Just Beneath the Surface

Yesterday a friend sent me a link to an article that wrecked me. It’s been a long time since something truly terrified me. By terrified I mean fear of something present, not just a trigger. It takes a lot to make my blood run cold after everything I’ve been through, but I just can’t shake this one.

It was an article about abuse. It had a list of things the abuser says when he/she is pretending they are sorry and fessing up to the abuse. Let’s go through it, shall we? (Well, even if you don’t want to, I must, because I’m not sure I can function until I face this.)

  • “It was a misunderstanding.”
  • “I made a mistake.”
  • “I didn’t really know what I was doing.”
  • “Things got out of hand.”
  • “I let the devil control me.”
  • “I really cared about the [victim].”
  • “It was terrible for me.”

Let me just say that these are all things abusers say when they are claiming to be repentant. They usually don’t “repent” unless they are caught between a rock and a hard place, such as their spouse leaving them or the police arresting them. Zelena has used all these. His favorite line was “I made a mistake.”

A? Only one, I guess. Yeah, he’d amended it sometimes, but it usually came back to “a.”

As for the devil one, Zelena went so far as to claim that he had been possessed at one point, but he’s better now, according to him. And, of course, they are always saying they cared about their victim, and, oh, how much they were suffering through all of it.

Anyway, I’ve made this point many times: All abusers are playing from the same handbook. It’s as if they went to abuser school and they memorized the lines they needed to say to control, manipulate, etc. It’s creepy to talk with other victims about their experience because you start to get the feeling that maybe these abusive men and women are just clones of each other. They all say the same things, they all do the same things.

It’s all one big mess that, if written as a story, would make Stephen King look tame.

But all this is not what wrecked me. All this knowledge is not what is currently churning my stomach and making me want to dry heave (I haven’t eaten yet.)

I’m upset because this article was not about domestic violence. This article is about child molesters.

They all say the same things They all work the same way. They get on your good side, they make you think they care and can be trusted. Then they begin with their abuse. At first you are confused. Wasn’t this person just nice to me? That’s what I was thinking 21 years ago tomorrow. Was this the man who was just so affectionate toward me? Why is he treating me this way now?

But they are so good at what they do. They will say the exact right words that will make you think it’s all your fault. They are masters at it. They have been perfecting it for years.

Just beneath the surface, these shining faces that people outside think are so wonderful, are completely evil. If their physical masks could be removed and we could see the spiritual side, we would be so freaking terrified that we would run.

I’m hedging around what I really want to say here so I’m just going to spit it out…

How is it possible that millions of people all over the world who don’t even know each other doing all sorts of evil to millions of people who don’t even know each other, and they all use the same exact words?

I’d like your answer. I have mine, I want to know if you can come up with a better, more earthly, humanistic explanation. Something that explains away the spiritual the way we in the West are wont to do.

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