it very clear that what I wanted and needed didn’t matter.
It was the last time I saw most of those men for quite awhile. I kept up appearances by going to the club and making sure I was seen, but almost naturally I stopped getting dressed up to go out and I started isolating myself.
I quit my job in and around that same year, and I began the slow descent into insanity that forced me to recover twenty years of sexual assault memories.
I won’t go into them because I don’t want to contribute to trauma porn, but I’ll say that they were violent events in my life that forced me to hide what was happening to me by creating fictional stories.
Those stories are long gone now, I can barely remember most of them the ones I can remember are too embarrassing to share just yet.
Today however I shared that part of myself, and then I went to go and organize all the dirty underwear that needed to be washed, and my socks.
For years I didn’t wear socks or underwear for various reasons, socks because I hated anything on my feet, and underwear because I wasn’t allowed, but today I decided to wash it all because now that I am allowed to wear underwear, I have seemingly run out of clean.
All of these things that seem just natural to the average person take so much more work when you’ve been abused. Especially when you are in the early days of healing from that trauma, it takes so much more effort just to be normal, or average.
I would love to say that I am a normal person but I am not. I am a normal survivor of sexual assault and abuse.
I am learning as I go that I am actually fairly average for a survivor. There are things that I can’t do myself that I used to be able to do with no problem. There are things I can do now that I could never do when I was being abused. Like cleaning up after myself.
For years I lived in a trash dump because I couldn’t bring myself to throw anything away, largely because I was never allowed to have anything, so I started keeping everything.
I am getting better every day at letting things go that I would hold onto even if they have no purpose. I am focused this weekend on ensuring that I organize my house in such a way that when my new furniture comes I never again have to hold onto things I don’t need, just so I have something.
I am growing. Every day. A little bit more.
So are you.
Don’t give up, we’ll get there.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall