A post in which I empathize with Mel Gibson (but not really)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I have to admit that I too have listened to those taped conversations between Mel Gibson and his baby-mama.

I too have had the perfect "O" mouth as I heard him flip his stack - over and over - spewing out hateful, terrible things at her.

And yeah, I have listened to them all as they are "leaked".  It's hard to look away from the train wreck after all.

I was all in the "What a terrible man" camp...until the last tape. Yesterday, as I listened to him Pant and scream and sound like he was amidst a panic and/or  heart attack, I actually felt..... Dare I say this? Empathy?

I know all the reasons I SHOULDN'T feel empathy. How it is Never Ok to put hands on your partner, no matter What the reason. I know the implicit power dynamic that must exist between them - he has money, she does not and is aging with no career and now 2 kids to support in a style in which she has become accustomed. How nobody deserves to have names like whore screamed at them.

I KNOW all this and still I felt for him. It isn't because I don't think he did all of the things he is accused of doing, and clearly he said the things he was recorded saying. It isn't because I have an opinion about her motives ( although I do) or her character.

So why do I feel empathy?

Well, I guess the best way to explain it is that I have Been That person...That person who is involved with someone who makes you so crazy that you do things that normally you would never consider doing and say things you would never consider saying.

And while everyone around you can see that the relationship is making you act in ways you normally wouldn't, you can't walk away. The good times - when they are good - are like a straight shot of seratonin into your adrenal gland.

But the bad times - which it all becomes - involve two people trying to rip each other down to sinew and bare bone by any means necessary.  The scorched earth approach - if you can't be mine, and there is a part of me that hates you to the core - but if you can't be mine, you will be no ones.

And that is when the "I have given you everything and you have given me nothing" martyrdom begins.  The bargaining with sex begins. Because for those minutes, you have their complete attention. Things are good. Really good until the euphoria wears off.

Then, you hate yourself for going back, you hate the person for allowing you to come back. You hate that you are now scratching at the door for any kind of recognition or scrap of love or anything. Even anger is some kind of emotion being shown, which is better than being ignored - which is the default position of the relationship. I  ignore you until I can't anymore and then I we either fight....or f*ck.

Sigh. There were several of my boyfriends before Terrance with whom I had this circle. One of whom I most famously tried to climb into his 2nd story dorm bedroom window after he locked me out during a fight.

That place is a terrible place. And I feel badly for both Mel and Oksana for being in that place. Obviously they can not be together, because I believe that this pattern is unstoppable once it is established between two people....like heroin. You are never Not an addict. You just have to stay clean.

So, yeah. I am really glad I never had a baby with any of those men before Terrance. Yikes. It would have locked me into a pattern with men who were poison to me, and for whom I was poison.

Unlike my Mom ( who LOVES the drama and had one of these relationships with my Father), I decided that love didn't mean being giddy with joy or being angry all the time. Love didn't mean fighting tooth and nail, and then passionately making up to do it all over again.

I hope for their child that at least one of them gets healthy enough to understand that.

2 Baleful Regards:

Bobbie Sue said...

I married the guy. We have had to break the cycle together. Which is really, really hard. Because both people have to be ready for the change, together. And, it took us 21 years to be ready, together.

Dawn said...

You know Bobbie Sue - I have to say that I think back on some of those men - Men I loved Passionately - and I am not sure I would have had the ovarian fortitude to stick it out with them. I think it was when he was screaming that he was going to burn the house down that it resonated with me - I had screamed something not dissimilar at an Ex ( right before I tried to climb up the side of the building)

It so sorrowful, so incredibly fragile that place that makes you lash out that way. Those are tapes of a hopeless relationship going down in spectacular flames - both people so wounded that they don't know what else to do but hurt each other.

I admire you and your husband for recognizing and committing to changing that pattern.

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