TRIGGER AND CONTENT WARNING: This post details experiences with rape, torture, child sexual abuse and life long trauma. Please read with caution, and practice self care before, during, and after, reading this piece. Thank You.

I am really angry. Like all the time, this is a relatively new acknowledgement, even though I’ve been aware of my anger for a really long time.

I am so angry at the people in my past and as a survivor of more than 20 years, honestly, that’s a long list of people.

Teachers who knew what was happening, and tried to convince me they didn’t know by pretending to be my friend, while simultaniously ignoring the signs of trauma, shock, awe, and abuse.

Friends who turned on me because turning on the Brown girl gave them street cred, Black guys who chose not to stand up for the Black woman, but still think that they should be allowed to call themselves innocent, counsellors who turned out to be rapists, I’ve faced literally all of it, and yeah yeah I’m still here, blah blah.

Do you ever want to slap people when they tell you how strong you are? Like yes, I know this, I am strong, great, I fucking shouldn’t have to be.

Strong should be a choice, like if you WANT to be strong, then you should go to the gym and work out, and then you’ll be big and strong, but at least you’ll have control over the strength that you acquire.

When you’ve been raped and beaten and tortured your whole life, you either sink or you swim, I learned and am learning to swim, but that doesn’t mean I’m fucking happy about it.

I am not sitting here going “oh gee thank God I got raped, because that’s just brought me so much fucking strength,” I am internally screaming about the fact that I can’t go outside on my own.

Not because I don’t want to, not even because I’ve been hypnotized not to, but because I am fucking terrified of going outside it hurts, it causes physical pain, for me to get up and go outside and people don’t understand what that’s like.

I’ve been like this since before I was raped even as a child, I remember my mom telling me to go outside, and outside is always where the bad stuff happened. Like the man who followed me around the laundry mat with his penis hanging out, or the boy who used to threaten me with beatings if I didn’t spread my legs for him, and all the men who hurt me, they are all OUTSIDE My home.

What reason on this fucking rock is there for me to want to go out there where I am not safe? Yet people look at me like I’m the crazy one, after I’ve been through everything that I have been through.

When you’ve seen what a pack of vicious little bitches can do to you, there’s nothing you want less than to be around them again.

I remember an old friend telling me that not all men hit, AS he was grabbing my ass. Not all men hit, this is a fact, but most men will leer at you, look you up and down as if you aren’t an actual human being who deserves their respect because your ass is too big, or your boobs aren’t big enough.

Men will constantly find a way to make you feel inferior because they have a penis in between their legs which usually means they need to make someone feel small so that they don’t, and every single man on this planet, is someone who is OUTSIDE my apartment, and so I am fucking angry and resentful.

And literally every time I try to explain this to anyone, their response is “but not all men,” sweetie, darling, baby, if your initial response to anything that I’ve said in this post is “not all men,” you’re the fucking problem.

Someone asked me recently if I believed I wanted to be with Chris Evans, yeah the actor, and I laughed and said “no thank you,” they didn’t believe me, but I meant it four years ago and I mean it now, why? because I no longer have the ability to trust my safety with ANY man, not even Captain America.

I am fucking tired, and if I have to take the time to learn to trust you that’s more energy that I am expelling, that I don’t necessarily want to give to trusting someone when I can use that energy on something else entirely.

I would much rather be on my own, living my life, and doing the things that are important to me, but oh here’s the rub, I’m 38, which means that every single person I know is convinced that I need to settle down, spread my legs, spit out some babies, and start cooking, which for the record…I fucking hate doing.

The only time I ever enjoyed cooking, was when I was making soup at the shelter, and that’s because the people there needed a good meal and it was something that I could do to make people smile, it didn’t happen often, but I enjoyed those times in the kitchen, when someone wasn’t trying to take control and tell me what to do, which wasn’t often.

I don’t necessarily know that I want to have children, because I’ve seen what adults can and are absolutely willing to do to their own kids, just so that they can feel like they have some semblance of power in this world.

How can I be sure that I’ll ever be able to protect my children from the men that hurt me? And even if I get the opportunity to move to another piece of land on this planet, how do I know I will be able to protect my kids from the adults in that part of the world? I can’t, the truth is that you can never be sure you’ve protected your kids enough.

Right now these fears are at the forefront of my mind, even as I am hearing rumors that I “owe my success” to those who caused me harm, why? You didn’t make me who I am, I am who I am in spite of you, not because of you. The only thing I owe you is my laughter as your bitch ass is dragged off to prison as I continue my life. The life I WOULD have had anyways, if you didn’t exist in my world.

I didn’t write this weekend because I was thinking about how angry I am, how utterly frustrated with a world that was willing to let me die, and doesn’t know how to help me now that I didn’t just curl up and die.

I am stuck and surrounded by people who want to help, but they don’t know how, so they do the exact opposite of helping because that’s the only thing they know how to do.

Between all the bullshit and drama in my brain, and the shit that is swirling around me, I don’t have the energy to do the things that I used to love doing like going for walks, spending time by the ocean, or wandering through Vancouver as if I was a visiting guest to my favorite city in the world.

I am fucking exhausted, so when you tell me that I am strong in response to all of this what you’re trying to say is, “I recognize your struggle and I am sorry that was your experience,” but what I am actually hearing is “thank God it wasn’t me.”

That’s not your fault, not everyone knows how to respond when we survivors share our story, which is why so many of us don’t, sometimes it’s just easier, because honestly, I’m one of those survivors who doesn’t want to thank you for acknowledging my struggle.

I’m one of those survivors who wants to know why the fuck you didn’t say something twenty five years ago. I’m one of those survivors who wonders why when you knew what was going to happen, or who was doing why, you didn’t fucking say anything.

I’m one of those survivors who wonders why the fuck your safety and sanity were more important than mine, and the people I’ve shared my story with, don’t know how to answer those questions because most of them weren’t there, even when they promised they would be.

I am filled with a deep seated rage that not one person in the world stopped what was happening from happening, and that when on the rare occasions they did step in, they used it as an opportunity to make me feel ashamed, instead of asking if I was okay.

I distinctly remember my step-father telling me that I was having too much sex, at seven.

Seven year old’s don’t have sex, they get raped, by boys who threaten to beat them if they don’t fucking comply.

I was a scared little girl, and instead of helping me, instead of getting me counselling, instead of being there to support me, my family and my neighbors acted like it was a choice that I had made.

This is precisely why parents ask their kids to wait to have sex until they are certain they are ready. If I’d had my way it would have been to my husband, or my wife, or my person, it would have been somewhere romantic and beautiful and it would have been a conscious choice.

That choice was stolen from me over and over and over again when I was growing up, and even the times when I thought it MIGHT have been a choice, in reality I was just repeating old patterns because God damnit, that’s what I was fucking trained to do.

I tried to explain this to a Doctor and he called me psychotic, and he wasn’t wrong, it’s absolutely a psychotic cycle, and it’s a cycle that is created when abusers abuse victims, its not a choice that victims choose to experience.

I am so tired of people looking at victims as if we’re hero’s for going through what we’ve gone through and that’s what y’all do. “Oh my god, you’re so strong, you’re a warrior,” yeah but I didn’t fucking want to be?

I wanted to be a lawyer, I wanted to be a teacher, I wanted to be in government, I wanted to change the world through the law, because that’s what I thought was cool, instead I’m changing the world as a victim of more years of sexual abuse than I can fully count or comprehend, and now do I get a medal?

Because heros get medals, so where are mine? Where’s the medal for surviving a pedophile ring that pretended to be Hell’s Angel’s so that I would stay quiet? Where’s the medal for surviving the cop who wants to work in the sex crimes unit so that he can get close to rape victims? Where’s the medal for surviving the boys that I loved, so that II wouldn’t hate them for the crimes of their parents?

Where the fuck are my medals?

Oh right, victims don’t get medals for surviving gang, cult, and ritual rape. We get scars that never fully heal and fears that never fully go away.

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall

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