So yesterday I saw my life coach, and we talked about what I want to do moving forward. I have a lot of projects on the go and as I’ve mentioned in previous posts I’m a little insecure about whether or not I’m going to pull them off successfully, but that’s because I haven’t really decided what to expect.

Only one or two people have got tickets to The Goddess Sessions, but in the meantime, I also know that there are several weeks before the show takes off. I’m still not entirely sure what the format is going to look like, because we haven’t had a chance to talk about it, so that’s nerve-wracking.

Then there’s the workshop that I’m building for Mental Health Content Creators with Kendra Vyse, who is an amazing Certified Accountant, and I’m excited, but I’m nervous because I haven’t done programming in six or seven years, so building the content is going to be difficult and scary but I know it’s the best thing for me to do after nearly twenty years being a blogger and five trying to make a go at it professionally.

If someone had told me – actually someone did tell me five years ago I was going to start an anti-rape website, and I didn’t believe him, turns out he was right.

As a woman of color with unfinished high school education, it’s hard to remind me that I am an authority on mental health – at the very least my own – and eighteen years working with people who have their own mental health issues.

It’s hard to remind myself that I deserve to be happy because for so long I was convinced that God hated me, a lot of that came from the brainwashing, but some of it was the way that God was introduced into my life. Now I’m trying to have a new relationship with “the Gods and Goddesses,” but it’s difficult when I am so angry at them.

And yes, I understand the ridiculousness of being angry and pissed off at the ancestors for the behavior of their descendants, but I am.

There is so much I still don’t know about why I was chosen so many times to be a victim, and I try to take heart in the fact that Tyler Perry for all the perceived faults of the public fans, had his own story that he overcame that included many acts of abusive behavior by other people.

I try to take heart with the knowledge that I am not the only one. Not many people come forward with so many stories like I and he and some few others I don’t even know yet, have done, and so it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that I am alone.

It’s not so often now, but every once in a while I revel in the fact that I am still alive because I am still so shocked. Shock is something I thought would go away but it absolutely hasn’t. I’m still reminded on a regular if not daily basis, that I was very nearly murdered on purpose, by very evil people.

It’s scary for others to hear that, but that fear that you’re feeling reading this doesn’t even come close to having had to survive it all, often alone, because too many people are too shocked to hear the details the first time.

In order to get counseling for what happened to me, they told me that i had to file a report, and that report included detailing 30 years of abuse, when I was finished they came back to me and told me that I had to do it again because the details weren’t clear enough. I couldn’t face going through it all again, so I didn’t.

My goal is to make sure that I can make enough money one day to help fund programs so that women don’t have to detail their abuse in order to get counseling, in order to make sure that safe spaces are free, ethical, honest, and safe.

Having to repeat your story over and over and over again, without any aftercare, is a scary experience for many victims and survivors, and I want to be a part of creating communities that take that aspect out of asking for help.

People should tell their stories when they’re ready, I’m ready for counseling, but I’m not ready to tell ONE MORE PERSON, all the horrible details over and over again.

I went from being someone who was expected to have answers that could help save lives, to being someone who suddenly had 0 answers, who was lost in a shit storm of the chaos of memories I had deliberately buried so that I wouldn’t have to deal with them.

My body, mind, and soul, worked together, to force me to deal with the memories, and yeah the shock of it all hasn’t worn off.

I feel like I fell off the side of the mountain, climbed back to the top, and now I’m just afraid to fall back down again, but this time I am doing the work to make sure that I have the kind of support system that I need, so that if I do trip up and fall again, I’ll have people to help make sure that I won’t fall too far.

It’s hard to come back from trauma and severe PTSD, especially when you have everyone watching you, but I have no one to blame because I put this spotlight, small as it might seem to some, on myself. I asked for the world to hear me, and so many amazing people from America to Japan, England to Scotland have heard me, and everywhere in between. It’s pretty cool to know that I am NOT in fact alone.

I feel responsibilities, by no one’s fault but my own, to prove that it can be done, just so that I can shift my focus from talking about myself to helping others, and the only reason that I’m writing about this, so that I never forget, that there was a time when I felt like I was being crushed from the inside out too.

I have a lot to do but I’m still focusing on the thing that is easiest right now, because hte pressure is abit of a lot. People expect others to heal from mental health with the snap of a pair of fingers, but it can take entire lifetimes, and even still some of the traumas never go away I’m told.

The thing that keeps me going is the excitement I’ll have when I get to say that I’ve accomplished my goals. That being said, I am applying for a course I took a few years ago, through a local program to help me refresh my old skills so that I make sure that when I do these projects, I am fully re-educated on HOW to accomplish my goals.

I don’t see this as going backward, I see taking this course again if I get in, as a way to make sure that I concrete what I know so that I am prepared to do the best job possible.

Leaning on old mentors like Kathleen Burke from the Beedy School of Business, and Dr. Marchbank from SFU or new ones like Jessika Houston is important to me because I never want to forget that these are the women that helped me get where I am today so in the spirit of appreciation for what is to come,

I am sending all my love to the warrior women out there, battling whatever challenges come their way with as much grace as they have to offer, however large or little it may feel.

Devon J Hall

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