–Queue the Cece Peniston song (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, shame on you! Ahem, back to the post
I was in an abusive relationship. Well, not really. I don’t suppose you could call it a relationship, and I am not trying to make light of people who are being abused, but I did experience physical violence at the hands of a crush. Granted, I was ten, eleven years old, but being hit is being hit, right?
Remember back in the day when little kids would give each other “love taps”? Parents would always dismiss a slight open palmed hit a girl gave a boy, or when a boy pushed a little girl down. “That ain’t nothin’ but a love tap,” or “you must like him/her” were the only words of comfort or punishment meted out for such things. This was not that.
Neither was this the more adult “wrestling with my boyfriend” either. I insist I was physically abused, and I
possibly have the scars and definitely have the memories to prove it.
There was this boy. Everyone who knew me as a ten year old on knows his name, but for the purposes of the blogoverse his name is Kamar. When I was in the fifth grade, on of my friends told Kamar that I had told a table full of girls he liked me (totally backwards, but how reliable are
vindictive preteens?). He hit me with a mud filled tire (yes, a car tire, like the ones on my PT Cruiser right now, except this tire had white sidewalls). I had to walk home soaking wet from the waist down in skin tight jeans, sore from being hit in the thighs with a tire.
Over the course of a year, I was pelted with rocks, hit with a plastic baseball bat, a piece of a screen (the metal part), punched, “love tapped,” and tripped. Now, make no mistake. I was a rough tomboy and retaliated in kind. I packed a hard punch for a girl. I kicked hard, and if you ran or rode away on a bike, I would catch you.
I wasn’t the only one subjected to this ill treatment either. Kamar mercilessly picked on many of the girls who cheerleaded with me for the citywide football team he played on. I distinctly remember one girl being “back sufflexed” ( a wrestling move) onto the parking lot pavement after practice. At that same practice, I was riding my babysitter’s daughter’s bike around in circles when Kamar clipped my bike tire. I went flying to the pavement. That one really hurt.
Looking back, it’s hard to imagine that this seemed normal. I didn’t think of it as anything but an annoying neighbor who just so happened to be fine, a bad little boy with gorgeous eyes and a penchant for tormenting little girls. But then, you grow up.
In today’s world, there is no such things as love taps. There is punishment for hitting another child. If a little boy kisses a little girl it’s called sexual harrassment, just like it is when an adult does it. The fact that children may not know how to appropriately express their feelings is not sufficient grounds for giving them the benefit of the doubt.
Do I really believe I was in an abusive non-relationship? No. I don’t think either of us thought of it that way. We both seemed to look forward to chasing each other and one upping each other. We got along from time to time. I saw many adolescent relationships play out along the same lines, before prepubescent boys and girls began to discover sex (and young–sixth grade!).
Did you ever give/receive love taps? Looking back, would you consider that abuse? What are your thoughts on this issue?
I don’t know that I would call it abuse or love taps, but I do know one thing: I was hit by love–literally.
*In relationships, we sometimes get to the point that we feel we know everything there is to know about someone, or that they know everything there is to know about us. It gets more and more difficult to remember some of those little things that make us who we are. Things Mr. P. Doesn’t Know About Me is a recurring feature in which I share some of the little (and not so little) things that have simply never come up in conversation or seemed important enough to tell. They can be few and far between, as I am by nature a “talker” and share quite a bit, but when I do have one, rest assured, it’s a good one.