Something has been bothering me and I haven’t been able to pinpoint it. There is a lot going on in my life that I haven’t talked about. Those goings-on influence what I publish on the blog, what I write in my e-journal and what I just keep in my head, but I think sometimes I keep things in my head that need to be heard, even if it’s only by one person.
A couple weeks ago, I posted this video. My comment was: Holy. Fucking. Crap.
Watch the video. Even if you hate the song and have to turn the sound off, watch the video.
I listen to that song every day. Twice or three times a day. It isn’t even a particularly good song, but I can’t turn it off.
I should have said more the first time I posted the video. I should have told the truth.
I started thinking about the truth when I saw some links on a friend’s facebook page – articles about abusive husbands fighting for custody of their kids. Articles about abusive fathers hurting those kids once they get visitation. It’s a vicious circle. Sometimes we can break the chain, but the reality is that it keeps happening – and it starts with one push or one slap. It begins when we try to explain it away or justify it.
I’ve talked about my ex-husband a few times. He’s a wonderful man, who just happened to marry a lesbian. I’ve actually been married twice, though. I talked about my first ex-husband in my post about choices and my friend Leslie, who set aside her own feelings to get me through that time.
What I didn’t write about that particular day is what happened after he threw me in the car and I laid on the horn until Leslie came out of the house and threatened to call the police. He let me out of the car. He opened the passenger door, threw me out into the street, put it in reverse and gunned it – so the door would hit me in the head. Luckily, the car door only hit my legs because I had the wind knocked out of me and I couldn’t move, but my legs were still half in the car. That wasn’t the first time he tried to hurt me. I never told anyone. I never told my parents. I didn’t tell Leslie. I was so young. It was just a mistake. No need to discuss it, right?
That kind of behavior is learned. The women who deal with abuse learn it, too. He wasn’t the only person to try to control me with violence. The others were more subtle, but the intent was exactly the same – control. So I have to ask myself, “As an intelligent, strong, independent woman, what is it about me that attracts emotional terrorists?”
The song upsets me. But the video brings it home because that wasn’t Megan Fox and Dominic Monoghan. That was me and David Rollins. That was me and Nancy. She broke my glasses and my pinkie finger and gave me a black eye. I was still legally married to the second ex-husband when Nancy worked me over and he let me stay in his house and didn’t ask any questions. He should have asked.
He was accused of battering his ex-wife. I know that was a lie. I know it because I know him. I was married to him. He was my best friend. And I know it because I pissed him off and he never once threatened me or raised his hand to me. So, yeah, some women are psychotic liars. His ex was one of them. But 99% of women aren’t lying – and we need to listen to them. But we can only listen to them if they speak up.
I didn’t speak up. I had a place to go and a family who took me back in. I had the means to escape. The thing is, I never really escaped. I picked two more abusive people before I figured it out but I never had kids that I had to fight for and protect. How many women can’t get out?
Women like me perpetuate the problem because we don’t want to talk about it. I was embarrassed. We don’t want to admit that we were at someone else’s mercy – no matter how little or how much physical damage was done. We don’t talk about it and so … it keeps happening.
Eminem has been criticized for both the song and the video but … he has a point. This is a conversation we, as a society, need to have. And soon. Every day that we wait, it is too late for three women.
What if one of those three is someone you love?
I’ll let Eminem say it another way:
I know I’m a liar
if she ever tries to fuckin leave again
I’m gonna tie her to the bed
and set this house on fire.