Tuesday Tunes: Crash The Gates

OOE collage crash the gates

 

It’s finally starting to feel like autumn outside and we’ve got a cozy playlist to keep you warm. Check it out on Spotify and share with us what you’ve been listening to this week!

 

1. Red-Taylor Swift

2. For Baltimore-All Time Low

3. Colder Weather-Zac Brown Band

4. Vicious Love-New Found Glory

5. Pressure-The 1975

6. Girls-Mayday Parade

7. Safest Place-Echosmith

8. Miss Missing You-Fall Out Boy

9. Better Luck Next Time-We Are The In Crowd

10. Layla-Eric Clapton

11. Gone Tomorrow-The Staves

12. Persistent-New Found Glory

13. Young & Beautiful-Lana Del Rey

14. Crash The Gates-Yellowcard

University of South Alabama Domestic Violence Training Seminar

prevention-intervention-education

 

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic or intimate partner violence is a devastating social problem that many of you will encounter on a daily basis upon employment, especially those students in the medical fields, working with children, providing mental health care, or in criminal justice.

Who: All students, particularly those going into the helping fields (medical, mental health, social services, criminal justice, education, ect.)

What: Domestic Violence 101, a workshop facilitated by experts in the community who deal with this prevalent social issue daily

When: October 15th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Where: Library Auditorium

Why: This training will look good on a resume. A certificate of attendance will be available for participants. Many professors are offering extra credit for participation. Community service hours are also available.

This training was coordinated by the Violence Prevention Alliance and Counseling and Testing Services.

 

For Better or Worse

 

The author of this post wishes to remain anonymous.

The pregnancy was a surprise, and no one but us knew on our wedding day. But it would be okay, we told ourselves – we loved each other and we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together, baby or not. We were committed to making it work. We refused to ever use the “D-word” – because it wasn’t an option. For better or for worse, in sickness and in health, we would stick it out together.

It had been two years since we met, before anything ever happened. The first time you call the police and they show up at your door, he says it was just a misunderstanding. That it was just an accident, you were arguing, and things got out of hand. There’s a male officer who says, “My wife and I argued a lot too when our first child was born. It’s hard.” And he asks your husband’s time away, because this happens to everyone. It’s normal.

Nothing happens again for months, and the good times far outnumber the bad. Even with an infant, you always make time for date nights. You tell yourself that being shoved that one time was just a fluke. You shouldn’t have overreacted and called the cops.

He’s not like the husbands you see in the movies or read about in the news – he doesn’t come home and get drunk, belligerent, and yell or hit you when he’s under the influence. He would never lie to you or cheat on you. And besides, all that really matters is that he would never lay a hand on his child, because he’s not like those other men who abuse their partners and then become abusive fathers, too.

Not to mention, you’re educated, you contribute an income, and abuse just isn’t something that happens to women like you. At least, that’s what you convince yourself, even if the statistics say otherwise.

Until one day he shoves you again mid-argument, and you nearly fall over from the force. There’s only one reason you don’t slam into the table behind you: your almost one-year-old is in your arms, and you would do anything to protect her. He says that it’s your fault that it happened; that you pushed him to the point where he lost control of his emotions. You call the cops again, but they (two male officers again) threaten to arrest both of you this time and take away your baby if you can’t “work things out and grow up.”

You get a house together, hoping that moving on – physically and emotionally – will improve things. Sometimes you argue, but most of the time things are fine. Having a better and bigger place gives you something to look forward to – decorating and rearranging furniture and buying new things. The newness of it all makes you feel as if everything is starting fresh, and the past is all behind you.

Except when you can’t escape it. During another argument, you try to leave the house with your now-toddler. The cops always said to just take some time apart, to walk away from the situation before it escalates. You know that calling them won’t help – they won’t believe you, they’ll downplay what’s happened, they’ll take his side because you’re “emotionally unstable” and he’s calm and collected. But he refuses to move his car and let you leave, and the more you cry, the less he seems to care…

Later that weekend, his mother asks you what happened to the front of your car. Did a tree branch fall on it? You just smile and say politely, “It’s fine; don’t worry about it!” The first of many lies you’ll tell to preserve your image.

Because there’s no easy way to explain the truth. That you screamed and cried and begged him to let you leave, while your daughter sat in the back, buckled in her car seat, watching it all unfold. That a minor tap to his car’s front bumper led him to take a snow shovel and beat your car’s hood until it was permanently deformed.

That this time, you drove off before the cops showed up, because you were too scared to stay. That you stayed away for hours, biding time at the store and then the parking lot, sitting in the backseat while she ate and slept in her car seat, because you had nowhere else to go.

A few weeks later, another lie. Your foot was accidentally stepped on, and that’s why you have a broken bone. Even though a toe doesn’t break that easily, his family believes you. Or, at least, they stop asking questions, which is all that matters, because he’s sitting right next to you.

Before then, you never had bruises or broken bones, no physical proof that you were being hurt. He’s always said he would never lay a hand on a woman, and that he’s never hit you. Being stomped on as he tries to take the baby away from you isn’t the same as hitting you, right? You screamed out in pain and told him to move, that it was hurting you, that you could feel the bone breaking in your foot. He tells you that you’re making it up, even as you’re on the floor, crying as he carries her out of the kitchen in his arms, telling her that you’re crazy.

You start believing it, twisting the facts to paint a prettier picture of your marriage and your family. You tell different lies to different sets of people, and it gets harder to keep track of them all. Every argument always ends the same way – he says he’ll never leave, and that this house is as much his and it is yours. It’s not his fault that you’re out of your mind and overly sensitive.

He says he doesn’t need to change, and you can’t change him. You’re the problem.

A year goes by. Things get better, mostly because you both make a concerted effort to avoid conflict and escalations of arguments. Partly because you tired of fighting, but partly because, underneath it all, the love is still there. Your daughter is old enough to understand everything around her, and you both vow to be better.

But you’re always wondering, in the back of your mind, whether there will be another trigger. Whether the next time will be even worse. Whether you really are the problem.

People will often tell you to “just get out and leave” or ask you why someone so smart and capable would choose to stay. But the reality is that abuse isn’t always clear-cut, relationships are complex, and every situation is different. There’s so much at stake – the love you have for each other, the life you’ve worked so hard to build together, the family and friends who were witnesses to the commitment you made on your wedding day.

For better or for worse, we still believe in making it work.

October-Domestic Violence

share your story

This month we’re discussing Domestic Violence. We recognize that this is a very sensitive topic and may be triggering for some. At Open Our Eyes, we pride ourselves on giving everyone a platform to honestly share their stories. We do not claim that every situation is the same and should be handled the same way with any of our blogs, but particularly with Domestic Violence. Again, these are individual stories.

We ask that those sharing their stories this month be applauded for their bravery to come forward. As always, we encourage honest conversation but please keep in mind the delicate nature of this topic when commenting.

It also should be understood that no blog we ever post is a direct representative of Open Our Eyes as an organization but is a representation of the people within our community.

If you are interested in sharing your story this month, please email elizabeth@openoureyes.org. You can remain anonymous and as always you’re free to share as little as much as you’re comfortable with.

Thank you for allowing us to facilitate this conversation and open eyes across the world.

Listen To This: Gerard Way ‘Hesitant Alien’

Words by Adriana Sanchez

Former My Chemical Romance frontman, Gerard Way took the world by a storm with his astonishing yet booming vocals, extraordinary inventiveness, flamboyant showmanship, while also being dubbed as an emo savior. With MCR’s sudden disbandment, fans were left unsure whether that would be the end of music for Way as he openly discussed his depression and relapse with alcoholism. After battling his personal issues with substance abuse, Way was able to kick his addiction in 2004. In a 2010 interview, he revealed that he had gained the self-control to enjoy the occasional drink once again, but recently decided he wanted to live his life sober for himself and his family. Now a married man with a young daughter, Way is an award-winning comic book writer, a world renowned rock star, and is living out a dream that he once thought wasn’t possible.

Lucky for us, Gerard Way is kicking off his solo debut with the highly anticipated album, Hesitant Alien. As he reemerges as a soloist, Way has ditched the fast-paced punk aesthetic that embodied MCR’s sound, but rather exchanged it for some wild fuzz and radical distortion

Throughout the entirety of the record, there are hints of Way’s own favorites as he channels in his love of glam rock artists and Brit-pop influences. At first listen, the opening track “Bureau” gives almost a Hendrix-like vibe with the start of a heavy riff that blends into something darker as the song continues with a prominent backing beat. Following that is the single, “Action Cat”. As the first released song off the record, the song definitely catches the overall mood of the album with an upbeat, catchy head bobber. Way experiments with strong backing vocals, which is something not heard in any of his previous work, and a low-fi edge in “No Shows”. The effects add an interesting dynamic to the song as it brings some diversity to the song. “Brother” is the oddball on the track listing with its softer alternative sound that seems as though it should be played on major radio stations due to its melodious tune. Things spice up a bit with “Zero Zero” and “Juarez”. Both tracks emulate a certain grittiness that can only really be compared to Sonic Youth’s Goo, seeing that both are centered on fast-paced, heavy guitars that were typically found in a lot of 1970’s garage punk bands. There is a futuristic element that can be heard in “Get The Gang Back Together” as Way’s backup band, The Hormones, play with various types of distorting gear that creates what sounds like robotic babble behind the whoos that are strikingly similar to those heard in Blur’s “Song 2”. The record comes to an end with the optimistic “Maya The Psychic”. The quick, anthematic jam seems to be pulled straight out of a pile of MCR songs that never were. It seems to be another song about teenage angst and calls for revolution as Way seems to be speaking straight to listeners. To add to that, Way writes, “I know you’ve had choices to make but I’m with you-you’re never facing them alone again”, as a reminder that music is an ultimate force.

My Chemical Romance has played a part in shaping the person I am today. Not only were they a gateway into a whole other world of music, but their passion for creativity and honesty inspired me to be an individual–which is what Way is doing. Now that he has helped thousands of people discover themselves through his lyrics and positivity, Gerard is following his own advice by letting his identity shine through his music.

Hesitant Alien is a new turning point for Gerard Way. Though he is known for his eccentric conceptual ideas, Way is freeing himself from those restraints as he is now putting himself on display. He is not reinventing himself, but rather showing the world who he as a person is rather than a hiding behind a mask in The Black Parade. This record is a work of originality. It’s weird and abnormal–but it’s a phenomenal listen.

Hesitant Alien is now on sale here, and keep up with Gerard Way on Twitter.