One of my friends keeps asking me this; it keeps coming back to her. She hears what I and others have been through, and stares at me, stunned… but this question has had me thinking. She is bewildered that any half-normal person would make such an effort to be so evil.
I’d never considered this. I don’t believe anyone is born entirely evil… perhaps don’t get a helping hand but even so…there is definitely a degree of choice somewhere; I believe, anyway. So it must take some level of effort to be so consistently horrible…
How much effort? I now am almost amused at the thought. Suddenly the idea that they poured their hardest efforts into trying to crush me…and FAILED…it seems quite amazing. And amusing. I’m not one to enjoy watching people’s dreams fall to the floor in a heap…but when abusers’ are concerned, I think it’s in everyone’s best interests if their dreams shatter into a million pieces…
But then I have to wonder why. Why on earth would anyone put so much time and energy into destroying people’s lives? I don’t understand what they gain from it. If I see someone distressed at something I have done, then on an entirely selfish level the guilt is too much to cope with… do they just not feel guilt? Or do they somehow find ridiculous reasons as to why they shouldn’t be guilty – that their behaviour is entirely justified? Perhaps this is why they insist on telling victims they deserve it…or worse, that the abuse will make them better. Maybe it isn’t just to screw with the victim’s head…but to make it “okay” in their own head. I think I knew this anyway, but had never quite processed it.
But…if nothing else, it gives me more of an incentive to keep going. 19 years of a few abuser’s time, energy, effort, money etc etc has been used to try and crush me, for whatever entirely screwed up reasons. And at times they’ve come extremely close. At times I have felt absolutely crushed. But it’s like being locked inside a box; if someone can just find the key and unlock it, I can fight my way out. And this is why I can never be crushed; there’s always someone around who has the key… one of my friends, or a stranger on the street who says just the right thing in passing, or even an animal that looks too cute… the key is always somewhere.
Each baby I’ve had and lost…each punch I’ve taken…each rape…each mouthful of emotional poison…each fight…battle…the moments where I’ve been lying on the floor semi-conscious, counting my breaths in an effort to make sure I don’t forget to breathe… this is the effort I’ve put in to staying alive. It’s a worthwhile effort. Each child that smiled, laughed…had a hug…each time we played a game…each time I laugh now, with my friends…each moment of laughter around the world…each note I play on an instrument…each time I stand my ground…each time people speak out…each time I’m held so I can cry…each time anyone is allowed to cry…this is the effort a good world unconsciously puts in to keep going. Another worthwhile effort.
So the abuser’s can try. They can pour their miserable lives into fighting for power and control, and turning someone into a little mouse. But I don’t believe that effort leads to a worthwhile outcome, and therefore won’t stand for it. Let’s all put the same amount of effort into making a better world…and then the rewards will be more than any amount of power or control could provide…
Safety, sympathy, laughter, compassion and kindness. This is what our efforts create. And together they are far more powerful than greed, selfishness, hatred and cruelty.