Sunday, May 24, 2009

Downward Spiral

I was compelled to write something about an issue that has been burning inside of me. I hear about how someone's friend went back to a bad relationship and I shake my head having been there before. But when the person is going back to someone who was once abusive it's easy for me to say, "What's wrong with her? Does she not get it? He's going to do it again."

But when that someone is in your own backyard, amongst your circle you are left speechless. You can say don't go back, or why are you doing this to yourself again? But they have to want to leave. I was once told, "I wish I was as strong as you," from this person. Damn...what do you say to that. I told this young sista to not measure herself up to me. I'm on no one's pedestal. I've made mistakes in the relationship department dating the wrong person who I thought was right or thinking I could change them or he would change for me. I tried to build her up and then she asked me, "Did anyone ever hit you? I mean would you go back if they said they changed their ways..."

Again I was stumped. Here this younger sista looks up to me and I told her, "Yes I had an ex that tried to grab me." Notice the word tried. I was all of 17 years old in high school in the subway station when my ex wanted to be a big man and tell me to not go to my basketball game (the play offs at that). I told him I gotta go and he proceeded to grab my arms. Everytime I moved he threw me up against the metal bars of a NYC subway station. Enough was enough. I don't know where the strength came from but I threw him off of me and we were throwing blows until the cops jumped in and held him back.

I was shocked, I never thought I would have to fight a man off of me. But I did. Did I go back to him. "Nope." I'm so thankful I was strong enough to say no to him after he called me months later stating how he changed. Well this changed brother got hung up on and then I heard shortly after he was locked up on drug charges. His spots never changed...

This younger sista is beautiful and talented but she went back to her ex again after he hit her, grabbed her, not having a job all to say, "But he's changed."

It's only been two months since the break up, he didn't change. As a wise woman once told me, "A leopard never changes their spots."

I only hope, pray and wish that this young sista would wake up and see how beautiful she is, gifted by His glory, talented, and is full of life. But somewhere she wants this man so much that she thinks she can change him.

According to the National Coalition of Domestic Violence they states:

  • One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.

  • An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year.
  • 85% of domestic violence victims are women.
  • Historically, females have been most often victimized by someone they knew.
  • Females who are 20-24 years of age are at the greatest risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence.
  • Most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police.
I once visited a recovery center and talked to women who kept going back to him after getting beaten. They said, "He wasn't like this before, I thought I could change him. I stayed and drank the pain away or got high so it wouldn't hurt so much."

Their self esteem had been beaten as they hung their heads low. Underneath the scars and tattered clothes stood a Queen, they couldn't see it yet but I could. Some of these women had degrees, MBA's, etc so status/education means nothing when it comes to how much they wanted to change their man.

Sadder part is most of these women had young children in the household then they were hit.

According to the same source the following can happen to youth:

  • Witnessing violence between one’s parents or caretakers is the strongest risk factor of transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next.
  • Boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults.
  • 30% to 60% of perpetrators of intimate partner violence also abuse children in the household.

All of us may either know someone who has or still is going through this or knows someone that knows a person. One of my cousins said it best the other day, "Stop reaching downward in the gutter and reach high for your King." Brothers like this give real brothers (the ones I talked about in my poem His Voice) a bad rap. Not realizing that all men aren't the same.

I wrote this piece hoping I could inspire this young lady as I pray for her continually. I knew he was back in her life when she distanced herself yet again from me. It was as if I could feel her spirit shift from the 1,300+ miles away.

Would you go back if he said he changed? What would you say to uplift this young sista and others that are going through this?

Some never made it out as they lie in a grave. Shed some love for her and those who are stuck on the line, "But he changed, things will be better, he only hit me twice, it won't happen again..."

Praying that they see that his leopard spots haven't changed. Can he change...yes but he has to want to do it for himself, his creator and realize that he has a problem. Until he does...those spots aren't moving and you need to go forward with life and not be stuck or worst off...end up in a grave way before your time.

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