The Rihanna and Chris Brown incident happened about a month ago now - I haven't posted anything about it - the whole incident made me very angry and I was curious how the incident would play out. I feel like I can comment on this issue for a number of reasons:
1. I am a huge fan of Rihanna, I think she is the modern day Madonna, her music is fun, unique and I love her image and unique sense of style. Rihanna already has five number one singles under her umbrella and she is only 21 years old.
2. I am also a fan of Chris Brown's music, he is a very talented artist, can dance his ass off and his music is a positive change to the negative and degrading r&b/rap that we have heard in he past. He has an amazing year in 2008 and was labeled by Billboard magazine as artist of the year ( ironically Rihanna was the #2 artist of 2008).
3. I was in an abusive relationship for many years and the issue of domestic violence really hits home to me on many levels.
This issue with Rihanna brought me back to when I was young, naive and in love. My first love was someone much older than me and I thought he was the best thing ever inside and out. I remember the first physical incident that had happened to me when I was with "Danny." I was sixteen years old and living with "Danny" and attending high school at the time. We had been together for several months now, our apartment was a 15 minute walk from my school. A male friend of mine, that I had known since elementary school, saw me walking and asked me if I wanted a ride, I accepted. He dropped me off in front of my apartment, but before I went upstairs I chatted outside the car with my friend. When I finished chatting I went upstairs and I saw "Danny" sitting on the couch very silent and starring at the wall. I didn't pay too much attention to it and started to take my school books out of my backpack to do my homework.
I heard "Danny" ask me who the guy was that dropped me off and I didn't think much of it and said " Just a guy friend." The next thing I knew, Danny grabbed me by the collar of my shirt and picked me up in the air. I remember my feet were dangling in the air and I was in shock at what was going on. Danny said to me "Don't you ever let me catch you with a another guy in a car again!" and he threw me into the corner of the living room into a hanging shelf. My body hit the shelf and wall and I crumbled to the ground. I couldn't believe what was happening, this wasn't "Danny." I started to get up from the ground and as I did I said to him "What the hell do you think you're doing!" He came to me all wild eyed grabbed my homework paper I was working on and shoved it into my mouth saying "Don't you EVER raise your voice to me again!" and continued to shove the paper down my throat.
I was crying as I spit the pieces of paper out of my mouth. I was in shock and still a bit out of breath from being thrown against the wall. That night when he fell asleep, I left the apartment and walked to my mothers house. I knew I could climb through the window of my old bedroom - I had only been away from the home that I grew up in for about 5 months. I crawled into the window and my room was still pretty close to how I had left it. I locked the window once I was inside and I crawled under the covers and cried myself to sleep.
After that incident, I snuck into my mom's house from time to time, since I really wasn't welcomed there since I came out about my sexuality, and I stayed at friends houses until Danny was waiting for me after school one day with gifts and saying how sorry he was and how much he loved me and how he would never hurt me again. I believed him.....that relationship latest 10 years...10 years of living in an abusive relationship feeling I was not good enough for anything better, believing that the man I loved would never hurt me again, believing he would change, believing the abuse would end. It never did...it ended with me almost dead. The pictures below are of me from 2000, the year I left "Danny" - these pictures were taken one week after I was brutally beaten, these photos are after one full week of healing.
Above: I am glad I still have this photo - reminds me how thankful I am I got out of a terrible situation.
This photo was a week after I was brutally beaten.
This photo was a week after I was brutally beaten.
So, back to Rihanna -- as Oprah said "HE WILL HIT YOU AGAIN!" I have no doubt about it. I really hope she takes this incident and turn it into something she can educate young adults on. This is a serious issue in society and it needs to be addressed. I mean it's still a huge issue with women being abused maybe someday people will take awareness that it does happen in gay relationships as well.
Above: This photo shows the back of my head, notice the right side of my head in back of my ear how swollen it is. I have permanent hearing damage in my right ear.
So to all the Rihanna's (female and male) out there that think they are stuck and have no way out of an abusive relationship - there's hope - I am celebrating my 8th year of being out of an abusive relationship and have been in a happy, healthy and loving relationship for 4 1/2 years now. There is hope, help and no one - NO ONE - deserves to be beaten or hit in a relationship of any kind. No excuses.