Thursday, July 19, 2007

Confusing Pleasure and Pain: IX

The thing about abuse is that it distorts your sense of self, making you willing to believe almost anything about yourself.

Your real sense of self, likely still being formed when it was shattered, has been smooshed down, compressed, all the lightness squeezed out of it. And in its place mostly emptiness, your abuser/attacker having sucked the life out of you and taken it for their own.

Not only did they take your sense of self, but the one they reflect back to you cannot be trusted for even a second. Because of their own damage, all they can reflect back to you is damage. Their sickness is your mirror.

They twist everything, turning it upside down, trying to convince you that you were the one who got it wrong. Trying to convince you that you were the one with the problem, that you were the one overreacting, that nothing at all was really wrong except for you. That everything was fine until you ruined it.

They engage you in an emotional fencing game, using the thrust and parry with such messed-up rhythm that the sport becomes torture. And there's no real engagement, just them trying to make you feel bad, to show you that they have the power and control And then they hurt you with it. No doubt the way someone did to them. They pretend at friendship, at closeness, at connection, but they have no idea how to truly be close to anyone, and they make you suffer for it.

They can't handle the reality of relationship, the vulnerability of intimacy, and so they play act, like some child playing doctor. And they substitute melodrama and sentiment for true feeling, and force and coercion for true intimacy. 'Cause they don't actually have any idea what they're doing, and all they know are secrets and lies and fear and suffering.

But you do. You know enough to know you don't want this anymore. That you're not going to be the next person to perpetuate awfulness, destroying another invaluable soul in the process. You know enough to know that all the distortion and lies and confusion don't belong to you. You know it's time to put them down and walk away.

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