Dear Robyn Rihanna,
This is weird. See, I’ve spent several months trying to avoid writing much about or to you or Chris. I’ve mentioned you here or there. But not once have I addressed you, Chris or your 2009 like I’m about to do.
The reasoning is simple: When it comes to domestic violence, I see things through black-and-white lenses. If you do it, you’re wrong. If it happens to you, you leave. If you don’t, you’re further endangering yourself and the person who has abused you. Those are my personal beliefs, shared by many, followed by too few.
And that’s all I could think to say to you after I saw the infamous February 8th picture of your battered face. But hell, I’m sure you had heard that a million times, a 100,000 ways, 10 minutes into the news breaking. So I thought to myself, “What would one more voice screaming ‘Get out!’ help?” Right. Not much. You have to make those type of decisions on your own, for yourself.
So why am I writing you? Because, in a few ways, you contradicted yourself during your 20/20 interview with Diane Sawyer. Don’t get me wrong. In moments, you were articulate, engaging and even exacting. You gave us some of the insight many were looking for, something Chris couldn’t quite give us. The interview exceeded every expectation I had for you, considering your age and the situation. You seemed wise.
But you fumbled over a few things, the most important of which, I want to try to clear up with you. You’d said that you couldn’t see yourself with Chris a few times in the interview. But when Diane asked you about the idea of getting back with Chris ever again, you left it “up to God” and the understanding that you don’t know what the future holds.
Those last two sentences contradict one another, and the latter is one that we all tend to use as a crutch too often. It’s clear that you love Chris, and had he made better decisions concerning your well being earlier this year, you’d still be with him in some state of fairytale, superstar-like bliss. But he didn’t.
Instead, he left you, Robyn, with a life-altering choice — to return to his side and face the music together … or to walk away.
For whatever reason, you chose to leave. There are plenty of people who’ll look at that last sentence and question why I said “for whatever reason.” Yet, the most important part of it is the succeeding words: “you chose.”
I don’t care if you, Rihanna, left because you had pressure on you from those who sell the products you endorse to do so. I don’t care if you, Rihanna, left because you had some epiphany about how your actions could help others from going back into abusive situations, which is what you said. I don’t care if you dipped because the sky was cloudy on a Sunday morning.
I’m just glad you, Robyn, chose life, without Chris.
And with any future decisions concerning Chris, I hope that you make that same choice again and don’t leave it to “not knowing what the future holds.” See, the God you know chose the canvass. He knows what you’re going to paint, but you’re still that canvass’ Picasso. In layman’s terms, He still gives you the ability to choose.
And if, at some point down the road, you decide that “with Chris” is a realistic possibility, know that that is not God’s choice, but yours, a stroke of your paintbrush. I hope that makes sense. And I hope that if/when that day comes that you have the renderings that Chris stroked on February 8, 2009 marked as reference points as to why you, Robyn, should choose life, without Chris.
There were a few other things in that interview that bothered me. But to me, their significance is outweighed by what has been done and what I’ve said in this letter. So this is where I’ll leave it.
Hoping you understand this,