They push, push, push, and then get angry when you finally snap.
They poke countless little holes into your heart and then can’t understand why your heart overflows with pain and anger every time they try to poke another.
They hurt without apology, inflict pain with no sign of remorse or desire to change, and then blame you for the problem.
They are always trying to prove themselves right, and you wrong. The truth doesn’t matter; understanding each other doesn’t matter. All that matters is that they’re right, and for you to know and acknowledge that they’re right.
They can see you as stubborn, obstinate, and unyielding; and yet they refuse to admit when they’re wrong and won’t lift a finger to mend things between you.
They beat you with their Bible and their religion, and can’t understand why you devote time to countering their hurtful messages and pointing out flaws in their weaponized Holy Book.
They hurt you over, and over, and over again. But it’s unacceptable for you to ever hurt them back. You must TAKE the pain but never cause them pain in return, even if the pain you deal out is only in an attempt to make them stop or the result of grief. You can never call them out on their bullshit because “that’s rude”.
But I won’t be like them. I may give in to my pain for a moment, I’m human and I sometimes react in hurt and anger like everyone else, but I will never allow myself to be like them. I will strive to never be so hard that I cannot admit when I’m wrong. I will always try to understand and respect others even if I disagree with them. And I will always try to inject LOVE into everything that I do. But I will also not stand for bullshit. I’ve been a doormat for too long, and I won’t ever fucking be one again.
Hear me, and hear me well: If you beat me with your religion, I will defend myself. If you try to poke more holes in my heart, I will call you on it and push you back far enough so you can’t hurt me again. If you pick a fight with me, I’ll put you in your place without apology. That’s not being rude, that’s being strong. And you will not make me feel bad for finally growing a backbone. If I cannot reason with you, then perhaps my firm responses will deter you from trying to hurt me again.
But also hear this: I don’t like to live in conflict. I’d much rather be friends and live in peace with you. If you show even a slight effort to change, if you try to fix things but fail a lot, I’ll bend over backwards to work with you. I can overlook many things when I know the person is making a genuine effort to accept me and make things better. It is not my desire to be at war with you.
So will you put down your weapons and meet me in the middle of this battleground? Can we stop fighting and start truly listening to one another? That’s what I’d like above all else. But I can’t do it alone.
I’m grieving today. Grieving for what I’ve lost, for the close relationships that were poisoned by fundamentalism and intolerance and religiously fueled narcissistic tenancies. Grieving for people in my life who have so drastically changed how they act towards me simply because I believe differently now. Gone is the seemingly unconditional acceptance and adoration, the praise and the trust; in its place are judgment, stereotypes, suspicion, mistrust, blame and anger. Pain pours from my heart every time they remind me of how little they respect and understand who I am now.
But I’ll survive, I always do. And at the end of this day of grieving I’ll be stronger than I was this morning. Because that’s what we do- we pick ourselves up and move forward no matter what they do to us. That’s what survivors do. And above all, I am a survivor.