Friday, November 04, 2005

Bruise Brothers

There has been a lot in the news (and on blogs, I see) about Ross Kemp and Steve McFadden from BBCs Eastenders both being allegedly assaulted by their women.

Oh, the irony of it! Two big men, bruisers in fact, with hard reputations and famous for playing hard men, brought to their knees by women.

Sadly, though, I see no irony. Spousal abuse is on the rise with men, women are becoming more empowered and the shackles of propriety are being pulled away. It is now reasonable (and even humorous in some cases) for a woman to slug her man.

My best friend 15 years ago was called Mike (not real name), gentle soul, my Mike. We were inseparable, worked together, played together and thought each other's thoughts - brother and sister in all but blood. One day Mike met a girl. He brought her to meet me (ostensibly for my approval) and they married. They set up home and I was a regular visitor. I noticed marks on the walls and broken ornaments, but didn't say anything. Then one day, Mike answered the door with a black eye. That was the day I asked if Michelle was hitting him - and that was the day he looked me in the eye and said yes.
I had no idea what to do, and neither did he. I was abused earlier in my life, and I told him he should do as I did and leave. He refused - he still loved her, temper and all. I understood, it took me a year to pluck up the courage to walk out.
Mike and Michelle moved overseas to 'start afresh'. I missed Mike terribly, and called him often. He was reasonably happy and told me nothing was wrong. I believed him - he's never lied to me before.

I got a phonecall from a mutual friend. To tell me Mike had killed himself. Only six months or so after the 'new start'. He was still being abused by Michelle, and the distance from his family and loved ones made it all the harder.

I blamed myself for my best friend's death for years. I should have been firmer with him. I should have toughened up that gentle soul - but I didn't....because it was Mike, and he was just right the way he was.
And Mike would never hit a woman.
Something Ross Kemp has said - hard man or not, he would never hit a woman.

When you're laughing about the Kemp/McFadden story, remember - there could be more in it than meets the eye, and women aren't the only ones abused.

cq

18 comments:

Laurie said...

Oh, so sad. My best friend is abused too, and we are estranged (because of her husband) and she lives far away now from anyone who could help her. She has been on my mind a lot lately, since she lives in South Florida. I feel your pain. I worry about her often.

BTW, Michele sent me.

Jennifer said...

That's just dreadful :( I know that wives can be abusers too, and so many men would never fight back. That's just sad :(
Thanks for visiting me :)

Flourish & Blotts said...

Thank you for sharing Mike's story. Hopefully others in the same situation will be inspired to act before its too late.

BTW, I got to your site from Michele's blog. - Flourish

doris said...

Yes - you are absolutely right cq! I came from an abusive family and my own father was pretty much at the receiving end but he has persisted on. There is nothing funny at all about the subject and is quite serious.

But in the Kemp and McFadden stories I am afraid I can see the humour and irony of it all when thinking about them in their hard man acting roles. Even though there are real people behind it having issues. I am sorry for them but the situation still appears funny to me.

As for your friend Mike that is devastating. And how awful for you when you feel you might have made a difference. I am so sorry as this must be hard to bear. For what it is worth, I don't think there was anything you could do.

On the subject of violence, I am actually appalled by it. It doesn't help that the advertisers think it is OK in their ads for the stereotype of the woman getting one over her man. To snipe at him, dig at him or to be selfish and keep things for herself instead of sharing in a truly egalitarian and loving way. This is all just a step or two away from physical violence.

((Hugs))

Oreo said...

How terrible! That's just awful. There are gonna be a lot of women out there who won't like what I'm about to say but, women's lib started all this crap. I guess now those same women want the (worse) QUALITIES of men too. I'm all for being treated like a human & having equal rights as far as voting & all but dang, how far do we really need to go with it? Here from Michele's & I would never hit ANYONE unless I was prepared to get him back...equal rights...

craziequeen said...

all - thank you for commenting on such a bummer of a post.

I have to say, when I heard the news this morning, my first thought was of 'Mike'. And this post jsut came naturally. Perhaps it is cathartic to talk about him?

It took me about ten years to stop blaming myself for not helping.

Luckily, I have an excellent network of good friends [nods to cyberkitten, Aginoth and Mrs Aginoth] - who make sure I see my real worth.

cq

craziequeen said...

Oreo - interestingly, I'm much the same...

I came from a violent family and then a violent marriage when I met HWMBO.

I once struck out in sheer fury and hit him on the chest. He just stood there motionless with a steely glint and said 'you hit me one more time, and I'll hit you back'

Fair warning - and we have never exchanged blows in 20 years.......

cq

utenzi said...

Michele sent me over, my Queen. Sorry I was delayed a little in posting!

Spousal abuse does cut both ways. I can see why you'd feel guilt about your friend, CQ. Of course it's misplaced but emotions like that are hard to control. You'd think before he went to depression that deep he'd have left her--but obviously he wasn't able to.

craziequeen said...

Ah - utenzi, my faithful utenzi....

good to see you :-)

Yeah, both ways. I was an abused wife and my best friend was an abused husband.......perhaps we should have run off together!!

cq

Michelle Pessoa said...

Wow. That was very sad. I guess most people scoff at this type of "reverse violence," but a personal story makes it so much more real.

Michele sent me.

Juggling Mother said...

violence is wrong whoever is doing it.

I know that I would never stand to be hit, even once, but equally I have never lashed out physically at anyone either (not since Puberty anyway).

I find the whole concept of domestic violence a bit of an anathema to be honest, despite having known a number of people who have gone/are going through it.

Shannon said...

Im very sorry about your friend

Jo said...

A very sad story, and yes female violence towards men is sadly rather less uncommon than you might think. But it's got little to do with 'women's lib' or anything like that. It's about control and power in a relationship, and about the inability to deal with anger. This cuts both ways, which is why women do it to men as well as the other way round...

Domestic violence is a terrible, unspoken problem. Society is just beginning to wake up to it and it's still something that people just don't won't to speak about, even though - witness the number of people who have mentioned 1st hand knowledge of it here - many of us do come across it.

Looking only at male on female domestic violence, 1 in 4 women in the UK have experienced it or will at some point. 2 women a week are murdered by current or ex partners. It needs to get talked about...

Amnesty International have recently launched a campaign on this subject - details are at http://web.amnesty.org/actforwomen/index-eng I'd have liked to see them include female on male violence within this too - even more hidden - but one step at a time I guess.

rashbre said...

Its tough crossing boundaries between real world and soap. Here's soap stars being showed in real world situations, and getting slipstream coverage about both being back in Eastenders. Last night Jonathan Ross was commenting about it on his show too.

Its very hard to work out how much publicity vs real issue there is in this twilight celeb world, particularly when one of them is married to a tabloid editor.

There's nothing I feel I have a right to say in your real world situation and I'll refrain from direct comment. In a more general way, I suppose we all owe it to friends to try to help.

You raise a valid issue and like snippits many find amusing, there will be people who see other and highly pertinent angles.

rashbre

craziequeen said...

Thank you, Rashbre - as you say, for every joke, there's a real world issue behind.
Usually, being British, we can find humour or irony in most situations - but there's always one that rings alarm bells with someone.

cq

atpanda said...

Oh this is so, so sad.

BTW, I lived in England this summer for 3 months for work and somehow I missed the Eastenders.

Take care and Michele sent me.
(and btw, I'm at atpanda.blog.com, since you only allow blogger comments)

Marcus said...

Reversed genders
Domestic offenders
Assault Eastenders
Require menders

The mind bloggles

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