I know that no one is born revengeful or angry. I believe that people enter life as love. I know that you were abused by your father, who was likely abused by his and so on. I know that his words probably did more damage than his fist- the way he told you that you were worthless, incapable, nothing. He didn’t see you, not really. He told you a lie.
I know that he abused your mother, my grandmother. She told me about the time when you were a teen and had enough of his wrath. The time, the hundredth time, he banged his fist and stood up at the dinner table; something trivial triggered his rage and when he leaned toward your mother, you stood to protect her. You ran to grab the ax used for cutting wood and told him no more. He sat back down. You drew a line that day.
But you drew a line over your heart too. The line says I will love this much but no more. I will feel this much but no more. It reasons, this line you’ve drawn, that you did your best to love my mother and she rejected you. Your best was sometimes cold, sometimes demeaning, but it was better than what you knew. The line says you will not feel sadness. You mustn’t. You will not grieve.
The line says you will feel this but not that. Anger but not grief. Rage but not compassion. I was not allowed to grieve either, when you cast my mother out. Your actions were cut off from your heart, your spirit. Even your supposed love for me could not lift you above this rage, this protection you had built for yourself. You had to win. Win at hurting. Win at all costs.
I was expected to put the same line over my heart, a line that says I will not love my mother. I will let her go. And the cost was great, much greater than your ego knows. Your ego thinks you won; it even thinks I won, for I have you, the superior one.
But your spirit knows you have lost. The choices you made were from wounds and from fear, and not from love, not from love at all, despite what you have convinced yourself.
Love does not do this.
You may never own this, not before your death anyway. You sense that if you did, you would feel a pain much greater than your father’s fist. Greater than his cutting words. Greater than the pain of rejection. You would feel a pain as searing as an ax through the heart. To face what you have done would mean facing all your wounds. It would render you vulnerable. But in letting it break your heart, you would find your spirit again. If you only knew what you stand to gain. If you did face the truth, in some moment of stillness, by some miracle, and let the pain of this truth wash over you, then you would be living. You would be real again. I believe in miracles.
For now, my father, and Every Alienator, you are existing in a swath of protection, in a lie that tells you that you have won, that you are right. But that lie is fragile, weak and thin, and it covers your heart where the truth resides. That is what you don’t know; you don’t know the cost of winning.
I take comfort in knowing the truth. I have suffered great blows to my sense of self, but I love that I am a truth seeker. I am grateful that I am strong enough to face what is real. I grew up afraid of you because I didn’t know then how weak and scared you really are. If you allow yourself to break apart, to see the truth, I will not say I told you so.
Someday, maybe not in this lifetime, I will see the real you and I will recognize you as love.