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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

reminiscing isn't always a good thing

so this chris brown/rihanna scandal sparked some interesting conversation over the last few days.

when we heard about it over the weekend, the teen said "what the heck did rihanna DO that got her beat up?"

and i was alarmed. i couldn't believe that the first thing that came to her mind was that it was the victim's fault. i told her so, and added that it's never okay for a man to raise his hand to a woman, especially in anger.

she said "yeah, i know, i don't know what i was thinking when i said that." but it still bothered me. and yesterday, as we watched another story about the incident on tv, she pulled out her copy of "seventeen" magazine that talked about red flags in relationships. it was a list of things designed to teach teenage girls to recognize any warning signs with their boyfriends, like if he insults you, or tries to control you, or ever slaps/hits/pushes you. it made me kind of sad that the magazine i remembered from my own teenage years now had to include articles like this. it's good to make teens aware of that kind of stuff, but still sad, you know?

and then it turned into a totally different discussion - and i'm not entirely sure that i did the right thing.

i told her about the instances of abuse (not sexual or anything like that, but shoving and smacking and that kind of thing) i endured with her father, many many moons ago.

i could see that she was shocked - and rightly so. i immediately regretted it, and i told her so. she and i have a really great, open relationship. we can tell each other pretty much anything, and often do. but i wonder if i crossed the line with this particular revelation. i know she won't ever say anything to him about it, and she said that she was really surprised because he didn't seem to have a temper these days. i told her that the moment any boy pulls any shit like that with her, to walk away and never look back, and reminded her that she could come to me with anything, anytime, no matter what. i also said that i really should have practiced what i was preaching, but that i couldn't regret it because i wouldn't have her if i'd left. and now that whole conversation is really weighing on my mind.

did i fuck up?

did i??



  1. You and the Teen have such an honest and open relationship, it seems natural that you would eventually share with her your past experiences with her dad. At the same time, I would stress that people do have the capacity to grow, change and learn from their mistakes, which hopefully, your ex has done.

    From what you've shared about the Teen, it sounds like she's very mature and level-headed for her age. But it might be good to check in with her and help her process your discussion and allow her to ask you questions if she wants.

    But what the hell do I know. I can barely raise a plant.

  2. I don't think you crossed the line. You were being a good mom. You are educating her so she will never go through what you went through. I have never met you or your daughter. But from what I read on your blog, you guys have a great relationship. And she seems like a very smart girl. You did the right thing!

  3. i don't think you crossed the line at all...but i do think you should re-visit the conversation again. perhaps point out that your relationship with her dad is completely different than hers with him.

    oh...and i hear that Rihanna gave Chris Brown herpes who alledgedly got it from Jay-Z...hence the smackdown. not saying it's right...just sayin'


  4. I have no clue if you fucked up or not, but I am so, so glad you talked to her about making the comment about what did R do to deserve it. A+

  5. You didn't fuck up. The Teen is old enough to hear both the good and bad about your relationship with her father. I am sure that somewhere in the back of her mind she is wondering what went wrong. That is normal for anyone whose parents are no longer together.

    You are a fantastic mother and have done a phenominal job raising your girls. If anything, I think the Teen just added your experience with her father to the reasosns Wan is a badass list. Not only that, but you managed to convey your point with grace and, more importantly, without badmouthing her father. Furthermore, you were able to turn it around and make it a lesson for the Teen. I am sure if she has any reservations about your conversation she will tell you.

  6. Hmm. Tough call.

    On a completely inappropriate and somewhat related note, the current rumor is that Rihanna gave Chris Brown herpes.


    Of course, that still doesn't warrant a beatdown.

  7. As someone who has dealt with DV in the context of prosecution, no, you did not fuck up at all. All too often victims are reluctant to testify or don't ever call the police until they are seriously injured, because no one has ever told them (or showed them) that it is not okay to be treated in such a way.

    The teen is so lucky to have someone like you as a mom.

  8. i don't think you effed up. you guys have an open and honest relationship and i think eventually this would have come up between you. i knew way more about my parent's relationship that maybe wanted to know at the time, but i think it also contributed to how close i felt to her. i knew i could go to her with anything, you know?

    also, big thumbs up for correcting her first comment. and i'd feel the same way if the genders were reversed. it's never okay to hit/slap/punch someone. never.

  9. I'm with venn on this one - I can barely keep a plant alive so I'm not going to say if you effed up or not.

    hopefully you can talk to her againt to reiterate that you hope she would learn from what happened in your past.

    or something like that. :/

  10. hmmm, i don't think you effed up, I mean she's getting older and you guys have such a good relationship, I think that obviously helps in the end. I also think she'll take your words to heart even more, and yes~ so glad you corrected her comment. NO one deserves that, ever.

  11. Im not a parent so what do I know but I think honesty can never be a bad thing. I think it'd be good if you checked in again with her later. good luck!

  12. I dont think u effed up. I think that the teen is level headed enough to understand you were not trying to "slam" her dad or ruin their relationship. I agree with pp who said she was probably curious as to what went down between you two and well...its the truth. I think the WHOLE convo was the right thing, honestly.

  13. I also don't think you effed up. You are such an incredible mother to both the teen and the bean, not to mention an amazing wifey to your hubby. Teenagers now are faced with much more junk than we were, for better or worse, so it's so important you have the relationship you have with her. I'm really glad you were open with her. It makes it that much more likely she'll come to you when something happens and she needs you. My opinion, for what it's worth...

    Speaking of WeeMo's comment, I can't believe she gave him herpes...ick! I'm googling that now...

  14. I think it's important that you made sure she understood the seriousness of the situation. what she found out about her dad is just a truth that she'll have to process. All part of growing up, I guess!

  15. I'm with the non-parent plant killers, here, but I agree with the comment that honesty is never bad.

  16. I can't really help all that much either. However, I was shocked today when I was talking about it with someone at work and when I said I hoped C.B. gets what he deserves,
    CW: I dunno, maybe she had it coming...
    Me: ::blank stare::
    CW: Like maybe she was cheating on him or something.
    Me: So you break up with her, you don't wail on her.
    CW: I dunno...
    Me: ::walks away...::
    If one good thing can come of this whole ordeal, it's that women become more of their own advocate and don't tolerate abuse whatsoever.

  17. This serial plant killer here has no idea whether you did the right or wrong thing, but considering how strong and mature the teen is I can't imagine you doing much damage regardless :)

    I kid. I kid.

  18. From the other side of the coin, you didn't do anything wrong. My mom used to tell me tons of stuff about her past and her relationship with my dad that in retrospect she probably shouldn't have. But I was able to understand where she was coming from and be objective about the situation - and I think the Teen is probably at least as mature as I was, if not more mature.

  19. I think telling her might make her understand that you can't always predict who is going to cross the line and raise a hand. It also shows her that people who've made that mistake in the past can change and be better if they want to. Opening that door and sharing that experience gives her another area she can be honest with you about if it ever comes up.

    As parents, we can't do everything right all the time. All we can do is be honest, loving, and available. Hopefully that will be enough. As teen R, I would have wanted my Mom to tell me if it had happened.

  20. No, I think honesty is good. She is old enough to be able to handle that information, and it may help her make good choices when she starts dating.

  21. On the late bus here. What's new?

    No I don't think you effed up at all. I do know that it has changed her perspective of her father. No one wants to think that their parents could do any wrong.

    I think it's great that you talked to the teen about that. I know I was in an awful relationship when I was young and didn't know that it's NOT okay. I think that it's great that those articles are now open for public education.

    Physical and mental abuse has been going on for eons and letting other women know that they can walk away and that this is wrong.

    In the end, you didn't eff up.

  22. i can understand the heartache and the second thoughts, but i think you did the right thing. it's not easy. but i agree with eeryone else, you have a great relationship with the teen and you're very open with her. and, a lot of times people think domestic violence only happens to other people. it's a tough lesson, but one she'd learn eventually. . . i saw in your other post that things are all good, but i just wanted to reiterate that i never want to see a 'worst mom in the world' tag again, k? xoxoxo


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