I just found myself blaming myself for being raped at sixteen, while writing about my instincts.

When my mom talks about what happened, she always says he pulled me into the bushes to rape me, and that’s true, he did, so why do I keep blaming myself for what happened?

Before I continue, you should know that it is absolutely never ever your fault. No, not even then.

I was groomed at an early age, to be a victim of rape, to believe that rape was sex and sex was good and I was wrong for thinking otherwise. I actively sought out men to have sex with, men who weren’t always so kind specifically, because that’s what I was taught to do.

When I was raped at sixteen, he pulled me into the bushes just past my friends house…and when my “friends” found out they chose his side.

I couldn’t explain to them, what I was going through, I didn’t have the words to say what was happening to me, and those who knew weren’t a fan of me.

I was called a slut, whore, tramp and trash, and told in every possible variation of every way that it was my fault.

My friends banded together to protect M, and defend his behaviour, because he was the guy and I was just a piece of shit that was accusing him of rape.

The fact that I still blame myself tells me that I still have things to work on, and that’s scary. It means allowing myself to remember every second of what happened, no matter how humiliating or abusive, so that I can dissect it and remember that that night was something he chose.

No matter what happened, it was still not my fault. I didn’t want to have sex with him, I said no, over and over again, and he did it anyways. It wasn’t my fault.

Unlearning the behaviours of the past is going to take time, and I feel like it’s going to take more work than I really want to put into it but I also know if I am going to get healthy it’s just part of the process.

The process sucks.

I was reminded by Andy Lassner over Twitter about how the world treated Rosie when she went up against Donald Trump. She was called a cow and a pig, and she was completely broken down by this man who took her job and tried but failed to take her dignity. She warned us, she was one of many who warned us.

Yet we ignored our better instincts and allowed Donald Trump to swindle us into giving him a seat in the White House none the less.

We choose, as a society to ignore the signs that tell someone is abusive largely because we don’t want to believe the worst in people, it scares us and so sometimes we walk head first into danger just to prove that we can handle it.

But just because we can handle the abuse, doesn’t mean that we deserve to.

We are programmed by media and Judges alike to believe that we somehow did something to deserve it, that it’s our fault, that if we were better it wouldn’t have happened to us. It is almost always somehow blamed on the victim, because of what she was wearing or doing or saying. Because of what he didn’t say.

It takes years to overcome all of that subliminal brainwashing and the first start is recognizing it when it happens. This man pushed me into the bushes and raped me, he didn’t ask me and he didn’t stop when I said no.

This was not my fault, no matter what I felt or thought when I first met him.

“But”, is always there, that fucking word, “but you could have screamed,” I did. “You could have told someone,” I did that too.

Oh. Well yeah then okay now it’s really not your fault, you did everything you could have. “Did you fight back?” I’ve actually had this exact conversation before, with a cop no less.

Yes I fought back, but he was stronger.

The signs were all there, and when I was finished being raped by M, the Shadow Men came and I was trained as a sex slave in punishment for going to the police.

I was a child, and it wasn’t my fault, I was an adult when I lost my first child because my ex boyfriend threw me down the stairs. That wasn’t my fault either.

The fact that he did it in front of his mother should have told me how our relationship was going to be after that, and still I hung on because I felt like failing in that relationship was more about me than it was him.

The truth is when we’re being abused we cling to every tiny bit of kindness that comes from our abusers, because it enforces the idea that they can be kind, so clearly we can’t just give up on them, because sometimes it’s not so bad.

The problem though is that the sometimes is never worth the rest of the time, which is often fucking terrible and absolutely terrifying.

I’ve been abused in every possible way you can imagine, so I know of what I speak when I say that when the time comes to get out…get the fuck out.

It’s not going to get better.

He’s not going to stop hitting you.

He’s not going to stop raping you.

Yes it is rape after abuse.

The moment he or she lays a hand on you, sex after that is rape, coerced by the fear that if you say no something worse is going to happen.

The signs were always there and the ignorance of those signs is what convinces us that we somehow wanted or deserved it, that’s just another lie that abusers tell in order to keep us under their thumb.

The good news is that when we stop blaming ourselves we can start healing, so that’s what I am working on today. I am working on remembering what happened and how it happened, knowing that I am going to be triggered, that I am going to have a hard time sleeping for awhile, but eventually I am going to feel better.

And that’s my goal, the part where I am feeling better.

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall

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