I knew from the moment that I decided to speak out against gang culture in Surrey British Columbia, that the majority of this decision would mean that the consequence would be me saying goodbye – publically to all the people I used to call friends.
There are certain people in this world that I would genuinely have died for – and very nearly I almost did. That doesn’t take away the sting of knowing it took more than thirty years for all the horrible and awful truths to come out and now I am just tired.
There are people who genuinely think that we can just “go back” to the way that life was, but the problem is that that life nearly got me murdered.
I have no interest in going through life alone forever, but I am so tender and so raw that the idea of letting anyone in and trusting them feels like putting a knife in my own gut.
“Stab the body and it heals, but injure the heart and the wound lasts a lifetime.”― Mineko Iwasaki
I am watching Selling Sunset right now and while I haven’t kept up with the public drama I have watched the entire show up to the new season. I’m watching these powerful, wise, successful women decide, that they no longer want to be friends with someone that made them feel bad about themselves and all I can think is “I want that strength.”
I feel like I’ve been thrown down a cliff, and the same people who threw me down and watched me roll and fall, are the same people who are now trying to say they are sorry, and I just don’t care. I just want to get out of this space where every day is about me dealing with trauma, and move into the part where I am a successful writer.
I can’t think straight about my future. I used to have all these fantastical dreams about what I wanted for my future, and today when I woke up I just kept deciding to roll over and try to go back to sleep.
I know that I am failing in many, many areas right now, but I also know that adding people to my life that stood back and watched as I was ridiculed, made fun of, and emotionally abused by those I care about, is absolutely not an option.
Yesterday I was meditating and it occurred to me that many of the people in my past spent time building a hot stove, and I’ve already burned my hand on that stove. I don’t need to do it again.
It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt. I went on this great adventure of self-discovery and not a single person that I thought would be here is. I am being introduced to new people all the time that are showing me what love really looks like and it’s so different than what I had in the past.
“I could never HURT him enough to make his betrayal STOP hurting. And it hurts, in EVERY part of my body.”
― Veronica Roth, Insurgent
When Paul Revere let the people know that the British were coming, I imagine that when he finally warned every last townsperson he collapsed in exhaustion.
That’s how I feel. I’ve been openly, and publically telling my truth for six years, and FINALLY, people are starting to look at me, what I’ve written, how I behaved, and realize that I WAS in fact telling the truth.
A lot of people’s lives were saved, because of what I went through – and I do not say that lightly. I mean it literally. And now? I just don’t care.
Trauma wipes you out. It rips your brain, your heart, and your soul apart. When you find people who become like a bandaid for the trauma that you’ve been through, it’s easy to throw yourself into the relationship you build with them and completely forget what you’ve been through. They become like salve.
That behavior can push a lot of people away, and so I’ve learned to become someone who prefers independence as much as I can get it. The idea of letting someone in – anyone – who doesn’t know what I’ve been through, is very difficult for me. That’s precisely why this website exists.
I want other survivors and victims to know what it takes to come forward, but I also want normies to understand too. Friendships, dating relationships, all kinds of relationships take work, and right now I just don’t have anything to give. I am burned out on talking about what happened to me, but I’ve been doing it so long that I don’t know what else to talk about.
I don’t want to scare you from trying new things or having new adventures after trauma because you absolutely should, but if you can’t, if all you’re capable of doing is staring at the television, or out the window, or curling up in bed and crying, I just want you to know I hear you.
I know that the future ahead is bright, but right now, the reason that I’m so calm about the truth coming out is that I’m not surprised. I always knew it would because the truth always does. If there is one thing that is absolute about the universe is that when it’s time, all things unfold.
The fact that it took so long for people to catch up, fills me with bitterness. The words “I told you so,” have no meaning in my life anymore. When people from my past apologize for not speaking up or not acknowledging the truth of what happened, I struggle not to roll my eyes.
Turn about is absolute fair play, but I’m not interested in that game. There are a lot of people from around the country who came to my aid, who helped me tell the truth, and who helped me show the people of my past what happened.
I don’t remember them all, but I remember some of the people and I will never forget that they saved my life.
But I’m too tired to give more than that. When people come to you with their survivor stories and you tell them that they are crazy, lazy, and psychotic, you destroy what little strength they have left.
Suddenly EVERYONE cares, SUDDENLY it’s COOL to love me AGAIN because NOW the truth has come OUT. It’s ACCEPTABLE to support me while IGNORING the damage you CAUSED.―Devon J Hall
It wasn’t just my body that was violated. It was my mind and my soul, I lost friends, I disconnected from family members, and I was completely isolated while those I thought I loved talked behind my back, spread rumors, and said nothing when they heard what they knew was full-on bullshit.
Because so many people made the decision to think I was crazy when this all started, I no longer feel the need to care now.
You took from me, for so long, and I gave willingly because I wanted and needed to be loved. I no longer need other people to love me because I love myself enough for myself.
If you want me to move past what happened, then let me go. Let me discover this new version of myself without your interruption and if Destiny brings us back together so be it, but if she chooses not to – and I pretty much hope she does choose not to – then have your life. Have whatever life you need to live, so you can live with what you did.
Devon J Hall