Pronunciation Guide

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Hurt people hurt people --- a tale of eighteen

Years ago, I went to a Flyleaf concert. The singer shared her testimony, and said this: “Hurt people hurt people.” That is the only part that stuck with me, but it stuck strongly.

Just think about it. …Hurt people hurt people. People who have been hurt…become those who hurt. [Not always, but often.]

…How many people do you deal with daily that are rude, angry, impatient, and just all-around unpleasant? Currently being in the food/customer service business, I frequently encounter the aggravated and unreasonable --- people who go off on you for extremely minor things. Many of my co-workers get aggravated right back and say mean things about them after they leave [or sometimes before they leave]. [Yeah…if you are a jerk in a restaurant, I guarantee the employees will talk about you.]

I, however, try to be understanding. While there may be some people who truly do get bent out of shape about food [we are kind of a nation of gluttons after all], most of the people are probably truly upset about something else. It kind of goes with the whole, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle” idea, or the quote that…yeah, I just lost it. Ha!

Bottom line, you never know what is going on in someone else’s life. That person who refuses to look at you or answer your questions in the drive-thru window? Maybe they lost their child years ago and are just recently even being able to come out of their house. The lady who screamed at you because she didn’t understand how our menu works? Maybe she just found out she has cancer, or maybe she just found out her child does. That guy who throws his food back in your face because he didn’t want any wings, but we misunderstood and gave him all wings? Maybe his wife just left him, or he just lost his job. Or his house.

…I realize those are melodramatic ponderings…but many people are facing things like that. Can I really say for sure what a stranger is up against/not up against? Should I be so bold [read: arrogant] as to assume that I know all about their life when I don’t even know their name? Yeah, I may be totally off in my speculation [maybe they are just butts and always have been] --- but if it leads to me being kind despite their rudeness, who cares? I’m responsible for my behavior, not theirs.

…But this is not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about a character [oh, big surprise].

There is a certain guy who comes to my girl’s room at the inn. I don’t think I’ve talked about him before.
[…Ugh, this is getting long. I’m sorry.]

About this guy: He’s the eighteenth guy that comes to my girl’s room, he’s angry and terrible, and he’s one of the ones that haunts her the most. That is all she knows about him. [Well, she doesn’t know about being the eighteenth. She’s lost count by then.]

What she doesn’t know --- but what I know --- is that he was once a six year old boy who was sexually abused by his H-guy neighbor. He became an H-guy not because he really believed in their cause, but because, in his mind, “H-guy” equaled “power” and “terrifying”. And he wanted to be the one with the power, the one who terrified, instead of being terrified. It ended twelve years ago, but he still suffers from intense nightmares about his past. And to numb the pain and feel powerful, he frequents brothels and terrorizes others.

In every way, he is a rapist, a sexual abuser…and seriously messed up. And I…am completely in love with him.
For me, in this story, he is one of the big ones that epitomize the “hurt people hurt people” thing. [Her mother and the innkeeper are a couple others.]

I am not excusing what he does. I do not seek to excuse anyone’s behavior --- not in real life, or in the story.
…But…I am very big into reasons.
Rude customers really don’t have an excuse for speaking to us the way that some of them do.
Rapists/child molesters don’t have an excuse for hurting people the way that they do.

…But a reason? …There is usually a reason. I may not know it, may not see it…but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist in that person’s heart.

This is why I despise it when people talk about doing horrible things to child molesters/rapists/etc. I do not even know how many times I’ve seen/read/heard this…but it is nauseating. Some of the absolute ugliest, most hateful things people have ever said have been said about child molesters.

Every time something else happens, some other pedophile is arrested…the backlash makes me want to roar at the top of my lungs, “But you have no idea what happened to them!

Yes, I know that many people are just sick and twisted. Yes, sin is rampant, Satan is working hard, and this world is going to crap about as fast as it can.

But.
But.

How do you, random-person-on-the-internet-completely-removed-from-the-situation-but-wanting-to-express-your-hatred-so-all-can-see-how-passionate-you-are-about-protecting-children-so-you-can-feel-good-about-yourself-despite-your-non-involvement, know that that child molester you are so quickly condemning…was not once the molested child that you seek to defend? [I know that not everyone who speaks is removed from the situation. But many of them are.]

I am not saying that this is ALWAYS the case. There are many people who have been sexually abused who would rather die a thousand deaths before touching anyone else the way that they endured. I do not believe anyone who has been raped will automatically become a rapist, and I do not believe that every rapist has been raped.

But do I believe that every child rapist [or non-child rapist] should be killed? Condemned to be raped in prison? Condemned to the most horrible death someone can think of?

No.
No, no, no, no.

It amazes me to see this: People who are utterly outraged over the rape of a child…wishing rape upon a man.

…I’m sorry, I thought rape was part of the issue here? I thought it was a horrible thing? So now it is suddenly not only not horrible, but a good, just punishment and something to wish for? …I am so confused.

Oh, but he did horrible things to a child! The child couldn’t fight back, and he knew it.

So rape is only a bad thing if it happens to a child? Okay, let’s apply that to something else --- how about murder? Is murder only bad if it happens to a child who can’t fight back? What about physical/emotional/psychological abuse? Only bad if it happens to a child who can’t defend themselves? …I think not. Double-standard much?

But he deserves it! He deserves to know what it’s like to be hurt that way! He deserves to be punished!

…Yeah, he does. He does. Truly.
…But who the heck are you to condemn him to it? Are you without sin and perversion? And do you know him? Do you intimately know his history, his life story? Do you know everything that has ever happened to him? Do you know his hurts, his frustrations, his deepest fears? Do you know for a fact that he wasn’t abused himself?

No? …Eh, you may not be the best judge, then. Pretty sure that if you condemn him…you succeed only in condemning yourself right along with him.

…I recognize that my view of this is not the norm. And I realize that it invites backlash and hate. I know that my decision to bring that other guy back into the story…people will almost certainly criticize me for that. And I know that people will misunderstand what I am saying with the forgiveness/friendship aspect of the whole thing.

But I can’t help it. I believe it. I believe that people can change.
Because I believe in a God who changes people.
I am living proof.

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