Abuse, Media, Rape, Relationships

High Off A love Drunk From The Hate

Today I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts This American Life.  And this week’s episode was about family.  The first story told was about Harlow’s Monkeys.

Apparently, earlier in the history of the study of psychology it was thought that affection for children was detrimental to their health.  Harry Harlow opposed this line of thinking and did experiments on baby monkeys to prove his theory.

Basically he put them in a cage with a “Mother” (doll) that was made of soft warm terry cloth and a Mother that was wire but had a bottle with food inside.  And the monkeys had to choose a mother.  Would they go for the one that provided comfort or the one that provided nourishment?  Love (or softness) wins.

The podcast goes on to describe some of Harlow’s other experiments.  Including one that I found really interesting.  In one experiment he made the cloth Mothers “attack” the monkeys.  The monkeys would cling to the doll and dull spikes would shoot out and hurt the monkey.

And every time the monkeys would come back.  Apologetic.  The monkey would coo and stroke and groom and flirt and do everything they could to make the mother love them again.

Did you catch that?  They would be abused by their “Mother” and then they would come back sorry and do everything they could to fix this relationship because they loved Mother so much.

That sounds like just about any abusive relationship I’ve ever heard of.

Just gonna stand there
And watch me burn
But that’s alright
Because I like
The way it hurts
Just gonna stand there
And hear me cry
But that’s alright
Because I love
The way you lie
I love the way you lie

There are so many ways to interpret so much of this song.  My housemates and I have spent a lot of time talking about the options and how respectable both of these artists are for making this song which obviously is very personal for both of them.

One way to take this chorus is that you’re hurt and your partner is just watching, enjoying your pain.  And all you can think of is how much you love them.  How worthwhile this is for the rest of your relationship.  I’ve never been in a relationship like this and I don’t want to pretend to know.  But I will say that this sounds disturbingly like the monkeys.

And if that’s the case then maybe that’s just part of the human (primate?) condition.  That we’re destined to let our love eclipse even our desire to live.  I hope that’s not the case

One of my housemates does a lot to combat domestic violence.  She’s a part of organizations and raises money.  I hope she’s a hero for a lot of women.

If you’re in an abusive relationship then the only thing I can say to you is that you deserve better.  If I say nothing else I want to say that.  Even your worst enemy deserves better.

On getting out of her relationship with Chris Brown Rihanna said this

“I remember I was in New York at the Trump Hotel and I woke up and I just knew I was over it. It was a different day. I felt different. I didn’t feel lonely…I felt like I wanted to get up and be in the world. That was a great, great feeling.”
You’re amazing.  You’re worth it.  Get out.

1 thought on “High Off A love Drunk From The Hate”

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