Today I am grateful that I can write this piece from a safe, happy loving place. The man I love does not yell at me for dropping things or tell me I am stupid; his hands are gentle and protective.
Hands are significant in this tale, mine are no longer the same.
Anyone who has read here for a while is aware that I have previously been in a violent relationship and while it’s not what I want my life or blog to be about sometimes things cross my path which remind me that yet again it’s time to speak out.
An article of sorts came across my screen this morning and it made me physically ill.
This is an open letter to those women and the people who chose Chris Brown to perform at the Grammys.
What these women have to say is not just ill informed or moronic, it’s dangerous on several levels:
It reinforces the myth that sufferers of violence asked for it. Most people do not enter a relationship expecting or accepting violence, most violent relationships are not so at the outset. Many of these relationships are characterized by an extremely romantic beginning; the sufferer in the relationship is charmed and even as the descent into abuse spirals out of control will often cling to the belief that the person they fell in love with is their reality, not the nightmare they are now in. Unfortunately these perpetrators are the human equivalent of a pitcher plant, using a beautiful facade to suck their partner deep into their consuming toxic depths. Like a bug in a pitcher plant it’s not so easy for the one trapped to just walk away.
It validates the abuser. Saying that you’d not only tolerate but welcome violence allows these abusers to justify themselves. The person who previously left or anyone who stood up to them is not strong enough, or didn’t love them enough. When the only enough they should be hearing is enough of your bullshit. People like Chris Brown and (the previously griped about) Matthew Newton do not need this validation. They get enough from the industries that feel it is acceptable to employ them as public figures when the only thing they deserve is to be ostracized; there are thousands waiting to fill their place in the public eye and I’m sure more the majority don’t perpetrate or condone violence
It says to sufferers that their pain means nothing. That their leaving the relationship was not a strong act and a reclamation of themselves as an important person. Getting out of an abusive relationship is hard work, most of the time your head has been so disoriented by your abuser that you have no inner compass to guide you to happy. Those who get the hell out alive are to be praised and held up as a light to lead those still trying to find their way out, not denigrated for exercising self respect. I knew others who didn’t get out alive, these statements spit on their death and the pain of those who really loved them, which is a truly vile thing to do.
It says to people in an abusive relationship that they should stay. Truly the most scary aspect of this, is the normalizing and acceptance of violence. It’s scary to leave, it can take more than one go. Reading the things that these women had to say might make someone stay in a relationship just a little bit longer. Just a little bit longer is all it takes for them to end up one who never leaves, not alive anyway, which to anyone surely has to be the bare minimum that we hope for for those who have been abused.
It deeply saddens me that in this day and age anyone would step over the line and offer themselves up for abuse. I hate the words that these women spewed forth, I hate the damage that they cause, but I don’t hate them. I would like them to read this, to have a long think about what being the sufferer of violence really means and to volunteer for a few nights at a shelter. See those bruises and that hurt in the raw, see the fear which clings to you and in the dark nights forever. To see these things second hand because while they might wish these things upon themselves I never would.
My right hand, the middle finger is permanently down turned and numb due to being stomped on in the final hours of being punched, kicked and thrown by my ex partner. Look closely ladies it might not seem like much but I’m betting it’s not a price you’re willing to pay not deep down.