That was one of the questions I asked last night in a lively debate about love and sex and kink.
I had been talking about not ever wanting to hurt someone I love, and going out of my way to avoid doing it intentionally.
They countered with the claim that it was never intentional. It “just happens,” when people are upset and cannot control their emotions.
So, I said, “Have you ever wanted to kick a puppy? Or punch your child in the face?”
They looked horrified and said, “No.”
I asked if they had done those things.
They said “No” again, this time as if they were looking for the trap.
I pointed out that they did not do those things because to them, those things are anathema. Repugnant. Wrong.
Then I asked if they would do those things when they were REALLY REALLY angry.
They said they would not.
So, I asked, “Then why would you hurt someone you love with your words? Unless deep down in your heart you want to? Unless in the core of your mind you want to? You want them to hurt like you are hurting, to prove they love you or feel for you, or something.
“Because if you really believe that hurting someone you love is 100% wrong, and there is NO REASON TO EVER do it, you won’t.”
Humans will human.
I was very clear in the ensuing conversation that I am not perfect. I do sometimes want to hurt someone I love the way I am hurting, deeply and instinctually, and sometimes it slips out.
However, I mostly don’t. And when I do, it horrifies me.
There is no reason, ever (sure, prove me wrong—I can’t think of any though) to emotionally attack someone to cause them pain just because I am hurting.
Just like there is no reason (for me), ever to:
- abuse animals
- abuse children
- abuse people
And so on.
And so, I never have. Not on purpose—on purpose.
Yes, I’ve said some hateful things. Never with a conscious intent to hurt. But definitely with a subconscious intent to.
And because I realized that was wrong for me, I do that MUCH less often as well.
There is NO WAY that I can avoid hurting people accidentally, through misunderstandings or thoughtlessness or just being me. I accept that, and do my best.
And I am every day, in small and large ways also teaching myself that hurting people I love on purpose is wrong.