Thursday, December 17, 2015

I want to destroy the ugly- Updated

There is so much beauty in this world. You know? There’s so much to look at and wonder at all the amazing things that had to happen in just the right order to make that happen. Sometimes it’s enduring, other times it’s for a fleeting moment that is gone if you do not take that moment to appreciate it, make it part of your memory, and cherish that moment for the moment it was.

But there is so much ugliness, too.

I made a challenge on my Facebook page earlier in the week. The challenge is that you find something beautiful in everyone you see; even just strangers passing on the street. Their outfit is cute, their hair is perfect, they have beautiful eyes, a great smile, they walk with confidence… seriously anything! You don’t even have to say it out loud, just think it silently to yourself.

The second step is to actually say it to them. “Wow! That shirt really brings out the color of your eyes.” “I love your hair!” “That is such a cute purse!”

Of course, that’s just to strangers. When you get to know someone you might find out that they have a great smile, they’re a listener, they are someone you feel you can really rely on. Again, the first step is to acknowledge it to yourself, then start telling those people.

It’s surprisingly hard to do. The more you do it, though, the easier it becomes. The great thing is, as it becomes easier to compliment others, the easier it becomes to look in the mirror and find something beautiful about yourself.

I had one friend who responded. One who’s been doing the same thing for years and has felt the amazing impact that it has on your life. To everyone else, it’s invisible.

Are we really so ugly that we can’t even entertain the notion that we can get better without tearing each other apart?

There were two posts by “friends” today that made me want to give up.

The first was a political cartoon, that, try as I might, I cannot find to prove that it ever existed. It was a minority woman standing in front of a Christmas tree holding a big bag labeled “pay rise” facing a starving child. The text was along the lines of, “I understand your situation and we are meeting to discuss how to fix it. Now hush up and move out of the way, I have Christmas shopping to do.”

This is fairly simple. Women demanding equal pay is not causing children to starve, nor are we blind to it. Women are, by nature quite empathetic. Given a decent wage, we’d be among the most charitable to those in need. Demanding to be paid the same amount as our male counterparts for doing the same work is not unreasonable. There was a UN study that just came out stating that they were horrified at the level of discrimination against women in the US. The pay gap in the US is in excess of 20%! That is disgusting! So don’t sit over there all high and mighty and tell me that women are being callous to the suffering of others because we want to have equality.

The second was a family’s holiday photo that is going viral, so you’ve probably seen it. The wife and two daughters are tied up and gagged, and the husband and son are giving a thumbs up and smiling with the quote, “Peace on Earth.”

I’m disturbed that people really don’t get how wrong this is. And I hesitate to share my views on this because there are demons in my closet that even my closest friends have no idea about. After 12 years, it’s still a terrifying place that I don’t like visiting. But here we go because I’m tired of pretending it’s fine when it so obviously isn’t.

Girls, you are shit. When you open your mouth, all you do is whine and nag.

Boys, it’s totally ok to tie and gag girls and make them do what you want because they are stupid and you are perfect.

Yeah, that’s a great lesson to teach your kids.

People who are sharing it say it’s “funny” and people need to “lighten up.”

You’re right. It’s funny that he hit me because I mouthed off. It’s funny that he told his friends they could have me any time they wanted because I needed to know my place. It’s funny that he made me feel so scared and alone that I was unable to ask for help. It’s funny that he made me feel so worthless and unlovable that I couldn’t fathom leaving.

It’s hilarious that when I said no, he didn’t stop. And I ended up a terrified single mother.

It’s funny that he enjoyed showing me videos of him cheating on me. It’s funny that when he attacked me, the only people I could think to call for help were his parents and they told me, “He’s your problem now.” It’s hilarious that when, at 8 months pregnant, he choked me and told me he would kill me and my unborn son, and when I called 911 they said help was unavailable.

Yeah, it’s fucking hilarious.

So don’t tell me that it’s a joke. I get the joke. There’s a lot of people- women, children, and men- that get the joke. I’m one of the lucky ones that I found the courage to get out. I lived. A lot of people don’t get that chance.

When you teach your son that it’s funny to tie up and gag the women in his life, you’re teaching abuse. When you teach your daughters that it’s funny to be tied up and gagged, you’re teaching abuse. When you show your daughters that they are just annoying and will get what they deserve, you’re teaching abuse. And maybe the rest of the year you teach them to be strong and independent and demand equality. How sad then that one picture can destroy all of that.

So when your daughter is in tears because the boy wouldn’t stop even when she said no. Tell me how funny it is.

When your son is in jail because he wouldn’t stop. Tell me how funny it is.


Don’t wait until it touches your life to get the joke. 


Update: So, obviously this is a subject that is hard for me to talk about, and I don't want to spend anymore time on it. However, I was reminded, and feel I need to add, that I did have the support of my parents to survive. When I finally realized the danger the relationship was putting my son in (and me, but by then I really didn't feel like I mattered at all), I knew the road was going to be tough. My dad drove me to the Court to file a restraining order, both my parents sat by my side in Court hearings, and they supported and were a massive help when my son was born. He was an extremely difficult baby, and if I had been totally on my own, I don't think I could've done it.

There have been a few stories I've read recently of people who's parents have closed the door to them and their children because they don't agree with their choices. If one person changes their mind, lets their offspring  back into their lives despite disagreeing with them, then this little addendum is worth the time. I have two step-kids in addition to my son, and all three seem to have their moments when they like nothing more than to drive me completely insane! I think it's called being a kid, more accurately a teen. There have been times when I just wanted to send them to a hotel because I was at my wit's end! But, if they need support, they know (I hope) the door is always open. We can't always help in the ways they want, but they will always be welcome here, and we will always do all we can for them. It's called being a parent. Sometimes it's a thankless job, sometimes it's a wonderful one. 

6 comments:

  1. Very brave and as difficult as it is to share these horrible experiences, it is important to speak out as you have. Unless one has endured the slowly escalating, systematic destruction of their self esteem and worthiness by a controlling, evil person mascarading as someone who "loves" them, they have no right to assume what they would do in such a situation. I've been there too and I find these jokes and images deeply disturbing and damaging.

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    1. Thank you Dianne, I know you get it. :)

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  2. You know, I’m kinda’ ashamed to admit this, but I used to wonder why Steve married you, Jade. I just didn’t get it. I made an assumption that you were a child and I was wrong in so many damn ways. I have come to realize you are wise beyond your years.

    Over time, I’ve started to love you both. Not just for your creativity, but your devotion to each other and your perseverance. Unfortunately, this is far too uncommon. Hell, I’ll admit it, I’m a bit jealous, but I can’t help but be thrilled for the both of you. I can’t help it, as much as I put up the façade of being a cynical ass, I am a romantic at heart.

    Admittedly, I have yet to see such “jokes” posted and, of this, I am happy. Bear in mind though, I let very few people into my inner circle so I don’t get a lot of the stupidity out there. Had I seen such posted, I might have ripped someone a new asshole or dropped them like the insensitive sack of shit they are. I don’t find that kind of humor funny.

    Having read this, knowing that part of you is still deeply ashamed for reasons beyond your control, I get your disgust. But, I will say this: I respect you and your husband more. I respect you for coming through it and not being consumed by hatred and I respect Steve for being there for you in your darkest hours when the pain comes back in crushing waves.

    And honestly, I don’t say this kind of thing lightly. And make all the gay jokes you want Steve, but I love both of you guys.

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    1. No worries! I think a lot of people assumed he was going through some sort of mid-life crisis. Hell, the thought entered my mind one or two times. :)

      We love you, too!

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  3. Everything you write is so very true & I am so proud that inside you found the strength to express what has obvisiously been painful for you. Definitely agree that these sort of issues are NOT funny whatsoever! Your one wise lady Jade x

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    1. I'm so happy we've stayed in touch. :)

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