When I was twenty-three, I was having unprotected sex with my boyfriend, and I got pregnant. I also had a miscarriage. Or well, I had what I suspected was a miscarriage, my boyfriend at the time wouldn’t take me to emergency. Instead he wrapped his legs around my waist and refused to let me move until I feel asleep.

When I woke up the next morning he was gone.

My body is covered in scars.

Each scar is a reminder of a time I was raped or sexually assaulted. Each scar is a reminder that I was abused, and that I survived.

My body is not perfect, it is in many ways destroyed by the darkness that I have faced. My back hurts almost all the time, I am over weight, I am not as healthy as I would like to be, but I am happy with my body.

I am excited to tell you that, that as ugly as some of my scars are, I am proud they exist, because it means that I fought back and that I am alive.

I am tired of this idea that I have to be skinny and “perfect” to be loved, if the people in my life don’t like my body or the way it looks they don’t have to be apart of my life. It’s quite as simple as that.

Our vessels are the cars with which we live our lives, we breath in them, sleep, eat, go to the bathroom, enter the world, hide from the world in our bodies. Everything we do is done in these bodies, and they are all so different from everyone else’s that we sometimes think that we have to live up to the expectation of others, instead of being proud of who “we” are.

Sure, I would love to have a skinnier body, I did last year and I was both healthier and happier, but unfortunately this year I haven’t been able to keep up to my old self and I accept that this is okay with me.

Not only am I not as young as I used to be, even though I am still very young, I also had a few accidents this year and fell a couple of times in ways that have left lasting damage to my body.

I don’t walk as far as I used to, and I certainly don’t feel as good getting out and about the way that I used to. I am a lot more tired and timid this year than I was last year, and I accept that this is a part of my new reality.

It’s not fun and it’s not easy to be me, but I no longer subscribe to what other people think that I should be doing with my life or my body. I spent thirty years doing things the way that other people promised, would bring me happiness and it made me miserable.

Since I started doing things my way, I found a sense of happiness that I didn’t have two years ago. I found myself actually embracing the kind of art that I want to create, and doing things that make me generally pretty happy and not only that but I have found a way to make money off my work.

That makes me feel good about myself and I want more of that, I don’t want guys looking at me and judging me based on my body but I can’t change that, that’s what guys do.

I don’t want a guy to “pick me” because of the way I look, I never have, men have been far too focused on my looks and that started when I was a child. Which is why over the years I have gone out of my way to scar and mar up my body, as if it was a weapon against the men who abused me.

If I was ugly, maybe guys would leave me alone, this year I don’t care about my looks at all, I care about my comfort, which isn’t something I am used to dealing with. I am always so focused on helping other people, that I often don’t think about my own comfort. It got so bad one year that I would literally randomly fall over from the stress.

I no longer stress about what other people think about me or my body because I know how sick it can make me. I am still dealing with the consequences of not living life on my terms. I have a long way to go before I am ready to invite anyone into my life again because I know that before that can happen I have to make changes to the way I live my life.

I’m not ready yet, I am not done building this, thing…and the last thing that I am focused on these days is my body and my appearance. I do not even wear make-up, because I don’t have the energy, so if you have something to say about my body or my stomach, keep it to yourself.

I am well aware that I am fat. I am well aware that I smoke too much and that I am out of shape. I don’t need you to tell me that, it doesn’t help me or inspire me.

What inspires me is being happy, and mostly if I am being honest, being left the hell alone.

I genuinely don’t like people, because we as a human race, have a habit of pointing out how people “Could” be doing things, instead of accepting that some of us are doing the absolute best that we can at this moment.

The last time I was around a group outside of my family, I sat there for two hours and watched as they got drunk, filled themselves with drugs and talked about how happy they all were.

I don’t understand that kind of happiness, I don’t judge it, I just don’t understand it. I was never happy when I was smoking pot and drinking with people that I didn’t connect to. I’ve never been comfortable in circles where people have been or are openly passing around drugs like it’s no big deal.

I like to be aware of my actions, and I don’t like who I become when I am nervous and stressed out, so I stay away from those situations that make me uncomfortable.

People in gyms make me uncomfortable, because working out in of itself, can become an addiction all on it’s own, and if you’re working out all day but you still think you look like crap, how do you think I might think you see me?

I don’t judge people for working out, but understand that the reason I don’t is because my body mind and soul are exhausted from spending more than twenty years surviving pedophiles and rapists.

I am tired.

Let that be enough for you, if it’s not you know how to see yourself out.

Kudos to those who have found the energy to get their asses in gear so they can accomplish their work out goals. I am really proud of you and one day I’ll be right there beside you, but for now…just let me be me.

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall

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