When you set out to cause suffering in another, you double your own and invite more of it. You cannot escape the suffering you put on others until you give up the practice of causing it, and give up your addiction to that savage, satiating feeling you think fixes you when you cause it.
This manufacturing of suffering is a vicious cycle for all involved. Life brings suffering at times on its own, this is a fact. But the manufacturing of it is something else. It’s abuse, for one thing, and manipulation. But more than that, it’s a whole cycle. The one inflicting the suffering circumstances (manipulator, abuser) is already suffering. What a horrid way to go through life — perpetrating hurt and pain on others. I’ve heard victims say that they don’t understand how the abuser lives such a good life, or gets away with their behavior. I can see how it appears that way, but I think this is mostly false.
Once the cycle starts, the target will find ways to avoid the circumstances and abusers will double-down on their victims, but the suffering continues to return to the manipulator and multiplies by a factor of their own and the person/s they’re hurting. One’s own suffering can’t actually be cured or satiated by inflicting more suffering. And if you’re the abuser, frankly, you give up your right to be angry at the change in people caused by your endless refusal or inability to be decent, or their willingness to go to great lengths to stay out of your line of fire. That’s part of the price you pay. So… more suffering.
We often stop to think, contemplate, plan about and for our child’s future. But do we do the same for the future of others from the standpoint of how our children will affect them, affect the rest of the world? If not, why not?
I remember being bullied as a kid by a jerk down the street for years — he was such a mean kid, by “mean girls” in my neighborhood, and by some in school who just didn’t like the way I looked or who my friends were. I struggle to believe that their parents didn’t know how mean and even abusive some were, and I often wonder how some of them are now as adults. In the workplace I would imagine which employees and managers had been bullied as kids or were the bullies. We see and hear about abusive relationships with spouses, with children, even with elderly parents. I can recall even a few teachers that definitely were. Can you imagine — the people responsible for educating our children? We don’t like to talk about it. We don’t like to ask about it or get involved. Sometimes we even shame the victim (another abuse). We even deny it when we’re the one with the personality problem (so it continues). We don’t want to admit when it’s an issue in our families or how we might be affected by it. So, when does it STOP? Where does it END? No type of abuse is acceptable, or so we like to say. Verbal, sexual, physical, and even schoolyard bullying — all types are VIOLENCE.
When does one finally look at it honestly and squarely and say, “THIS ENDS WITH ME RIGHT NOW?” We don’t have to be the abuser, necessarily, to change it and turn it around. You know how some of us like to pretend that there’s nothing wrong in our family dynamics. We might have responsibility because we know it’s happening. Yes, if we know, we are responsible. And if you are the abuser — how miserable you must be stuck in that way. Don’t you want more for yourself, for your kids, for others that you affect?
The saying goes, “Hurt people hurt people.” I prefer, “Miserable people make other miserable people who turn around and make other people miserable.”
Good, bad, or indifferent, I’m the common denominator in every event and circumstance in my life. If I get to take credit for the celebration and praise-worthy instances, I must also take responsibility and credit for the lackluster and substandard occasions as well.
The way in was me, and so it is for the way out. If I want more, then I stay the course. If I want change, like everything else, that movement begins with me as well.
Simply because I’m human and share the planet, life sends me surprises. I may not be responsible for that, but I am still at the center of the space created from my own response.
It just occurred to me today, while reading some articles about different kinds of domestic abuse, that the response and behavioral changes by the abused seem to be the things that invite more abuse. The abuser doesn’t like what you have become after being abused, so then that becomes a reason for more abuse, anger, hostility, and now resentment, too. Abusers don’t seem able to see their part in the victim’s behavior and become incensed when it is brought to their attention. The victim’s behavior isn’t likely to become healthier while continuing in that environment, and so the abuser’s attitude also becomes worse. The cycle of the behavior of an abuser and victim, and how the victim becomes more victimized as they suffer from the fallout of abuse is only a testament to the repetition and space that is created by the abuser. What a cycle. We all have to be responsible for our actions. But if you are going to be the creator of a hostile environment, it is up to you to clean it up if you don’t want hostilities to linger and grow. You can’t ignore the pain you inflict, the mess you create and leave behind, and expect it to repair itself – and especially if you repeatedly set the fire. You can’t blame the person/s you are abusing for not cleaning up the catastrophe. As a matter of fact, they can’t. If you light your house on fire, you can’t blame the smoke and the ash for the mess. Bottom line is this: If you set the fire, it is up to you to bring the water and the balm. If you don’t want the smoke and ash to linger, then it is your responsibility to cease setting fires. The other person can do whatever they do – leave, stay, apologize, argue, cry, take responsibility for your blow-up – doesn’t matter. You will still be the same fire-starter. And you will do it again – to that person or the next. Nothing good can survive in that mess. If it doesn’t all burn up in the fire, the smoke and ash will eventually suffocate anything left.