Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Why I stayed

A lot has been on my mind with the whole Ray Rice thing going on. You know, the NFL, Ravens star player, domestic abuse issue? You know, the video, well the two videos that finally got the NFL commissioner to take a stand with punishments for this behavior, which at first were pretty lenient, but now are stronger? You know, the story that poor Ray Rice not only got cut from his multimillion dollar a year job with the Ravens, but also got suspended indefinitely from ever playing football again?

You know, the story that now has his wife (then girlfriend when he beat the shit out of her on video) speaking out to the press about how unfair this is and how he is a good man and that she does not fault him? You know.....THAT story.

Well, it got me to thinking about my own 30 year marriage and I had to ask the question: So why did I stay?

You see the Signs were there from the very beginning. Even his mom who adored me tried to warn me, saying over lunch, "you may want to rethink marrying my son. You are in love with love and he is in love with sex." Well, darn...ya think? He was a 21 year old man...aren't all men in love with sex and all women in love with love? What I didn't know was how prophetic she was being as within a matter of months the sexual demands and then abuse and sexual addictions raised their ugly horrific heads. So why did I stay?

And then there was his boss who took me to lunch (we hung out with him and his wife) one day and told me that if I was smart I would move out and cut my losses and leave my husband. He said, "He isn't who he portrays himself to be and my wife and I are really scared for you." So why did I stay?

That is the question being asked by so many now of Ray Rice's why did she marry him, if what he did was so horrific? And why is she staying?

And why did I?

You see I stayed for 30...count them 30 fucking years! And that is not a pun for sure!

So not to go into the gory details as most of you can find them other places on my blog, but suffice it to say that this man I decided to marry never once physically hit me; drag me; or physically abuse me. Nope....he just sexually abused me and emotionally and spiritually and psychologically abused me to the max. But you see, don't you, that him not hitting me made me think he was not abusing me.

Now get this: I was a social worker in child and family abuse. Yep...right there in the midst of it working with abused women too. And I would go home every day and not once think I was being abused. I just knew I was continually being put down and expected to do things sexually that I hated! It wasn't until I was continuing therapy after I left this SOB that my therapist finally got me to realize that I had been an abused woman! Holy fucking shit! And to the social worker never figured that out? So why did I stay?

The same reason Mrs. Ray Rice is staying. We were both lied to by the patriarchal culture that has convinced us within a shadow of a doubt that it is our fault that everything happens to us and that on some level we deserve worthless pieces of  shit! And so we stay. Now that seems like an easy cop-out so let me count the other reasons I stayed (only realizing these after some time in therapy and reflection!)

1. I was 20 when I was married in a church and my vows said "Until Death Do you Part." I was told that these vows were make in front of God and that he would be one pissed off god if I ever left this man.
2. I wasn't willing to kill him to get out of the marriage although I will confess that the thought occurred to me many a nights after I laid in the bed next to this man who had just raped me anally as payback for an argument we had.
3. He had done such a great brainwashing on me that I really didn't believe I could survive on my own.
4. I had children with him and I so wanted my children to not be from a "broken home"; so let me assure you that our home was as "broken" as possible and we were all "intact"! Another duh...really  moment!
5. I truly believed that since I had made my bed, I had to lie in it forever. Even when going to my pastor for counseling (major mistake) I was told that it was my responsibility to understand my husband's need for sex and that I was to stay and help him at all costs. Even after revealing all the porn in the house, the pastor told me I was Hosea (from the Old Testament) and it was God's will for me to stand by this man.
6. I didn't want to FAIL! I come from a long line of no one gets divorced in our family and I didn't want to be that first born, practically perfect (haha!) woman who could not keep her family intact.
7. My husband was also a social worker and threatened to take my kids away from me as he had a degree in Parent Education and would win in court. And I believed him...he was that good at convincing me it was all my fault!
8. I was an Abused Woman....that is why I stayed.....we don't know how to get out! We don't have the confidence or the self esteem to look the devil in the eye and say "Go Fuck Yourself!" And so we stay!

But you see one day, it was Enough! One day all the 30 years of this Man telling me I was NOT Enough...was Enough. But what opened the door was finding out how much damage had been done to my kids as they were growing up and I could not have them watch me stay in this marriage. I owed it to my son to demonstrate what a Strong Confident Self-Assured Woman looked like and I owed it to my daughter to show here how not to repeat the pattern!

This is what People don't get: IT'S THE PATRIARCHAL CULTURE that causes women to Stay and people to get upset when the NFL comes down on a man, who beats the living hell out of his girlfriend, after she marries him and says he did no wrong!

Here's the clue:
In May, the couple spoke to reporters about the case in a press conference publicized by the team.
"I do deeply regret the role that I played in the incident that night," Janay Rice said.
"I love Ray, and I know that he will continue to prove himself to not only you all, but the community, and I know he will gain your respect back in due time," she said.
Ray Rice said he was sorry to the Ravens owner, general manager and head coach.
"I also want to apologize to my fans, to the kids, everyone who's affected by the situation me and my wife are in," he said.
One person he didn't apologize to that day? His wife.

Do you see why she won't leave? 


In a patriarchal culture the question will always be: Why did SHE stay, NEVER why did HE have the right to do this? 

I hope Mrs. Rice wakes up one day before this man kills her. And yes, I hope that the couples counseling they are attending will help him see how he too is caught up in a culture that has him apoligize to everyone BUT his wife. ex never apologized to me either! 

Blessed be! 



  1. So well said Sis.....and You know How happy I am you are a free, strong and powerful woman!! Love you!

    1. thank you for commenting Kim! Your words are affirming and full of love! hugs!

  2. Sweetie, I feel your pain and my heart hurts for you. I am so proud of you for getting out, even if it took 30 years. Sending you so much love.

    1. Thank you Susan! I appreciate you reading and commenting. It was women like you who have helped me hear my own voice and reclaim Me! love you

  3. I have been where you have been my dear sister for 16 years. We made it and we are even stronger now. much love to you

    1. I am so sorry you had to go through this also Tina! It is not fair that women have to endure what we have had to endure. Sisterhood will prevail! thank you for taking time to read and comment! <3

  4. I escaped domestic violence twice

    1. I am so sorry you had to endure this horrific abuse, but rejoice that you escaped. I hope you are healing and are surrounded by those who love and affirm you! Blessed be and love!

  5. Almost 10 years..... Even after he almost killed me I couldn't get away because there was no help for me... He was a Cop and had everyone believing I was an alcoholic and cheating on him and one of those "random men" had beat me. He gave me a bacterial infection that went to my heart (I didn't find out til after he left me for his side chick) and while I lay thinking I was dying he got the courts to take my kids away from me....
    And yet up to that beating I didn't know that he had been abusing me for many years verbally, emotional, and sexually.

    1. I am so so sad to hear your story but it is the story of so many of us. He was of course part of the "good ol' boys club" and he would indeed be believed over you! We have been brainwashed and don't "see" the signs until we are so deep into it that it is hard to get out. We are convinced that we deserve what we are getting and if we were better all this wouldn't happen. It grieves me so to think of all the damage one man can do to a woman. I also am so very sorry that you lost your children at the hands of this abusive man too. I am holding you in my heart sister! Love and Light on your journey!

  6. I stayed also, for 12 years of my young life. I told myself that he needed me. Most of the years I spent much time getting over a beating, healing, getting my confidence back, forgiving, going on. One day he was tired of me and threw me out of my own home and kept my children, both boys. I then picked myself up and went on. 27 years ago. I have had a great life since, without him, haven't seen his face in all these years, woo hoo. I win.

    1. Yes you do win Brenda! What these men mean for harm we mean to take and turn into OUR victory !I grieve for what you had to endure and the loss of your children, but you did not fail! You rose above it all and took care of you! You are a beautiful model for Strength and Fortitude! Wrapping you in Love and Light my dear sister! Blessings!

  7. yes m'am....I was in an abusive relationship as well for many years & everyfrigginthing was my fault!!! it was my fault he died!!! I had to convince my new hubby that he was abused as a child, cuz he thought that's the way it was supposed to be!!! There are many kinds of abuse. HE helped me heal & I truly believe I have helped him ♥ ty for sharing your story my dear.

  8. Herbmama I am so sorry you too had to endure this unfathomable treatment. I am also so happy you found someone who would partner with you in the healing journey! Take care of you always! Blessed be!