Tales From A Survivor

Chris Brown tried to choke Rihanna. That was while he was threatening to kill her. And the stans are out in force claiming that she deserved it/provoked him/he didn’t do it on purpose. I would say I don’t know WTF is wrong with people, but I see this shit a lot. From men who want to justify it and from women who think it could never happen to them. Here’s the thing, abusers never seem like they’re violent to people on the outside, and in the beginning of the relationship they are the *perfect* partner. I mean it, they are absolutely the best partner their victim has ever had. They have all the romantic touches down, they’re a great listener (the best you’ll ever meet), and before long they have insinuated themselves into every single aspect of their victim’s life. As soon as they can’t imagine life without this person, they’re in deep shit.

Why? That’s when the abuse starts. And it’s not overt or even necessarily something that anyone would recognize as problematic. Because it’s just words, little subtle digs at their self-image that come from this wonderful person who knows them so well and loves them so much. And so they listen, and they lose a little of themselves. It’s that slow chipping away that’s important. Because without it? The first blow will be the last one. And the abuser can’t have that, so they lay the groundwork. But sometimes that chipping away doesn’t work, or at least not fast enough for the abuser. Maybe they’ve been pushed too far too fast, maybe at their base they’re not broken enough, maybe they are just plain contrary, or maybe they get fed up early in the cycle. Who knows? But when things don’t go according to plan the abuser flips their shit. Annihilation time if they can manage it.

And the fucked up part? They’re not necessarily consciously aware of what they’re doing to the victim. So they can tell themselves that they’re not a bad person, and they’ve never been this way with anyone else, that it’ll never happen again and a half dozen other things that add up to not having to face the reality that they’re hurting someone very badly. Because in their own heads they love their victim. Even when they want to control them and crush them. They love them so much that they can’t let the relationship end, or risk their SO meeting someone else, or whatever else is the trigger of the moment. And people will swear that something big must have happened to provoke them, but the reality is that they’re a ticking time bomb. All day. Every day. Whether it is a burnt dinner, a tone of voice, or being successful, there is nothing the victims could have, should have, would have done to defuse that bomb.

And people will say “Why didn’t she just leave?” like that would fix something. Know when most victims die? When they try to get out. And the craziest part is that people will still swear they should have tried harder, left earlier, done something other than whatever they did. Because victim-blaming is the most comfortable emotional reaction for a lot of folks. Here’s the thing, for a whole host of reasons there’s no way to spot an abuser at a glance, and even if you do figure it out fairly early in the relationship, there’s no guarantee that the fuse on that bomb isn’t so short that you’re already in danger. Does that mean no one should date? No. But it does mean that people should stop blaming the victim and start blaming the abuser. Want to get them help? Great. But don’t serve it with a side of justification for the abuser’s actions, or disdain for the victim. Domestic violence crosses every line regardless of money, race, or religion and we need to start treating it like the sickness it is instead of hiding from it. Yes I got out of my marriage, but it was hard and required me to do some things that I’m not proud of even though they saved my life. Luckily I had friends that truly supported me, and now I hope Rihanna (and every other victim) has friends that will stand by them until they can call themselves a survivor and get on with life.

That Wholesome Disney Image

Hey, kids! Wanna know what your role model, Miley Cyrus, does in her spare time?

Miley Cyrus doing "slant eyes"

Um. Yeahno. What they said.

Oh, and don’t read the comments at TMZ. We PoC need to watch our stress levels. No, seriously, don’t.

Moderated Comments

There was a huge backlog of moderated comments. Sorry, everyone! I’ve fallen behind. But now everything should be up unless it went to actual spam. I’ll wade through that soon, too.

Asking because I honestly want to know

Is Ted Nugent black?

(my reason for asking will become clear soon, I swear.)

Inauguration 2009: A Rant

There was much to be happy about today and I will blog about that in a bit, but I do need to point out something:

Whoever was in charge of the logistics of this day from the Metro and other public transport to safely getting ticketed people into the designated areas IS MADE OF FAIL. I have rarely been so frustrated and annoyed and I have rarely seen a clusterfuck bigger than the one I witnessed today.

Starting with transportation: as I said, we got our tickets yesterday, so we didn’t have to wait in a long line at the start. However, our train took 3 times as long to get into town because there were so many people trying to get on and the cars were full by the fourth stop away from the terminus. As people tried to cram themselves in, they held up trains in front of us, our train, and the trains behind. Though the city claimed to have been ready for the estimated 2 million people showing up for this thing, they were clearly not.

They had to shut down certain stations because too many people were crowding the platforms, then open them as they cleared the folks out. We had to go one stop further than the suggested stop because of one of these closings, and thus had to come to our gate in a roundabout way. I don’t think it would have helped had we come from the intended stop, because for some reason the Blue Gate line was completely useless.

Each ticket had a color, designating your section. Every section had an entry point for security checks and then the actual gate. We passed the Orange line, which had a clearly marked entrance and path. The Blue had no such thing. We kept going to different parts of an ever changing line, no one was ever sure it was the right line, there were no cops, security, line coordinators, or anything to help. Let me repeat: there was no one managing our line, and it was already breaking down into chaos by the time we arrived.

The inauguration ceremony began at 10, the swearing in at 12. They opened the gates at 8 or 9 and closed then at 11:30, officially. What genius thought that they could facilitate getting a quarter of a million people sorted, through security, and into the standing area in 2.5 – 3.5 hours? I don’t know what the other lines were line, but with the Blue line, there was very little movement and, in the end, we didn’t get in and no one told us why. Looking at the footage on television, I have to wonder if they gave out too many tickets and there just wasn’t any more room.

Still, there was so much that could have been done better, including opening the gates at 5am. It may have still resulted in the area filling up completely before everyone got in, but there would have been time to redirect people elsewhere. The lines should have been tightly controlled, because thousands of confused people all together is never, ever a good thing. All traffic through the area where lines crossed streets should have been halted – yes, SUVs broke the line more than once. When the inauguration ended, there should have been controlled egress to the Metro stations instead of letting people mob the entrances, having no other choice.

I want to smack every person involved in coordinating this, because they obviously failed to consider so much and completely fucked my day. However, there were some bright spots – I’ll blog about them later. For now, I sleep… and then get on a bus.

Countdown to the Inauguration: ABW Waits in Line. A Lot.

Today we did not take place in the Day of Service because we planned to go into DC, get our tickets, then go meet up with family in Maryland. We thought this adventure would take a few hours, we did not count on it taking over 6.

In hindsight, it was probably foolish of us not to have anticipated this.

The fun started when we got to the Metro station in Fairfax, VA. It never occurred to us that there would be a long, long line just to get tickets, but there was. We stood in it for about an hour and a half. I don’t know what it was like at other stations, but I think that since ours was a terminus and near enough to several hotels, there was just a glut of people. We wisely bought our tickets for tomorrow when we got up to the machines.

To the Metro’s credit, there were station officers there controlling the lines and helping people buy their tickets on unfamiliar equipment, so the process went smoothly.  Just there were just SO MANY people, it took a while.

Once we got into DC we easily found our way to the congressional office building where our tickets were waiting. However, we encountered even more lines! Something like a quarter million people are receiving tickets from their senators and representatives and today was the first chance for most to pick them up. I saw one woman getting her packet and getting so excited that she was really going to be there and it was all going to happen, I thought she was going to hug the aide to death.

We despaired of ever getting through the line when we spotted staffers from the representative our tickets came from. They were out taking names, getting tickets, and bringing them down so people could get through the process faster. After about 20 minutes we had our passes and instructions and were ready to leave for Maryland. Union Station is only a few blocks away from the Capitol, so we headed that way and stopped for a few tourist shots.

Then Union Station was a complete madhouse. Entrances blocked, bad directions, chaos everywhere. And this isn’t even the day of!

The thing that I found most fascinating was the amount of tacky Obama merchandise people were hawking. Not just t-shirts and pins, but flags, capes, hats, earmuffs, pictures, posters, CAPES. It struck me again how great Obama’s branding is. It also made me wonder if there was this much tacky merchandise for Bush. I don’t remember a 4-day celebration for him, either. Is this the mark of a great 21st century president?

Pictures to come. Tomorrow I’m not sure I’ll be able to do my liveblogging – we’re checking on it tonight. But no matter what, I will be there!

Countdown to the Inauguration: ABW Arrives in DC

I held off on mentioning this until I was sure it would be a reality, but now it can be told: I’m attending the Inauguration of President Obama! Yay!

I just arrived in DC on the Chinatown bus and am waiting in a Starbucks for my cousin to pick me up. More family arrives tomorrow and hooking up with other family will happen Monday. Tuesday we all make the long trek to the Inauguration site, and then sometime late that night I go home. It’ll be an intense few days, but I am very excited.

This morning the bus was packed with young, politically charged people excited for the festivities. And when we arrived in DC, about 4 buses came in short succession, all filled to the brim with people.

Today I plan to chill at my cousin’s and get some work done while waiting for my other family. Tomorrow we have to go into DC proper to get our tickets and I’m sure someone has plans for doing something.

But Tuesday after the swearing in and parades and such, I have a lot of time to kill and must stay in DC as my bus leaves at 11:30pm. (I might try to get on an earlier bus, depending.) If any readers out there are going to be in the city and maybe want to hook up at a party or something, or are hosting a party of your own, let me know! I may not be too tired. :)

More information as it comes (and pictures!). I’ll be liveblogging the ceremony if the weather allows.

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