There's been a lot of discussion in the feminist blogosphere about the new Eminem song featuring Rhianna...for those of you who don't know, this song is essentially about domestic violence. I hate Eminem and think he's generally a jerk, but this song is so powerful I can't help but get it in my head. I disagree with some of what he says in the song (i.e., the tempers on both sides makes me think of a victim-blaming element), but at times, this song really gets how domestic violence can be.
Yesterday on my way to my race, my cabbie was playing this. The entire race I had it in my head, which really disturbed me. I hate how Rhianna keeps singing, "I love the way you lie..."
I have had too many friends victims of domestic violence. Friends calling me crying from closets; friends showing me bruises in Au Bon Pain; friends lying to themselves as you try to believe them but you know the truth. And then your friends going back...and you try not to cry as you know they will be hurt. You can't convince them otherwise; sometimes, it's too late when they realize.
I was never a victim like some of my friends but I have had a few scary incident, including a really awful one that crushed me so bad. I remember hearing, "Yeah, call the cops. They'll just laugh at you." And me so into it, so believing this person, that I didn't call. That is my biggest regret.
I'm supposed to be focusing on updating all these statistics for work and am working at home; this song comes on the radio and I suddenly have a total breakdown - for all my friends, for too many people who are victims...for me realizing how serious things could have gotten worse. Broken walls, holes in closets, broken cups, broken cell phones, violence threatened at my cat, taunts at me, curled up in fetal position, crying, not knowing if it would ever get better, things thrown, not feeling safe, not understanding how someone who loved me could be treating me like this.
I'm glad that I'm out, so glad. I'm glad that none of my friends are currently in a situation that I am aware of. But it makes me wary; who knows that five, ten years down the line, what your partner will suddenly exhibit? It's awful. Worse, it's awful how common it is, how many times men are excused, how many times women keep going back. (And I am aware that women can abuse women, women can abuse men, men can abuse men, but I am speaking of my personal experiences in this post.) I know how hard it can be to leave a relationship, especially if you're convinced you love them.