Pain, Pity, and Abuse

I will be resuming the Eugenics & Contraception series tomorrow. I’ve got too much of a headache/migraine for research this morning. Until then please read this post on pain. Brief non descriptive passage on domestic violence jin third and fourth paragraph. 

I hate the title character of the show House. He’s a brilliant doctor with a limp, who uses his superior posoition, intellect, and chronic pain as excuses to berate, demean, and abuse patients, hospital staff, and people in his personal life. The writers clearly justify his actions on the twin pillars of Pity and Respect: he’s in pain so he can’t help it; he’s important so it’s okay. 

I grew up as an abused child, who didn’t think my pain mattered at all. Once I became a teen that changed, and I decided my pain was all that mattered. I lashed out at my mom, my many boyfriends, the more popular and well off kids I envied. My pain mattered so much to me, I refused to make room for the pain of others. 

Then I became an adult and entered my first serious, and seriously abusive, relationship. My husband was fairly typical as abusive men go: he was whiny, self-centered, and pitiable. He had a sob story he’d been crafting since childhood. Everyone had done him wrong.  All his exes were crazy. I thought he’d literally die without me, from drunk driving or drug overdose. 

His pain was so big and so immediate, I had no room for feelings of my own. He would lash out, yell and scream, steal my keys and wallet to go get more beer. I stopped loving him early on, two or three weeks after our vows. He wasn’t being very lovable. I did leave, just a couple months later. He survived without me there to be his dishrag to mop up his feelings. 

Your pain gets to matter, right up until you use it to hurt someone else. Then their pain must come first. Your pain matters, but you don’t get to forge it into a weapon to bludgeron somerone else with, to cut them to their core. Your pain matters, and so does the pain you inflict on others. Pain, be it physical or mentasmentasl, is not an excuse to be abusive. 

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