A caution about abuse…

Cross-posted from AngryBlackBitch.com.

A certain someone who shall remain anonymous sent a bitch an email asking for my thoughts on the alleged assault of Rihanna by Chris Brown. Anonymous said that she is a teen who has a friend in an abusive relationship and that she is angry over recent news reports stating that Rihanna has reunited with Brown. She expressed worry that her friend would do the same thing and confusion over why anyone would stay in a relationship that was abusive.


I have avoided posting about this because so much is unclear and what little is clear has been exploited by the press.

But what I won’t avoid is the following caution about abuse.

Shall we?

I have never been the victim of physical abuse…but I was the victim of emotional and verbal abuse by my mother.

I spent years blaming myself for not being perfect…then blaming society for not seeing what we worked so hard to disguise, for not sensing what I had been trained to distract attention away from. I thought I deserved the rants, the tantrums, the cruel words and the vicious taunts.

Even when I decided that enough was enough…it wasn’t. I left home at 16 to attend college, but a predictably sick connection remained.

And with a simple phone call or over a week during break the pattern was re-established.

I…the wrong, the flawed and the one who called down criticism upon myself.

She…the authority, the parent and the one burdened with imperfect children in need of discipline.

I didn’t break from my mother until I was thirty and that final break wasn’t the result of another incident.

It was just time and right and then ‘twas done.

And I’m sure there are people who say that it must not have been that bad…that I share responsibility because I stayed or returned or blah, blah and blah.


Whatever may come of this single news story, I caution folks to try to understand that leaving isn’t the easy part.

Staying is not an admission that things aren’t that bad.

I have known abuse and I have known the struggle to get away, the pressure that is still tossed my way to forgive and forget and the guilt that flares at the strangest times.

And I know that there isn’t a damn thing easy or simple about it…

…even as I know it was the right thing for me to do.

National Domestic Abuse Hotline
1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
TTY 1-800-787-3224
Info. for teens is available here

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