People are funny. Not funny in the knee-slapping, bust-a-gut kind of way. People are funny in how ass-backwards they treat their loved ones versus how they treat strangers. A person may never say a negative word to a despised boss or co-worker to “keep the peace” at work, but when they get home “keeping the peace” is not on the radar. A person can apologize to a stranger in a crowded mall for stepping on their feet, but wouldn’t dare think to apologize to their spouse, parent, sibling, or child for stepping on their emotions.
As a society, we made it okay to “hurt the ones you love” because it’s expected. Self-help books are written for individuals to suck up the emotional abuse and transfer a more acceptable caption to the ugly picture that is the lack of respect and love in your life. Some self help books encourage shell-shocked people to spend hard earned money to “talk” to someone who is certified to fix you in the name of getting along with your loved ones. Well meaning people will say it’s best to forgive and move on with your life, but with the best intentions, those emotional wounds run deep and will never heal. Our children and grandchildren will carry the emotional scars to their graves in the name of “getting along”. This distasteful future for our offspring is born out of the young looking at the elders and learning how to cannibalize themselves in the name of “getting along”.
We can walk away from toxic loved ones and paint our world rosy in the name of healing, but as soon as a casual conversation turns an unexpected corner, you’re in tears or you’re raging like a lunatic wondering why. I had a conversation with a good friend about the simple things in life, then our conversation turned a corner. Someone close caused damage. There was bravado and strong words, but the mood changed. The world was less rosy. Then the conversation made another turn, and wounds that should’ve healed 15 years ago gaped open and oozed tears on both sides. As the tears flowed, I tried to find a roadmap to take us somewhere happier, but the emotional abuse sat like a grim reaper as we pretended the world was rosy once more.
If you can’t get comfort, acceptance, respect, and love from the ones you are tied to by blood and law, then where do you go?
Go within. The wounds may never heal and the pain may continue to throb until you shed this mortal coil, but in the end as you take that final breath, know that the loved one who never hurted you was you.