What happens when a man loses the love of his life? Well, if you’re Chris Brown, you whine about it in a song. Sorry Chris. I don’t have any sympathy for you. The title of Chris Brown’s new song “She Ain’t You,” brings back some melancholy emotions from my relationship with my first boyfriend. He thought I could be easily replaced, he took me for granted in every way possible, and when I finally broke up with him, he kept coming back to me. By that point it was too late- it was too late way before that point, actually. If he loved me so much and thought I was so incredible why did he mistreat me in the first place?
“She Ain’t You.”
Those three words express an entire story- a story of longing and lost love- and possibly something that went terribly, terribly wrong. As you can probably guess I am not a huge fan of Chris Brown, but the title of the song and the infamous beating he gave his ex-girlfriend Rihanna is enough information for us to piece it together ourselves.
Have you ever known a batterer? A man who was angry enough to hit or punch a woman? If you know anyone like this personally, you know that their anger issues are not caused by their victim: the person they take their rage out on. It is something darker within their own person, something that has never been addressed. So why would someone with an issue like this get involved in a relationship in the first place? Good question.
A man like this is living in his own little reality, for one, he doesn’t think he is a batterer or abusive. He hides behind a charming persona until he lures in a weak willed woman to hide behind. Abusers rarely abuse their victims in public, though it happens at times. During my article, Have You Ever Had A “Tina Turner Moment“, I describe the night in which I almost became another statistic—a homicide victim as the result of domestic violence. Whenever I look back on that day I lose my breath just like I almost did on that night.
So why does a batterer, like Chris Brown for example, ruin a relationship with his it girl, the one he’s waited for all his life? So he could say the very thing that he titled his song, “She ain’t you.” Batterers love to feel sorry for themselves and longing for a love that will never return gives them enough ammo to keep their pity party going until the next victim comes along.
It was a few days before the 2009 MTV music awards. Rihannah was suppose to be one of the headlining performances that night, but something went wrong. She canceled at the last minute without explanation. Rumors flared about some type of altercation between her and her then boyfriend Chris Brown. We all know what happened next, and the picture of Rihanna with the enormous black eye is a memory no one will ever forget.
Not long after, she was interviewed by Barbara Walters. I only caught a minute of the interview but she said something very interesting. Rihanna questioned why she loved an abuser. The thought itself upset her. She implied that to love an abuser, something must be wrong with you.
“She Ain’t You.”
So why do batterers batter? Especially when they love their victim so much and know they will never be able to replace or find someone that measures up to this ideal? The same ideal that they almost killed? The same ideal who they almost destroyed? It becomes an obsession. They don’t want her to love anyone else. They imagine things. Their insecurities don’t mix well with her beauty so they put her in a cage and keep it in the dark. I now realize after going out with a batterer that I was never his girlfriend. I was his possession and I was expected to act accordingly and tip toe around his mood swings.
So why would a batterer beat and abuse the object of his affection until both she and their relationship is bruised beyond recognition?
Batterers generally have low self-esteem. It is likely that when she came around he plied her with all the unfortunate stories about his past relationships; the sob stories of how he’d been wronged and cheated. He told her how he was such a nice guy and couldn’t understand how bad things kept happening to him. Or maybe he had a bad childhood. It is not until she gets to know him that she notices a pattern.
He thinks he’s a victim of circumstance, his crappy job, his inability to pay bills because of his crappy job, and everything in between are all situations he has mysteriously fallen into. With a closer look it is clear that the cycle that begrudges is actually a convenient crutch. If he were to pull through and get a better job, to pay his bills on time, to keep his checking account from being overdrawn, he would have nothing to complain about, and would no longer be able to feel sorry for himself.
What does a victim of victim mentality to do when their life improves?
Well it doesn’t improve until they realize what kind of cycle they are caught up in, and even then it won’t improve unless they intend to do something about it. So they stay miserable, they do things that make them unhappy because they have to- maybe it’s their familial obligations or maybe it’s something financial like mandatory child support. Whatever it is, they resent any obligations yet they will never confront the offending party. All this resentment and angst builds up until they explode and take it out on their significant other usually in the comfort of their own home away from any witnesses.