Many years ago, I was involved with a man whom I initially thought was “too good to be true”; It turns out that he personified the other adages that denote evil. He terrorized, bullied, belittled and ultimately attempted to take my life.
For so many moments in that ‘other life’ both before and after his final attempt, I admit that I thought of assisting him in that quest; silence and death seemed preferable to the noise I was living. Thankfully, I failed.
Okay…let’s address this: like so many other prevalent, important and epidemic realities, abuse, whether verbal or physical, is something that we do speak about; but mostly in whispers. It is time to erase the shame that the victims feel and lend them your voices, the strong voices, so that they can feel confident to speak up, speak out and expose those that attempt to silence them.
Because and only because I have erased his name from my lips, will I not call it, the name of my abuser; but suffice it to say that I let him in; he got very close to my most prized possession, my daughter, Aneesa (and yes, her name will always be on my tongue). And, I truly believe that it was because of her, in understanding the very damaging lesson I was unwittingly sharing with her, that I found the resolve to begin the process to safely leave that man. So, thank you, my love.
I left; and here I am. It was not easy; in fact, it was dangerous, painful, fearful, tearful and destructive. It was the stuff that insecurities are made of. It is no mistake that I have chosen to seemingly gloss over many of the details and those who know me well may be shocked at my reticence. Let me explain that decision – my reserve is not borne of fear or risk of threat, it is simply that what he tried to do, what he did manage to do, is no longer the part of the story that matters.
This is a “thank you” note: Dear MF (and even though it is appropriate, it does not stand for mother fucker), I thank you sincerely for happening to me. You see, a very big part of the woman I am today is because of your actions. All those years ago you chose to attempt to break my will, my spirit and to extinguish my light; but what you have succeeded in doing instead, is to have infused me with an indomitable will to survive, to succeed and to live. You and your actions have borne in me a purpose to live my life, sharing my life. You have given me a voice; my voice. Now, because of the path you have set me on, I will carry on and have dedicated myself to helping and one day healing other women who have come across other men like you.
So, in conclusion, I sincerely thank you. I thank you for your evil, your wicked and your destructive sides. I pray that you too seek the healing that you so need. I finally offer you forgiveness for what you have done. I pray that I never cross paths with you again; but if you ever dare to look in my direction, be proud of the legacy that I now live in your name.