Gangsta Mittens
Words combined to express thoughts. Pictures displayed to convey emotion. Opening my brain to the world.

Domestic Violence in 2009


I hate that I tend to sigh before I write… that’s not how i ever wanted to feel about writing. I wanted to approach my writing with enthusiasm, but the truth of the matter is, some topics are not happy topics and some things are more difficult to write about than others, this would be one of those times.

Backstory: Grammy weekend, after leaving a party at the Beverly Hilton (which is ironically where we happened to be staying), Chris Brown and Rihanna get into it on the way home or elsewhere and essentially he beats her ass. A month later they’re back together (or something like that) and everyone is an expert on domestic violence. She must have done something to provoke him, he should be castrated, she’s an idiot if she goes back to him, he’s gonna hit her again. Radio stations won’t play his music anymore. Add that to the plethora of off-color jokes about the situation and the whole thing has turned into a month long headache for me.

Yes, me.

In 1994 I, unknowingly, entered into an abusive relationship. At the time dude was the nicest, sweetest person. We laughed, liked a lot of the same shit… we had fun together. Now I should mention that i come from a long line of family members and friends who have always say things like “if a man ever put his hands on me i’m out”. Like it was just never a question that that was something I wasn’t standing for.
I remember the first time he ever hit me. Dude had a temper, and it was most often sparked by what he felt to be a lack of respect. We were talking about something and I hit him, open hand, playfully, on his leg. He responded with a punch that left a huge bruise. Now… I know what many would say and think about this situation. I hit him, he hit me back. Case closed.

By the time that incident occured, unbeknownst to me, he had already started abusing me mentally and emotionally. Cheating on me and then, when my friends would tell me about it, convincing me that he wasn’t. Alienating me. Making me feel like I needed him to be something. Half of my friends hated him, the other half thought he was a saint. Needless to say, I couldn’t turn to any of those people when things went crazy.

The day he punched me, I should have walked away. I mean, yes i hit him. Hell maybe i even hit him harder than i thought. Maybe he didn’t take it as a “playful” hit. But the reality was, what he did to me was disproportionate to what I did to him and it was a clear sign of what was to come.

The next incident that sticks out was when he was driving me (in my car) to a job interview. I’m not sure what we were discussing but clearly I said something to set him off because the next thing i know he grabbed me by my hair and started banging my head on the dashboard, next thing i know he stopped the car and dragged me out kick me some more. At this point I suppose i’m that stupid chick that went back to the dude that was whooping her ass. I mean only an idiot would do this. But in my mind, this was all my fault. I should have kept my mouth shut. I knew that things that i said would set him off… so clearly I needed to work on me….

Over the next couple of years there was more punching, choking, guns pointed at my head. One night he choked me until i passed out on the floor… that was the last night really. When i came to I saw him sitting on the bed with a gun in his mouth… praying. I could still barely breathe.. and to be honest, I wasn’t really sure I was seeing what i thought i was seeing. I remember literally dragging myself across that floor… arms bruised… chest tight… shaking… i begged… pleaded with him not to hurt himself. Finally got the gun away from him, put him in a car and drove him to the psych ward of the hospital. After i dropped him off, I drove home… home as in DC home… from Hampton… no clothes. no identification. just left. It was 2 months before i went back down there.

Somewhere along that tumultuous 2 yr period he started smoking weed laced with crack. I watched him beat up his daughter’s mother, I watched him steal from me and almost ended up in jail as a result. I can’t count the times I almost got shot fucking with that dude. Had my dog stolen at gunpoint by some dudes who were trying to get back at him.

Despite everything that happened, the most interesting thing to me is how I got sucked into the downward spiral that was that relationship. The person that I became was almost as dispicable as the person he was. I’ve never been into weed so I definitely wasn’t sitting around smoking laced blunts or anything like that, but during that time i became an extremely violent person. I would watch him sleep some nights, trying to get the courage to kill him… i didn’t know how else to get out of the relationship. That was the lowest point for me… and the reason i think i woke up when i did after he choked me.

The person that I had become was so far out of character for me. I needed to come back. I’m not sure what I would have felt if i had waken up to find him dead. Relief? Happiness? More blaming myself? Who knows… but at least i knew i did the right thing in the end.

I don’t know what went on with Chris and Rihanna prior to the night in that car. Hell I don’t know what went on in the car. I know what the police report says. I know that she sustained several injuries and he walked away relatively unscathed. I also know that she’s back with him now. I’ve been there. The smart girl with so much going for her. Why would she go back to someone so abusive? She deserves what she gets from here on out for being so stupid. Friends think they’re helping by alienating you. If you go back to him i can’t support you… only pushes you closer to the abuser. You feel like an idiot. You feel like it’s your fault. People whisper about you… talk about you behind your back. People blame you if he’s being treated badly or they blame you for letting him treat you that way. It’s a no win situation for the victim.

The reality is, they likely both need help. Especially if they’re both at the point where they feel like violence is the only option. Whether it’s her hitting him or him hitting her. They’re both wrong, and i sincerely hope they both get help.

My ex eventually went to jail for a shooting that he committed with a gun that he initially asked me to buy. When i refused he had his other chick (who clearly loved him more than i did) buy it for him. He came home and continued to smoke crack. When I went back to Hampton in 1999 to finish school, I made it a point to go see him. I wanted him to know that I hated him for the person he made me, but that I forgave him for it. He was high when I told him and said he really didn’t understand why i was so mad. It was pretty much what I expected from him. The truth is, I wasn’t saying those words for him, I was saying it for myself. I said what I needed to say and got it off my chest. I was lucky enough to move on. A lot of women don’t make it that far.

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