NotBlueAtAll

I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

Domestic Violence (Trigger Warning Obv.)

May20

I randomly came across this article while Tumbling my day away and felt compelled to read it. When I got to this paragraph I couldn’t stop reading anyway (Emphasis mine):

Acceptance came when I finally shut up and listened to what women around me were saying, what they’d always been saying, what my own life was telling me: that the physical, mental, spiritual violence that men commit against women is so wrapped in the fabric of society that it seeps into our subconscious, poisons our relationships to each other and ourselves. It’s a matter of life and death, not just because of the enormous amount of men that kill women every year but because of the lethal fallout of the patriarchal mindset, which asks us to make insanely unhealthy choices in the name of ‘manning up.’

And then this:

Despite what we’re told, people are hungry to talk about how privilege and power keeps us apart and holds us back. Young men know what’s going on, feel the strain of what they’re supposed to be, but our institutions won’t give them the language of how to talk about it, how to make sense of it, how to survive. What we’re left with is locker room banter and bad tv, an epidemic of crap media culture telling us how to be who we are.

And I see it and have lived it, too. Privilege! It seems to come up almost once a day lately, if not more so. I hadn’t considered it though when examining my own past and abuse. Now? Now I’m looking at it all differently. And people love to pretend that this shit doesn’t happen. Or it only happens to certain groups or individuals or what have you. The truth is that domestic violence happens all of the time, right under our noses. I know this because I survived it. I lived through a horrific ordeal that I will never forget. I live with the post traumatic stress of it and must deal with that everyday.

Like so many harsh realities though, we as a society choose to believe it’s a rare occurrence or worse, the problems of only those suffering at the hands of the violence. The truth is that it affects all of us. We can pretend and deny it all we like, but it’s there! And it is up to each individual to fight against the stereotypes and peer pressures that keep us in this state.To speak up and out and to demand justice! To bring these things to the light and stop pretending and stop allowing others to pretend it’s not there, too.

I’ve often heard that abusers were abused themselves. I don’t know a thing about psychology and what may be behind this, but I can’t say that I believe it entirely either. My abuser may have been abused as a child or even later in life, I don’t know, but we choose how to conduct ourselves in the world. I feel that we are individually responsible for our own actions. But I can see how patterns of abuse can continue unaddressed for generations. We love to hide and lie, don’t we? (Humans, that is).

I have a difficult time even watching movies or television shows that depict anything close to what I experienced. Specifically, a film that I otherwise would have enjoyed, the reboot of “The Amityville Horror” which hit theaters in 2005, starring Ryan Reynolds. There were the classic horror stylings and scary moments that one might expect, but what freaked me out, pulled me out of the movie all together, were the scenes of the main character played by Mr. Reynolds, going after the wife character and what he was saying and trying to do to her. It rang too true for me. It made me nauseous, tense and jittery. It brought up a lot of stuff for me. While my friends were talking excitedly about the scary bits of the movie (the bathroom scene! Nice!), I couldn’t get my mind back into the present. I sort of mentioned this to my husband after the fact and can guarantee I will never watch it again.

And as I get older it seems I remember things more clearly and then have to address these sudden revelations/realizations in the context of my life as it is now. And it ain’t easy! But it is what I call self-work. I am at peace with a lot of my past. I don’t think I would go back and do things differently (it took so much to get me where I am now), but I also don’t think much could be done to change the course so to speak. Somehow that violence was dealt to me for some reason. Who knows? I choose not to perpetuate it. I choose not to strike out at people. I choose to manage my anger and frustrations. We all make choices. We all look back with a suspicious eye sometimes. But we need to keep having these difficult conversations about uncomfortable topics in order to rid the world of this shit, ya know?

What do you think?

If you would like to talk in a more private way, contact me directly: notblueatall@notblueatall.com I will not judge. I will not pity you. You can vent/rant/cry/yell/etc…

SAFETY ALERT!

Computer use can be monitored and is impossible to completely clear. If you are afraid your internet and/or computer usage might be monitored, please use a safer computer, and/or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−SAFE(7233) or TTY 1−800−787−3224.

Reach out! Speak up! There is help and judgment-free people who can and want to help!

 

 

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posted under Abuse, Blog, Bullshit, Buzz
8 Comments to

“Domestic Violence (Trigger Warning Obv.)”

  1. On May 20th, 2011 at 10:03 am Twistie Says:

    I’m always leery when people talk about simple, one-size-fits-all answers to why people behave as they do. It’s pretty much always more nuanced than that.

    A history of having been abused does make it more likely that someone will abuse others… but it isn’t the whole story by a long shot. It’s one of many factors that gets mixed up in each individual psyche and spat out again as whatever it gets spat out as.

    After all, a history of abuse has not only made some think there is no other option, it has also made people crusaders against abuse. And there are still others who come out of the experience determined just to go about their business. And there are those who never had a hand raised against them in anger who still consider it their right to harm or even destroy those around them.

    But I’ll tell you one thing for nothing: the author of that article is dead right. The way our world is set up institutionalizes violence against the ‘lesser’ and there are plenty of ‘lesser’ targets due simply to the way the world currently works. And that sucks right out loud. But it’s also so endemic that it has become utterly invisible to many. And it’s such a dirty secret that it’s easy to believe it only happens to people who somehow ‘deserve’ it.

    I find myself thinking of an old episode of Criminal Minds I was watching for the first time recently. There was a subplot about a woman who had shot her husband of some twenty years and two members of the team were brought in to debunk the Battered Spouse Syndrome defense her lawyer had proposed.

    When Hotch and Rossi discovered that this woman had no credit history, no personal property, no work history, no medical records, no email or cell phone account… pretty much no paper trail at all beyond her birth and marriage certificates and the birth certificates of her two children, I literally gasped out loud and shuddered in horror. Mr. Twistie looked utterly confused and asked what was wrong.

    My husband is the sweetest, most generous, most thoughtful guy I know and he had to ask why I found it horrifying that a grown woman would have no paper trail of her own. No record of her existence as a separate individual.

    I’ve known victims of abuse. Children and grown women, poor and middle-class, college educated and people who dropped out of school very young… it can happen to anyone. We pretend there’s a magic bubble around those of us who haven’t suffered so at the hands of someone who ought to be treating us with affection. We are born on third base and think we hit a triple, as the saying goes.

    But the more we talk about it, the more abusers are called to account for their behavior, the more of us who understand that there but for fortune go we, the better chance we have of seriously reducing and – yes, I absolutely believe this – ending domestic violence one day.

    We can do a lot better. We have to do a lot better.

  2. On May 20th, 2011 at 10:07 am Not Blue at All Says:

    I gasped when I read that! I always tell my friends to always have some type of separate account or credit card or something! Even if it’s just for shits and giggles. Wow! I cannot even imagine…thank you! You have such a way with words that always leaves me calmer. Rock on!

  3. On May 20th, 2011 at 10:32 am Twistie Says:

    Considering we’d been married for almost four years before we even got a joint checking account, I would have thought he’d be more attuned to something like that! Especially since when I girded up my loins and informed him I was keeping my own name after the wedding, he just blinked in confusion and said: “I never thought you would do anything else.”

    Oh, and to this day the only credit card we have jointly is one we have to have to keep the perks on our joint checking account… like that handy, dandy overdraft protection! LOL!

    And yes, every married woman should have an account of some sort in her name only. Credit card, small bank account, a couple utilities in your own name… it’s important. Even if your marriage is idyllic and there’s no question of divorce, the fact remains that you can also be widowed and it’s much easier to handle the transition if you’ve got records and money in your own name.

  4. On May 20th, 2011 at 10:37 am Not Blue at All Says:

    I kept my name, too! I don’t care for it, nor his, but he refuses to change our last names to Murderstein, so what can ya do? Ha-ha!

  5. On May 20th, 2011 at 10:45 am Twistie Says:

    If he’d suggested changing both our names to ‘Murderstein’ I might have done some serious wavering! LOL!

  6. On May 20th, 2011 at 10:47 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Right?! I said I was open to suggestions, but he’s not into it. Ha-ha!

  7. On May 21st, 2011 at 2:30 am Veronica Says:

    A realization I came to recently regarding violence towards women, is that it is not treated the way it would be treated if we removed the word ‘women’. We talk about sexiual assault statistics, or domestic violence statistics, and they’re HORRIFYING, and people agree that they’re horrifying. But they agree in this sad way; they sort of shake their head and cluck their toungues, and say, “That’s aweful!”, and then they stop thinking about it. It’s like our society has accepted that these aweful things will happen to women, and there’s nothing we can do about it. But I believe that if we left out the man-woman part of it, and just said, “Every day in Oslo x number of people are being assaulted.” it might make headline news.

  8. On May 21st, 2011 at 9:17 am Not Blue at All Says:

    You pose an interesting point. Remove gender from the equation and consider us all equal (for a moment at least, ha-ha) and see if those silly statistics have the same or a better impact. At least enough to put some actions towards the cause, right? I hate when people pity or assume the woman can get out whenever she wanted. It’s never that simple. And the fact is that abuse does happen to both male and female as well as many other gender identities in the world. Thank you for sharing your perspective!

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