Episode #47: Surviving Rape, Witchcraft, Incarceration, Drug Abuse & The Pain Of Giving Children Up For Adoption, With Amanda Acker, Host Of The Let Good Things In Show

INTRODUCTION:

 

Coming from a past of drug abuse, homelessness, and being a formerly incarcerated person, Amanda has broken through and was able to let the good things into her life. Amanda is now on a mission to inspire and motivate people just like you. People who have had a difficult past and haven’t yet realized that they are stronger than they think and can have the life they want and deserve. Amanda wants to help you rise above the labels of society and burst through the ceilings that you have put on top of yourself. Amanda’s core message is that we are stronger than we think and can have the life we imagine regardless of our past. 

She is now the host of The Let Good Things In Show, an international speaker, and author. Inspiring lives across the globe, by openly sharing her story and the lessons she learned along the way.

  

INCLUDED IN THIS EPISODE (But not limited to):

 

·      Candid Stories of Drug Use

·      Teen Pregnancy/Adoption 

·      Abusive Relationships/Rape

·      A Botched Robbery

·      Life After Being Incarcerated 

·      Suicide

·      Divorce

·      Prostitution/Promiscuity 

·      Spiritual Smelling

·      Witchcraft
 

CONNECT WITH AMANDA:

 

Website: https://amandaacker.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amanda.acker2017

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amandaacker

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theletgoodthingsinshow

  

CONNECT WITH DE’VANNON:

 

Website: https://www.SexDrugsAndJesus.com

YouTube: https://bit.ly/3daTqCM

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SexDrugsAndJesus/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sexdrugsandjesuspodcast/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TabooTopix

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/devannon

Email: DeVannon@SexDrugsAndJesus.com

 

DE’VANNON’S RECOMMENDATIONS:

 

·      Pray Away Documentary (NETFLIX)

https://www.netflix.com/title/81040370

TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tk_CqGVfxEs

 

·      Upwork: https://www.upwork.com

 

·      FreeUp: https://freeup.net

 

·      Disabled American Veterans (DAV): https://www.dav.org

 

·      American Legion: https://www.legion.org

 

INTERESTED IN PODCASTING OR BEING A GUEST?:

 

·      PodMatch is awesome! This application streamlines the process of finding guests for your show and also helps you find shows to be a guest on. The PodMatch Community is a part of this and that is where you can ask questions and get help from an entire network of people so that you save both money and time on your podcasting journey.

https://podmatch.com/signup/devannon

 

TRANSCRIPT:

 

[00:00:00]

You’re listening to the sex drugs and Jesus podcast, where we discuss whatever the fuck we want to! And yes, we can put sex and drugs and Jesus all in the same bed and still be all right at the end of the day. My name is De’Vannon and I’ll be interviewing guests from every corner of this world as we dig into topics that are too risqué for the morning show, as we strive to help you understand what’s really going on in your life.

There is nothing off the table and we’ve got a lot to talk about. So let’s dive right into this episode.

De’Vannon: Hello. Hello. All my beautiful souls and spirits out there. I’m so thankful to have you with me again, another week. Welcome to the sex drugs and Jesus podcast, baby. Now, today, I’m talking with a woman by the name of Amanda Aker.

She’s the formerly incarcerated person turned hope dealer. She’s also the host of a podcast called the let good things in show and an international speaker as well. Now in this show, we’re going to get deep into Amanda’s [00:01:00] story of her teen pregnancy and the emotion she had to go through giving up her kids for adoption.

We were talking about rape, abusive relationships, the struggles of life after you’ve been incarcerated. And let me tell you as a total bitch, and we get spiritual, we talk about witchcraft and our spiritual gifts and dreams and things like that. I want you to take a close, listen to this episode, and I want you to take something from it that you can use today. Amanda. Oh my gosh. I’ve been waiting for this interview. I feel like for so fucking long, because you are the first person who has such such a history. that’s so closely mirrors my own, you know, in terms of being homeless and being incarcerated and things like that. And you, you coin yourself as a formerly incarcerated person turned the hope dealer.[00:02:00]

Amanda: Yes,

De’Vannon: Tell us, tell us about yourself. 

Amanda: Yeah. So first I just want to thank you so much for having me on the show and you know, my story is. Like where do I even begin? You know I grew up in a normal middle class, suburban life. I was very close with my mom. But at age 15, my parents divorced and my whole world turned upside down. You know, my mom left and craziness and sued, but you know, my life after that was me chasing love and acceptance from someone on the outside, you know, somebody who could make me feel accepted to the point where I was able to have friends and have a social life and do all the things that my shy self prior to that would never have even imagined doing.

 So it led me to try to find the cool kids so to speak and, you know, I wanted, and it’s weird because at my young age and knowing that smoking [00:03:00] weed, smoking cigarettes, drinking, like all of that, probably wasn’t a great choice. I was always. I wanted to know, like, what does that feel like? Like, why are people doing it?

You know, the curiosity right. Of it all. And I thought, well, I’m sad. So this is going to help me feel better. And I’m around people. And if I drink and I smoke, then I will be cool and accepted. And just all these, like now looking back, it was really stupid. Like I was being really fucking stupid. I was not, you know, seeking help.

I was seeking an escape from what I was experiencing. So that led me to just that, you know, smoking cigarettes was first. I remember I was 17 when I first smoked a cigarette. I’ll never forget that moment. You know, at my job that I had at the time this guy that I was dating, he was totally against me smoking.

He told me I was too innocent. And that I shouldn’t, but I did anyways. And you know, that catapulted me into more things. So drinking, smoking weed Which then of course the people I was [00:04:00]surrounded with I thought were awesome and great, but they are very toxic for me. No, I don’t feel that they’re innately bad people, but they were not the people that I should have been spending my time with.

 And going to college, I was introduced to pills, which became a quick favorite benzodiazepines to be exact Klonopin was everything to me for awhile. It is the first thing I took that made me forget everything completely. So it was the first time that I felt okay. I was no longer crying. I wasn’t, you know, cutting myself when I was high on Klonopin.

I was doing whatever the fuck I wanted to with no cares in the world. But the first time I did it, I did so much of it in this story. It’s just, I can’t believe this happened to me when I tell this story, but I did so much of it. And then we went and hung out with other friends and started doing bike in and all of these different types of pills and [00:05:00] mixing them.

And I had no business doing any of that because I had never touched pills prior. So the next morning I wake up, smoked a joint with someone and I overdosed. It was like instantaneous. It was like my body. I don’t know. It must’ve been the reaction of the weed plus whatever. I had swimming in my system from the pills and I just collapsed.

And if it wasn’t for the guy who I was with, I can’t guarantee that I would have survived. And you know, in that moment, I thought when I woke up in the hospital, not knowing where I was and you know, I thought, oh, well, my dad, like he’ll see this and he’ll care. And he’ll, you know, he’ll want me and he’ll want to help me, but he did.

So it was this constant, you know, rejection from my parents that was driving me towards all this. So unfortunately that was not the wake up call that I should have had in those moments. But I just kept using, I failed out of college. [00:06:00] You know, I became pregnant at age 19 experienced sexual abuse around the same time.

And if my daughter up for adoption. So now I’m this college dropout essentially who just gave a daughter up for adoption and I’m only barely 20 years old. So the darkness got worse from there and I got into another abusive relationship, a physical abuse of, and mental abusive relationship. And after leaving him finally getting the courage to do that.

I was in a domestic violence shelter. So essentially I was homeless. I left with nothing. I did have a son at the time. He was a baby. I was like six months old. He doesn’t remember any of this. Thank God. But you know, we go to the shelter and I, instead of embracing it and getting the help, I needed to have a positive, healthy life.

I just wanted out, [00:07:00] you know, I was like, I don’t want to be here. I felt very like I couldn’t just go out and do what I wanted without like telling people where I was like, it was just, I didn’t like it. You know, it was still very young and I wanted to be free. So I went back to an ex of mine and eventually realized that I didn’t love him anymore.

So I made the choice to leave him and got my own place, but I was so lonely that need for acceptance and being around people just wouldn’t go away. And so I ended up moving in with my best friend and that’s when the cocaine use started and what led me to my incarceration. So I met a man at a strip club and a much older man.

And he told me he had a job for me. And I was like, cool. Like I need money. You know, I need to pay my rent and get my cocaine at the time. Those were my priorities. And, but that’s not what it was. He ended up sexually assaulting me and my friend and I [00:08:00] stupidly after that went back. But we went together and this guy was ultimately paying me for sex, but I would not have sex with him.

So he wasn’t giving us the money that he told us he would. So long story short. My friend and I, and a few other people decided that we were gonna Rob him and get all of his money and whatever. So. I remember that day, because I remember feeling like I didn’t want to do this. I knew it was wrong, even though he’d hurt me, even though, like, he was a shit person, honestly, a shit person.

I still knew deep down that it was wrong, but I didn’t want to lose my friend. I could not handle the thought of not having her in my life because she was all I had. She was with me since my parents divorced, you know, she was the one who brought me through a lot of that. Maybe not in the way that I should have been getting through it, but at the same time, [00:09:00] she was my solid.

 So we go out there and I remember looking at her and saying, we’re going to jail tonight. I don’t want to do this. And she was like, fuck it. I’ll just drive. And here we go, Amanda pulls off the highway. I get out of my car, but I don’t run. I don’t say, you know, does whatever and not get involved in it. I get back in the car and we continue to drive.

 And long story short, I, I couldn’t go through with it. I remember sitting in this guy’s apartment, just sweating bullets. I mean, it was so obvious that something was up. I couldn’t hide it. And the guy asked me, he goes, what’s wrong with you, Amanda? He goes, something’s wrong with you? And I was like, nothing, I’m fine.

And this was in the early two thousands. So we only had two cell phones between all of us. So my friend was sitting there texting with the guys and I snatched her phone and I was like, I’m going to go call and check on my son. So I run out and go to my car. I’m laying in the backseat of my car, still sweating, crying, all the things.

[00:10:00] And everyone comes out and like, they’re ambushing me. Like, what the fuck are you doing in the backseat of the car? Like we need to drive, but we didn’t make it out of that parking lot. Like real, like the cops were there, like it was within like 30 seconds of them being in my car to where we are now getting pulled over.

I was arrested at gunpoint. Which was horrifying, horrifying on one of the busiest streets for people on the other side, we’re like looking down like that. There was like a restaurant across the street. So they’re looking down watching this all happen and I’m arrested face down on the pavement. It was horrific.

It was the number one, most, probably most, one of the number one most traumatic events I’ve ever experienced in my life. It’s, like I said, prior to that, Amanda didn’t get in trouble. Even though I was doing things I probably should have been in trouble for, you know, I never got caught up until that point.

And you know, I made this other mistake where, you know, [00:11:00] my friends telling me don’t tell the cops anything, which looking back. Oh, maybe I shouldn’t have, but they kept telling me that I was going to get released and that I wouldn’t see jail if I told them what happened. So I tell them, I told them everything and I even wrote it down on paper thinking, well, I’m going to get out so I can just like leave and go hide somewhere.

You know, that was my thought process. And I didn’t get released. I had a $10,000 straight bond. I was charged with robbery, criminal, conspiracy, and prostitution. And now I’m in jail with my friend who now knows that I narked, I told the whole truth. Didn’t hold anything back. And I watched everyone else get bailed out, but me.

So I’m now in holding by myself, filling up to main population in county jail. And I’m scared half to death. Like I didn’t know what to expect. It wasn’t as bad as I thought not to say it was great, but it wasn’t as scary as I thought [00:12:00] it was going to be. I was in there for a week before I got bailed out and I had this whole year of my life where if you’ve experienced incarceration, like you don’t know what the hell is going to happen to you.

It’s like a whole year where you literally have, I had no clue. Like when am I going to jail? Am I going to prison? Am I like no idea. So that just, I just stayed in that cycle using drinking. I started stripping. I was, you know, dating men from the strip club. I was getting in very bad scenarios with men, women, everything.

And then I got sentenced to eight months of incarceration in county jail with option for work release. I only got convicted of the conspiracy, but I did watch my best friend. Which me and her weren’t really friends anymore at this point. But she, in my heart, she was still my best friend. I watched her in all the guys that were involved, get carted off to state prison for five years.

 That was really hard. I felt horrible. Like it was all my fault. [00:13:00] And then when I had to go back to turn myself in to go to jail, I was the for work release. You have to pee and you have to be clean in order to go into the work release program. I was pregnant by the way. And I couldn’t be, but not be like what pregnant woman on this planet can’t pee on demand.

Right. And I just couldn’t. And so I had to go to main population for at least 30 days. I did eventually get into the work release program, which was better than being in county, but still incarceration. Still had, you know, I wasn’t allowed to just freely go and do what I wanted. And then after that it just kept spiraling.

I get out of jail and I don’t clean up my act. I keep doing the same things. I keep ending up in toxic abusive relationships. And three years ago is when I had my breaking point and I was going to kill myself because I had lost a job that I thought was great. I was betrayed by someone who I thought was my best friend and I couldn’t do it [00:14:00] anymore.

I just gave up. But in that moment I had, you know, maybe it’s a spiritual awakening, I don’t know. But in that same moment of crying and wanting to end my life, I decided that I couldn’t, I had to keep living. I had a husband, I have kids, you know, even the kids who I gave up for adoption, like they’re still my children and I need to live for them.

I need to show them that it’s possible. And so I didn’t, I didn’t in my life. I. Reached out for help from my husband and slowly but surely here I am today, just telling my story and, you know, learning to love and accept myself every single day. And realizing that I take ownership for the things that have happened to me over my life.

And I made those choices that made those situations occur and learning to forgive myself. Oh, that’s a lot, but that’s pretty much it.

De’Vannon: Yeah, that is a lot. And we’re going to go and work our way back [00:15:00] through it.

Now, a part of you helping people is that you’re the host of the, let the let good things in show. 

Amanda: Yes.

De’Vannon: You’re an international speaker and you, and you’ve done some writing as an author as well. And so, so let me, let me go back through some of this.

I want to capture more detail in like your like live emotions when some of these things were happening. So when your parents got divorced, like my parents almost got divorced when my dad had, I think his second affair or whatever the case may be. I wish they would have gotten divorced, but But tell me what, what did you feel, you know, how did it feel when your opinion has gotten divorced?

Because you talk about it as though it was super traumatic. Bring me into what was going on in your head and in your. 

Amanda: I mean, I was angry was I didn’t [00:16:00] understand, like I knew prior that they may be getting divorced, but I always thought in my mind that my mother would stay with me. So I was angry. I was sad. I was confused. I felt like. My heart was broken into a million pieces. Like everything I knew had just shattered within a blink of an eye.

You know, you wake up in the morning to go to high school as a freshman, thinking your life’s normal, and then you come home. And the, it, it’s just not, I remember like my dad sitting on the couch and he looked like he’d been crying and my dad’s not an emotional person. So I knew that this was major. This was not something that we were just going to brush under the rug and move on from.

But also my anger, I just remember being angry. Like, I didn’t understand, like, where’s my mom and nobody could tell me, you [00:17:00] know, nobody. Until I discovered where my mom was, I mean, she did go to my grandmother’s house, but she was in another relationship and, you know, it was. Extremely hard. Like I D I can’t even like put it all into words.

It’s just, it hurt like hell in all directions.

De’Vannon: Fair enough. I can understand where you’re coming from, what the unexpected things happening when you’re a kid. When we, when we when we, we had a house that my parents had got when I was in grade school, like middle, middle high school. They lost it because they were bad with money and stuff like that.

And so the way I found out about the house one day, they just show up to this plot of land with a frame on it, on it. And they’re like, well, this is the house that we’re building, you know, for us, they had bought it, you know, the right way to do it is to take the kids through the whole home buying process.

So they know from beginning to end, you know, and just drive them to, to the house [00:18:00] being a built already. So while, while it’s a good thing, it’s still a shocking thing. Then when they lost the house, I came home from school one day and all the shit was packed up and they were like, well, we lost the house.

You just hop in the car and just go on to the next one. So 

Amanda: my goodness. 

De’Vannon: it was a huge downgrade. So we went from the hood to the we were like the Jefferson’s we moved on up to the east side. Then we had to go back to the hood, you know, in an instant. So I understand where you’re coming from with the shock value.

There. And I heard you say that you were chasing love and acceptance. When you got caught up with this crowd. It reminded me of how, when I was in the military, I was a Tinder and young at the age of 17 when I went to the air force and then this one, I became a sled. I was a total calm whore. And so I and I was having sex with all these different men and just totally just running gay.com until the ground.

You know, there was no grind. 

Amanda: Wow.[00:19:00]

De’Vannon: No, you had to be, you had to be determined to be a whore in my day. You know, you have to wait for the dial up to come up on the computer, you know, AOL or whoever you were going through 

Amanda: Yeah,

De’Vannon: Then you had to negotiate the transaction and print out the directions for MapQuest.

So there were no phones. So you had to have a print area that all of these things, you were going to be a slave 

Amanda: so true.

De’Vannon: and every time. And the whole, while I was going through all of this, I was having sex with two, three different guys at night at times. And I knew that what I wanted was that masculine attention from them that I never got from my dad, but I, I really, really loved being embraced by like a big strong man.

Well, you know, he wasn’t going to do this shit for free, you know, he had to get something in return and that was the piece of this sweet ass. I get chasing, [00:20:00] loving and acceptance, and we all do it. 

Amanda: Yeah.

De’Vannon: have a certain sense of tribalism that’s ingrained into us. Or as one writer said, you know, no, man’s an island. We’re going to find community because that’s how God designed us. Now, this doesn’t mean losing your identity within the crowd, but we need to relate with people.

The Corona virus comes to town. People can’t relate with people and people lose their shit. People who have ever been in jail like you and I have, we understand what it means to not be able to come and go as you please. We know we know what it’s like to have privileges taken away. So a pandemic and being able to be in our houses and steal kind of go to work and do some shit is like great.

These people lost their damn minds because they couldn’t go out to eat at restaurants, couldn’t travel and take their vacations because of the cause of the need. We have. To, to, to socialize with people. And sometimes we negotiate, even though they’re not the best [00:21:00] people. Sometimes we think that’s the best we can find.

And rather than being fucking alone, we’ll take the problem. People are the people who we probably have a bad feeling about because to us, that’s the worst. That’s better than being by ourselves. 

Amanda: Exactly.

De’Vannon: You see? And so, you know, so the prayer is that when people are going through this start a phase that the Lord will give them better friends, you know, and that’s what I needed because it took me a long time to get to a point where I wasn’t trying to hang out with people who are, who were also, who had been homeless or who were into drugs and stuff like that.

You know, I had to get used to hanging out with people who were not problematic by, by by advice, you know, about the things they like to get into. You said you were abused sexually. Give me detail. What happened? Like were you raped? Like. 

Amanda: Well, there’s, you know, what the guy that I was living with I wouldn’t call it rape necessarily cause we were boyfriend and [00:22:00] girlfriend, but he would do a lot of forcefully. Like he would like hold me down and like have like sex with me, like it was painful. And I would ask him to stop and he wouldn’t just very forceful sexually.

 So maybe that is rape, but it’s not like, you know, we were already in a relationship, so I don’t know if I could call it that, but 

De’Vannon: Yeah, that’s right. 

Amanda: yeah. So yeah, I mean, it was, it was bad. And then. You know, it, it made me think that because when I moved in with this guy, so to give it some context, like I that’s right after I failed out of college and my father was selling the house that I grew up in, he was living with his then girlfriend.

And so I’m li I’m still living in the house and I’m waking up to strangers, like showing my house. I had no idea that they were going to be there. So I had to get out of there and I had no money. I don’t even think I was, yeah. I probably was working as a cashier [00:23:00] somewhere. But I had nowhere to go, you know, so I moved in with him because I figured, well, at least this is better than being on the street.

You know, I can move in with him. And I, I thought I loved him, you know, at that young age that I was. But as soon as I moved in with him, like things got weird. The force, the forceful sex started, I started noticing like, This weird, like witchcraft type stuff is things that like gave me the heebie-jeebies out for lack of a better explanation.

 And I did later find out that he, his father had molested his sister and his sister had their four molested him. So I think there was a lot of sexual confusion for him that he probably had never dealt with. Not that it makes it okay, what he did to me or what he’s done to other women. But I think it stems from, from that.

 And which is part of the reason why I gave our daughter up for [00:24:00] adoption. But beyond that, you know, I was raped by the gentleman who we robbed not sex, sex, but oral. He told me that if I did not. Do what he demanded that he was going to fucking kill me. So I kinda just did what he said which was awful.

I remember like leaving that scenario and brushing my teeth. Like I had never brushed my teeth before. I just felt so violated and disgusting for doing that. And then having money get handed to me. Right. Like it felt very dirty. All in all I, you know, throughout my life, yes. I’ve been raped on multiple occasions, but I think the ones that I can actually remember are those two.

 Because those were, I mean, I was sober when my ex was, you know, forcefully having sex with me. I was sober when I was assaulted by that older [00:25:00] man much older and I don’t know it, the feeling afterwards. it’s like, it’s hard for me to remember fully, like with my ex, but I can say with the older man is that just, why did that happen?

Like, was I raped? Like I always questioned it. Like I just did, you know, like I always like, well, was that rape? You know, it’s like, I was there, you know, I, you know, I was where I was with this person, you know, so it’s not rape. And I would just like shove it away. Like I wouldn’t describe it that way to anybody until after the fact of realizing what had actually happened.

Oh,

De’Vannon: What may be my favorite line from the movie, set it off, which had queen Latifa, Vivica, Fox, Jada Pinkett Smith. And that girl who was like in some of the Tyler Perry movies and shit. The, the when that hardheaded white cop was trying to get the book, his boss, the black cop to do some, some [00:26:00] stupid shit.

The black cop looks at him and goes. What part of no. Do you not understand? So the N or the O as a favorite line from that movie and so no, honey, right? Like that’s so rapey. We don’t like to get rapey when, when somebody says no th th th th this is flat out it, and unless it’s an explicit. Yes. Even silence is no.

So if a man’s trying to fuck, and you say anything short of a yes, it’s absolutely. Okay. Then he is not too advanced, plain and damn simple playing and down. 

Amanda: Yeah, that’s true.

De’Vannon: tell me about this witchcraft. You mentioned the w word, and I liked it. I liked it. I liked to talk about witchcraft, cause I was, I’ve been a victim of witchcraft before.

Tell me what you saw. 

Amanda: Oh, wow. There were so like, I don’t know if they were taro cards or what they were, but like just like weird shit like that. Just like laying around. He had like, [00:27:00] All these like weird figurines. I never actually saw him like, do anything with it. I think he hid that side of him for me pretty well until I started unearthing some of the things.

 But with witch craft, another weird story that I experienced still very young. I was probably 20. At this point, I was working at a grocery store and the bakery and my boss, like the lead baker or whatever the fuck he was called asked me if I was into witchcraft. And I was like, at the time I was like, I don’t know, like you tell me what’s that, you know, and luckily I did not go with him, but he was going to take me to this like house with all these women who like practice witchcraft.

 And my friend and I were going to go, but I don’t remember what transpired that we didn’t end up going, which I’m grateful for. Because that kind of stuff. It scares me to the point where I like, I won’t go there. [00:28:00] Like if I see it, I’m I’m out. Like, I, I don’t, I, it, it really scares me because what if it’s real?

That’s always been like my fear. Like, what if this is real? Like, what if, like they put a spell on me or what if I get murdered or all that? Because you hear these stories is horrifying stories of, you know, these witchcraft type scenarios. So no, there wasn’t anything crazy explicit to disclose other than like, just strange things that was finding, laying around the apartment.

De’Vannon: I think that’s the way witchcraft goes. It can be little stuff like that that causes us to raise an eyebrow. You know, when people don’t do things for no reason, you know, he’s got the terrible looking cars and the strange figurines. And I think I know what you’re talking about. He didn’t go and get all that shit just to sit around and collect desks.

You know, you know, there, there is a practice happening and you see, God has had his hands on you and he’s been guiding you away from these things. I can see that clearly, you know.

you [00:29:00] you’ve been kissed with mercy woman. And so, and so and so you were very, very special to him. And so And so you say witchcraft could be real.

Yes, it is real. So the way it happened to me, I was the object of this guy’s desire. I was about 15. He was about like 22, the alter Boyd, my church, he was the worship leader. And so what he was doing with me, he decided he wanted to have me all to himself. So he became, it became my kind of an obsession for him.

Now he already had me cause I hadn’t had any experience with a man before. So I’m all in for all with him. And so any of them would have told me to do, I would have done it. He didn’t have to resort to Witchery, but you know, boys will be boys, you know, sometimes, and they are aggressive ways. And so. He was also very, just kind of evil at heart.

It was years later that I found out that he also was at eight, he had full blown aids, that he was running around, trying to [00:30:00] intentionally infect as many people as he could in order to kill them. 

Amanda: Oh, my gosh.

De’Vannon: I, and I barely missed that getting infected by him by, by a hair. And so so it started with he, he got a hold of a windbreaker that he asked to borrow from me and he would never give it back.

And I later learned, learned that he was using my personal possession to feel close to me in knowing what I know now, probably using it to strengthen his spells. I had gone over to his house only once with someone else because that person wants to drop something off to him. And when he opened his door, I could see like an altar type thing with candles and stuff going and stuff like that.

And so. I started having, we started having a conversation that we were like, kind of like dating as best as I could. And me being in high school and him being like a grown ass, a grown ass man.

And so I started [00:31:00] having dreams about him every night, 

Amanda: Hmm.

De’Vannon: his son, he, he wore very distinct cologne and it may have been partially that. And then in the disease that I was smelling in him, there are those of us who can I don’t know if everybody can, but I can like smell certain things in the spirit. Like I can smell when a foul spirit is around me.

It’s a very rank odor. There’s a way you can smell sickness. My pastor, she could smell like new life in the room and can tell if a woman was pregnant and stuff like that. 

Amanda: Oh,

De’Vannon: there was a way to smell in the spirit. So I would smell his sin. I could be anywhere at school at church, just his. And, you know, when people die, when people have died, some people will, will testify that they’ll smell, like say that fragrance, their grandmother used to wear, come around them.

So fragrance is something that is unseen. Spirits are unseen and there is some inmeshment there. So he would send his spirit around me [00:32:00] and during the day, and then a while when I was asleep every night, I would dream about him every night period, all the time. This is not like a random thing. This is something that’s being done intentionally.

And so I later learned through my pastor who was a prophetess who looked through the spirit that told me what was going on when, when he and I had like a big rift when I wouldn’t sleep with him, when he wanted me to sleep with him She was telling me he was burning candles, you know, and I think he was using, what’s called an in tranquil candle.

And if you read the back of that candle, this candle, when the practitioner uses it searches for a wandering spirit, that’s able to cross in between our world in their world. And then they, they evoke the employment of this spirit to go and torture the person who is the object of their affection and to 

Amanda: Holy shit.

De’Vannon: right and to take peace from that person until that person comes and B’s with them.

It’s a very twisted thing to do [00:33:00] for someone you claim to care for. But the only time that I would ever be happy is when I was around him. Other than that, I was fucking miserable. And my dreams about him. Weren’t good. I would feel shit coming into my room and like shake the bed. They were like dark black.

Mysterious fucking nightmares. It took six months from the time that my past and I started working on breaking this spill off of me for it to be broken. And then once it, then one Sunday y’all she looks like she ain’t never heard no shit like in it took six months and then one Sunday morning I was sitting at the kitchen table doing like math or some shit with my parents were like, we’re rarely going to church during these days.

And I felt it lift up off of me so much so that I put my pencil down a kind of like a gas and I had to just like, go take a walk. I just, I had, I had, I had just like all this, all these pounds, I just got lifted off, lifted off of me. [00:34:00] And I just went and walked in. I met my grandmother who was waiting down at the end of the driveway.

And from that day forth, I never smell his scent again. And I never had a fucking dream about him again. 

Amanda: Wow.

De’Vannon: I think, I think after he died, I think he might’ve been dead. I think, I think he may have tried to come back around me again, but I swatted him away and I wouldn’t let it happen because I had learned better than because he, he died like about two years later of those aids that he was running around, trying to give every body went from looking like he had no body fat, six pack chills down, gorgeous model looking man shriveled up on a cane.

I heard he had some kind of cancer with just these pissy all over his fucking body. The fiance that he didn’t tell me that he had, when I was dating him, who had moved to California, who had moved to California to be with him here was the one helping him. So we [00:35:00] buried his ass when he was around 24 years old, but maybe witchcraft is real.

And I speak about it because like that guy who wants to take you to I’m, I’m, I’m thinking that that was a coven, that he was like a coven of witches, like a group of witches that he wanted to take you to either to sacrifice your ass or to get you to join. One of the other and you know, people practice it and it’s, it’s not like you might think, okay.

So people like down here and near in new Orleans, like where I live, you know, and shit like nearby where I live, you know, you can go into these voting shops in these spiritual shops and get all of these things, candles, black powder things to break up people’s relationships, things that kill people, things to close people’s businesses down.

You also can get things to shield yourself and protect yourself things to help enhance their luck and success. Magic is used to either draw something to you to dispel something from you to build up or to tear down. [00:36:00] And just as sure as you’re looking shock this shit at me Right.

now, honey, this is the truth and people practice.

All kinds of Witchery and magic everywhere because these stores can ship this shit worldwide. So you don’t need to be looking for somebody running around in a black cloak than a witch’s hat. They could just eat some bitch wearing a shirt from Walmart and skinny jeans. This is what the girl had on the day when I was in one of these spiritual shops, getting some shit to protect myself because now that I’ve been through witchcraft, I keep myself guarded 24, 24 8. And I and if anybody needs protection against witchcraft, until you learn deeper things, you can just keep you a white candle burning and you can bathe yourself with whites. And just, or maybe like olive oil soap and just keep it simple to start with. And then you could reach out to me if you need any further help than that.

And I’ll see what I can do, but I was just having a casual conversation with this girl asking her what she does like for work. And I don’t ask people what they do for work [00:37:00] anymore, because it’s really a bullshit question. We usually don’t give a fuck, but she would. But she was thinking, I was talking about her spiritual work, because that’s what it’s called.

Like I said, if you’re trying to kill somebody or you want to break up their relationship where you want to run them out of business or make them leave the job and make them move out of their house, you’ll say, Yeah.

I’m working on that person. You know? And so, but I, that’s not what I meant when I asked her that.

But you know, I’m not, I’m not thinking of the place that I’m standing in. And she answered me, she answered me. She was like, oh, you know, just general breakup, spells, like the break up couples and that sort of thing. How are you? You know? So she said 

Amanda: Oh my goodness.

De’Vannon: she said it as casually as the sky is blue. But in the Bible, but in the Bible, it tells us the Hebrew Bible. I always like to give credit to the land where the Bible actually comes from. The Hebrew Bible tells us that there are people who cannot find rest and peace every day until they have found somebody to, to [00:38:00] destroy.

You know, there are people who make it their business to cause problems in people’s lives. So sometimes when you’re in a relationship and suddenly confusion starts coming out of nowhere, or you start seeing this weird shit, like how you did. Let’s pay closer attention. It’s not because we’re crazy. You know, sometimes there might be dark forces at play, so you better get close to God.

You better get the holy ghost. You better learn about spiritual protection and stuff like that. And in, in get, get some, get some head knowledge, baby, because all of these things affect us in this life. And so burying our head in the sand and try to act like it’s not there. It’s not going to help you own it.

Learn it. 

Amanda: Yeah. Yeah. That’s a crazy story. But I believe that, you know, I, I am I can’t smell things, but I have like this innate sense. So like, it’s like, I can tell when something’s bad [00:39:00] or I can, I can literally, like, I was just telling my husband this the other day, cause I I’m I’m prescribed medical marijuana.

So I had been using it for my anxiety and PTSD for a while now. But I decided just to about a month ago, I was like, you know what, like I’m using it too much. It’s just becoming a problem. So I only take a pill so I can sleep at night. I don’t smoke throughout the day anymore. And but ever since I gave that up, it’s like, it’s more intense.

It’s like, I’m, I’m sensing things more. Like I was thinking the other day, I I had like a zoom call with someone. I was like, oh, I’m really not feeling it. Like maybe they’ll cancel. They canceled. There’s another instance where like I was thinking about something and I was thinking about my mother-in-law’s like, oh, that’d be cool if I saw her.

And there, she was like, she didn’t see me. She was driving past and someone else’s car, but there she was I’m like, what is that? Like, why? Cause I’ve always had like, [00:40:00] the people will tell me that, that I have some sort of like intuitive abilities or whatever, but I don’t, I don’t know. It just seems kind of weird to me, but when things like that started happening, you know, and I look back over my life, like I’ve always ignored myself.

So it was like, I always ignored that side of me because I always thought I had to just do what everyone else was doing. I had to keep everyone else happy. So I kind of like forgotten about that part of me. So when it started happening again recently, it’s, it’s cool, but it’s also scary. It’s like, I don’t want to, I don’t want this ability, like, somebody else can have this.

Like I it’s freaks me out. Like I don’t think I should be able to just make things happen like that. I don’t know. It’s weird. So.

De’Vannon: Well, the gifts that we have are not ours to decide, you know? So instead of denying any part of yourself, I encourage you to embrace it. And now, cause you might be getting it conflated and confused in your head, the way [00:41:00] psychics and stuff like that are done in media, you know, and on television and movies and stuff like that.

Because other than that, there’s no reason. For you to feel, and this could be a subconscious thing. There’s no reason. Like if you know nothing about clairvoyance, why would you hate it? Or why would you want to push it off? You must have some sort of negative association to it somewhere, but, but you’re not making those things happen.

You’re just becoming aware of what’s about to happen before it happens. Now, then thing about clairvoyance and you do have that in you. I can see that clearly. The thing about it is God is in control of everything. So.

when I meet somebody and they’re claiming to be an impact or clairvoyant and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, first thing I want to know from them.

Okay. Where are you drawing this power from? Are you getting it from the devil? Are you claiming your dead ancestors are telling you, are you claiming as God? Or who, who are you talking to? Where are you getting these messages from? That’s what I want to know. So for me, [00:42:00] it’s Jesus. It’s God that’ll do dead.

People will come back and tell us shit. Hell yes. They just do, and so. God already knows as a city is the first and the last, the beginning of the ending. So we already knows what’s going to happen. So I get that to, you know, down here in the south, they’ll say, you know, you can talk somebody up, you know, if you start talking about that cousin, then hear the bitch come, you know, and stuff like that, you know, so that you make it happen.

Or perhaps that you receive a message on the inside and you knew they were coming and it manifested as though you were speaking their voice. You see what I’m saying? So, or did you speak it, you know, in that, in that particular case, I believe that that is what happens, what you have experience I’ve had that happened to you know, in many different ways, but it could be that you’re growing in your gift as you get older.

Sometimes it happens like a gradual thing. Some people get hit with, you know, the bulk of their gift all at once. But some of us it’s a more gradual thing. And I noticed that you said that once you laid the weed down, you started to [00:43:00] become more aware of this. Okay. Isn’t that going to stop? So I would encourage you to just get educated about that, which you fear, because fear is never going to serve us and own that power bitch.

If you have the fore knowledge of things before they come, you can help people more, you know, you can help people a lot more. And this is a part of who you are. We’re still learning and evolving. This is appealing appearing to you. Don’t run. Don’t do like Joan in the Bible and run, you know, you know, turn around and embrace and start slow just, and be like, God, what is this?

Help me to understand this better. And then see what he says, leave it alone. You know? I don’t do drugs. I, and I don’t allow myself medical weed or anything like that either. And a part of it is for the very reason that you just said, because of the way my gifts work with me, my clairvoyance and stuff like that.

I dream a lot. Although I also have things that work with me during the day, [00:44:00] like what we’re talking about right now, it’s come to a point that the messages and the things like that, that I get can be so, so, so finite and so like sharp that I can’t have anything in my system. That’s throwing off my balance or my equilibrium at all.

And so I don’t, if there’s anything wrong with drugs, I have a saying for me now I still have my wine. I don’t get drunk anymore or anything like that. But wine has never affected me like that. You know, my pastor, the high prophetess, she was a gifted in all things in a highly clairvoyant woman and she didn’t need no drugs or drink.

She was like, And she would always say, I can’t, I got you. I got a two too. Y’all had too many problems. So she would always be counseling and, you know, prophesizing and telling us what’s going to happen next. And what, what, what herbs? We need to heal ourselves and stuff like That She was like, I don’t know.

I can’t be drunk. Shit. She didn’t cuss. At least not, not around me. I, he was like, I can’t, you know, she had to keep a head [00:45:00] cleaner. So it could be that this whole desire to put the weed down came upon you because your gift is trying to come out. So.

Amanda: That could be true. Cause I, you know, speaking of dreams dreams. So man, I, I literally, when I, especially when I put it down, like, My nightmares. I have nightmares. I don’t have like these beautiful dreams. But like intense, like so vivid it’s like, I can’t handle it. Like I’ll wake up sweating, crying, screaming, or like, I can’t let it go.

Like, I’ll think about all day, like, what did that mean? What did that mean? Like, why did I dream that you know, about spiders and being chased and, you know, people trying to murder me and my family just crazy. And you know, when I researched all that, like I try to figure out what the symbols mean, but at the same time, I don’t know.

I think every, every symbol I’ve ever looked at means the same thing. So I’m like, I don’t know if this is accurate. So but yeah, I mean, [00:46:00] I dream like crazy. Now if I smoke, I won’t dream. It won’t happen. So I think that to be true. But I also can’t sleep if I’m having nightmares all night, all night long.

So it’s also a problem, but,

De’Vannon: What is the recurring assemble? 

Amanda: I have two, so it’s either spiders or I’m being chased. I have been being chased in my dream since I was a child. So it’s just, those are the common two themes.

De’Vannon: Okay. Okay. So when I was but I got done being homeless and being a drug dealer and being on and off the street and in and out of jail, what happened with my dreams during that whole time that I was between the time I got kicked out of the church to the time after I was out of jail for the last time, I didn’t really dream at all.

My dream stopped, which is now, [00:47:00] which is not a good position for me to be in since I’m a dreamer. And that’s how God speaks to me. They started again after I got, you know, was starting to transition from the homelessness and the prison. I mean the jail stuff and stuff like that. They didn’t necessarily returned to being prosthetic just that quickly though, I started having a bunch of dreams of being chased to for a really, really, really long time in my, my, my pastor was telling me that I was reliving everything that I hadn’t gone.

You see, when the trauma goes into us, it has to come back out. It has to be dealt with in some type of way. And so if you’re still having chasing dreams after all this time, then the only reasonable thing that I could come up with is that it’s still tied to some sort of issue that is yet unresolved. You see? And so, because, you know, you know, what are we running from? You know, what are we running from? And it was [00:48:00] just exhausting. Like you said, I would wake up perpendicular my bed sideways, you know, it was like going through it all all over again. It was just that real, the inspire leaders, you know, in the dream world usually have to do with enemies and entanglement and you know, and things like that.

Unless we’re talking about a beautifully done spider’s web, then that has to do with hard work paying off. So then of course, we also have to pay attention to the mood of the dream. So I’m a big fan of hitting therapy. Cause I went to school for that. And then I got certified in that I’m still, I’m seeing him a therapist now to be sure that I don’t go back to drugs because some associations get caught up in our subconscious and things like that.

So she’s, I’m usually hitting the therapy so that we can reframe and replace the positive associations I had with the criminal underworld. And that’s not saying they were bad or wrong just saying that you used to be good and serve me and no longer serves me now. So what can we upgrade to? [00:49:00]

Amanda: Yeah,

De’Vannon: You know? And so I recommend at him, the therapy has been the most effective form of therapy in which I have tried.

I’ve been in front of so many fucking therapists, 

Amanda: same.

De’Vannon: for the last few years, hitting the therapy works the best for me, you know? So everybody’s got to find what works for them, but it gets to the point, because so many times when we sit down in front of regular therapists, we’re dealing on the conscious level because you, a therapist, a regular therapist can only help you with what you tell them in any of them will tell you that if you lie to them, then they’re going to play off of those lies.

You know? And they’re going to tell you, you hurting yourself and the therapy, if you don’t tell the truth, but when you sat down with the hypnotherapists, you can’t lie. Like that sort of question is that they add, you know, that we ask, you know, and things like that are not typical. You know, if we really get to the why behind the why behind the why, because when you’re put into hypnosis, we’re going to tell you what you want us to tell your subconscious, we’re going to access your subconscious [00:50:00] and tell it to you.

And you’re not going to want to tell yourself some bullshit. And then we can tell that we’re being lied to. And so like, for instance, In my last hypnotherapy session, I was telling, tell them how about when I was a drug dealer. I love the power I had over people, and that was a high in and of itself. And, but I was telling her how we were doing the hypnotherapy, just for the drugs.

I have a tendency to be very critical of myself and to have anxiety and to be very judgmental of myself. And I said, somehow, when we did a session about the drugs, I stopped being hard on myself. And then through the questioning, we were like, well, you know, your dad was abusive. The military was abusive.

You didn’t have control in those situations as a drug dealer, you had control, you know, and that makes you feel great. I had never tied those two together before and all the therapists that I sat in front of for the last 10 fucking years that never made the connection until I talked to a hypnotherapist, but we fixed [00:51:00] it without even trying to fix it.

’cause we cause we got into the subconscious and started dealing with things and so much of our problems. So much of our problems, a lie in our subconscious and our subconscious of at least 80% of our brain. You know, the conscious is very little. So it isn’t a throw that out there to you and to everybody who may have maybe wrestling with something and you’ve been wrestling with it a long time, consider hitting the therapy, consult your doctors and everything like that and do your own research.

I went to the hypnosis motivation Institute. They’re the first accredited hypnotherapy school in the country. And so that really, really means a lot. Think about it, pray about it and do what God tells you to do ultimately, but the shit has worked for me and bitch whom the son sets free is free. Indeed.

And I’m feeling fabulous. 

Amanda: That’s great. I’ve thought about the hypnotherapy. But it’s also one of those things where it’s like, Hmm, that, that also scares me. As you can tell, fear is something that has stopped me my whole [00:52:00] life. I think a lot of the things that happen to me over my life or based in fear, you know, that fear of abandonment, the fear of being by myself, like that fear kept me.

You know, so now it’s about embracing my fears and I’ve embraced a lot of my fears over the past three years and have done tremendous improvement in my life. And I was talking to someone earlier about getting a part in for my felony record. And that’s also something I’ve toyed with, but fear keeps me stuck.

Right. I guess I call what if they say no and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But I just have to fucking do it, you know? And if I feel that hypnotherapy, if I’m curious about it, fucking knew it, like, what’s it going to hurt, you know, to try so.

De’Vannon: Right. Yeah.

that fear, that fear will never do. That’s why I left the anonymous movement because when anonymous movement, everybody, I mean like crystal meth, anonymous, narcotics anonymous, alcoholics anonymous. But once I realized that the anonymous program is [00:53:00] fear-based basically it is cause they go, Hey, you’re going to do all your fucked up shit again and lose everything.

If you get high that’s fear, that’s using fear as a motivator, but, but, but the Lord has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and a sound mind. So that is out of agreement with my spiritual beliefs. And so I don’t fuck with the anonymous movement anymore. And what you can do though, like I, at the school I went to, like, you can just.

Pay to take like a single course and get like online and just to get like a taste for it. I did the whole program for like $3,000, but that’s not necessary. You can just take like a course or two and then you can get, and you can watch them hypnotize, hypnotize people. You can see how it medically, how was it done?

Because then the therapist often work in tandem with psychotherapists. 

Amanda: Yeah.

De’Vannon: So you can see the process. You can see how it goes. So when you have fear, the thing for you to do girl is to get knowledge, to overrule that fear. And that’s how you can get the [00:54:00]victory. So you’re afraid of it. Just learn about it.

Cause knowledge, you know, knowledge will clear up the fear because fear is just a bunch of unknown. What if. 

Amanda: Yeah, exactly. Fears. A fear runs us of our lives. You know, what we deserve, you know, because I think, you know, from my experiences and having a felony record, like I was so afraid of people finding out, like I hit it, you know, I would have jobs like good jobs, but they didn’t know. Right. Cause they never asked.

So now I’m going to work every single day, going home. This will be the day they find out this’ll be the day I’m going to get fired. I’m gonna lose everything. And that fear will eat you alive. You know, and I couldn’t move forward with my life, no matter how good the fucking job was, I would sabotage it because of my fears.

And once I released that fear of people finding out and just telling people, I have a good job, I get to work remotely. I, you know, I have a boss [00:55:00] who knows my story and still gave me a job, you know, because at the end of the day, we’re all human and we all have a story, right. We all deserve to be heard.

And I think a lot of times that fear keeps us from being heard and getting what we deserve.

De’Vannon: What were some of the roadblocks you had to, that you came across as being formerly incarcerated? Cause you’re saying you had fear about it. You were able to get work, but where you’ve labeled. Oh, what were some of the problems that you had trying to stabilize your life? 

Amanda: Yeah a lot. I convinced myself that I was a lowlife piece of shit with a felony record. So I lived my life accordingly. I, but then there was the fear of, okay, well, if I go to apply for this job and an ass, like, okay, so you’re online and you’re filling an application. It’s like, have you ever been convicted?

And it’ll be a job. Like, I really want it. And would pay exceptionally well, but I would [00:56:00] just be like, oh, exit application. Like, I can’t have it now. I’d keep telling myself I can’t have it. I can’t do this. I can’t, you know I can’t go back to school and get my bachelor’s degree. I can’t, you know, I mean, well, for fuck’s sake, I still can’t get carry a gun.

So I can’t protect my self. So if I can’t protect myself, my life is meaningless. I why try, you know? And it kind of like solidified in my head that I was less than human and I’m not really free. Everyone else is free, but I’m not. And it could make me cry right now because it’s still upsets me because it’s still true.

You know? I don’t feel like I’m a free human. Like if I, if someone walks in right now and has a gun to my head, I can’t legally do I can’t touch a gun. I can’t, I can’t affect. It’s like, my life is worth less than that person that just busted into my house to ride. So there are a lot of barriers. Like I can’t volunteer at my [00:57:00] kids’ school because I have a felony.

I can’t no matter, even though it’s been 13 years since it happened, like it’s still holds me back. So more recently I have worked through a lot of those fears and have still gone after things to spite it, but I still tend to box myself in sometimes.

De’Vannon: Well, you’re damn sure on the right path, you know, you’re doing what you can and, you know, we all heal in different times. So as long as you don’t quit it, you’re going to be all right. But that’s why you’re still having the dreams that you have, like from hearing the things that you just said, you know, that’s why you’re still being, chasing your dreams when you sleep every night, but it’s not gonna last forever.

I don’t care. How long has it been there? Everything is subject to change. And so, but I heard you use the word, the humanized, or you, you referred to being feeling like you’re less than a human. Yeah.

It’s a [00:58:00] bitch. When you have felonies. I couldn’t volunteer at the museum and shit like that because I had felonies.

I’m like, what in the fuck? Or like say you and I going to do to go, you know, we’re trying to work for free, you know? And you know, you don’t want us to come work for free. Cause some shit we did 5, 10, 15 years ago. Okay. That’s just like, mean at its core, you know, you know, it, it pisses you off and it makes you not want to do shit.

You know, w when, when that happens that way, but we can’t do that. We gotta get strong. We gotta, you know, keep trying, but it was very de-motivating. I ended up starting out as a janitor after I got done being in jail, because that’s pretty much all I could find. And then that was at the veterans affairs hospital through a special program for people with mental health issues.

Not like I applied, it’s not like I was hired regularly. And then from there I started delivering food and I made my way into the service industry. And then I had to go to school. Then I went back to school. I chose to go back to [00:59:00] school to be a massage therapist. And I was winning the business for myself because I got tired of pleading with people to please give me a chance because of some shit I did ages ago.

And I’m all like, You know, so I encourage entrepreneurship, you know, a lot of most people fuck trying to prove yourself to the man, fuck him. 

Amanda: no.

De’Vannon: While he’s probably done worse shit than you have that didn’t get caught for it. 

Amanda: Yeah. Yeah. Very true. Yeah. And like, it, it is de-motivating like, you know, when you think about it, you see like, for me, at least like, you know, you see people making all kinds of money and, you know, drive a nice cars. And like, my brain just automatically goes, I’ll never have that because I made a mistake when I was in my early twenties.

So I just, I guess I’m not deserving. And those are the narratives that I would continuously tell myself until more recently. You know, now I, yeah, I have those thoughts. I mean, I’m probably always will, but it’s knowing [01:00:00] how to, so wait, stop. That’s not true. You know, where, where are the facts? You know, and ever since I started doing my podcast and meeting other formerly incarcerated people and seeing what’s possible.

Holy shit. Like, what was I doing for that whole, like 12 years of my life? Like, where was I? Like under a rock thinking? I was the only person in the world who has a felony conviction. Like I literally thought that, you know, like I knew, obviously there’s other felons, but like in my world, you know, like that, I’m the only one, like, I’m a piece of shit.

Like I just gotta do these drugs and like basically kill myself because I’m not worthy of anything because I went to jail. Like that’s bullshit. And it’s just not true because we can do great things. Look, you’re doing amazing things. You know, a bunch of people I’ve interviewed are doing amazing things and we’ve all spent time locked up all of us.

And it’s a shitty thing to go through. I don’t wish that on anybody to have to [01:01:00] experience losing your freedom in that way, but I’m grateful. I had that experience in a way because it made me appreciate what I have now. Even more like it could always be worse. I could still be in jail. I could have went back.

You know, that didn’t happen though, is that wasn’t my path. And I do believe that my higher power, God may me go through these experiences to be who I am now to be able to shine light on to other people who are feeling what I was feeling for all those years life I had to experience that I had to get knocked on my ass repeatedly to be able to help other people see that there’s a better way to live life.

De’Vannon: And you’ll see that as you continue to do your podcast, you know, it’s healing, it’s something, it’s something that’s very singularly thinking about, just focusing on a problem that helps you to come up with solutions. And so the more you tell your story and I experienced, [01:02:00] this was a surprise of my podcast.

I did not expect it to be a healing thing, but it has been, the writing is as well. We were talking about you possibly writing your own book before we got on the call today, I encourage you to really, really pray about that. An an a memoir is nothing more than a really bad-ass journal entry, 

Amanda: Yeah,

De’Vannon: you know, and it’ll take you a long time to write a memoir or the lengthy process to write since you’re doing actual facts and it has to balance out as opposed to making shit up as you go along, nothing wrong with making shit up as you go along.

I love me fiction read too. But the memoirs are different. If you ever want to go down that route, let me know. I know how to tell you to get started. 

Amanda: no, thanks.

De’Vannon: Now the thoughts that you have, I heard you say that you’ll probably always have them. No, you won’t you’ll know you don’t, you do not have to always have them.

 You just keep going. You know, but perspective is everything, you know, you perceive that you were alone, even though you weren’t alone. When I [01:03:00] got HIV, I perceived I was alone and I was the only one with it. And I was just going to die of aids and eight months, that that was the truth that I choose.

That was a lie that I chose to accept as true. It wasn’t, I needed more information. It’s perspective is everything. People have killed themselves because of having a perspective that made them feel isolated, even though they weren’t. And so that’s why I love doing shows like this so that we can be super transparent so that someone can hear it and not kill themselves today. 

Amanda: Yeah, because it’s, it’s, it’s life is worth it. I know that shit sucks. And you’re going to go through shit, but you, I believe wholeheartedly and that we are never given more than we can handle. So if you’re given something that feels heavy and you feel like, fuck, like I can’t handle this, you can, or else it wouldn’t be happening.

And that’s my experience with throughout life, because I look back at all the shit I’ve been through and like how was off. Did I not [01:04:00] die, but there’s a reason.

De’Vannon: God, wasn’t ready for you to die. I mean, it’s as simple as that, and you’re not going to be part of this plane of existence and he’s ready for you to, and you can close the book on that one. Cause that’s just the way that goes. And so, but if, but if someone doesn’t believe that, then you can see it right here.

She’s telling her story. Now she could have gotten delivered from all that she has been delivered from and led a quiet, successful life. Making a choice to do a podcast is not a decision that’s made lightly. Some people get into this. Actually many people get into this and they stopped because they were in it for the wrong. 

Amanda: Yeah, 

De’Vannon: You have a testimony and by having a podcast and you know, it’s, it’s, this is, this is better than standing up in church on Sunday and testifying, you know, a podcast, these episodes are recorded and they will remain. Whether you decide to stop the show in a few years, you can move on to something bigger and better, or [01:05:00] or you, or you keep it for the rest of your life or whatever the shows are permanent.

They’re always going to be available until the earth ends. And so this is like a permanent documented audio visual testimony that people can go back and listen to time and time and time and time again. So the healing work that you’re doing through your show will live. You will outlast you and. This is why you’re still alive.

Somebody has to survive to tell it so that people can be warned about the things that they’re doing so that people can feel like they’re not alone if they’re currently doing them. And then so people can not judge people who have been through the things that we’ve been through so they can get it from an, from an insider perspective instead of from the outside looking in. 

Amanda: Yeah.

De’Vannon: And that is why, that is why we are here. So the last question that I wanted to ask you before we begin to wrap this up, and I thank you so much for the time spent here with me today, you had mentioned about the [01:06:00] adoption. You were saying part of the reason that you gave up the daughter was because of, I think the abusive situation or the, what the guy was doing to you.

They explained to me that reasoning. 

Amanda: Yeah. So with her, you know, it was that it was his abusiveness, but it was also the fact that I had no means to take care of her. I didn’t have a job. I was homeless. I was living in a shelter there again. I just, I couldn’t think it was a very hard decision at a very young age, but the ultimate decision came from, I love her too much to bring her into my case.

 And the same and I gave, I was pregnant while I was incarcerated and I gave her to the same family. So they’re actual sisters, they have the same mother and father. And I gave the second one, not for the same reasons. Like I was incarcerated. Like what kind of life [01:07:00] was I going to provide? And I had my son in the middle of them too.

And my son, you know, he’s here with me. He’s 16 now, but you know, I, I saw what he had been through in his short life. By the time I had, you know, my second daughter and I felt so much guilt and I still have a lot of guilt around my son. That’s something I’m working through, but you know, it was the ultimate feeling of I can’t provide for this innocent child.

The, the least I can do is give them a chance at a good life. And they have it, you know, they have the life that they deserve to have. And that is why I gave my daughters up for it.

De’Vannon: Tell me how it made you feel to do that. So, cause this is this can be a healing moment for someone else. Who’s had to give up their kid for adoption or, or who may decide to do that, to talk to me about that sort of pain. 

Amanda: Hmm. [01:08:00] Well, with my first daughter it wasn’t as intense with my second. So when I was 19 and when I had my first daughter, like I had no like previous experience, you know, this is what I chose to do. It shattered my heart. I mean, I cried for countless days. That was right around the time that monsters Inc came out.

 And there’s a scene where the monster has to give booboo back and lost my shit, lost my shit. Like, couldn’t handle it. I wanted her back. I remember, God know, like I made the wrong choice. Like I need her back. And and so sorry, so, you know, I wanted her back and I remember my step-grandmother at the time said, what are you, if you get her back, what are you going to do? So you don’t have a place for her to live. Like I was living with them at the time and I was like, this is true. You know? And so I, I kinda had this [01:09:00] empty feeling, but I didn’t quite understand it.

Now with the second time I couldn’t handle it. I knew I made the right choice for her, but the family brought my oldest with them. And at the time she was like five or six years old. I met her and I had to, I chose to rather hand my baby to that. And I remember like handing her to them and just like, my whole body just like, started collapsing.

Like it was like this intense, like I’m going to pass out. Like I can’t. And I had to like run out of the room and I scared my older daughter which I felt horrible about, but I couldn’t hold it back. Like I just, I lost it. And I remember like collapsing in the room after I left the room where they were and the, the one woman who worked for the agency was there with me.

 And she just like held me and I felt [01:10:00] like a horrible person. It took me a while to accept that I’d done the right thing. I still have a lot of

guilt around it. I recently got pictures of them. Like my oldest will be 18 in may. So my hope is that she’ll want to meet. But it’s, it’s hard. It’s hard being a mother and not knowing your kids at all. Like, I don’t know them, you know? I hope that they have some traits of mine. But you know, I think the feeling was a mixture of I’m devastated, but I also have a weight lifted knowing that they’re safe and they don’t have to do with my shit.

So.

De’Vannon: Oh fuck. Fuck. I admire your strength. I admire your courage [01:11:00] and I appreciate your vulnerability because you know, oh my God, I can’t even imagine, you know, having a sense that cause you feel, you know, they’re alive and so you still feel an attachment to them, but you’re also not able to put your hands on them.

Oh my God. That just. 

Amanda: Yeah.

De’Vannon: You go girl. 

Amanda: I really hope that, you know, they do eventually want to meet me. I know I can’t have that expectation. I have to let it happen when it’s meant to happen, but I was watching wait, Magnolias on Netflix and holy shit, I love that show. But the one guy on there he’s adopted and he came to their town to find his birth mother.

And like he found her and it’s like that feeling of, I really want that, you know, and it almost made me like, it’s bittersweet. It’s like, oh, I love that. That character got what he wanted, but at the same time, I want that too. You know? So when I see things like that, it it’s, it’s, it’s very emotional. I [01:12:00]don’t talk, talk about it very often because I get extremely emotional.

So, but yeah, it was, it was really hard.

De’Vannon: I appreciate you sharing that. I said that was gonna be my last question, but I lied. It was the last one. Cause in your file, I was reading, you said that you had overcome addiction. Okay. Most people don’t refer to it that way, because like in the anonymous movement, they tell you, you can never overcome addiction, which I disagree with.

And so I’m just wondering what your philosophy is on addiction and how you overcame it. And then with that, after that, then you can give us like your final word, whatever encouraging words you want to say, you know, Oprah will drop the mic and get off the stage for this. 

Amanda: Well, overcoming addiction is, you know, so for me, I was addicted to cocaine pills. I don’t like to say I was addicted to marijuana because I truly don’t believe marijuana is a drug, but there’s, there’s two sides to [01:13:00] that. Cause I, it was a problem for me in the moments that I was smoking regularly.

And alcohol, but it was also people, places and things. So in order for me to not keep going backwards to the same patterns and drinking, I had to remove myself from people, places and things. I had to give up toxic friendships. I had to walk away from toxic environments. I had to, I, you know, I, I don’t, I didn’t move that far.

I moved 15 minutes away from where I grew up, but I live, it’s a different town. It’s, you know, it’s not, I’m not surrounded by those same people, but because of my children, I have to, oops, I have to stay in this general area. But anyway, so overcoming, it was just not picking up again. And I know this comes from like the 12 step world, but living truly one day at a time, knowing that today I’m not going to pick up drugs or alcohol.[01:14:00]

Because I’m worth it. And then if I have a trigger where I’m like, Ooh, I want to smoke, or I want to, you know, do pills or whatever cocaine or whatever comes to my mind. It’s like, but is it worth it? What is going to happen if you pick up again? And then I tell myself, well, shit, I’ll lose everything very fast because it’s a quick transition.

 And just really living that life and talking about my emotions and not hiding them. That’s a huge part of it. Cause I hid my emotions. I still do from time to time. But I try really hard to be open about my emotions if I don’t feel it’s something I can talk about, I journal about it, you know? And that to me is overcoming it because yeah, by definition while I always be an addict, of course, but I don’t label, I don’t want to label myself as that.

I don’t want to feel like it’s something that’s bad. Because I don’t think it is because addiction is a disease, in my opinion. And [01:15:00] just like anything else, if you can figure out for you the best way to stay away from it and to keep yourself clean, that’s, what’s going to work for you. And that’s the works for me.

I don’t go to 12 step meetings I have in the past. But my experience, I felt like it was a cult. So I, I have not, I have toyed with going back, but I didn’t. But yeah, so 

De’Vannon: It’s cold. It’s cult-y. 

Amanda: I think so.

De’Vannon: Thank you for that breakdown. My dear. So any I like to let my guests on the last word. so.

any fucking thing you want to say to the peoples? 

Amanda: Yes. So this is something I truly always say, but it’s so damn important. Like you are stronger than you think you are. There is nothing in this world that’s going to be given to you that you can’t handle. And live life one day at a time because stressing over the future will get you nowhere and then stressing about the past.

Isn’t going to help you either. So it’s living for today and feeling your [01:16:00] emotions and knowing that it’s okay to feel your emotions because it is you don’t ha I don’t care if you’re a man, a woman, whatever, if you need to cry, fucking cry. If you need to scream, fucking scream, like fill your fucking emotions to their fullest, because that’s the only way you’re going to be able to go through them and not allow them to consume you and wind up back on drugs or incarcerated or something worse.

You can don’t, you know, your life is worth so much more than not, and that you’re not alone.

De’Vannon: Thank you so much. for all of that. Everybody, Amanda Aker, a website is amend the acker.com Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn. I will put all of this in the show notes as I always do. She’s the hostess from the Le good things in show. Thank you so much, Amanda. I appreciate you. And God’s blessings be upon you.

Amanda: Thank you so much.[01:17:00]

De’Vannon: Thank you all so much for taking time to listen to the sex drugs and Jesus podcast. It really means everything to me. Look, if you love the show, you can find more information and resources at sex, drugs, and jesus.com or wherever you listen to your podcast. Feel free to reach out to me directly at DeVannon@SexDrugsAndJesus.com and on Twitter and Facebook as well.

My name is De’Vannon and it’s been wonderful being your host today and just remember that everything is going to be all right.

 

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