This post may contain stories or triggers memories that may be difficult for you, the reader, to consume. I apologize for that, but this website is entirely about talking about the things that we do not talk about. If you or someone you know needs help, please use this page to find a helpline phone number in your area. If you can’t find it on this list, please use any search engine in the world. You are not alone.
About a month ago I talked about a group of people who came together to change the world. To talk about the issues, to share their experience, and to learn from each other. That hasn’t ended, we’re still learning, but I came across this song, and the lyric that hit me was “We’re taking back what we lost.”
That struck a chord with me, literally, because we have all lost so much thanks to white supremacy and the patriarchy.
A year ago these were just words I heard that I didn’t fully understand, but the more that I listened the more I realized how important it was that these three words were affecting and effecting the world around me. Women everywhere were standing up. Men everywhere were crying because they too had been MeToo, but I watched as by the thousands they were being told “not your place.”
When is it a person’s place to come forward with a story of sexual assault and rape? When I was about 17, I wrote a sex story and published it on a site for sex stories, almost immediately a man messaged me and sent me an image of child porn. I sent it to the FBI.
I never went back to the site, I shut down my sexuality, and I stopped talking about sex because I was so disgusted and I felt so violated all over again. To be fair I was 17 and just trying to explore myself, in the only way I knew how…online.
After years of being sexually abused, I thought writing erotic stories was my way of taking control, but of course, I underestimated my enemy. They’re everywhere, but especially on a website devoted to sex, this wasn’t a place that harnessed sexuality in a healthy way, this was a place where the most disgusting forms of human sexuality are explored – and don’t give me that kink shame bullshit, child rape isn’t a fetish. It’s a crime.
As I got older I found safe online partners to explore with but I didn’t know how to explain what I was doing, and I didn’t know what questions to ask and I was afraid to be my full self, so when I met someone that might have made a really good teacher and partner, it was too late, I was already burned beyond what I could take, and I didn’t trust he wouldn’t bring more of the same.
What Did You Lose?
I’m saying this to say that when you talk to your kids about sex, you need to be very careful about how you speak to them about sex because they might not understand that what you’re trying to do is protect them because they can’t fathom yet, how bad it can get.
You can, because you’ve seen it. Somewhere in your history, you’ve seen some fucked up shit and as an adult, there are certain things you never want your kids to know about. I remember when a 19-year-old student came to ask me about my history, she was impressed that I was as confident as I am, but she didn’t understand what that confidence cost.
It was hours upon hours of researching sexuality, reading some of the most awful sex stories that I could fathom, so I could understand how other people see sex, and then it was years of trying to dissect why people wanted to have sex with animals or children, and years more of learning about trauma to understand how truly damaged some folks are.
You have to remember that when you’re a teenager, sex is really less about love, and connection, and about the deep spiritual remnants left behind after a sexual encounter. When you’re a teenager sex is about being cool and getting off, and that’s just a fact. Even if kids don’t see it that way. They don’t know better, because they haven’t experienced the consequences of sex yet.
When you’re a kid, sex is all hormonal, there’s no real thought into “should I or shouldn’t I?” and you think there is, but there isn’t. From the moment you’ve decided you’re going to have sex with someone, it can take a lot to pull back and see the flaws that might turn you off.
I lost my sense of self, I lost my ability to control my hormones, and I lost my sense of self-respect because I didn’t understand what was a true emotional connection, all I’d ever known was abuse, and so learning to separate abuse from love was incredibly difficult. I know how abuse feels.
I don’t know how a healthy relationship feels and that’s why I am single, it can be really debilitating to be surrounded by people who can’t fathom what you’ve been through and so opening up after the fact, can be really dangerous when you don’t know how the folks you’ll let in, will perceive who you are when they know what you’ve been through.
I lost friends, people I love, and preconceived notions, I lost the ability to hold onto the idea that I can forgive and forget and just move on from the trauma without actually having really open and honest conversations about who caused that trauma and why.
What Did You Gain?
This answer will change depending on who’s answering it, but it’s a question we all need to ask out of ourselves after we’ve had sex, especially when we’ve either been in that relationship for a very long time, or when it’s brand new. When you’re in the middle you’re still discovering what it is you’re getting out of a sexual relationship with someone, but the thing is that after abuse sex changes.
Every single day people around the world are making new discoveries about themselves, and they are finding that the encounters they had in the past weren’t necessarily as respectful as they might have been if they’d had the same understanding back then. It’s called Hindsight, and I have it in spades.
There are moments I’m completely humiliated about but I refuse to let myself feel that humiliation or hold onto it, because the person I was then, she doesn’t exist anymore.
I know who I want to be, and in becoming that person I have no need to be less of myself even when I’m too much for some people.
I am The Loud Mouth Brown Girl, and being anything less than that is being less than myself. This brand isn’t just about mental health and healing from trauma, it’s about being my authentic self even when the world tells me not to be.
There are young girls out there whispering “I wish I knew who I am,” baby it took me almost 40 years to get here, and I’m still learning. Wow. It’s a lot and it takes a long time and yes if I’d been given a choice, I’d have waited, but I wasn’t given a choice back then…now I have all the choices in the world, so I’m waiting until I’m ready. and not one moment before.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall
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