Why you should care
Some boys are taught that men should hit women. Anthony Hamilton was one of those boys. He had to unlearn all of that himself.
Empty and crying, I looked into the mirror and for the first time in my life, I saw my father. I had become my worst nightmare.
But to me, I wasn’t the kind of abuser who hit his girl for no reason. I thought my acts were validated. I was always in the right. Just like my father.
The first time I remember hitting a female, I was about 17 years old. She’d done nothing to offend me. It was just something about my being in control and my wanting her to understand: I was stronger than her. I was a man. How empty I must have been to have thought that my being larger than she was would ever make me more powerful. What I was, was ignorant and emotionally impotent.
I remember asking her a question and her not answering me the way I wanted her to, and walking over to her and slapping her for no reason at all, just because I could. As she held her face with both hands, I felt nothing and did nothing to comfort her. I felt in control, as if I had somehow gained the rights to her every movement. But in reality, I was the one who was stuck. Sure, from birth I had been beaten, but I had no right to do to her what was done to me.
At the time, I was a high school football player who believed he could always win, but could not get past myself long enough to see that I was already losing. There wouldn’t be many young ladies that I would abuse over the years, but I would come to learn that one is too many.
I was 18 years old when I went off to college, handsome and starving for attention. For four years I lived a promiscuous college life. I lived as I had been shown. I respected no one. I was difficult to read. But one thing I could never hide was the rage.
And then, one day, God sent an angel to me in the form of a young lady name Celeste. She was the first woman who ever stood up to me. One day I grabbed her by the arm and started in on her. And she said, calmly: “You better not. If you ever raise your hands to hit me, I’m gonna call the police on yo ass.” That was what it took for me to stop. I could tell she was serious; she wasn’t playing. The end had come and I was tired. That was it, that was all. No more …
But like an addict, I fell back into my drug. Years later, married and deep into a professional football career, I was living in California, apart from my family. My wife called me one day with an ultimatum: football or family. I chose family. But upon returning home, I discovered that my wife had been seeing another man and I lost it.
All I remember after she told me that she was going to continue seeing him was my right hand striking the left side of her face. In a matter of seconds, the right side of my heart had grown vacant. That was my turning point and the last moment I spent in the volatile world that raised me.
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SOURCE: Ozy – Anthony Hamilton