KingMidget's Ramblings

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Maybe …


… it happened like this.

Watch the video. Janay appears to have started the physical altercation. Although, truth be told, we don’t really know since there’s apparently nothing known about what happened before they got to the elevator. I can’t tell if she slaps Ray Rice, or if she just lunges at him, but at least with the video evidence, she started it. Maybe it’s been going on for a long time. He does or says something, she gets upset, and slaps him. Maybe he’s finally had it and, for the first time ever, he lashes out and responds to physical violence with physical violence of his own. Because he just wants it to stop and nothing else has worked. You know, a big tough NFL player can’t go to counseling because his girlfriend hits him. He can’t seek help from co-workers, because you know there’s this macho culture that pervades most locker rooms. He would be shamed and bullied and victimized even more in most of those locker rooms. Please, just imagine the conversation that would take place in his workplace if he were to mention that his girlfriend hits him. And, if the world knew about all of this? It’s just not how the world views NFL players. So, he’s been taking it for a while now and he just snapped.

You say, no, that can’t be. Or, so what, he still shouldn’t have struck her. He was wrong. A man can never strike a woman. Yes, but there are some woman who think that, while also believing they have the right to strike their man.  Let me tell you a story…

When I was twenty-two I started dating a woman who I now not so affectionately refer to as my ex-psycho-girlfriend-from-hell. Sometimes I use a name that’s even worse. Yes, twenty-seven years later the scars still run deep and jagged across my psyche. She was incredibly insecure and jealous and possessive and controlling and manipulative. But, you know what … I was having sex for the first time. Regularly and frequently. Yes, I was a virgin until I was twenty-two and this was my first “real” relationship with a woman, or so I thought for a while. I had dated a few women before, but I was so flippin’ clueless it’s difficult to describe those earlier relationships as real. And for a while I was like a puppy dog because of that sex thing. I would have done anything just to keep on doing the naked pretzel.

I don’t remember the first time it happened, but somewhere a few months into our relationship I said or did something that angered her. She slapped me. A few months later, something else happened and she slapped me again. I remember this one time. My friends had done a really, really stupid thing that was insulting to her (justifiably so) and when we confirmed that my friends had done the thing, she went off. Slapping me over and over again and screaming at me and … it just wasn’t good. It started at my home and continued as I drove her home because she was so angry at me … for something my friends had done.

We started dating in January or February. The slapping ended the following New Year’s Eve. I don’t remember what it was … oh wait, now I do. I accused her of having a double standard about what she could do that I couldn’t because of her insecurities. She went off again. The mixture of alcohol and her rage and her insecurities just exploded that night. She started slapping me and screaming and she wouldn’t stop. She … would … not … stop. Until I slapped her back. And told her to never do it again. Her initial response was outrage that I would slap her – this a woman who had been slapping me regularly for a year. You see, she had the right to something that I didn’t have the right to. Something I never, ever wanted the right to. I never struck somebody in anger before that moment and I have never done so since. I hope to live the rest of my life never having to hit or strike another person. But I felt I had no other options that night.

It worked. She never slapped me again. But I then spent another two and a half years trying to break up with her. It was hard because she did this thing whenever I suggested breaking up. She acted like she would kill herself if I left her. Knives and broken glass on her wrists. It took me all of that time to screw up the courage to break things off and accept the consequences no matter what.  She is still alive.  It was all manipulation.

I look at all of this stuff about Ray Rice and I’m disgusted. By his actions, or at least what they appear to be, and by our need to rush to judgment. Our need to call her stupid for staying with him, without having a clue about what goes on behind the closed doors of their relationship. Our need to vilify him for a horrible act, without having a clue about what went on before. We know absolutely nothing about what happened that night. Nothing. Regardless of what you think you know, you, in fact, do not know anything about what brought those two individuals to that elevator and a situation where he did what he did. Yet, we jump to conclusions and we judge and criticize and call them names. Maybe we should stop doing that. Or at least wait until we know a hell of a lot more about the situation than we do now.

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9 responses to “Maybe …

  1. Faith Simone September 10, 2014 at 10:10 am

    Wow. It’s horrible that you have to live through a manipulative abusive relationship that caused you do something that’s out of your character. I applaud you for having the courage to eventually walk away. I hate that it happened AFTER you did something that I think you kind of still regret to this day. No good man ever wants to be the one to hit a woman. No one wants to be that guy. As far as the elevator video, I can’t speak on it b/c I havn’t watched it. And I don’t want to. I HATE witnessing violence. I hate to see it on my FB newsfeed, or anywhere else. That being said, I don’t think that people offering their opinions about what happened is a bad thing. It has provided an opening for people to talk candidly about domestic violence. It prompted you to share your thoughts on it! It’s causing people to re-evaluate what is acceptable behavior by either gender. I, for one, have never hit a man. That’s because I don’t want a man hitting me. I fully advocate domestic violence awareness by noticing the signs of abuse BEFORE it becomes physical. I think that’s something that people should be taught early on. I fully believe that’s one of the reasons I’ve never been in a domestic violence situation. I notice the signs and RUN in other other direction. This comment is way long. Anyway, thanks for sharing! You obviously gave me something to think about.

    • kingmidget September 10, 2014 at 10:14 am

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts. All good ones. There’s nothing there to disagree with. 🙂

      I agree that there is some good in this in that it opens a dialogue, but I think much of that dialogue is based on false assumptions, lack of information, and snap judgments. Hence my post and my desire that we all slow down a bit and think about it and discuss with understanding rather than accusation.

  2. sknicholls September 10, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    I am just not one for violence of any sort, a strong advocate for walking away and not looking back. That being said, everybody’s situation is different. Some people feel forced to stay in a bad relationship or there are children involved and they don’t know what to do, where to go. Domestic violence are the calls that cops fear most because people are often enraged and out of control. I had a set of foster parents who physically fought with each other AND their children every weekend. Alcohol was part of the equation. It was horrible and I’m glad I did not have to stay in that situation very long.

  3. ioniamartin September 10, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    Very eye opening and lots of excellent points. I don’t blame you for slapping her. Gimme her addy and I’ll go slap her a few more times. From one girl to another:)

  4. John Callaghan September 10, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    Someone hits me, they are done. End of story. If I stay in the relationship then I’m consenting to be hit. My other problem is I have a really bad temper. If someone slapped me like your ex girlfriend did I would have to remove myself physically because that switch will get flicked and things will get ugly. I have recognized this and so I never ever put myself in a situation where I’m hit, punched, or slapped. Your story soundsxreally horrible though.

    • kingmidget September 10, 2014 at 7:20 pm

      I don’t have that type of reaction. The reality is that, other than that girlfriend, I have never been hit or struck in anger or in violence. It’s something I fear and I avoid it with all that I have. A couple of years ago, I had a situation where a soccer coach who had done an incredibly stupid thing that left my son with a broken wrist, tried to shake my hand (long story I’m not going to get in here). I refused to shake his hand and told him “not to bother.” He just went off on me. Getting in my face, screaming at me. People who were there told me that his hands were balled into fists. As soon as he went off, I just stood there and looked away. I didn’t say another word. I just let him go and hoped he wouldn’t hit me. I’m sure some people thought I was weak for the way I reacted. I prefer to think of it as he was the one that showed his weakness. All I know is that I hope I never get in a fight. That I am never hit and that I never feel the need to hit back.

      • John Callaghan September 10, 2014 at 7:32 pm

        You are not weak at all. And I think you have a really good attitude and a wonderful demeanor. My problem is, and it is a problem, when I feel threatened I go into an instinct mode that for a long time I couldn’t stop. But age has mellowed me some. And my wife. I see soccer and hockey games where the parents are batshit crazy and I think there is no way I could handle that. I hate having a temper. Really hate it. And I’m glad now that I have not lost my temper in a very long time.

  5. Pingback: They Call Me … Misogynist | KingMidget's Ramblings

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