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- Growing Up Bronx
Generally, when men become victims of any form of abuse, other men don’t know how to process it. We are conditioned to be tough, hard, and we tend to try and make light of things like a man grabbing my penis at the gym. A few of my buddies have done what comes naturally to us when hearing something like this. They mock me and ask things like, “Did the mean man make you feel sad?” One of them asked me to point where the bad man had touched me.
The thing is, I’m familiar with this masculine culture, I’ve been a practitioner of it for a long time myself. When they made fun of me, I saw the humor in it and laughed along with them. It didn’t hurt or upset me, it is funny to me. Make no mistake about it, the act itself is no laughing matter, but the fact that we as men don’t know how to cope is funny to me.
All that being said, it should come as no surprise that when men are victims of an abusive relationship, they’ll pretty much receive the same type of treatment. We are strong, we are not allowed to show weakness. As such, its in our nature to trivialize it and make it into a joke.
I have been in abusive relationships in the past. I had an ex girlfriend pull a knife on me, I’ve been slapped, punched, and emotionally manipulated. You’d wonder, “How can a guy like Angel be abused by a woman?” I project this macho tough guy persona, but I’m not all that tough.
First of all, I don’t believe in hitting a woman. Don’t misunderstand, though I was assaulted, I know with 100% certainty that I could have floored her with one single punch. If I fought back, I could have destroyed this woman, knife or not. This isn’t about physical power, its simply not in my nature to hit a woman back.
I know that some men disagree, and they’ll say that if you want to fight like a man, you can take it like man. I’m not on here saying that I’m going to let you murder me, or inflict severe bodily harm, but I won’t strike back. The most I did back then was restrain her so that she would stop hitting me.
The time she pulled a knife on me, I grabbed her, and made her drop it while restraining her. As I held her, she said that I was hurting her. I tried my best not to, but I had to restrain her, she was trying to stab me. I know you don’t expect me to let her stab me do you?
In that particular situation, I should say that within the week, I was gone. It is my belief that if a person physically assaults another, then all respect is gone, and there is no turning back.
The way I left that abusive relationship was by quietly taking a day off from work, I then went and looked at apartments, I found one that I liked, and I signed a lease the same day. That following Friday I took another day off from work and moved out before she came home.
I knew that there was no amicable way that I could leave her place. She had already attacked me once with a knife, and I would not give her the opportunity to do that again. I knew that if things continued this way, she’d either hurt me, or in the process of defending myself, she’d get hurt. So it would only end with me hurt or in jail, neither is a place I want to be.
There are so many other things I experienced, but let it suffice to say, though the abuse if often perpetrated by men, we too can be abused by women.
Growing Up Bronx