An open letter to my future son, as well as any mother out there raising a young man,
(Orlando, Florida, USA)
I normally reserve my two cents for comedic relief when it comes to internet socializing, and generally steer clear of serious talk, because it’s just who I am. However, when you come across true evil more than once in your life, I guess it finally drives you to speak up. I am not only talking about the fact that 1 in 4 women can expect to be raped or assaulted in their life, or that 1 in every 3 female homicides are at the hands of an ex-partner, I am talking about the people who see this first hand, and do nothing. People with so much love in their heart for the abuser, that they can’t bring themselves to believe something so horrible about them, and will do anything to sweep in under the rug. I’m talking about mothers.
First and foremost, let me make one thing very clear; this isn’t a generalized letter to blame all mothers. I know that not all woman raise bad men, and I know that not all bad men are the result of their mother. However, this is a generalized statement to all mothers, about the reality of the fact that your adorable baby boy will grow up, and will inevitably interact with women. Realistically, you cannot entirely prevent them from being inappropriate, but you CAN take a stand if you are to come across the situation. Before I speak anymore on the subject, allow me to explain the situation that led me to sit down, and type this out.
Two mornings ago, a man I have been in an on/off relationship with for the past year came to my house, after I had made it clear that I didn’t want to be with him. He was there for no more than 5 minutes before I asked him to leave, and our arguing had migrated to the doorway. The next thing I knew, his hand was coming at my face. He faked a closed fist punch first, and when I looked at him with an “are you serious?” expression, he then made the actual connect. He hit me with an open hand, aimed at my glasses, which then split the skin above my nose. I pushed him away, and instantly felt blood falling down my face. When he saw it, he gave a proud smirk and walked away. This is a man who is 6’2’’ gym rat, and I am all of 5’3’’ on a good day. This is a man who had sent me literally pages upon pages of love sentiments, swore that I was the one for him, that he wanted me forever, and, of course, that he would give me the world. That was three days ago. Two days ago, he became the man that hit me in my face.
To be honest, it wasn’t exactly the first time I witnessed his violent side. But, as the story goes, I excused it. It was always alcohol induced, and never included a direct hit, so I forgave him, but never let myself forget it. I had trouble understanding it because that he has had experience with domestic violence. His mother is his best friend, they speak every day and he witnessed her being the victim of his fathers’ violence. You would think a man who is so close with his mother, and resented his father, would have strong morals about putting his hands on a woman, but clearly that isn’t the case, and I figured out why when I messaged his mother a picture of my fresh wound, still dripping with blood.
Her initial responses went like this; “Please Walk away,” “sorry you’re hurt” followed by “I wish you guys got along better (With a sad smirk emoji), I’ll pay for new glasses.” I can tell you first off that I really didn’t think it was an appropriate time for emoji’s, but I didn’t see anything that bad initially. That is, until she went on to try to try and convince me not to call the cops. Although she didn’t directly say “don’t call” she went on to say things like “I’ll keep him away from you” and when I said “It wasn’t the first time, if it’s not me, it’s someone else, he has a problem and needs help” she then went on to tell me that HE is very sorry, and SHE’LL make sure it will never happen again. A woman, who was beat senselessly for 9 years, is trying her hardest to keep her son free and clear of actual consequences, instead of supporting him throughout the consequences of his actions.
I was a little distraught at first, but soon realized that I should’ve known better. I, personally, should have known better because my mother did the very same thing for her son, when his victim was me. From the time I was 6, up until I was 15, he physically abused me regularly, and was actually arrested for domestic violence on the three of the more extreme instances. My mother had seen it firsthand, and yet, she always let him back in the house. By the time I was 15 (and he was 22), I couldn’t take it anymore, and I moved out. I hated her son, who was my half-brother. I hated him for beating me up, but even more so, I hated him because by the time I was 12, I was having vivid flashbacks of him forcing himself on me when I was 6, and he was my 13-year old babysitter. I never told anyone the truth. A few friends around me knew that I had gone through something, but no one knew who had put me through it. To be honest, the thought of telling my family scared me. I didn’t want to tell my dad because I thought it would break his heart, and I didn’t want to tell my mom because I was afraid that she would neglect it, as she had about the physical violence, and I knew that would break my heart.
After my father passed away, I assume my mothers’ son began to fear that I would speak the truth, so he told our mother about what he had done to me. I don’t know this because she decided to finally be a mother and took the three hour drive to see me, hold me, maybe tell me how sorry she is for what I went through. I don’t know this because she called me, just to talk. I know this because I decided to tell her the truth after she had asked me for another hand out for her son (my late fathers’ truck), only to find out that she had already known for months. She knew even before asking me if he could have my father’s truck. She basically told me that he was her baby too, and she didn’t want to get in the middle of it, and she couldn’t stand knowing because it hurt her too much. When I mentioned how much it hurts to remember, she said, and I quote, “I know, it’s gotta be like, ten times worse to remember.” I felt mocked, neglected, disregarded, and worthless. That was over a year ago. We still don’t speak, and if you catch her out and about, she’ll tell you it’s because “I disagree with an opinion of hers.” If you ask me, she might want to consider politics, because found the most pleasant way to say that she is actively neglecting the physical and sexual violence I was subjected to for the first 15 years of my life, at the hands of her son.
If you’re still with me, I know that you probably having trouble believing it. Even close friends of mine couldn’t believe the heinous stories about the two of them over the years until they witnessed it firsthand. I still find myself struggling with resentment, but overall, the truth is that she had prepared me for that moment my whole life. She never protected me from her son’s violence, from her coke-head boyfriend, or really any man that posed a threat to me. The optimist in me had hoped for a better outcome when she learned the truth about her son, but I have been living with the truth about as long as I’ve been living with her as my mother, and overall, I accepted the cards I was dealt, and moved on. I was okay. Was...
I was okay until I came across yet another woman, who is confusing unconditional love with moral principles. Let me make something clear, you can still love your son, and be there for him, WHILE he is held accountable for his actions. By trying to put a kink in the system, and slide him through it, you are only reinforcing the idea in his head that a woman should and will love him regardless of what he does, and that is not a society I want to live in. My ex’s mother was not only victim to his father’s violence, but she suffered again when the fathers parents’ got him the best lawyers money could buy, helping him dodge any real repercussions to his poor behavior as a husband and father. The sickening part is that the grandmother had divorced the grandfather FIVE times, FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE!
Are you still with me? Is this sinking in?? The grandfather beat the grandmother, the father beat the mother, and two days ago, the son took his first swing on me. When someone runs behind these men, sweeping their mess under the rug while hugging them the whole time, they develop a poor set of behavioral patterns that makes them not only a terrible partner, but quite frankly, a very ill-functioning member of society. You would think my ex’s mother would know about the devastating effects of a passive mother in these situations, because it is the reason her children were witness to an abusive father, and the reason that her son is beginning to act the same way. Had some woman in their long family line stood up to their son, had my mother, at any point after she first witnessed the violence stood up to her son, how many lives would be different?
So this is the part where I say to women, that it’s our responsibility to raise a man that not only respects women, but understands the true consequences of NOT respecting a woman. It is our responsibility to let them know that it is unacceptable, and most importantly, it is our responsibility to stick to those principles if, god forbid, our sons should fail. And to my future son, if you do in fact exist, this is the part where I say to you, that I will love you unconditionally, no matter what mistakes you make, but if I were to ever find out about you not respecting a woman’s body, I will be the first to call the police. Loving you unconditionally means that I will put money in your commissary for food, not cover up your mistakes so another woman has to suffer in silence.