In the last blog, The Battle of the Browns: Domestic Violence in the Media, I was responding emotionally to all of the people who seem to want to behead Bobby Brown and Chris Brown. I am not sure which one people would want to take off of this earth first but it is clear that most people are not supportive of them in any way, at all.
After watching Whitney Houston interviews where she admitted that Bobby Brown was emotionally abusive and that she was physically abusive, I wonder why people still think he is more horrible than she.
I am not hear to judge anyone’s relationship. It is not my desire at all. However, I do want to point out that in my experience with talking about domestic violence and counseling others on their relationships, watching the media spins about abuse, and the reactions of people on Facebook and other social networks through statuses and commenting, people are not getting that abuse is not always one-sided, and is not only physical. I want to encourage us to look at escalation of abuse, and how to avoid it.
I wrote several blogs about Emotional Abuse that you can use as a reference.
- Emotional Abuse: Walking on Egg Shells
- Emotional Abuse: Why Name Calling Hurts
- My Letter to My Mother: Overcoming Emotional Abuse
- Generational Curses: Emotional and Psychological Abuse
- The Heart of The Matter: My Letter to A Battered Woman
- Press Release: Workplace Emotional Abuse
I am asking for everyone who reads this to comment because more than talking about relationships that surface in the media to side with victims, we should be communicating about what domestic violence is, and how to foster healthy relationships.
My belief is that if we are more proactive about teaching and maintaining healthy relationships, unhealthy relationships like domestic violence, emotional abuse, and physical abuse will stick out like a sore thumb. My prayer is that women and men will leave abusive relationships before they escalate.
I spent some time in the last blog defending Chris and Bobby Brown not because I do not feel that they are abusive or have been in their relationships, but because I feel that the media is putting so much pressure on them, to tell them when to breathe and when to sneeze. It is not up to the media to do so, and I also feel that the attention was put so much on them that you can not see any fault on the other side.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: WOMEN AND ABUSE
The world seems to be civilly engaged on one issue right now, domestic violence. Whether the focus is Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown, or Chris Brown and Rihanna. Sonya Renee Taylor, a poet what appears to be some kind of official report of the incident between Chris Brown and Rihanna. Bomani Armah of www.notarapper.com wrote a blog about buy-cotting Chris Brown’s new album.
I have a different perspective on the whole ordeal. Chris Brown was wrong, and quite honestly, I could not have been Rihanna in that car. I know many of women from Washington DC who would have left that car making sure that he was just as lumpy as Rihanna and she may have been. But isn’t that equally abusive? Who wants to be in a relationship where aggression is a part of the culture?
There are some women who fight from the beginning, and some who will fight at the end, when they are fed up, like Tina Turner did. Domestic Violence is a pattern of abuse. It is not just one instance, it is a consistent pattern of abuse and that abuse does not have to be physical.
My position on any relationship is that if there are patterns of physical, or psychological abuse, you must get out, and get out now! I will not conform to the norm in the media that seeks to beat up Chris Brown and Bobby Brown because while I believe that they have been abusive, I do not believe that they are the sole abusers in their relationships. They should take responsibility for their actions and they have. Chris Brown for example completed one year of anger management.
The reason that my focus on domestic violence is not the popular opinion is that most people are so caught up in abuse that they can see.
Many women are psychologically abusive. I work with teenagers and I watch how they talk to young men, and I watch how young men talk to them. For the purpose of the blog only, I am going to talk about women.
DISCLAIMER: MY POSITION
My position is not to excuse a man from hitting a woman. My position is to point out that in a relationship there can be more than one abuser.
DO MEN REPORT ABUSE?
My personal belief is No. Most men do not report abuse. They may talk about it among their friends but most men would think that they are considered weak if they admit that they are being physically abused by a woman. I am a woman, and do not wish to discredit us in any way. But, I have very rarely had a conversation with a man who did not have some experience with at least one woman who was abusive in their life.
Additionally, many times women may not be physically abusive but they could be psychologically abusive. It seems that this kind of abuse is more recognized as we speak about children but it is relevant and alive in adult relationships.
CHILD EMOTIONAL ABUSE
I woke up this morning and heard a woman who was screaming so loud at her children that it echoed the whole neighborhood. This is a pattern of behavior for this woman and after this morning, I have committed to calling the police on her the next time that she does it so that Child Protective Services can be involved.
I woke up aggressive because of her voice. It made me want to protect myself, and then when I realized who she was talking to, I wanted to protect those children. For the purposes of this blog only, am I referencing or seemingly isolating women. Fathers are psychologically abusive as well. My father was. I am not excusing any actions, I am just being specific in this moment to bring together a point.
What is the difference between the way this woman spoke to her children, and the way that she has spoken to other adults that I have heard her cuss out with every name in the book? When people are mad and they curse, they are not doing it politely. There is a presence of aggression and a threatening demeanor.
I do not want women pictured as victims or survivors but victorious, strong women who make decisions with wisdom. We have all chosen the wrong guy at some point. We have all had a misstep or two along the way. I am a victor of various kinds of abuse. This subject is so sensitive that people often want to twist your words. I am for women! I am one. However, this challenge is to embark on a conversation that includes women as the possibility of being abusive.
CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE
I teach Ten Ways to Safeguard Your Child from Child Sexual Abuse. I write about child sexual abuse on my blog —-> subscribe—>.
There are men who contact me requesting that I focus on other scenarios of abuse. Men are abused by women as well. It may not be a prevalent but it happens in child sexual abuse cases and in domestic violence situations. As I mentioned, I believe that domestic violence cases are under-reported where men may be abused.
I wrote a blog about Lil’ Wayne entitled, Five Myths about Lil Wayne and his Child Sexual Abuse to point out this very thing. It seems to be cool if a boy become a man through rape or sexual abuse. It also seems like you are a chump or less than a man if you admit that you are being abused by a woman physically or psychologically.
Whitney Houston was married to Bobby Brown for fourteen years. She by her own admission in an interview invited New Edition to a party and was attracted to Brown. Whitney could have had any one that she wanted, and she chose Bobby. Whitney was from Jersey. She had siblings that struggled with drug abuse, and she had some street knowledge. Her image was different from her as a real person. She was beautiful and she could sing like an angel but that did not mean that she was an angel.
I am in no way saying that Whitney was not a good person. What I am saying is that people keep wondering what she had in common with Bobby Brown and the truth is, a lot. After the split, she engaged in another relationship with someone who has a similar edgy-bad-boy kind of image Ray J. When Bobby was Ray-J’s age, he was just as admired for his charisma and swag. He was a party animal.
Some people have said that Whitney Houston was abusive to Bobby physically on her show with a tap here and a tap there. I guess because he never fell in the floor it wasn’t considered abuse. She also said that he was never physically abusive until the Oprah interview when she said that he spat on her. She said that she was abusive to him. I find it interesting that the media never took that and ran with it. “WHITNEY HOUSTON AND RAGING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.” We never saw that head line.
Does any form of abuse find excuse to another’s wrong? NO! I am not saying that Bobby or Whitney deserved to be abused because they were abusive. Instead, I am saying that the relationship itself was abusive, and that both individuals were in a romantically toxic relationship that caused them both harm in various ways. I am not shifting blame. I am saying however that maybe we should not be so quick to judge and blame.
Instead let’s take lessons from Whitney Houston who also said interviews that no one made her do anything. She did what she wanted to do. She was with Bobby because she loved him, she says. In other words, she made a life choice to be with Bobby and it is counter productive to blame him for her life, especially when she has taken responsibility for herself.
WHY DID I GET MARRIED TOO!
In the Tyler Perry Movie, Why Did I Get Married TOO, we can compare the relationship of the Patricia (Janet Jackson’s character) explosion as emotional or psychological abuse. While Perry did not give us all the relationship on camera, there were a few things that were telling of the relationship between them. He was emotionally starved throughout the relationship. And although she penned the book I believe that when two people marry, they become one.
When Janet’s character was disappointed in the fact that her husband wanted half of her book money she became enraged, calling him selfish. In actuality, as a writer and author, I believe she was selfish. My husband-to-be and I will be married next year. He listens to my blogs, we discuss them and he even helps with marketing to promote the blogs on his social networks. He is the epitome of support and love. I have never had someone so loving and attentive toward all things, Ressurrection.
Any books that I have written prior to him being around whether published or unpublished, I agree he should not have any of the royalties concerning those works directly. However, if he helps me sell, distribute, market them as he does my blogs, I can’t imagine ignoring that.
But like Patricia (played by Jackson), was told by Gavin, he was the case study for the books. He stayed up long nights, shared his thoughts, time and ideas. Marriage is not about a contract, it is about becoming one. He was fully engaged in the relationship.
Patricia in this scene called him abusive names calling him Bi*ch several times, an ingrate, selfish, and all of this was premeditated. She gifted him with a homosexual man as a fake birthday gift in front of all of his co-workers at his job. She was disrespectful yes, but her actions were deeply hurtful to him; scarring.
Without getting too deep into their story, my point for showing this clip (below), is to say that she was indeed provoking. He was trying to get away. He was trying not to hurt her. He wanted her to stop. He was being pushed beyond what he could handle. If he had beat Patricia at his job, he would have been charged with a crime despite her actions.
I am not saying that all relationships are like this. I certainly never acted like this in any of my relationships and am a victor of abuse. I am not speaking about situations where the woman is actually helpless. I am casting a light on situations that I hear and see everyday where the woman or man is taunting, emotionally and psychologically abusive, and then someone snaps.
There are warning signs of abuse. Many of those warning signs are related to other kinds of abuse that take place in the relationship. Sometimes the person that you are with does not bring the best out of you. They may talk to you without the love that you expect in their tone or choice of words. We have a choice to enter a relationship and sometimes we get too deep to leave for fear that we could be harmed. I get that. However, I do not believe that this is the case with the media driven example of domestic violence.
Whitney stayed because she was fully engaged in abuse herself. They were both in an abusive relationship that drugs and alcohol made worse.
My hope is that you engage is healthy relationships that do not have abuse coming in any form from either side. It is possible. You are beautiful and you deserve to be loved. Love does not hit or hurt.
FINAL THOUGHTS: HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS
While the rest of the world wants to send Chris Brown and Bobby Brown to hell, I think I am just looking at it from a different point of view. I want to encourage us to look at promoting healthy relationships overall. I believe that if we teach out young women and men how to conduct themselves in relationships, and how to identify healthy connections with people, they will make different choices.
I believe that there are different kinds of relationships. There are some men who are absolutely aggressive and crazy. There are men who are very abusive. There are women who are abusive as well. There are also men and women who come together and the their relationship is unhealthy because they are not a compatible couple.
I want to encourage people to know that there are good relationships and that we have choices in who we choose to be with. When we teach healthy relationships to teenagers, they will make different choices.
I am not willing to shift blame from one party in a relationship to another. I do not believe that Chris Brown or Rihanna get a pass. I believe that they could both benefit from counseling. If someone is wrong they are wrong, but what I’d like to do is encourage teenagers to see the psychological signs of abuse before physical abuse happens.
Written By: Ressurrection Graves
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