Seven Degrees from Normal

Two people, eighteen years of marriage, seven college degrees.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Because they are abusers

On the topic of just why the right wing is so mean, Mathew Gross posts a wonderful piece by Mel Gilles, who has worked for years with domestic abuse victims:
We can’t seem to grasp that they will keep hitting us and beating us as long as we keep sticking around and asking ourselves what we are doing to deserve the beating.

Listen to George Bush say that the will of God excuses his behavior. Listen, as he refuses to take responsibility, or express remorse, or even once, admit a mistake. Watch him strut, and tell us that he will only work with those who agree with him, and that each of us is only allowed one question (soon, it will be none at all; abusers hit hard when questioned; the press corps can tell you that). See him surround himself with only those who pledge oaths of allegiance. Hear him tell us that if we will only listen and do as he says and agree with his every utterance, all will go well for us (it won’t; we will never be worthy).

And watch the Democratic Party leadership walk on eggshells, try to meet him, please him, wash the windows better, get out that spot, distance themselves from gays and civil rights. See them cry for the attention and affection and approval of the President and his followers. Watch us squirm. Watch us descend into a world of crazy-making, where logic does not work and the other side tells us we are nuts when we rely on facts. A world where, worst of all, we begin to believe we are crazy.

How to break free? Again, the answer is quite simple.

First, you must admit you are a victim. Then, you must declare the state of affairs unacceptable. Next, you must promise to protect yourself and everyone around you that is being victimized.
There's more: I recommend it. But the first step is the key: Admit (or keep insisting) that it's not right. It's. Not. Right. And fight it. This is not the time for compromise; these are not people for whom compromise means anything other than a chance to cause further pain.

Even when there is nothing that can be done, decent people do something. Do it.


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