this post describes and details a journey of complex mental health issues THAT STEM FROM RAPE, TORTURE, AND CHILDHOOD SEXUAL ABUSE. please practice self care while reading this post and do feel free to share it with anyone in your life who might need assitance helping you along your journey.
THIS POST IS DEDICATED TO THE ORIGINAL WOLFPACK OF NORTH DELTA BRITISH COLUMBIA IN HONOR OF DMX – ROUGH RIDERS FOR LIFE
The only thing that mental health issues and physical health issues have in common is that there is an adjustment period as you start to learn how your issues are going to affect your life.
There is a time when you have to assess the damage and really look at what is broken or hurting inside of you to see how deep the wound is so that you can move forward with the healing part. And when you’re dealing with mental health issues that can take a really, really long time.
When your family is watching you from the outside they see someone who they think might be drowning, and they don’t necessarily know how to help, and honestly SOMETIMES, the best thing you can do is back the fuck off.
Yes there are times when things are escalating to a dangerous apex and those are the moments that you should absolutely step in, but there are other moments when all we need to do is drink and smoke and hit things and scream and yell and let it the fuck out, and there’s nothing you can do about that. (Maybe don’t let some of us (me) near guns.)
In many cases people who have friends or family members with mental health issues, expect that there is a “quick fix” for what ales us, but the problem is that unfortunately that’s not true.
Let me make it perfectly clear for you:
THOSE OF US WHO HAVE MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES KNOW FULL WELL THAT OUR BEHAVIOR IS FUCKED UP AND THAT WE ARE NOT ALWAYS IN CONTROL ALL THE DAMNED TIME. WE KNOW YOU ARE UNCOMFORTABLE IN OUR PRESCENCE, IT’S NOT THAT WE DON’T CARE, IT’S THAT WE ARE JUST TRYING TO GET FROM ONE MOMENT TO THE NEXT WITHOUT LOSING WHAT LITTLE CONTROL WE HAVE OVER OUR MINDS.
So bare with us when we stay stuff like “no, you don’t understand,” we’re probably fully aware of the fact that you really, cannot comprehend the amount of pain that we’re going through.
Think about mental health pain like a scale. When everything is in balance we are happy, we’re fun to be around, we’re interesting, creative creatures, but when things are out of balance? When we’re stressed by trauma – specifically – especially when it’s trauma we don’t feel safe to talk about, then everything is completely out of whack.
Over the last four years I have been forced to talk about my trauma because it was the only way to survive, and right now where I am at in my life, that is the center function of my life. My mantra for as long as I can remember is “survive.”
When I was gang raped for the last time, my only desire that night was to live through the night, to make it through the next morning. I wasn’t thinking about revenge, retribution, or release, I just wanted to get out of that black room and into the safety of my own home again.
Now that I am here I realize that the very walls of my home are filled with the remnants of the memories of my yelling, crying, and screaming. Sometimes when I touch them I can almost feel the voices of the people who were here before, and it scares me, but it also helps keep me grounded.
Touching a wall for me is less about “reading the wall” and more about reminding myself that the walls are solid, because everything in my life feels so out of control and fluid.
Emotionally I AM moving forward, but because I am not working in an office yet, because I am not earning a monthly wage yet, because because because, I don’t feel like I am getting anywhere, because unlike a physical ailment, a mental health one takes longer to heal.
It also takes a lot more energy to realize the progress you’ve made when internally you still feel so overwhelmed and bogged down, so for those of you living out side our brains please do us a huge massive favor.
MANAGE YOUR EXPECTATIONS BECAUSE WHATEVER YOU EXPECT IS GOING TO HAPPEN IS NOT LIKELY GOING TO BE THE OUTCOME THAT YOU WANT IT TO BE, NO MATTER HOW HARD YOU TRY TO FORCE THE UNIVERSE TO SHAPE ITSELF IN TO SUCH A WAY THAT YOU GET THE OUTCOME YOU WANT, YOU’RE GOING TO GET WHAT YOU GET AND YOU JUST HAVE TO SUCK IT UP AND DEAL WITH IT. PERIOD.
This was a tough lesson for me to learn because I honestly thought that once I got home, once I was physically safe, that it was over. I honestly thought that I could just pack all the years of trauma, rape, torture, and abuse, in the back of my mind and move the fuck on as if it hadn’t happened.
THE UNIVERSE WILL ALWAYS THROW A WRENCH IN YOUR PLAN JUST TO REMIND YOU THAT GOD EXISTS, AND BECAUSE GOD EXISTS GOD WANTS YOU TO UNDERSTAND THAT YOU ARE NOT IN FUCKING CONTROL….I PROMISE YOU
I can’t explain how I know for a fact that God exists, because I just don’t have enough words to convey the kind of awesome amazing phenomenal majick that I have seen in my life. BUT what I DO know is that there is something out there, watching over us all, and that “something” is the thing that is going to force you to deal with your trauma one way or another.
When I started this website I was really angry, and I wanted the entire world to know why I was angry. After everything that I had been through, finding out that people that I genuinely cared about had ganged up to rape me was just too much for me to handle. Especially after being arrested for having a friggen panic attack, that was literally the last straw.
I was pissed at the world and I shared my story, I named names, and over the years I’ve said some of those names were incorrect, but some of them were right on the nose. I sent letters out to friends across the globe with the names of the men who raped me, and I made damned sure if they ever heard about anything bad happening to me, they’d know who to tell the police to look for.
I did what “I” had to do, to protect myself, now from the outside my behavior looked dangerous, erratic, and out of control, and that’s because I was legitimately fucking insane. There is no other phrase that describes my mental state at the beginning of this website.
I honestly think that when I was younger, my obsession with BDSM helped me in a lot of ways because it gave me an understanding about the way that the human brain works that I could not have, and would not have, gotten anywhere else in the world.
As crazy as I was, I knew that I was doing what I needed to do to protect myself, I knew that I was doing what I needed to do even though I couldn’t fully explain it to everyone around me. I scared friends, family members, and allies, who loved me and wanted the best for me.
Last night I heard a rumor that there was a girl at the house that I was raped – when asked what she did that night, she said (allegedly) that she heard me screaming…and turned up the music.
I got drunk.
It may not sound healthy to the outside, but for just a little while I needed the wall of numbness that comes with alcohol that I just can’t attain with cannabis. I needed to be numb because I knew that if I wasn’t numb then I was going to lose my shit again.
I don’t know if that rumor is true or not, but what I do know is that the suspicion that it is very true says a lot about the kind of people that I was spending time with, and how fucking broken I was to not be able to pull away sooner. No, it’s still not my fault. (Also if it is true….have a good life, because Hell is going to S.U.C.K. for you. SO bad.)
Reminders of what happened to us WILL pop up, and the more that they do pop in my life, I am reminded that I have already dealt with these kind of stressors, I know when it’s okay to take a break, and I know when it’s time to push through and keep focusing on my current goals, which is to do more than just survive.
There is -SO- much for me to go through, and unfortunately no matter how many times I try to avoid it, I have to go through every single memory that I’ve ever had, so that I can discard the shit that I don’t need, and make room for the beautiful things that I do need.
That’s going to take time, and a lot of energy, and it’s going to look like I’m lazy, or like I’m not trying, but in a lot of ways what I am really doing is just processing, like a computer.
The human brain can only handle so much information at one time, and when you’ve had to deal with childhood sexual abuse and complex trauma, your brain often goes “woah, slow the fuck down Youngblood I can’t keep up.
I am a really smart, and really capable person, but I am also a person who deals with undiagnosed complex trauma. I am a person who is very much physically incapacitated by the emotional trauma that I have been through.
People who read mental health blogs, specifically, think that we’re “healed” that we have all the answers because we’re sharing our journey with you, for everyone to see, question, and judge. I have news for you.
that is fucking bullshit we are not healed we are healing and there is a difference
I AM NOT HEALED. And there is a very chance that I am never going to “heal” the way that you want me to heal.
I am a whole new person now, the person that was here before, she watches over me, she protects me, she teaches me by showing me what she’s been through, but she is not me anymore. We are separate creatures all together, she’s an entirely different kind of being, a spiritual existence that is a constant reminder that this body has LITERALLY been to Heaven, Hell, and everywhere in between.
I am a brand new version of myself, and I will never again be the person that you grew up knowing. I am not vulnerable anymore. I am strong, and hard. I am passionate, and fearless. I am angry, and volatile. I am easily angered and triggered by scenes of abuse, be them on television, or in real life.
The person you knew isn’t “dead” and they aren’t “gone,” they’ve just evolved into something new and you have to get right with that. YOU as an ally, supporter, family member, loved one, supporter, need to understand that YOU hold some power over us, and you need to learn to wield that power responsibility.
It can be really difficult to hear our stories, to hear what we’ve been hiding from you – especially when you think that we’re so close we’ve told you everything. It can feel like a betrayal to find out that those of us living in abusive situations haven’t come forward and told you that we need help.
GET THE FUCK OVER IT, IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU
We weren’t keeping secrets from you because there is something wrong with you, we’re keeping secrets because we are traumatized, we are shattered, we are processing, we are afraid, and we don’t know who we can trust with the information in our brains, because not everyone can.
I remember telling a neighbor what happened to me when I was a child, he didn’t say anything, I told an adult because I didn’t think I could trust an adult in my personal life. He didn’t say anything that I found helpful at five years old, and so I didn’t talk about it for more than twenty years.
On the rare times that people found out, it was always blamed on me. My mom’s boyfriend made a joke about “all the sex you’ve been having,” I was seven. It was rape.
A lot of times adults don’t know how to react when a kid tells them they have been abused, here’s a thought, call 911. Don’t fucking question it, call 911 and report that shit, because if a five year old kid is telling you she can’t trust the adults in her house, because at least one of them is abusive, SHE CANNOT TRUST THE ADULTS IN HER HOUSE AND SHE NEEDS HELP.
Seven year olds DO NOT HAVE SEX, THEY GET RAPED.
I don’t say this because I am angry – although I am – I say it because if you’re going to support someone with mental health issues, you NEED to know what you are getting into.
It’s a long journey, and what works for one person isn’t going to work for another person. Some people use drugs because they just can’t fucking deal, they end up homeless, and they steal to feed their addiction because their addiction is actually NOT the drug, it’s the escape from a reality filled with trauma and abuse.
Those of us who have undiagnosed complex trauma often walk around like zombies thinking something is wrong with us, looking for anyone or anything to define us, to give us a diagnosis, because we don’t often know what’s wrong, we just know that SOMETHING is.
If you aren’t trained in dealing with mental health issues, and you have them, and no one around you can tell you what you need to know so you can get better, how the fuck are you supposed to know anything is wrong? ESPECIALLY when your abusers gaslight you into feeling ashamed, and remaining silent out of fear?
It’s not going to be an easy journey, it’s not going to be pretty, it’s going to be the kind of ugly that makes you wish that you were dead and the people around you literally sit back and wonder when you’re going to just give in and die already, because yes, they can see you deserve some peace and they can’t think of a better solution than just not being here anymore.
I have in my lifetime, met people who were so deeply broken that yes, I have wondered if they would not just be better off dead, and then just when I thought all hope was lost, I have witnessed as they turned the fucking car around and found a life that they can be proud of, while STILL dealing with the mental health issues that have forced them into the path of Death so many times before.
I absolutely positively know that you can totally get past the darkness and move into the light, I know for a fact that it is possible to create a new life for yourself after trauma because I’ve seen it. From people in the Church, to Narcotics Anonymous and everywhere in between, I have met people who have gone to the edge of death and turned around and walked away.
Their lives are not “better for having survived,” their lives are better because they did the fucking work to get the life that they wanted to have and were diverted away from because of trauma.
It’s an ugly world, and unfortunately millions of us have seen the face of betrayal that comes with abuse, too many of us have been kicked when we’re down, tortured by emotional, physical, sexual, and yes even spiritual abuse.
Too many of us have been pushed to the point of no return, dying with needles in our arms because it’s just fucking easier than getting back into the fight to deal with the reality of our own minds. I’ve seen a lot of that too.
We can do this, with a lot of help and support, with a group of people who will ANNOYINGLY kick your ass until you actual face all the shit that you DO NOT WANT TO FUCKING DEAL WITH UNDER ANY GOD DAMNED CIRCUMSTANCES, you can actually find a place of moving forward.
Some people majickally do it on their own, without any support, they pull themselves out from the darkness and they move forward into a life where they have a job, friends, a loved one, a family, a partner, and so on, and they do it all by themselves because there is no other option for them.
I am not one of those people. I have an entire network of people from around the globe that have forced me to process what I’ve been through, even and especially on days when all I wanted to do was get high and ignore it all, I was still doing the work
A lot of “doing the work” looks like laying around, listening to music, getting stoned, and doing nothing of substance, and that’s because our bodies and our brains are completely out of sink. Our brain is working so hard on the internal shit that we don’t have the ability to focus on doing the physical shit.
Deal with that too.
But don’t let it last too long. You do have to do the work, you do have to actually start processing, and then you have to do something with what you’ve learned. You’ve been abused, you’ve been traumatized, you’ve been hurt and burned.
Baby let it out.
Whatever that looks like to you. Write about it, paint about it, join the MMA if you fucking have to, but find a way to take all that pain and turn it into something beautiful or it WILL eat you up and destroy you.
Maybe that looks like throwing yourself into volunteer work, but just remember what worked for YOU isn’t going to work for everyone else.
I believe in God, but in no way shape or form do I expect you to, because God has been used as a weapon for centuries, for some people the very “idea” of God is a fucking trigger, so PLEASE stop throwing that shit in our faces. People will either find their way to the God of their journey OR THEY FUCKING WON’T. You don’t get to tell people that how they are healing doesn’t work for you and if it REALLY doesn’t work for you, then get the fuck out of our way and let us do what we need to do, to get through.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall