When I got home from Winnipeg, after being arrested for having a panic attack, for the first time in my life I started to habitually smoke marijuana. An interesting thing started to happen to me after that, I started getting really quiet.
During the day I would fill my time by writing or painting, drawing or dancing, but I stayed mostly quiet unless I was singing along to the songs that I was listening to.
I listened to so much music I honestly feel like I overdosed on it, because all I wanted to do was go numb. And so I became numb, and I started to listen to all the memories I had of being abused and beaten down.
I started to really think about all the things I had done to myself and to others, and I started to understand why I used to behave the way I used to behave. I started to understand the ties between my behaviour and the abuse that I had survived.
Everything in my life started to make sense once I started smoking pot, the number of people who knew what happened to me is ridiculous, too many to name, but none of them did anything to stop it. I got incredibly angry when I realized this, until I realized that I hadn’t said anything to any of them either.
People knew what was happening but like me kept their mouths shut because they were scared of what would happen if they said something. I can understand that, it doesn’t take away the fact that my life was forever altered by the choices of others, but I understand.
It also doesn’t mean I like it, it just means that I came to a place of letting go of my anger, because I had to. The anger was swallowing me whole, and I need you to understand this isn’t the same as being forgiving, it’s about letting go of the anger.
It’s about deciding that you are not going to let anger control you anymore, it’s about making a conscious decision to be your best self, despite how angry you might be.
Which by the way doesn’t invalidate your anger, it’s not about ignoring it, it’s about deciding that your anger has no power over your actions.
Dancing was a big part of that, to the point that as I’ve said before, I left bruises on my body from drumming on my legs and thighs too hard. I danced until my back hurt, I danced until I started to cry, and then I started to meditate.
In this order, I found a sense of understanding with what had happened to me, I couldn’t change what happened, but I could change the way I perceived the memories of what happened to me. Instead of seeing myself as a victim I started to see myself as a survivor of a war that I hadn’t yet begun to understand.
In my mind I became Siddha Lee Saint James, the Soldier who fought with Angels, and protected innocent people from being taken by Death. In my head I became my own superhero, and that helped.
I am nowhere near perfect, I’ve made a lot of mistakes and choices that I regret, but at the same time knowing I can’t change my past reminds me that I had a past. That no matter what the Universe threw at me I survived it, and for that there must be a reason.
I learned to accept the idea that the challenges that were thrown at me in the past were preparing me for something greater, much like this quiet time of healing, the Universe is making itself aware to me in every instance in my life.
I found peace, because I looked inside myself to understand the person I used to be, so I could accept who I can be.
I admit at first this whole process was incredibly overwhelming. Once the recovered memories started to reveal themselves I was at a complete loss of how to deal with it. Talking to myself out loud helped, even when I was walking down the street with my headphones plugged in.
I would talk about all the reasons I was frustrated or angry, either with myself or certain people, and I would listen back to everything I just said and come to realizations or understanding with my problems.
Talking out loud helps me to get my thoughts out of my head so I can understand them better, even if I don’t have anyone else to talk to, it just fucking helps. I was at the point that I didn’t care if it seemed weird or odd, I just needed to get the thoughts out of my head, once I started talking I honestly felt like I couldn’t stop.
Eventually I started yelling. I had three days where my mom was on a trip and the house was mine and mine alone. So I started yelling about all the reasons I was angry, as if the people I was angry at were standing right in front of me. I completely let loose, and I didn’t care if the neighbours complained, I just needed to let my anger out in the best healthiest possible way.
Once I got it all out, I suddenly just got quiet again. I didn’t want to paint anymore, all I wanted to do was write and so that’s what I started to do. For you it may be you want to paint or draw, but whatever it is, it will come when you’re done with the anger.
It’s this freedom that allowed me to find a sense of inner peace with myself and with who I am. I know now that I am destined to be a writer, that I am to my core a writer, it’s what I do every day, it’s all I want to do. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do, and with whatever else comes my way…well I am with peace in that too.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall