Saturday, January 7, 2012

hard lessons

What I learned growing up with someone in the household who can be excruciatingly difficult:

The amount of love someone has for you doesn't influence how they treat you or if they do terrible, hurtful things. They can still love you deeply and yet, in their damaged way, act incorrigibly.

The good thing about realizing this is how much less power it has. Because it's so easy to think "I must be a horrid person to deserve such treatment" -- especially when you know they're capable of such goodness too.

But pain makes people do dreadful things and, well, sometimes you're just in the crossfire.


  1. I think people generally do their best but everybody has their own damage. Sometimes it's a tiny fissure, sometimes it's *all* damaged. Most people somewhere in between.

    At some point we stop blaming our parents for the way we are. Then we blame our ex's. :)

  2. I have seen this, what you describe, in so many ways in so many different degrees. One could try attribute it to one factor, "nurture" (parents and upbringing) but there is so much more to what makes a person behave 'badly' toward another. I too have been subject to something similar, and I don't want to call it abuse, but maybe that's really what it is. The alchemist in me sees psychological, verbal or physical abuse that comes from a loved one, as something akin to a familiar chemical reaction that acts out of 'character', not what we expected. Perhaps it is where the light and heat of the reaction happens only when the interaction has been within a finite set of conditions.

    Temperature, pressure, amount of each reagent, and perhaps a catalyst, may produce a beautiful new combination that works perfectly together. That same combination with small imperceptible change(s) in something as simple as an 'impurity' in one or both of the elements can have a different, "bad", or unexpected reaction or interaction. What do we blame? How do we find out what's changed/different from previous? How can we find what has changed from before? Run the process again? And again?

    ..."It worked before..."

    We may never be able to know what changed, or it will be as obvious as a second look.

    ..."The directions said to heat the components slowly over an open flame, and you used what?" ... "The microwave?" ... "No wonder it blew-up."

    Perhaps (in a dream world) we can find a way to set ground rules early, no matter how well/perfect we think a relationship is. There is a need to be able to communicate our needs and feelings (Yeah, guys may have a problem with this, so let's call it "expectations"), openly and honestly.

    Yes, this is probably asking to much, and in hindsight seen as a hopeful expectation.

    Perhaps I will make an experiment of myself; It might be what I need. I hope that it is not to late to try to make a change.

    [Making me think out loud about this has given me hope or heart to at least try.]
    - B