On Life and Love

A Five Letter Word

I’ve only ever really been faced with dealing with the label of “abuse” about three times in my life.

I don’t mean handling the aftereffects–I live with that every day, in one fashion or another.

I mean to really sit, let the idea and label roll around in my heart and mind, and to feel what that concept means and whether or how it applies and ripples.

Don’t run from it. Don’t excuse it. Don’t justify it. Leave aside explanations of “systems”. Don’t box it up, write that label, and stuff it in the closet.

Just sit, and feel the weight of it, of both the acts and the label.

The first time I felt that weight was in college, when I looked back on some of my earlier life experiences. The second time was just last year, almost to the week.

The third time is more recent, and I am again allowing that label, the mere idea–which is so difficult to face in and of itself, as it tends to apply to someone you care for and to imply Victim and Survivor and Perpetrator–to roll through my mind on a new situation, a new pattern.

An old pattern.

There are always so many reasons. So many excuses. So much compassion and love that can be offered. So many reasons to be silent or feel at fault. So many reasons to keep trying to bear through it.

Because why would someone so deeply betray your expectations (and thus trust)?

But there has to be room for all of those to coexist, and there is, I’m finding. Parts can feel at fault while others excuse while others accuse and others scream.

They’re all there, and that’s okay.