Discussion: The Look of Love?
~J. Anthony Spencer~
(October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month)
October 30, 2020
When the Fridays at Sundown creator put before me the opportunity to give my perception of Domestic Violence I thought it was a good idea. And never one to back down from a challenge I accepted, though it may take me some time to organize my thoughts. Unlike our beloved Ms. Lane, I am more of an editor, the words and stories don’t flow freely so I sat and contemplated. While I don’t have a story, I do have almost 64 years on this “Blue Marble”. And in those years I have seen and heard a lot when it comes to Domestic Violence. Please bear with me as I make this attempt and I hope it makes sense when it is done.
It was in my thirties when I found out that Domestic Abuse is not confined to the bruises and wounds we see on our Queens whose only mistake was loving someone and being hurt because of it. There is Psychological Abuse, where there are no visible wounds. There doesn’t have to be, because the abuser has their partner’s mind so thoroughly damaged to the point that self and self-worth are pushed so far down that it seems as though there is no means of escape. And sadly in that damaged mind, they feel the only means of escape is suicide. There is Emotional Abuse, again no visible scarring. Again self and self-worth are minimized and they are made to feel that “No one will love you”, “You are not all that, you should be glad that I am with you.” I ask, “Why make her your slave, when she can be someone else’s Queen?” Financial Abuse, you won’t allow her to branch out on her own. You give her an allowance. All with the notion that she won’t go anywhere because she can’t afford to. Again, stopping her from being the Queen she is. But in actuality he is scared that she could end up not needing him. Possibly earning more!
But I digress; these are things I’ve learned. But maybe I should speak on things I felt. In my younger years when I saw or heard of Domestic violence/abuse I would say often to myself (though I profess I may have even said it out loud) Why doesn’t she just leave? I was ignorant to just how hard that could be for her. Especially learning about the different forms that abuse can take. When it happened to someone I cared about and loved, I can’t tell you the degree of anger I felt, and on one or two occasions even acted on. But even then you have to question if it would make a difference. Yes, I know a reader might think, “There is a final solution” but even in that, there is a price to pay.
In one of the stories this month you may have read that cops hate to respond to calls of domestic abuse. I personally know a lot of policemen. So I have many stories concerning them. But one former policeman I know told me how he and his partner responded to a domestic violence call. When he and his partner entered the house one of them forced the husband off the wife, while the other moved her to another part of the room. As his partner fought to bring the husband under control, the wife ran into the kitchen and grabbed a knife and charged back into the room screaming “GET OFF OF MY HUSBAND.” Though she was more or less safely disarmed, what happens in the subjugated mind where she was more willing to take a beating from an abusive husband than letting someone help her and then took the stance of protecting the very same abuser?
If I sit and let the stories come I know that I would fill several pages. However, I would like to make one statement that comes from the heart. And that statement is that All Life is precious. No one has a right to cause harm to anyone, especially to one you are bonded with either by law or common law. I know that men lash out sometimes it is because when it comes down to it we may not know how to love. Sometimes is because we have not been taught to love or that we didn’t have a role model. Some think it is what and how a man is supposed to act because HE IS THE MAN in this relationship. And those same men are often bullied or have been bullied by others in life.
Thank God, I have had good role models. From a stern but loving grandmother, a beautiful mother, caring aunts and women who have stood in a maternal figures. But I don’t forget the father figures in my life. Some only spoke that words not walked the walk. But those words were absorbed. But some did talk the talk and walk the walk, and for them I am grateful. Again I find myself rambling even in typing. But your spouse (female or male), your children, your siblings and all the people around deserve your love and respect. And in this world where these things seem to be in such short supply, maybe start with the Man in the Mirror (nod to Michael Jackson) and try to make this world a better place.
Thank you for joining me for Friday at Sundown. Remember… Just Breathe!
I want to give a special “Thank you” to my manager J. Anthony Spencer for writing out his thoughts for this Discussion (a man’s perspective) on this important subject.
National Domestic Violence Hotline can help victims, survivors of domestic violence. Call 1-800-799-7233. Chat w/ an advocate on our website. National Domestic Violence Hotline www.thehotline.org/