MAYBE JANAY RICE is suffering the aftereffects of some kind of head injury from the punch she took from Ray Rice.

Her Instagram rant yesterday, posted in response to public reaction to the video showing the sickening blow that knocked her out, sounded as if it were written by someone whose brain isn't processing information correctly.

Janay actually blamed "the media" for the mess her then-fiance set in motion when he decked her in a Revel Casino elevator on Valentine's Day weekend.

Nothing says "Be Mine" like a left hook to the face, does it?

"I woke up this morning feeling like I had a horrible nightmare, feeling like I'm mourning the death of my closest friend," she wrote. "But to have to accept the fact that it's reality is a nightmare itself. No one knows the pain that [the] media & unwanted [opinions] from the public has caused my family."

Janay apparently expected no comments from "the public" even though the assault happened in a public place, her husband's career has been forged in the public eye, and their wealth as a couple has come from his performing superbly in public stadiums.

"THIS IS OUR LIFE," she wrote. "What don't you all get."

Um, because her $35 million life is a result of the public's desire to watch Ray run the ball.

Because he is Exhibit A in discussions of the NFL's twisted disciplinary rules, which punish pot smokers more harshly than they do wife-beaters.

But mostly (and how disturbing is it that this requires restating?) because Janay was TKO'd and "the public" has been more alarmed about that than she appears to have been.

At a news conference shortly after the assault, Janay said, "I do deeply regret the role that I played in the incident that night." Her Instagram reiterated that the elevator smackdown remains "a moment in our lives that we regret every day."

I get that Ray regrets that he punched his wife's lights out. But what does Janay regret - that she "made" him do it? If so, she sounds like every pummeled wife who has ever taken the blame for her husband's pugilism, believing he'd have acted differently if only she hadn't provoked him to use his height, weight, muscles and wrath to shut her the hell up.

Back in May, Ray called the smackdown a "one-time incident," because he'd "never had a problem with domestic abuse" before. Yet he sure behaved like someone who was used to throwing a blow.

He didn't flinch when his wife fell to the floor, blacked out. He didn't drop to a knee to check her pulse or her breathing. He didn't look alarmed by what he had just done, allegedly for the first and only time. And he certainly didn't call out for medical help when his wife was out cold, her body lying halfway out of that elevator.

He just stood there, while a female passerby hustled to his wife's side and rubbed her shoulder as she came to.

One-time incident, my ass.

Obviously, we don't know what the couple's relationship has been like, away from surveillance cameras. But we do know, says Jeannine Lisitski, that most abusers don't one day just throw a knockout punch. They develop more slowly than that, using isolation, verbal abuse, smaller hits and shoves until - God forbid - they deliver a hefty blow.

"By then, the violence feels normal," said Lisitski, executive director of Women Against Abuse. "By then, the victim may have had children with the abuser, might be financially dependent on him, and so she has a lot to lose if she leaves. There might be religious or cultural taboos against breaking up her marriage. Abused women stay for all kinds of reasons."

Horribly, an abused woman is most at risk of being killed by her abuser when she finally musters the courage to leave him. We all know what happened to Ellen Robb, the Upper Merion wife of dirtbag Penn prof Rafael Robb, who was incensed that his wife would no longer take his verbal abuse. He killed her days before her planned move out of the house.

"So often, women stay out of fear," Lisitski said.

We don't know whether Janay Rice has stayed with her husband out of fear, love, hope, forgiveness, denial or a compelling mixture of all of the above. The couple also has a daughter together - a beautiful, little girl named Rayven - and doubtless they are working on their marriage as much for her as for themselves. Blameless children are a powerful incentive for a person to change.

As is a very public surveillance video, which has shown you a side of yourself you can't ignore.

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