I don’t want to run from my problems. I never really did, I didn’t quite have a choice, I just kind of got used to pretending that bad shit wasn’t happening because it was easier.

I am so different from that girl who would “forget” she’d just been raped. I remember promising to leave a scar on my body for every time that I got raped, so I wouldn’t forget. Each and every scar on my body represents a man or a group of men who raped me.

My body is a work of art. It’s a reminder that I fought hard and that I lived, it reminds me that no matter what I went through I fucking survived, but the thing is that I don’t want anymore scars.

I remember years ago I wanted to be a Piercer, as in someone who pierces’ another person’s body with lone shiny metal. I got invited to study with this really phenomenal artist, who asked me to write an essay on Piercing, which I did. He invited me to an event that I couldn’t afford to go to, so thus ended the lessons because he didn’t think I was serious.

The sad truth is that I missed out on a lot of opportunities because I couldn’t afford to partake in them, but each opportunity that I missed out led me here to this place where I am now sitting in my favorite gem green sweater writing this essay about how I don’t want to run away from my problems anymore.

I want to face them head on, and honestly, with people who trust me and believe and respect me. I remember standing up at an NA meeting and talking about how I still hung out with my old friends, no one warned me what a slippery slope that was. No one took me under their wing and said “let me show you how it’s done,” they let me drown on my own while others took their lives or fell back to the streets, because that’s how they learned.

That’s not the kind of teacher I want to be, I want to be the kind of teacher that makes it easier for those who come after me by sharing my experience. Because at the end of the day while everyone we come in contact has something to teach us, they also have something to learn from us.

It is the job of those who came first, to show those who come after, and some of us have forgotten that lesson. It’s our job to pave the way to make it easier, to make the journey a little less complicated.

So that’s what I am trying to do, make things a little less complicated by explaining my journey.

Which leads me to the story about the Spider Queen.

I had a dream about a giant spider coming towards me in the mirror, she looked right at me and said “you’re right,” and I didn’t have any idea what that meant, having forgotten in my shock at seeing the giant brown and red spider, that just moments before I said into the mirror that “I am important.” I think I was about seven or eight at the time.

Years later while at a bus stop a man came up to me and said I’d swallowed a lot of lies in my life time, but that the Spider Queen was with me. I thought he was nuts until I realized he was talking about my spirit animal, he was a psychic or something I think. Either way, the spider has always played a pivotal roll in my life. Reminding me that her existence was to make the life of the pig easier.

I was born under the sign of the Pig in the Chinese calendar, take that with what you will, but all I know is that I am still here, so it must mean something.

I have a lot of work to do, but I don’t want to run from it, I want to face it head on and learn how to be the best possible version of myself, on my terms, regardless of what anyone else thinks or has to say on the matter.

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall

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