Today I had a conversation about the rape scene in “For Colored Girls” which led to a discussion about my experience with being attacked by a man. I was not raped but I was attacked. I have no problem talking about what happened or the fact that I took him back after the assault – that’s a different discussion- my issue is I became the person being questioned.
Why didn’t you hit him back?
Why didn’t you run?
Why didn’t you call the police?
Why didn’t you scream?
Why did you take him back?
And then they tell me what THEY would’ve done, when the truth is NO ONE knows what they would do until it happens.
For me, in that moment, I understood why women don’t fight back, scream, call the police, or do anything. When a person is filled with enough rage to attack you they become unstoppable! If you don’t have the same rage when fighting back you will certainly lose. In these cases, when attacked by someone you love, you wonder why and you become more concerned with consoling them than saving yourself.
Sounds crazy but it’s true.
You take him back because a) you get used to it b) you’re self- esteem is ruined c) it’s safer.
Allow me to explain:
A) You’re used to it: This is the way its been & the attacker not being around is out of your routine which can throw you off completely. I’m not saying it makes sense, I’m just saying its routine- fight …make-up… everything is good for a few then it happens again. We all know how good make-up sex can be so don’t act like … nevermind… The apology phase is also usually the nicest your attacker will EVER be. Your wish is their command… it’s pure bliss and you get stuck in this pattern & continue to repeat it.
B) You’re self- esteem is ruined: Yeah, we all heard the Kat Williams joke about self- esteem however, we all know or should know that what people think of us can affect how we feel about ourselves. Think about the kid that kills himself because he’s sick of being bullied for being gay or tall or fat or skinny. If someone attacks you, repeatedly, they’re usually telling you that “you aint shit” or “you deserve this” if not with words WITH THEIR FISTS. After a while, you’ll start to wonder & maybe even believe you DO deserve to be berated, even physically injured.
C) It’s safer: It probably isn’t, in my case I was thousands of miles way from family & friends who could protect me or fight him. When I put him out, I became scared to leave the house or stay in it at the same time. He threatened to have “people” at my house, mess with my car, etc. It was frightening because I felt like I wouldn’t know where it was coming from if “it” came at all. That fear is paralyzing. So my thinking became if he was in my presence, I could see his jaw tense up, hear the change in his voice, and- in a weird way- prepare myself for the fight.
Again, I’m not saying that any of these are reasons to let someone beat on you (male or female), I’m just saying these are things that go through an attacked person’s head.
Back to the discussion:
So I’m being quizzed on my reaction to the violence & his reasons. REALLY?! I don’t have a clue as to why that crazy ass muhfukka snapped on me. You need to ask him, I did- he said he was drunk and blacked out – YEEEAAAAHHH RIGHT!!
When a person tells you they are or were being abused launching into an interrogation is NOT what you do. THEY ARE THE VICTIM! Don’t prosecute them for being attacked, its like attacking them all over again. Offer or get them help, if it’s a person who has remained in an abusive situation, instead of asking why, offer to introduce them to a new mate, tell them about new apartments in town, a program that helps battered people, or call the police for them.
An abused person feels bad enough without you questioning their actions. It just feels like another attack. Hug them, hold them, HELP them but don’t prosecute them.
If you're reading this and you are in an abusive situation- GET OUT! Run... pack your shit & your kids & go ... WHERE EVER!
It won't get better & there is nothing YOU can do to change your abuser. Don't lose your life trying to fix theirs.