This is an open letter to all the abusers.
I’ve been fortunate to only directly encounter a handful of you so far in my thirty years of life.
But I’ve heard about many more of you through friends, women I work with, and from strangers who are brave enough to share their stories with the world.
Courageous women, and men, who’s lives have been cruelly intruded and altered by the selfish, twisted actions of a few misguided, calculating souls. People who perhaps were not born abusers, but somehow, grew into those shoes; thinking it’s okay to take something from another being without permission.
You know who you are.
The paedophiles, the emotional and physical abusers, the ones who sexually assault and coerce, the ones who oppress and traffic, and the ones who rape.
It doesn’t matter if you did it once, or hundreds of times. You are an abuser, and I’m speaking to you.
I hope you know the pleasure or power or money you gain in that moment is fleeting. It comes and it goes in a heartbeat. And when you reach the end of your time here, you have to give it all back. None of the illusive jewels go with you, wherever it is you’re headed next.
But you know what does go with you?
Your actions, your intentions, and the consequences of those.
Make no mistake, they will follow you into the next life and beyond; where you will have to work out your karma. Neither of us know where that will take you, but I promise you this: the pain and suffering you have caused others will remain. It will hang like a chain around your shoulders; echoing what you did. And your mind may not remember, but your soul will.
So before you breathe your last breath here in this body, I hope you become aware of the monster starring back at you in the mirror, and that you want to change. I hope your actions make you sick to your stomach, and that you commit to doing anything to make things right again.
Because although you can never erase your actions, or the pain and trauma you’ve caused, you can admit to your mistakes. You can pay for them. You can find your true self, underneath all the layers you’re buried under. And you can start walking, one step at a time, down a new road.
So I hope you’re somewhere on your knees, praying. Praying for forgiveness, and healing; for yourself and all those you’ve harmed. Praying for hope and light and a better way.
And as for us; the abused; we will be okay.
Maybe not today, and perhaps not tomorrow, but in time, we will be okay.
We will grapple with forgiveness, eventually succumbing, if only so that we can finally be at peace and move on. We will transmute that rage and pain and those scars, into strength and growth.
Although we will never forget, in time, we will heal. We will let go of the word victim, and we will be free. From you, and from our suffering.
Because we’re stronger than you. We always have been.
And somewhere deep within, nestled between our bones, is a wild power. A power that we may not have known existed, until you. A power you felt, and were instinctively drawn to.
You thought you could take it from us; perhaps you still believe you can, or that you did.
But I’m here to let you know that you didn’t. For it cannot be taken; only given away. And we never gave our power away to you.