I wish everybody would just shut up about R. Kelly! I know people are entitled to their freedom of speech, as am I, which is why I am speaking out publicly, for once and for all, about how I was abused by my mother’s boyfriend when I was 14 years old. He was 27. She was 40. My mother knew, and my mother did nothing. The memory of it all still haunts me. To this day, we have never discussed this.
I am so freaking angry and fed up with all of the comments on social media of people asking why the women are just now speaking out. It’s been 36 years for me and I have never spoken out. I have never had the courage to go toe-to-toe with my mother about this and no one in my family has ever challenged her about what happened to me either, although many people knew. I have hinted about certain things that happened to me, but never have I ever said in writing how angry and hurt and disappointed I am with myself and with my mother. Although I accepted the part I played in all of it and continued to work through forgiving myself and my mom, the irony is that as of last May, my mother and my only sister, my two oldest daughters (I have six), my only granddaughter, my only niece (on my mom’s side), and her son–all of them–they all have disowned me. They think it’s over my mother’s money, but I know, at the root of it all, that my mother has never forgiven herself or me, and I think, based upon her actions, that this has caused her to hate me. That’s how it is now.
But what about then?
Well, before my mother’s boyfriend ever held my hand (how all this mess started), he gave me the attention that no one else in my family cared to give. My parents separated when I was 11 and we moved from our south side home I loved to a high rise apartment in Hyde Park that I hated. This dichotomy would open the portal for my predator to enter. At the time, my mother drove a brown Toyota Celica hatchback with custom yellow and orange stripes along the side of the car. When they first started dating, he would come visit me at my father’s house when I would be there unsupervised during summers. My friends all thought it was cool that he would come and see us, and since we were mischievous, unsupervised kids, he brought us cigarettes, weed, and penny candy. It makes me sick to even think about it.
Plus, keep in mind, neighbors, the people that used to be my mother’s neighbors and friends, they saw him coming by. They knew.
And this is what people don’t understand.
Do you think I didn’t know it was wrong for him to come by? Sure I did. But he was my mother’s friend and her friends saw what was happening so in my mind he must have been someone to be trusted, plus if I would have said something, then I wouldn’t be cool with my friends, and we wouldn’t get car rides, and our free weed and candy supply would have been cut off. Does that make me dumb or stupid or conniving? Perhaps. But it sure as hell shows I was a kid.
And that’s the part that hurts so much.
Many times I heard the women who spoke about R. Kelly use the word “naive” and I absolutely feel their pain. You see, at the time this was happening, I was a straight “A” student. I was on the honor roll. I was smart! But, how, how, how, could I have been so smart and so stupid at the same time? This is the haunting question that women are left to deal with, forever scarred by their disjointed and fragmented minds that seem to have abandoned logic and fallen for the “game.”
On behalf of every woman, or should I say, ever girl, who’s been in this predicament, can I just explain something about this to you? No one wants to admit this. It is mentally scarring and devastating and taxing and overwhelming and so freaking painful. The agony of the tormented question: “How could I be so stupid?”
That question tore me up for years, along with everything else that went along with my experience. For me, it went from candy and gifts, to rides, to hand holding, to tickling to wrestling, to sex–with promises of gifts and gadgets strewn between every act. My parents argued over who would buy me what and the boyfriend and I overheard them, so what what did he do? Like any good predator he told me not to worry because he would buy me everything they wouldn’t. He was like a special new “daddy” for me.
Oh my God, to hear those women say that R. Kelly wanted them to call him “daddy” almost made me throw up right on the TV!
Why God? Why did we have to go through this? I am writing this, and still, after all these years, hurting and crying and processing all this mess without the reconciliation one would think family would give.
So for all those who quipped, “Why did they wait so long to say something?” Well, ignorance and pain has no zip code, color, or bounds. Maybe they didn’t want their families to suffer ridicule. I know I didn’t. I thought my father would kill the guy and I didn’t want him to go to jail so I said nothing. To think, there I was as a child protecting adults who were either clueless, are cared less about protecting me.
Now that shit hurts!
So please just shut the fuck up! (Lord forgive my language). YOU DON’T KNOW what you would do in that situation. You don’t know how painful it is. You don’t know what you would do for money or attention or whatever AS A CHILD.
And you also don’t know how many mothers and fathers and families who knew exactly what was going on and chose to rather turn a blind eye so they didn’t have to deal with the consequences of what could potentially take place because they too, might have been accused, and guilty of being accomplices.
It’s interesting because I had another one of my daughters tell me that my family has told her that I am a liar. They told her nothing ever happened to me when I was a teenager. Can you believe that? Now, on top of everything else, to justify their hurtful, dysfunctional actions, now they are telling my own children that I am a liar!
Reader, are you picking up on something here? Families, (God willing I pray not all), don’t want to deal with this mess. Families would rather sweep it all under the rug and just let it all go away. That’s what mine wants, but as a mother of six daughters, how can I?
I am fiercely overprotective and have had no choice but to explain certain truths to them about my mother so as to kill the repetitive cycle of generational curses, because, according to my mother, her uncle abused her, and that same man tried to, or did, abuse my sister. Do you think I want MY daughters walking around confused, always second guessing themselves? No! I don’t, but that’s what abuse does. It damages you psychologically and makes you unable to discern what is right from wrong because if you knew that, you would never have ended up an abused, hurting, distraught, wounded girl. At some point, you decide avoidance is simply the safest and easiest route.
I genuinely do not know my mother’s address, however I am certain she lives on Avoidance Road at the corner of Denial Lane. That is a safe place for her, as it is for countless others…until one day, the bitterness of stuffing the pain and trauma becomes more unbearable than spitting up all the truth. And that’s what those women did, but it takes T-I-M-E and courage, and faith, and resilience, and a made up mind that enough is enough.
Now let me tell you one last thing in response to all the people asking why these women waited until now to say something, and here’s my response to that:
I am a fitness trainer and love teaching exercise classes. Some people like working out alone, but research has proven that people have far greater results when they exercise with others. The camaraderie, the group aspect and the feeling of inclusion makes people feel more competent and confident to deal with their health, be it, weight loss, flexibility, stamina and endurance, or whatever the case may be.
Now mind you, we are living at a time when more people are overweight than ever before, and yet, we have more modern conveniences and technological advances to equip people to live optimal lives. So, reader, let me ask you to consider this, since so many people are overweight and/or unhealthy: Why are so many people so fat? Why do people take so long to deal with it? Don’t they know that being overweight is unhealthy? Haven’t people seen all the news reports about skyrocketing health care costs and all the things people can do to live longer? Why is the gym packed in January? Why do people wait until January to do something they needed to do June of last year or ten years’ prior?
Do I need to say what my point is or can you see it for yourself?
And now, just imagine if I asked the new people who came into my class today: Why did you wait until now to start exercising? You’ve known all along that you needed to lose weight or strengthen your heart and muscles? You’re just NOW joining the gym?!?!
Do you see what I mean?
We all have our own crosses to bear and we all deal with things in God’s good time. I absolutely do not intend to offend anyone as I ask the above questions, but do you see how cutting and hurtful and arrogant and prideful and insensitive that sounds?!?! Well, that’s how people sound to me when they talk about R. Kelly and the women who dared to come out–especially against icons, and moguls, and superstars. It’s scary, but these women courageously come forth and demonstrate that it may have taken some time and it may be overdue, but damnit, I’m telling my truth! I’m dealing with this! That to me deserves more awards and money than R. Kelly, and any other abusive predator has earned–and there have been many!
So please, do me a favor, and just shut up. You really don’t know what you would do. You don’t even know why you eat the way you do or sleep with the people you do or are as physically inactive as you are or indulge in the habits you have that you have yet to conquer or why you don’t go to church or why you do go to church and are as mean and sinful as the predators and pedophiles that you condemn. You don’t know.
Can you imagine what the day must be like for these women now as they go out and may have others snicker and stare, as if to say, “You are sooooooo stupid.”
That’s how I feel, even today. I wish I had said something then. I wish my father knew. I wish my mother had comforted me and at least acted like she cared.
“I wish, I wish, I wish. I wish, I wish, I wish…”
R. Kelly might be an f’ed up man, but he gave us some good music. I pray for his total healing as he will surely have many demons to haunt him more than mean old Ebenezer ever did that one cold night. And I especially pray for the women and their minds because if they are anything like me, they look back over their lives and wonder what they could have done differently. Thankfully, I have come to learn that everything that happened to me will eventually work for my good and that God has given me beauty for ashes, but that didn’t come until after many years of heartache, pain, addiction, grief, and continued poor decisions.
Truly, “I wish, I wish, I wish. I wish, I wish, I wish…”
Like what you read? Type your email address in the box and click the “Create Subscription” button to subscribe to my blog, “The Everyday Me” and you’ll be alerted when I’ve published a new blog. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.
About Me: I’m a wife and mom of six daughters known as “The Fitness Evangelist” because of my ability to take ordinary fitness classes and turn them into worshipful experiences. I have graduate degrees in Writing and Exercise Science and Health Promotion, and I’m also a certified fitness instructor through the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America. I help people with their health and fitness goals any where in the world through my online business with Total Life Changes. For more information about TLC, you can visit my website at http://totallifechanges.com/elanainspires. IBO #8154411, or feel to free email me at email@example.com.