When I first wrote on the brink of insanity; the case of Janet Bond, I had no idea I’d be reiterating the same post in relation to a friend’s actions. Last night I was informed that a friend I met at university stabbed her husband to death. The circumstances surrounding his murder remain unclear. While some people claim she was acting in self-defence because he was abusive, others claim she was an infidel who stabbed her husband after he caught her with a lover. Some people claim she discovered he fathered a son; her family claims she’s innocent; her friends claim it must have been a moment of temporary insanity; childhood buddies find it difficult to relate the lady we know with murder. I am having the same difficulty, but the truth is that a man is dead. He was murdered by his wife. He had been stabbed by her earlier in the day, treated at the hospital, and when he returned home to sleep, for some reason, he was stabbed again. A major artery was cut open, and he lost his life within a few minutes.
Last month, in South Africa, a lady patiently waited in the dead of the night for a kettle of water to boil, and a pan of cooking oil to heat up. She mixed the two hot fluids and poured them on her boyfriend’s penis because he allegedly cheated on her. Sometime last year, while I was waiting for a friend in front of her apartment complex, a car exploded before my very eyes, and one person jumped out…on fire… to open the driver’s door so the other reluctant fellow could get out of the car. I later got to learn that they were lovers arguing, and at some point, one of them (can’t tell if it was the man or the woman) rolled up the windows, poured an accelerant all over the car interior and lit a match. The car burned to the ground with explosive sounds. The two people were on fire for no less than three minutes. I was traumatized for days.
Classic cases of crimes of passion, or should I rather say crimes of obsession.
Here’s something you need to understand as an individual: different people will awaken different demons in you. You might be cool, calm, and collected as a single person, but act like a monster when you are in a relationship…with the wrong person. The truth is the wrong person is not necessarily a bad person. The wrong person is just someone whose goals, visions and way of life do not align with yours. Someone whose ‘demons’ cannot have an amicable discussion with your ‘demons’. Now in such a situation, you have two options: to walk away, cut your losses, and move on or to ensure things work out irrespective of the deeply-ingrained character odds you both face. The latter is where obsession begins. Obsession is what leads to thoughts of violence, the actual perpetration of violence, and in many cases, the end results are fatal…. Like in the case of my friend.
It does not have to reach that point. You can stop yourself from going overboard. You can hold yourself back from crossing to the dark side. You have the power to hold back and walk away. The moment you ingrain this in your mind, you have already won over the voices in your head that constantly tell you must make it work.
Of course, the voices in your head that tell you to choose obsession over freedom are not the only ones you have to win. The external pressure from society is enough to cripple anyone’s emotions. Having a steady relationship in today’s world is an achievement. Bless you if you are a well-educated woman, with a thriving career, AND a stable relationship. People are more likely to advise you to stay and make it work, rather than tell you to cut your losses and move on. When ‘your man’ takes interest in another woman, society will tell you to stay and make it work else the other woman wins. Wins? It is not a damn contest! Those people do not understand the emotional pressure you are under in a toxic relationship. When a woman hits a man, the man is often advised to keep it hush-hush to avoid coming across as a sissy. He cannot fully express the pressure he is under, and if he leaves, he is considered a failure. The toxicity continues to grow in the silence we are all forced to adopt, and after a while people burst at the seams and act in unimaginable ways that leave everyone else stunned.
Get out now. It will be difficult after you’ve invested so much in the relationship. It will be difficult because the world is telling you to hold on; no relationship is perfect. True. But some relationships are healthy even in their imperfections. Choose health over everything else – emotional, physical and psychological health.
Quit obsessing over the relationship. The moment you start to throw tantrums, attack other men or women, or find yourself enduring emotional outbursts that end in violence, it is time to pack your bags and leave. It is time to go on a retreat and let it go. The moment you start to play James or Janet Bond, it is time to exit peacefully. Get out now. It is not worth it to make it work.
My friend destroyed two lives in her emotional outburst – hers and that of a promising young man. She was a prosecutor who will never live the life she built with so much effort. He was a property developer who will never see the light of day again. She had no right to kill a man. No one has any right to kill. She could have left; he could have left. It doesn’t matter what anyone does, walking away is always an option. Use it! Sometimes, it is not worth it to make it work. Rather save your life and preserve the life of the other person. Get out now and have peace. Choose freedom over obsession. May the soul of the departed rest in peace.