People seem to forget that forgiveness is actually the second step. The first step is the abuser taking ownership for the pain they’ve caused and coming to the victim for forgiveness. There also has to be belief that the abuser will no longer be inflicting pain because a fake apology can be a huge part of an abuser’s manipulation to keep the victim around so they can abuse them again.
Any pressure on the victim to forgive without any mention of the abuser, is abusive in itself and just another form of victim-blaming. But there are entire belief systems based on ignoring step one and screaming step two.
Do you know how many things my family has attributed to being Native American? These high cheek bones, this person’s eternally dark hair into old age, that person’s hairlessness. And then, the entitlement to speak on tribal issues, the insistence that we should be getting some kind of discount on education or some kind of favors.
They do this with blackness as well. My family insists that there is a slave in our history because of this person’s hair, or one relative being particularly dark. They feel the right to speak on black issues.
Guess what, after intensive study and DNA testing on one side, there are no ancestors, there are Zero people of color in our bloodline. All of that insistence on pushing themselves into spaces where they don’t belong. All of that self-righteousness when speaking about issues about POC. All of the invocations of heritage, are simply another form of white supremacy.
"Well, I’m 1/32 Cherokee on my mom’s side and I think…" No, no you’re not. Just stop.
At 18, we’re considered adults yet when we apply for college, the determination for loans is based on our parent’s income. Why?
If my parents were going to pay off my student loans, I wouldn’t need to borrow the money to go to school. I’m the one taking on 30 years of debt, not them. So base my loan rates and loans off my actual income: Broke, practically homeless, and jumping off into a pit of debt that will weigh me down for most of my life.
18 year old adults do not control the direction of their parent’s finances, they only occasionally benefit from it, which should not come into play when they are taking out loans which will be their sole responsibility.
image from visualphotos.com
A true story about a job seeker’s interviews with some top universities in the nation.
“We really want to fill this position soon. We’re going to have the candidate narrowed down by Monday so on Monday, you’ll hear from us either way.” Ron smiled to himself, this University actually lets you know either way. Good. His potential future boss continued, “After Monday, we start calling references and should have everything panned-out by Thursday.” Ron had three days of waiting until Monday to know if he got the job or not.
Ron was feeling confident, but he had been knocked around quite a bit during his job search. It had been a year of looking. A year of almost 500 resumes sent out. No, that sounds too easy. As if you have a stack of resumes that you’re simply putting stamps on and sending out. Filling out almost 500 applications was more precise. You know, the applications that vary so much that some can take ten minutes, some can take half an hour. Ron loved the applications that actually
When [an abusive man] tells me that he became abusive because he lost control of himself, I ask him why he didn’t do something even worse. For example, I might say, “You called her a fucking whore, you grabbed the phone out of her hand and whipped it across the room, and then you gave her a shove and she fell down. There she was at your feet where it would have been easy to kick her in the head. Now, you have just finished telling me that you were ‘totally out of control’ at that time, but you didn’t kick her. What stopped you?” And the client can always give me a reason. Here are some common explanations:
"I wouldn’t want to cause her a serious injury."
“I realized one of the children was watching.”
“I was afraid someone would call the police.”
“I could kill her if I did that.”
“The fight was getting loud, and I was afraid the neighbors would hear.”
And the most frequent response of all:
"Jesus, I wouldn’t do that. I would never do something like that to her.”
The response that I almost never heard — I remember hearing it twice in the fifteen years — was: “I don’t know.”
These ready answers strip the cover off of my clients’ loss of control excuse. While a man is on an abusive rampage, verbally or physically, his mind maintains awareness of a number of questions: “Am I doing something that other people could find out about, so it could make me look bad? Am I doing anything that could get me in legal trouble? Could I get hurt myself? Am I doing anything that I myself consider too cruel, gross, or violent?”
A critical insight seeped into me from working with my first few dozen clients: An abuser almost never does anything that he himself considers morally unacceptable. He may hide what he does because he thinks other people would disagree with it, but he feels justified inside. I can’t remember a client ever having said to me: “There’s no way I can defend what I did. It was just totally wrong.” He invariably has a reason that he considers good enough. In short, an abuser’s core problem is that he has a distorted sense of right and wrong.
I sometimes ask my clients the following question: “How many of you have ever felt angry enough at youer mother to get the urge to call her a bitch?” Typically half or more of the group members raise their hands. Then I ask, “How many of you have ever acted on that urge?” All the hands fly down, and the men cast appalled gazes on me, as if I had just asked whether they sell drugs outside elementary schools. So then I ask, “Well, why haven’t you?” The same answer shoots out from the men each time I do this exercise: “But you can’t treat your mother like that, no matter how angry you are! You just don’t do that!”
The unspoken remainder of this statement, which we can fill in for my clients, is: “But you can treat your wife or girlfriend like that, as long as you have a good enough reason. That’s different.” In other words, the abuser’s problem lies above all in his belief that controlling or abusing his female partner is justifiable….
I need the gay community to STOP comparing our struggle to the Black Civil Rights Movement. You DON’T get to draw that comparison and then remain SILENT when the civil rights of Black teens are being violated. I mean, where the fuck are y’all?!?! Yay! For Ellen Page coming out at an lgbt youth conference. I was there. I sang right after. But THAT should not have been our focus yesterday. How in the hell are we having conferences to inspire our youth to live their truths and then have absolutely nothing to offer to THIS conversation???? Dear White Gays, I am HEARTBROKEN by your continued silence on these issues and I DO NOT give you permission to high jack the Civil Rights Movement while simultaneously IGNORING the inequalites that youth of color face every fucking day. It is culturally insensitive to do so and we are either fighting for EQUALITY for ALL or we aren’t. As an LGBT woman of color, I am having an extremely difficult time grasping WHY Matthew Shephard’s life is so much more valuable than Trayvon’s or Jordan’s????!?!?! Help me understand, y’all! Help me understand.
I’m on the toddler diet. Half of everything on my plate, my toddler eats.
Parents of daughters, don’t miss this opportunity to show your daughter female athletes during the Olympics. This is the only time they will see powerful, skilled women get a decent amount of screen time. In fact, only show them the women. Take this moment to offset the constant male dominance of air time. Give them a new reality.