AN OPEN LETTER....

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In a recent news story, MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry recited a powerful open letter to Indiana’s Senatorial Candidate, Richard Murdoch toward the end of her self-titled show on his recent remarks of how it was God’s will for a woman to get rape and pregnant by her attacker. The video of Ms. Perry was so inspiring that I've decided to express the same sentiment. Yet my open letter is not to Mr. Murdoch but to a group of people that I've met during my lifetime—my attackers.

Dear Sad and Unfortunate Ones,

After going through years of counseling and prayers, I've come to terms as to why every relationship I've been in went awry; or why I end up in inappropriate affairs, or why I accepted being the second option, the backup, and the two a.m. booty-call. Every relational decision I've made, every tear I've cried, every how-did-I-get-into-this-situation rant, every self-loathing, suicidal thought and guilt, all stems back to you—the cowardly attacker.

However, I won’t give you the satisfaction of placing all of my bad choices firmly on you because the key word in this sentence is CHOICE. The backbone I should’ve grown to end that madness was a part of me. The only thing I place squarely on you is most likely you've been abused yourself—either sexually, physically, or suffered some type of neglect—but it doesn't matter. What you've endured on me, I didn't inflict on someone’s child—I didn't continue an ugly cycle of lifetime pain and mistrust. I'd chose to move on with my life the best way I knew how, despite carrying that shame and guilt. My personal hell was mine alone, but that was less I can say about you. Your choice was based on selfishness, and didn't give a flying fuck about the consequences.

But that wasn't what it was about, wasn't it? Rather, it was a few minutes of lust to sooth your pleasure. To make you feel superior next to my vulnerability. Just because you suffered abuse with the images of whomever had hurt you playing your head, you chose to inflict that same hurt on the defenseless. Releasing your anger and rage by fondling my sacred parts or elevating it by penetrating deep into my innocence--you flat out didn't care as long as you got it. Then after you reached your shameful point, you knew how much you've hurt me—the window to my soul was transparent. You went your way and I went mine, as if nothing had happened.

The salutation in this letter, however, is plural, and yet I’m treating this as one act because the guilt and shame I wore for years. At the tender age of eight I was confused with her inappropriate touch that left me wondering, this is wrong but why does it feel good? Then my confusion turned into fear two years later when he crushed any trust I had in men—and then that mistrust turned into self-hatred when I was sixteen…I became the train at a party.

So to you, Sad and Unfortunate people, please don’t take this open letter as pity. My words are my strength. Your few minutes of perversion only gave me temporary grief. I chose not to swim in your bullshit but gathered any strength I had to not let the past define me—or you define me. I chose to wake every morning and rejoice on the future; I chose writing as my therapy to blossom into something more; I’ve chosen happiness; I’ve chosen the free will God gave me to use my gift as awareness for lost souls like you—and more importantly, I’m choosing not to be the victim or just surviving but to thrive. I’m holding the keys now and not you.

Sad and Unfortunate one, this may come as a shock to you but I do forgive you. Though, I’m not doing this for your benefit but for mine. I have to free myself from your psychological bondage to love myself the way I should’ve done years ago. You, however, need to do the same to whoever hurt you. That person had planted your seed of a pedophiliac life. So I’ll ask you this, when will it ever stop? When will you fight those personal demons and stop the cycle? Although you cannot go back in time and return my innocence, you should rectify the wrongs by opening your eyes at you've created. At least facing them is a start and to understand what you've become.

As an author of Zion’s Road I do believe in second chances—everyone no matter how much they screwed their lives or to others—they, too, deserves a chance to get their life right. So, I’m going to leave it up to you with your thoughts and the past. There’s nothing you can do to me. I’m too empowered to even worry about the yesterdays because your selfishness didn't break me; it only strengthened me.

You see, I’m still standing.



Sincerely,

Imani Wisdom


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