Some "Men" Kick Women When They're Already (Figuratively) Down
September 11, 2015
When someone is already down, what should you do? Help them up? At least ignore them? Or, if you're a monster, you might keep kicking them. In fact, there are some people out there (and thank goodness it's not the norm) who think that it's perfectly fine to not just continue kicking, but to maybe jump on their head and spit on them, too.
Such is the story of Robby and Lynn. Lynn was one of my best friends growing up. She stayed in our hometown, married her high school boyfriend, Robby, and they had four kids together. Robby and Lynn's life was far from happy. Robby became an alcoholic and drug addict and, as you can imagine, chaos ruled the day. Finally, after years of abuse, Lynn divorced Robby.
Five months after her diagnosis of stage IV pancreatic cancer, I drove to our hometown to see Lynn and I knew it would be the last time I would see her. Lynn looked healthy. One would never know the horrible treatments she was going through. That's what's tricky about second-guessing someone who is fighting cancer-- sometimes they look as sick as they are, and sometimes not. With Lynn, most of her hair was still intact and she looked fantastic. Behind that façade, her cancer was raging and growing by the minute. We had a great visit and I cried every time I was out of Lynn's presence. During one of our talks, Lynn told me that she knew that her marriage to Robby had made her sick. Robby's abuse had slowly poisoned her soul and her body. Yes, how well I can relate.
Because Lynn didn't have a lot of money, many people in our small town came to her aid. Rusty's, a saloon in town, hosted a fundraiser for Lynn. That night, while Lynn was at the event, Robby showed up drunk and started screaming at her. Another time, Robby called Lynn and told her that she deserved to get cancer because she had divorced him. Shocking, disgusting, immoral and evil.
Lynn died in the early morning one October just days after her 38th birthday. She left behind four children ages 15, 13, and 4-year old twins. Because Robby was in no condition to be a father, Lynn's 28 year old single sister took custody and moved them all to Southern California where she lives. She has been an incredible mother to those kids and I know there is a special place in heaven reserved for her.
The reality is that life with an addict is never good. Still, that doesn't excuse Robby's behavior in the wake of a cancer diagnosis. Simply, when one is down, you don't keep punching and kicking. At a minimum, you back off and walk away. I used to think that Robby was the most vile and evil person I have ever known. I now know that I, too, had my own Robby (my then-husband) and that he was capable of the identical behavior.