Safe, Sane, and Consensual, these words hold weight, and they are not words that we use often. When we are in a kind, caring, loving relationship, a relationship that has boundaries, where each person respects the other(s), sex and sexual interaction can be a beautiful transformative experience.
Very rarely have I had those kinds of sexual relationships that left me feeling good, loved, cherished, and genuinely wanted for all of my parts. In fact more often than not I’ve felt like a walking vagina, exactly, because that’s the way the world taught me to believe that I should see myself.
I’ve been getting raped and abused since I was in diapers, and as I got older the abuse got worse, it became far more intricate, and I was surrounded by men who were taught by their fathers, and their mothers, that the things they did to girls was okay.
No one taught them to think about safety, sanity, or consent. No one taught them to ask if it was something the girls wanted, they just did whatever they wanted, because they were told that it’s okay to treat women as if we don’t exist beyond what our vagina’s are capable of offering the penises of the boys and men who abused us.
At 38 years old I am sitting in my living room after screaming out loud for about an hour or so about how “I” had no choice, because it’s the same thing that my abusers have been saying for years.
“I had no choice, I was taught this was okay,” and sure, when we were thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, yes I understand the fear of having grown men telling us to have sex with each other, I understand the fear of what might have happened if they had said no, because I know what happened to me when “I” said no.
But the last time I was gang-raped, they had a choice, the men who forced them to rape me as children, weren’t there, the cops, the gangsters, the thugs, that raped me could have said “no, I’m not doing this,” they could have called 911, they could have gotten me help, but instead they raped me for hours, pulled a man off of me when he tried to MURDER me, and then let me get raped for several more hours.
Help came eventually, men with guns, I remember that part, and I remember them saying “she better not wake up alone,” and I remember one of them laying beside me and putting my hand on his penis, I laughed because I wanted to scream, I wanted to rip it off, I wanted to kill him. He made me turn to the wall, and I closed my eyes and pretended to be asleep.
When I woke up just the man who lived there was there, and he looked at me like I was the disgusting thing in his bed, like “I” had done something wrong, when HE had been the one who set up and invited me to the party where I’d been raped.
Over the several weeks after I pretended as best that I could, that nothing had happened, at the strip club where we hung out, I hugged the man who set up the party, told him he was forgiven in front of everyone, and I kept my fucking mouth shut, because I was trying to stay alive.
There was nothing safe, sane, or consensual about that night. There was nothing safe about hitting a woman over the head, drugging her, calling her a “piece of ass,” and raping her for hours and hours and hours, and there was nothing sane about how I reacted to what happened.
When I went to Winnipeg, I found a lot of racism, a lot of trauma, but I also found a freedom, I found my “NO,” I decided on that trip that i wasn’t going back to the strip club, I wasn’t going back to that life, and on the plane ride home the overwhelming sense of “I don’t have to do this anymore,” scared the shit out of me.
I didn’t know that I COULD say no, because I’d never been able to before….often times when I was having sex that WAS consensual, I just prayed for it to be over, it wasn’t the sex that I wanted, it was connection, it was someone who loved me, I wanted someone to wrap me up in their arms and tell me that I was safe and show me that I COULD be safe, but no one ever did.
I didn’t know for years, how to define what I wanted and needed, because I didn’t know what I wanted and needed. I was in genuine hypnotic state of shock for more than twenty years, because I’d been hypnotized and no one ever realized because I didn’t know how to tell them.
So now in my town, there are all these men who are going around saying they didn’t have a choice, that they were hypnotized too, they are lying. They were not. “I” was hypnotized into being a sex slave at age thirteen, and it didn’t stop until well into my thirties.
Now throughout that time, I spent a great deal of time learning about BDSM, and learning about consent, and it took me a really long time to take what I was learning through online chats and very good friends around the world, and activate it in my life. And all I can honestly say is that I hate men.
I hate everything about them, my heart was broken by a man who raped me, because he knew that I loved someone else, and he wanted to make sure that I’d never let that other person touch me again.
That night I did whatever I had to do to survive. I played the victim, I played the whore, I played the girlfriend, I did whatever, said whatever I needed to say, so that I could get out of that room in one piece, but there is a part of me that will ALWAYS be there.
There is a part of me that will be stuck in that room until long after I have died, and I wonder about her a lot. I wonder who lives in that house now, and if they can feel the evil that was birthed in that rom, I wonder if the people living there now can feel the shame, the guilt, the sweat, the blood, the tears, that were spilled in that room.
I wonder about the neighbors, I wonder if they heard the screaming, I wonder if the cops that were there feel any guilt or shame for what they not only let happen, but actively participated in making happen to me.
Safe, Sane, and Consensual, means that when it’s over, you don’t want to kill yourself. I went from being raped, nearly murdered, and raped all over again, to going to work the next day to serve people who live on the streets and in the forests as if nothing had happened, and I didn’t say a word, until I went to Winnipeg and lost my fucking mind.
I had a moment in Downtown Vancouver where I stood and stared at the cops who were looking at me trying to help but not knowing what to do, and I decided, “no more silence,” and I started screaming and I’m still doing it because I can’t stop.
It wasn’t right, it was wrong. There were moments when those men who hit me, kicked me, used me, spat on me, bit me, drugged me, and abused me could have stopped. There was a moment when my counselor who I found on Google could have said to me “I’m sorry this isn’t something that I am capable of,” instead he pretended that he hadn’t been there, that he hadn’t raped me.
I found every single person who raped me, I found out where they work, I know where they live, I know what jobs they do for a living, I know who their friends are, I know who their kids are, I know everything that I need to know about them, but the thing that I know the most is that THEY had choices, where my choices were stolen from me. My ABILITY to choose, was stolen from me.
I’ve been sitting here thinking about all the things that I did to survive those men, all the times I lowered myself to doing things that I wouldn’t have done if I hadn’t been trying to prove that I was okay, that I was normal, that I wasn’t negatively affected by what THEY chose to do to me, and I want to blame myself. I want to be ashamed, I want to feel guilty, I want to feel like if it is my fault then I had some sense of control in situations where I had no choices, no control.
Now I’m sitting here, years after the truth has come out, hearing all the rumors, hearing all the lies, even though it feels and looks like I am completely disconnected from my past, and I am just tired.
I am tired of using this blog to defend myself, I am tired of feeling like I HAVE to defend myself. I didn’t fucking choose this. When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a Rapper, like Beyonce, like Rhianna, I wanted to be a singer travelling the world and singing to the masses, lighting the world up with the joy of my voice.
This year I learned that one of my best friends in the world knew what was going to happen, and she did nothing to stop it, she did nothing to call for help, Im not entirely sure, but I suspect that she was there that night, and all I can think is, “you’re an evil bitch and you deserve whatever you get.”
I would never, in a million years, have let a woman get raped, for any reason. I would have stepped in, I would have found a way to get help, I would have found a way to make sure that that woman felt safe, protected, and loved, when it was over, but not one person in my life did that. They took my choice, and then they spent all these years later trying to convince me that I didn’t deserve to be angry.
You deserve to be angry. When your choice is stolen, you deserve to feel like you’ve been betrayed, you deserve to feel violated when you have been violated, but you do NOT deserve to carry the guilt, shame, fear, anxiety, and depression that comes when you’ve been raped, and abused.
My whole life, my ENTIRE Life I was a victim, my entire life I have been someone who wasn’t allowed to use their own voice to say no, to say how I REALLY feel, but now that I am the Loud Mouth Brown Girl, it’s literally in the job description to tell the world that I am not okay with what happened.
The little girl inside of me, the little girl of my past is stuck wondering why this happened, trying to find reasons or explanations for how to make it better, and the only thing the adult in me has come up with is time. I need time to heal, and the one thing that I’ve learned over the last three and a half years, is that I am really fucking lucky that I’ve had this time.
I have people in this world who genuinely care about me, they might not be able to be here physically, but they want to be, and they show me that every single day. When I’m having a bad day there are people for me to call, when I am stressed out there are people for me to connect to, when I want to scream and cry there is someone who wants to be there, who isn’t going to bargain my need to release, with their desire to hurt someone.
I didn’t happen on these people by accident, I found them on purpose. Each and every single one of them reminds me that I am worthy of being loved, and that love doesn’t hurt in the ways that I’ve been hurting all these years.
When it’s safe, sane, and consensual, it changes your entire world, it’s like brand new doors open up that you never thought you would find. When it is safe consensual and sane, it’s the most wonderful thing in the entire world.
When it’s real, and pure, and true, it’s not just about the orgasm, it’s not just about power, it’s about connection between two or more people that GENUINELY care about how the other person(s) feel, and I’ve never had that before.
I’ve never had someone respect me and want me for more than just what is between my legs, and now I am too afraid to look for it, because I’m too afraid that I won’t be able to trust it if and when I find it. My heart was broken that night in ways that it will NEVER fit back together.
For the first time in my entire life, “I” am making choices about “my” future, and I am not thinking about what other people are thinking about those choices, or how my choices are going to affect them, I am not thinking about whether or not they would approve of my choices, or whether or not it’s what will get me more likes and clicks. The ONLY question I am asking myself these days is “is this what you really want to do with yourself?”
The answer is unequivocally yes. I want to be the Loud Mouth Brown Girl, I want to be the girl who ten years from now can look at whatever it is that I will have built, and smile knowing that all the versions of me who came before, came TOGETHER, to create something majickal and beautiful.
I am terrified, every single day, and every night when I go to sleep, because I am afraid they are going to come back, and drug me again, and rape me again, and AGAIN I won’t be able to fight back with my fists because my strength will have been stolen from me, but I am not letting that prevent me from doing the things that make me happy anymore.
I’m really lucky, not every survivor has the kind of support that I have, not every survivor knows how to pull themselves up from the hole of trauma and abuse, and I’m not saying that I have ALL the answers, but I am learning. I am learning what it means to grow and to plant my feet down and put my hands up and set boundaries that are teaching me that I have the RIGHT to say when, how, who, where.
NO ONE has the right to take your sanity from you, your control, your power, and no that bullshit about “it only happens when you give it to them,” FUCK THAT BULLSHIT. I DID NOT GIVE THEM MY POWER THEY STOLE IT BY HITTING ME OVER THE HEAD AND DRUGGING ME.
Every single day I am getting a little bit of it back, but I am still angry that it took me 38 years to say NO MORE RAPE in my life.
And for the record, if you in your SAFE, SANE, AND CONSENSUAL RELATIONSHIP, are role-playing forced sex scenarios, that’s totally okay, as long as when it’s over, you make sure that it was a decision you BOTH made.
If he’s hitting you, beating you, torturing you, drugging you, if he’s telling you that you need to keep it a secret and that it’s not his fault, if he’s being an abusive piece of shit, it is NOT YOUR FAULT.
If he’s letting his friends beat you, drug you, rape you, try to murder you, and STILL partying with them when its all said, done and over, he’s not yours, he’s just another piece of shit whose choosing to sit back and let the bad stuff happen because it’s easier than fighting beside you.
REMEBER TO REMEMBER: No matter how it happened, no matter whether it was him, her, they, or them, if they are abusing you, it is NOT YOUR FAULT.
If the people in your life aren’t going to love you for all the wonderful beautiful broken pieces of your soul, then love them yourself. Go back through time and space and remind your childself that you’re a survivor, tell them, him, her, they, that they are going to get through this. Tell them that you will protect them, and when you feel like you don’t know how, just remember that it’s all in your mind.
Our brains are capable of deeply connected majick, and yes to a certain extent it is about BELIEVING you’re powerful enough to connect to your past self, but it’s also about CHOOSING to connect to your past self, by talking to them as if they are real people who exist outside the manifestation of who you are today.
The person that you used to be is still there, he, she, they, and them, are still inside of you, looking up, hoping that your dreams will come true, hoping that you’ll find love, hoping that you’ll be safe, and you, and ONLY You, have the power to decide how you’re going to fight back. And when the shit hits the fan, I’ll be right there beside you.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall
2 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Safe, Sane, Consensual Choices…#TriggerWarning”
😢 I wish I could give you a hug-unless you’re not a hugger 😉 or help to relieve some of your pain somehow. My heart hurts for what you’ve had to go through with no fault or blame of your own.
I’m sending you lots of love & support! I can just sense much better things for you ahead & am amazed at how far you’ve come.
Thank you for being so open & candid here on your blog. I appreciate & value you & this blog.
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Thanks love, It’s not easy sharing this stuff, and honestly, yesterday I said it doesn’t matter to me anymore, but that’s not the whole truth. It only matters so that I can show others that it can be accomplished – getting through the darkness and finding yourself after trauma has its ABSOLUTE shit shows, but once the lights come up, it’s a lot easier to remember that being who YOU want to be is WAY more important than trying to be the person trauma wants you to be.
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