If she hadn’t done it before I might have overlooked it this time. It might not have hurt so much.
That is not true. It likely still would have hurt. It is the fact that this was done again, repeatedly, that made this time hurt more than the last.
I don’t understand people who do such things. Well, maybe I do, I realize I have the ability myself but I choose not to exercise it. I know better. I feel differently. I don’t go for the emotional carotid. I have other ways to make my point, debate, argue, and yeah, hurt someone, without going for the deepest wound in their life. I have my friend Karuna to thank for that lesson.
Years ago, on LiveJournal, I shared a similar experience. I believe that situation involved my ex-husband and his inflicting a similar wound. Railing in pain, bleeding from the deepest parts of my soul, I turned to my LiveJournal friends at the time and spilled all the details into a journal posting, the title of which I have long forgotten. As an adoptee and healthcare professional, Karuna likely said much in response. I remember only one sentence:
“you do not use a persons greatest wound against them.”
She was right.
My husband, and my sister years before him (her first offense), had indeed used my greatest wound – the loss of my first-born child to adoption – against me. It was dirty pool. It is the mark of an unfair fighter, a nasty person, a mean-spirited sick soul that will go for the emotional carotid. Doing so stops the flow of blood from my heart to my head and sends me spinning into shock. No need to check for a pulse. I am alive but emotionally dead. It is a guaranteed win for them. A win that leaves me curled on the floor, literally or figuratively, attempting to breathe and regain my senses. My white flag flies.
This time, this year, when my sister opted for that tactic I was momentarily confused. The words she chose were out-of-place with the flow of the argument. Clearly she was losing, or felt she was, and she began to grasp at straws. If there had been a mirror in front of me, versus the face of my older sister, I might have seen my eyebrows raise and squint towards my nose in utter confusion as I turned to my mother.
“What does she mean? Supplementing? Do you understand that?” I asked my mother.
My mother did not turn to me. Rather she stared at my sister and said “Don’t go there, Jule.”
It was then it clicked.
Where would my mother tell my sister not to go? What holy sacred ground would cause my 68-year-old mother to suddenly interrupt a heated argument amongst two of her three daughters and demand her oldest child not go THERE.
I literally stepped back as if I had been slapped. Only I hadn’t been. All my emotional control, my logic, my desire to contain my own nasty fighting tactics began to shatter. I heard the small cracks forming in my emotional armor. My breath became shallower and my stomach burned and flew up into my throat to choke me.
It was time to go. There would be no winner here. Nothing gained. Only more to be lost.
I have lost enough. My child, enough of my soul, my life, my sanity.
I left. Packed up my belongings with the help of my loving husband and left.
As we drove away I remembered Karuna’s words and was thankful for them, for her, and for my ability to reflect on them at that crucial moment. Had I not done so, things could have gotten much worse. They didn’t. I didn’t. I don’t.
Do not use another persons greatest wound against them. If you do, be prepared for them to be dead to you and you to them. Relationship resuscitation may not be possible.