It’s not that I don’t think that I will find good people to have in my life, it’s not that I don’t believe that I am worthy of love and devotion, honesty and all the wonderful things that come with being in relationships. I believe I deserve every good thing the world has to offer, but the thing is…I’ve become skeptical in my old age.

I am skeptical of new people in my life, I am skeptical of anyone who even remotely resembles people that I used to know, and in that skepticism, I am starting to worry that I might be kicking out really good people, in order to prevent myself from getting hurt again, which is an absolutely natural reaction to being abused.

I’m happier than I’ve ever been in my entire life, I’ve just published a book, and the world is my oyster. When I think about where I am now versus where I was five years ago I realize the thing that was holding me back wasn’t even necessarily the people in my life, but the absolute fear that I couldn’t become anything more than I was.

Fear kept me from remembering that I had dreams worth following, fear kept me from being honest about where I was going and what I was doing. Fear absolutely kept me surrounded by people that didn’t understand who I wanted to be because they were in situations that were just as toxic as my own.

These days, people seem to think that standing up for myself equates to me being a bitch…I’m utterly okay with that. I’d rather be called an Angry Black Bitch than ever allow the same kinds of people to tear me down little by little ever again.

You know the film where the heroine builds a business from the ground up but sacrifices everything about her life and ends up dying alone? Yeah, I don’t want to be like that when I grow up. I want my life to be filled with good friends and laughter, love, and joy, and that means I have to do some work on myself.

It’s not just my anger I’m concerned with though, which is incredible when I really let go, but also the fact that I am not a very good judge of character, because I always want to give people a second and third and fourth chance.

I will never forget, trying to reach out to someone I considered to be my best friend, for help. I was preparing to explain to her how I was in the wrong, and that I needed her help to get better. She snapped at me and told me I never ask for help, which was ironic because that’s what I was trying to do. That’s what at the core, ruined our friendship because I realized she was never going to be the kind of person that I could be truly vulnerable with.

The end of that friendship is what helped me to cut ties with everyone and everything I knew, it’s what convinced me to start volunteering at the radio station and to start learning to do all the things I’ve always wanted to do. While the experience at the station wasn’t the best, it was by no means the absolute worst thing I have ever been through either.

It wasn’t the right place for me, but unlike I might have in the past, I didn’t find that devastating, I was just happy that I’d had the experience. I wouldn’t go back by any means, but that’s because I have a rule of only doing the things that bring joy to my heart and I never felt fully welcomed there.

I am no longer introducing myself to situations where I do not feel safe or comfortable. I am no longer putting myself in the position of forgiving people who really at the end of the day don’t care about my forgiveness.

I am learning to love myself and to be aware of the fact that just because people say they want to be in your life or part of your Krisya Ohana, doesn’t mean that they deserve to, or that they belong in your Krisya Ohana.

That’s okay, they don’t all have to fit into your tribe/family/social circle. They don’t all have to fit into your life.

Learning to stand up for yourself is important, the problem for me is that I don’t usually do it until I get incredibly angry, and it takes me a long time to get to that place.

I can put up with a lot of garbage before I’ve had enough, and once I have all bets are off.

Forgiveness is a null point because by the time I finally find the strength to get angry, I don’t feel like being forgiving.

Last week I was actually really proud of myself for setting a boundary with my Psych Nurse, I had told her 3 separate times that I did not want to apply for government-funded counseling again. I’ve been down that route too many times.

3 times she essentially ignored me and I had to say to her flat out “I’m setting a boundary because you aren’t listening.” That was a big moment for me because I am not used to setting boundaries for myself…but I am especially not used to doing it for others.

I believe that I will find good people to sit at my table, just as I am confident that some of those people will try to use me to get their own way and provide for themselves. I’m okay with that because I know how to recognize them now and I know what to share and what to keep to myself.

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall


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