Yelling and Lists

I learned when I was younger that there are a very limited number of reasonable, acceptable reactions to being hurt. If something someone else said hurt my feelings, or if someone someone else did hurt my body, it was more or less the same list; find an authority figure and report it, or a few little busywork ideas. Amongst those was the idea of prayer, and lists. Prayer was where if I went somewhere private, and spoke to the ceiling about the problem, I could be assured it would be in god’s hands, and he would fix the problem, or fail to fix it. Lists were also important – because in the Bible, Samuel at one point wrote out a list, and that list came to pass. As a child, I therefore started on writing things down when I was upset.

I went through a period in my teen years where I considered that list and threw it out the window. I did things like, when someone hurt my feelings or upset me, I yelled at them, swore, and in a few instances, tried to fight back. Fighting back rarely went well for me, but if you’re going to visit a doctor for something later, you might as well do it thinking at least I tried. Then I started dealing with the people who didn’t hit me. I dealt with life that hurt me, instead. It was around then I really started to get into the habit of writing down lists.

Sometime in the past few years, I’ve learned that I can’t do things or say things when I’m hurt, all over again. I’m the big radioactive one, the one whose exhalation is cruelty, the piece of the dreadful machinery of hate. When someone upsets me, telling them to fuck off isn’t reasonable. If I upset them, well, okay, they can tell me to fuck off, and that’s reasonable and understandable, because they’re under a lot of stress. Don’t even mention these things in public – because if you do, and someone else, someone who is not you reads them, they might become upset, because they are sensitive. People who assign themselves the role of healer in your life get mad at you when they didn’t notice you were hurting. Like it’s your fault.

Prayer doesn’t really do anything for me, though I suppose I can talk to an empty room without risking hurting anyone. But I can write lists. I write lists, then I look at them, and the same thought surfaces, every time:

What a presumptuous whining pile of bullshit.