Toni Braxton, a Grammy award-winning singer who had an abortion a decade ago, pined in her recently released memoir that perhaps God punished her for the procedure by inflicting her second-born son with autism.
She said the guilty feeling stems from a strict Christian upbringing that required her to memorize 26 Bible passages each week — sometimes in place of doing school work — and banned her from even wearing pants, the New York Daily News reported.
She penned her thoughts, regarding 11-year-old son Diezel’s autism, in her just-released “Unbreak My Heart” memoir: “Is God punishing me for that abortion? … [Perhaps it’s] God’s payback to give my son autism.”
– From Cheryl K Chumley’s article in the Washington Times, writing about revelations from Toni Braxton’s new book, Unbreak My Heart.
Link to Ms Braxton repeating that refrain on The View yesterday – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlaKxYfaOR4 *PLEASE DO NOT VIEW WITH CHILDREN*
What follows is my letter to Ms. Braxton’s son.
Hi, kiddo. I know you don’t know me, but I have kids that are almost the exact same ages as you and your brother. And my youngest, Brooke, is autistic, just like you. As a matter of fact, you and Brooke were born on precisely the same day – March 31st, 2003! I know, that’s pretty cool, right? So even though we don’t know each other, we do have a couple of things in common. So I hope – like really, really hope, that you’ll listen to me when I tell you this.
I need you to know something, kiddo. I need you to know that neither you nor the autism that is part of what makes you who you are is a “punishment” for anything. I can only imagine how scary and confusing it must be to hear your own mama, who loves you so much, say that she has wondered if your autism was “God’s payback,” to her or if who you are was God “punishing [her for having an] abortion.”
You, my sweet boy, are not a “punishment” for anything. The way that your brain works, the way that you filter experiences and process sensory input and interact with the world, is not “payback.” All of it – all of you — is beautiful and perfect and, if it’s anything, it’s proof of God’s glory and infinite love. It’s YOU. Human beings are not punishments for others’ past acts; they are celebrations of the present and the future – of life and hope.
YOU are a celebration. Everything that you are, everything that you will be.
I don’t doubt that your mama loves you. That she deeply and truly loves you. Believe her when she tells you that she does. But please, Diezel, please, please don’t believe for even the most fleeting of seconds that you, or anything that contributes to making you who you are, is worthy of being called a punishment.
Your mom’s new book is named after her song, Unbreak My Heart. Please know that YOU are not broken, sweet child. That neither you nor any part of you are – could ever be — payback. Know that you, just like my daughter Brooke, the incredible girl who shares your birthday, are a perfect gift from God, exactly as you are, exactly as you were meant to be.
(Brooke and Katie’s mom)