June 30, 2013

You break it, You buy it

Note: June 30 - WOW. The response to this has been OVERWHELMING. I have been on the fence a lot about the feedback I've received from my readers. Some has been very insightful and constructive, some has uplifted me, and a few have, as words are wont to do, bummed me out.

Please do not misunderstand the purpose of my writing. I am not meaning to promote the cyclical abuse cycle or promote victimization--not in the slightest. Own yourself, own your problems, own your healing, as I have learned to do. This writing was meant to discuss those who hurt others and who don't take responsibility, at the very least, for their actions, who leave destruction in their wake wherever they go.

I am very thrilled that this has helped those of you who were hurting and I hope it continues to do so. Thank you!*

When my sister and I were kids, there were always signs hung up in shops that said: "If you break it, you bought it." It was kind of an accepted term. If you were messing around with something that wasn't really yours to begin with, and you broke it or somehow damaged it, the responsible thing would be to pay for it. Accidents happened, of course, and you might have brushed past too close and knocked a snow globe down and cracked it. You might have accidentally knocked a porcelain doll off the display. But the honorable thing to do was to admit your mistake and to pay for it.

It's kind of like people, isn't it? Somebody put their trust in you -- even if you didn't ask for it. Even if you didn't want it. It happens. People grow attached and they put their trust in you. You let them think they belong, that they're cared about and wanted. You say a thing or two that might hurt their feelings but they trust you so they always come back. It isn't a weakness. It's a human response accompanying the desire to belong.

But, sometimes you break a person. Sometimes you really fuck them up and make them ache and cry and you tear them apart inside. Maybe you meant to do it. Maybe you did it maliciously. Maybe you did it because they were there and they were so soft and pliant and vulnerable and trusting and you couldn't help yourself to destroy something so pure. Or maybe it was an accident. Maybe you didn't mean to do it. Maybe you were just handling them a little too roughly and you broke off a bit here and a piece there. Here's a chip, there's a crack. The wing's falling off, the nose is scuffed. It won't ever be the same again, even if you glue it back together.

But the responsible thing to do is to admit you broke them, to sweep up those shattered pieces and try your hardest to put them back together again. They won't be the same. There will still be cracks and they might not be as beautiful as they were before. But you made an effort to fix this ugly, broken thing and trust me, this thing, this thing with the misshapen wing and slightly bent arm and chipped smile, appreciates it when you do. Don't ignore it, don't sweep it under the rug like it never happened. Don't scold it. It wasn't its own fault that it broke. It didn't smash by itself.

Handle people carefully. We are not indestructible. Sometimes we puff ourselves up big and we swear a lot, or maybe we're just happy-go-lucky, dumb blonde types. It's not who we are. Human beings are such fragile, fragile things. We put on those facades in hopes that people don't look through them or past them to see the frail, barely stirring creature inside with the soft, white underbelly of delicacy.

Before you pick something up and play with it, be prepared to pay for it if you break it. If you hurt somebody, do the honorable thing and pick up the mess you made and do your best to put them back together. It won't be perfect. In fact, they might be a little strange looking after, but they will appreciate it more than you ever will know.

(This is just something that has been bouncing around in my head for some time and it's something I needed to share, regardless of time and place. It's important to me to be able to communicate and this just happened to appear out of the keyboard.)

No comments: