[Queen] Leave to Live | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

[Queen] Leave to Live

At the beginning of the relationship, everything was fine. Not long after, he started changing. He often seemed angry, like he hated me. I think he changed his mind about being with me, but he wouldn't tell me that. He decided instead to "tolerate" my presence.

It didn't take long for him to release his anger. Unfortunately, I was the target for his release. The downward spiral started with him verbally abusing me. It was so regular that I began to adjust to being screamed at and humiliated. I even accepted that I was fat, childish and undesirable. I starved myself to lose weight, but he still called me fat. I offered very little of my opinion because it seemed to contribute to his disdain for me if I didn't agree with him, so I just stopped talking. That only made it worse.

I gained enough courage to call a friend one night during a self-pity session, not knowing that he was even home. He barged into the bedroom and grabbed the telephone from me. He took the handle of the telephone and slammed it across my face. Shocked and amazed, all I could do was scream. His closed, man-sized fist connected to the same side of my face still pounding from the sting of the telephone handle. I retreated to the floor beside the bed, thinking he couldn't get to me there. I covered my face as I saw him charge toward me. He kicked me in my stomach repeatedly. All I could do was lay there and suffer until he got tired. When he did, I climbed into bed and cried until daybreak.

A glance in the mirror revealed the horror of blackened eyes and clearly identifiable handprints on my face. Discoloration dotted my stomach, legs and arms. I didn't recognize myself. He slowly approached the mirror staring at my distorted reflection and innocently explained that this was my fault. He assured me that he would never touch me in that way again. And I forgave him, thinking I disrespected our commitment and that he was well within his rights to smack me around a bit.

It wasn't his fault; it was my fault.

Many Ike-and-Tina years later, it still wasn't his fault. Even though I had come to realize that this was what our relationship was going to be like if I stayed, he cried and begged me not to leave each time. Not only was I afraid to leave, I didn't want to leave him because he needed help. He was a good guy when he wasn't punching my face.

I probably would have stayed with him until he killed me because I "loved" him. I stayed until he found someone else that he wanted more and kicked me out. Now I know I was not as in love as I thought, just afraid of trying something new.

We are dying in this city at the hands of domestic violence. Women of Jackson are losing the battle between saving the ones we love and saving ourselves. We think that somehow it's our fault that the man we love hits us, hurts us, abuses us. We have convinced ourselves that we can fix his issues just by loving harder. We think that this is our soul mate. We tell ourselves that it will be alright once he gets "past" his anger. Some of us have watched our mothers and sisters go through this abuse and have convinced ourselves that this is normal in relationships.

It is not normal for a man to hit you or steal your peace and joy.

We have a responsibility to our children, and to young women who pattern themselves after us, to hold men to a higher standard. We can't allow the women of tomorrow to inherit our inability to stand up and say, "Enough." We can't permit the next generation of queens to believe that this behavior is acceptable in a committed relationship. We can't surrender our future in the name of love.

When you get tired of covering up black eyes so your friends don't know that your man is beating you, tired of missing work and dodging the public because you can't hide the bruises, tired of trying to convince yourself that one day he will love you the right way, tired of crying and being depressed, and tired of accepting the unacceptable, when you find that you are having an internal battle over saving yourself or saving him, leave before there is no "you" left to save.

Ladies, you deserve a man to be just that—a man. You deserve a man who is supportive of you being who you are. You deserve to have a soul mate who cherishes your soul—not because of what you do for him or how you act, but because you are a queen. Stop accepting abuse from men. Neglect is abuse; name-calling is abuse; slapping is abuse; grabbing and pulling, that's abuse, too. Don't let a man abuse you. You deserve better. We deserve better. Our children deserve better.

Previous Comments

ID
129896
Comment

Girl, you are awesome. Thank you for sharing your story. I'm sure it has helped someone out there who's looking for a way out.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-05-16T10:17:27-06:00
ID
129980
Comment

Thank you girl...this life is a long road, and it's been a trying one. But thank GOD because without the obstacles, there would be no victory. Thanks for reading and commenting on it. It's hard to do a story like this. When I was telling a friend about it, whom I've known my entire life and NEVER told about the first incident when i was hit with the phone, I began to cry and cry and cry. I guess I really never dealt with the hurt that I was feeling. I think I must of just kind of pushed it to the back of my mind. But it's necessary to tell stories like this one in hopes that one girl might read it and it may change her life. Then it's worth the tears and the pain. Mind you this happened at least 15 to 20 years ago (give or take) and I never told a soul...never cried about it again after the first couple of days when I was healing. But the opportunity to write it came and I accepted. We have got to try and save some of our women or not only will there be a man shortage, but a woman shortage too....ugh, imagine that!!! LOL

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-05-19T16:07:19-06:00
ID
129990
Comment

A woman shortage? Perish the thought!

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-05-19T19:34:44-06:00
ID
129992
Comment

My best friend in the world lived w/a guy just like that, and she finally had enough. Now she's married to my 2nd best friend and her ex is in prison for murdering his wife. There but for the grace of God....

Author
bill_jackson
Date
2008-05-19T20:33:46-06:00
ID
130013
Comment

WOW....that's really brings this to the surface. That could have easily been your best friend. You know when a man has lost himself so much so that he can use his fist or any other object to pound on the woman that he loves (and believe me this has nothing to do with if he loves the woman or not); it's a serious problem for that guy. Most of the time, they can't help themselves. But it only takes one hit too many or one hit in the wrong spot and there you have it. A woman dead. I really feel like its a sickness and we need to be proactive in our attempt to help men with anger issues to get a hold on themselves.

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-05-20T08:12:44-06:00
ID
130017
Comment

unfortunately, I don't think guys that would hit a woman can be "cured". It's imbedded in their personality, part of the whole "macho" mindset.

Author
bill_jackson
Date
2008-05-20T08:36:01-06:00
ID
130027
Comment

Wow, Rex, are you serious....you don't believe there's any hope for an abusive man? I certainly pray that you're wrong. Let me give you an update on this particular man. After all the anguish I went through with him...the woman that he wanted more that he put me out for...well, she was a fisty one. She murdered his self esteem. She flipped the switch on him. Putting him more in a situation like the one I was in. She played his role to me and he played my role. She abused him...not physically but she broke him down mentally and psychologically. She had him wondering why he was even born. Now I'm not sure where he stands with this right now. I don't know if he still is abusive, but I will say that his new wife doesn't seem to be in the relationship I was in with him. And the new wife is also the second wife, and not the wife who "returned the favor". I don't see any signs of him still being abusive and I believe that it was that woman after me that turned him into someone else. He's into the church now. He's a family man. Works hard. Totally different than what he was when I allowed him to brutally attack me over and over again. So I'm not so sure that there is NO hope for these guys. It may not be the ordinary methods of rehabilitation, but I think there is a good chance that these guys can be helped. Everyone can! I am more concerned about women who don't allow growth after a situation such as this and continues to find men who are abusive. It's an energy given off and if it's not corrected, she will receive the same type of man every time.

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-05-20T10:00:31-06:00
ID
130034
Comment

I hate to paint with too broad of a brush, but on the whole, I'd say yeah, most of these leopards will never change their spots. I know there are exceptions, but that sort of thing is deep rooted, and requires extensive rehabilitation for which most of that type has no patience (or willingness) for.

Author
bill_jackson
Date
2008-05-20T10:40:36-06:00
ID
130036
Comment

I'm surprised Queen that you would allow this. You seem so strong. Maybe you weren't back then. People must learn as early as possible to depend on self, and no one is good enough to abuse you. My wife's daddy told me upon asking for her hand that he had never abused his daughter in any fashion,, wouldn't knowinly allow anyone else to do it, and didn't expect me to do it. He further said if you don't want her at any point bring her back home to us. I'm not the abusive kind unless you count my comments on here. No women anywhere can say I ever abused her except for the one I tried to kill when I was 11 for repeatedly knocking my books to the floor and my oldest sister I hated while young and whose legs I tried to break for showing favortism amongst her brothers. We're alright now but I still think about the old days and how she was back then. The one thing I hope my son does for his daughter as she becomes grown is be willing to beat up, dust off and maybe knock off, if necessary, anyone who abuses his daughter.

Author
Walt
Date
2008-05-20T11:08:24-06:00
ID
130037
Comment

The reason why I'm strong Walt is largely due to this relationship with this one guy and the fact that I had NO self esteem at all to think of. Remember that I had lost my father, and was, as you mentioned before, looking for someone to sort of fill that empty slot. And as you recall I mentioned that my father was very stern....therefore, this behavior from this guy didn't ring out to be "oh so wrong" at 17 or 18 years old. You know? I didn't understand that I should care enough about myself to not allow that. I didn't know that there was any other way to be in a relationship...not because I had been exposed to it, but because I had little exposure to a committed type of relationship. And I felt safe...safety is a key element in abusive relationships for the woman. Typically it's something about that guy that contributes to our need to feel safe and secure. I know many men who, like you have never and would never hit a woman. But there are ones out there like the one Rex mentioned that is probably going to do that to all the women he's involved with. I still can't grasp the idea of them not being able to change. That's discouraging for me. Not saying you don't have a legitimate point. But it's still sad to think once you hit a woman, you'll always be an abuser. WOW! And if it's deep rooted, Rex, why, how did it get there? Where does it come from? Why some men and not all?

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-05-20T11:17:04-06:00
ID
130038
Comment

I'm not sure, but I do know this guy had a pretty crappy childhood, which may have included an abusive father. So you get the cycle of violence thing happening. Thank God he dosen't have any kids. And my friend is now well adjusted and living happily ever after. As to why some men and not others, it could be a predispostional thing, or how you were brought up, any number of things

Author
bill_jackson
Date
2008-05-20T11:39:55-06:00
ID
130039
Comment

I never understood the mentality of these "boys" who think its okay to abuse women. They can identify and exploit a certain weakness and too many of them are successful at finding victims.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2008-05-20T11:52:49-06:00
ID
130041
Comment

Well Jeff it's not like they don't get participation from women. Like I said, we accept this behavior never making them own their issues. Accepting apologies in hopes that the problem will cease to exist. Then it the relationship ends, the woman will enevitably end up with a situation similar to that one of abuse. May be a different kind of abuse, but abuse the same. I'd be interested in finding out just how many men have been abusive and changed. Sometimes I know that women have a tendency to be "mouthy" and to "push buttons", but what is it in that man that sends him over the edge to the point of actually beating the woman. Then if remorseful, finding that the next time he gets that angry the same thing happens. Why is this so uncontrollable? Do you guys think that it's more a sign of the man's need to be in control, to be powerful? Or is it just bound to happen depending on upbringing, exposure, childhood experiences, etc...? Or is it both? I find it particularly interesting that some men can so emphatically disagree with this and loath men who do it, but then there are some out there where this is regular and normal behavior.

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-05-20T12:06:18-06:00
ID
130046
Comment

Queen the thing I love about you is that you're not blind to even your personal situations. You see many sides or shades of things. Not everyone wants to see this. Certainly these women bear some fault even if it's only the inability to muster the will or courage to leave or stop the abuse for a while. I admit I give or attribute very little fault or perhaps none to dependent women with children to feed, house and clothes unless they have an opportunity to flee and refuse. Not many women will make the admissions you just did. I know I and you 'll get disagreement from many women on this. I also blame women for engaging in substance abuse or mind-altering processes that aid the abuser. Hell, if you're not normal yourself how can you expect normalcy from others or defend yourself against abuse from others.

Author
Walt
Date
2008-05-20T12:51:41-06:00
ID
130052
Comment

I try to be as real as I can possibly with my feelings about things. We tend to make ourselves feel certain ways because it sounds good or is expected. I try real hard not to do that. I generally trust my soul to let me know right from wrong. I know it's not right and I know it is unacceptable for a man to put his hands on a woman. I also understand that if that man could choose whether or not he attacked his woman, he certainly would choose not to. That's why I say that it is a sickness that needs to be addressed. I do not under any circumstances "blame" the woman for being abused. I do, however blame her for staying. I do blame her for giving a man this power over her; allowing him to determine her happiness and her joy; letting him steal her pride and her ability to KNOW that she deserves better. I do blame her for not recognizing her queen-ness. I was that woman. I looked in the mirror at total disgust with myself for not being strong enough to walk away. For being so weak (in my perception) that I let him convince me that I couldn't do any better, that I deserved that. But I will say that under NO circumstances is it EVER okay for a man to hit, push, jerk, slap, any of that to a woman. What would he do if a man hit his child or his mother or even his sister? Now, tell me this....why is it that certain men think that "shaking" a woman, or "grabbing", or "pushing" isn't abuse? Anything that makes that woman fearful of your next action is abusive. Whether it's yelling or whether it's pointing your finger in her face. Doing those things causes a woman to feel insecure and compromised as an individual...that's abuse. But time and time again men say to me, "I didn't hit her, i just shook her"....is that suppose to be tolerable? Are men, really, under the impression that there is a difference? Is there a difference?

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-05-20T13:27:23-06:00
ID
130053
Comment

I keep my distance and will move to keep from being too close as I disagree or argue. Soon I just go in another room or leave until I cool down. Fortunately, I only dated one person who had to touch or be in your face when they argue. I can't stand the type and have always avoided them except for that one occasion. Shaking, pushing and grabbing can and will likely lead to other worse things. I refuse to touch others in a heated exchange and I don't want to be touched or crowded in an angry exchange. I desire to lose or win on intellect, debate or grace or benevolence. Never violence or fear.

Author
Walt
Date
2008-05-20T13:37:09-06:00
ID
130057
Comment

I'm the same way, Walt. Thing is that I know some people have a way of nagging until they get a rise out of the person they are arguing with. Problem is that once they've successfully lead that person to that point, then we have physical abuse taking place. I don't even like raising my voice when disagreeing. And I'm quick almost to a fault of walking away or shutting down when I feel the anger inside me building up to the point where I'm ready to engage in screaming matches. Fortunately since this man, I've grown enough to not even attract the type of man that has anger issues. I've even met a man who is way above that and would probably rather shoot himself than to bring any type of harm to me. But it took a long time to get to that point and a lot of years of just not giving a damn one way or the other about relationships before I could understand that disagreements can take place without leading to screaming and fighting. I'm not a fighter in that regard at all. And when this happens in front of kids, it's totally unforgivable. This is where I have the most concern for women who don't get out. Children will definetely be affected by this and I believe this is the upbringing we discussed earlier that contributes to men becoming abusive. They have not been taught how to have disagreements without being physical. It's the cycle that Rex mentioned. Women, still, though are not equipped to bring the same amount of pain to a man with her fist as he is with his. Therefore, it will never be acceptable for a man to put his hands on a woman, in my opinion -unless she's Madea-like and he's like say - ummmm....George Jefferson. :-) She doesn't have the physical capacity to equal his strength and thus, makes him a small, weaker being for attacking her - under any circumstances.

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-05-20T14:19:16-06:00
ID
130061
Comment

What you don't know is that when the cameras weren't around, George Jefferson used to pimp slap that smart a#@*d maid they had (hence her attitude) but he knew better than to pull that crap w/ Weezy. She'd break him off somethin' proper.(Sorry, thought this could use a little brevity.)

Author
bill_jackson
Date
2008-05-20T19:31:00-06:00
ID
130063
Comment

Queen, Thank you for sharing your story. I was at lunch on Saturday with three other women when your column came up. Of the four of us, three (including myself) had been victims of abuse at some point in their lives. I was amazed. All of these women, including myself) are strong, loving, generous people. One of the women carries a gun in her purse every day--years after the fact--because she fears that he'll show up one day intent on killing her. My story--the part that's fit to print anyway--is here. One common thread among us was our disbelief that the men we loved--and who all professed their love to us--could treat us so badly. Abuse is never, never, ever the victims fault. Whether it's sexual, psychological or physical, abuse is about power and control. Abusive people need help. But first, those who are abused need to be believed and treated with compassion. Whether you or I understand why a woman stays with an abuser is irrelevant (unless you happen to be a mental health professional). None of us are experts on another's life. The reasons may be financial--as in "who's going to feed the kids?"--or it could be that the abuser has threatened to kill the victim if she or he dares to leave. Once you've been smacked around a bit, it's an easy claim to believe. You don't know. Your situation is not the same as hers. Repeat after me: The Abuse Is Not Her Fault. Whether she stays or goes may not be up to her. Ask an abused woman what she needs, not why she isn't leaving. And then give her what she asks for--even if that's not what YOU think is the right thing to do. Make sure she understands that you're there for her, and make sure she knows where to go when she gets the courage--or smarts, or just has had enough--to finally leave. Ask the right question, with compassion, and you might just make a difference. Making it her fault only isolates her further. And when she does leave, be ready to testify against the SOB to put him away for a good, long time.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2008-05-20T20:25:03-06:00
ID
130064
Comment

Hope my above post was not taken to make light of the subject, but this goes to what Ronni said. My above mentioned best friend lived in fear that she would get called as a witness in the murder trial. She's as strong of a woman as I'ver known and that in itself speaks volumes.

Author
bill_jackson
Date
2008-05-20T20:51:54-06:00
ID
130067
Comment

Excellent post too,Ronni. I can't believe Ronni cursed. I bet it was her first time too! Maybe it was the stuff I said where I placed a teenny weeny bit on fault on the woman for not leaving. For now, I'll take the females' view of those who have been there. Queen, you're writing some amazing columns. Keep up the good work. Kamikaze is too. Queen you and Kaze seem like different people these days. What's going on?

Author
Walt
Date
2008-05-21T08:04:19-06:00
ID
130068
Comment

Ronnie, thanks so much for your post. It was never my intent to give the indication that abuse is EVER the victim's fault. However, I can say that my opinion (thus far) has been that she should "just leave". After reading your posts (and meditating over it over and over again) I see that my simplistic resolution seems a bit radical. Some women, as you've delicately pointed out can't just leave, for whatever reason. Somehow, in my own personal evaluation, I continued even years later to lend power to my abuser by blaming myself for staying. Since I rehashed these old wounds by writing this column, I feel compelled to be just as frank about my healing process. Firstly, I am a work in progress. Your post made me realize that I am STILL a victim. Not being abused any longer - still a victim of being bound by my abuser. Still giving him power over my life by not accepting that this was not my fault....eventhough I stayed. I wasn't in a situation where as severe as some abuse cases. I wasn't put in a situation where I felt if I left he would kill me. But imagining what that must feel like makes me hurt inside all over again. I wondered why tears flowed so easily during my first vocal conversation about this column after it was printed. I thought it was me accepting. But I don't think it was. Now, I think it's me still huring. Still being involved in the pain and disdain that I personally placed on myself for not being strong enough to stop this from happening to me. I'm still confused about what it was in me that allowed this to happen. And I'm even in fear that if I don't figure it out, that maybe I will end up in that situation again...I'm terrified of that. I somehow wondered into a nearly 20 year mask where I thought that if only I had done someting. Even now writing this, I feel victimized. I've ended up in a subliminal world of self hatred for not standing up for myself. Ronnie, you are so right. It terrifies me to think that a victim could wonder on to this board right now and read my posts and think worse of herself; like she is at fault; like she should be in control; she should do something. You're right, that will not help her leave or help her recognize her need to leave. It's likely to add to her depression about not being able to leave. To get even more personal than I already have here, let me add that people come to this blog site for different reasons. Some visit the site for mere entertainment. Some come here to vent. Some come here to emphatically state their opinions. For me, JFP serves for something COMPLETELY different. I am lead here, firstly. Secondly, I come here for discussion, understanding, realization and therapy. I didn't realize that I still even had healing to do when it came to this particular column. But now it's very obvious. I have learned so much about myself since I've become a part of this diverse JFP family. You guys may not realize this but you are all contributing to a better me and I am sooooooo thankful for that. You are all very important to overcoming my inward struggles - even when I don't readily see that I'm struggling. So, thank you again Ronnie for being so frank with me and for pointing out things that obviously escaped me in my attempt to get past this chapter of my life. I can't heal properly without knowing what I'm healing from. I thought I needed to just be taught that the man is wrong for beating a woman. But I also needed to heal from the me that taught myself to be in response to being in this abusive relationship. I guess my voyage to mecca is not over....just heading in another direction. This road never ends.... I am truly thankful for all of you who share your thoughts and opinions here. I may not agree with them all- but I am open and willing to accept them. Okay....I'm done with the emotional outburst! :-)

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-05-21T08:08:17-06:00
ID
130071
Comment

Queen, you're writing some amazing columns. Keep up the good work. Kamikaze is too. Queen you and Kaze seem like different people these days. What's going on? Walt, the answer is simple (for me) - GROWTH.

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-05-21T08:14:48-06:00
ID
130075
Comment

Big hug, Queen. I've been too busy on a story to comment on this column, but thank you for writing it. Being abused in the past made me stronger, too. Much love.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-05-21T08:39:57-06:00
ID
130081
Comment

Queen, you have set the bar for all of us when it comes to keeping an open mind and personal growth. You're a blessing. Many thanks.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2008-05-21T09:26:01-06:00
ID
130084
Comment

Wow...powerful stuff, Queen. Let there be no doubt that in telling your story, you've probably prevented another woman from enduring the pain and suffering that you obviously have. You're a gem!

Author
Kacy
Date
2008-05-21T10:22:40-06:00

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