Through the 8 hour documentary the most extraordinary thing to me was the simplicity inside the complexity. A Domestic Violence case that ended up killing two people and then got completely hijacked by the media, celebrity-ism, racism, and so much more. It's a stunning representation of the full reality as it all exists. Working all the time in all of our lives. I've had several conversations lately about the T.V. show "The People vs O.J" which I heard was eye opening for many. However, the documentary is not actors playing the parts of someone else's true story. The documentary is the true story with private footage, interviews with the real people involved and so much more.
I'm going to stay on the Domestic Violence path exclusively because without that, none of this would have happened.
For me this is a story of a man/father and woman/mother who needed serious help. Both of them.
On a personal level, when this happened I didn't know who O.J. Simpson even was. My knowing he existed only happened when I saw that white bronco. From there, a few months after that, Donovan was born and then he died. So I was...preoccupied. My only memory was: I wanted him to be innocent. Not because he was OJ Simpson but because the thought that a father could leave his own children motherless was inconceivable to me. I wanted to believe that wasn't possible. At that time, I was a young married woman, the mother of a toddler and also pregnant.
Now two decades later, and after watching the fullness via this documentary...what I was present to the most was how: there really was nothing said or shown that felt remotely inconceivable to me. All of the missing information/context was all provided in a way that just provided the information.
Men, women and children: Families and domestic violence. Relevant and an equal opportunity abuser. I wish someone had helped this family months before this ever happened. If they only got the help they needed...If someone had taken Nicole's fear seriously. If only people didn't take sides and instead cared enough about everyone in a family to see to it that everyone gets the help they need.
In 2009, Kris Jenner was interviewed by E Hollywood.
"He wanted Nicole to be a part of his life at any cost. It was almost an obsessive kind of love, when you think about it now and I look back…There's signs that, I think that, looking back on it now, that I would have been more adamant about having her address, you know, because she did have a lot of fear that she expressed to all of us at the end."
"There was a lot of stuff going on with him, personally, and she was living in a state of fear at that time. That was undeniable… It was very divided. He had his side, and she had her side. So the friends divided. I was on one team—Nicole team—and my ex-husband was on team O.J. And it divided families. It divided friends. It divided children. Her family was in a very horrible situation because there's kids involved. It was a pretty awful time."
I bow down to pray
I try to make the worst seem better
Lord, show me the way
To cut through all his worn out leather
I've got a hundred million reasons to walk away
But baby, I just need one good one to stay
Can't you give me what I'm needin', needin'
Every heartbreak makes it hard to keep the faith
But baby, I just need one good one
Good one, good one, good one, good one, good one
MADE IN AMERICA
In the documentary one of the female jurors states very clearly that she has no respect for any woman who allows herself to be beaten.
I can't be sure which is worse, the level of ignorance regarding how these things develop or the attitude of "she deserved it." It was clear though that no one gave a shit about how brutally OJ beat Nicole. They got it, they just didn't care. Of course this was the same juror, when asked if the not guilty verdict was pay back for Rodney King, she answered very honestly YES. Now though, she has more information and time has gone by. And although she doesn't see things the same way now that she did then...When asked if she felt she made the right decision. She said, she felt she made the right decision at that time.
And that's the thing about life, we can only do what feels right "at that time."
That's all of us evolving on the planet as we experience life. None of what she said surprised me or offended me either. Not because I don't have a very specific sense of what's right or wrong to me personally but because, this is the reality of people and the systemic issues in our culture mirror our family culture.
I believe, in many situations, if people had the same opportunity Ebenezer Scrooge had, they would make very different decisions. As I write that... I can hear all of the nations: "Bah! Humbugs!" coming at me....Yet, I truly believe that. These jurors are left with whatever they are left with inside of their consciousness. We all have to live with and are left with whatever we are left with in our consciousness. Guilty, or not guilty, the loss remains forever lost.
According to the National Institute of Justice, over one third (37%) of women admitted to an emergency room for violence-related injuries were abused by an intimate partner.
One in three women in the United States are physically abused by a partner at some point in their lives.
The Center for Disease Control reports that approximately 1.3 million women are physically abused each year in the United States.
Women are much more likely to be victims of intimate partner violence with 85 percent of domestic abuse victims being women and 15 percent men. Too many women have been held captive by domestic violence — whether through physical abuse, financial abuse, emotional abuse or a combination of all three.
1 really is 2 many and that includes the 15% men.
"I have no respect for any woman who allows herself to be beaten"
I ask myself, how numb, how disconnected, how unconscious or how deeply wounded does a woman need to be - to be able to say "I don't respect any woman who allows herself to be beaten?"
I think...Damn! there it is-again. Again and again. And again. It would be super easy to stereotype that woman in the documentary. However she is not alone in having the "she deserved it," mentality. That mentality is an epidemic in our society.
I ask myself, what happened to HER. What pain has she endured? What is she hiding? What's her story? I'm clear, she has a story. Violence exists every day between women. Every time a woman says "I have no respect for women who allow themselves to be beaten." she creates division. That is different than being angry that our favorite women are in situations we don't want them to be in. Very different.
The topic of domestic abuse which is a top runner for why divorce happens. It's right up there with substance abuse and mental illness. It's all mixed in.
You know, there are families who look wonderful now but back in the day, there was abuse happening. These families moved through that and the abuse no longer happens but for others, someone ends up dead. If they stay or not. Either way. That's reality as it exists for a lot of families and a part of why this is an epidemic.
By promoting families staying together, we sort of promote all kinds of levels of domestic violence.
Yet leaving doesn't have the power to stop domestic violence from happening. It often escalates it and or makes it worse, it depends.
By promoting divorce, we sort of promote, something dishonest too because divorce does not have all the freedom and power we think it has. In situations that have been abusive for decades, very often, divorce makes things that much harder to address and deal with.
In this way, it is not marriage or divorce that helps or hurts.
This statement from Kris Jenner is a universal truth regardless of outcome:
He had his side, and she had her side. So the friends divided. I was on one team—Nicole team—and my ex-husband was on team O.J. And it divided families. It divided friends. It divided children. Her family was in a very horrible situation because there's kids involved. It was a pretty awful time."
When children are involved-the side to take is the side of the entire family's healing. Before anything tragic actually happens.
There are actually 5 children involved and two of those children lost a sibling in a swimming pool incident. This father (OJ) had three children with his first wife and two more with Nicole. His first wife who has been silent was interviewed on Barbara Walters many years ago. This was not covered in the 8 hour documentary. At that time, there were rumours there was one incident of abuse where the cops were called. Similar, by the way to our current president and his first wife. Those incidents mysteriously disappear with men who have financial power and the women who have children with those men. Women often swallow truth to protect their children. There is nothing new about that. People who don't have biological children, or any children often can't comprehend or don't get the depth of biological factors involved in any parents decision making process.
OJ and his first wife lost their third child. A little girl.
In the interview with Barber Walters (And this was not shared in the 8 hour documentary), his first wife denies the abuse but does say he was terrible to deal with in addition to his stream of affairs.
Interestingly, According to PennLive , he made the confession in 2008 for a new documentary released by his manager Norman Pardo.
"I was unfaithful to both of my wives, and it's what I've regretted most in my life," he says in the film, called " O.J. In His Own Words ."
Im not really sure that's a confession as everyone seemed to know all about his affairs, including his wives.
Nicole, was an 18 year old when they met. She was a teenager. Not a girl but not yet a woman. A little persons formative years may be the age of 5 or 8 years old but a young woman who is still a teenager-while she may be physically fully formed she is still not a woman. She will grow, shift and continue to change. Our teenage years are also very tender developmental years in many ways, therefore-when a man who is almost 12 years older who has already made his way in the world, is already in fatherhood (and more) enters a teenage girls life-and he starts beating her as if he's her abusive father -he is the one who has lost his way and his own self respect.
How this gets repeatedly turned around where both men and women "don't respect the woman," well that's nothing new there. It is how how our insidiously sick culture operates.
When she was pregnant he called his wife a fat cow, pig. While she was creating human beings, at the height of hormones -he is inserting these concepts into a young pregnant woman's psyche. Meanwhile, the world continues to applaud him and bash her.
Yes, if we want to talk about the divide - let's really talk about it. Let's talk about How the cycle of abuse is not one where a woman just allows herself to be beaten. (Physically or otherwise) that is just not how it happens. That is not how abuse works.
And here I go...repeating myself...by sharing these three things over and over and over again.
...The Mask Men Live in
Education is key
I love this written work by David Deida. Many of my favorite male advocates do not like his work. However it doesn't matter to me if you are gay, straight or bi-sexual.... there will be challenges with work, women and sexual desire and David Deida address's them all.
"BE A MAN"
That's just...my not so humble opinion
Dude in a lab coat and a man of God
(Come onto mama, come on, mama)
Fought over prisms and a forty-day flood
(Come onto mama, come on, mama)
Well, I say rainbows did more than they've ever done
So why do we gotta fight over ideas?
We're talkin' the same old shit after all of these years
Psychic guru catches minnows in the harbor
(Come onto mama, come on, mama)
Everyone tells him he should work a little harder (hey man get to work, catch up)
(Come onto mama, come on, mama)
They all tell you that freedom must be bought
But, baby, he's already caught them
So why do we gotta tell each other how to live?
The only prisons that exist are ones we put each other in