Monday, June 21, 2010

Black Doll Affair: National Random Act of Forgiveness

Forgiveness is the process of ceasing to feel resentment, indignation or anger against another person for a perceived offense, difference or mistake, or ceasing to demand punishment or restitution. The real question is can I forgive and forget??

Despite the familiar cliché, “Forgive and Forget,” most of us find forgetting nearly impossible and forgiveness does not involve a literal forgetting. Forgiveness involves remembering graciously. The forgiver remembers the truth, but without the embellishment of angry adjectives and adverbs that stir up contempt.

If you can bring yourself to "Forgive and Forget", you are likely to enjoy lower blood pressure, a stronger immune system, and a drop in the stress hormones circulating in your blood, studies suggest. Back pain, stomach problems, and headaches may disappear. And you will reduce the anger, bitterness, resentment, depression, and other negative emotions that accompany the failure to forgive. Many people view forgiveness as an offshoot of love -- a gift given freely to those who have hurt you. Forgiveness, however, may bring enormous benefits to the person who gives that gift, according to recent research.

Of course, FORGIVING is notoriously difficult. "Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea until they have something to forgive," said C.S. Lewis. Forgetting may not be a realistic or desirable goal.
To forgive and forget or simply to grant forgiveness can be a difficult concept to grasp. While we all have a mental image of what forgiveness should look like when others forgive us, knowing how to forgive ourselves or someone else is not as easy to understand.

Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.
~Malachy McCourt

Today, as a part of the Black Doll Affair’s National Random Act of Forgiveness, I am forgiving myself and my family, including the man who abused me.

1.     Who I forgave:
I am forgiving myself and my family in North Carolina, including the man who abused me.

2.     What they [allegedly] did to make me angry:
I am forgiving myself for feeling guilty, inadequate and unnecessary after being sexually abused. Also, whenever I find that a person close to me has also been a victim of sexual abuse, I have blamed myself for not speaking up sooner or saying something to them directly. I am forgiving myself as I am not able to predict who would be next. I am forgiving myself for giving up on myself through trying to take my own life.

I am also forgiving my family. In the past, I have separated myself from them, feeling as if my presence or my life was not needed to be a part of theirs. For years, people used to ask about my family because I never talked about them or I would claim other people as members of my “new family”. I felt different from my family because I was felt victimized and I felt that they did not support me in my efforts of healing or even acknowledging what happened to me. I blamed them for “sweeping it under the rug” and allowing me to bask in my anger, self-denial and criticism, suicidal attempts and shame. However, my entire family is not to blame. As for the man who abused me, I just forgive him.

3.     How long was I mad:
I have been mad at myself and my family for more than 10 years.

4.     Their Response.
I am responding to myself with, “Whoa, can you really forget??” The answer is yes. I can forget  that in crisis, my family may not have responded the way I would have liked. Even though I have felt that because I went through the abuse alone, it was my business only, I can forget that even recently, I was criticized for discussing “family business” with others publicly. I can also forget that some still befriend the abuser—after all, he is family. What I won’t forget is what happened to me for two years—but I will only remember it to help others be reminded of the dangers of abuse and that they can victoriously overcome afterwards just like me...

I have not personally gone to each member of the family and said “I forgive you”—this is an internal forgiveness. Because this is such a sore subject for them, I don’t even bring it up anymore when I am in their presence. I will just continue to live life with them through love and friendship…

5.     My Response.
I am relieved to have this released this burden and I hope they can forgive me too if I have hurt them in any way. I don’t believe that God puts more on us than we can bare; which is why I did bare this burden. He knew that I not only could handle it, but that I would later use it for His glory! I pray that my family can heal become more united. I am thanking God in advance for the victory in Jesus’ Name!

Anger is one letter short of danger.
~Author Unknown

Before I even knew about this Black Doll initiative, a recent discussion on Facebook began through a great supporter of mine, Kendrick. He posted the following to his wall, with a link to “My Story” from my blog:

“There is a dark deep secret about Sexual Abuse and Molestation in our Communities (guess I can’t really call it a secret everybody knows, we just don’t talk about it).
Someone U know has been a Victim even if U don’t know about it!

As I got older I was told things about my own family that I wish wasn't true! And maybe the discomfort is what keeps us Silent. But we can't remain Silent because that Silence is Deadly.

Personally this knowledge has caused me stress and at times feelings of inadequacy; as I wrestle with my response or non-response and that of the men in my family. My mother tells me there is nothing solved with Violence, but I often wonder where the line between Non-Violence and Inaction is Drawn?!?!?

That is why I’m so grateful for the Sister LaQuisha Hall for the courage and conviction to tell her story. I know it is therapeutic for me as well as for many others. Supporting her efforts and her organization Queendom T.E.A (The Etiquette Academy...”

The conversation took off from there:

Kenny, a mutual friend of Kendrick and I, said, “LaQuisha, Thank YOU. " ...and as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." - Nelson Mandela quoted this from Marianne Williamson's "A Return to Love" in his inaugural speech. keep shining! keep liberating yourself from your own fear. We need your courage.”

Next, Kenny replied, “ me it's kinda like hydrogen peroxide on a's gonna hurt. the alternative is to ignore it and hope that it doesn't get infected. we all know that it almost ALWAYS does. but instead of dealing with the INTENSE pain that comes with caring for our wounds, we'd rather suffer the minor annoyance that is infection. that is, until the infection is so bad it turns into gangrene and threatens life. i think it's a human thing. but i can only speak from my observance of black people and particularly my family. instead of dealing with intense pain associated with healing, we'd rather stuff shyt down, stick our heads in the ground and act like nothing happened. and then as the cycle repeats itself - you know the overwhelming majority of abused people have also been abused; as we turn to drugs or alcohol or illicit sex to escape; as we get ulcers, and cancer, and literally go crazy from denial, we some how can't figure out where it's all coming from. duh? i think, confrontation is the ONLY answer. long as it's done with love. and i'm sure you'll help more people than you hurt talking about it. and i don't know you and your situation, but if a family can forgive an abuser, surely they can learn to "forgive" (in quotes cause forgiveness should only come when there's wrong-doing) the brave soul wiling to deal with it, discuss it.

While you're ACCEPTING, UNDERSTAND as well. That your mom may not be as strong as you. we expect them to be because they're our parents, right? but we forget sometimes that they are frail human beings, just like us. while YOU have the courage to change, another may hide behind a cloud of heroin or pot. your mom may hide in a cloud of denial. imagine her accepting that he was/is the abuser. what part does she play then in having allowed the abuse. who would want to accept that they were in any way complicit in such horrible things happening to THEIR child. take it a step further, what if the "successful" denial of that same abuser having done something to her, is contingent upon denying that it has also happened to you? or even a different abuser and her. see how the whole facade, her whole world would crumble at her feet? continue your work, healing, and sharing. pray for her forgiveness, and if possible the pastor's too. understand that the Universe, God, does not forget. there WILL be a reckoning. like they say, you can run but....”

Another Facebook friend, Rashida, joined the conversation: “Thank you SO MUCH to you and LaQuisha for sharing this story. LaQuisha, you just gave voice to the experiences of many women including myself and because of you many women and girls will have the courage to confront this problem. The part about its impact on your self- esteem as well as your experience with people not believing you is something that resonates with me. We have to change the law and the way we implement the law so survivors of rape, incest and sexual abuse are protected and supported.”

This led to a response from Sophia, another Facebook friend, who put the cherry on top of the cake: "Deceived by Shame Desired By God" by Cynthia Spell Hambert was instrumental for me in initiating the process of revisiting my molestation experience and addressing the byproduct behaviors that I found myself involved in after that period in my life. 

Everything has a ROOT and it was important for me to identify and address that root before I walked into my TOTAL RESTORATION.

Thank you for sharing your story.

Typically our abuse can be linked to a generational cycle of abuse and those of us that have been a part of this cycle MUST BREAK IT. How, when and where in the cycle you break it is up to the individual, but we must not stop there if we desire total restoration. Total restoration is a process but very possible as we FORGIVE OURSELVES, the abuser and all stakeholders involved who do not get it.

We deserve to not bind ourselves with a variation of abuse by not forgiving even the guilty and the fools.

As a friend once shared with me "hurt people, hurt people and free people, free people".....those of us that have been freed....let's KEEP FREEING OTHERS however we do it best.

Stay encouraged!!!! LaQuisha Hall THE SURVIVOR :)”

Also, I judged a pageant this weekend. One of the teen contestants came up to me during the after and asked me if I was “the one” who helps children who are sexually abused. After responding to her, she asked me if I could help her become more involved with helping too because she was “a survivor or whatever”… She then asked me not to mention it to her parents because they did not know. This girl felt comfortable enough to talk to me, why? Because I was comfortable being open with what happened to me.

Who would have thought? This is exactly why I speak out. If I can help someone else, I will… I will speak out to and through every available avenue possible until there is no longer breath in my body.

For every minute you are angry, you lose sixty seconds of happiness.
~Author Unknown


  1. AnonymousJune 21, 2010

    Congrats Doll!
    You are the best! I a soo happy for you!
    Florida Ambassadoll,

  2. AnonymousJune 21, 2010

    Love your blog post! I am so there with you...almost makes me want to get on FB so I can post, too. LaQuisha, I love you, as well! Your story is a story that needs to be told a million times or more until we all can stop, pause and let it resonate that these things MUST change! You empower us all to stop being in denial but help make a difference by living in TRUTH. Thank you!

    DC Playground Monitor,


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