Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Umm, I could just leave – thoughts on Domestic Violence

'Lovers and madmen have such seething brains, such shaping fantasies, that apprehend more than cool reason ever comprehends.
("A Midsummer Night's Dream", Act V, Scene I, William Shakespeare)

Yesterday, I felt like I wasn't having a great day. It was a Monday, my weekend wasn't so restful. I arose before the sun to take BougieSis to the airport, came back home and had just settled into a work rhythm when BougieMom needed transportation while her car was getting its Grand Hustle checkup at the dealership. Returning home, the gates to our gated community were broken and you could not get in. I parked across the street and hoofed it into the house thinking naptime. My neighbors across the street are building a deck in their backyard. A very noisy deck requiring backhoes and nail guns and mounds of dirt in the middle of the street. Giving up the nap, I decided to get some writing done and stared at a blank screen until Vista (for reasons unknown) crashed. Being a back-up fiend, I lost no data but the drama of rebooting and making sure everything was still configured correctly was irksome. Running unbearable slow, I commenced cursing colorfully at the screen until my phone rang and placed things in perspective.

It was my old college roommate. "Did you hear Kay* died?" (*name changed) Kay was my next-door neighbor in the dorm my freshman year of college. She was a petite dark-skinned beauty who looked angelic on the outside but when she opened that pretty mouth – WHOA! She was a fifth-ward Houston chick – umm, think Jason's Lyric for hood reference. Anyway, Kay and I were close as we were both living in a bullshiggity all girls dorm, had an eight-o'clock class and were dating prominent football players on campus. Yes, we were close right up until my player gave me disturbing information on her player and when I shared it; she was not pleased with me. (Note: if your man has Noxzema, lip gloss and sheer pantyhose under his sink that don't belong to you or his sister, he's either cheating or cross-dressing, okay?! Moving on.) Kay and I lost touch somewhere in junior year and I'm not even sure she graduated but we kept in casual contact over the years. So I asked my friend, "What happened to her?" She replied, "Her boyfriend shot and killed her, she was pregnant." Well, damn… my day didn't seem so bad in stark comparison. Kay was a fighter literally; she was one of those chicks that was always in some sort of altercation with another woman or slapping a dude in the middle of the Student Union or threatening to kick somebody's ass. But no matter how out of hand she could be, no woman should die like that. Not one.

October is also Domestic Violence Awareness month and I wonder if you know that one of the leading causes of death among pregnant women is homicide? Did you know that approximately 30% of ALL female homicides are attributed to significant other? [This number has actually declined while number of males killed by female significant others is going up but er – Imma let some other blogger get with that] The fact remains that ONE out of EVERY FOUR women will experience domestic violence at some point in their lifetime. 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by intimate partner every year. For more statistics and information on where to get help and what steps to take, contact the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. And now, a not so lovely BougieTale:

When I lived out in the Bay Area, I met a guy whose name I have literally blocked out of my memory. We'll call him Clorox Dude (CD) since that was where he worked. CD and I met at the Barnes & Noble in Jack London Square (notorious meet~n~mingle place) and went out a few times. At the end of date three he made a conscious and apparent decision to get up to my apartment. He came up; I offered him something to drink and turned on the TV. As we sat watching TV, he started getting very grabby. Aggressively grabby. To the point where I shoved (not gently pushed) him away from me, stood up and said, "I think you should go." To this he replied, "I don't think so." My mouth literally fell open. As a bougie southern chick, when you ask someone to leave… they go! So I said again, "I really want you to leave." "Not until we take this relationship to the next level, you know you want to." Huh. What to do? While I was standing there perplexed, he got up and grabbed me, sort of wrestled me to the ground and pinned my wrists back. In that moment I recognized that this fool was serious and planned to take what I wasn't going to give. I had two ways out, fight (suck at it) or talk (bingo!).

So as he was licking the side of my neck (eeww!); I said, "Hey, you know what? Let me get out of these clothes and put on something sexy. Why don't you get yourself a glass of wine and we'll do this up right?" He leaned back and said, "Okay now that's what I'm talking about, hurry back." I scrambled up and walked down the hall to my room. This apartment had a long hallway with my bedroom suite at the end. There was a door leading into the bathroom which I locked and another door from the walk-through closet into the bedroom which I also locked. So now two fairly thick locked doors stood between me and CD. I called a friend of mine who played pro football and told him the situation. "You stay back there with the doors locked, me and Big Juicy on the way. DON'T come out until I call you." I didn't know exactly who Big Juicy was but I figured he was the kind of guy you wanted to have around and on your side in a situation like this. Two minutes later CD banged on the outer door, "Are you coming out?" "Yep, give me five minutes," I said. He banged on the door in two minute intervals until about ten minutes later when he asked if he should answer the front door, "Yep, you should get that." Then I heard some scuffling noises followed by silence. Five minutes later my cell rang, "You can come out now, we got him. You want him wounded or dead?" I laughed until I realized they were serious, "Oh jeez, just gone with a warning was good enough, thanks!"

The next day CD called and asked me what happened. "What do you mean?" I asked. He said, "I woke up this morning outside your apartment building in my backseat, somebody beat the hell outta me and stuffed me in my car." Turned out my friend brought over Big Juicy and a defensive lineman to have a "chat" with CD, I kinda wished I had come out into the living room to see it go down. "Hmm, I guess you need to learn to keep your hands to yourself then, doncha think?" "You are crazy! I'm filing charges!" I looked down at my bruised wrists and said, "I can do the same if you want to take it there." Never heard from him again. I told EVERYBODY I knew in the Bay Area about his behavior and at the next major conference, I noticed he wasn't at the Clorox booth. "What happened to CD?" "He got fired; there was some questionable behavior with women in the department." I'll just bet there was. All in all, I felt I had gotten off lucky and it definitely changed my habits as far as letting people into my home before I truly felt comfortable in doing so. I still have a tendency to double and triple check where my cell phone is and make sure I tell someone where I am and who I'm going with. It could have been so much worse.

This "new trend" of men (a la Scott Peterson, Tarance Nelson, Timothy Shephard) who kill their s.o.'s due to pregnancy or some other perceived relationship issue is truly baffling to me. (Okay, it's probably not new but we are hearing so much more about it). I still just don't get it. Seriously, you can just tell me you want me to leave and I am out. Never to be heard from again. I swear on whatever breath I have left you will never hear from me again and I do NOT want a dime! There is no reason to shoot, maim, beat, drown, grill, or freeze any part of me. You don't even have to be nice about it. One angrily muttered, "Get to stepping!" and I'm like the wind. I remember being in a heated argument with a man when he balled his fist up at his side. I went dead still and raised an eyebrow. The hell you say? Not OneChele. I backed away, grabbed my purse and hit the door running. He later said, "I never would have swung it." Ri-ight… I was SO not sticking around to find out. Lookie here, my bougie ass is delicate: I bruise easily, I sprain sh!t without too much drama, I don't even play wrestle. Uh-uh, we off that. There's only one acceptable reason to get physical with a man and that should not require the dialing of 9-1-1. Okay?

I just unloaded two boxes of curling irons (someone will use that crimper!) and blow dryers to the battered women's shelter at my church along with lotions, hair products, blushes and lipsticks I never used and a stack of romance novels. You would think they won the lottery; they were so giddy. So it doesn't have to be a big donation, just something to help out. In memory of Kay and all the other Kays out there, let's take a moment to see if there is something each of us can do to support the cause and raise awareness. Comment as you will.

45 comments:

Joy Andrews said...

i was dating this guy who got very angry when barely provoked. He never got physical but the magnitude of his anger scared the shit outta me.

LOL at "one acceptable reason to get physical" - true!

OneChele said...

Sorry for your loss.

Queen of Me said...

Now ya'll got me hot - beyond the bitchassedness, the disrespect!

AppleBerryMIA said...

Thanks for highlighting a neglected issue.

Carey Jackson said...

Amazing story, amazing statistics! So well done, thank you for this.

daisy said...

Girl you have lived quite a life there, do you ever wake up with the song Survivor playing in your head? I have a box of stuff I was planning to drop off somewhere this weekend, now I know just the place. I'm sorry I clicked on the Timothy Shephard link - I really thought you were joking when you said some guy grilled his girlfriend. Lord we have so much work to do in the world.

Man's World said...

Pardon my language in advance: This is why punk bitches say losing and need their asses kicked on a regular basis. If you can't settle things with a woman without your hands on them, you deserve to get beat within an inch of your life. Big ups to Big Juicy and dem, FTW!

A real man walks the f! away.

AppleBerryMIA said...

Chele - only you could find a bougie way to kick ass!

AppleBerryMIA said...

ASmith - I have a friend going through the same thing and her man doesn't even come out of the back room when I'm there. He knows I'm serious about doing what she won't - fighting BACK!

ASmith said...

I like your style.

Everytime I visit, if he's there, he disappears. I used to do him a favor and try to only come by when I knew he wouldn't be there, but now that I no longer live in the same city when I come by, it's when I'm in town, he just leaves. We don't even pretend to like each other. I didn't like him from jump, and he knew it so we don't play that game. My friend also finally quit trying to highlight his "good" qualities. I guess I gave her enough side-eyes. Actually, it was probably when I said, "I promise not to bad mouth him in front of your son..." that she got the point.

derek love said...

Going in with Man's World - a man (who is a MAN) learns two things EARLY: No means no and just walk away. It's a weak individual who can't solve a problem with his mind and his mouth. I don't even mess with chicks who say no and wink. Naw sweets, no shades of gray. I had a girlfriend who was quick to slap a bruh, I walked on her ass too. Who needs it?

Andrea M said...

Great post and definitely needs to be spotlighted. Too many women think it's okay for a man to lay hands just because they mouthed off. It is not.

OneChele said...

Excellent points, Derek.

OneChele said...

Congrats for getting out and learning!

OneChele said...

Well! I see I'm going to have to set up a new classification in my Scale of Bouge - we apparently have some GangstaBouge in BougieLand - LOVE IT! There are times when your pleasing personality sleeps and you do whatcha gotta do.

OneChele said...

I have a friend whose husband "vanishes" when I come over, he doesn't hit but his game is SO foul and I've gotten in his face one time too many I guess. Fine line to walk being her friend and his enemy. We just don't really talk about him.

yourgirlC said...

Chele, thanks for this very well written reminder. I too will take some boxes down to the shelter.

OneChele said...

You better preach, boy!

OneChele said...

I'm brilliant at dialing, thank you! ;-)

Joy Andrews said...

Co-sign and high five. Sometimes you gotta do what you think is right, damn the consequences.

Citizen Ojo said...

Ah Ha. Dude got beat up. Good Story.

MochaMuffin said...

LOL at Big Juicy and the boyz. Everybody needs a backup crew like that unfortunately!

OneChele said...

Liked that? You are a mess.

Jason P said...

Chele - only you could write a post to make my laugh, cry and think at the same time!

Andrea M said...

have a friend who boyfriend I beat down last weekend. this fool drew his hand back and came with the full handed slap knocking her down to the ground. After I picked her up, I kicked him in the nuts and kept kick boxing until another friend pulled me off. And I was just as mad at his punk friends who didn't step in. Why people gotta take you there?!

MochaMuffin said...

Stories like this tire my soul. You helping her out and you catch a case? And she's still with Ike? WTF?

Troy said...

I'm reminded of that classic line from Friday - Kick his ass, Craig!

OneChele said...

Thanks C!

ASmith said...

I think the reason that situation would piss me off more than normally is because he did that IN FRONT OF ME like he was punking me too. Nah, pimpin... you don't know me to punk me. I might end up in the hospital, but you not slappin' the ish out of my friend in front of me. That let's me know you think that's ok and that I wont' do anything.

Lord, my blood is boiling just thinking about it.

ASmith said...

My soul heaved a large sigh too. Foxy you get extra points for saying you'd do it again. I don't know if I could... I'm not risking my behind so you can turn on me like that.

Matter of fact, I'd be HOPING he beat the mess out of her... call me vindictive and cold-hearted, but you ain't gotta do me like that.

Bad grammar and all... :)

Kiki said...

I had a fella come with the balled up fist and I said, "you better make it count cuz if I get up!" he recognized the serious and rolled out. never to be heard from again

JaymeC said...

As a life coach/counselor/therapist what I am supposed to say is that when you see a domestic violence situation occurring, step back, dial 911 and start taking pictures/video on your cell phone. But in that moment when you see someone get attacked, reaction to protect and lash out often comes first. Your instinct is to protect your own. Whole situation needs prayer, prayer and then prayer. Wait - in between prayer, get the hell out, then pray some more!

OneChele said...

I have a constant soundtrack playing in my head (no doubt I need to see somebody for that), today for some reason Pebbles' Giving you the Benefit was in my head. SMH... I don't know why.

Queen of Me said...

And did you see the Oprah today, on the guy who infected at least 15 women with AIDS?!

diamond life said...

I watched Oprah, 45 years is not long enough. Dead in the streets is what he should be.

BB Waite said...

Oh Chele - sometimes you probably don't realize how your posts affect people. I lost a very, very close friend to domestic violence over a year ago and was thinking about her the other day. Thank you for spotlighting the issue. Sometimes people think there is no where to go or anyone to turn to. Thanks again.

Suzie S said...

Thank you for this posting. I had a very bad extreme situation that had restraining orders and police involved and for some reason I thought I had brought the whole thing on myself. Now I know better and when to just get out. No relationship is worth it

ASmith said...

I'm co-signing what Eye Candy said. I did chuckle when CD said "what happened?" Those boys did a number on him.

I have a friend who, while we were in college, started dating a football player. The quarterback, in fact. He beat her. More than once. Everything from slaps, to pushing her out of the car on the interstate. the ish was crazy. I'm one of those people that just... I can't. Through my friendship (that almost ended because of this) with her, I have to say I've become a bit more understanding of women who stay, but at that point in time, I didn't understand and I let her know as much (note: don't get me riled up and have all my male friends ready to kick his ass and then tell me "nevermind" that's bad news bears)

She now has a beautiful son with him. He knows, because I've made it clear, if I even THINK he's put his hands on her in front of their son I got something for him, and nothing she says is going to stop that. I've told her that I love her and she knows when she's ready to get real and move on I'm here to help, but I'm not playing games.

diamond life said...

I'm not an advocate of violence but sometimes you have to fight fire with fire.

Liselle said...

You know you actually make a very valid point. If crazy s/o killing men would just tell the person "I don't want this baby and I don't want you" 9 out of ten would JUST LEAVE

OneChele said...

Well the problem with crazy s/o killers is that they don't reveal their crazy right away cuz yeah given the alternative no doubt everyone would leave.

OneChele said...

Oh Lord, "bitchassedness" on my bougie blog... LOL!

Foxy Brown said...

excuse my language...
i got arrested behind some bullshit like this. my cousin was dating this dude who had major anger problems. his last gf left him cause he started hitting her (being from a small town, word spreads quick) but my cousin thought she made it up cause they had broken up. whatever. then he started beating her ass. i suspected it but i didn't really know till one day we decided to skip school. we were walking down the street (cause ain't nothing to do in a small town anyway) on our way to the park to chill. apparently my cousin said something he didn't like and he hauled off and popped her in the mouth. i fuckin snapped. i was beating his ass like my life depended on it. i was reaching for my blade (hey, a small town girl can never be too safe) when a cop pulled me off him. apparently she called the cops on me. hell naw! so the cop put me in the car and her ass run over to him talking bout baby are you okay. of course, i gotta take the ride. the cop (who of course knows me and my family) is like why your ass ain't in school. hell, it was senior year. i had never skipped school, never been in trouble, why not. long (very long) story short, my record gets erased and she stayed with him for years. whenever his ass sees me coming, he literally crosses the street. the relationship between my cousin and i has never been the same. we used to be real close. i can't tell you when the last time i talked to her but i would do that shit again in a heartbeat. she still blood.

Jason P said...

Extra points for Man's World today! This is the deepest truth. And for my sisters who don't know when or how to GTFO - please hit up the link OneChele embedded on the National Coalition. Silence kills, speaking out SAVES LIVES!

Anonymous said...

It is remarkable, very valuable message

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