My name is Maya Hope Kitwana. I’ve made it my life’s work to bring out the beauty and give comfort to those I meet. I have a powerful story to tell. My story is one of abuse – any abuse you may imagine – yet, I have endured.
My journey has taken over thirty years. I chose to step forward with my story even as I worked through feelings of shame and embarrassment. My hope is that my experiences help people who have went through, or are going through similar pain.
I have revealed truths; some of which have angered other victims oddly enough – these were people close to me or in my family. It certainly angered those who were the abusers. Telling my story was the only way for me to put an end to my suffering. However, I never anticipated that I’d anger, or polarize those in my family who I thought would support my story coming out.
I want my story to provide a lighthouse for others who have suffered abuse…a way out, and a way to love themself. I do believe that, will happen as those who have been abused read my book – after all, they are certainly interested in healing and sharing their pain. But it’s the ones close to me that I’ve angered, I have one question – why?
I think I know the answer – on the surface, it’s clear they haven’t read the book. I have family who were also abused, and their reaction to the book (and subsequent radio interview) has spurned anger. Reaction included nasty e-mails to me, and angry social media messages. It also has come second hand from conversations shared back to me about “my lies”. Feedback is good – even when it’s bad, it’s good to hear. I know I’ve struck a nerve.
It allows me to learn about why the negative reaction exists. Did they suffer at the hand of an abuser? Are they still being abused? Did they choose to bury their pain thinking that they dealt with it? I know now that the negative reaction from my book launch certainly is more curious for me to understand. I am open to exploring it with those I’ve angered, to understand the why. To make this possible we need to engage in calm and honest dialogue about their story. I’m willing to speak with those who I’ve angered to hear their side. For now, the book is selling and the feedback is coming in. I celebrate the positive, and seek to understand the negative. The bottom line is I welcome both.