Spotlight on Domestic Violence

8 Sep

Domestic violence is one of those things that tends to get swept under the rug but today the NFL made a major victory for women everywhere. Thanks Ray Rice! Although, it is not one of those subjects you can really sugar coat, many people tend to find excuses for those who hit women.

“She hit him first.” “She provoked him.” What? You didn’t see her lunge at him?” “If she wanna go at him like a man, then she should accept getting hit like one.”

First of all, he is a football player. Men that are bigger than him hit him much harder than that woman could have. Secondly, how does any person justify a man hitting a woman? So, should he hit his mother, as well? Should he smack the living daylights out of his daughter?

Men, get a grip. 

I have experienced domestic violence on a personal level. Both receiving it and dishing it out. I have been guilty of provoking drawn out physical battles with my ex on many an occasion. I always lost. It was always because he disrespected me in some way, shape, or form. I did not know how to control my anger, thus lashing out physically because there was no other way to stop being angry… but it never helped. Our relationship remained stagnant due to the blatant disrespect we exhibited for each other’s physical being. It is any wonder how we lasted twelve years.


For those out there who believe that she should have kept her hands to herself, you’re right. For those who said he should have never hit her (or that men should never hit a woman) you are also right. Men should never, ever, hit a woman. Regardless of provocation, rage, or because “she wanted to act like a man”, no man should ever hit a woman. Women should respect their partner enough to communicate effectively, rather than resorting to physical violence.

I remember being told it was my fault. I remember being told I was the bad guy. Sadly, for a long time I believed that. I knew I was the bad guy. I was wrong. Forever I was blamed and told I deserved to get what I got from him.

But that was never true.

Then I hear that people believe that his now-wife is an idiot for marrying him… Let me say this, to an extent, No. She is not an idiot. That is to say that all women who stay in abusive relationships are idiots. Sure, it isn’t the best situation but many women stay for the same reasons.

  • Love: or the idea that what they have is real love.
  • Hope: that things will change, that he will get help, that things will get better.
  • Fear: that he will follow her, that no one will take her, that she is damaged.
  • Children: the kids need their family whole, the kids will be devastated.
  • Desperation: there is nowhere else to go and they have “everything” in the home.
  • Money: In the case of a divorce, a financial settlement will be large for some.

Sometimes it is this uncanny ability of the woman to believe that she somehow is loved because he won’t let her go. The man has made her believe that his love is the only kind of pure love that is so strong that his anger is derived from the purity of it. It does not always make sense, but for the woman, she is so broken and desperate in some situations that she just feels that this is the best option. I do believe that she still married him for the sake of the money he is bound to earn, even after being released from the team, as well as the sake of the children. Hey, in the event of another situation (which is almost inevitable in abuse cases) she is bound to get some pretty decent money for her suffering… so maybe she is playing that game. In any case, the abuse is not acceptable and her choice to stay, no matter the reason is between her and her husband and their higher power.

This is the society we live in today. We have been raised in a society where physical violence is normal. Where disrespecting your partner is normal and what is portrayed on so many shows. No. It is not normal. It is not right. It is not acceptable. Or the more money you have, the more you get away with.

Women do not deserve respect. Our music, our television shows, our movies… they all show women portrayed as objects, and our daughters are beginning to believe it is okay to allow themselves to be sexualized and scantily clad. Too many women are being called “bad bitches” and are expected to allow men to walk all over us because we are their property. We are watching shows and listening to music where women embarrass themselves by singing about and acting without class, violent, drunk, openly sexual, and just downright unladylike. We are allowing our children to believe this is okay. That woman are supposed to act like divas instead of like godly women that have a unique gift to a special man who will value us.

God made woman from man to be his helper, not his slave. We were made to complement men, not compliment them as trophies. We were made to respect men and obey them, but men were expected to treat us with respect and protect us. God never intended for woman to be abused because He made us to be mothers, homemakers, and followers of him to raise godly children. We need to show our children that such behavior is not acceptable, because only then can we raise a new generation of good humans who treat each other with respect.

The NF- excuse me, the Ravens’ No Tolerance take on this case has put domestic violence above drug use and drunk driving, where the penalties for such behavior merited much harsher punishments. This has brought women back to a place where they should be respected, no matter how much money someone makes. No matter whether you’re having a lover’s spat. Drunk or not. There is no excuse. The slap on the wrist they initially gave Rice was an insult to women and respectable men everywhere and showed society that women are not worth the respect or safety from such abuse.

Thank you, Baltimore Ravens for helping put women back in that light, that we are deserving of better treatment and that that type of behavior towards us is unacceptable. In any light, domestic violence is terrible, but no one gets to really see it and today was an eye-opener for so many. Hopefully this is the beginning of a new movement towards women’s rights to show young men, and other men in the sports community, that no one is exempt and that it is a punishable offense.

Let this be an eye-opener to us all, that it is time for change. It is time for us to explain to our children that this is not okay. That we deserve better. Men and women alike, we deserve better in our relationships and we should be seeking respect and love and throw a lot of Jesus in the mix for healthy lives and spirits.

I really wish I would have found Jesus a long time ago… it could have spared me a lot of heartache and pain. Even if this is not a matter of God being needed in this situation, everyone should seek out Jesus to have a better quality of life.

Colossians 3:19 [ESV] Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.

1 Peter 3:1 [ESV] Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives,

Love one another as Jesus and God love you. God bless you all.

Watch “Salvation Challenge” on YouTube

9 Aug

Salvation Challenge:

That ONE Coworker

29 Jul

There is always that one person that makes you question if being nice is even worth it.

I have been with my job for almost a year now, and I’ve trained many of the new recruits to do their job. When I started this job, I had decided that I would be a responsible older woman, a mother, and a “wife” by not consorting with my coworkers outside of work. I have never really had any good experiences with that, so I decided this time would be different. I would go to work, come home, repeat.

That seemed to work, for a little bit… but then it got a little lonely. I started thinking, maybe it would be nice to have at least one “friend” that I could maybe have lunch with once in a while or hang out with, even car pool with…

Then we hired a new employee. I trained her and it was great. We laughed and joked and talked about a lot of different things. It was really nice. I hadn’t had anyone to really talk to once the other coworker switched to an evening shift. I trained her for two days, we had lunch after her last training shift, and then she was off to work different shifts.

For a while we got along, but then she fell into the crowd at work. The younger clique that was there, and she turned on me. Human resources came to me stating that she had complained about me. I laughed it off, although I was incredibly hurt; and there was no way to tell her how I felt and ask her why she felt that way without losing my job. So, I became bitter. The other coworkers began to like me less and work became stressful. Coworkers making stabs at me about the situation and then I got this uncomfortable feeling that everyone was against me.

I had become a leper. I was an enemy. I did my job and I followed all directions and when things got hard for the others, they came after me with ways to get me in trouble. My coworkers were deliberately trying to get me to lose my job.

Today, I realized that my kindness was not rewarded, because although I had been kind to her I hadn’t been kind to another. [Maybe it was God showing me what it was like to be the other employee that I had no shame in making it known that I was not interested in any communication with him. Today, I asked for his forgiveness for my actions, we hugged, and I feel a little better now.]

She is now leaving her position and although I should feel glad that she is leaving, I am actually saddened by it. I have not had a chance to be a mature adult and apologize for ever making her feel that I meant to do her harm (which I never intentionally did) and to seek her forgiveness and to wish her luck. Although, I know I was not in the wrong to begin with, I have been angry towards her ever since her complaint. That, in itself, is wrong. Avoiding her and being uncomfortable to even speak to her due to everything had made work all the more intolerable. Non-communication made it hard to work, and even working the same shift with her was annoying and painful.

I realized today: it didn’t have to be.

I made work worse for myself. I made myself more bitter and uncomfortable. I made myself more of an enemy than a civil coworker, and today I sealed that label on myself even more by my attitude towards her just because I was being hateful when I could have been professional. So, even though I didn’t do anything to begin with (intentionally), I have made an intentional effort to be a hateful person now. That, my friends, is wrong. Rather than kill them with kindness, I have returned her hateful feelings in kind. You know who is more miserable, though? Me. Why? Because she is not lonely at work. Everyone loves her and she will be missed by many at work. While dropping my name in the mud and I dragged it for her by being hateful.

I am repentant. I would like to seek her forgiveness just because it is the right thing to do. I want to do something nice before she goes, because in the end, she’s not a bad person and I really wanted to be friends with her… I just want my conscience to be clean; to know that in the end, I did apologize for my actions after the fact. I am doing it because the Lord would want it that way. So, I have decided on the last shift I work with her, I will try to talk to her and at least get my point across. Even if she does not accept it, at least I know that I tried.

I won’t stop trying to be kind to others, and her reaction to my kindness has made me a little more cautious of new employees… but with each new person it is a new slate, and not everyone will like you, no matter how nice you can be. Work ethic and social statuses and interests and so forth will either unite or divide…

But like the good book says, “…Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself…” (Mark 12:31 KJV)

Forgiveness is one thing. Loving everyone no matter what is another…

And both are things I need to work on.

Until next time. ~♥~


I’m So…

23 Jul

There has been a flood of “I’m So” status updates on Facebook. It has really been a nostalgic few days online due to these sudden childhood memories or building that no longer exist, music that is no longer mainstream (and considered old school) and sports icons who have long since retired but still hold a special place in our memories.

I’m so not any one place, nor am I so any one thing that I can place a title to it specifying only one area of the world. I’m so Athena that my memories are scattered along the East Coast and bring a sense of joy when I realize that my childhood was filled with memories many kids today will not experience.

I’m so Long Island City. I remember when they began constructing the large blue Citibank Building. This tall skyscraper that was the first of its kind in LIC. I used to go to the park while my parents worked and hung out with all my friends. Parents used to actually watch other people’s kids and we behaved [for the most part]. A morning trip to the diner with my parents before school was the norm and seeing our parents smoke a joint or drink a beer was completely acceptable back then and no harm came of it. For a long time, the only way I could fall asleep was listening to the 7-train pass right by my window and I would count the shadows among the small windows of light on the train to help me relax. Sneaking food onto the bus after trips to Astoria pool, freezing half to death because of the air conditioning. The bus rides after school. The pizza shop around the corner from, well, anywhere you were. The crab cakes from the Korean market. The bodegas and the neighborhood delis. The bars and the clubs. That Casablanca club I snuck into with my friends when I was about 16. The Chinese food and the subway rides. The freedom of the city and having so much at my disposal from food to parks to museums to bridges. Those nights underneath the stars on the apartment building roof where we would watch the lights of Manhattan just over the bridge and the river twinkling ever so fantastically. Barbecues for the Fourth of July in abandoned dirty lots by the river that has now been taken over by aristocrats who want nothing to do with the public and have taken our simple lots away.

I’m so Miami-Dade (Fontainebleau). We never really used to walk the whole way anywhere because the golf courses provided great shortcuts to our destinations. The best part of my morning in both middle school and high school was going to Winn-Dixie where they made tostadas with cream cheese or the bagels with cream cheese and the quesitos they would sell in the morning for student government. We used to hang out at Mall of the Americas at the movie theater and the arcade with friends. We used to climb walls to get into other apartment complexes and run from security guards. Arbor Lakes used to have the best full court for basketball and I saw when they demolished it to turn into a playground to eliminate the older thugs and ball players from coming to our complex. Jumping into the pool when we would get caught in the rain on the way from the bus stop to our house was completely normal and some of the best memories we would have. Chasing ducklings and feeding them while walking around the canals that stretched behind our apartment buildings. Kissing someone special under the moonlight on the rooftop or in the rain in a golf course after spending a day outside in the sun. Malibu Grand Prix by the mall was the place to flirt, to play, and to watch others race on the track. The portable classrooms during those really hot afternoons. Lockers and hallways and gossip and laughs. Best friends running through the streets, walking to other building complexes miles away, riding bikes, running, swimming and kick ball. Sneaking out at night for late night swims with friends under the moonlight.

My childhood is one that can be considered a fairy tale when looked at in the right aspect. A childhood that my children won’t see because back then we didn’t have cell phones, texting, or Facebook. We had beepers, streetlights, landlines, and knocking on other people’s doors. We ran the streets, we got along. We played together. We had friends and we had enemies, we had fun, and sometimes we had problems. But it was a childhood filled with so many different memories that I can’t help but feel happy to think about it.

I’m so Athena that when I grew up I realized my childhood wasn’t so bad, and I am happy to see everyone else realize that their childhoods have some memories that can never be repeated, and its something to be cherished and appreciated.

So go ahead and be so whereever you are from. Be so whoever you want to be. Be so nostalgic that it brings back memories of people who you had forgotten, of buildings that our children will never know. Hold on to that. And remember, that being so “anything” is exactly why you are so special and why you are so YOU.


23 Jul

Ephesians 4:32 – And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

The hardest thing about being an adult, after many years of having done wrong and wrong done unto you, is being forgiving. Forgiving others for the things they have done against you can prove to be some of the hardest steps you have to take towards being a better Christian, or a better overall human.

I haven’t been the best person, but God loves me anyway. He forgives me for my transgressions and he loves me unconditionally. The way a parent can forgive a child for things that they disobey and may say against them. God forgives us for when we do something out of place.

I am currently working on the process of forgiveness.

Matthew Chapter 6: – 14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

I have been thinking about people. People that I have made upset. People that I have hurt. There have been dreams of people who I have not spoken to in a while, and others that have just come to mind randomly. I have compiled a mental list of people I feel strongly about apologizing to that I am still on the outs with. The people who I have not had much contact with in a long time and would like to get that little spot on our past cleared up.

I learned in a bible study that forgiveness doesn’t necessarily mean I need to let people back into my life but it at least makes room for there to be no more animosity or anger in my heart or in theirs. I had it confused that forgiveness meant keeping people in your life again, which I am still almost fully against, but I am working on it. I do not want to force people back in my life, but I do want to put it out there that I am asking for forgiveness because maybe that will help me be more forgiving.

One day at a time. I am working on asking for forgiveness as a way to put it out there that I am sorry for what I did, said, how I acted, how I hurt them because I truly am repentant of those things. Some more than others. But then there is the whole forgiving those who may not even ask for forgiveness. Letting the anger and the pain go of those who may have hurt me just so that I can move on with a healthy heart, mind and soul.

As I work on this aspect of life, I ask that you all look into your hearts, find something that has had you a little bit bitter, and look to forgive. Is there some kind of guilt that you want to clarify? Send a message and ask for forgiveness, and tell them that you forgive them back. Maybe they will not answer you back. Maybe they won’t be as accepting of your offer, but know that you made the effort and that is a brave and awesome thing no matter how it turns out. Do not be afraid to put yourself out there because God knows your heart and He will know your sincerity and will love you still even if the other person does not.

God Bless You all, and try getting at least one note, message, phone call out there to ask for forgiveness or to tell someone you forgive them. I’m still working on mine, and if you cannot find the words or the strength to pull yourself together to do it; Pray.

Pray for the strength and the wisdom to forgive and express that openly with the person you are thinking of.

It might be the best thing you ever do.




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