Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Confusing Pleasure and Pain: VI

The thing about abuse is that it makes you think you are damaged. And, of course, you are. But it's easy to get confused. Thinking that what happened occurred because you are damaged, as opposed to understanding that what happened is the very thing that damaged you.

It's like mixing up feeling bad with being bad with bad things happening. And thinking that bad things happened because you're bad. And getting all that straightened out and sorted through isn't so simple.

Because by the time all this confusion has seeped deep into your sense of self, you've also absorbed so much of what your attacker or abuser felt. By this time you've completely internalized the badness and taken it on as your own. Which means you think that bad things, bad relationships and bad feelings are inevitable.

But nothing is inevitable. There is always a chance for renewal. There is always the power of good, and it shines brighter and cleaner than badness. Badness is a state of desperate need born of excruciating emptiness.

The chance for fullness - for fulfillment - is the hope of empty, wounded souls everywhere. It's the hope for all of us.

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