After the world was shocked with the recent docuseries put together by Lifetime detailing accounts from “survivors” of physical, mental, and emotional abuse at the hands of R. Kelly, I felt obligated to do more research. I watched videos of interviews and read articles from multiple news sources dating back to the early 90’s about anything that had to do with R. Kelly and his scandalous ways. I delved into this topic for two reasons: the first, I wanted to try to see the world through R. Kelly’s eyes; someone who was broken as a child and instead of seeking healing, he engulfed himself and the people around him into a predatory and salacious environment. The second reason was to attempt to understand why women from all walks of life were refuting the victims’ accounts and bashing them for speaking their truth.
At this point most of us have at least a general understanding of R. Kelly’s childhood. We know that he was molested and exploited as a child and while that by no means excuses his behavior, most of us understand that Mr. Kelly is hurt and hurt people hurt people. We also know that Mr. Kelly is not the only person and the Kelly’s are not the only family dealing with deep rooted issues.
My attempt at understanding the plight of the victim led me to the conclusion that no one was discussing a solution to protect and support the mental health of our children. There was hardly any talk or example of teaching our young girls and boys to love themselves so they don’t grow up seeking love from the wrong places. No discussion about healing our community so that no one has to endure the trauma of exploitation. In my opinion it is imperative to begin the dialogue about what is going on in our homes and communities. Openness breeds understanding and when we understand we gain insight into the why’s and how’s. Once we can pinpoint the why’s then we can begin to dissect our issues at the root instead of covering them up.
For yourself, your children, your neighbor, and your community, we all deserve positive and healthy relationships. If we don’t heal our wounds and learn to empower others to heal their wounds as well we will continue down this path of passing brokenness down generation to generation.
It’s always hard to deal with injuries mentally, but I like to think about it as a new beginning. I can’t change what happened, so the focus needs to go toward healing and coming back stronger than before. -Carli Lloyd