I have no idea why I felt shocked when I heard Monday morning that Matt Newton had physically attacked his girlfriend, actress Rachel Taylor. Because he’s done it before, and ‘his type’ always end doing it again. I shouldn’t be shocked, because I know firsthand that men like this will always erupt again.
It was some years ago, and it was during the back end of not such a happy stretch of my life. I went into the relationship praying he was going to the man that could protect me. Three words that often attract violence – ‘low self esteem’.
He was soft and gentle on the outside, but very dark and troubled inside.
We all watched Rihanna after the Chris Brown incident. Looked on in horror at the photos of her bruised face, and thought, “why has she gone silent? Surely she must hate him?” “Where has the powerful popstar gone.?
I have no doubts she was silent because she was still in shock. Still trying to separate the man she loved from the beast we saw. That doesn’t happen overnight. Even if that night got really ugly.
I’m glad Rachel Taylor seems to be publicly saying “Enough!” She took a chance on her troubled lover though, because we all knew what he’d done in the past. Women always think they’ll be the one to save him. That’s our universal mistake.
I know what it’s like to think you’ll save someone, only to have your head slammed on the floor, and hot wax thrown in my eyes. All ‘accidents’ of course, and always thanks to something ‘I did’.
I know what it’s like now to think, “it’s finally too late.” For that split second when my eyeballs were covered in wax, my first thought was “are you happy now, you’re blind?” If I had no respect for myself, of course I knew what others would say.
I was terrified that people would judge me. And that terror kept me quiet for way too long. I put up with his manipulation and our ‘incidents’ for what now seems a ludicrous amount of time.
The same old excuses, “but you were being a bitch”, or “you pushed me first!”
He was right, I did push him first because when someone is towering over you, pinning you against the wall with their head touching yours, screaming in your face, you want to get away. And of course, as they’ve done before to you or someone else, they know that’s their queue to punch you, because “you pushed me first!”
There’s something about being a woman that brings out empathy for others where empathy shouldn’t live. My partner did confess he was first beaten up at age 3 by one of his many stepfathers. It’s hard not to picture that poor child, being beaten and not mourn for him,. But that child was now a strong man, and I was now the victim. But that child stayed in my head. I still felt some strange sense of protection over him. Instead I spent valuable time that I should have spent getting away, hating his mother.
Because she should have protected him. If only she’d protected him, our relationship could have stood a chance. So now I’m playing his game. It’s always someone else’s fault.
I literally look back and shudder at this time of my life. I most certainly would never ever allow this to go on ever again. One push, one punch and you’re gone. It’s not about you, it’s about them.
But it was my first time. I hope my only time. And I went through emotions that I know others do too. Others are doing right now. If you are reading this now I want to say to you, he, or she will not stop hurting you one day. It will get worse and you may die. You may end up in a wheelchair, scarred for life, and even blind.
Risking these things because you feel sad, you feel empathy for them you have nowhere else to go, or you’re embarrassed of what others might think, will not save your life.
Because from one victim to another, in a violent relationship, believe me every second counts.