A few days ago I had a conversation over the phone with my Psychiatrist. He didn’t sound overly pleased that I had written a book, and was disappointed in the fact that I stay up late at night until around three working.
When I expressed to him that I make this time matter by working he asked me what “work” I do, in a rather condescending tone.
I explained to him patiently that I write, that this writing thing isn’t going away, that I want to make this my full-time career. I had explained I’d written and was in the process of publishing a book and while he was fairly positive about it, there was something in his tone that told me he didn’t really care.
I realized during that phone call that this man is absolutely convinced that I am sick, and no matter how much I accomplish he’s never going to believe that I was gang-raped.
He even had the audacity to ask me what I had done to provoke a threat I’d received over Facebook. That was pretty much the final straw.
When I spoke with my Psych nurse on the phone thirty or so minutes later, I explained to her that I was done trying to go through the government to get counseling. I told her three times and she chose not to listen all three times but instead continued to convince me to go through the application process again.
For those of you who don’t know, going through the process to get government funding for counseling is incredibly difficult, especially emotionally. Largely because they want you to go over everything, but then they tell you shit like “no that’s too much information.”
I need and I know this to be true, a dedicated Trauma Counsellor who has dealt with complex rape before, and there are not many that specialize in that area of sexual abuse.
On the same day that I had these two conversations, I realized two things. My Psych Nurse is not very good at listening, and my Doctor is absolutely not the one that is going to help pull me out of this cavern of PTSD that I am.
It’s more than having someone who believes me, it’s having someone that understands that “I” believe my truth and that I am acting according to the truth that I hold to be true.
Everything I am doing, every bit of content I create is about building a brand that talks about mental health and the struggles that come with dealing with mental health.
In building this brand there comes certain decisions that only I can make, that no one else in the whole wide world can make for me. There is strength in knowing that, in believing and seeing the results of my work.
Mental health is the most difficult kind of health to deal with because today still, people still largely ignore the pain and suffering that comes with PTSD.
That’s especially true when you are trying to build a business and the people around you aren’t being incredibly supportive, or at the very least the most supportive they could be.
Even those who are closest to me are surprised by the fact that I wrote a book, it’s not because they didn’t see the potential that I have, it’s largely because they never believed I would actually act on that potential.
I can’t say as I blame them too much, I never gave them a reason to believe I would. I stood in the darkness so long absolutely and utterly terrified to ask for help and by the time I did, it was far beyond anything that “help” could have provided.
Being gang-raped is one of those situations that you have to survive, and I don’t mean after – that’s the fucking easy part really.
It’s surviving while it happens that matters, everything after that is gravy because you know you survived the worst thing that human beings can put each other through.
I was stuck in a dark place for a long time these last two years and I still have full-on days and weeks when I want to give up but the reality is that I survived the worst of it.
Now that I am no longer surrounded by rapists and pedophiles, gang bangers, and wannabe thugs, I am in this place of wonderment. I am wondering what kind of work I can do with LMBG. I am wondering what is possible and I am starting to realize that the sky isn’t the limit it’s just the beginning of the journey.
I am only interested in doing things that challenge and push me to become better at the craft of writing. I am not interested in worrying about what my rapists think or how they feel. I am not interested in forgiving old friends and picking up like nothing happened.
I am not interested in Doctors who say stupid shit like “what did you do to provoke the threat?” and tell me they “believe” that I believe it happened, thereby negating my feelings.
I am no longer allowing shit into my life that doesn’t serve my best interest. I am saying no to people, places, and things that set about devaluing my experience here on this earth.
The thing is, that means actually doing the physical work too, and I’ve been putting a lot of that off for a year in favor of doing the easy work which is the emotional stuff.
The emotional stuff is the stuff that you can only work on for so long before you start to put it into action. Thereby taking control over your own life.
I can’t change the fact that I am on outpatient care right now, but I absolutely can make my time at home matter. I think I did that. I mean I wrote a fucking book, I would say that’s an accomplishment, whether my Doctor agrees or not.
You can absolutely start doing the work to take control over your own life, but it starts with small steps. I used to jump into taking big steps largely failing because I didn’t take time to do the work.
“But what’s the work?”
First and foremost, define what it is that you want out of life. For me, I want the fucking world. I want Paris, Milan, Greece, and Italy. I want England and Ireland and I want a Brown Girl Army of women who refuse to sit and listen to men like 50 Cent say we’re unappealing because we’re “angry.”
Our anger is absolutely valid, it’s how we use that anger that matters.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall