Story of abuse strikes home

classic behavior of the battered women

Dear Robyn Rihanna Fentry:
I was maybe 7 years old when this happened.
My old man had been kicked out of the house for being an abuser and a cheat. Now, here he comes a few days later, begging forgiveness. Mom wouldn’t open the door, so he pleaded his case through the mail slot, promising to do better, promising to change. mom stood firm. I, on the other hand , stood bawling like, well…a kid who missed his dad.
“Dad, I want you to come home,” I wailed.
“I want to,” he said, “but your mother won’t let me.”
So naturally, I turned on her. “Mom, why won’t you let Dad come home?”
Still she held out. Finally, he left our door. We watched him walk toward the car. Halfway to the curb, though, he was seized by some dark impulse that wheeled him around and sent him hurling toward the window. I ducked before he kicked it in, Mom didn’t.
She took him back not long afterward. And he beat her on a regular basis until the day, about eight years later, terminal cancer rendered him to weak to do so. I’ve always regretted whatever part of me caterwauling played in influencing her to let him return.
Ms Fenty, I know you’ve got a lot of people in your business right now, each with an opinion about how you should run your life. I would only beg you to try to hear what you are being told: If this guy did what you did what you say he did, you need to drop him like a rock. “This guy,” of course, being your boyfriend, singer Chris Brown. Last week, court papers were released detailing the alleged Feb. 8 altercation between the two of you. They tell how you and Brown, 19, were in a Lamborghini, leaving a music industry party in Beverly Hills, when you confronted him about a text message on his phone from his old girlfriend. How he allegedly told you he was going to beat the expletive deleted out of you when he got you home. How he allegedly pushed your head against the window, punched you with his right fist while steering with his left. How he allegedly choked (strangled) you, through your phone out of the window(interfering with 911), put you in a headlock, bit you.
You can understand, perhaps, why many of us find it incomprehensible that you were reportedly spotted with him apparently reconciled, just days later. Incomprehensible, yet not surprising at all. On the contrary, it is the classic behavior of the battered women. They tell themselves it was their fault. They tell themselves it was a one time thing. They tell themselves he really is a good guy at heart. They tell themselves their love will change him.
They tell themselves everything but the truth: that the man they love is damaged and dysfunctional. And that, absent some intense and committed therapy, he will do it again.
Yes, you’re right. I’ve got a nerve. I don’t know you. Indeed, before this incident, I barely knew of you.
But this issue strikes a resonant chord with me for obvious reasons. You deserve—everyone deserves—to be with someone you don’t have to fear, someone who will not abuse.
Written by Leonard Pitts columnist for the Miami Herald E-mail lpitts@miamiherald.com

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