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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Nothing happens by chance

This week has been extremely busy. Monday I went to court to fight some unfair traffic tickets; which the prosecutor recommended that the judge dismiss after he walked in on my guilty with explanation plea. Yesterday I went to New York city to see a lawyer at Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts about some legal questions for my book. And tomorrow is the day my father receives his punishment for the crimes he committed against me.

Dressed for court on Monday
Throughout today my stomach would tense up at the thought of me facing my father tomorrow. See, I will have the opportunity to address him, and the court about how what he's done has affected my life. I've been scripting statements in my head since the moment the prosecutor told me he was found guilty of all charges four months ago; and every time I come up with something to say, I forget my monologue faster than it took me to formulate it. You would think I would just sit and write it down, but for some reason I'm afraid to. I've racked my brain trying to figure out why it scares me to write out what I want to communicate, but even here I can't translate my feelings into words.
I know I don't want to go into court and read pre written text. But that's not why I won't even jot an outline of my thoughts down. It doesn't make sense to speak off the top of my head. Words directed at my father have not passed through my lips for over eight years! Can you imagine what could possibly come spewing out. Maybe that's what I'm afraid of. I know that once I start writing, it'll probably take the apocalypse to break my literary trance. And once that happens, I'd be editing, and re writing and changing and thesaurusizing (thesurusizing; verb. To put different words into a thesaurus repeatedly. I made that one up.) words until...well....until!
  
There's just so much I have to say; so much I want to ask. There is so much I want to know and plenty I want him to know. But what if these things aren't correct in the courts eyes? For instance, though I've suffered horrifically at the hands of my father, I forgive him. Of course he has to suffer the consequences of his actions, but I want him to know that I forgive him for the pain he inflicted on me and the confusion he's caused. I want him to know that I forgive him for my children not growing up with a father in their life; because if he wasn't their father and I had the opportunity to fall in love and get married and have a husband to help me bring them into this world, there would be somebody they could call daddy. I want him to know I forgive him for the diseases that some of my children have, that probably would not exist if he wasn't their father as well as mine. And I want him to know I forgive him for beating me and, raping me and for making me question for years, what did I do wrong. I want my father to know that I have forgiven him because I need him to know that he doesn't have control over any aspect of my life anymore.

When I went to the city yesterday the appointment the intern at the VLA gave me, was two hours earlier than my actual scheduled meeting time. To make use of the extra two hours I had in the city, I decided to get on the subway and pick up some spectacles that I
My first pair of glasses
ordered for school. Just as I was about to swipe my metro card a man stopped me and began telling me things about myself that he possibly couldn't have known. Without me saying a word he told me I was working on a project, I was in school, and I lost my job last year. Though I believe in some spiritual phenomenon, I know there are people out their passing themselves off as anointed to make a buck, so I looked at myself to see if I had any obvious markers to give away the info he was privy too. There was nothing that I could tell. He even told me about my knee injury and I certainly don't have a limp.
After a few minutes he pulled out a piece of paper and quickly wrote on it. He then balled it up as small as he could and put it in my hand. I held the paper for the forty minutes we spent walking around Madison avenue talking. He spoke about the baby that I lost and my daughter that died without me mentioning anything. Eventually, he tried to convince me to give him money to "break evil spells" and "give me good luck". After I declined he asked me my age, my mother's name, the name of the man I was in love with and three personal wishes; which I shared with him. I ended up giving him a donation for his time, thanked him for his conversation and politely excused myself. But before I left he reminded me I had to open the paper he gave me when we first met. When I did, the same information that I told him about my mother, my age, my wishes and the man that I'm in love with was written on the paper he gave me after I barely said hello to him almost an hour earlier.

After my diversion with the stranger who seemed to know me personally, I got to my meeting right on time. The lawyer at the VLA suggested that I make some changes to my manuscript to save me some legal headache. I wanted to say; look lady, after you've been through what I've been through, and experienced some of the things I've experienced, taking some risk of my own free will is as fun as getting on a roller coaster. But instead I thanked her for the help and let her know I will take her advice under consideration.

My encounter with the man before my meeting got me thinking about being in the right place at the right time, and whether or not things happen by chance. After my father's sentencing being postponed twice, My mom won't be their tomorrow because she's on a cruise. My cousin who's attended every day of the trial I've testified, is indisposed. My sister who always gets off early on Fridays is scheduled to work late tomorrow. Just like me being in the city two hours early and crossing paths with a complete stranger (even if it was only to interestingly kill time), I know God is setting things up just how they're suppose to be. And I'm curious as heaven what he has in store for tomorrow.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Dear Reader

So I finished writing the manuscript to my memoir! It's 35 years in the making and 3 years in the writing. Now I'm on to the next phase; publication.
For those that don't know me my name is Aziza Kibibi. Most people think I'm from another country but I am a born and bred Jersey girl!  
I think the best way to introduce myself and explain why I decided to share a memoir with the world is to include a version of the query letter I've been sending out to literary agents. 
But before I do that let me formally introduce you to the theme of this blog.

While I go though the traditional steps of book publishing (which is a long tedious process that takes lots of patience) I will also be moving forward with publishing my book myself. I will share with you on a weekly basis, my trials and triumphs through both these processes as well as events and reflections of my everyday life. 

Consider this reality television in print. My life has never been what most people call normal, and with an unusual foundation, the building turns out pretty...well...unusual.
With that being said, here is my query letter.


Dear Literary Agent.

Meet Aziza. She’s a hard working single mom of five beautiful children that she is very proud of. Most men describe her as mysterious, free spirited and charming. Most woman find her confident, smart and witty. But little do they know, is that from ten years old, Aziza was raised as her father’s sex slave. Oh, and the first four of her five children, are also her brother and sisters 

This book is the true story of my life. Beginning in what was the present at the time I started writing, it follows the hospitalization of my fourth child by my father who is physically disabled which was also during the criminal case brought against my father by me and my sisters. My memoir is the tale of how surviving my childhood, adolescence and young adulthood, has shaped me into the woman I am today.I am the eldest of 9 children by my mother, and including my children whom he fathered, the eldest of over twenty-five by my dad. Using events from the present as a vehicle, the history of my life unfolds beginning with the birth of my third child by my father. I describe how my father delivered my children at home, save for one who I gave birth to on a campsite in Florida. I take the reader on a journey through my sheltered life in a polygamous family where I was home schooled, molested, beaten and trained to satisfy my father’s every sexual desire, to how I coped with my husband cheating on me (with one of my sisters) which led to our divorce.  
I describe how while growing up I watched my father turn from a loving, talented respected member of the community, into the abusive monster that God spared my own children from growing up with. Via my transition through adolescence the reader witnesses my failed attempts at protecting my younger siblings from the fate I had befallen; my father’s video directing career where we interacted with popular ’90’s music artists such as Lauryn Hill and Wyclef Jean of the music group The Fugees, and the events that led to the discovery of our family secret. In my adulthood I share the excitement of my romantic relationships, the challenges that come with being a single mother, and how I lived through the death of one of my daughters. I also address what it’s like to be in a family that’s on a never ending road to recovering from the dictatorship of my father, and how I was able to forgive my mother for not protecting us from her husband.At 113,554 words, UNASHAMED is a tale of tragedy, growth, resilience, survival, faith and forgiveness.   
My portion of the trial against my father is currently in court. I had to graphically testify to his sexual exploitation of me as a child and young adult. He has been found guilty of all charges and faces fifty years of imprisonment. Sentencing is scheduled July 26th 2013.  
I want to share my story with the public because I feel I have a moral responsibility to other men, women and children that may be affected by child molestation and incest (both victims and victimizers). I have not repressed the torture that my father inflicted on me, yet I function normally in life, love and relationships. Despite my limited homeschooled education, I am currently an A student, pursuing my associates in communications (my first classroom experience), and have won three Woman’s Opportunity awards from Soroptamist International for my writing. I also published a blog journaling my grievance and acceptance of my daughter’s death.

Let me know what you think about my query. This is a platform for communication. I welcome any advice and I will answer all questions to the best of my ability. If you are willing to share a story of your own, I embrace you with open arms. I've spent most of my life in secrecy, deception and darkness. Believe you me, I am enjoying everything the light has to offer.

Let's do this!