30 Dec '17 — A horror enshrouded in hopelessness
Say you live in a building with an elevator that opens directly into your apartment.
One day, as you’re doing your thing, you notice fingers prying into the door. Someone is trying to get in. It’s disturbing.
‘Why can’t they come in the right way? Why can’t they come up like everyone else?’
Instead of confronting that person, I’m angry and upset to the point I push the fingers back. I barricade the door.
A couple days ago, I was recounting how I started having beef with a family member. My cousin spread a rumor that I was prostituting myself for drug money. It was such an exaggeration that hardly anyone believed but it still provided a good amount of gossip for my family. I was hurt. I never knew why anyone would do such a thing. What was more puzzling was this cousin was someone I rarely spoke with.
‘Why would anyone start such a rumor?’ I said those words out loud several times. It made no sense. For once, I begged to understand. The fifth time I got an answer.
My guts dropped. My insides started hallowing out. I felt a dark suffocating energy come into me.
‘Oh my god. That’s why.’
How can a feeling explain everything? In that moment, I realized that all the pain I went through was a drop in the bucket compared to what this person felt.
I just happened to be on the floor he reached out to, clung on, attempting to get a strong reaction from the outside world. It was one of the few openings he had a chance at.
As much as I was in pain, the event was never about me. I shuddered from the feeling: a horror enshrouded in hopelessness.
It’s so difficult to tell what someone is going through internally. I cannot verify whether my cousin was in such a state, however, understanding a feeling that was so dark, so far from the pain I felt–the existence of that space–I had to give him the benefit of the doubt.
What does it mean to forgive when no one is at fault?