Volume 53: Are You In An abusive Relationship?

 When I am asked why a man/woman doesn’t leave the abuser I say: “They stay because the fear of leaving is greater than the fear of staying. They will leave once the fear of staying is greater than the fear of leaving,” –Rebecca J. Burns, The Last Straw

  Note: Most of us have a religious foundation, whether our beliefs follow the teachings of Christians, Catholics, Muslims, Jews or Buddhists. Some do not directly identify with a particular religious group, however still believe that a Heaven and Hell exists for us once our physical lives have ended. But I believe Hell has a special place reserved for rapists, child molesters, and men who repeatedly abuse and murder women and children. Three weeks ago, Philadelphia Police arrested Ronald Moon, a 28-year old window installer and father of two, and charged him with murdering his live-in girlfriend. Residents in the North Philly neighborhood, Diamond Street near Palenthorpe, complained of a foul odor in an alley that they assumed were dead rats. Henry Riviera, a handyman, had a feeling that the stench was something worse…something much worse.
            Danielle Winston was the girlfriend of Ronald Moon and had been reported missing since December. Police swarmed on the area and found a rotting corpse slumped in a sheet under a garbage bag in the alley next to their house. Her body is believed to have been there since sometime around Christmas. Moon was charged with stabbing his live-in girlfriend to death in their bed shortly after an argument, then busting a hole in the wall and dumping her body into the cold alley. In a sick twist, he then slept in the same bloody bed every night for nearly four months, inches away from her body. Moon then lit incense every day to cover up the smell. Of course with the changing weather, the smells grew stronger and people feared the worse. The medical examiner’s office determined that the rotting corpse belonged to 32-year-old Danielle Winston, who had been missing since December.
            A neighbor confirmed that Moon had a history of attacking Winston. Winston wisely had filed a Protection Order against him after he attacked her last November, but unwisely must have reneged on her decision and continued the turbulent relationship. Moon had once bashed her head in with a crowbar, and left her with a gash requiring 22 stitches. During November’s incident, which led to the protection from abuse order, Moon had choked her repeatedly until she passed out. When she awoke, Moon stood over her yelling, “Get up bitch! You ain’t dead yet!”
            Winston was a certified nursing assistant, who was described as someone caught up with the wrong man. Ironically, after her murder, Moon had been dating a new woman for the past month from the same neighborhood. Yes…I truly believe that hell has a special place for people like Ronald Moon.

            The tragic tale of Danielle Winston is a common conclusion to the abuse that women suffer at the hands of an insecure, controlling and unstable man. I spoke to a female friend of mine about this loss of a promising life and wondered if there was something that could have been done to prevent such a thing.  I’ve never been in an abusive relationship, nor have I ever raised my hand to a woman. So is there a foolproof way for women to avoid becoming victims of abuse? Likely not. However, as it is such with most of life’s perilous situations, one can often avoid problems if one can recognize the warning signs. Recognizing warning signs in relationships can be much more complex for some than others…especially when it comes to abuse. Why? Well…because a man with a propensity for violence doesn’t enlighten you to his past during the first date over filet minion.  They will often practice restraint on their past urges early on and appear quite normal-if not downright charming. I mean, no woman would continue to date the man who punched her in the face at The Olive Garden on the first date. Abusers are oftentimes subtle and their actions gradually increase in intensity and frequency.

“The truth will set you free. But first, it will piss you off.” –Gloria Steinmen

            I’m no doctor, but I believe that the intuitive person can recognize many of the signs early on. Most abuse comes from the insatiable need to control. People use physical, mental and emotional abuse to control a particular person…or sometimes a family of people. Abusers prey on the fear of others. Without fear, a menacing person who intimidates through force is simply reduced to some idiot aimlessly bitching and screaming about something. People have attained power and maintained control through fear for as long as anyone can remember. Republicans used fear to get a mindless president in office and keep him reelected. They used America’s fear of the unknown (terrorists) to allow them to put faith in a man who had his own selfish agenda. The abusive man follows the same blueprint. Abusers aren’t only selfish; deep within exists a great wall of insecurity. Warning signs? Phase One of Operation: Abuse That Ass is that he will often attempt to eliminate your friends. It will not come in the form of him saying to you, “Baby…I think you should get rid of all ya friends and only confide in me.”
No. Remember it’s subtle. The abusive male will plant seeds of doubt. He’ll claim that he doesn’t trust your male friends; He’ll tell you that your girlfriends talk about you and are jealous of you. (Many women are one argument away from severing ties with most friends anyway) He will tell you that your family is meddling in your relationship too much and are destroying what you two are trying to build. Profound love/lust/delusion can often cause people to believe the bullshit. The abused will now think, Everyone’s tryna break me and (insert ghetto name here) up. They’re just jealous because they’re still single! They aren’t my real friends! Then it becomes easier to sever ties with everyone-which is exactly what the abusive man wants. Once he breaks that support system…it becomes very difficult to ever leave.
            Every type of person has something that they do early on to raise an eyebrow and let us know that it’s a prerequisite of what to expect from their ass. He spends 4 hours guessing passwords to hack into your facebook account and reads all 400 messages in your inbox?!? Run for the hills! If someone can do that…they can go through your phone. If they will go through your phone…they can possible follow you or show up somewhere unannounced. If someone can show up unannounced…they can likely make a scene and embarrass the shit out of you! If someone can willingly and frequently embarrass the shit out of you (and themselves) publicly, there are no boundaries to what their crazy ass will do! If someone doesn’t mind public humiliation, then what goes on behind closed doors can be much worse.
            Abuse starts will arguments, humiliation and insecurity. It progresses to a shove and mental degradation. Then it graduates to a left jab, followed by a right hook! A man who puts his hands on a female-any female-is a weak individual, attempting to role reverse the hand he’s dealt. He doesn’t deserve the gift of companionship and certainly not the rare jewel of a good woman. Fuck each and every one of them… Just my two cents (shrugs)

A Nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.”

…These Are The Random Thoughts Of Ronald Gray…