Cappuccino Soul

Cappuccino Soul

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I Love Him So -- He Beats Me Too

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As I listened to one of my favorite singers this morning on the way to work, I was reminded how dysfunctional many of her songs are. The singer, Billie Holiday, often sang of love that hurt, both emotionally and sometimes physically.

Listen to one of her iconic hits, “My Man,” and you’re reminded of how this culture not only romanticizes love, but how it tends to romanticize the pain and torture that goes along with dysfunctional, abusive relationships.

“It cost me a lot, but there's one thing that I've got. It's my man …”

OK, everyone knows that love costs and takes a lot of work. Nothing wrong there.

“Two or three girls has he. That he likes as well as me. But I love him.”

Hmmm….. hold on a minute. Why are you staying with this guy who’s blatantly stepping out on you? And you say, you love him? OK…..

“Oh, my man, I love him so. He'll never know. All my life is just despair. But I don't care. When he takes me in his arms, the world is bright. All right.”

No, no, sister. It’s not alright. If all of your life seems like despair when you’re with this dude, then I don’t think he’s for you. Go on….I’m listening.

“I don't know why I should. He isn't true. He beats me, too. What can I do?”

You don’t know why you should, because you shouldn’t. And did you say he beats you? What you can do is call the freakin’ police!

“What's the difference if I say, ‘I'll go away’ When I know I'll come back in my knees someday. For whatever my man is, I’m his … forevermore.”

My advice to you is that you go far far away from him. I don’t care if he’s sobbing, on his hands and knees, with flowers in his hands — begging you to come back. You don’t have to be his. Just learn how to love yourself. Even if it means being alone, by yourself for a while.


6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow…I never noticed the lyrics to this song before although I’ve heard it many times…this one is deep Sis…thanks for the history lesson we forget that we have to take a look back to move forward… Peace
TA

Alicia Benjamin said...

Hey TA,

I love Billie Holiday's music, but I've had to always remind myself that she was a broken person and singing out of dysfunction, a lot.

I can see how far I've come by my evaluation of her music with "today's eyes." I still love her voice and musical ability though. There really is no one like her.

Love you so much,
Alicia

Anonymous said...

ase alicia. i too have listened to singers singing about loving someone in an abusive situation not paying attention to the words, caught up in the emotions. so important to educate our children on true love versus emotional dependency.

Alicia Benjamin said...

Yes sister. I can't tell you how much I listened to Billie Holiday as a young girl, not realizing the agony in the words. Educating my daughter on true love is one of my greatest desires.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it sad what some will go through to say "he's my man". Did you see the punch that Mrs. Rice took in the elevator? But that's my man. On Oprah there is 18 women sleeping with and having babies (over 30) by the same guy. But that's my man. This is not love. I have heard women say "if he don't hit me he don't love me"
WHAT? WAKE UP!!!! I would rather make it on my own than be mistreated.
MaDear

Alicia Benjamin said...

Yes, I saw the elevator scene. It was quite horrifying. I really do hope that the both of them are in counseling.

Some people lose themselves just to have a man (or woman).

alicia