Friday, March 6, 2009

Take him back?? Rianna's CRAZY!!!

I've been resisting writing about this Rianna/Chris Brown situation for many reasons, mainly because of where I am in my recovery from food addiction. I don't need a reason to eat; my food-addicted brain seizes upon every single nanosecond that I don't connect to God and use the tools of recovery to pound me with cravings. I'm not exaggerating; this is what life is like for me right now.

Food numbs me. I don't feel emotions very much when I'm stuffed with my favorite comfort foods, like fresh baked bread smothered with butter. What I get from food is a warm, soothing, euphoric sensation like being safely bundled up in a soft, thick quilt. Absolutely nothing bothers me. Unfortunately, that feeling is only temporary. And I usually find myself having to eat more in order to get that level of comfort going again. This desperate need for comfort has led me to eat so much that I have binged to the point of extreme physical pain, and/or passed on my couch. There's not much difference between what I do with food, and what an alcoholic or drug addict does with their substances of choice. Same behavior, different drugs.

What does this have to do with the Rianna/Chris Brown situation? For me, a lot. At one point in my life, I was just like Rianna, sans the fame. I was an abused woman. Food kept the film clips of that period of my life running on a screen in the back room of my mind.

I don't like to re-visit those memories. I won't say that I've buried them, but I don't live in them everyday. Ideally, I would very much like to forget that it ever happened. But it did. And as uncomfortable as it makes me feel right now, the Rianna/Chris Brown situation keeps reminding me that I have literally escaped with my life.

However, I am also a writer, and one who has always felt the need to pass along information that might be of some importance to the reader. I don't just write solely for "artistic expression" or an ego-centric need to see myself in print, although I won't deny that my massive ego gets involved a lot more than I care to admit. But I am (at least) aware that a writer has a responsibility to the reading public by providing needed information and thereby being of service to others. This is not altruism; it is recognizing what should be done (kind of like smelling a baby's dirty diaper and changing it, regardless of the voluminous amount of stinkiness) and fulfilling it to the best of one's ability. Despite my personal discomfort and unwillingness to explore feelings that have lay dormant for almost three decades, I strongly feel that I should live up to that responsibility. And remain abstinent while doing it, even though every thought in my brain is screaming, you pompous, self-gratifying bitch! What do you think you're doing? You can't tell people about that dark hellhole you used to live in! You just want sympathy, you big wuss! (sigh) I can do this. I can do this.

So, with your permission, I want you to take a journey back in time with me. The year is 1981, and the date is Independence Day, aka the Fourth of July. You, the reader, have become me, circa 1981. You are a twenty three year old African American woman, married to an unemployed artist/musician who is also bi-polar(untreated)and addicted to marijuana, cocaine, and serial relationships with women. You feel he is brilliant, talented, uniquely thoughtful and articulate, and you want the rest of the world to know about his prodigious artistic talents. But he doesn't necessarily want the same for himself, and sabotages every effort you make to bring out vast store of artistry within him. You don't understand this, and you keep trying.

There are many problems with this relationship. One, you have given birth to a gorgeous baby girl almost three months earlier, and your husband seems completely unaware of the responsibility involved in raising a child. He still behaves as if he were single--partying, doing drugs and sleeping with LOTS of other women. This causes an enormous amount of friction in the relationship. Your communication is fraught with accusations, anger and resentment. Your nerves are in state of constant upheaval, and you anxious about the future for you and your newborn girl. Should you leave him permanently? You are already back at home with your parents because your husband refuses to exert much effort toward finding a job and supporting you and the baby.

"I'm no punk for the white man," he tells you. "I can't have no punk-ass ordering me around like a slave. I'll go back to jail before I do that."

He often makes that threat because he knows it bothers you. You don't want him to be :just another black man incarcerated" statistic. He can do so MUCH BETTER than that, if he would only TRY!

The anger and resentment toward has been escalating prodigiously since your daughter's birth on May 15th. You keep trying to come up with solutions to the problem, which you earnestly pitch to your husband on a daily basis. He adamantly refuses your help with a vehemence that you cannot understand. Doesn't he know that you are only trying to get your little family back together by offering a plan to jump start his career in art and music so that he would be happy with his work AND provide a living for you, him and the baby? Why doesn't he understand this and cooperate? It's so maddeningly frustrating!

After two months of increasingly furious arguments, you declare a cease-fire for the Fourth of July. He says he wants you and the baby to accompany him to a barbecue with his family, which consists of his mother (who has been emotionally estranged from him since his birth), and his two sisters. You sense the volatility of the situation, but you consent to go anyway. They pick you up from your parents' house, which fills you with guilt because it also their 24th wedding anniversary. You choose your husband over your parents, who have been supporting you during this tumultuous period. On top of that, you can practically take a bite out of the cake-like animosity between your husband and his mother, which has been thinly frosted over with civility. This is not going to be a very good holiday. But you are going to make the best of it.

He asks to hold the baby because as he says, "doesn't get to see his little girl very much", implying that you and your parents prevent him from seeing his daughter. This sets your teeth on edge. You don't exert much effort to come see her, you say to yourself. You're too busy getting high and f***ing around with other women. But you say nothing, and pass your daughter to her father, who is sitting in the front seat next to his mother. She is driving, and taking everyone to her friend's house for food and fireworks. Other than the initial courteous greeting, she doesn't say much to you.

Soon, your husband begins the usual litany of complaints about your "Southern, country-ass, think-they-better-than-everyone-else parents" who make it difficult for him to "come see his baby". That's it. You've had enough of this nonsense.

"Maybe if you took care of business and got a decent job, you wouldn't have to deal with my parents' attitudes," you inform him.

(continued below)

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