This is one of those articles that began with me staring a blank screen. If it were back in the day, I'd have been staring at a blank sheet of paper, which of course would have me segue to a song by Tim McGraw. If you don't know the one, you ought to google it. It's a great song. Of course, I'm a bit partial to Tim McGraw. I love his music. Seems, I'm stalling though, trying to begin an article about a very serious topic, and I don't quite know how to start. So forgive me, if I ramble aimlessly for awhile and try to share something that matters to me.
This article is indirectly about what's going on with Oscar Pistorius, and the terrible tragedy that occurred last year on Valentine's Day. If you have not heard about the death of Mr. Pistorius' girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, she was killed last year. Her boyfriend, an athlete from South Africa who competed in the London Olympics, has been charged with murdering his girlfriend. If you do a quick google search, you'll see stories about how Oscar made his mark by competing in the para-olympics first, and then competed against able bodied athletes. Based on everything I've read, he seemed to have a dynamic following, and was loved by many.
So last year, on Valentine's Day, Oscar Pistorius is alleged by South African authorities to have murdered his girlfriend. He claimed that he thought there was an intruder in the bathroom, and that he shot through the door unknowingly killing his girlfriend. This case is fascinating me. In many ways, I feel I can relate to the crime, and it's hitting a bit closer to home than I had expected. Perhaps the reason is because the prosecution is claiming that Mr. Pistorius is a cold blooded killer, who fabricated the story about an intruder, and killed his girlfriend in a fit of rage. The prosecution claims that Ms. Steenkamp was petrified and hiding in the bathroom.
I can remember the day, as though it was yesterday. I was sitting in a bathroom praying that my now ex-boyfriend would leave my house. I don't remember what it was that caused me to be terrified, or what lead me to run and hide, but I remember hiding. My ex-boyfriend would be described by so many a 'great guy' and I'm sure that many people would be surprised to learn that there was a day when he caused me to be so petrified that I would lock the door and pray for my safety. Yet, that's exactly what did happen. He was furious at me, and I was furious at him. The argument we had all stemmed from him not doing something he had promised to do, and me reacting to it. I don't remember all of the details, but it had something to do with him failing to call me when he was on a trip after he'd promised to call when his plane landed. He didn't. When he got back home, he stopped by my home. I was angry that he just walked in as though he was 'all that' and had neglected to call when he had promised. I had been super sick and he knew it, and I felt it was the least he could do, to check on me while he was gone.
Our relationship was one of those love-hate relationships. Perhaps you've had one. I hope to never have one again. I've lived and learned and realized that it's not all it's cracked up to be. My ex-boyfriend carried a gun. He was employed in law enforcement and he, like I said, is a 'great guy' but he is also incredibly volatile. I used to be convinced he had suffered from a brain injury that caused him to be so crazy at times. Truth be told, there were days when I questioned my own sanity and asked myself why I was allowing myself to be involved with someone so unpredictable, and quite frankly scary. In retrospect, I'd like to think that I was meant to learn from it. I have walked in the shoes of the woman who has been so in love that she can't see straight, and she is immersed in a relationship that makes little sense to others.
I've read countless books to help me understand it. My childhood was a possible variable. Growing up with such an abusive tyrant, would likely cause me to be most comfortable with a man who would be horribly abusive. Then there was the fact that he was employed as a detective, and so one might suggest I had a need or desire to feel protected. There is, of course, the true power of love that might have played a part, but sometimes I think the attraction was so powerful, that it was something more.
So what do I think when I hear that Reeva Steenkamp might have been so scared that she was hiding in the bathroom and fearing for her life. Do I automatically think that Mr. Pistorius is guilty of killing her. Well, I do think it is plausible. If she was leaving him, he might have become so enraged that he couldn't see straight. Blind rage can do that to a person. Controlling men who become so intoxicated with their object of interest, where they feel that object is their possession rather than a person, will do almost anything to maintain possession of that object. Of course, possessive love is romantic in movies, but it's not healthy in real life.
I do think that Oscar Pistorius might have killed his girlfriend. I also think he might have truly loved her, in a way that he loved. I even feel for him if she wanted to leave him, and he was deeply involved with her. Yet, nobody has a right to own another human being. It's as bad as slavery. If a person wants to leave, as hard as that is, they should be free to do so. Holding someone hostage in a relationship is not love, it's possession.
There is no deeper love than a love based on mutual respect for a whole person. An intimate exchange that is physical, emotional and spiritual. This type of love does not benefit from any restraints, unless those restraints are truly consensual and given freely. If Mr. Pistorius did kill his girlfriend, it's sad. The truth is that he had no right. As much as I feel for him, the truth is that even greater compassion should go out to the victim and her family.