The language of categorically and inherently wrong is new to me. Like, I see how if an individual or group is identified, in this way, another individual or group may feel right by comparison and justified in unwholesome actions against them. Under this label a person is UNACCEPTABLE–disposable, their humanity rendered invalid, inadmissable and beneath consideration.
Something which is inherently wrong is wrong in its very nature. Categorical means absolute, without any exceptions. Inherently wrong and categorically wrong are very close. To designate a person or animal or thing in either of these ways would make it more palatable to disegard, marginalize, diminish, neglect, extinguish, erase.
No longer believing in my need to atone for who I am AND all of my inherent and categorical badness is new for me and has divided me permanently from those who needed and benefitted from my consent. While the pain of my family of origin and marriage to a man who regarded and treated me similarly may never fully disappear, the absence of shame brings new energy and hope. Sadly, to manifest something greater may require energy, the kind derived from the recovery of sleeping nightly for more than 4 hours. To claim that ptsd and my neurology make sleep challenging, is an understatement.
I am now appreciating waking each day, with the diginity of getting to be who I am. An absence of shame, born of my new understanding of those who collectively and systematically worked to dismantle me, with messages like: Stop it. Stop feeling that way- right this instant(or else). Don’t do that – don’t be that way. Fix it. And go do that somewhere else. As you are, you cause US pain and disturbance–you are unwanted, unfit, unwelcome, lacking in value, disqualified from consideration and inclusion.
I worry for my sons as their father and my family want their buy in, to the problem of me. The implied requirement that they disassociate from me and any part of themselves that loves or relates to me, if they wish to BELONG–to the Royal WE. What a toxic legacy. Previously when one of my sons would behave in ways suggesting that– he matters more than certainothers, I would over-react and tell him how he was like THEM. This reaction of mine is shameful, damaging and divisive for us. Now, when he behaves as if he and his desires matter the most — snatching for his way at all costs, I simply say: “That is some legacy shit, right there.” It is not great – but better. Sometimes, I even just say “Legacy shit”. He defitinitely would like to cast himself as categorically and inherently right and better than. But, but how ever will we function as a healthy family or team with this thinking at work in any one of us? My dedication to disrupting these sick myths and cycles is strong.
Cycles which tolerate victimizing and diminishing of a person or group…cycles and dynamics in which some believe themselves to matter more than others….cycles which enable the disabling and TAKING from others, violating others’ bodies, boundaries, finances, security.
I hate how much I get to say it in whatever unrefined and reactive way that I do: “But there is only one thing which makes people abuse—They are abusers.” Abusers abuse. Liars lie. Trouble makers make trouble. Takers take. Because they can – that is how they are. Period. People’s behavior and choices are on THEM. Mature and safe people do not justify and defend doing unwholesome things. While knowingly diminishing and harming others is categorically wrong, I do not believe a person can be categorically wrong(or right). Injurious behaviors can be corrected and amended by those humble, courageous, and strong enough to do the work. We all have the option to better ourselves and atone for shitty conduct, but never for who we are.
To believe in categorical rightness and wrongness is a menacing way to be. And yet, not entirely uncommon. It allows some people to never feel or say sorry for the damage of their choices. While others are encouraged to feel sorry for having caused or earned (and if you have been gaslit—also to have imagined or misunderstood) the defacing by others. What a mess. I see this dynamic pawing differently at each of my sons.Much Love,
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