Tag Archives: Abraham Lincoln

Abused Men

You are a man in your 40s.  Your wife regularly beats and berates you.  She once deliberately drove over your foot. You give her everything you can manage to earn (and anything else friends and relatives will let you borrow).  But she spends all the money on herself or gambles it away.  She has falsely accused you of abuse.  You now have a police record as a result.  Yet you cannot break free.  

Some 830,000 men were victims of domestic violence last year [1A].  Many men do not recognize that they are victims.  Many more are ashamed to acknowledge the fact.

We are all familiar with the image of the “macho” male.  Society defines men as strong and dominant.  But men of all racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds and all occupations may be subject to abuse.  Nor is abuse confined to heterosexual relationships.

Mary Todd Lincoln was known to have fits of rage.  She once chased Abraham Lincoln around the yard with a knife.

Humphrey Bogart’s alcoholic third wife, Mayo Methot, pulled a gun on him at a dinner party.  She stabbed him during another fight – an altercation Warner Bros. attempted to keep from the public.  But the Bogarts’ tumultuous relationship was no secret.  The press referred to the couple as the “Battling Bogarts” and their home as “Sluggy Hollow”.

Forms of Abuse

“Women were significantly more likely to throw an object, slap, kick/bite/hit with fist and hit with an object.”

-Philip Cook, “Abused Men:  The Hidden Side of Domestic Violence”

Domestic violence against men can take a variety forms [2A]:

Verbal Abuse – This can range from private criticism to insults and humiliation in the presence of friends and colleagues.

Threats – These may express the intent to prevent children from seeing their father, if the abuse is reported; to harm children (or pets); or to “out” a gay or transgender individual.

False Accusations – Unsubstantiated accusations of infidelity or abuse may be made to an employer or police.

Physical Assault – This may involve hitting, punching, thrown objects, attacks while asleep, or use of a vehicle to cause injury.

Damage to Credit Rating and Finances – This can take the form of heedless spending, or deliberate default on major financial responsibilities such as a mortgage. Continue reading

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Filed under domestic abuse, domestic violence, Law

Wrestling the Python

Python at California Academy of Sciences, Author Wa17gs (CC BY-SA 4.0 International)

Photographer Richard Avedon in the 1980s took what became an iconic photo of the German actress and model, Nastassja Kinski, with a Burmese python.

Pythons are non-venomous, but lethal regardless. These powerful snakes initially use their teeth to grasp prey. Pythons then coil their long, muscular bodies around the victim and squeeze. This interferes with breathing, ultimately suffocating the prey. Once the victim’s heart has stopped beating, pythons will swallow the lifeless body beginning with the head. They will then digest the body, bones and all.

Depression is much the same. Those unfamiliar with the illness may be tempted to dismiss it as a “mere” mood disorder. But it can be deadly.

Depression can squeeze the joy from life, and the life from us. Once depression has gotten a hold on us, it can be difficult to dislodge. Thwarted, it can recur, despite our best efforts.

A life and death struggle follows, in which even the smallest tasks can seem overwhelming. Everything is colored a more somber hue. We give up on life, believing ourselves unworthy of love and acceptance. Ultimately, the darkness can consume us.

Our best defenses against depression are psychiatric treatment and/or psychological counseling, preferably early on in the illness. Anti-depressants are not, however, for everyone.  No one anti-depressant fits all. And these drugs can have serious side effects.

Remaining in touch with friends and loved ones is vital.  We need human contact and emotional support, whether we believe we “deserve” them or not.

The list of those who have led meaningful lives despite depression is a long one. It includes Abraham Lincoln, Charles Dickens, John Keats, Edgar Degas, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Agatha Christie, Winston Churchill, Isaac Asimov, Bob Dylan, and many more.

With help, we can wrestle the python successfully.

Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God;
For I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God” (Ps. 42: 11).

FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT: http://www.alawyersprayers.com

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Filed under Child Abuse, Christianity, Emotional Abuse, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Religion, Sexual Abuse, Violence Against Women