No More Shame! No More Fear!

I share a lot of myself online. Maybe too much for some, but I feel called to share a lot of myself.

But I don’t know if I have really articulated my story before. I don’t know if I have really articulated what I have overcome in order to become the man I am today.

Here’s what going to happen. Over the next seven days, I’m going to share one thing a day from my past that I have overcome. Something that has shaped me into the man I am today. And what I have learned from that incident.

Let’s not get it twisted, I have overcome a lot in my life. I’ve survived a ton of life for someone my age.

And for so very long, I have held shame around some of the incidents of my past. I’ve resisted sharing them because I am afraid of looking bad in front of people that I want to impress.


My story is my story. No shame in it.

But my story is an inspirational one.

So, without further ado, here’s the first incident.

The first week of February 1994 was one of the most tumultuous weeks of my young life.

I was not quite 17 years old. And I was a far sight different then than I am today.

I got a phone call from a friend. That sentence is unusual in and of itself, because I didn’t have many friends. I chose to isolate from people because I grew to learn that people were out to hurt me.

I had a complicated relationship with this friend. I love him like a brother — still do, even though I haven’t spoken to him in years. But he was a troubled soul at this time.

He got involved with a girl who was, as far as I’m concerned, an accessory to the most heinous crime I had ever heard of at that point. Her brother and an accomplice murdered a pregnant woman and cut out her unborn baby.

Needless to say, those two are behind bars for the rest of their lives.

I can’t remember her exact connection with this, but I know she had to be involved somehow.

Granted, this makes me sound like I’m accusing her of something she didn’t do. I can’t always remember the total details of something that happened so long ago.

This phone call was pretty epic. He started making threats about killing himself because his mother found out about his connection with this girl.

While on the phone with me, his mother snatched him away, and he left the phone off the hook. I overheard her yelling at him.

For the life of me I don’t know why I hung on so long. Maybe I wanted to torture myself?

A couple days later, I found out that he went through with his suicide attempt. Fortunately, he survived and has become a father in his own right.

But the week’s crescendo was absolutely Saturday February 5th.

That morning I woke up and felt a really heavy energy in the house. Mom and Dad were talking. And the energy was incredibly heavy.

This, of course, was before I embraced being an empath and knew energy like a hole in the ground.

It was an important day. I had to drive out to the Alabama campus and take the ACT college placement test for the first time. And I was as nervous as a long-tailed cat on the front porch of a Cracker Barrel.

Rocking chairs, y’know?

Later that night, I tuned into NBC to catch SNL. I’ll never forget — Patrick Stewart was the host. He was on Star Trek at the time.

I think this was even before his knighthood.

My mom knocks on the door. I can’t remember if dad was at home or not, but I don’t think he was.

“Ryan, I need to talk to you. Can you come with me?” She ushers me into the den.

From there, she begins to tell me how she discovered that my dad had an addiction to crack cocaine.

“It wasn’t blood sugar fluctuations.”

She told me about how he spent the trust funds that my aunt and uncle set up for my sister and me. That money was supposed to support me through college. I had to get a student loan because my grant didn’t cover all my expenses.

I only finished paying that off last year!

As I’m left with my thoughts after mom’s bombshell news, mom leaves me with one thing.

“Do not let him know that you know!”

For years I kept that secret. And it killed my soul.

That was a helluva week. When it comes to Februaries past, the first week in 1994 is only topped in hell by the first week of February 2009.

As I look back at that incident in 1994, I’m reminded of how naïve I was. How scared of everything I was. And how clueless I was about life.

I mean, I was 16 years old. I wasn’t supposed to know life.

But I was supposed to have a model for what life was supposed to be, and that model failed me.

I’ll say this until I am blue in the face, the human beings that Ann and Tony Hall were, they were beautiful, loving, gentle souls. But the addicts they became were self-hating, self-destructing, and occasionally scary, tortured souls.

I do not blame them for any of my “stuff.” And I know the past is the past and water under the bridge.

But I will absolutely say that they failed me during this time of my life.

From this incident, I learned that we keep secrets to keep from upsetting people. We step on eggshells to keep from shaking apple carts. And we do not shake the apple cart!

We blame others when they shake their own carts.

I forgive Chris for being such a tortured soul, because he really is a beautiful human being.

I forgive Ann and Tony for failing to show me that life wasn’t all doom and gloom. I forgive them for showing me that nobody can be trusted. And I forgive them for making me scared of people.

And most importantly, I forgive myself for making what I made this mean.



I’m a novelist. I’m an author. (Not the same thing.) I’m a life coach for creative empowerment. And I’m a human being. Let’s connect.

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Ryan Hall

I’m a novelist. I’m an author. (Not the same thing.) I’m a life coach for creative empowerment. And I’m a human being. Let’s connect.