Omg. This was such a hard question during my interview on CJSF today, because there is so much that I want to say, but the first thing that I want to say is that it is absolutely not your fault.
Abusers will try and in some cases, succeed in convincing you that it is your fault, that you could have done something to change the outcome, but honey, if you could have…you fucking would have.
It’s not your fault.
No matter what they say, what excuses they come up with, no matter how many times they try to tell you that you did something wrong, the truth is that it is never ever your fault.
My advice to you is to seek help. Find others, who understand what you’ve been through because they’ve been through the river of shit too. Find others who know what it’s like to deal with symptoms of PTSD.
Find your tribe.
Reach out online if you have to, to other survivors and warriors. Reach out to those of us who have come before you because we are here. Our existence is not relegated to just doing advocacy work, know this, but know that some of us will absolutely make space for those of you who need a shoulder to lean on.
It’s important to know that you are going to experience a roller coaster of emotions, and that it’s okay to feel them. They are scary, sad, frustrating, annoying and painful, but it’s important that you release them in as many positive creative ways as possible, so that you can get them out of the way and move onto the good stuff.
And yes there is absolutely good stuff about being a survivor. We are a hundred million strong, so even on days when you feel lonely, you are absolutely not alone.
Social media has made it so much easier for us to connect to each other, but it’s also important to know when to take a break. It’s important to learn when to step away so you can deal with your self, instead of dealing with everyone else’s stuff.
Some days, and I cannot stress this enough, you will absolutely be sick of other people’s bullshit. You will lash out and you will probably say some things that you later regret and can’t take back. Keep an honest inventory and make amends where you can, but recognize if you can when you are being triggered.
Don’t wait for it to be too late before you acknowledge you triggers. You can acknowledge them without lashing out and hurting yourself or others, but it takes practice and some of us are better at it than others.
I am not always so good at the not lashing out when I’ve been triggered, but I am trying to get better. I think part of the reason I am not so good at holding in my anger feelings is because I kept my mouth shut for so long, that now that I finally am speaking out my brain thinks that EVERYTHING it thinks should be said. I am working on it.
I have a lot of advice for survivors, but the most important thing to remember is that you are going to be okay. This is absolutely not going to destroy your life, unless you decide not to fight back. If you choose not to fight back against your experiences, I cannot help you. I don’t know how to help people who have not learned or are unwilling to learn to help themselves.
If you are willing to fight back, then well I’m here. Feel free to message me if you need to talk.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall