When The Routine Bites Hard, And Ambitions Are Low, And The Resentment Rides High, But Emotions Won't Grow, And We're Changing Our Ways
People always ask "why do we always hurt the ones we love." I think a better question would be "why do we always love the ones we hurt." I mean--we're all guilty of it. We all seek out those individuals who, while not far beneath us in stature, are always a peg or two below us. We hardly chase after those who are completely out of our class. Even in those rare instances where we have delusions of grandeur, we always manage to find the flaw where we can reassure ourselves that they aren't so great, they aren't so glorious, they aren't perfect. We all possess that desire to confide and trust only those we are somehow better than because none of us want to unburden our souls to someone who hasn't experienced the same level of turmoil. After all, if an individual is perfect in every way compared to us, how can we expect them to understand our problems? It would fall on deaf ears because they couldn't begin to comprehend it all.
No, we always have to make sure that they have suffered like we have suffered. Somehow it makes it easier for us to trust. We figure, hey, they've had it rough too so it won't bother them hearing about our stupidity and knowing our failings. Soon they know all our secrets. Soon it even begins to feel like they know us inside and out.
And that's when we turn on them.
Julian Barnes once wrote:
They are scarcely adult, some men: they wish women to understand them, and to that end they tell them all their secrets; and then, when they are properly understood, they hate their women for understanding them.
That's the strange fact about people, not just men. We want to find that person that gets us, that knows what we're all about. But whenever we do, we get this sense of paranoia that they'll use the information against us. Worse yet, whenever troubles begin, we know that they know potentially damaging information about us so, like a nuclear war, we seek to be the one who pushes the button first. We use every bit of knowledge about what will really hurt a person... to really hurt a person. And it isn't because we truly want to devastate them; it's because we know that, given the right circumstances, they could hurt us first. We hurt people all the time to stop them from hurting us first.
And yet it's the same impulse that makes us be mean and spiteful that allows us the knowledge that we love them too. It's a dangerous thing this letting someone in. What makes us cause somebody to cry is also the same feeling of closeness that makes it so damn important to apologize after. You don't make somebody you're indifferent towards cry. It's not worth the effort or the stress. The only people you push to tears are the people who make you the happiest because, suddenly, they've failed to do their job. More importantly, they only get hurt because they love you so much. If you didn't matter to them, if they didn't care, whatever you said and did would slough off like water. They'd walk away because you'd be nothing to them.
But when they cry, when your words start to sting and singe and burn, that's when you know how much they care about you.
I wish it weren't so. I wish it could be like in the movies where I could see a young woman and think she's perfect. That would be the end of the story. I wish I wouldn't have to find fault with her. I wish I could just leave well enough alone. I know, though, perfection makes for an awful dance partner and that it's much easier to fall in step with someone as flawed as myself. It's easier to bring her down than to do all the work to rise to her level. It's easier to say I'm sorry for a mistake than it is to never make a mistake.
Sometimes it's easier to wipe away tears than it is to genuinely make her smile for a whole day through.
Then love, love will tear us apart again
I don't know why people hurt other people--sometimes I really don't. Nor do I understand why all these same people turn out to be the greatest loves of my life.