The Prairie Sage: Letter to a Molester
Prairie Sage as a Child
Dear Mr. Molester:
You may not remember me, but I have thought about you for the last thirty five years. Not every day, and sometimes not for weeks at a time, but I think about you pretty regularly.
As each of my daughters turned eight, I thought about you. When I take my children to the drive in, I think about you. When I see sad little girls, who look lonely and forgotten, I think about you. Sometimes, I awaken in the middle of the night, shaking with fear and loathing, and I think about you.
Do you remember the innocent girl I was? I don't. She only existed for a short time. Then, your cunning words and despicable acts killed that girl. In her place stood a child, fearful, cautious, mistrusting, and full of self loathing.
As a woman, I have carried that baggage for too many years. It is time for me to free myself from the slimey stain of you, and grow into the woman I was meant to be.
I remember the drive-in. My little sister and I, excited to be going with you and grandma, dressed in our nightgowns and slippers, promised to behave. And you invited me onto your lap, so I could see over the dashboard. And your hands in places that had never been seen or touched. And your whispered promise in my ear, that I could be your girlfriend, if I promised not to tell. Later, the promise became a whispered threat. After a while, when the thrill of being someone's "girlfriend" was replaced with the horror of what you would do to me, you threatened to tell my parents, to harm my little sister. My silence bought my protection. So I thought.
Years did not erase the horrible pit in my stomach. The feeling of being used, of being worthless, the feeling that I only mattered to people who could use me: these feelings rotted in my gut until I hated myself, my sister, my parents.... and deeper inside, where no one was ever allowed to see, the little girl cried. She cried from fear. She cried from lonliness. She cried from lying. She cried that no one really loved her, no one protected her, no one cared if she hurt.
Now I am done. I am done fearing you. I am done loathing you. I am done remembering you. I gave you power over the last thirty five years. Now, I take my power back. I am strong. I am not afraid. I am brave. I am loved. I am cared for. I am protected. If there is no one to do these things for me, I love, protect and care about myself. I will be your victim no more.
We victims have a choice. After the pain, lonliness, anger, fear, loathing and hatred subside, we can choose freedom. We can choose strength. We can choose not to let you control our lives any longer.
As for you, you have a choice too. You can seek forgiveness. You can make ammends. You can choose to have your life be different.
It is never too late to choose peace, love and forgiveness. I am through hating. I forgive you. I forget you. I choose a higher path.
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