In a hundred billion, trillion years, I never thought that I would ever ever, be the girl who tells the world that there are layers to this planet, and this existence, that I will never understand.
“Never backward, always forward. Always.” -Luke Cage
This quote is one that I’ve been repeating to myself for awhile now, but instead of actually listening to it, I’ve been reminding myself as Luke Cage did, that sometimes you have to go backwards to untangle the bullshit, in order to move forward.
Years ago I started creating characters in my head, because you know…storyteller, and then those characters came in handy when I got gang-raped the last time.
I was completely mentally broken by the drugs and the beatings, but somewhere inside of myself, there were stories that helped save my life.
I told whatever story I had to tell, whatever lie that I had to tell, in order to survive, and I imagined myself in a world were real people could see what was happening to me, and who came to help, and when the sun rose through the only window in the room I was in, I was still alive, and then I was free.
A few days later the man who owned the house that I’d been kept in asked me if I forgave him. Everyone who had raped me was at the club, and all the people who knew what happened to me were there, so of course I said yes I forgive him, and I even gave him a hug. Secretly I was hoping he’d get his head ripped off by a Troll.
Secretly I was hoping that every single one of my rapists would out themselves, and they did that, and then when they realized what they had done, they called me a rat. I had the world’s most amazing people come together to help my story come out, but not everyone gets that.
Not everyone has an actual army of supporters, and unlike a lot of people who have armies supporting them, mine have chosen to remain in the shadows, and I love that. I love that instead of making it about “look at what we did,” it’s “look what THEY did, and focus on what happened to HER.”
That’s how it should be when it comes to victims of sexual assault. It should never, EVER, be about the pain and suffering of the perpetrators.
Oh you feel ugly? Then maybe you shouldn’t have let your niece get raped.
Oh you feel terrible because you have horrible memories? Then maybe you shouldn’t have exorcised them by raping other people.
I know that a lot of the boys who were forced to lay beside me in a bed in my own bedroom didn’t touch me even though they were told to do “whatever you want, she doesn’t matter,” and I’m thankful for that. I am thankful that many of them grew up to be good men who DID NOT rape women, but some of them did. And some of them enjoyed it.
You can’t tell me on one hand that YOU’RE the victim, when YOU’RE the one who raped a woman while telling her “I was too young to partake in North Delta, but now I get to be the one who rapes you and kills you at the same time,” and then turn around and tell everyone she is a rat because you’re afraid of the retribution you might face for abusing the wrong woman.
Yes, I am strong, and yes I have survived a lot, but it didn’t have to be this way. There are ALWAYS people who know when a child is being abused, because that child will ALWAYS find someone to tell, even if that person is someone that they can’t trust, JUST so that they can say it, at least once.
When that child looks back at the people they told they are going to remember who was there, and who told them to go away, they are going to remember who was willing to stand beside them and say “I got you,” and who walked away because it was easier.
Too many times in my life I asked myself why I was doing what I was doing, why I wasn’t screaming and yelling for help when I knew that I could have, but the truth is there was no one to go to, there were very few people that I could trust, and the people that I COULD trust were in danger simply because they were associated with me.
The people who had me raped, for years, and years, and years, were willing, and in some cases did, to kill people, to keep the secrets of what they were doing to us, and they got away with it simply because they were too powerful to stop.
They aren’t so scary now that everyone knows who they are, and I know that eventually the story WILL come out, and names will be named, and people will have to walk in shame as their photos are taken and neighbors realize that the person they’ve been living next to is a prolific child abuser who hid behind the covers of being a Hells’ Angel, even though they weren’t, to get away with their crimes.
I KNOW that will happen, and I am not prepared. I am not prepared to be the poster child for what happens to a life after it has been destroyed by sexual assault, domestic abuse, and cult based religiously manipulated abuse. I am not prepared to be the face of anything other than Loud Mouth Brown Girl, being the face of childhood abuse and assaults is not how I want to make a name for myself, but I wasn’t given that choice.
I don’t think I could ever be a WORKING sex worker, it’s just not in me to be that VULNERABLE. -9th grade girls locker room, Saint James, Calgary Alberta Canada 1996
Purely because I was raped, I have seen and done things that I did not think were possible for me to do, because I needed to survive.
I very much want to be the face of women’s empowerment, but whenever I look at people who are doing what I am doing, trying to help others push forward, trying to inspire other women to believe they can have a better life, I keep asking myself “okay but how the fuck did SHE do it?“
Every woman’s answer is going to be different. For me, a lot of majick. A lot of prayer, a lot of understanding that the world is far more than what science is able to define for us logically.
I wasn’t given a choice, I kept my secrets to myself, and I sacrificed my education, relationships that I cared about, and friendships I desperately wanted to work out, because it was easier to be a person who lived in the here and the now, then to think about what if.
Growing up in Surrey, BC, I was the white boy colonizers’ dream, I was the thing that they DID NOT want, but the substitute for what they did want. The number of guys who threw me up against a wall and kissed me because they wanted me to be Lisa Bonet or Halle Berry is disturbing at minimum and terrifying at best. I am also not Oprah, Beyonce, Mariah Carey, Or Zoe Kravitz.
Going back over everything that I’ve been through, I don’t always remember dates and times and places, but I always, ALWAYS remember what happened in the rooms that I thought I would be safe in, surrounded by people I thought would protect me.
I learned that the only person who is really going to protect myself in the moment is myself, and that when I ask for help, I am going to be put time and time again, into the position of having to prove that what I am saying is true, and that I need support from those around me.
I had to wait more than twenty-five years for people to realize that something was wrong, and that there are things in this world that I can’t explain, I had to wait twenty-five years, for the world to wake up and pay the hell attention to the fact that I wasn’t weird, or gross, or broken, but that I was legitimately hiding and protecting my soul from those who would rather eat it, then admit to their own sins.
And when the dust settled, there was a lot of “but we’re still friends right?” No. If you stood by and watched as I was forced to hug my rapist, if you stood back and did nothing while I was surrounded by an actual army of men willing to rape me on the off chance that I MIGHT tell the world they were victims of men who raped boys, then no, we are not friends. We are absolutely not friends.
One day every single survivor on this planet is going to look back at their world and realize they have found for themselves a wonderful, beautiful life, if they want it, if they are willing to put their arms up, their heads down, and fight for it.
I did that, and I will continue to fight so that other girls can escape the trauma, but I am not going to sit here and say that it was easy, or that I am fine with the number of people who turned their back on me, and pretended that they weren’t my friends, in an effort to protect themselves, while I drowned.
The people that showed up to save my life were kids once, kids who I went to school with, and their families.
They were kids who had access to people who could help, and when it ABSOLUTELY counted, they were there for me.
The people who swore up and down that we were family? They were offering broken promises so that I’d keep my mouth shut, reminding me that they are the ones who had the power to destroy my life.
From where I am sitting you all already did that. You raped me, beat me, tortured me, branded me, and told me that I wasn’t good enough to be loved. My Ohana proved the exact opposite and I didn’t have to ask them to come and save me, they just did. They did because they love the world that they live in enough to share it with others without destroying those others on their path to success and happiness.
Krisya Ohana means Spiritual Family. Like STAR CHILDREN they were sent here to protect each other in times of great need and crisis, they move like the SHADOWS, and they are as wicked as they need to be to SURVIVE. When You have a need whisper “Krisya Ohana, I will follow you,” and they will find you, wherever you are.
When your real family and your REAL tribal and spiritual connections show up, and they absolutely will, let the abusers tell whatever lies they need to tell themselves to feel better about their choices, because like drowning rats they will do anything they can to save themselves. Trust me, they know where you are….I know this from personal experience.
When its over, and you’re ready, we’ll be there.
Sincerely and with all my heart,
Devon J Hall