I woke up at three thirty in the morning, and while I tried genuinely to go back to sleep, I also realized that tonight was just not going to be a night when I got a good nights sleep.
Probably because earlier yesterday I did an interview about my life, and I had to share things that I wouldn’t have ordinarily, if it wasn’t about ensuring that my story got into the hands of people who have the power to make a difference in their lives, and the lives of others.
That’s how I am framing it. I did what I did, because I was trying to help others, but it has a cost.
Every time I share my story I have nightmares, and I get scared, and I get afraid that they are going to come back and kick down my door and kill me, for talking about what happened to us as kids.
So what do you do in the middle of the night when the thoughts and the nightmares get to be too much? You do the fucking work.
For me the work helps, the writing, the sharing, the talking about what I am going through helps, because I know for a fact that I am not the only person in the world having a hard time sleeping right now.
I can almost hear them, the others. Crying out for God, wondering why they’re being punished, asking the God’s what they did to deserve the pain they are experiencing.
I know they exist, because I am one of them. I am one of the people wondering why God hated me for so long, why God left me to suffer alone, wondering what I did to offend God so much. Until I remember that it wasn’t God that raped me, it wasn’t God that took advantage of my memory issues, and it certainly wasn’t God that forced me to have sex with other kids against my will.
Men did that.
So when it happens that I can’t sleep, that the memories get to be too much, I have a cup of coffee, and I sit down to do the work.
Sometimes it means connecting and networking, and other times it means writing, but it always means doing the work that I need to do so that I can push myself forward.
I am going to be on a few podcasts this month and next, and I am excited about the potential opportunities that are going to come my way. I am excited about this new audience that I am reaching out to. I am excited about the possibility of proving that everything I am doing has merit.
Tonight around four am, someone told me that they read I Found My Place In The World three times. That makes me feel so humbled, and honored. I love that my writing has inspired people. I love that what I am doing helps them to believe that “I” have something worthy of being heard, and that it’s helping them grow.
Connecting with friends from around the world helps. All of it works together to help keep me sane, and reminds me that I am not alone in the world.
That doesn’t mean that it’s not difficult however, or that I wouldn’t rather be sleeping, if I could.
Tonight’s memories were particularly difficult, because rather than just remembering, I woke up thinking that I’d made it all up and that’s the worst.
When the work doesn’t work, I go to Facebook games. I am genuinely worried about what will happen when I don’t have that as an outlet, because games like Coral Isle and Angry Birds have been a brain saver when it comes to distracting my mind from the negativity.
Distraction isn’t the only way to deal with annoying memories, but it’s the best possible way for me to find ways to deal with some of the negativity that comes my way. I know that there will be times I tell my story and nothing bad happens, and I know there will be days when I am so triggered I don’t know how to survive, but I also know that no matter what happens I will get through it.
Nightmares, triggers, and frustrations that come with sharing my story are new to me, I’ve never been the kind of person who openly dealt with these issues before, and so it’s scary to be so open and vulnerable. I do it because I can’t hold onto it anymore.
Have you ever over filled a water balloon? it’s like that, when the balloon gets too full it explodes, I have already exploded. I don’t want to do that again, so this time around when I am feeling overwhelmed I talk about it, because it helps.
I’ve put my hand on the stove, I’ve done the explosions, I’ve done the freak outs, and they aren’t fun. They’re satisfying, but they aren’t fun, and so to prevent that I am focused on doing whatever I can to make sure I never get that overwhelmed again.
When the nightmares come, I have tips, tricks, and tools, to help me deal and organize my thoughts into a more productive version of myself. What do you do that helps you?
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall