As A Child Of Abuse, I Need All The Attention I Can Get

I’ve been thinking about this for awhile now, and I am starting to realize that I am a narcissist. I am fully aware that I spent about 99% of my time thinking about myself, my problems, my reasons for existing, and honestly? I don’t mind it.

I know that I am supposed to say that I am going to work on being “humble” or whatever, but um…why? For who? To make you more comfortable around me? No.

I talk to a lot of people during the week, and a good 60% of my time is checking in with others. Most morning one of my first tweets is usually a small mention of how I’m doing followed with “how are you this morning/afternoon/evening?” and that’s deliberate because I genuinely want to know how the people on my timeline are doing.

That being said, when I do make an effort to center myself, as I did last Sunday, there are always those people who go out of their way to tell me that I don’t deserve to be the center of attention, like Karen Unrue did last week.

I am still really angry about that, because this was an event that I’d been planning for at least four years. I worked really hard to make it even feel like something people wanted to participate in, and they did. People came, 58 people have seen that video, and the way that Karen spoke to me.

I didn’t think that three people would watch it, and so I really appreciate that this was an opportunity for me to hone my interview skills, connect with other survivors, and tell our stories our way. I am still really angry that that opportunity was turned into something where a white woman decided she needed to be the center of attention, at a girl designed for Brown girls.

What frustrates me the absolute most is the fact that I didn’t stand up for myself, I didn’t mute her, because I didn’t want to come across as the angry Black woman on screen, I wanted to be seen as a professional.

Growing up with abuse, being neglected by adults in my life, and then living with the trauma all on my own without knowing that I was living with trauma, means that as an adult I crave attention. This might not be true for every survivor, but it’s absolutely true with me and I’m okay with it.

I figure if the world didn’t want me to crave attention as an adult, then it should have treated me better as a child, since it didn’t, I am going to continue to do this mental health advocacy work so that other kids don’t feel like they have to scream from the mountains about how terrible they’ve been treated.

I want to help cultivate a world where kids were abused like I was, feel like they can speak out and I want to help ensure that there are people who are listening to them.

I’ve been thinking about what I want Loud Mouth Brown Girl to stand for, and over the last four years I’ve been exploring all the different topics that matter to me, like mental health, trauma, survival, and healing.

I’ve been trying to figure out what I want to do with all this information that I’ve both consumed and disseminated. I don’t want this to just be another blog on the internet, I want it to be the place that inspires young women to talk to their parents and their families about what they are going through.

I want young men to believe that they can pull away from the darkness in their lives to do something that benefits humanity, instead of taking from it.

I want parents to come to this side asking questions about the signs of abuse, and I want them to find the answers, and more importantly than any of that I want those who work with people who have mental health issues to understand that one size does not fit everyone.

Mental health issues ARE minute, and they are so individualized, they are different for me because I am not like anyone else that I know, even if we have similar issues or experiences, what makes sense to our brains is going to be different depending on who we are.

I want professionals to understand that statement, and accept it, because I think it’s the only way to really help those who have genuine mental health issues, instead of “bad days” where they go out and murder a bunch of people to feel better.

When I was a little girl I played the flute and I didn’t really care that I sucked on that instrument, literally, because I wasn’t passionate about it. But I AM passionate about this. About helping to make life better for people instead of worse, this is the most important mission of my life, so if that makes me a narcissist for wanting people to hear me say that it DOES and WILL get better, then so fucking be it.

I am tired of thinking that the way for us to be happy is to be small and quiet, and honestly you know all those tik tok videos where people are dancing, and singing, and making people laugh, and getting millions of likes? I fucking love it.

We need more of you out there in the world showing the world what it feels like to laugh and smile. All of you micro and major influencers are making people feel like there is something to live for in this world and I think that’s absolutely amazing. I am so proud to be a part of an internet community filled with people who want to make others feel better.

I am so proud to be a part of the world that wants to sit in the rainbow, instead of forcing others to stay in the darkness, and if that makes me a narcissist, I am completely okay with it, because I know when I’ve closed my eyes at the end of the day I’ve earned a good night’s sleep.

When I think back to all the bullies, abusers, neglectful or ignorant and racist, teachers, I think that the little girl who survived them was an amazing superhero who deserved to be treated better for no other reason than she existed.

So I figure all the work that I am doing now is in honor of her, why wouldn’t I want to celebrate the woman I am because of the girl who was? If you’re still in the “young person” phase of your life, start celebrating yourself, because you exist. And because you exist, the person who comes after you is going to change the world.

I just know it.

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall

Author: Devon J Hall

Devon J Hall is a thirty-eight-year-old Writer and Author from Surrey, British Columbia by way of Calgary Alberta. She lives with three cats, one mother, and is addicted to coffee, cigarettes, and weed, not necessarily in that order.

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