Last year I did a series of posts where others sent me letters they wanted to write. I received letters of regret, love, confession and thanks. They were beautifully written and many were poignant. I never shared my own letter, but I did write one.
So tonight I am ready to share mine.
I met you when I was only a child, and was drawn to you. You were well known and greatly respected in your chosen field. I was delighted to be “liked” by you, and enjoyed the extra support and encouragement you gave me.
You were my coach, my mentor. In time you became more important to me than my parents, family or friends.
I was happy to be around you, to babysit for you, to have extra training with you.
You were using me. Creating a friendship built on a lie. After a few months grooming you made your move. Within weeks you had enveloped me in a giant net, from which I could not escape. I was thirteen years old.
Too young to understand. I did not have the courage to ask for help. My friends didn’t understand, and most deserted me. My reaction to my distress, shame and hurt at what was happening, caused me to become withdrawn at home. My parents could not reach me. Even surrounded by brothers, sisters and loving parents, I was alone.
You had succeeded in your mission.
As I grew up, you tightened the noose. You stalked me. Trying to control every moment of my day from a distance.
However you made one miscalculation. I was not as weak as you thought. A combination of my mothers steely nature and my fathers quiet strength, allowed me to break free.
I met a wonderful man, who along with some incredible friends picked up the pieces.
They made me whole once more. Yes I was battered and scarred, but no longer broken.
And then I came looking for you.
I discovered many more who were also looking. You ran, escaping to a faraway country. The news broke. My family struggled. Unwelcome notoriety came knocking on our door. Others took up the call and went looking for you.
A legal loophole stopped us. You would not be sent back.
We would never have our day in court.
Some may say we never got justice.
I say that I am well and happy. You took my childhood but that is only a few short years, I have reclaimed my life.
I am glad I will never again see you.
I will never forget what you took from me, nor will I ever forgive you. But you no longer control my life.
You cannot say that about your own life. You have to be ever watchful. Because wherever you go we find you.
Journalists and police keep an eye on you.
You are scorned in your own neighbourhood.
As I hug my husband and hold my children close, I smile as I think of you.
Abandoned by your family, watched by the authorities, suffering from ever increasing financial difficulties. You are living the life you deserve.
I am writing this letter to let you know,
I too am living the life I deserve!
If you would like to read the other letters in this series you can find them here.