For years, I felt bad for trying to stand up for myself. For asking questions that I didn’t know how to find the answers to. For thinking that I deserved knowledge simply because that was always my goal on this earth.
When I was a little girl, I had this vision of myself sitting in a library in Rome, probably because I was sitting in a library in Calgary at the time. I thought one day I might like to be an archaeologist, because I like to study history and where people and places come from.
I wanted to be the kind of person who became rich enough to travel the world, specifically so that I could study other cultures, from other cultures.
Dreams, hopes, wishes, and visions were destroyed by years of abuse, and I’ve been sitting here for months, feeling guilty because I spoke out about what happened to me, knowing that I was burning bridges in the process.
I’m done apologizing.
I’m done being called a whore, I am done being glared at when I go out in public, which happens a lot more than you think, especially with this brand thing I have going on. I am done feeling bad for speaking out about things that I had no control over, because I was a child.
Grown ass men, should have known to keep their God damned hands to themselves, and because they made the grown ass man choice not to, I was punished as a result of their choices.
I live with PTSD, I live with anxiety, every day is a brand new version of the same fucking hellscape, partially because we’re in the middle of a fucking pandemic and I am still in quarantine mostly, and partially because I am fucking tired of saying “I am sorry” for making people uncomfortable.
Not one person in my life as a child, gave a flying fuck about making me uncomfortable when I was a kid. Not one of them gave a fuck about stopping the bullying, the racism, the sexual abuse, or the trauma that I was forced to learn how to deal with alone.
As a result I became “difficult” “hard to manage” and “uneducated” by society’s standards, because of course my behavior was my fault. Even though the only thing I knew, was that I was trying to survive as best I could.
The best way I can describe it is this, imagine you can see, you’re born seeing, you know what colors look like. Then suddenly someone takes your sight away, because you ask them a question they don’t have an answer to and that embarrasses them.
So to prevent themselves from having to deal with it, suddenly they rip out your eyes blinding you forever. You suddenly forget what colors look like over time, you forget what fashion is and why it’s so important. Everything about your life changes because you were a person who could see, and now you’re a person who will never see the same way again.
Trauma is like that.
When you’re a child and you’re trying to understand your trauma, you stumble and fumble around and you have to learn how you find your way around the world in a whole new way, but there is no one to teach you, because no one around you notices that you’re blind. That’s right. Not one person in your life realizes that you have no eyes, not because you’re hiding it, but because they are too busy focusing on their own lives.
Trauma after sexual abuse is like that.
If the people in your life don’t know the signs, they don’t know how to teach you to protect yourself, or what to look for when it does happen.
So imagine you’re like ten years old, you’ve just been sexually violated by a Priest, and you go from being the girl who gets along with everyone, to the girl who is suddenly hated by everything, because your behavior changes and it affects everyone around you.
BUT You don’t know that it’s affecting everyone around you, because you have no fucking eyes.
I have eyes now, and I realize that a lot of my behavior back then wasn’t my fault, so I shouldn’t continue to be penalized for it. I will say however, now that I recognize my behaviors I know how to alter them to specific situations as best I can, but that’s because I am only just now starting to learn control.
But I won’t apologize when I fuck up.
I remember sitting in the mall once a few years back, and one of the men who raped me showed up with his mom, thankfully I was on the phone so I couldn’t talk to them, but my immediate response was “oh hi I don’t drink anymore”, I made an unnecessary excuse to explain my sudden absence from the place we all used to hang out together.
I’m not doing that anymore. I am not talking to people from my past, like ever again. I am not apologizing for having had a nervous break down that nearly killed me. I am not apologizing for surviving something that should have killed me.
A few years ago I bought a copy of RZA’s book, and I handed to the man that “ordered” my rape. I walked away after that, thinking completely that I had delivered my message.
I had been surrounded by the enemy for years, and finally I learned the lesson. I didn’t “need” to force myself to suffer any longer. I didn’t need to repeat the patterns of abuse that I had been experiencing my entire fucking life. I didn’t have to suck up to people I don’t particularly like, in order to keep my safe from people that I fucking hated. Because it hadn’t worked.
I spent my time around people that largely made me miserable, because I was fucking miserable, and all it got me was raped, beaten, tortured and stabbed in the fucking back. FOR YEARS.
For years and years and years I wondered what the fuck was wrong with me, because I kept attracting these truly broken, truly mean, individuals who I had next to nothing in common with.
It was only recently that I realized I prefer my own fucking company, because “I” won’t lie to myself, cheat on myself, I won’t try to kill myself, and I sure as fuck won’t rape myself in an effort to “destroy everything about me”.
I am the only person in my entire life that I can count on besides my mom, I’ve learned that lesson from every single person in my past. The only people you can truly count on are your blood relatives.
The people you choose to hold close, the ones that really love you, wont’ make you feel like you have to apologize for being yourself. They will accept you for who you are, even when the rest of the world tells you that you should be someone else.
So quit fucking apologizing for being you, and start cleaning out your phone list. It’s time to join the fucking movement around surrounding ourselves with people that actually like us, for who we are, instead of who they think we can be.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall