passing on the pain

It’s intriguing to me that those who bully, belittle, condescend, look down, or oppress others the most, have experienced some form of bullying in their past. Even as I write this, this sounds like a given. Yet despite how relatively simple this is to understand, it is intriguing how many of these people have still convinced themselves in their heads that they understand “that pain,” but in the next turn, give that pain to another. That tells me that they do not in the slightest understand the very pain they perpetuate.

The thing about pain: it can easily become internalized in our being. Once that pain becomes internalized, we end up unknowingly operating by the rules of that pain. For example, being a bully, or the “ostracizer,” meant that that person was “in power.” He or she held the reins and as a victim, you were at his or her mercy. You grow up, out of middle and high school. Yet you’ve come to internalize the pain and those rules of power. Having a lot of friends means I’m cool. Being pretty means looking like X, Y and Z. It is, after all, what you’ve come to learn as true. You say you understand the pain because you’ve been through it, but then in your manner or way of being, give that same pain to others. You become overly critical of others (and most likely yourself), ostracize others and feel a sense of importance by being “in the clique,” condescend, etc.

We all want to feel like we are wanted. Desired. Accepted. Important. In control. Even in power, whatever that may mean to us. The problems often come in, however, when we follow those same rules that were transmitted to us by how others treated us in our past, into our present, adult lives. Rules that unknowingly perpetuate the same pain we received. It is not an uncommon effect to recreate situations and family of origin issues of our past in our other relationships in our present to redo the story. To create a different ending. Or in this case, to finally be the one who is in power now, rather than the one who is picked on, ostracized, or condescended to.

Life is certainly anyone’s prerogative, and you can do whatever the fuck you want with it. I suppose what bothers me though, is when some people say that they know and understand a certain pain because they have had it… yet give that pain without thinking onto others around them. When people are like that, all I see is them saying that they understand every inch of an iceberg, without having looked underneath the water.