The NFL and Abuse

It’s been awhile since the whole Ray Rice thing came out.  I’ve watched the television reports of what he did to his then girlfriend, now wife, Janay.  I’ve watched countless newscasters and pundits give their opinion on what happened, what should’ve happened, what he should’ve done, what she should’ve done until I want to scream.

I watched the NFL as an organization handle this as well as a male-dominated, testosterone-amped sports organization could (which means not well at all).

Treun and I were sitting in the bedroom watching football when a commercial for came on the t.v.  It was a bunch of NFL players saying things such as:

  • No more boys will be boys
  • No more it’s just the way he is
  • No more he just has a temper
  • No more why didn’t she tell anyone
  • No more why didn’t she leave

At the end the words “Together we can end domestic violence and sexual assault” come on the screen before the website’s address is added.

I froze.

I just stood there looking at the t.v. as Treun said, “At least they are trying to bring awareness now.”

A million things started swirling through my head and I sat down and tried to continue watching the game with him.  I couldn’t. I couldn’t keep watching.

It’s been so long since I’ve written that it was shocking to me to feel the need to feel the keys under my fingers.  It was jarring to have my brain screaming at me to run to the computer and get it all out because the overwhelming thought in my brain was, “Has my family seen those commercials?”  Then it swirled into, “If they’ve watched the commercials, what do they think? Do they think of me? Do they wonder if I was telling the truth? Dotheyregretwhattheydid? DotheyseriouslythinkBubbaiswonderfulandIwasmakingitallup? WHATDOTHEYTHINKWHENTHEYSEETHESECOMMERCIALS????

Overwhelmingly the thoughts take over.  It’s been three years since I’ve spoken to my family yet when things like this happen, I wonder what they think.  Then I wonder why I even care what they think of me at all.  Why do I still care that they didn’t believe me or my kids?  Why do I still care that they believed Bubba and turned against me?  Why does the sense of betrayal still sting after all this time?

For the most part, I go about my days, taking care of myself, my kids, and Treun.  I’m genuinely happy for the first time in my life.  I have life’s ups and downs just like anyone else.  My family rarely crosses my thoughts because I’ve worked hard to forgive and heal and move on.  Yet, when something like this happens, when I see the Ray Rice’s of the world, when I hear another story of another woman being killed by her partner because she finally had the courage to leave, it all comes rushing back.

Treun loves to watch the news and likes to share things with me.  I’ve had to ask him to stop.  I’m woefully uninformed about what is happening in the world around me because I’ve had to insulate myself from these types of stories.  Any story that talks about a hurt child or hurt woman or abuse or injustice (basically any news story these days) my heart hurts so much that it feels like it is going to break inside my chest.

I’ve become very sensitive to these issues.  I’ve been a victim and seeing others victimized make my injustice meter go through the roof.  Then it brings up the betrayal by my family and how horribly my divorce went and how very thankful I am that Bubba didn’t make me another statistic.  At the most dangerous and vulnerable time for me and the kids, the time I walked out of the marriage and was seeking safety, my family helped him instead of me.  It still hurts and I don’t know if it will ever be truly healed.

I’m glad the NFL is speaking up and addressing this issue.  Yes, they fumbled when it all came to light but I am so glad to see that they are taking this seriously and trying to educate their viewers.

No more excuses.  No more.


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