Saturday, July 16, 2011

My Love/Hate Relationship with Chris Brown

Seeing Chris Brown on the Today Show made me swoon even though he had a Milli Vanilli moment. When Chris Breezy first burst onto the scene, I fell in love. My co-workers teased me for crushing on such a young boy, but my infatuation persisted regardless of what anyone had to say. “You like that teeny-bopper,” they teased. “Yup,” I said without a hint of guilt in my voice as I continued to listen to and buy his music. I fell in love with his dance moves, his smooth silky voice, and I wasn’t ashamed to admit that I was a cougar in love with a boy almost half my age.

Then the Rihanna thing happened. My emotions went from love, to shock, to feeling betrayed and then to anger. I stayed angry for a very long time, too. I, myself, was the victim of a domestic violence incident at the age of 19, and once you experience something like that, it never dies within you. So when I saw Rihanna’s face, I cringed and viewed Chris Brown as a monster. It hurt to even look at him, which was tough because at the time I was seeing someone who was a dead ringer for Chris Brown, but that’s another story for another day.

So here you have this woman (me) who was a victim of domestic violence who was in the middle of writing a book about domestic violence who was confronted with her idol being an abuser. How does one handle that? At the time, I wouldn’t listen to his music on the radio, I put his CDs that I owned away and refused to buy anymore of his music. But then time went on and after a year or so, he truly seemed sorry for what he did. Should he have to suffer for the rest of his life for a mistake he made? I asked myself. I know I’ve made plenty of mistakes that people would probably stone me for if they knew about them. Just admitting that to myself made me begin to slowly forgive him. But, at the same time, it felt like cognitive dissonance. How do I support the fight against domestic violence and like him at the same time—the epitome of the abuser? I wondered.

When his career began to take a turn for the better, I was secretly rooting for him. After all, he IS a fellow Taurus born one day after me (on May 5th). I rooted for him because he deserved a second chance, and at the time I, too, was hoping for a second chance in my life. I felt like his kindred spirit. I just wanted him to learn his lesson so my support for him would not be in vain.

I still haven’t resolved the cognitive dissonance I feel for crushing on him the way that I do…cognitive dissonance that reached a pinnacle when I tried to decide whether or not to follow him on Twitter (I eventually did).  But here’s to hoping he will keep his promise and never hit another woman again (or throw chairs out windows). One of his biggest fans is praying that he keeps his promise. If he doesn’t, well…

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