Dispelling The Myth of the “Down Ass Bitch”: Dangers of Dissociation

ARE YOU CURRENTLY IN DENIAL involving the security, safety and sanity of your abusive relationship? Have you been asserting “POWER TO THE PEOPLE” while taking hits for your man? Do you consider your relationship to be a mirror image of the “BONNIE & CLYDE” fairy-tale? If you have found yourself detached from your true identity while subscribing to the illusion of LOVE guaranteed by living a lie for the sake of your abuser saving face, you are suffering from dissociative disorder. No, you are not and should never aspire to be a: D.A.B. (Down Ass Bitch).

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What/Who is a Down Ass Bitch?

The one that has your back when no-one else will, A woman that is faithful and committed to you without a title, A woman that will go out get her money and bring it back, The woman that loves you for the person you are before you can even imagine loving her, The one that does everything in her power to run other bitches off, A woman that makes love to you like no other woman can, The one willing to do anything to keep you, she is also the woman who will eventually have your heart. via urban dictionary

I remember being taunted by my abuser, Antonio Rudder, regarding my memory lapses and inability to remain resolute when it came to certain decisions I would make and then remake or totally disregard making. I was commended and rewarded sometimes because I did things for him that had never been done or I took certain things that others weren’t able to take such as his abusiveness in it’s wide ranging forms and expressions. I wonder what made being his “bitch” so attractive to him as he groomed me to be his “wife”, both terms he used interchangeably. He once referred to his mother as being a hen who cackled a lot but that his father was definitely the rooster. He took pride in this reassurance that a man can enjoy a sort of disillusionment about the power of the woman’s voice. Again, after 2 weeks meeting me in person, he choked me because I was speaking when he didn’t want to hear me. HAD I FAILED TO BE “DOWN”!?!

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WHAT DOES BEING A HEN HAVE TO DO WITH DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?

The CADRES survey, which also interviewed representatives of state and non-state agencies about their perspectives on domestic violence, found that the economic situation, alcohol abuse, past abuse in childhood, and the “patriarchal nature of Barbadian society” were factors contributing to domestic violence (CADRES [2009], 16, 27).

AND regarding the passing of a right to “PROTECTION ORDERS” law in Barbados:

Popular belief that the home is beyond the reach of the law, presents a major obstacle in addressing domestic violence in English-speaking Caribbean states like Barbados.

The same culture of which I speak, Mr. Speaker, says that a man’s home is his castle. I do not care how much legislation you import from Britain, you have to deal with mental culture mindset before you rush into this kind of legislation because the last state is likely to be worse than the first. (Mr. L. R. Tull, Official Report, House of Assembly Debates, First Session 1991-1996, p. 163)

via Annette Mahoney

ARE WOMEN “BETTER SEEN THAN HEARD” IN BARBADOS?

Writing and recording poetry during my 3 year relationship was one of the only ways I was able to maintain accurate snapshots of the confusion I was experiencing while juggling my desire to be “DOWN” for myself and yet “DOWN” for him while the “us” was left on its’ own to follow suit one way or another. Here are a few opening lines from a poem I wrote in 2012 after having been choked twice by Antonio. I recorded this poem while he was rehearsing in another room during my stay with him at the Krosfyah band house in Barbados. It’s recorded to and mixed with his music and the title is “Sometimes”:

Sometimes I wonder
About the cause of the effects
I’m experiencing,
If I’m not only listening
But hearing
The wake up calls
Sent to me
Through all the fine tuning…….

I didn’t know then, but I am realizing more so now how much I was reaching out for help. My intellectualizing may have distorted what was at the heart of what was happening to me as well as the fact that I loved him so much. But it’s clear from the few lines I shared that my wondering was what eventually got me here, battered and bruised, but I’m right here.

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How can I be sure that where I am is not another place I’ve found myself after dissociating from one narrative of trauma to the next?

What kind of events or experiences are likely to cause symptoms of dissociation? There are various types of traumas. There are traumas within one’s home, either emotional, physical or sexual abuse. Other types of traumas include natural disasters, such as earthquakes, political traumas such as holocausts, hostage situations, wars, random acts of violence (such as the Oklahoma city bombing and the Columbine shootings), or the grief we feel after the death of a family member or loved one. Dissociation is a universal reaction to overwhelming trauma and recent research which indicates that the manifestations of dissociation are very similar world wide. via http://psychcentral.com/lib/in-depth-understanding-dissociative-disorders/0001377


SOMETIMES I WONDER….AND SOMETIMES I WANDER

Dissociation is technically a defense mechanism we separate out of our memory things that we don’t want to or can’t deal with.”  via Sandra Brown


The last time I saw Antonio Rudder was about 2 months ago, when he walked out on me because I wouldn’t call the courts and drop the case against him. He wanted to travel abroad and was being inconvenienced because the courts were requiring him to show up monthly to call the case and present evidence against him. After spending 5 months on the island with him, I had been somewhat worn but wasn’t relenting from the boundaries I had come armed with. I insisted on certain respects and was more vocal than ever even if by silence that I wasn’t going to give him everything he wanted anymore while watching him abuse me over and over again.

I demanded that the oppression I had experienced during my previous 2 visits with him not occur again and because he wasn’t promoting his remorse and rehabilitation at every juncture I didn’t trust that I was safe with him. I did whatever I had to to proactively protect myself by restricting many of the privileges that he was use to enjoying at my expense. I noticed that he was struggling with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and so I limited his indulging in things that set him off as the resulting consequences would be negative backlash or battering of me.

I spoke out louder than ever that he would not get away anymore with abusing me in front of his parents, children or anyone who had to become witnesses to his self sabotaging behavior. After doing all of this, we still had a pending case in the courts and sometimes I just wanted to be done with it because I had been mistreated by most everyone every step of the way. And true to form, I WANTED TO BE A “DOWN ASS BITCH” and save the day! I wanted to save my man from the consequences of his own actions.

Until I remembered that I actually wanted him to solve his own problems and if anything, SAVE ME from having to take the credit or blame for his choice to abuse and the penalties of those acts. Up until he found another way to abandon his responsibility, I put myself at risk thinking he’d get it and he would admit what he did to me regardless of who he had to be honest with, even if it was the magistrate.

However, Antonio, decided yet again to treat me wrong and retaliated against me because I would not let him off the hook. His abandonment is one of his most infamous forms of passive aggressive abuse. He complained constantly that WOMEN just want to have it their way and so he resisted what many women even his daughters and mother ask of him in order that he can have it his way. He too dissociates. And his disorderly conduct has been exposed much to his dismay. I am glad he got a chance to see that I am no longer “DOWN” for him mistreating me, …just to get by.

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COULD IT BE LOVE? 

“Look back over your childhood for patterns of dissociation. Look back over your adult relationships and see how influenced your choices were by dissociation. Look at your life today for signs of when you check out, become unaware, drift off, or stuff feelings at the speed of light so you don’t have to make a decision about something. These are all aspects of dissociation. While it might have helped you in a time of trauma, as an adult your recovery is about growing into healthier and stronger coping skills than mere dissociation. All of real life is happening now—are you missing it?” via Sandra Brown

-Tru Focus-

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