Tuesday, October 7, 2008

"But I Looooove Him!"

Currently Reading: Loved Cindy's Between a Rock and a Hard-On!! I'll be reading Sandra's Boji Stones later.

Forgot to Mention: Happy Birthday to my sis and Travis! Wendy is coming home next weekend; I think our 'Laptop Society' is celebrating Travis' birthday tonight:)

There was a domestic disturbance across the street Sunday night. I was getting everything settled for the evening, when all of a sudden we heard shouting. My hubby muted the television, and then we saw the red and blue lights. Like all nosy neighbors, we opened the door and stepped out onto the porch.

We saw two police motorcycles and the car with the flashing lights parked across the street. The policeman got out of the car and headed for the rear of the house, where a spotlight had the alley lit up like a stage.

As we watched, as second car with flashing red and blue lights appeared and parked in front of our house. He too got out of the car and walked across the street to offer assistance.

We saw them talking to a shadowy figure; we couldn't tell if it was the owner of the house or someone else. But soon the cuffs were being put on, and the owner of the house was being led to the first police car.

By now, four of us nosy household had gathered on our porch. The nosier of the bunch, a gentleman who lives a couple of doors down, went over to talk to the lone policeman writing up a report beside his motorcycle. He came back..."Domestic Battery".

Since this is also the household that a few weeks ago the owner was arrested for dealing drugs, we had speculated on his being busted again.

He was hauled away dociley, but statistics prove his wife will not press charges once she's calmed down.

Why? "Because I love him; he said he's sorry; he'll get help."

Yeah, right. And in a few weeks, he'll either get drunk/high/stupid and do it again. Maybe even put her in the hospital.

Ladies, even though your fist is the size of your heart, his fist connecting with your face or any other body part is NOT an expression of love! (Unless, of course, it's not a fist, and the marks are consensual in your sex-play. That's not what I'm talking about here!)

When I was little, one of my favorite Broom Hilda comics had Broom Hilda reciting that fact about fists and hearts. Irwin, the troll, promptly looks at his fist, and rams it into Broom Hilda's mouth. While she's lying there with the comic stars swirling around her head, Irwin childishly says, "I love you!"

That was funny.

What was not was seeing the bruises on the women with whom I interacted at a battered women's shelter while in college. (I had to volunteer and put in so many hours per semester for my social work classes) I discovered I was very good at getting the women to open up and talk about their experiences; however, it boggled my mind about WHY they let themselves get caught up in the abusive relationships in the first place!

I always said if a man laid a hand on me, I was out the door. Period. No questions asked. My safety came first.

But what if the bruises are internal? Where do you draw that line?

I gave an idiot an entire year before I finally got tired of his putting me down. When did I 'wake up'? Maybe it was when he started ridiculing my friends. Maybe it was when he forced me to end a friendship (didn't work...as soon as I made the phone call and informed the answering machine I could no longer associate with them, he left and I promptly called back and left a SECOND message letting my friend to disregard the first one!)? Maybe it was him telling me my dreams of being a writer was idiotic? Or maybe it was simply the night I couldn't get him to stop yelling at me and put on the whole 'you're right, I'm-lower-than-dirt' routine where I was thankful the lights were off and he couldn't see me laughing?

Whatever the wake-up call, I got out of it.

Now counseling DID work for my bff. All it took was her physically leaving her hubby for 4 days and not coming back until he sought counseling. And they are still married ten years later. She called his bluff and the thought of losing her scared him into behaving. And I've made it known that if he starts to slide, she's welcome in my house until a) he returns to counseling or b) she decides to permanently leave him.

So in the meantime, I'll be keeping a close eye on my neighbors, and maybe even go over and offer friendship. They've only lived here for a couple of weeks. Maybe she could use a friend?


Regina Carlysle said...

We never know what goes on behind closed doors. It doesn't matter about the neighborhood or the income bracket. It's everywhere.

B.B. Walter said...

Unfortunately, Regina is right. Behind closed doors is a whole other matter. My MIL runs a domestic abuse shelter nearby and the amount of women that come in from upper class or even comfortable middle class is obscene. And verbal abuse is even worse! Most women have no idea they are being abused in this manner (no matter their intelligence); it's simply a matter of how they are used to things being.

'I love you' does not issue a carte blanche, but it often tends to override everything else in a person's life. The human drive for acceptance and love is one of the most primal needs. And, while love can conquer most things in life, unfortunately love can also resign so many to a life of enslavement.

I'm sorry to hear it had to hit so close to home...especially since you have little ones, but I'm glad you spoke on it. The more we talk about things, the more people that might actually listen. Only when we open our ears and listen can things begin to change.

pmrussell said...

My sister in law was a victim of domestic abuse. She married the guy twice! Eventually she saw the light and has lived happily ever after. Self respect comes from within. That's why the shelters and various charities for victims of abuse are so important. A police officer once told me that his fellow officers biggest fear was responding to domestic violence calls. He had some very scary stories. I keep my distance from situations like that because I know what can happen.