It Starts With Saying No, To All The Things That Disrupt Your Peace

I’ve been up since about twenty after three in the morning, and I’ve had a lot of thoughts inside my head. When I first woke up and went to the bathroom, I genuinely thought I could go back to bed and just sleep it off, sleep off all the annoying three and four am thoughts I was having. But then I made a decision. I decided I could lay in bed and let the guilt, shame, anxiety, and depression wash over me, or I could get up and distract myself and put my efforts into writing a blog post, so that I could feel pride, joy, and success, instead.

I’ve been thinking about the fact that I am happy to be here, in this moment, and because I do genuinely want to be known around the world as The Loud Mouth Brown Girl, I keep thinking about all those questions hat celebrities get asked.

I’ve also been thinking about my podcast, and I realized that one of the reasons that I like it so much, is that the people that I have had the honor of interviewing, are all people that I genuinely consider friends. They aren’t famous, and they aren’t politician’s, but they are people who have learned some lessons about life, trauma, healing, and moving forward.

Those are the kinds of people that I want to surround myself with, those are the kinds of people that inspire me, because all those years that I feel like I was hiking through the jungle all alone, there were people who were going through the same kind of jungle also feeling alone.

For years I looked at my life like it was a battle, just trying to get from one day to the next, too afraid to hope for more or desire more than what I was given. “I guess I’ll do this because I have nothing better to do,” became my way of surviving the jungle.

Like looking for food, or building a fire, my life consisted only of doing what I HAD to do, to survive, which means that I missed out on a lot of things that would have enhanced the kind of life I am living now.

Sure, where I am now is where I want to be now, but only because where I am now is where I ended up after doing what I had to do to survive, so I know how bad it can be out there.

Now I have all these people who -want- to be here, and all I want to do is stand on the edge of the mountain I Just finished climbing, and stare at the view. I am comfortable where I am right now, because I know that even though it looks like I am sitting still, I am in fact moving in exactly the direction that “I” want to go.

I am where I am because this is where I ended up, and instead of staring at the future thinking “I don’t have one, so it doesn’t matter what I do or don’t do,” I am now fighting for it, by doing what I want to do.

But honestly? “Get over it,” didn’t help, because I didn’t know what that meant, I didn’t know how to get over it, when I didn’t know how much of my life had been stolen by trauma, it took me years to process all of the shit that I had to swim through to get to this place that I’m in now, and people around me stare at me in confusion wondering why it didn’t take me ten minutes.

Even superhero’s need time to process what their mind thought was possible, but didn’t expect to see in their lifetime. Remember when Ironman went to space for the first time and saw the fleet belonging to Thanos? It took an additional 2 films before Marvel was ready to tackle how Ironman was processing what his brain had experienced.

It took years for the Marvel storytellers to tell the world how it was that Ironman, and Tony Stark was dealing with what he saw, so why would you expect that it would take us ordinary humans any less time to process the realities of the garbage that we’re forced to deal with?

It takes time, and once you’ve been able to process it all, suddenly at least in my case, you discover that it doesn’t fucking matter. It doesn’t matter how sorry your abusers are, it doesn’t matter how many times they make a list of the people that they have hurt, it doesn’t fucking matter that they “learned their lesson,” at the end of the day they still broke chunks off of you that will never fully heal.

Like Shrek’s human beings are like onions, we have layers, and when you pull those layers back and rip them off, they don’t just majickally heal again. Pull the petals off a flower, can you put it back? Or have you ruined that flower forever? Exactly.

That’s what my life has been like, it’s people pulling the petals off my roses, and then throwing them away and wondering why I hate myself so much. It’s because so much of who I am is wrapped up in the ideas of who other people think that I should be, and I am tired of people ripping at my petals. My petals are mine, and I don’t want to feel hurt and sad and ugly anymore because other people think that I should feel that way, so they can feel better about themselves.

So I’m saying no. The other day I posted a picture of my legs and my foot on Instagram, of my scars. I went out that day in shorts, with my freshly washed but uncombed hair in it’s big wide brown, pink, and black afro, and I didn’t give a fuck about what anyone around me thought. I saw a Black man at the bank with blue hair, and I told him it was absolutely stunning, he smiled with pleasure and told me he liked mine too…it was the first time in years I went out in an afro, without combing or perfecting every curl on my head.

I am the Loud Mouth Brown Girl, who was afraid to show her curls to the world, because men specifically always fetishized my hair, while women and girls made fun about my curls so that I’d feel bad about their beauty.

This entire world will condition you to believe that you have to change everything about yourself so that you become less of yourself so that those around you will feel less insecure, less jealous, less vicious about the fact that you’ve figured out something they haven’t…even if you haven’t figured out shit yet.

When I was a kid everyone around me was growing up so fast, babies were having babies, girls were becoming mothers before they’d even become women, and boys were running as fast and as far from their responsibilities as they could, because “we are men,” which really showed how little we knew about being women and men back then.

I look to all these celebrities that grew up in the suburbs, that had white picket fences and two parents, the ones who went to school, and who had three square meals a day, video games, and friends who rode bikes instead of planning bank jobs, and I wonder how in the fuck these people can exist.

I realize now that the reason that I spent so many years being completely confused about the world, was because there was no one in the world who was talking about the fact that 13, 14, 15, and 16 year old girls, were having sex and getting pregnant, and that these pregnancies were being celebrated as if that was what we were SUPPOSED to be doing.

Our education was never really something that the people around us taught us to believe was important, and the few people who tried ended up being abusers in their own right, so their reminders became more like ideas for us to rebel against, because why the fuck should we listen to the men and women who abuse us, even if their advice is really good?

By the time that you figure out your own head is filled with the voices, reminders, lessons, bullshit, and trauma, of every single person you’ve ever met, you’re thirty-eight years old screaming “SHUT THE FUCK UP,” into the confines of your apartment where there are no living three d people in the actual apartment with you.

This world is fucking exhausting.

By the time you break the conditioning, you realize that there are a lot of people in your life who are only there because you are their kindling for the fire that is keeping them warm, and it’s actually really annoying to see how angry they are when you finally put out the flames and walk away.

How Dare You Not End Your Life So That I Can Live Longer? You Are The Most Selfish Person In The World

There are people in this world who will be genuinely offended that you will continue on the path YOU want to go on, even if it means walking away from the fire they are trying to set you on. I will never understand these people. There are people in my life who have been absolutely evil to me, and still I wish them well and move on, I hope those who hate me, and who I dislike have great lives.

I hope you have great adventures, and find deep love, and that all your dreams come true as long as they aren’t about hurting someone, you know why? Because I don’t have the fucking time to hate you. I’m too busy following my own dreams and planning my own adventures.

Hell, while you’re busy dissecting every moment of all the times you tried to destroy my life and failed, I’m ten or twelve million steps ahead climbing mountains and changing worlds, hating you is nothing more than a distraction that I don’t fucking need in my life.

Yesterday I had a “waking vision,” I was sitting at my computer smoking a joint one moment, and the next moment I felt this crushing heaviness over me that I couldn’t explain. I tried out loud to find the words to describe the devastation that I was suddenly feeling, and I yelled a bit, and used a few words, but not 1 word I said came even close to how deep the pain I was experiencing felt.

There is no one in the entire world that will ever understand how terrible I felt yesterday, and while all I wanted to do was go lay down and let the pain drift away, instead I went to the Survivors Connection meeting with Edward, Wendy and Tiar, and that helped so much. I was able to have conversations about healing, and trauma, that helped to distract me from the pain, and while it’s still not “gone”, I have a better understanding of how to deal with it.

Having them there to support me, even though they didn’t know what was going on, was a world away from the person who used to hate others because I was jealous, and anxious about my own future.

A few days ago someone donated some money to me so that I could afford to pay for my Certified Cannabis Class, and in a few weeks I will be starting the course and in a few months I will have a whole new series of doors opened up to me. There will be things that I will be able to do with that certification, that I never thought possible. I ain’t got time to hate you, I have too many new options to explore.

I am bored of my past – I already lived it, and I will forever talk about the lessons that I learned, but the most important lesson that I’ve learned is to say no to all the things that hold me back. Like Indiana Jones or Jake Sully I am crashing through the jungle still, cutting vines and twigs out of my way with a swift wave of my arm and a razer thin blade.

I don’t have time to wait for those who fall behind because they allow jealousy and evil to fill their hearts, so if you’re waiting for me to apologize for being where I am, for being happy that I am who I am, and for being as powerful, beautiful, talented, and kickass as I am, that’s not going to happen.

Yes there are a lot of people who I am genuinely in love with, whose presence I am forever going to be grateful for having met, but if I have to give up on my dreams to wait for them to come back, that is for damned sure not going to happen.

Every single day I say no thank you to all the things that I don’t want because I know that where I am headed they will just be added packages and baggage that I don’t need to carry. If you’re going to go camping, hiking, or on any kind of adventure, you only need to pack what you absolutely need, the things that bring you comfort and joy, the things that will enhance your adventure and help you survive the experience.

Nothing in my past fits onto that list, and so I am moving forward knowing that what I take with me will be enough to help me survive, and help me to thrive at the same time, I am not feeling guilty or ashamed of what I did in my past anymore, because yup I am where I wanna be, and if I hadn’t done those things, I wouldn’t be where I am now.

For those that want to join me, let’s go, there’s plenty of room in the boat, for those that want to stay behind, I wish you well. Good luck with your choices, just remember that from here on out, when the shit hits the fan, I did my best to bring you along, you are where you are because that’s where you decided you want or need to be.

When Black Widow took her final leap, or the leap that to us looked like her final leap, she did so after saying goodbye to the person that taught her what it was like to love. She left everything she had ever known behind, so that the entire universe and all the dimensions would be safe. It was a beautiful sacrifice of hope, I however….am for damned sure no Black Widow, I’m Devon J Hall and I still have mountains to climb. Are you with me?

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.

5 thoughts

  1. Hey, girl! You do realize that you probably became the loud mouth brown girl because you WANTED & NEEDED your voice to be HEARD & validated! Right?!? Much like I morphed being called sassy as a child with clear negative undertones into Sassafras as an adult. My hubs has always liked & appreciated my sassiness which in turn helped change my entire perspective. When we were newlyweds & adjusting to our new lives together he used to say “Maybe you could try to see & love yourself through my eyes until you can on your own.” While that remains a beautiful memory for me-it also doesn’t work like that. We abuse/assault survivors know this all too well. Self worth/esteem starts to develop during early childhood years & when survivors are so often ignored, not believed, rejected nor protected by the adults in their lives it’s basically telling the survivor “you’re not WORTH it!”
    It makes sense to me that we often hate ourselves as a result of this. Do you go out of your way for things you hate? Probably not. Does that make sense?🤔

    You: “It takes time, and once you’ve been able to process it all, suddenly at least in my case, you discover that it doesn’t fucking matter.” I beg to differ (in a nice way😉) but I understand your point. Not processing through my personal trauma was like trying to put a bandaid on surgery scars. I felt stuck. Frozen in life yet without desire & hope to even attempt to do something about it. It does take time-it’s not even linear-I hate that fact! Fuck-we got screwed! Processing through all that shit, with a good support system, Rx’s (possibly), a therapist (if you’re lucky-dare I say privileged, researching all you can about it is part of the validation process hence; it does fucking matter because we matter!😻Our voices matter. Once I figured out a combination of all those things it felt like I was finally on the winning side of the battle because as I knew then I was going to have to FIGHT this to survive it & hopefully thrive yet I use that word cautiously. It seems to be seen as superior to words like victim & survivor but it’s not. In my opinion. Particularly because I actually do thrive mostly these days but it took MANY YEARS to get here! (I’m 46) However, I could be a lifeless lump in bed tomorrow. Hopefully not but possibly & on & on this viscous cycle goes!

    I’m thrilled you got up & got going even though you didn’t feel like it. Adding daily basic routine to my life has significantly helped me these past few years particularly because I work from home. It gave my days better structure & while I’m not a fan of monotonous routines by nature (unlike my hubs😉) it REALLY HAS HELPED & was suggested to me by my therapist in a caring way. That & starting hobbies (succulent gardening & painting) actually helped. So basic-yet oftentimes overlooked. At the end of the day it comes down to me MAKING it happen.

    Sheesh! Lengthy comment. Guess I had a lot to say.😂

    It’s especially nice to “hear” the excitement in your voice about what lays ahead for you! I’m excited for you!

    Your pal,
    🧚🏽‍♀️Debra🧚🏽‍♀️

    Like

    1. Yah okay, but you missed what I was saying. What I said was that in MY case, the abuse, the trauma, it doesn’t matter, I am where I want to be, and even if I HADN’T ended up in THIS place, I would STILL be where I want to be, because I was born to be the person who decides where they want to be. I appreciate the suggestions, but those won’t work for me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ohhhhh! Gotcha. You’re right, I missed your point completely. Sorry about that.

        I wasn’t necessarily suggesting it for you rather sharing what has helped me. I appreciate reading & seeing what has helped others-like you. The reality is we all have different journeys/paths in life & healing DEFINITELY varies from one person to the another. Sorry if my comment was upsetting or trite. I hate trite replies like “get over it” etc. AS IF those who have experienced trauma haven’t/hadn’t been trying to get over it ever since it happened. It’s like wishing I never had a ruptured appendix, nearly died, & healed from surgery but acted like it never happened. I tried denial. Didn’t work for me.

        Hey, what time does that group chat start on Sunday’s? I’m pretty sure I follow the people you mentioned but I seem to miss that chat all the time. 🙃

        Ttyl 🥰

        Liked by 2 people

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