On days when I feel like shit, on days when I feel like the world is just this hard, cruel, ball of evil, floating through the universe, I get almost no work done on the brand stuff. Right now because I am not busy running a billion dollar company, I really appreciate this time to get to know myself and to work on all the junk that’s been piling up over the years.

I resent that I have to deal with this shit, but I do it because I want to get better, I want to be happier, I want to be the kind of person who isn’t brainwashed and traumatized by every moment of their past

So I appreciate the fact that I get to spend time with myself, even if and especially when, that time is spent letting the tears out, because for so many years I didn’t cry. I didn’t shed tears for the shit that I went through, and when I did, I usually forgot why I was crying in a matter of minutes.

I am watching Jessica Jones right now, and in the first few episodes we learn about Killgrave, a man who can control people with their minds. The longer he controls them, the more that they kind of lose their place in life. The more they begin to mentally deteriorate. My life was going perfectly fine, until I was forced to admit what happened.

As soon as the secrets started to come out everything started to unravel, at least when it came to my sanity at least.

There are days that I look back at what I have been through in complete and total amazement that I survived. Days when I think “why me?” are not spent thinking “why did this happen to me?” but instead are more “why did I survive this? HOW did I survive this?”

My story is very much like the ones that Oprah used to talk about on her show, it is a story that people would look at with amazement, and shock, and awe, and wonderment, if they heard the details the way that I know them to be true.

Knowing that is very strange. I’m not a famous survivor like Elizabeth Smart, but I resonate with her story because I know what it’s like to have one’s body and mind held captive.

I know what it’s like to be in a dark room, I know what it’s like to feel like the world is going to end at any time, I know what it’s like to be completely terrified that I am going to die, and that the world as I know it is going to come to an end.

But I also know what it’s like to survive, to fight with everything you have, to punch, kick, claw, and scratch, to use my voice, and to scream bloody murder if I have to.

So on days when I feel like all I want to do is get high and scream and cry, I give myself a break and I refuse to resent myself for not getting the garbage out, or not taking a shower.

Some people might say that it’s an excuse, that I’m just lazy, but given what I have survived, I realize now that I have the right to sleep all day if I fucking have to.

When your body goes through trauma, the toll it takes on your mind and soul to process everything you’ve been through, AND the fact that you have survived, feels like you’ve run a hundred back-to-back marathons in a row.

I am very much like Jessica Jones in that after everything, I don’t want to be around people. I don’t want to have connections to others because I don’t want anyone else to get hurt. I don’t want to be around people because I don’t have the energy to take care of what they need and want from me.

I’m far too busy trying to repair the damage of what was done to me, what was done to those of us who suffered at the hands of grown men who wanted to, and very much did, damage children.

We survived that by any means necessary, and on days when I get to work, when I get work done here on the site or on the clothing line, I really feel like I have accomplished a huge milestone. The fact that my shirts don’t yet come from a factor that I own isn’t a consideration, not because one day I might own my own factory, but because today of all days I am proud of the work that I have put into the world.

Today I can look at LMBG and the site, and all the branches of the tree that I am helping to grow with pride, and because I don’t get many days like that, it feels pretty damned phenomenal.

When we deal with mental health issues, we guilt ourselves enough. We shame ourselves enough, we hear the voices of our abusers over and over and over again, and we unintentionally feed that darkness because it feels comfortable. Because it feels abnormal to let ourselves feel happy.

Why should we feel happy when the world is filled with so much misery? Why should we have happiness when we’ve seen what kinds of darkness the world has to offer, when we feel like we can’t get in the fight to help?

Honestly the more that I do this website the more that I design clothes and coffee mugs to support my cannabis and healing habits, the more that I realize that in the case of rape, trauma, and sexual abuse PTSD, if we want to fight back, then we have to tell our stories.

“There was some tiny corner of my brain that tried to get out and I’m still fighting, and I won’t stop fighting. But if you give up, I lose.”

Jessica jones

When we tell other survivors that you can and will get through this, it isn’t because we want you to choose not to kill yourself. It’s not even because we believe in you, it’s because survivors need other survivors. We need to know that YOU survived, so that we can believe that WE can survive, and if you give up, then what hope is there for the rest of us?

That’s not a responsibility every survivor is prepared for and choosing to take that responsibility on is very risky because what if you can’t survive? What if you genuinely can’t hold on because you can’t find an anchor that will keep you strong enough to get through another day? another minute?

There are times when our abusers are absolutely in control, but the moment that we escape the situation wherein they put their lives in danger, we have the choice to fight back. That means taking the time to heal regardless of what other people think about our desire to get stronger.

Unlike people who are learning to reuse broken or bruised muscles, I am finding that healing the brain is very complicated. It’s not as simple as lifting weights, or going for a walk, it’s so much deeper than that because to diagnose which parts of the brain are hurting, I have to continuously go through my trauma.

When it’s my choice I am usually capable of controlling the outcome, but the moment that I no longer have control over my memories, is the moment that I become overwhelmed and completely afraid that I am going to lose all sense of reality again.

That’s a really scary place to be when you’re alone without anyone to call out to for help, especially when you’re stubborn and refuse to ask for help when you need it. I try to save my calls for help for emergencies, but sometimes that doesn’t happen, sometimes I can’t control my need to ask others for help, and then they get resentful because it seems that I am taking too much and giving too little.

And so I stay isolated, because it’s just easier than trying to open old wounds to explain “this is why I am.”

It takes very special kinds of people who are willing to put up with the damage that I have been through, largely because they just aren’t equipped to dealing with people who are as deeply integrated with trauma as I am.

Knowing that adds another level of responsibility that I wasn’t prepared for when this all started, but the more that I that I become comfortable with who I am, instead of who I feel like I am supposed to be, the more that I am starting to recognize that there are a lot of survival skills that I didn’t know I had.

Learning to identify them is a learning curve for sure, but its one that I appreciate the time I have now, to get used to them. It’s like learning what your super powers are, there’s a time and a place to use what you know, and learning that is another level that I wasn’t prepared for.

The problem with surviving PTSD is that there isn’t a single book out there that gives you a 1, 2, and 3, listed selection of rules that will help you survive, and even if there is a list, that doesn’t mean that someone else’s lessons are going to work for you.

A lot of this mental health stuff is like stumbling around in the dark while hoping that you don’t flip off a cliff against your will, but the more that you climb, the closer to the top you get, and that’s a feeling that amount of money or toys will give you.

That all being said I posted 3 brand new collections in the shop today and I have to tell you that I really like the designs that I came up with. I think they’re cool and beautiful and if I had the money I’d order one of each for myself, so if you’re interested hit the link below and let me know what you think in the comments.

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall

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