Preface: I’ve been with my boyfriend for almost two years now. He’s my first love.
Now, he’s one of my best friends, if not my very best friend. We spent this past Christmas together, which was the first time either of us had ever spent it away from our families. He invited me to go on his family’s reunion cruise. He got a job as a counselor at the same sleep away summer camp as me for this July and August. We go to college in different states now, and he used some of the inheritance money he received from his recently deceased grandmother to come down here and visit me. He’s been nothing but a wonderful, loving boyfriend, and I can’t imagine not marrying this kid one day and having all his babies. He frequently talks about when we’re going to get married. We even almost went to city hall one day last summer on a whim. He has this whole little plan about how he’s going to get the money to buy me a ring and a house for us and how we will effectively live happily ever after. He gets me in a way I’ve yet to experience with anyone else, and I honestly feel like we truly love each other.
Problem: We’re both 22. We both drink. Sometimes we drink a lot. Sometimes when we both drink a lot, we argue. But sometimes, when he drinks too much, the night ends in him choking me. It’s not every time he gets too drunk, but it’s happened more than once. Maybe 7 times in the entirety of our relationship. The last time he blacked out, he punched me repeatedly in the head, and my hearing is still recovering. He woke up in the morning completely unaware. He’s admitted to having a drinking problem for years now. I proposed a break after the last time he hurt me for him to decide if he’s really ready to make the changes necessary to ensure that blacking out and choking me never happens again.
Question: How big of a mistake am I making? I’m not stupid. I’m a college senior at one of the most prestigious universities in the country. I am well aware of the statistics in this country about domestic violence in this country, specifically in the Black community, and I know that logically, I should have left after the very first time. Even if we were both drunk. It doesn’t matter. And, I know that the popular opinion is that if I stay with him, he could potentially kill me one day. But am I so wrong in thinking that an abusive alcoholic can become a recovering abusive alcoholic? Or am I too first love drunk to objectively view the situation?
I think it’s the fact that it has only happened when he or both of us have been obliterated that I’ve given him the benefit of the doubt. Plus, we have literally never fight sober. We don’t argue sober. We either agree or compromise through communication. The drunken nights, though severe, are my only qualm about the relationship. And he’s seen me through some dark times in my life. I don’t want to give up on him. I know in my heart that he’s not this guy. So, I guess, what do you think?
I’ve never told anyone that before. I can’t tell anyone, honestly. I guess I’m just hoping for some sort of outside opinion. – Punch Drunk Love
Dear Ms. Punch Drunk Love,
This is Breaking News! This just came in! You say that you are not stupid, well, according to my bull-ish calculator, YES YOU ARE! The hell you trying to justify or reason this damn boy beating on you??!!! No, this is not cool. No, this is not okay. And, hell to the MF’ing naw you shouldn’t stay a minute longer. Get your –ish, and get the hell out!!!! He is not going to change, won’t change, and isn’t interested in changing.
And, if you’re so damn smart and intelligent, and you attend one of the most prestigious universities in the country, then how come you can’t use your intelligence and deduce that a boy who beats a woman repeatedly, a boy who admits to being an alcoholic, and a boy who refuses to get treatment for said disease will only continue to beat you, remain an alcoholic, and remain in denial about his illness? Don’t they teach something like that during your core classes at prestigious universities? Don’t you intelligent high-siddity know-it-all women use your brains for common sense, or y’all are too smart for your own damn good, and you figure you’re too intelligent to allow yourself to be beaten by a man because you attend a prestigious university? And, I’m curious as to what prestigious university you attend, or has his punching you in the head rattled your brain and caused delusions of grandeur and you have misconstrued your community college as a prestigious university? Chile, puhlease! Miss me already.
And, he didn’t choke your ass “Maybe” 7 times. He did choke your ass 7 TIMES!
Then, this fool punched you repeatedly in the head, and you’re recovering from the hearing loss, and you’re asking me what you should do? Really! REEEEEAAAAAALLY?????
Here’s what you do: The next time he drinks himself to the point of blackening out, then I want you to boil you some grits, and when they are piping hot I want you to stand over him and pour them over his genitals. And, while he’s recovering in the hospital you tell him that you don’t remember anything at all because you were so drunk that you are unaware of what happened because you blacked out.
It’s interesting that you referred to your boyfriend as a “kid” early on in your letter. So, I am only left to surmise that you are correct in your assertion, and that he is not a man, because a real man does not put his hands on a woman. A real man does not drink himself into a stupor and beats his woman, and then awakens the next day with no recollection of what happened. Oh, yeah, those gifts he gives you, and those promises of making you his wife and loving you are only a ploy and his lame sorry ass excuses to you so that you won’t leave him. Because quite frankly no woman with any amount of common sense, or half a brain, and definitely someone who is college educated from a prestigious university would not allow herself to be used as a punching bag for ANY MAN!
And, sweetie, if you can’t tell anyone. And, you’ve never told anyone. Then what does that make you….hmmm…I think the correct word is ENABLER! If he knows he has a drinking problem, but he won’t get help for it, then guess what, Ms. Oh-So-Smarty-Pants, he isn’t interested in getting help. They say the first sign of someone who is an addict is the fact that they know they have a problem. If he knows this and he doesn’t do anything about it, then he isn’t interested in healing, and getting treatment. He will forever, and will always be an alcoholic. And, you are enabling him by drinking with him. You are enabling him by allowing him to use you as a punching bag, and then act as if nothing happened. There are no repercussions for his behavior. HE NEEDS TO BE IN AN ALCOHOL TREATMENT PROGRAM. He needs to find out what is they source of his drinking and why he is doing it, and especially getting to the point of blacking out, and beating you in the process.
Hold up, hold up, let me take that back….HIS ASS NEEDS TO BE LOCKED THE HELL UP!!!! I’m sorry, but it wouldn’t be me sitting there letting some man punch me and choke me out, and he’s still walking on two legs. No ma’am! As he is blacked out from his drunken stupor, I would be all the black off his ass and then call the police and tell them where to come pick his narrow ass up!
And, I want you to know this, and listen to me good, you hear me damn it!!!! You can’t fix him. You can’t change him. You can’t make him be who he isn’t. He is an alcoholic. He is an abuser. He is a monster and like most people when they see a monster, YOU RUN!
And, love is not beating on someone. It’s not abusing the person you’re with in any fashion. It’s not hurting them physically, mentally, or emotionally. That is not love, and he doesn’t love you!
You’re 22-years old and he is already using you as his target of frustration and anger, and beating you to a pulp, but somehow and some where in your small ass brain you are trying to outweigh the bad with what good again? There is nothing you can say to me, or anyone who is a battered person and has survived an abusive relationship that will make us agree with you and tell you that you should stay. I don’t and will not ever condone or support any man who puts his hands on a woman for any damn reason. Hell, I don’t support any persons putting their hands on their mates, or the person they claim they love. And, here your silly young dumbass is sitting up here trying to justify a man CHOKING YOU and PUNCHING YOU IN THE HEAD! Whew, girl, you gon’ get my blood pressure up!
If you feel you can’t talk to anyone, or you are too embarrassed to say something, then have your parents write me. Better yet, I want to sit down with them. I will tell them what’s going on, and let’s see how your father handles the situation. As a matter of fact, let’s have a family meeting, and I pray to GOD that you have a Bubba, Ray Ray, and June Bug in your family. I want them to hear the sordid details of how this boy beats you until he blacks out, and how he doesn’t remember anything the next day. I bet his ass will remember the ass whooping they put on him when I finish telling them what he does to you!
So, in the meantime, refer him to an alcohol treatment program. That is all you can do for him. You can’t save him, fix him, or make him be in treatment. That is not your job. If he refuses or doesn’t want to get help, then that should be your ticket and answer to GET THE HELL OUT OF THE RELATIONSHIP! And, then I want you to get into some counseling and speak with someone about your emotional and mental state, as well as being a victim of domestic assault. Please, please, please do not try to justify his niceness, and goodness when he’s sober for when he’s drunk and pummeling you. That doesn’t make sense. There is no justification or reasoning for his behavior. It’ wrong. Pure and simple. And, if you don’t get out just know that this is a prelude to what your life will be like with him forever, if you make it to forever, because one night after he’s drunk and going upside your head he may actually strangle you and kill you. And, that’s some real bull-ish right there. – Terrance Dean
Hey Bossip Fam, what do you think? Share your opinions and thoughts below!
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Make sure to order my books Mogul: A Novel (Atria Books – June 2011; $15), and Straight From Your Gay Best Friend – The Straight Up Truth About Relationships, Love, And Having A Fabulous Life (Agate/Bolden Books – November 2010; $15). They are available in bookstores everywhere, and on Amazon, click HERE!