Recently, as in this past Sunday, I had a very real and almost sickeningly brutal awakening and was forced to once again ask the ever unanswered question; “When is enough enough?”
When does empathy border on masochism?
When does tolerance become a soul destroying kindness?
What makes a loving, careful and relatively sane person blink into murdering?
How do you know when you’ve crossed ‘the line’?
Years ago, when I was the precious, vulnerable and impressionable age of 19, I fell into a destructive, violently abusive relationship. Life altering changes had my world literally crumbling around me and I lost everything of value to me. I was scarred, ashamed and completely bereft of any sense of self worth. A predator found and then slithered in beside me, his lascivious smile and forked tongue sweet with an exacting venom. A skilled abuser practiced in the art of seduction and manipulation. A terrorist in the truest sense of the word.
I was naive to the awareness of such cruel beings. I’m not sure that I have ever fully recovered from that sting, the cruelty of that person or those events which, often times, still have me waking up in cold terror. But, somehow, my guardian angel (oh yes, I have one!) led me into the arms of a friend who wrapped me in love and generosity, away from the blood and the beatings and the battle for domination and breathed new life into a mind intent on suicide and a body abused by men.
It was an unspeakable time.
Painful, chaotic, hazed in a cloud of cocaine and bankrupt of any compassion, humanity or understanding. Filled with greed, ridicule, violence and degradation. A place I swore never to find myself in again. Ever. My revisiting that place is almost always provoked and I am never, ever grateful to the provoker.
My mother made me revisit that place two weeks ago.
Her acrid tongue brought back my shame.
P made me visit that place this past Sunday.
Her physicality brought back my abuse.
Simple, selfish acts that have given rise to grotesque, monstrous memories and a kaleidoscope of fractured, dangerous feelings curling in my belly like a pit of snakes awakening, biting and piercing my flesh. Their insidious slippery bodies sliding under my skin, filling my veins, their venom paralyzing my heart. Killing my empathy for the bastard deeds of the insensitive and the selfish.
I can not forgive endlessly.
I can not bear the cutting edge stoically.
My flesh is human, my heart of my essence.
The line is visible.
And I want to cross it.