Recently in the news there has been on going conversations stemming from the very disturbing video of Ray Rice knocking out his wife in an elevator. I saw the video and I must admit that it was very disturbing to me. Following the whole debacle the release of the video which I believe was released long after the incident had occurred and the couple had apparently worked out their differences and are still together, there has been a lot of talk about women in abusive relationships and why they stayed. This seem to be a new bandwagon which every body now has jumped on and are talking about.
Talk show host Meredith Vieira, told of a very disturbing and physically abusive relationship she was involved with many years ago and the reason she stayed, other celebrities also began speaking of relationships they too have been in where they have suffered some abuse or another and have endured and stayed.
I thought about what to write for today’s post, because initially I wanted to follow up on Saturdays post on Fear and Karma, focusing especially on Fear, but the “Why I stayed” Conversation was all over Google and also You tube and I reflected on some of my posts here on Embracing Spirituality and the “Wicked Baby Father”, and Why I Stayed!. Yes, there were times when he hit me (so ashamed to write this, although I have written it here before), and I remember my mother telling me that once a man put his hands on you, he would do it again. Now as I look back on the day when I ran to her the first time he hit me, and he came right behind me, chasing me to her house and begging her to send me out, she went to the door smilingly to him and told me to go home.
Now, I am not trying to put my mother in a bad light, I am just being honest about my life as always, but now that I am free to look back, (as oppose to being in that situation), I wonder why would she send me back to him. I had no where else to go, and the children were a major factor, what would happen to them, I could not leave them and he threatened me that If I left I could not take them, those times I had nothing and no one, I thought I had chosen a tough life.
Growing up in Jamaica, I witnessed men beating their women all the time as a small child, the women would most often run to my mother for rescue and she would send them into our house and stand before her front door with her cutlass, daring the man in pursuit to follow, they never tested my mom. I remember this one woman named Pet. She had moved into a room with her baby father and a small child in the same tenement where we lived in Jamaica. The man was a very tall dark skinned man called Prepps, he was a Barber who worked downtown Kingston, and as a child I remember being afraid of him. He was always very serious looking and he hardly spoke to anyone. Pet was a very short woman, she was light skin and had what Jamaicans refer to as “Pretty” hair or 3/4 coolie some would say. The man worked as how I remembered it while Pet stayed at home. She was a very clean woman and she would wash, cook and clean all day. She too was quiet and kept mostly to herself and she hardly ever smiled . I often times watched this huge strong man beat Pet, toss her like a rag doll, she never hit back, never even tried, but endured the beatings until somebody intervened and begged him to stop, after which he would walk out of the yard and not return until the next day or the next week.
There were times when My mother had to give Pet food, and she would sit and cry, because Preps did not come home and when he did he did not give any money for food for her and the child, the beatings continued but Pet never left, perhaps she had no where to go or like me when I went through my own abuse, had no one. I was a child, I had no idea the reason but I remember feeling sorry for her. One day the man never came back, and Pet was devastated, she cried and cried for days, but she eventually moved away as she had no means of paying the rent. I never knew what happened to her, but I have never forgotten her.
The first time he hit me was when I had taken a taxi to school. He was suppose to be out of town, he was a hustler and he would do his business out of state. He was having his own affair, which I did not know about until long after, that affair resulted into pregnancy for him and a nightmare for me. I had a particular private car pick me up every day to bring me to school, and because It was in the evenings when I went, I would stop by my mothers house for food which she would give me in a carry way dish. The cab driver and I had became good friends as he was the steady driver who would pick me up and drop me off everyday, so when he parked in front of the school, I would sit in his car and eat my food, before I went into class.
On this particular day, the same routine, the man picked me up (de bredda did fine out nuh hell enuh, an me fine out nuh hell tuh, but we had nothing going on, I have to inject humor here because these memories can be painful) and took me to my mothers house, I got my food and got to school, and began to eat. While I ate the driver and I chatted, the car door was yanked open and it was the wicked man pulling me out of the car while hitting me at the same time, shame and embarrassment made me fight back, but not as aggressively as I thought I should have that day, I was shocked at what was happening, not understanding why!
The street was full of people, this was a very busy area, and some students and teachers stood there and witnessed my shame. Then the police came, two of them, some one had called them. They took him off me, (by this, the coward taxi man run gone, or or drove off I should say, poor thing was just as frightened) I really had no idea why this man was fighting me. The cops asked me if I wanted to press charges, I stupidly said no. He was a gangster/hustler/ole prisoner/just gotten off parole I had to say no, or so I thought, so I jumped into another cab and ran to my mothers house, of course he followed and the rest you have already read up top.
True to my mothers words that was not to be the last time, he did so several times, he was jealous and his friends had told him that the same cab picked me up every day and he believed the man and I were an item, (mi get beaten fi nutten, man lick pon mi soft skin fi nutten!!). There came a time when I did the damage after feeling disrespected and tired of his BS (yup, ah chop him wid sinting one night), and it felt good. The relationship was terrible and toxic, after a while I hated the sight of him, but I did not leave. I told myself it was for the children’s sake, but I think a part of me willed/wished him to change. I had grown up into a home with both my parents and I wanted the same for my children, I did not know that everybody’s life could not be my life, my destiny was my own. When it became unbearable I begged my so called family to please help me, they all rejected me saying the same thing, “They did not want to get involved”.
Often times in abusive relationships there are many reasons why either party stay, because although we hear about abuse especially physical ones often with women, men are also victims too. Abuse is never ok, the Abuse I suffered was emotional more than physical and often times while the scars on the outside heals, the mental ones may stay for a long time or for some never heal at all. Our hitting sessions happened about three times, three times too many but three times there a bout never the less. The emotional abuse began almost after he was released off probation and could do as he wished and go where he liked. He was into himself, and they called him Pretty boy before his name, meaning whatever his name was, “Pretty boy” prefaced it. He was handsome, well dressed and well loved by all. He was a very quiet man, and he smiled a lot and had a lot of respect for people. This was how everyone saw him, but in home he was a villain, a devil (if he ever existed). To the world he seemed nice and perhaps I seemed miserable, because How could I smile when I was unhappy, and no one seemed to care, no one!
It was the worst relationship I had ever been in. He took the pain he gave me as fun. He smiled while I cried, and went about his business regardless what I said. He would sleep out and come home whenever he felt like it, expecting his food cooked and his clothes prepared, and I to be ready for him in the ways of a woman to a man whenever he wanted me, which was always. Whenever I denied him, he would act as if the world would end and say cruel stuff to me. I wondered about that because he had so many women, why did he act like he would die when I refused him?
What got me sad often was the shame, everybody knew how he treated me, but thought I had it good so they did not see why I should complain. All his friends who would come to our house for dinner, or to hang out with him, knew of the many women he had, he was even having relationships with some of his friends sisters and family members. The women would call my house and curse me, they would plant their friends in my shop to work for me just to watch our business, I had no idea. He would be the one to tell me to get rid of some of the girls he knew were working for me and were friends with his women, he never told me the reason. I guess there was something which made him feel bad at seeing me vulnerable to secret enemies. Yet he had affairs with some of the stylists in my shop and even solicited two of my sisters behind my back.
The first sister he propositioned never told me of it until I eventually left him, by this time all my family members knew that he had done this but they all kept it from me, she was my second oldest sister. She lived with us after he had come home from prison and he quarreled with me everyday for her to leave, she never knew how he felt because I never wanted her to feel bad and she had no where to go, so I suffered his anger toward her in silence, while he showed her a smiling face everyday. It was after she moved away when he made his wants clear to her, which she kept secret from me. The other sister was my younger sister who just suddenly stop coming to my house to baby sit while I went to school or to my shop. I missed her and wanted to know why she refused to come back to my home, again like the older sister, after I left him, it came out that he had exposed himself to her, she had told my mother who stopped her from coming to my house and told her not to tell me.
Although I had no idea that these things were happening, I had other things that I was dealing with at the hands of this terrible man, and on top of it he had some awful family members and along with my own who did not wish me well and to be happy. They all fawned over him and looked at me with contempt. All because he was rich, (he was never giving), once in a while he may hand out a few scraps but that was good enough for the vultures. They all thought, I was young and I should not have had the privilege to be with him who gave me a shop and according to them or what they thought I was living the life, Privilege? I was not! He had parents who loved him, and turned a blind eye to his “Profession”, yet they believed that as he was not giving them anything, ( he was not a kind fellow, he pretended to be but he was not) because he gave me everything and that was not true. So they resented me, especially the mother and the she-devil sisters and also P-hole of a brother
My own family believed that I had nothing to complain about, my life was good and there was also some jealousy from the older sister, who thought that I was lucky, lol. Other people saw us and believed that while he had a lot of women I should relax and accept it because I was his “Main Woman” so I had nothing to worry about. They all pampered him. Let me force myself to stop here.
If I follow myself while writing and remembering I could go on and on and on. I know now that we came together for the purpose of my children and there were lessons learned during our time together. I have often wondered what kind of Karma did I owe for me to come back into this life and meet such a character as this man. That question was solved one day during mediation when I was told by my higher-self that he was not a Karmic debt which I had to pay, but also one of my greatest teachers. He was my first real relationship, but it set the way for me to know what I did not want in my life ever again and I am happy to say that from that day, I have never gotten involved with such an awful human being again, I thank Olodumare, I thank Osun, I than Orunmila and my ancestors, I thank my Ori, my head, not only did I meet good loving men since him, I always had control of my life and my happiness since him. He showed me during our horrible relationship, what not to accept, for that I thank him.
My reason for staying was because I had not choice, all who I sought for help turned me down, I had no where to turn and no one to turn to, but I now know that what I went through were lessons that I needed to learn. I am speaking of My own personal experience, another person will have his or her own to say. If you read most of my post, this wicked person is mentioned in almost everyone of them, even when I tired to omit him, he kept coming back as I revealed parts of my life to you. It was torturous but I survived and got away from him, he was my teacher, One of them! All that he did to me help set me on my path, I would not trade my life for another, but if I had to go through that again, I do not know how to answer, but for now the end justified the means, I love Obara Meji.
I hardly speak to him, and only one of my children have any semblance of relationship with him, they talk here or there now and again, but whenever they speak he would always ask the boy to let him say hi to me if I am near. I had resented him for a very long time. What I have written in all of these post about our life together still has not scratched the surface of all I went through at his hands, I could call it suffered, but I have released it and only write about it for all who could relate to my story somehow. He is not as I knew him before, hard times have gotten to him, and there were times before when I wanted to feel good at his pain, Schadenfreude if you will, the spark came and wanted me to turn it into a huge bon fire, I tried but I could not. I actually felt very bad for all he is going through, the problems for him came one after another, yet I would comfort him with words of wisdom, in my role as Obara Meji as he complained to me about his life and the happenings. I wish you all to believe me, because I am being truthful, I felt not happiness at his sadness, and I still do not.
I wrote on this today because the whole “Why I stayed” got me really thinking of “Lessons Learned”, for there are no disappointments in life, only lessons learned, this is one of my own quotes which I believe in strongly. Someone, a Babalawo In Nigeria once told me that “all human beings must go through some badness/bad times/problems at times in their life, this will bring about long life, we should pray not to see devastation”. What would be the point of a human being living here in earth if they had NO problem or faced no challenges
When things happen to us, or if there are decisions which we make which others may wonder why, it is for you to try to understand the life lesson you are being taught, we as individuals have to face our lives, be present in it, show up and live the life we came here to live, while praying for wisdom into making wise choices and also for accepting the lessons learned along life’s way, and aslo be willing to introspect and change what we know is needed for our own good which will impact how we deal with others . Whenever we are faced with anything good or bad remember always that we are being taught, life on earth is a school, ask yourself, “What is the lesson here”, the minute you figure it out, the problem is solved and you get to enter a new chapter of your life.
Please share your story or a story if you have one, or even an opinion, let us talk about this.
Ọbẹ̀ tí ò pọ̀ kì í kan. /
A soup that is moderate in size soup can’t get (so neglected as to go) sour……Yoruba Proverb!
[What’s not common can’t lose value; the higher the supply of something, the lower it’s perceived value]
All religions are valid as long as it teaches peace and love…..Obara Meji!
There are no disappointments in life, only lessons learned…..Obara Meji
Here is the link to the article on the Ray Rice and Wife situation
Obara Meji is a spiritualist, Ifa-Orisa practitioner, and teacher of metaphysics. Since 2011 she has used her online platform to share her personal experiences to those seeking answers about spirituality. Her teachings will expand into short stories, novels, and public speaking to continue her mission of bringing enlightenment to the world.