From A Male Victim Of Domestic Violence. (Why I Stayed)

With all the talk of Ray Rice I figured this would be a good opportunity to say a few words.

It seems that many are forgetting that men are abused as well, or simply don’t care. If you don’t then you should, over two-thirds of abusers in domestic abuse cases are women. A rough 70% according to a Harvard Study.

I realize this is completely unrelated to traveling, but it is also a subject that pertains to my life, which this blog happens to be a byproduct of.

You see, I gave up my dreams to travel due to a girl that emotionally and physically abused me. It wasn’t just me that suffered either… my bank account was also abused. All the money I had put aside was spent on her and  I ended up in debt after the purchase of an engagement ring. I gave up my life and my money and to this day I’m still paying my family back for what I had borrowed.

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It was only a short time ago that I got myself out of the horrible cycle that was our relationship and began traveling the world.

As one might assume, this was all quite horrible and honestly I wouldn’t wish my experiences on anyone.

I have emasculating memories of crying almost nightly. I ended up addicted to benzos just to deal with my situation and even ended up in the hospital due to an overdose before I came to my senses.

Why I stayed‬ – Because I believed that was as good as it got, for me.

Why I left – Sometimes having nothing is better than having something.

It’s not often you see men the victim of abuse, or see them talking about it when they are, but I’m not ashamed to admit that I was. It can happen to anyone.

While it was mostly emotional abuse that I suffered.. in one situation, I was punched in the face, before being threatened with a knife and a razor blade. All before being made to look like the villain because of my gender.

What’s funny about domestic violence is that when a man fights back against it, he’s not considered a victim any longer, he’s considered the one that’s being abusive. Society says he has to sit back and accept it. Sexist to be sure. Entitlement really degrades both genders.

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I’m not going to get into my story right now as this isn’t the place for my dirty laundry. However, If I get enough interest I will consider posting it.

Let me tell you though, that it doesn’t matter your gender or the reasons why it happened. Don’t let being the victim of someone else turn you into your own victim.

Today, after a year of running back to who had been hurting me, I run my own life. 9 months later, I’m finally free of that addiction.

For those stuck in abusive relationships who don’t feel there is a way out. Talk to someone who understands or can help.

Talk to me if you have to. I’ve been there. You can contact me here.

Why The Ice Bucket Challenge Is Stupid

Let’s face it… success is relative, and for me the Ice Bucket Challenge has failed in more areas than it succeeded.

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Its biggest success was showing that people were shallower than the buckets of water they were dumping on their heads.

That they were doing was extremely dangerous as these people could easily drown in a puddle of water.

If there is one thing I’ve been made aware of, it’s that.

I just want ONE person to do this and to say “I don’t give a fuck about ALS, I’m just doing it because everyone else is”

Is it so much to ask people to be honest?

The idea is that if you don’t pour a bucket of ice water on your head you have to donate to the ALS Charity, though many of them still donating and giving themselves a pat on the back.

I think the amount of money raised is fantastic even though only a fraction actually goes towards the cause. I also think the reasons on why are superficial and say a lot about humanity. Frankly I’m embarrassed for us all.

I currently live in a third world country, where clean water is harder to come by than in America and awareness comes as simply as walking down the street.

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I could easily stand on a Chinese made soap box and spit on those here with my golden American saliva, but I live among them.

This is what I choose.

I spend time helping them, giving them money, feeding them, spending time with them and learning their languages.

It’s easy to judge the world when you spend your time in it, and today I am full of judgment.

Many people here in the Philippines from what I have gathered, think the ice bucket challenge is ridiculously stupid, though its popularity is rising as the media exchanges coverage for ratings.

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Perhaps there is awareness to be had outside of our self absorption.

How trivial this all is. To live in our egocentric bubbles, wasting what many are dying because they lack, to help a small few.

Hell, a majority of these people still don’t know what ALS is.

As said on Facebook,

“When you consider the countless A-list celebrities who have actively gotten behind this cause by posting videos– the fact that not more than fifteen million dollars has been raised is a tragedy. It’s tragic because I don’t think many of those celebrities even bothered to mention how or where to donate money for ALS research. Most of them just poured water over their heads and named three random people, without including any “call to action” which actually benefits victims of ALS at all. Had all those celebrities given this cause any thought, hundreds of millions of dollars might have been raised, and a whole lot more awareness. Let’s start a new trend– by actually letting people know how to donate.” ~ Steve-O

Awareness comes from education, and of course no one is bothering to educate themselves beyond learning that they like attention.

The videos that are supposedly spreading awareness?

They don’t mention ALS. They don’t mention what it is, or even where to donate.

It’s clear that the purpose of these videos are NOT to spread awareness. ALS is not the reason people are doing this. Plain and simple.

Simply hearing the letters ALS doesn’t spread awareness and neither does seeing videos that don’t attempt to teach.

It gets people on an uneducated bandwagon, doing good for the sake of, “look at me”.

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Don’t get me wrong, I’m a poster boy for attention seekers but I don’t pretend to be a good person to get the attention that I crave.

A few people may jump on to Google to find out what the fuss is about and perhaps kudos to them, for doing something they could have done a long time ago.

At the time of writing this a quick Google search for ALS brings up the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge as the first result. People are more interested in the Challenge than ALS itself.

Most people will not go throughout life without hearing about ALS in their lifetime, their unawareness is simply disinterest.

You really think these people care about important issues?

Let’s use this alternative as an example

ALS affects about 30,000 Americans total, while malaria kills about 600,000 people per year, mostly African children.

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Do you think anyone here is unaware of how many people die in Africa due to disease and starvation? No, everyone knows. How many people care? Not many. Is it because of a lack of awareness? No, it’s because there isn’t some stupid fad with an ice bucket to make it interesting.

Mark my words, and this is a promise. In a years’ time – no one will give two fucks about ALS. Society will be on to the next bandwagon.

Whether it be the latest celebrity dying, or the next gimmick. People simply will not care unless they have a self-centered reason for doing so.

THIS is America, and it’s not changing.  This is what we need to fix.

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I was tested for ALS last year. I knew all about it well before any of this. Hell, I knew about it before I got tested.

I didn’t need a bucket to educate myself on this, I didn’t need my friends jumping on a bandwagon to reach it either.

Self-Interest is NOT ALS-Interest.

That being said, How easy is to become aware of important issues?

Let Me Google That For You: Charities and Causets

Let’s spread some real awareness here while we are at it.

What is ALS?

Where Can I Donate?

It’s really all about perspective, and while some good has come from this, is it worth watching our society decline?

Sad fact is , while we may have been successful at raising money, we are failing as human beings.