I’ve seen enough anger turn to violence amongst the drunk and the restless to know that anger in its most basic form is a cry for help, a sad loss of control on one’s life. It’s a frustrating, difficult thing for someone to have to deal with and repress their whole life, a feeling of hopelessness – the pain that delivers anger stifled away in a box somewhere, until a few drinks down the line and someone opens the lid. As long as our society communicates that men like this will never change, they never will.
Identity crisis imposes this as inevitable, as soon as we start labeling someone as an abuser, an alcoholic, obese whatever, they will become and remain that person with those attributes if that is what they start to believe. And although I think it is partially very humbling to be able to acknowledge ones’ self as abusively inclined, it is very impractical to be labeled as ‘unchangeable’ as it were. What is one supposed to do then!?
We are not used to being punished for our own ailments, if we should want to change and struggle so to do so, then it obviously is a problem, an illness of a sort and where are these men (and women) supposed to turn when the whole world is prejudiced and judgmental of their ‘illness.’ They are, quite inevitably fated to be abusive for the rest of their lives, apparently it is something quite out of their own control – of course it will remain that way without help.
I suppose Chris Brown will be the ultimate test of this: if it really is true that no matter what a man may say – that he will change, that he is sorry beyond repentance, that the echelon of his love knows no bounds…that they will not change, then surely even Brown will not be immune to this, not even the guardianship of his fame will be able to protect him, if every abuser truly is ‘incurable,’ then Chris Brown will strike again.
He has access to the best of help though – suddenly in the case of a celebrity the whole scenario becomes a situation in severe need of help amongst all the criticism of course. So if Chris Brown continues along his path of righteousness and never strikes again will the world begin to recognise that perhaps the rest of them and us out there actually really could do with a bit of help? It’s such a classic case of the abuser becoming the ‘abused’ but it seems no one is prepared to stop the cycle, only inclined to judge and to punish. I think violence is within human nature, it has been a part of our culture for centuries, seen through hunting and competition, the real issue we face today is down to being able to control it.
And who’s to say…one day when I am inebriated enough and someone does just that one thing that tickles a nerve of mine just enough to provoke my inner child to jump out, I might find myself in just the same position, just as contemptible as the outburst of Chris Brown. But, I will be excused somewhat as I am a woman. I may spend the night in a cell, I may face a fine, prosecution, conviction even, if my victim happens to press charges but I will never uphold the same monstrous reputation as someone like Chris Brown will for the rest of his life.
Because despite the principle facing the matter, despite the fact I might have actually terrified myself (and my victim) upon how far my anger reached so unpreventable, I am not as threatening, I cannot be as dangerous. Even though my turmoil and hatred might be as great as his ever was, no one will ever view my outburst in the same light as his, and is that right? I might have the same inclinations to hurt, the same loss of control, but I will never be the labeled abuser upon my one attack as I quite simply do not have the capacity to be so damaging. I’m no child anymore, and on two glasses of merlot I wouldn’t exactly be able to claim right now that I am…drunk? But I reckon that’s the truth.
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