Years ago a former – and I do mean former – friend, who worked in a bookstore recommended The Hunger Games, for me to read. Both of us practiced different forms of the Craft, and so we spent a great deal of our time together discussing books and shows that tried to emulate the life of majick and mystical worlds.
The Hunger Games have haunted me for a very long time, largely because I had told this friend after reading the first offering in the series, that I felt like I had been there.
I feel a very similar connection to the Divergent series, although unlike The Hunger Games, I don’t feel like I could have lived in a world like that. The Hunger Games tickled my imagination so deeply that one night I was dreaming that I was Peta, I woke up in the middle of the night feeling like I was having a heart attack.
I couldn’t breath, my heart was pounding, and right above my heart, I had the absolute worst chest pain. My left arm felt like someone was dissecting it without any pain medication, and I honestly felt like I was going to die.
I’ve never talked about this before, because no literary work of art has ever affected me this way before.
I had also had a dream where I was in Heaven, standing around with a group of Gods and Goddesses from different Pantheons, I had told them that I wanted to learn about the universe in ways that no one ever had before. I could see Hera, Apollo, Hecate, Thor, Zeus and so many others, and I had the overwhelming feeling that no one was ever going to believe me.
“Put her in the Hunger Games,” Hecate said, and I know it was Hecate because she was dressed all in black with long flowing hair, and no crown on her head, there was an overwhelming sense of fear when I would look at her in this dream, or vision, or whatever you wanted to call it.
I could feel the power coming off of her the way that music hits your skin when you’re high on ecstasy.
There are days when I think back to those dreams about The Hunger Games in fear, and the irony is not lost on me.
At it’s core, The Hunger Games are about an entire society using children as weapons against itself, in order to maintain the order and control that they have gotten comfortable with. Who would understand that world better than a victim of childhood sexual abuse and trauma?
For the last four years, I have spent time trying to unravel the past pages of my life, so that I can start to understand where everything went wrong. I am trying to understand how it is that I allowed myself to be surrounded by so much darkness, when all I wanted to do as a child, was to learn about the world, so that I could teach others in the world what I had learned.
I don’t see Loud Mouth Brown Girl as a teaching tool, I see it as a record of what was, what is, and what is to be.
I don’t talk about my dreams often, not because they are prophetic, but because they scare me. They are deeply personal, and filled with representations of all my fears, my insecurities, and my inabilities.
My dreams are filled with truths that I am not ready to address yet, as many of you can understand.
Today was a hard day because after the battle with Karen, I had to really sit here and think about what the fuck it is that I am doing here. I don’t want to be a drama queen anymore, I want to write about the world, in a variety of amazing and amusing ways. I want to find my ability to laugh again, but like Katniss in the days after the fall of the ruling regime, I am finding that all I want is peace.
I want to lick my wounds in peace, and heal from the trauma caused by this world, not just other people, but places, and things too.
There are a lot of people out there who want me to be ashamed of what I did to survive some of the most difficult years of my life. They use my former hyper-sexual behavior as a way to tell me that I should be disgusted with who I am now.
“You got raped and then you fucked a bunch of guys….you’re a whore.”
No, I’m not.
No explanation should be needed, but for those who do need one, here it is.
All those years I was on the battle field so to speak, being raped, molested, and sexually abused, by pretty much every man in my life with the exception of a close few, I was alone. I had no real friends that I could depend on, and the friends that I thought were real, turned their backs on me when shit got hard, or blamed me for shit that wasn’t my fault.
There are at least 30 people out there right now in the streets of my hometown spreading lies, rumors, and misconceptions about me, even as they fully admit to themselves, and others, that they don’t actually know who I am.
I’ve had friends steal tattoo ideas, boyfriends, book ideas, wishes that I’ve wanted my whole life, just because it was something that “I” wanted.
This isn’t because I am special or somehow better than other people, it’s because there are a lot of jealous selfish miserable people out there in the world, and I seem to attract them like a fucking magnet.
I didn’t choose to be born Brown, no matter what the universe might decide. I didn’t choose to be broke, and uneducated, I didn’t choose to be a victim of abuse and trauma, and yet here I am trying to make lemonade out of poison.
I don’t like that this has been my experience on this earth, but it has been MY experience, and sitting on my couch, hearing the rumors, the lies, the innuendos about what I’ve been through has been really frustrating.
Made more so by my former friend Karen Unrue not only using the N-word in a private conversation after hearing the darkest parts of my story, knowing it would be a trigger, but then continuing the abuse by publicly trashing my first ever event while on a livestream as if she thought she could get away with such terrible, rude, vile, behavior.
Made only worse I might add, by her doubling down on her decision to be a jerk, by saying that I am the one being hateful, instead of acknowledging that she could have done, and should have done, better.
Today of all days I realize that I am feeling empowered, because I am really angry mostly at myself, for not calling her out on her behavior on the record. Had I been smart I would have used the opportunity on livestream, to tear her down a strip and put her in her place, but instead I chose to go the higher route and give her the space to show her true self.
In return I have been called hateful, spiteful, a moron, and told that I should just keep my mouth shut because “she only said it in private, and it was just a whisper.”
I don’t give a fuck how loud or how quietly you use the word, the N-word is a vicious trigger for billions of colored folk around the world and she knew that. She didn’t and does not care about how her behavior affected me, all she cares about is painting me the bad guy to her thousands of followers in hopes that I will go away quietly.
My rapists expected that too, and four years later I am still here talking about the abuse that we experienced as children, so as to make sure that it never happens again.
When I think about The Hunger Games, I think about children being sent off to war to face an enemy that they don’t fully comprehend until they leave the eye of the storm to shift and grow and evolve into creatures that can see the larger, fuller, picture of what it is they are facing.
Looking back at my life I see a lot of people who are as threatened now by my existence as they were then, and I can’t help but laugh because I never really wanted to be a threat, I just wanted to exist in a world that I had hoped would inspire me to be the best version of myself.
When I was 13 my mom bought me The Spice Girls debut album and a matching poster, I ripped it up and screamed at her, because I knew then that The Spice Girls represented something that I was never going to be allowed to be.
Each of the women had their niche, each of the women had their style, they had their own face, and they had their own way of moving. Unlike those women who yes were distinctly packaged to appeal to girls like me, I was just the Brown girl. The girl who was constantly being touched and examined by the hands of mostly white men, who didn’t understand, know, or care, how to keep their fucking hands, to their God damned selves.
Now that I am 38, I am as Maxine Waters coined the phrase, reclaiming my time. I am doing whatever the hell I want to do, on my terms and I am not asking for permission. This is my body, my mind, my soul, and no one is allowed access to it without my permission.
Those who choose to cross my boundaries without respecting how that behavior is going to make me feel, are going to face the consequences of their actions, and if I have to spend my time here slapping at grown ass white women who think they can do whatever they want and get away with it, because they are white women with more than forty-thousand followers, then that is what the hell I am going to do.
I am not going to go back to being silent, just because it makes it easier on you. I faced a lot of battles, and the enemies weapon of choice was sexual abuse. As much as I want to sit down and rest, catch my breath, and learn to breath again, unfortunately, white women like Karen Unrue are not going to make that easy for me.
There are a lot of things you can say about me, but “hateful” is not one of them. I hate what my rapists did to me, but I don’t hate them as human beings so if I don’t hate my rapists, I certainly don’t hate rude, offensive, badly behaved white women on Twitter.
For the rest of my life, there will always be people challenging my identity as the Loud Mouth Brown Girl, my right to the title, and my decision to speak out against the people who want me to feel less than I am, so that they can feel bigger than they are.
That’s fine. I am completely prepared for that. Are you?
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall