learning how to hurt people

It terrifies me, more than a little bit.

I’m strong enough to handle anything thrown my way (at least so far, please whatever spirits live above, don’t take this as a challenge!)  I’ve got the financial security to protect myself (money buys everything, including the safety and happiness of my munchkins, which means my own safety and happiness).  I am not worried about myself.

…but I’ve learned a few things I cannot unlearn.

I could do what she did to me.  I could tempt someone vulnerable- there’s plenty of those- with everything they need.  On condition that they leave everything behind with me.  Some would do it, too.  I don’t know how long that kind of relationship would last, but I could tear up a few lives in the process.

Or do what she did to her children, once I have children “of my own,” as if the children I’m raising mean nothing, right? I know just how far I can go to use and abuse my children with no repercussions (I’ve learned where the line is, I know how not to cross it).  “Emotional abuse is hard to prove.”

I could break up a family, and someone would say I had every right to do so (maybe someone would judge me, but doubtfully to my face.  People aren’t usually that brave).  And if there were children, I know they could be pressed into submission for as long as they were around me.  Of course they might eventually leave, but I could force them to love me for a few years.  Or pretend to love me.

…or so many other, hurtful things I could do.

I could live a perfectly good life, without being a perfectly good person.

I could get roughly the same amount of love.  Respect.  Etc.  Perhaps not with my actual family.  I don’t think they would approve.  But I don’t get any more love from my family, now, doing everything I can to be good and ethical than she gets from her friends and family.  It feels a little insincere from my end, but she seems happy enough with it (I mean, I know she drove up to her family once and then immediately turned around after only an hour or so, but maybe she didn’t have that big fight with her mother like the kids said.  Maybe something else happened.)

Certainly I won’t get an iota’s difference of respect or kindness from society, from the moms at schools, from casual acquaintances.  I’ll be standing there with the hockey moms and dads that like me; she’ll be standing there with someone she’s found.  Both of us appearing to be just the same.  Superficially, there won’t be any difference (it’s true that at home, I’ve got people who love me, and she doesn’t, but nobody outside knows this).

…but I can’t live like her.  Like them.

I just can’t.  I…couldn’t stand it.  But, God, I know what I can get away with!

I’m a little colder than I used to be, a little older.

I’ll never let myself be hurt again.

…but most of all, I’ll never, ever use what happened to me as an excuse to hurt another human being.

2 thoughts on “learning how to hurt people”

  1. This was very hard to read. I have much compassion for you. This did make me sad today when I was feeling really joyful.

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