Thursday, June 12, 2029 las Paltas, california


You are now locked up in Sylmar. By the time you get this letter you may be out already. You know the risk of you being sent back to Sylmar is right now quite high. You have a lot of thinking to do regarding what you chose, choose and will be choosing for your life.

I wanted you to know you have been in my thoughts a lot lately. I imagine having a taste of loosing your freedom may be quite hard. You think often that you are tough but you probably realize now that you are not invincible. The system will be stronger than you if you do not respect its rules. You were born in the heart of South central, where nobody around you respected the rules. You were given a first chance to escape violence when you moved out here in Palmdale, to become an example for your people, to be proud of who your are, of your race of your origin, of your difference, of the beauty of the black color.

You have the right and the power as monster Kody Scott, ex –gangster puts it to “escape the cycle of violence”. Escaping misery and violence and learning to write your own story Bryant, rather than you father’s story.

You made a major mistake and I know you know it.

I cannot help but think that your father also is right now locked up in a prison, as your grandma told me. I cannot help but notice how intriguing this timing is. Your are in camp. Your father is incarcerated. Why now? Why at the very same time? I cannot stop but thinking that there are quite a few men in your family that have spent time in prison.

Do you think this is where you have to end up?

Do you see any other alternative?

Do you remember how I used to tell you that all the time, Bryant, you have a choice, an important choice to make. You can follow the path that you father chose and be facing a life of turmoil and violence, or you may choose to follow a different path, in other words, Bryant you can choose to write your own story. I know grandma would like that for you, I know your girlfriend Stephanie would like that for you, and I have heard your mother’s concerns.

Lately the choices that you made make me believe that you were following the path of your father. I don’t know. I hope I am wrong.

You have put yourself at high risk; if you make wrong choices again you will be sent to three years and eight months of camp. This is a long time Bryant. This is almost one quarter of your entire life. Please think.

Please use my help UnowU. Changing takes courage. Going through the process of psychotherapy to understand whom you are and who you are not, to realize that you have the power to change anything you put your mind into and that you do not have to be a victim of the past takes courage. I hope you have this courage now.

I want you to now I see goodness and strengths in you Bryant. You are given today a second chance. You may not ever be given a third. This is your time to change. This is your time to make a decision. If you do not seriously work on these issues they will haunt the rest of your life. They will not disappear as you try to ignore them. Believe me, you need to face your demons before they go away.

I also wanted to tell you that during your incarceration, I called your mother and invited her to be a part of therapy. She is planning to come on the 25PthP of June, which is the first time I shall see you after your return from camp. I want you to think about whether or not you would like for her to participate to your session. This is your choice and your choice only.

I wanted to conclude this letter to you Bryant with sharing the words of Nelson Mandela in South Africa as he spent his life to

deliver his people from the oppression. He fought with love and patience, rather than with hatred and revenged. You should always remember his words and carry these with you:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frighten us.
We ask ourselves:
Who I am to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?
Actually: who are you not to be?
You are the child of God.
You were born to make manifest the Glory of God within yourself.
It is not just in you. It is in everyone.
If you let your own light shine.
You give others the permission to do the same.
As you liberate yourself from your own fear, your presence automatically liberates others”.

Nelson Mandela

A therapeutic letter to a teen in troubles