Gone too soon
The rugby player Mike Okombe was allegedly stabbed by his girlfriend after an argument. Sadly, it's just another example of a toxic relationship resulting in death.
A friend, who sought anonymity, said there was a small disagreement between Okombe and his girlfriend during which she dashed to the kitchen came back with a knife. She then allegedly stabbed Okombe in the chest.
Okombe was quite the athlete; a former Kenya Simba’s national player, he now played for Nakuru RFC as a flanker. He was in the process of moving to Kabras Sugar and was recovering from a knee injury.
This is just another example of the growing trend of unhealthy relationships ending in murder. Why is this happening? Is it that we are getting desensitized as a community to these disagreements?
Maybe both parties aren’t feeling heard by their friends or family?
We should begin to pay attention and help by being more supportive.
Looking out for the signs of abuse can help to avert such incidences.
Good fights, bad fights
There are several reasons why things escalate.
Perhaps one partner has trouble being hurt and then lashes out abusively; this is seen more in people who were only children and coddled more; so they didn’t have to face feelings of disappointment, rejection, or pain.
People like this sometimes have a sense of entitlement where they feel that they are perfect. When chastised by their partners for whatever reason, the feeling of rejection can push them over the edge.
A little bit because they know it’s true but also because they believe that they are above reproach.
Some people are even simpler than this. They feel that they have a right to hurt those who hurt them. They are paranoid and believe that they should hurt their partner as a preemptive measure.
As much as we as Africans don’t like to admit it, trauma also plays a large part in abusive relationships. Unaddressed trauma from seeing your parents fighting can play a significant role.
It is possible to heal an abusive relationship, but it's really difficult. The abuser must want to change. And often the desire not to be alone supersedes all others. The abuser will lie to keep their partner.
The abuse may also get worse if this happens.
The solution would be for both parties to get counselling. Try and work out the conflict, and if unresolved, separate.
Nobody deserves abuse
No one deserves to be abused. Staying in a toxic relationship hurts you and the people around you. Look at this young rugby star for instance: his family, his team, and his friends are heartbroken because he died. He had a fantastic career that he had worked hard for, friends and family who loved him. Now he is no more.
It’s hard to leave an abusive relationship. It may feel like you don’t have a choice but to stay. And starting over feels impossible.
You need to muster that strength and leave, for your sake, your children’s sake, and your family’s sake.
As a community, we must look out more for the signs of abuse. It’s painful to lose someone because we chose to look the other way.
It’s time we began to intervene where necessary to stop our loved ones from getting hurt. It all begins with courage, the strength to step up and be there when we are needed.
These toxic relationships gone wrong could easily be stopped by just a kind reminder that there is a support system to hold and help these victims when they need to leave.
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