Thursday, July 21, 2016

I'm a bad person...but that's ok, you are too

When it comes to sexual assault, I am not a good person. I actively hope people who are guilty of sexual assault get sexually assaulted. I hope it is painful. I hope nobody believes them. I hope they get laughed at. I hope hoards of internet trolls call them fat, ugly, and unrapeable and tell them they should be glad of the attention. I hope their rapist doesn't get caught. I hope their rapist is someone they have to look in the eye every day. I hope their rapist blows them harassing kisses that they can't report to HR for fear of retaliation every day. Then, I hope they kill themselves. I think the same of people who are not guilty of rape but who constantly deny other people's rape experiences. Actually, I wish similar things on all violent assholes and violent asshole sympathizers.
I am not exaggerating. I TRULY wish this on these people. I am not ashamed to admit it. If I could think of a way to make them suffer more, I'd want that to happen too. They deserve to experience the pain that they inflicted upon someone else. It's the only way they will learn. If criminals learned that what they did was wrong, there wouldn't be so many repeat offenders. They never learn.
The truth is, deep down, we all hope this or similar things but it's not politically correct to say so. It's politically correct to pretend that you are more compassionate than that. It's politically correct to pretend that you don't want anyone to ever experience pain, even if they've caused you or someone you love inexorable pain that will haunt you for the rest of your life. Well that's not fucking reality. I know it. You know it. I don't expect anyone to ever verbally admit this, but that doesn't mean I don't know what's really going on in your heads. Everyone does. You're not fooling anyone with your fake compassion that withers away the moment you cease to be in public.
Vengeance is natural. It's what we all crave deep in our hearts. We can deny it. We can bury it. We can desperately try to talk ourselves out of it, but there it is. If we were truly compassionate, there would be no prison. We would just instantly forgive people. We don't instantly forgive people and a lot of times we don't ever truly forgive people at all, even though we say we do. Forgiveness is often a euphemism for, "This still really fucking hurts but I will pretend it doesn't hurt so that it won't inconvenience our relationship."
Do you think a spouse that's been cheated on ever really forgives their partner? Do you think that even if they say they forgive them, if something else goes wrong the infidelity WON'T be the first thing they run to to claim their spouse is awful? Of course not. Of course that will be the first thing they say. They will even hold their forgiveness over their spouse's head.
"I even forgave you for that! How could you do that again?!"
It's not forgiveness if you're hanging onto it forever, and since you are probably going to be hanging onto it forever you can't ever really forgive anybody for anything. You are just bartering away your emotions to make the relationship more convenient. Deep down, you are still angry about it. Deep down, you haven't let it go. Deep down, you never will. You know it. Whoever it is that bothered you or hurt you or upset you, every time you talk to them, you will still be thinking about that somewhere in the back your mind. You will never forget, which means you never really forgave.
These things are all human nature. Ugly, embarrassing, primitive human nature; those animal remnants of ourselves we're so ashamed of, that we really wish we could shake, that we PRETEND we have's all still there, ripe for the pickin', bubbling below the surface, waiting for the right set of circumstances to erupt from our veins.
There are plenty of you now, sitting there reading this, being indignant, judging me, thinking I'm just an awful person and that you would never think like that, thinking that you are totally in control of all of your emotions. You are a fucking liar. You are not in control of your emotions. You might be in control your reactions, you might be in control of talking yourself out of your emotions, you might even be in control of how quickly you can change your emotions on something. What you are NOT is a person who is completely in control of their feelings. No one is such a person.
That's just it. NONE of us is in control. We can only measure "control" by how well we talk ourselves out of acting the way we REALLY want to act. Believe me, when someone punches you in the face, your instinct WILL be to hurt them back. Whether you do hurt them back or not is only a matter of how well or how quickly you can talk yourself out of it.
See, you don't get brownie points for never acknowledging your true desires. There is no honor in pretending you're more evolved than you are. Whether you want to punch them in the face but you don't or whether you don't want to punch them in the face so you don't, the effect is the same. Nobody can know whether you intended to punch them back but chose not to or whether you never intended to punch them....Well that's not true, I can know that you really want to punch them back...but the point is, claiming you never had that instinct is disingenuous, the opposite of honorable. It does not make you better than me or anyone else.
There are people who train in monasteries and temples for decades to learn non-violence.....All these Zen masters who we admire because they've taught themselves to be Zen....Well, I've got news for you. All these Zen masters everybody thinks are so peaceful and admirable are just as violent and brutal as the rest of us on the inside. That's the very reason they had to go and train for decades NOT to punch people in the face. It's not because they just happen to be super peaceful people by instinct. It's because they desired the ability to work around the instinct. The only thing that separates us, the "good" people from the "bad" people, the violent asshole rapists, murderers, and thieves, is that the rest of us have talked ourselves out of violence. It doesn't mean that deep down in our hearts, in that reptilian brain that REALLY controls us, that we DIDN'T want to be violent. We didn't even want anything because want is too sophisticated a concept for this part of us. It's our instinct and instinct is not based on thoughtful desire.
It's why we have such a hard time kicking bad habits. Down in the reptilian brain, we deserve whatever makes us feel good. It could be cigarettes, candy, McDonald's, heroin, sex, or punching someone in the face. If we could wish away these cravings, we would. Obesity, lung cancer, HIV, and drug overdoses would all be well thought out choices. We'd say, "I really like cigarettes but I don't want one now. I will only have one once in a while, just for fun." We don't say that. Instead, we spend years with nicotine gum and patches and drag ourselves to support groups with a bunch of other sad mammals who are just as screwed as we are. It's how we're wired. All we can do is try to splice the wires to divert electricity elsewhere. That's the best we've got. Some people are amazing splicers, but that doesn't mean the original wiring is gone.
I don't play thought police and I don't jive with people who do. So, if you are thinking of telling me you are fully in control of your emotions or that I'm a terrible person for acknowledging my instincts regardless of whether I act on them, please find yourself a nearby cactus farm and fall ass-first into it.
Thank you.
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