A man died recently.
To the world he was a good man, to the world he was a gentle man. He was well respected and I enjoyed many a good conversation with him. Turns out however, that the thing that I wasn’t saying, is that he was a prolific child abuser.
Recently I wrote a letter/blog post about Angels, in fact I’ve done that a lot over the last few years. Written blog posts designed as letters so that if someone were to ever analyze the blog posts that I’ve written, they’d understand that there is never going to come a time when I don’t eventually name the names of all the people who abused me.
Maybe it’ll be a list, maybe it’ll be a book but eventually the truth will out, because the one thing in the existence of life, that is undeniable, it’s the fact that the truth truth, and lies no matter how cruel, are often also true in a variety of horrible ways.
I am never going to tire of being the Loud Mouth Brown Girl, but I am really tired of people thinking that they have any idea who I am or what my “ultimate goals, hopes, and dreams,” are.
My hopes and dreams span time and space, because I am a Writer, a Content Creator, and an Artist in every sense of the word.
In spite of all those things, I am also an activist, and a fighter. I have absolutely no interest in telling people truths they already know, and so instead of wasting my time getting a job that I am not prepared for, I take my time to do the things that “I” want to do and to do them in a way that makes sense to my brain.
The Hunter rarely Knows When He, She, They, and Them, have come Pray, and when they do the first thing they ask for is “Mercy.” Why Ask for what you Refuse to Give?
I’ve been thinking a lot about my next book, and what stories I want to tell, what versions of the story that I want to tell.
I got the chance to do the Life In Red Podcast – which I talked about in my last letter, and the more that I found the words that “I” wanted to use, the more I realized how many times MY words have been replaced by the words that OTHER people wanted me to use.
I’m listening to it now as I write this and while I could say that in this moment, I am really proud of myself, the truth is that all I really want to say is I told you so.
At the beginning of this blog I said a lot of things that were true, and a lot of things that were not true, not because it was a trauma response, but in reality it wasn’t just me responding to trauma.
It was me really trying to figure out how I could combine all of the things that happened to me, with all the things that I love to do, and somehow I created this thing, this flying soaring thing that destroyed so many ties to my past, and I’m smiling.
I had this in my old room at Burnside apartments, originally it was a corkboard filled with quotes and letters that I had written to myself in order to remind me of who I was, and the person that I wanted to be.
As I started inviting more and more friends to my house, they started writing on it, without asking. Which was more than fair because I did that to someone else’s cork board once.
The difference is that their board was filled with things that triggered me and when I saw it, I lashed out.
When my friends saw my board, they realized how sad I was, and how afraid I was, and they wanted me to have notes, phone numbers, and reminders that I wasn’t alone. I didn’t like it, and so years after staring at what I “used to have,” I destroyed it, and I created something brand new. The only thing that I kept was the frame, which was written on by a friend named Emm, who wanted me to remember that “things” are not the ties that bind us to our friendship. Not even the memories, it’s the words that we use to talk to each other, that matter.
I had another friend who used to call me fat, but she wasn’t saying it with pride, she was admonishing me for not being skinny like her. One day we were shopping and I explained to her that I had founded “Skin n’ Bones Global,” because a girl on Twitter said that she wanted to kill herself because she thought she was ugly. I told her I’d get a tattoo for her, if she didn’t, and since she did not, I was inspired to create a program designed to inspire people to remember that they are loved.
Those kids worked really hard on love letters, written on small pieces of paper, that they went down to Granville street to hand out in the rain, and sometimes sun. It took hours, and a lot of people were happy to “get a letter,” while other people walked away, and in some cases told me that I should “be ashamed of yourself,” because they thought that I was “making” those kids, ask for money, without wanting to know what it was we were REALLY Doing.
The truth is that some people really don’t want to know what’s happening around them, because they have seen so much darkness, that they are absolutely petrified of living in the light, because that means admitting that they really are rapists, abusers, pedophiles, no matter how many times they try to convince themselves otherwise.
For the rest of my life, I will never forget those kids, and I will always be angry that I cannot remember their names, because my brain has been wired to forget the names of those that I want to protect, from the chaos that was my life.
As I listen to this podcast I realize that I have released some very uncomfortable truth in some truly unconventional ways. If you listen to the sounds of my interviews, you’ll hear a girl who is growing into a person, who is almost kind of like a human, who has spent her entire life, taking care of every single person, but herself.
I am a fat woman.
I am an Author.
I am a Writer.
I Am a Content Creator.
I am a Witch.
I am a Woman.
I am Not a Mother.
I am not a person who is interested in saving the lives of other people, unless it means that I can save myself too, because at the end of the day “what about me?” is a phrase that I’ve spent my life asking.
Loud My Brown Girl is the answer to “what about me?” It’s how I deal with what happened to me. It’s not that I don’t care about others, in fact it’s not even that I want to save the world, or that I don’t, it’s that each and every single one of us needs an anchor, something to hold onto so that we don’t drown.
If I let my true self out, if I let the truest most powerful version of myself all at one time, if I did absolutely everything that I am uncomfortable doing, on the big stage for the whole world to see, I would lose the parts of myself that keep me sane. That keep me from losing my mind, and going insane.
So I release parts of myself when I am ready, and after being abused and traumatized for so long, honestly? I’m too fucking tired to say “I told you so,” AFTER on top of doing all the work to prove that everything I say is true.
I was asked on the podcast if anyone has come forward to publicly share their own stories, in order to help corroborate mine. The answer is that no, there’s not one person in this country, or from any other, (and there were many from other countries,) who have come forward to say “Devon was right, and yes, us too.”
In large part because they are afraid, because the men who abused us for several years, had the perception of power protecting them from prosecution.
But recently at least one of our abusers was arrested on television, and while he was not “the most powerful,” of them, he was certainly someone whose voice held a lot of weight when it came to how the world perceives white men.
Now that he’s going to another country, now that he has been denied access to anyone and everyone who could help protect him, I hope that others will come forward, but the truth is that that will only happen when they are ready to admit that in the midst of everything that was happening to us, was in part due to the fact that the men who abused us, were closely related to all the people who called themselves our family.
According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in five women, and one in 71 men will be raped during their lives. Unfortunately, victims of sexual assault know their attacker in approximately eight out of 10 cases.
I didn’t have a lot of choices growing up, and that’s because of things that were done TO me. Creating this website, creating this “brand” is all about learning to do things for MYSELF.
I was given a gift of markers a few weeks back, and someone stole them from me. Why? Because at the time they thought that since I didn’t want them every second of the day, that meant they could take them, because they wanted or needed them more than I did.
I can’t replace them. Even if I buy another set, they are now tainted by the fact that they were taken by someone who was never meant to have them.
The same can be said about my body. It will never feel like “mine,” again because grown men took what wasn’t theirs to have, and decided that because they wanted me, they somehow had a God given right, to have me.
Even though legally, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally I know that’s not true, anyone I know who is connected to the life of my past, is going to remind me that there was a time they knew what was happening and chose to say nothing.
To the average person the pens meant nothing, but to me, they were a door to freedom that I will never have again. Money comes and goes, but the things that are gifted to us by people who just want to make us smile, whether we use them or not, once their gone? Literally nothing else will replace the feeling of safety we’d slowly built around ourselves, in order to keep those things safe.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall