On Life and Love

Am I still the same?

As an underclassman in high school, whenever people were insulting or cruel to me, I would spend a decent amount of energy devising a perfect cutting revenge. Something short and usually based upon very personal, embarrassing/shameful details they’d told me. I’d wait until they’d forgotten about their transgression (not long, for 15-year olds), then remind them casually and right in public of their dog-fucking habits or of the collection of child rape porn they were hiding on their parents’ computer. I developed a nice style, I think. Pleasantly inquisitive, smiling all the while.

I don’t do that so much any more. I never figured out why people still confided in me, because I’d probably hurt each of my friends at least once that way back then.

Of course, this sort of attack works best when you’ve had that “empathy realization” that happens in high school (or college for some, as I’m learning at Rose)–when you finally understand the effects your words and actions will have on others’ minds. That is, if you’re a sadistic bitch.

I’ve since learned about turning cheeks (for another spanking, of course), talking things out, frowning mightily, and generally doing what American grown-ups are supposed to do when they get angry and hurt.

But sometimes… sometimes it’s someone close enough that their casual cruelty hurts. One cruel comment made in anger and exasperation that sets me off planning revenge again.

I won’t do anything. I’ll talk it out, frown, ask for another spanking, please daddy, and watch the opportunities to inflict immense return damage pass by for the next few days.

Each and every opportunity.

So have I really changed?


  • Lissa

    Well, a friend of a friend had a heinous party experience which involved posters being placed around her campus afterwards–showing her letting a dog have sex with her. Not something I outed, but it came to mind, because I heard back in those days. 🙂

    The child rape porn, however, is more prevalent.

  • Micah

    Oh, my god. Do I remember those days…

    Couldn’t tell Lissa nothin’… but I did anyway.

  • Stobor

    Best response to cruelty that I’ve found – blunt sarcasm.
    But it works for me. A few notes:
    1. I’m not easily offended.
    2. There’s usually only 1 thing that i get harassed about.
    3. I can’t do anything about #2
    4. I’ve been insensitized to #2, thanks to my family and friends of many years.
    5. I’m a sarcastic person – In the right company, im serious less than 10% of the time.

    Also good is employing enough self-deprecation. It’s not fun for other people to harass you if you do it first or more frequently.

  • Jenny

    I think that still noticing the opportunities but not doing anything is a step in the growing process. You recognize the effects of your actions, but old habits die hard. Someday, if you work hard enough at it and actually accept your “it’s the right thing to do” reasoning as fact, you won’t notice those opportunities as much. Also, stress probably uncovers a bit of the beast hiding beneath your pleasant and smiling exterior.
    I know I struggle with accepting certain “it’s the right thing to do” as fact. I do certain things because that’s what I’m supposed to do, but what would I do if no one was watching and I didn’t have to deal with the consequences?

  • A

    It’s quirky, but I was a sort of people watcher myself in high school. I would test my theories of how people interacted (essentialy my Black Box Theory of Social Dynamics). Working at it hard enough, I knew I had a big gun at my disposal, and sometimes I really wanted to use it.

    I have only tested it a couple times. The perfectly calibrated set of devastating words is hard to come by. While I think it’s unsporting to exact revenge that way (we could all be targets and the Golden Rule ‘n all), there is the exciting way a perfectly placed sentence can utterly destroy a person’s world view and force them to rebuild (a necessity for tthose with rather chronic personality flaws). This is my second theory, and while I haven’t taken it as far, I know it works – but it’s so dangerous I won’t ever try it again. That and it’s so tiring to figure it out.