You Are Not One of Them
I wanted to write something helpful this week, but I’m actually the one who needs help, and I didn’t see it coming. And isn’t that always the damn truth. Just when things seem like they’re really getting better, the other shoe drops. And somewhere on the inside, someone says, I knew it. This freedom thing isn’t real. It’s an illusion. It’s the carrot they dangle to keep you alive, but it doesn’t really exist.
It started when some things happened that I cannot share – with anyone, not just on a blog – and in the process, the processing, I felt abandoned and alone and then I hurt someone’s feelings that I care about, as I was trying to make sense of the mess that is still my life sometimes.
It was an accident. I’m sorry.
And here is how I wish things could go right now.
I wish I knew for sure that making a mistake, even hurting people’s feelings sometimes, does not make me “like” my abusers even though some convoluted logic in my head tells me that it does.
It’s probably even the abusers who are responsible for this; it’s probably their words, their voice in my head. Saying “See? You’re no better than us. You’re just like us. You hurt people because that’s just who you are, and therefore, you are one of us. You can’t ever escape it because it’s just who you are and you will always be one of us.”
I wish I wasn’t sitting here at my desk, wishing against every failed hope I’ve ever had that someone – even, if I dared to imagine, the person I hurt – would come along and say to me: YOU ARE NOT ONE OF THEM. They are evil. They want to hurt. You are good. You do not want to hurt. It was an accident. Accidents happen. You’re still a good person. You are not a perpetrator.
But I don’t even know if I’d believe them. If I could believe someone else, why can’t I just believe myself?
And see, the person is OKAY. They’re FINE. I said I was sorry, which for them wasn’t even necessary because they were already okay even before that, without it. They love me, they understand, yada yada, and there’s no way in hell they would want me to be sitting here beating myself up and kind of even wishing I was dead, like I currently am. They wouldn’t want me to have the memory, and the pain in it, of this incident for as long as I know I’m going to have it. I know that for sure.
I even understand the ridiculousness of it, from a kind of vicarious viewpoint: I’m suicidal because I hurt someone’s feelings? Really? **gawk**
But it’s true.
It’s true that I don’t want to be found in the category of perpetrator.
It’s true that I don’t want, or mean, to hurt people. Even if things come out hurtfully sometimes, my motive is not to hurt. I don’t seek to smack people around, especially people I care about. Even when I’m angry, that doesn’t appeal to me. I’ve been on the receiving end too much for me to feel like dishing it out is justifiable. But I’m also human.
I wish I could deeply know, right here, right now, that I’m human – and that that’s okay.
Why can’t I be human? Why is that not okay?
I have extensive mercy for others. I have not, as of yet, managed to turn that on myself to any great degree.
I think I am uncomfortable with saying “I am not like them,” because we ALL have the POTENTIAL to do great evil, just like we all have the potential to do great good. I cannot deny that I have potential to do damage – even on accident, nevermind on purpose. It all comes down to our choices and our hearts. I’m not sure I could say that I am “better” than someone else who abuses just because I don’t abuse. I might not abuse, but I still do wrong things. Sometimes on purpose, and sometimes not. How do we decide which things are more wrong than others? Or can we even do that? I don’t know that I can. But the idea that I have damaged someone in some way is hard for me to move past. It’s hard for me to forgive myself for, even if the other person forgives me.
I do know that the wrong that I do is not usually on purpose. And…hopefully…it’s not worth killing myself over. Although I struggle to keep that in mind on days like today (DISCLAIMER: I’LL BE FINE. I HAVE TOO MANY DAMN THINGS TO DO TO GIVE UP NOW.)
If I can’t tell myself, maybe, at least, I can tell you.
YOU ARE NOT ONE OF THEM. Maybe we can learn this together, or if you already know it deeply in your soul, maybe you can teach me. I am not strong all the time. ~J8