PITTS: Rihanna-Brown abuse case is all too familiar for some of us

  • This artwork by Donna Grethen relates to violence and other stresses in the lives of children.

Dear Robyn Rihanna Fenty: I was maybe 7 years old when this happened.

My old man had been kicked out of the house for being an abuser and a cheat. Now, here he came a few days later, begging forgiveness. Mom wouldn?t open the door, so he pleaded his case through the mail slot, promising to do better, promising to change. Mom stood firm. I, on the other hand, stood bawling like, well <WC>.<TH>.<TH>.<WC1> a kid who missed his Dad. He saw that and he worked me like a 9-to-5 job.

?Dad, I want you to come home,? I wailed.

?I want to,? he said, ?but your mother won?t let me.?

So naturally, I turned on her. ?Mom, why won?t you let Dad come home??

Still she held out. Finally, he left our door. We knelt on the couch and watched him walk toward the car. Halfway to the curb, though, he was seized by some dark impulse that wheeled him around and sent him hurtling toward the window. I ducked before he kicked it in.

Mom didn?t.

She took him back not long afterward. And he beat her on a regular basis until the day, about eight years later, terminal cancer rendered him too sick and weak to do so. I?ve always regretted whatever part my caterwauling played in influencing her to let him come back home.

Ms. Fenty, I know you?ve got a lot of people in your business right now, each with an opinion about how you should run your life. I would not be surprised if you are fed up with it. I would only beg you to put that emotion aside and try to hear what you are being told: If this guy did what you say he did, you need to drop him like a hot rock.

?This guy,? of course, being your boyfriend, singer Chris Brown.

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