Years ago a former friend that I have 0 interest in having in my life again, told me that I wasn’t an artist. I don’t know if he was trying to be mean, but I do know that it hit a note inside of me that never quite sat well.

For years I have been unraveling the years of brainwashing that came with…well actually being brainwashed, and tortured and also from the other kinds of abuse and trauma that I didn’t really know that I was dealing with.

Over the last two years I opened up a book that I thought I was going to use as my Book of Shadows, and then I started drawing.

For the first time in years I have been drawing all kinds of things in this book, and on other books, not realizing that as I was drawing I was replaying the memories of adventures that I’d had in my dreams, through time and space.

I thought I would share some of those drawings with you guys because you have been such a big part of my journey these last seven or eight years. Even before I started this blog many of you followed me on twitter or were a part of my real physical life, and a lot of what I have been thinking about lately is woven into the colors and the strokes of the pen in these drawings.

To the outside observer they may not appear to be great works of art but woven into every stroke of these pieces is the story or parts of the story, about what happened to me and that is such a freeing thing for me to say.

There is a lot that I don’t talk about a lot that I don’t say about what happened publicly, largely because I am afraid to say what I’ve -really- been through, but I have found over the last couple of days I have been able to say, hear, or say, the things that I’ve either been holding back or that I haven’t been able to explain.

For a lot of years I wasn’t allowed to draw, I mean I genuinely could not bring myself to put pen to page not even to doodle and now that I can I find it to be incredibly addicting. I’d like to get stronger as an artist and maybe take a class or two, but mostly I just want to get all the stuff in my head out of my head, so that I can make room for beautiful adventures and lovely relationships that aren’t filled with drama and trauma.

When it comes to my mental health I take the practice of finding my real true inner Devon, very seriously, and I am starting to realize just how much junk she is buried under, largely because for years I was stuck listening to those wanted me to be small and little, so that they could be big.

Now that I am starting to rediscover how much of myself I forgot that I had inside, or worse, how much of who I was meant to be was taken away from me I am starting to find that each day brings me closer to regaining the strength that I need to fight back and take those parts of myself back from my abusers.

I am starting to realize that not all of my abusers were men. Plenty of them were women disguised as friends, who went out of their way to shame me for doing the same things that the did, because of the where, or because I wasn’t them, and there for I deserved to be treated with less respect, because…Brown. Because not as informed, because not as controlled as they were.

I made a lot of mistakes in my past, but a lot of those mistakes were the mistakes of a child who had been raped, beaten, tortured, and abused, and genuinely didn’t know any better.

Now that I do know better, I look back at a lot of those mistakes and laugh, but I look back at others and feel more ashamed than I should be, because other people expect, want, and need me, to feel ashamed, when I really shouldn’t have to.

I’ve grown up a lot in the last few days and that’s only because the parts of myself that I’ve been holding back are kicking down doors so that I can set myself free from who I used to be, so that I can become the person that I want to be.

Drawing and getting stoned a huge part of me connecting with my childhood self again and I highly recommend it for anyone who is dealing with severe to complex trauma.

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall

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