Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Victim.

I have been reading with morbid fascination this past week about Mel Gibson and his baby mama drama. Frankly, I am astounded by the number of comments I have read on various sites that say that Oksana Grigorieva is a golddigger who was "asking for it." Really? Is that how far we've come in the year 2010? We're STILL blaming the victim for her abuse?

I don't know her back story - maybe she IS a golddigger, but don't forget that he was the one who traded his wife of 28 years in for a younger model. Maybe she didn't love him, and was using him for money, but even if that was so, doesn't he bear the onus of responsibility for being the partner in the relationship who was initially MARRIED? Why does he get off scot free because God forbid she might be after his money?

It is so easy for people to say, "Why didn't she leave him? Why did she stick around to record their conversations? If it was ME, I'd have left the first time he hit me."

I said that very last thing before my abuser hit me the first time. Guess what? I stayed with him for 6 months after that. It is so easy to hide behind false bravado when you are not the one who got your teeth knocked out while you were holding a baby. It is so easy to hide behind false bravado when you were not the one curled into the fetal position on the floor at 2 in the morning while he kicked you in the back and stomach, and punched you in the back of the head because it was easier to hide bruises in those places. It is so easy when you were not the one who should have gone to the hospital with a concussion but did not want to lie to doctors. When you were not the one who, upon trying to leave, was physically picked up and carried back to the bedroom so he could continue beating you. It's easy to say that YOU would have called the police when you were not the one fearing what he might do next, who avoided AT ALL COSTS an argument in the kitchen, where the block of knives was too easily available.

An abuser doesn't start out abusing. They're much more subtle than that. They play psychological games, they start out gently jealous of your time. It's flattering at first. They question where you are going or where you have been or why you are wearing this or that, and it becomes a part of your existence to question everything, to second guess every thought, every word before you speak it, so that by the time they actually hit you the first time, you wonder if maybe you didn't provoke it, if maybe you should have done something differently, and you apologize to them. YOU apologize to them.

Maybe it is because after 17 years (I left my abuser at midnight on December 8, 1993), I still have not made peace with it, and I don't know if I ever will. At 41, I have not yet been able to forgive him. I don't know if I ever will. Maybe it is because of my own history that I cannot abide the ignorance that I have read about Mel Gibson and his victim. Make no mistake - there IS a victim in this story, and it ain't the guy who thought with his dick instead of his brain, who stands to lose a shitload of money now from a "golddigger." It is the women - the mother of his child - who he ranted at on the phone, and called bitch, whore, slut, cunt. She is the victim, regardless of whether or not she called police, or stayed with him after he hit her the first time. SHE is the victim.

I apologize if my words have offended readers. What I do NOT apologize for are my feelings about domestic violence, and I would urge you to NEVER forget who the real victim is.

If you are the victim of domestic violence, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline for help.

Shannan

13 comments:

Jolie said...

Well said lady! No apologies for sure!

Full House said...

Never apologize. That was horrific & I am so sad you had to endure any of this and I'm not sure if there are too many people out there that could forgive. Also it is good that you write these things out because you just might be helping somebody get the courage to leave after a few years rather than 17 years...

xx - CB

Jen said...

Hi. I'm a friend of Amy's in St. Louis. I have chills from reading your post - you are a super star. It is so easy to assume that people you see from afar have never had a challenge in their lives, but they are just a fabulous dressing, funny, working, mother of triplets and never struggle. I am so sorry you had this in your life. You are a lovely lady.

Jools said...

Very, very well said. I am so sorry for what you experienced, and I agree with Full House -- your words could very well help to change someone's life.

Chris @ Celebrations At Home said...

Well Said! No apologies!

this free bird said...

friggin a shannan!! you took the words right out of my mouth. gf we should email - i could share a story of my own. complete w/black eye and broken nose. niiiiiiice.

never again.

and re: mel gibson: his bitch ass needs to be in the clanker. she was WISE BEYOND WISE if she had anything to do w/leaking those tapes b/c i think he may have killed her otherwise.

i don't care what she did - she didn't do ANYTHING to deserve her teeth getting knocked out or any of the horrendous things we've heard him say to her.

God only knows what else he's done to her.

He's a pig.

But you are brave.

xoxo-carrie

Paula said...

No apologies necessary!

merciblahblah said...

Ladies, Thank you for your comments. It was the hardest thing I've ever gone through in my life, and I would never wish to go through it again, but dammit, it made me who I am today, and I personally think I rock (most days, anyway)...

Christine - I went back and re-read the post, and it looks like I was with my abuser for 17 years. Thankfully it was only 6 months, but I know there are other women who stay with their abuser for 17 years, or 27 years, or 37 years. If just one person happens upon my post and it prompts them to leave their abuser, then it was worth it to help that one person.

Peace.
Shan

GiGi said...

it takes great courage to share what you did.i hate that you went through that.
i pray that this not only helps others who might be in that situation, but that this "purging" brings peace to you as well.

xo

Jill said...

He doesn't deserve forgiveness. Mel or any abuser. We don't have to be "the better person". Fuck them. I've had a little bit of experience in this as well, as you've probably figured out. All of those fuckers saying she deserved this make me sick.

I would have recorded his fucked up, warped rants too and let the world hear them. What a fucking asshole. I'm sorry for all of the f-bombs, but I just get so frigging pissed off by this.

There are so many misogynists out there. I've never understood it. When he said one of her friends would "s&$k him off in a minute", I wanted to chop off his fucking dick!

I feel a little better now.

You can delete this if it's too filled with bile.

Peetzi Jen said...

You are a brave, amazing woman and I applaud you for sharing your story. Never apologize for saying what needs to be said. If someone is offended, they need to ask themselves WHY!

Mel Gibson is a P.I.G.!! How can anyone defend him? EVER!!! It frightens me to live in a world where people excuse his type of behavior because he has money and made a few good movies one million years ago. Sad, sick and wrong!

Stay strong!!

Missy said...

This is my first time reading your blog and I just have to say that I think it was so amazing you wrote this. I commend you 100%! Well said... great read.... until you have been through it you have no idea! Thank you for writting this.. :)

Dobbygirl said...

I really hate you had to go through that. I'm just glad you got away. I'm glad you wrote this post. I get really tired of victims being blamed.