“it felt like a kiss”

today like everyday I listen to the story or fresh air on NPR at lunch – today fresh air was interviewing Carole King, award-winning singer-song writer. a great interview and a lot of interesting conversation; but the statement that stuck with me all day was Carole talking about the song “He hit me (it felt like a kiss)”.

Carole spoke of the abuse she suffered from her third husband:

“… there are women — and some men — who experience domestic abuse who feel ashamed, who think it’s their fault, who think they don’t deserve to be safe or don’t remember what it’s like to be safe. And I thought, ‘If women and men read this and say, ‘Wow, she was successful. She had financial independence. She had it so together and she could be in a relationship like that … maybe I’m not so bad, maybe it’s not my fault.’ …”

what struck me was that word safe. what does it mean to be or feel safe? i don’t know that i have ever felt safe.

safe is defined by Webster as:

1: free from harm or risk : unhurt
2: secure from threat of danger, harm, or loss
i do not believe at any time in my life I have felt safe. all my life i may have been being hit (not literally) and it felt like a kiss. i have felt “safe” in unhealthy relationships, chaotic family life and dangerous choices. i have been shown that is what love is…
i think i am just beginning to realize how backwards i have been seeing love.
like being hit and then told it’s a kiss.

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