WARNING: THIS POST contains detailed images of domestic abuse and trauma: please practice self care when reading and after. if you need to take a moment before you comment or you choose not to comment at all i understand.
I’ve been thinking a lot about mental health for a long time, but specifically this morning, I’m not entirely sure where I am going with this blog post so bare with me here.
My friend is someone who is rather well known on social media. Across all her various networks she has access to over one hundred thousand people that follow her between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tik Tok.
Just as I was about to write this, I see a story on Daily M, which I never watch, about a woman named Meghan who moved out of the house she shared with her husband. The state took his guns, and then they gave him back, and a few days later, he killed her.
Now what does my friend have to do with Meghan’s story? Like Meghan, no one believes my friend when my friend talks about her mental health. Very few people have the opportunity to escape domestic violence and abusive situations and survive to tell the tale. My friend, myself, and a few others I know are the rare exceptions.
Meghan tried to share her story and she like many of us before and after her, have tried to share our stories, only to be shut down and put into a box and told to be quiet.
We are called psychotic, lazy, selfish, miserable, horrible, stupid. When we come forward with our stories of abuse, we are further victimized by every single person who has the cajones, to ask us “why didn’t you just leave?”
For many of us, women like Meghan are the reason that we don’t “just leave.” A few years ago I called the police and made a report about what had been done to me over twenty five years or so, and they asked me if I was emotionally safe to be left at home. They also asked me about the girlfriend of a rather famous gangster in our community.
I didn’t know her growing up, but I knew her name, everyone knew her name, because she was HIS girlfriend, and HE was the top of the top when it came to famous gangster’s in our community. EVERYbody knew his name, and so when after telling the cops that I had no idea who she was, imagine my surprise when she was found dead in a hotel room.
That’s why women don’t report. That’s why we don’t talk about what happens to us, that’s why we worry and stress and stay up all night romanticizing our abusers, so that we can help alleviate some of the trauma of the harm they caused us.
We spend entire lifetimes convincing ourselves that “the world just doesn’t see the side of the guy that we see,” and even if that’s entirely true, we allow the “superglue”, if you will, of our romantisization, to erase the trauma of the harm they cause.
My grandpa, an abuser in his own right, thank you very much, once told me that if you have to constantly explain to someone what a good person someone else is, they probably not that great a person.
Coming from a man who abused me, it didn’t mean much at the time, but it doesn’t make the words any less true.
We do whatever we can do to survive, and if that means taking a punch from an abusive bastard, no matter how brainwashed by abuse he’s been in his own right, and keeping our mouths shut, that’s what the fuck we’ll do.
If we can find a way to send them as far away as possible so that we no longer have to live in fear of running into them on the street, that’s what we’ll do.
If that means taking their life at the risk of losing our own lives, that’s what we will do, and no matter what we do, whether we leave, tell the truth, or stay and remain quiet, it is ALWAYS our fault, because society is absolutely petrified of putting the blame where it belongs.
No matter what action or inaction we take, women – and victims in general, are blamed for their reaction, because WE should have reacted better.
Judge: Why did you kill your husband?
Victim: he stuck a knife in my belly and nearly murdered my unborn child
Judge: Why didn’t you leave if you knew he was violent?
Seriously, that’s the shit that we deal with, on a daily fucking basis.
The girlfriend that I mentioned? She wanted to be an artist, instead she’s another statistic of what happens when guys get involved in guns and gangs, and girls love them enough to be the ONE stable thing in their lives.
There are a lot of ways that she could have died, but dying alone in a hotel room with a needle in her arm, probably wasn’t the way she wanted to go, it was probably at the very least, the last resort, and honestly? Sometimes I wish that I was her and she was me, not just because she’d still be here, but because some days, I really wish that I wasn’t.
The truth is that my life has been affected by gang life my entire life, since nearly just after I was born. The people that weaved their way in and out of my life as a child, well into my teens and adult years, were inundated with gang life, I just didn’t know how to see what it was at the time.
And when I did see something it was always “this is our secret,” my life was filled with so many secrets that it’s absolutely no wonder I lost my fucking mind, but do you think any of my abusers give a shit?
No, all they care about is what happened after the secrets came out.
Abuser’s friends: Why does she hate you?
Abuser: I set her up to be raped by all the guys who raped her as a child and a bunch of new ones, and then I told everyone she was paid for the night and that she was a professional whore.
Abuser’s friend: she is totally crazy, what a psycho.
Yeah, this fucking shit, and you know what’s worse? Is the cops, lawyers and judges, that are PAID to protect us? They don’t give a fuck. They don’t give a single fucks, because THEY know that the guys that beat us, rape us, torture us, and cause us so much harm that we end up taking our own lives could either:
- Pay off the cops, judges, and lawyers
- Or go after their families
And so it’s just easier to protect the abuser, than it is to protect the abused, and when we finally, FINALLY list all of our trauma people tell us that we are either:
- too intimidating to be around, because how DARE we be strong and powerful enough to escape all of that shit
- call us liars and gaslight us into feeling bad, because somehow someway, it’s your fault anyways.
I have spent four years thinking about what I could have done differently, what I could have changed, I spent four years seriously sitting here asking myself “if you’re so fucking strong, how come you couldn’t break past the brainwashing created by a world class Doctor who was known by the biggest children’s hospital in the fucking country as a child pedophile they refuse to acknowledge exists?”
Because I wasn’t fucking strong, I was incredibly weak, I broke down. If I’d been strong enough then I would have kept all the secrets to myself, and then I would have died, and you know what? There are a lot of people in this province that wish that I had done just that.
That girlfriend died with a Pandora’s box of secrets all her own, and I think about her every single fucking day. I never knew her, but we lived very similar experiences, the only real difference between us is that I lived and she didn’t and I honestly have no fucking idea why.
It’s not because I’m stronger.
It’s not because I was smarter.
It’s because I got fucking lucky, that’s it and that’s all, and this fucking sucks, because I always, ALWAYS thought that if anyone was going to die, if anyone was going to end their lives when all this shit was over it was going to be me and only me.
I sort of figured as a child if I made it to twenty-one given what I’d already been through by age ten, then I would be incredibly lucky, the fact that I made it to age thirty-eight is a fucking miracle.
So why the fuck am I still here? I don’t have an answer, but what I DO know is that WHILE I am still here I am going to make as much noise as possible so that my friends, my allies, my supporters, followers, and sisters in arms know that they are never alone.
Technically speaking I am disabled – but that doesn’t cover the full scope of what is wrong with me. I am a genius this much I know for sure, but I don’t know how to always take the information that’s in my mind, and convey it in a way that other humans know how to consume it.
The mathematics of how the human brain works do NOT escape me, but I don’t know how to take that math and write it down, and show people “this is how shit goes,” not in words at least, and so I do the best I can by detailing my experience here on this blog, and letting people see the REAL me, without shame or fear, and you know what? It’s fucking difficult.
I mentioned this before and I will say it again, there are whole days that I lay here and think “yup, I want to fucking die,” and then I have to remember that’s not the real me. That’s the parts of me that haven’t healed yet, that haven’t started to see the forest for the trees and I don’t blame those parts, because I am scared too.
I feel like I am in a constant battle for my mind, I am constantly fighting the girl of the past who is angry about what happened, the girl of the future who wants me to do shit different because she can see better than I can, and then there’s me in the middle right here, sitting before you now, telling everyone on the planet, to fuck the fuck off.
It’s not easy to constantly be the voice of reason in your own mind, and that’s why so many victims of abuse can’t come forward. It’s not just fight or flight, it’s because our brains twist our emotions so that we genuinely believe that we love our abusers, because in a lot of cases it’s the only way to survive.
I remember on Oprah hearing a kid in the 90s tell his family that they couldn’t tell them they weren’t in love, because to them at their very young age, THIS is what love felt like. That’s what it’s like when you’re living in abuse too.
When all you have ever known is abuse and trauma, you pass that shit on like gold, because you don’t know any better, but at a certain point, a nexus event has to happen that will force you to decide what you’re going to do next.
Okay you raped a girl, probably a lot of girls, and maybe some guys too. You hurt them, and they are standing up asking you what the fuck you’re going to do about it. Are you going to keep hurting them? Or are you going to course correct your shit before you end up in Hell? Because that’s where abusers who don’t change go, and I will believe that until the last breath of my last universal spirit self spark.
Someone asked me what I wanted to happen to X who made the choice that night to rape me, when he could have made another choice.
I said I wanted him to go to the WWE because I wanted him to spend the rest of his life getting beaten up by all my favorite superheros.
I wasn’t fucking kidding. I’d love nothing more than to see Brock Lesnar knock out his teeth, I would enjoy the fuck out of that, I’d rent a whole theater out just so that I could see it on the biggest screen possible. Because I’m a vindictive bitch, I’m just not a stupid vindictive bitch.
I don’t have people who are going to kill you, I don’t have people who are willing to knock your face in, I just wish I did, whatever happens to you after all the stories I’ve told about what you did to me, is entirely your choice.
You didn’t make me who I am, and you didn’t “give” me the life that I have. I was granted this life when I was born to this body, as a baby. The universe brought my mom and my dad together, and their genetics mixed in the test tube that is my mother’s womb, and I was born.
And because I was born a whole lot of darkness attacked me and lost, I’m not interested in committing today, but I am interested in making sure that every single person who reads this post knows this:
- You are not alone
- You did not do this
- This is not your fault
- You are not weak
- You’re not even sick, you’re injured.
I AM NOT MENTALLY ILL, I am mentally INJURED, my BRAIN is injured by trauma, and even if I WERE Mentally sick, that doesn’t give you the right to blame me for what was done to me. Every single person on this planet, human or otherwise, makes their own choices, and you and you alone are responsible for the choices that you made.
The choice that I made was that I was going to survive, I did that, and now I am using Loud Mouth Brown Girl to deal with the fact that I survived. What the fuck are YOU doing?
I’m not talking to the survivors of abuse, I’m talking to the perpetrators of abuse and trauma.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIVES?
The boyfriend of the girlfriend? He’s still in jail I desperately hope that when he gets out he’s going to go and do something great with his life. Maybe he’ll help other people get out of gangs, I keep thinking to myself, and then I wonder, has he been brainwashed too?
The darkness takes everything good about yourself and destroys it, you have to pull the pieces together, and not all of us are capable of doing that, not because we aren’t strong enough, but because sometimes there are too many pieces to the puzzle and we don’t always know how to see the right ones.
Sometimes we get blinded by the shiny, and we think that it’s more appealing because it seems easier, or more adventurous, it seems more “exciting,” but I mean I don’t know…I just feel like if exciting means running from guns and cops for the rest of my life, it just doesn’t seem worth it.
John Dillinger learned that lesson, and so did Baby Face Nelson, generations of men have proven that being abusive douchbags who rip people off, murder them without shame, and rape women, ends in nothing but a horrible lonely death.
If that’s what you want I mean I guess go for it, I just feel like there is a better way and a bigger purpose to your life than spending it by being a total abusive sociopathic lunatic douchbag that everyone in the world wants to kill or defend.
And if you’re defending that kind of shit? I just wonder what you’d say if it were you….would you do things differently? Just to protect someone who hates themselves so much they’ll light you on fire to keep you warm?
We survivors deserve respect we deserve to be told that we’re amazing, that we’re loved, and we DESERVE to be protected, we don’t deserve to have the dreams of our abusers matter more than ours, but if that means that we’ll be safe…I guess I’ll take it until it’s time for me to get mine.
Sending all my love to the Soldiers of abuse out there, I love you,
Devon J Hall