I don’t know if I want to give this one to God, specifically and alone, but I’ll say God certainly has a huge hand in my life and always has. I’ll also say so has my mother.

Yesterday I went downtown to celebrate some Christmas fare with my mom by helping to serve lunch to those who are living in the downtown east side. Now, if you know about BC, and you’ve heard the news, you know about the DTES, it’s one of the most dangerous communities in British Columbia, probably Canada.

There are all kinds of fights, shootings, and deaths, down there, and it’s really not the place one goes to find cheer. Nonetheless, I went because it is Christmas and I wanted to spend the day with my mom. So we watched as a local church group set up in mom’s building, the one she works at, and when everyone in the building had been served, we went into the street to serve the leftovers to those who were hungry.

It was a bit scary, I’m not going to lie, hearing the stories from advocates that work downtown can really put the fear of God inside of you, but everyone was so lovely and kind, and gracious, and it felt really good to be able to make someone smile. To offer a little bit of love, to a group of folks that don’t care about who I am or what I represent as the LMBG.

I met a man who hadn’t left his apartment in 3 months, and all I could think is “if he knew about direct deposit, he’d never leave.” I really don’t want that to be me.

I struggle with agoraphobia, it makes it really difficult for me to take out the garbage, and when I’m out I’m fine, especially when I’m not alone and with someone, I know and trust but 4 years working from home, has made it really difficult for me to want to leave the house on purpose unless I have to.

Every day I get up I try to make it a little different, but for other people, the amount of wor I’m doing isn’t enough because in very real ways my mental health issues are imposing on them, I’m trying to do better, I just need a little more time and patience. I’ve been sitting in the center of a firestorm for years now, and everything’s starting to close in and I’m starting to get reminders that I can’t close myself off from the world forever, and it’s scaring the shit out of me.

When I left my former circle of friends behind, I did so because I’d been raped and every one of them was more concerned with protecting the men who raped me as a child and when I grew up, then they were with protecting me. Every one of them was willing to let me and my family die, as long as the secret that they all knew these men were pedophiles didn’t come out.

I had to as I often say, Pelican Brief my own safety and tell my story in a rush, not because I wanted to, not because I was ready, but because I was afraid myself or someone else might hurt me if I didn’t. Having told my story is the only thing that’s kept me alive, but that doesn’t mean I feel safe. I still have nightly nightmares that I am going to be raped again, beaten, or killed. Why wouldn’t I? It went on for more than 20 years, of course, I’m scared, but the whole wide world doesn’t know this, so the whole wide world isn’t giving me a whole lot of room to breathe.

There are very real people who expect me to give up this “blogging thing,” my dream of being a writer and expect me to go get a real job so that I can fit into their idea of normal, and I’m just not capable of doing that. It isn’t that I don’t want to go back to work, it’s that the kind of work I’m capable of doing has changed.

I could never go back to doing advocacy work knowing what I know now, the job would kill me, or like other people I know in that world, force me to end up homeless.

I just want to get my mental health status to a place where I can work for 8 hours a day without breaking a sweat or having a mental breakdown because I’m too tired to function properly.

I am more and more starting to suspect that I am autistic, but I don’t know how to get tested for that, and I’m not sure who to talk to about it, but even if I’m not, I need I know this, an honest to goodness real psych evaluation to discover what’s wrong with me, without having these wishy-washy diagnoses that don’t make any sense. “Well you’re psychotic but we don’t know if that means you’re bipolar or something else” doesn’t cut it for me.

I Need science to back me up and tell me what’s going on in my brain, so that I can respond rationally because right now I feel like I’m floundering at sea and no one knows where I fit, so no one knows how to help me.

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall

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