Has anyone ever been mean to you without reason? Of course they have. How did you react? Did you feel mad at them for treating you that way? Decide that they were assholes? Did you ever go as far as to wonder why they behaved that way towards you to begin with?
It’s difficult to understand why people do the things they do, after all we can’t read each other’s minds. What makes it even more difficult is the fact that we all see the world from a single viewpoint; our own. We don’t know why that person said or did something to hurt us. All we see is our hurt. What we don’t see is theirs.
Hurt people hurt people. I have come to believe that not a single person intends to hurt another; they hurt because they hurt. What we have to remember is that what they said or did has nothing to do with us. They can’t make us feel bad about ourselves; only we can do that. We must remember that the way they treat us has more to do with them than it does with us.
This applies to all manners of behavior, not just the bad. All my life I’ve been quiet. I guess some people have wondered about that. Others will just have accepted that for what it is; a shy girl is not the weirdest thing in the world. What they forget is that we don’t happen; we are made. I was not born to be shy. But I was bullied. And my dad drank. And I learned quickly that the easiest way to get hurt was to express my opinions and my feelings which my bully, and my dad – looking to punish himself by hurting me – would then use against me. It wasn’t a great leap to stop talking as the only way to defend myself. No opinions = nothing to make fun of. The smaller I was, the less there was to object to.
Quick learner I was. Unfortunately it takes so much longer to unlearn than to learn, at least in this aspect. To unlearn, and be able to trust like an innocent child again. To find the courage to say what I think without fearing I’ll get hurt. I’m still working on it. But at least I am doing so. And I won’t be quiet, not ever again.