July 11, 2006

Lead by Example

Brace yourselves. That scooting sound you hear is me dragging out the ole soap box. This post has been brewing in my mind for a long time now and I just need to get it out.

I'm sure most of you have heard Kelly Clarkson's song "Because of You". But have you listened to the words? Have you thought about what the hell she's talking about?

Well let me help you think about that. I wanted to post the song here so you could hear it while you read the lyrics, but I just can't. (but you can click here and scroll down) So I ask you...please read the lyrics. It's not some sappy song talking about nonsense. It's actually got an important message. Take the time. Read the lyrics.

Because Of You

I will not make the same mistakes that you did
I will not let myself
Cause my heart so much misery
I will not break the way you did,
You fell so hard
I've learned the hard way
To never let it get that far

Because of you
I never stray too far from the sidewalk
Because of you
I learned to play on the safe side so I don't get hurt
Because of you
I find it hard to trust not only me, but everyone around me
Because of you
I am afraid

I lose my way
And it's not too long before you point it out
I cannot cry
Because I know that's weakness in your eyes
I'm forced to fake
A smile, a laugh everyday of my life
My heart can't possibly break
When it wasn't even whole to start with

Because of you
I never stray too far from the sidewalk
Because of you
I learned to play on the safe side so I don't get hurt
Because of you
I find it hard to trust not only me, but everyone around me
Because of you
I am afraid

I watched you die
I heard you cry every night in your sleep
I was so young
You should have known better than to lean on me
You never thought of anyone else
You just saw your pain
And now I cry in the middle of the night
For the same damn thing

Because of you
I never stray too far from the sidewalk
Because of you
I learned to play on the safe side so I don't get hurt
Because of you
I try my hardest just to forget everything
Because of you
I don't know how to let anyone else in
Because of you
I'm ashamed of my life because it's empty
Because of you
I am afraid

Because of you
Because of you

See those lines I highlighted? See them? Think about it for a moment. This song is about the victim of abuse. They watched it happen. They heard it. Daily. They had to witness it, never being able to do anything about it. It was just "business as usual".

You see - it's not just the abused that directly suffers. If there are children - the children suffer most of all. And it doesn't have to be in the immediate family.

I deal with the results of my nieces and nephew watching years of women being tossed around like rag dolls, beaten like a bag. Talked to like they were less than nothing.

And you know what? My nephew is not a nice boy. He was never shown that it is WRONG. It's NOT NORMAL. Oh we discuss it (you better believe that) but his point of reference? Yeah, it SUCKS.

My nieces? Yeah, they walk in the footprints of the women in their lives. Again, we talk. They know itís wrong. But they donít see that THEY are in the same situation.

THIS is what I passed along to the next generation.

Even though I left. Even though I'm healed.

The pain continues.

So think about that. If you won't leave a bad situation because of the kids? LEAVE. Show them there is better. Show them it's NOT normal. Show them YOU DON'T HAVE TO TAKE IT.

Be an example. Show them that strength does not have to be BRUTE. Show them that respect is something that is earned and that it is a gift. Show them that a relationship/a marriage is a partnership. Show them that love does NOT include hitting, yelling, belittling.

The children are watching. They are learning from us.

Show them.

Posted by Tammi at July 11, 2006 05:29 AM | TrackBack

First time I heard this song I thought that I couldn't be hearing what I thought I was hearing. Upon hearing it a second time I still couldn't believe the lyrics.

And you know your right, staying a marriage "because of the children" means you are only damanging your children even more. I have a few friends/relatives in this situation and we keep telling them think about the kids, get out know.

Nope, they refuse. You can already see that the children are learning the wrong things by how they talk to the abusee. It's only going to get worse and I can tell you now that those kids are going to be messed up big time later in life.

Posted by: Quality Weenie at July 11, 2006 07:40 AM

Great post, Tammi.

Posted by: Richmond at July 11, 2006 12:34 PM

I have an Aunt that was abused for years. 2 kids, who are now grown. I wonder to this day how much they saw, and what they knew...and how much of it they have to carry around daily.

Posted by: armywifetoddlermom at July 11, 2006 04:31 PM

Powerful. True. Moving.
Let's hope someone listens.

Posted by: Lisa W. at July 11, 2006 05:20 PM

Very good, and very well said. Thank you for saying it, and may it fall on receptive ears.

Posted by: Laughing Wolf at July 11, 2006 05:24 PM

Thank you. Wonderful post. I never really listened to the lyrics until now. These are some very intelligent and powerful words.

Posted by: Moogie at July 11, 2006 05:46 PM

Thank you for pointing out the lyrics. The pain does continue, unfortunately. To all wives out there...sometimes you stay together for the children, but sometimes you have to LEAVE for the children. It's hard, dammit, but it's what needs to be done. The kids know what's going on. They always know. So leave before they think that pain inside is normal.

Posted by: Mrs_Who at July 11, 2006 07:46 PM

Powerful post.

I'll be willing to bet that, even if many of us have never been in an abusive relationship, we know someone who has been - or still is. It is absolutely maddening. There is no excuse for sticking around and taking shit, especially when children are involved.

Posted by: Elisson at July 11, 2006 10:44 PM

Wow, what a powerful post Tammi, and probably a needed one in the world today. I do not understand how people can stay in a place where they are getting hurt. I would never let my children see someone hurting me, and if someone was, I would do my best to get away from them. Thanks for the post, I hope it get's to the right person.

Posted by: Emily at July 11, 2006 11:34 PM

And, if all that fails, show them that the pathetic bags of walking scat that laughingly call themselves
"men" have to sleep sometime, and it doesn't take much upper body strength to swing a three iron to satisfactory effect.

I have NO tolerance for woman-abusing scum. NONE.

Posted by: Graumagus at July 12, 2006 01:31 AM

"To all wives out there.."

Even those that are abusive bitches? Women with zero sense of being, that actually think it's fine to beat the hell outta the seed feed they chose?!

Now go listen to Nickelback track one, I do not know th album, but itls current within two years. Song called "never again"!

I totally do enjoy the tune and lyrics. But for sure approve it being universally applied!

Posted by: TC at July 12, 2006 06:38 AM

"Nickelback - Never Again Lyrics

He's drunk again, it's time to fight

She must have done something wrong tonight

The living room becomes a boxing ring

It's time to run when you see him

Clenching his hands

She's just a woman

Never Again

I hear her scream, from down the hall

Amazing she can even talk at all

She cries to me, Go back to bed

I'm terrified that she'll wind up

Dead in his hands, She's just a woman

Never Again

Been there before, but not like this

Seen it before, but not like this

Never before have I ever

Seen it this bad

She's just a woman

Never Again

Just tell the nurse, you slipped and fell

It starts to sting as it starts to swell

She looks at you, she wants the truth

It's right out there in the waiting room

With those hands

Lookin just as sweet as he can

Never Again

Seen it before, but not like this

Been there before, but not like this

Never before have I ever

Seen it this bad

She's just a woman

Never Again

Father's a name you haven't earned yet

You're just a child with a temper

Haven't you heard "Don't hit a lady"?

Kickin' your ass would be a pleasure

He's drunk again, it's time to fight

Same old shit, just on a different night

She grabs the gun, she's had enough

Tonight she'll find out how fucking

Tough is this man

Pulls the trigger just as fast as she can

Never Again

Seen it before, but not like this

Been there before, but not like this

Never before have I ever

Seen it this bad

She's just a woman

Never Again"

Nickleback; silver side up!

All we need is a gender adjustment and 60% of the real challenge would be taken care of.

Sad but true.

Posted by: TC at July 12, 2006 06:57 AM

I want to mull over my thoughts on this post (a great post, btw) and add my own $.02 sometime today.

Posted by: wRitErsbLock at July 12, 2006 07:31 AM

Powerful post Tammi. As someone who abused by my mother and then for 18 years by my first husband, it would take a lot of bandwidth to answer the question about why we would stay. It's complicated and in those times there weren't the support services there are now for battered women. Maybe I'll do a post someday. It's painful work dredging up those memories.

But thanks for doing this post. I hope it saves some other women the fear and pain I went through.

Posted by: Libby at July 12, 2006 08:19 AM

TC - you are exactly right. Abuse is not just a woman's issue. I've worked in several clinics and done a lot of fund raising and one of the things I remind folks on a daily basis is the fact that women can be just as abusive.

I try very hard to make sure I don't mislead folks. The only time I'll use "He" is when refering to my personal situation or if I have an example.

And thanks for those lyrics....

Posted by: Tammi at July 12, 2006 08:26 AM

TC: No, women don't 'corner the market' on being abused, although women and children do own most of that corner. I was speaking from personal experience to wives in the same situation. I believe any PERSON who is a PARENT has an inherent and moral obligation to protect his/her children.

Posted by: Mrs_Who at July 12, 2006 10:46 AM
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