I’ve been thinking about people. Specifically the kind of people that treat you one way one moment, and then treat you a different way the next.

When I first started smoking weed, I held onto this idea that I loved the people in my past, with an iron fist. I convinced myself that if I loved them, then they loved me, and that nothing could come between our “bond”. I believed this shit for years.

The reality however is that none of us were truly capable of love, because we were all steeped in our own pain. We were all stuck in our own versions of a mind scape hell, where we were fucking miserable, all the time, but we couldn’t escape, either the mind scape, or each other.

For me, breaking that pattern meant having a nervous break down, it wasn’t until the last couple of months that I realized that I couldn’t possibly have loved the people in my past, because if I had, I would have taken more care of those relationships.

I would have fixed my shit, and focused less on my own needs and wants, and more on doing what I claimed to be doing, which was helping others. I was really selfish in my past life, and yes I did a lot of good to help others, but mostly it was because I had nothing better to do.

Which isn’t to say that I didn’t care, because I did, I was good at my job, but in my personal life? I wasn’t that great at letting people be a part of my life, nor was I good at keeping up with being a part of their lives.

I just wasn’t a good human, because I still had all these parts of myself that I hadn’t fully acknowledged yet. I was in short, an asshole.

Now I look back and I see my past behavior was one giant trauma response, but I didn’t understand that at the time, so I came across as more selfish and less helpful, more lazy and less interested.

I didn’t realize that I wasn’t just an asshole, I had deep seeded emotional issues that came from being gang raped twice at that point.

From being tortured and abused by men who claimed to be something they weren’t, in an effort to keep me quiet.

All those years that I held all of that shit in, it started to pile up and surround me in ways that really forced me to learn how to function in a certain way that was completely contrary to how the average person lives their lives.

Rather than deal with my problems, I found ways to avoid them at all costs, everything from cleaning the house, to arguments with friends, was a big dramatic event in my life.

It hit me tonight, that I used to be a very clean person, but I didn’t really start becoming messy until I was in my teens, after I’d been gang raped the first time.

Being messy is a trauma response for me – my rapists were big on cleanliness, because evidence, and thus if my room was a mess, they couldn’t come in. That’s what I convinced myself. I am still working on unraveling that pile of bullshit.

Everything in my life, everything that I am as a human being, is wrapped around being traumatized.

Whether it was by Doctors who medicated me to “fix whatever was wrong with me” their words not mine, or bully’s taking my picture because ill fitting bra, or rapists. Everything I am, exists as it does, because I was abused to the degrees that I was abused by.

It’s gotten to the point where I don’t say I love you, unless I really and truly mean it, because I used to say it as a trauma response.

I remember looking up at one of my rapists, I was about to pass out and I whispered “I love you”, I was talking to God, but he thought I was talking to him.

I thought I was going to die, because that’s how painful what he was doing was – and I won’t get into the what because I don’t want to trigger people, it was bad.

It was very bad. It was torture.

Now when I say I love you I mean it, but for almost twenty years “I love you” really meant “please don’t hurt me anymore.”

For the longest time I didn’t have a love language, because I didn’t know what love meant. I’ve never really been loved before. Sure by my mom, but no one outside my immediate family has ever shown me what love looks like. Except a few special authors.

We think we want what we see, when we’re on the outside of love. I mean this moment here is beautiful;

But the reality of the situation is that this is just the outside. We’re seeing chaos all around them as they make out in the center of a riot. Cute, adorable, and romantic, but not the reality of their situation. You think they don’t have disagreements and fights? Think they don’t get frustrated with each other and say things they don’t mean? I genuinely wonder if they got their happily ever after, and while I hope so I doubt it.

I stopped believing in Happily Ever After years ago. When I saw what “Wifey” looks like, when I heard the rumors of stolen money and broken hearts, when I saw the way that drugs destroy everything about who a person could be, by replacing them with a cockroach version of themselves.

I saw the reality of everything that “love” does when you claim you want to be “Ride or Die” but really just want to be “Ride until something better comes along.”

Needless to say the examples of love that I saw in real life didn’t compare to the love that I found in books. That’s why I fell in love with reading. It helped me to see what could exist, if one decided they wanted to do the work to find the love behind the stone.

The problem is however, especially lately, people have been asking me who I want to spend the rest of my life with. It’s a question that has come up a lot in meditation too, and the answer is “I don’t want to be with anyone,” and I know it’s because I don’t trust love.

The last person to tell me he loved me, killed our unborn child, whether he meant to or not is irrelevant, he contributed to the death of my unborn baby.

The last person to tell me he loved me, smashed his head into the side of a bus shelter ten seconds after the first time he said the word. That doesn’t scream I love you. I said it back because it felt like the right thing to do, and before I knew it, it became a habit, but it wasn’t the truth.

Sorry that’s a lie, that was the first person to tell me he loved me. The last person to tell me he loved me, was the same guy who told me to suck his dick, the night I was gang raped, prior to me losing my shit and screaming like a banshee, which forced him to leave without getting his precious blow job.

Several days or weeks later he told me he loved me. These are the examples that I’ve had of love, so how can I ever trust that I am going to recognize real love when I see it? How am I going to know that when I find real love I can trust it?

I can’t, so I’d rather avoid it, if I can, because it just feels easier that way and right now, I feel deeply the need to be left the hell alone.

This is another trauma response. It’s something that I am working on, but I have learned that if it’s not people in my immediate family, I grow physically exhausted of being around people at all.

I am finding that the more that I work from home, I am getting more afraid of leaving my house. I wake up every single day, being completely shocked and surprised that I am still alive.

I wait until I fall asleep every single night, to hear the sound of someone kicking in my door, or someone climbing through my window. I sleep with knives hidden around the house just in case something happens. I have my phone with me twenty four hours a day.

I live in absolute and complete paranoid fear, and while it could be said that it’s because of the marijuana, the most likely option is that it is from being systematically, physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted, from being bullied and raped my entire fucking life.

This isn’t to say however, that my behavior is not my fault, it’s trauma response, and I respect that, and I understand that sometimes I need to shout at the roof tops to express what I am feeling, but I also understand that these behaviors, these fears that I live with, can scare other people.

All I can say is that it’s no picnic for me, but I am working on my behavior. What I need is for the people who want to be a part of my life, to express understanding and kindness, by reading up on things like trauma response and life after abuse.

What I need is to not have to explain to people that I was sexually abused most of my life. What I need, honestly, is time to heal.

How many of you feel the same way? I’d love to hear about your experiences with trauma response so please consider joining the discussion in the comments below.

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall

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