Wednesday, May 22, 2013

LOVE is NOT abuse...

I was searching for Ted Talks on LOVE and I came upon this talk by Leslie Morgan Steiner:  Why domestic violence victims don't leave: Crazy Love.
The talk was a very emotional one for me to watch, see I was victim and it still hurts to think about it. 

When I got divorced I immediately sought healing by meeting with a therapist on a weekly basis.  The therapy process has been instrumental to my growth and well being.  Last year I shared Love. Loss. Gratitude. an entry about Vulnerability, Community, and Miscarriages. 
Part of my share was realizing how incredibly fascinating us humans are, I said, "I've realized in the past few months that my subconscious has taken it upon itself to protect me in all ways possible.

Now I must clarify, my ex-husband was in no way physically abusive to me, ever!  
Our relationship was mostly mutually respectful up until the last year but that's another post.  

Let me go back for a moment. I have friend who is an artist, he writes songs, plays the guitar and sings. When I was a teenager I read one of the songs he wrote, it truly resonated with me.  The name of the song is, "Crazy Love!"  Could you believe it? 

Crazy Love 
by Lawrence Block

Shortness of breath, heart beating fast
My body's so tense, how long will it last?
Voices are low, but the message is clear
If I close my eyes tight, maybe I'll disappear

Find a shadow, a dark deep shadow
To hide -- Crazy Love
And keep a secret to a soft soft whisper 
To guide -- Crazy Love

And don't give much when it's time for the giving
Collect --Crazy Love
And push away, cause you know it's ok
When you make Crazy Love

Crazy love, you'll pay the price
Hot as a fire, you'll burn with desire
And cold, when your heart turns to ice

Mixed emotions concoct just the potion
To taste -- Crazy Love
Hate and fear is the spice to keep near
When you chase -- Crazy Love

And emptiness fulfills all your needs
When you find Crazy Love
And you just can't let go, cause there's nothing 
To show -- for that lazy, Crazy Love


Crazy love, you'll pay the price
Hot as a fire, you'll burn with desire
And cold, when your heart turns to ice

Crazy Love, Crazy Love
Love and Crazy they don't mix
It's addictive, it's a fix

Crazy Love, Crazy Love
You can take it for a ride
Destination, hurt inside

Well it happened like this
There isn't much I can say
I was chilling, that's cool
And she was coming my way

First she wanted ah ha
Then she wanted affection
It was fly... wha'd you say?
I say we made a connection

But it's down now...why's that?
Cause we left it behind
What's that girl doing now?
She won't get out of my mind


Oh...he's got to know
I can't live with that man
Yet I can't let him go

Why...haven't I learned
When the flame gets too hot
You're just bound to get burned

I...Should have known from the start 
When you're Crazy in Love
You get broken in heart

Crazy love, you'll pay the price
Hot as a fire, you'll burn with desire
And cold, when your heart turns to ice

The song still holds a special place in my heart but it's different for me now cause it highlights to me how I've grown, how I have healed and how now I just am and have REAL TRUE LOVE.  

In my late teenage years I read that song and it made me think of the relationship I was in. I knew the entire time that it was crazy.  When I first became involved with this individual I had no idea the rollercoaster I was embarking on.  Leslie Morgan Steiner was a grown women when she embarked on her rollercoaster and also didn't see it coming.

This man was not my first love. My first love was quite innocent and quite pure. My first love never abused me or disrespected me or us.  I didn't even have to stand up and not allow it, it just never happened. It never occurred to him.  

Today I will say I was blindly in love with this individual.  I endured lots of physical, psychological and verbal abuse but for some reason I thought that because I was strong I could take it.  Forest Gump would say, "Stupid is as Stupid Does." I was stupid is what I thought to myself for so long. I didn't understand I had low self esteem. I was not aware of the fact that I didn't believe in my self importance.  I was afraid.  I still don't know why I was so full of fear and self loathing. This man would say he couldn't trust me, he'd say I was being unfaithful but for me the sun and the moon rose in his arms.  I was enthralled by his maturity and hooked by our chemistry.  I could think of an anthology of songs that could serve as theme music to all the years we were together.  

Gloria Trevi was known as the Latin Madonna and most of her songs embodied the essence of our relationship.  If you are familiar with her music from the early '90's then you may have a good polaroid of what our relationship was like.

At 18 I thought I was grown and was very defiant when my family tried to stop me from being involved with this person.  My friends threatened to defriend me and not by taking me off their internet social networking sites but by actually not speaking with me.  They knew, they were privy to all the abuse and they didn't understand why I stayed.  I wasn't afraid to leave him I was afraid to not be with him.  I was in love. What I know NOW is LOVE is kind. Love is nurturing. Love is NOT abuse.

I wish I could tell you that once I was out of my teen years I stopped seeing him but that would be a lie.  There was a moment in time when I woke up in a hospital, I was bruised and battered.  The NYPD drove me home from the hospital one morning and as we pulled up to my home I managed to catch a glimpse of myself in the rear view mirror.  I cried. I cried so hard. I could not believe my eyes, I did not recognize myself.  I thought I looked like Hedda Nussbaum.  I was scared my family would see me and would go ballistic. I was afraid of what was to come.  

I went to see a Victim's Services Counselor for a session or two and the very first time I walked into the office I saw a poster with a casket and a beautiful flower arrangement on it. The caption read: He beat her 63 times but only sent her flowers once.  I still get chills when I think of it.  You'd think that would have scared me straight but the first thing I told the counselor was, "I don't know what I did wrong. I mean, we fight, he hits me sometimes and I hit him back to defend myself but he's never done anything like this. He loves me, why would he do this, I have to know what I did.  What did I do to upset him so badly?!?" Her response was something along the lines of that being the exact response of a battered woman.  She arranged for us to come to counselling together but we didn't.  I just wanted to put the horrible event to rest and go ahead with my life, with or without him but I just wanted to move on.  I had hoped with but didn't know what he was thinking.  The District Attorney saw to it: The People Vs. Julie's Abuser. We went to court a few times and he berated me. He called me names and all sorts of heinous things. I didn't care, I just wanted him to not be mad. I wanted him to come say he was sorry so we could move on. He didn't. Months passed and I called him crying. (It hurts my soul to think of this time.  I have worked on healing that lost little lady who had no self respect and gave her power away.)

One day he answered my call and we saw one another. We moved past it, it's what I believed, I was happy again, everything was right in the world. A few weeks later we had an argument and I began to tremble, I screamed as I braced myself, I said, go ahead, hit me. His response was I'd sooner hug you than ever hit you again.  I cried and we hugged. I thanked God, the abuse was over! But no he began to play all sorts of mind games. I will spare you all the details and spare myself that walk down memory lane as I have moved so passed that time that I don't care to drudge that up again.  

He never respected me but that doesn't matter because I didn't respect myself.  I didn't know what I was worth.  I lost myself in the Crazy Love. What I thought was Love.  I wish I knew of Maya Angelou's teachings back then, "When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time."  I don't blame him for taking advantage of me. I forgave him, that's the reason I could share my story now.  I forgave him cause I know now, it had nothing to do with me.  I forgave him cause I couldn't hold on to the pain, the deceit, the hurt, the humiliation.  

When I realized I was a child of God and I deserved love, I let go and let God.
I was blessed to be able to move into that  space of healing.  I was fortunate to wake up however many years later.  I don't know that I would change that part of my life, I'd like to think if I knew better I would do it differently.  I would trust me more. I would love me first.  I think. I can't tell you for sure.  Hindsight is 20/20 but you would have had to have had the experience to be privy to the hindsight.

This year I watched an award show and saw that Rhiana was again dating Chris Brown. I could not watch, it hurt my heart. Their conflict was quite public. I don't doubt they think what they are experiencing is love, it may be the only way they know how to love, I don't know, I can't very well say.  What I do KNOW FOR SURE is Love is kind. Love is strong. Love is patient.

Love doesn't hurt.  
Love does not hurt. 
You may feel pain from loosing a loved one, not the same as Crazy Love that hurts.

Breaking up to make up, that's not healthy.

We all have to live our own story, this is true but please make sure to have compassion for yourself and respect yourself and the person you love.

Therapy is a wonderful thing.  There are many programs that can help.

If you love someone and are being abused or are abusing them please seek help.


Breathe, LOve.
Breathe LOVE.
Love, Breathe.

Take it from me, Love is amazing. 

Love is the MAX!

Sharing is caring.

Thank you for reading and sharing.



  1. Fire & flames, cold water, banged hard, fire & flames, cold water, banged some more ... in the end we either become strong like a sword or broken and brittle. Hard to tell, it's all about the quality of the metal and the process of being put into the fire, banged into shape, thrown into cold water, and the process repeats. I wonder who I would have been without my own personally challenging experiences. None of which I would want my daughter to have to experience. I would love for her journey to be pure and filled with true love. But how do we recognize true love, if we can't recognize the opposite of true love? Low-self esteem, where does it hail from? Why does it cause us so much pain ... but without the experience of pain, health and sanity wouldn't be so sweet. The journey doesn't always bring us down a "Red Carpet" and sometimes there's no wizard at the end of the "Yellow Brick Road" ... but we need to travel down that road, to discover the power within.

    Thanks for sharing!!

    1. The Yellow Brick Road...
      I believe that highlights the essential need for community.

      What is night without day, I agree with that school of thought and I believe you could live an entire lifetime and not experience abuse and be able to revel in the Glory of Love.

      I must tell you, in all honesty, I became abusive towards others with my words and my actions. I didn't see it happening but I felt something wasn't right. I found justification but just cause something happens all the time doesn't mean it is appropriate.

      We all have to live our own experiences and if we see how imperative it is to Love and BeLove the world will begin healing completely...


      Thank you for sharing! I love you!

  2. You are brave to share this. You are brave to overcome this.

    1. Elizabeth, thank you so much for your kind spirit, not just in your comment but in your way of life! You rock. It took me some time to do both. I'm still learning to practice compassion with myself. :) Namaste!