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To His Mistress, Thank You For Saving Me From My Marriage

You came along, dear Mistress, adulterating my holy union with the man I was meant to spend the rest of my life with.

Marriage

You entered my world at a very critical point in my life.


I'd just lost my mother to her three-year battle with cervical cancer and recently welcomed my son. It was a bittersweet time in my life. I was looking forward to brighter days because the worst was behind me or at least I thought it was. . .

Then you came along - the mistress - wreaking havoc on my marriage, adulterating my holy union with the man I was meant to spend the rest of my life with. But alas, it would not be so. Trifling home wrecker, you'll reap what you sow, some women just have no respect, are just some of the things my friends said when they found out about you. I'm sure they meant no harm. They were just trying to be supportive of me, because that's what friends are for (singing in my Dionne Warwick voice).

Honestly, they were more interested in you than I was. I breathe a sigh of relief at the opportunity to finally get on with my life. They felt I should have been upset with you, that I should have been angry, pissed, that I should have called you up and given you a piece of my mind. Yes. I had an opportunity that one time I received an email request from you to view photos of my children that you could have easily gotten from my ex-husband. I knew you just wanted me to know that you were there, but I had no quarrel with you. I did not marry you; I did not make any vows with you. In my mind, you were a non-factor. The way I saw it, I could waste my time being upset and laying blame where it did not belong, or I could be a big girl and admit this is exactly what I wanted, embrace it, and fully appreciate my second chance.

In truth, I could not even pretend to feel any feelings of resentment towards you even when I felt I should and that I had every reason to; those feelings just would not come. They were not my truth. Although I feared what awaited me on the other side, I secretly thanked you and would have enjoyed an opportunity to show my gratitude for having rescued me from a situation that I did not have the courage to leave on my own.

Shame on me for staying for the kids.

Shame on me for staying for “stability."

I have no regrets.

You, my mistress in shining armor, were on your way to save me.

Truth is, I knew I was settling for a life that was not the one I had imagined for myself. I had bought into the American standard of someone else's dream. I have no doubt that my stress and lack of happiness was taking a toll on both my marriage and my quality of life. That marriage was destined for an untimely demise. I'm really good at pretending, but how long can the show go on before everything around you starts to fall apart?

Something was eventually going to give but I felt it could not be me because I just thought I had way too much to lose. And maybe I really did have too much to lose, and maybe the Universe heard me screaming for my freedom behind the gates of the cage I had built for myself and sent the perfect somebody to save me from sacrificing myself for what I perceived to be the greater good. I cannot blame you for the destruction of my marriage. One cannot be held responsible for the corruption of something that was already a hot mess in the first place. That is my very own philosophy. The straw that broke the camel's back only denotes a camel that was already under extreme pressure and duress in the first place.

When the highs are so high and the lows equally as low, when the relationship is flat lined, where do you go? I had plenty of excuses to stay and none good enough to leave. They all just seemed so selfish. You gave me a really great excuse! You made this less about me and more about my children, because they deserved better and I could no longer cheat them out of better by pretending that that marriage was the best version of better that I could provide for them. Even I know better than that.

That was no one's fault. There is no one to blame. If ever I did not believe in fate, today was not that day. So with this opportunity, I'd like to say thank you. Thank you for saving my life, and for freeing my soul. My appreciation for the role you've played is truly immeasurable. I cannot think of all that I have accomplished and all that I have to accomplish and all that I look forward to accomplishing without thinking of you and the series of unfortunate events that have brought me to this most fortunate point in my life.

People are often so quick to pass judgement in these situations, and I am not exempt, but you never know what one woman's indiscretions could be saving another woman from. I know there are others who will still say that this does not absolve you of what was done and it is not meant to. All I have to say is God may not forgive you, but you can be certain that I do.

Thank you.

Victoria R. is a sex positive and body positive queer, black writer. Black lives matter; body counts don't. You can find her blogging regularly at prettypinklotusbud.org about feminine sexuality, relationships, and spirituality.

xoNecole is always looking for new voices and empowering stories to add to our platform. If you have an interesting story or personal essay that you'd love to share, we'd love to hear from you. Contact us at submissons@xonecole.com

Before she was Amira Unplugged, rapper, singer, and a Becoming a Popstar contestant on MTV, she was Amira Daughtery, a twenty-five year-old Georgian, with aspirations of becoming a lawyer. “I thought my career path was going to lead me to law because that’s the way I thought I would help people,” Amira tells xoNecole. “[But] I always came back to music.”

A music lover since childhood, Amira grew up in an artistic household where passion for music was emphasized. “My dad has always been my huge inspiration for music because he’s a musician himself and is so passionate about the history of music.” Amira’s also dealt with deafness in one ear since she was a toddler, a condition which she says only makes her more “intentional” about the music she makes, to ensure that what she hears inside her head can translate the way she wants it to for audiences.

“The loss of hearing means a person can’t experience music in the conventional way,” she says. “I’ve always responded to bigger, bolder anthemic songs because I can feel them [the vibrations] in my body, and I want to be sure my music does this for deaf/HOH people and everyone.”

A Black woman wearing a black hijab and black and gold dress stands in between two men who are both wearing black pants and colorful jackets and necklaces

Amira Unplugged and other contestants on Becoming a Popstar

Amira Unplugged / MTV

In order to lift people’s spirits at the beginning of the pandemic, Amira began posting videos on TikTok of herself singing and using sign language so her music could reach her deaf fans as well. She was surprised by how quickly she was able to amass a large audience. It was through her videos that she caught the attention of a talent scout for MTV’s new music competition show for rising TikTok singers, Becoming a Popstar. After a three-month process, Amira was one of those picked to be a contestant on the show.

Becoming a Popstar, as Amira describes, is different from other music competition shows we’ve all come to know over the years. “Well, first of all, it’s all original music. There’s not a single cover,” she says. “We have to write these songs in like a day or two and then meet with our producers, meet with our directors. Every week, we are producing a full project for people to vote on and decide if they’d listen to it on the radio.”

To make sure her deaf/HOH audiences can feel her songs, she makes sure to “add more bass, guitar, and violin in unique patterns.” She also incorporates “higher pitch sounds with like chimes, bells, and piccolo,” because, she says, they’re easier to feel. “But it’s less about the kind of instrument and more about how I arrange the pattern of the song. Everything I do is to create an atmosphere, a sensation, to make my music a multi-sensory experience.”

She says that working alongside the judges–pop stars Joe Jonas and Becky G, and choreographer Sean Bankhead – has helped expand her artistry. “Joe was really more about the vocal quality and the timber and Becky was really about the passion of [the song] and being convinced this was something you believed in,” she says. “And what was really great about [our choreographer] Sean is that obviously he’s a choreographer to the stars – Lil Nas X, Normani – but he didn’t only focus on choreo, he focused on stage presence, he focused on the overall message of the song. And I think all those critiques week to week helped us hone in on what we wanted to be saying with our next song.”

As her star rises, it’s been both her Muslim faith and her friends, whom she calls “The Glasses Gang” (“because none of us can see!”), that continue to ground her. “The Muslim and the Muslima community have really gone hard [supporting me] and all these people have come together and I truly appreciate them,” Amira says. “I have just been flooded with DMs and emails and texts from [young muslim kids] people who have just been so inspired,” she says. “People who have said they have never seen anything like this, that I embody a lot of the style that they wanted to see and that the message hit them, which is really the most important thing to me.”

A Black woman wears a long, salmon pink hijab, black outfit and pink boots, smiling down at the camera with her arm outstretched to it.

Amira Unplugged

Amira Unplugged / MTV

Throughout the show’s production, she was able to continue to uphold her faith practices with the help of the crew, such as making sure her food was halal, having time to pray, dressing modestly, and working with female choreographers. “If people can accept this, can learn, and can grow, and bring more people into the fold of this industry, then I’m making a real difference,” she says.

Though she didn’t win the competition, this is only the beginning for Amira. Whether it’s on Becoming a Popstar or her videos online, Amira has made it clear she has no plans on going anywhere but up. “I’m so excited that I’ve gotten this opportunity because this is really, truly what I think I’m meant to do.”

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