Monday, July 16, 2007

Confusing Pleasure and Pain: IV

The thing about abuse is that it keeps you stuck in the past. It keeps you stuck in an emotional response of fear or disgust or anger or shame or sadness or helplessness long after the moments of awfulness have passed.

It keeps you stuck in a way of thinking and being that get all mixed up with other elements of your personality. It gets mixed up with the stuff that is positive and powerful and amazing, and can just completely eclipse that magic that is you.

Maybe you split into little compartments emotionally and mentally, where the different feelings you have live in different parts of your life, never meeting, never coming together. So that no one else ever sees these aspects of yourself.

Or maybe they do see them, in little drips and drops, surprised at the insecurity of an otherwise confident person, alarmed at the self-destructiveness of someone otherwise life-affirming, shocked at the stupid choices of an otherwise intelligent individual, concerned at the isolation of an otherwise connected soul.

Or maybe all they see are the wounded, injured parts of you. Maybe they are painfully displayed, daring someone, anyone, to reach out and help. Maybe you are just one sad, bleeding mess that no one dares to approach.

The stuck-ness of being defined by the past is that you miss all the other stuff that's happened since. You miss the chance to be shaped in positive and powerful ways, having been so completely defined by negativity. You miss the chance to re-create yourself independent of someone else's damage. You miss yourself. And so does everyone else.

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