Dear Parents Who Threw Their Children Out onto the Streets ~
Early this morning at sunrise I saw your son. He emerged from behind a store where he’s been sleeping on the concrete. He was trembling from the morning cold, hungry and exhausted. He doesn’t sleep well outside but he does it every night. I took him to a restaurant where he warmed up from the cold and we ate breakfast together. He is a good young man who is so very talented. He’s an amazing artist with a wonderful sense of humor. I thought you might want to know that despite the beatings he suffered within your home, and you throwing him out onto the streets, day by day, he’s inching his way back to his heart and learning to accept himself as the sacred blessing, miracle, and gift he is, despite you rejecting him.
I met your daughter the other night. It was late when the police called my phone and woke me up at 1:34 am. I could hear your daughter screaming in the background as the police officer asked me to come out and see if I could help calm her and get her to a safe house. You see, your daughter was manipulated by predators who call themselves pimps. Over a period of several months these predators drugged her, violated her, and convinced her that they care about her. They sold her over and over again, and over and over again. When I arrived on the scene, I looked at your daughter and the first thing I said to her was, “You’re a sacred blessing, miracle, and gift.” I just sat there with her as she was wrapped in a blanket shivering from trauma, but she was also wrapped in love by the officers and I who continually reminded her that she’s safe now and none of what happened to her is her fault. As I drove her to a safe house she decided to tell me part of her story. She told me about when she was sexually abused at an early age and held it in for as long as she could. Then one day, with all the courage she could muster, she came to you and told you about what was done to her. To her heartbreaking surprise, you didn’t believe her, and not only did you not believe her, you demanded that she not say anything to anyone. Not long after you didn’t believe her and she stuffed the horrific truth of what happened to her way down in the depths of her being as you demanded she do, she began cutting herself, using drugs, and drinking alcohol. She told me about all the times you insisted that she is crazy and took her to and from psychiatric hospitals telling psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists, “I just don’t know what’s wrong with my daughter. We’ve done all we could and there’s nothing more we can do for her.” So the day came when you put some of her belongings in garbage bags, placed them on the porch of your home, and told her, “You just need to leave. We can’t handle you anymore.” With tears in her eyes, and begging you to listen to her, you closed the door of your home to your daughter, as the predator who violated her, the one you told her to protect by remaining silent, stood behind you smiling. But don’t you worry, despite you not believing her and telling her to suppress the truth, and then numbing the pain of what happened to her by cutting herself, and using drugs and alcohol, she’s safe now. Now, she’s in a place where she’s surrounded by people who are teaching her to break those three rules you taught her to follow for so long, the three rules that exist in all abusive relationships, the three rules of Don’t talk. Don’t tell. Don’t feel. Yes, she broke those rules and is talking, telling, and feeling with people who see, hear, and believe her as the sacred, blessing, miracle, and gift she is and always will be.
I looked for your son the other day in an abandoned building someone told me he was living in. Some other young people living in the abandoned building told me he took off a few days earlier with some pretty shady people and they hadn’t seen him since. I looked all over the place for him but just couldn’t find him. I made up some missing person flyers and posted them around. He has my number and I hope he calls me to let me know how he’s doing. I met him and talked with him many times in a park where he was living. I even had a surprise birthday party for him at the park. It was just the two of us, but of course he talked about some of the birthdays he remembered having with you as a child. He said the last one was when he was twelve years old. He shed some tears, but was extremely grateful to have a birthday celebration with cake, ice cream, and a birthday song. He got a new pair of pants and a shirt. He put the new shirt on right away and as he did, he told me to look at his back. The gashes in his back from when you beat him with a horsewhip have healed but the scars are deep and permanent, like the wounds you left upon his heart. Of course the police and CPS got involved, but because of your connections, nothing ever happened, other than you kicking him out onto the streets because you have a business and a reputation to uphold. I reminded him that it is possible for us to count our scars as the number of times we’ve been healed, not wounded, but I’m not sure when he’ll be able to do that. Don’t worry, we’ll keep looking for him, and when we find him, we’ll continue to provide all the love and support he allows us to give him.
I went to your daughter’s high school graduation. You weren’t there, even though she sent you and invitation. A few years ago you got remarried and have a new wife who your daughter accepted, respected and adored. But your new wife doesn’t like your daughter and didn’t want her around. Eventually, your wife told you that you had to choose between your daughter and her and her biological children. You chose your wife and her biological children over your daughter, threw your daughter and her belongings outside, and locked the door. Not too long after that is when I met your daughter. I got a call about an amazing senior in high school, who, even though she was homeless, didn’t miss a day of school, and continued to make all A’s and B’s. I helped her find a safe place to live, get a job, and provided food, clothes, and support as she needed. Man, she’s smart. She just started her second year of college and is in the process of becoming a counselor to help young people. She says that her dream of becoming a counselor is because she knows from her own experience how important it is to have stability and support in this life, and she wants to be that stability and support for others. She says that you’re a great dad to your new wife’s children, though, and that you went to all of their graduations.
I’ve met so many of your sons and daughters. Each of them has the resiliency of a true warrior, because they are warriors. Every day and night, they maneuver through predators, hunger, hopelessness, alleys, streets, woods, parks, and abandoned buildings. They maneuver through stigmas, judgments, and labels placed upon them by people who couldn’t survive a day in their lives. They’ve been through and maneuver through so much, and emerge day by day, night by night, a little closer to their own hearts, holding on to their divine vision, mission, and purpose that God has endowed them with. They’re so quick to share and help others in need with a deep, true compassion I am blessed to witness, a compassion that’s seldom given to them, but one they’re so willing to give. Despite the broken hearts, broken dreams, and broken glass they’ve walked through, they’re putting the pieces back together, walking back to their beautiful, courageous hearts, and remembering that they are sacred blessings, miracles, and gifts.
You taught them one thing, you taught them how not to be, which is why they’re some of the greatest people I’ve ever met.