I should be leaving, but the friend I'm meeting today just told me he has to make a run somewhere so there's no need to rush. I was thinking about posts I'd made and some comments made by readers, which then digressed into a subject a little more deep. It might not be totally on-topic, but I'm running with it anyway.
The thought trail started out with me thinking about how some people have told me what they do in certain situations, which caused me to think about something an ex said about my blog on my first cross-country trip. Be assured, I know when I start out on these journeys that shit happens. Sometimes it's good shit; sometimes it sucks. Weather can be great, but more often it's challenging. When I write about the trials of crappy weather, I'm not looking for sympathy. I'm simply talking about life on the road. In fact, I'm usually proud that I encountered these forces and made it through. If every day was a walk in the park, well I'd just take a walk in the park like everyone else and there'd be nothing to talk about.
This led me to think about people talking about what they do when they run into certain weather, and whether or not they meant it that way (perhaps it's me being overly sensitive), I feel like they're saying I should have done it their way. There are so many factors that make up a road trip: type of bike, accessories, the road you're on, traffic, how hard the rain is falling, protective gear, a rider's past experiences, etc... The list is endless. As we say when we're teaching a class, it isn't one thing that causes a crash; it's an interaction of factors. The same thing is true regarding a person's response to adversities. Really, you can't say what you'd do in a situation until you've ridden a mile under those exact circumstances.
That led into the deep subject matter I'm about to bring up: domestic violence. People are so quick to say, "She should just leave," and then they proceed to say that she deserves to be beaten if she sticks around and other similarly harsh remarks. They think that clearly she's stupid or weak or any number of derogatory adjectives. She made a bad decision when she hooked up with the guy in the first place.
OK, let's look at that last statement: she made a bad decision, therefore she deserves what she gets. Come one guys. One of my friends made a comment on Facebook the other day: Women should come with Carfax reports. I don’t profess to know why he made the comment, but it could possibly be that he got involved with someone and found out later that she had some issues that, had he known about them before getting involved, he wouldn’t have. When people are entering into a relationship, they typically don’t present the other person with a list of their character defects. Some people are extremely talented at concealing those defects until the other person has become solidly hooked. It happens to both men and women.
Why doesn’t she leave? Unless a woman is willing to move to a place so far away that she can’t possibly run into the guy or any of his friends or relatives, what’s the point? She’s further angered him by leaving, so he’s now more likely to be more aggressive when he finds her. This is like witness protection. Most people don’t want to leave everything and everyone they know, without any hope of seeing those people again.
This is where the relevance to my trip comes in. I went to Georgia, the place where I gave birth to my son, lived for ten years, yet haven’t been back to in twenty years. I saw a couple of really good friends I haven’t seen in that long. I contacted a few others that I haven’t talked to since I left. Sure, my husband died nine years ago, but by then I’d moved on. Fortunately I was able to move on. Because my family wasn’t in the area, and we aren’t tight anyway, there wasn’t that issue. I was just losing friends. I couldn’t contact them, because I didn’t want to put them in the position of having to keep secrets – or not.
Did I think he was a great guy when I met him? No. This reminds me of a comment I made on Facebook regarding scooter trash. It was funny to see that some of my newer friends thought I was kidding. The man was a 1%er when I met him, and after the death of his mother he went nucking futs. So he was a psycho badass. Bad combination. We started dating after he stopped by the strip club I was working at. Were we innocent? No. If you knew us in that situation, you wouldn’t have cared what either of us did to the other.
But you didn’t “meet” us there. You know me now that I’m long escaped, 18 years sober, have earned both a bachelor and master’s degrees, and basically have my shit together. I’ve found God. I get the feeling that people like to be around me and probably can’t imagine the situation I was in for several years. The thing is, a lot of women can’t pull off what I did. I’m extremely blessed and often know that “there but for the Grace of God go I.” Don’t try to justify why that woman deserves her situation. Consider what it’s like to ride a mile on her bike and say a prayer.