Walking is Still Honest: A Message From the Westnedge Hill Abductee

I want to share something I came across yesterday. To be clear, I have no affiliation with this situation, but it’s incredibly important that we listen when survivors of violent crimes, especially rape, speak out. Please keep in mind all applicable trigger warnings before proceeding.

Transcript:

First of all, I would like to thank the community of Kalamazoo for the outpouring of love, support, and help they have shown me. We are a community of so many wonderful, amazing people of all sorts. We make our city stronger by standing up for each other, being positive forces in each others lives, and by making conscious and consistent efforts to improve our city and ourselves, bit by bit. I have never been more proud of my city.

Secondly, I would like to commend the KDPS for the work they have done involving my case so far and the work they continue to do. Too often we criticize these strong, smart, brave people for their actions. But please remember these are the people that devote their lives to protecting and helping us, and don’t ever ask for our thanks. We forget they are people, just like you or I. We have so many names for them as if they are not like us; they are like us. They shop at the same stores we do; they stop at the same coffee shops; they have families and friends and lives outside their uniforms. They deserve our respect, and our thanks. And I am so glad to be alive to give my thanks. Thank you. I appreciate every one of you.

I would also like to thank all the amazing people who assisted me in the hours after my attack at Bronson and the YWCA. You were all so kind and helped put my mind at ease that I was only left with cuts and bruises in the wake of my attack.

My friends and family have already heard it many times, but thank you for standing by me. I was asked what I had to live for, and all I could say was my friends, my family.

I would like to say to Brad Mason’s family that I’m very sorry you have to go through this. I understand you have a lot of questions and are going through a very difficult time. I think our families are probably very similar. I’m sorry you have to endure so much judgment while mourning the loss of your family member. I’m sure this is a very confusing and frustrating time for you. Please have the strength to get through this. At times I worry you may be very angry with me, but I hope that you are not.

Finally, I’d like to share a few of my thoughts, feelings, and a couple quotes with and for everyone to consider during this difficult time. I’ll begin with the quotes.

‘He was gone, and I did not have time to tell him what I had just now realized: that I forgave him, and that she forgave us, and that we had to forgive to survive in the labyrinth. There were so many of us who would have to live with things done and things left undone that day. Things that did not go right, things that seemed okay at the time because we could not see the future. If only we could see the endless string of consequences that result from our smallest actions. But we can’t know better until knowing better is useless.’ – John Green, ‘Looking for Alaska’

‘The good times and the bad times both will pass. It will pass. It will get easier. But the fact that it will get easier does not mean that it doesn’t hurt now. And when people try to minimize your pain they are doing you a disservice. And when you try to minimize your own pain you’re doing yourself a disservice. Don’t do that. The truth is that it hurts because it’s real. It hurts because it mattered. And that’s an important thing to acknowledge to yourself. But that doesn’t mean that it won’t end, that it won’t get better. Because it will.’ – John Green

A lot of people have commended me on my strength in the wake of my attack. And I am a strong person, but yes I was scared after the attack. More so for my family’s safety based on the information he took from me. After I got a few hours of sleep I started to inform those closest to me. By Thursday morning I decided to post about what had happened to me, provide some more details, and call on my vast network of friends near and far for their help.

As for me, I am doing just fine, all things considered. I am still me, through and through. And I will continue to be myself despite all that has happened. My physical wounds are healing quickly and I honestly feel that I’m the same strong person I’ve always been. Every day changes us a little bit. Some days are just a bit longer and more happens. But you just have to accept and process what happened that day and move on. Personally, I have been working on mastering that art for a very long time, and I think my constant conviction to self-reflection and self-improvement have helped make me the strong, confident person I am today.

Please stay safe Kalamazoo. I love you SO much. Please don’t live in fear. This is YOUR city, this is OUR city, and no one is going to take it away from us. Please don’t forget that.

Stay Positive.

Be excellent to each other.

Thank you.

And Don’t Forget to Be Awesome.

Sincerely,

The girl with the ‘Walking is Still Honest’ tattoo

For any questions or requests, please use the following:

WalkingIsStillHonestKalamazoo@gmail.com