Saturday, February 07, 2009


There's a woman I know, who got into a drunken brawl with her boyfriend....bruised, bloodied, chunks of hair pulled out. This isn't the first time. And it won't be the last. The next night she was buying him dinner. I wonder if her motto is, Hit me and get a free meal?
And I wonder why.
Why put up with this kind of behavior, whether she instigates or he instigates?
What is it about people that seem to want this kind of abuse--not deserve it, because no one deserves it--who thrive on it, it seems. She had no shame for the fight; she calmly asked, Did you hear what happened?
I don't get violence, between adults. Between kids, especially young siblings, it seems almost normal to punch each other as a reaction, or disagreement. But when we leave our childhood, why do some of us carry this trait with us?
I've been furious with people in my life--after all I'm a hot-headed Italian woman--okay, I'm none of those things, but I have been furious at people. And I have never once wanted to hit someone. Even people who say the most idiotic, hateful things, I don't consider hitting as a response.
I've been mad as hell at Carlos and never once, steaming with anger, have I thought to strike him. Never. it isn't in me.
So, why is it in others?
Have they not learned to settle a dispute any other way. Use your words people.
Have they such low self esteem that a fist is somehow deserved. Lift yourselves up.
I hear the excuse. We were drunk.
Then stop drinking if it turns violent.
I hear the excuse. You made me so mad.
Then learn to
I hear the excuse. She started it it. He started it.
Then learn to be the bigger person the better person.
You have kids, for Christ's sake. Is that the lesson you want them to learn, because your kids learn everything by watching you.,


frogponder said...

It is the lesson the parents learned when they were growing up.

I worked with a woman
who was in an abusive relationship. There were a bunch of us, young married 20-somethings, in the same office. It was like she was exploring a new world - the world where our relationships were safe, secure, respectful, no violence, no drinking and out of control behavior. She was almost stunned that people lived like that. She looked at our husbands as odd and unusual.

She eventually came to realize that our situations were better and divorced her husband. There was a time all the husbands were on call to deal with the backlash. Which scares me to death now but they were all ready to be knights in shining armor. Thankfully, or maybe not, but the guy found some other gal who thought it was all normal and left our co-worker alone, and with two kids to raise.

Bob said...

I know what you mean, FP. I don't know whether to feel sorry for her, or be angry that she stays in such a relationship--or even that her boyfriend stays because the abuse is on both sides.

David Dust said...

It's easy for us, on the outside, to look at her and say - "it's obvious - if he's going to hit you, you should leave him!"

But doing the "obvious"/smart/right thing is often harder than it looks. I am officially "morbidly obese". I am also intelligent. I know that being fat is shortening my life span. My mother and many of my blog readers (who obviously mean well) keep telling me to simply get back on my diet and start exercising.

I KNOW that's what I should do. I KNOW what I'm doing now is killing me. But I continue to do the wrong thing. And I, for the life of me, can not tell you why.

So please look upon your friend with a little sympathy. Doing the right thing is often much harder than it looks.

Bob said...

Thanks David.
I understand excatly where you coming from.
Everyone has a 'thing' about themselves that is wrong, that they should change, that they know they should change, but foir all sorts of reasosn we don't do it.
I was suing the blog to vent my frustration because I have this anger toward her for rasiing children in that environment, and I have sympathy for her for having to raise children in that environment.
If she cannot choose for herself to get out, at least do it for her children.
It's just so complicated.
I guess I wouldn't have such a viceral reaction if she didn';t have such a 'so what' attitude. She shows off the bruises, and that patch of bare scalp, and I don't know why.
As I said, it's so complicated and brings up all sorts of emotions, and a s aperson who has never, and would never, hit another person, I have a hard time putting it all in one simple pacakge.

Ultra Dave said...

Though many factors are involved and it isn't easy, there will come a time when one of them will say enough. Until then it will continue between them and their children will have learned the same behavior. Hopefully they will be the ones to stop the cycle.

David Dust said...

Darling Bob -

I totally get what your saying. After I posted my comment, I thought I may have sounded a little preachy - so I came back to see if you had responded. I'm glad you did, and I'm especially glad you understand what I was saying.

You are absolutely right - this is about the kids. Using my analogy doesn't apply, because my stupidity about my health doesn't directly effect anyone else - because I don't have any children (but please don't tell my Kitty, Oscar, I just said that).

Furthermore, a mother with a "so what" attitude about something like this IS infuriating.

I'm glad you didn't think I was being some kind of preachy "you don't know until you walk in their shoes" butthead.

In other words - you ROCK, as always.


Bob said...

David, I would never call you a preaschy butthead and I'm glad you said what you said, because I got to clarify what I was writing about.
And the 'you rock' goes right back atcha!


Berry Blog said...

I was in a violent relationship for a long time. What surprised me most about it was that I too was capable of violence. I tended to take my anger out on objects whereas my partner took his out on me.
I can't tell you why I stayed with the relationship other than I didn't have the imagination to think of life without that partner. the last five years were non violent- I don't know why except something in me snapped and I refused to be a participant or a victim. I learned a lot about it from a spiritual movement- learning that the anger energy starts at least 24 hours Beforehand with hardly a clue. What sparks the anger aat a level where it cannot be stopped until it's spent is usually irrelevant and incidental.
I know it is inexcusable but having been there I cannot be upset with people who can't get past it. I only know it's a long hard journey full of shame, horror, and guilt and always requires work on self not the other person. For the most part, we are not victims unless we choose to be.
It's too much to explain in this format however and I'm sure a great many of you probably wouldn't get it and would believe the Bob Newhart therapy " Just Stop it"

Bob said...

I agree with you, too, Charlie.
Having never been there myself, I can only comment from the outside, and that's very different from the inside.

I understand all the issues that allow one person, or both, to be violent, and one person, or both, to be the recipient of the violence. Shame is huge--but this woman was almost showing off her bruises. Low self-esteem, maybe, because she only showed off her bruises to people she knew would automatically feel sorry for her.

But something happened that made you choose not to, as you say, participate in the violence, and I wait for this woman to do that.
I only hope it isn't too late.

Thanks for sharing your story.


Berry Blog said...

some people use it to get sympathy and attention. In my case i was terribly embarassed. First it revealed that I was probably gay and at the time that was costly to be out of the closet- secondly, it was shameful because of how I felt when I knew I should be terminating the relationship. I knew better, but I couldn't seem to help it. I believed the promises as much as the partner believed himself.