Will the Real Victim Please Stand Up

Scene: A woman walks into a hospital emergency room, bloody and bruised. Her husband, teeth clenched, assists her. X-rays reveal several broken bones as well. As the staff tries to determine what happened, the husband bursts into tears, admitting he beat up his wife. Clearly, she’s the victim here. Luckily, the anger management class that the Court uses as a diversionary program for first-time offenders includes intensive one-on-one counseling. Gently, the therapist tries to piece together the acts of violence. “So how did it start?” she asks. “You wanna know the truth?” Ricky, the husband, replies, “It started last Thursday. I come home from work. I work hard, man. I come home and, I can’t believe it, my wife and her sister are in MY living room painting it baby blue. I was shocked. I felt like as if she had punched me in the gut. Painting not the baby’s room, not a little study, but our living room. Without any discussion whatsoever! Baby blue! That’s not right. Would you say that’s right?” he challenges the counselor. “No,” the therapist answers, “that doesn’t seem right, to just go ahead without discussion.” “And that’s how it always is. I’m nobody in my own home. Just a nothing.” He spits the words out and smacks one hand into the palm of the other. “That wasn’t the first time, either. My wife, Jean, she had people over for dinner last week and I came home all tired and ready to flop on the couch and there they were, for Pete’s sake.” How Come Ricky Thinks He’s A Victim? So let’s hit the...
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