A story. I do do them once in a while, you know.
What do you do when someone sucks the air out of your space? When the psychological knife-play that they relish so much, feels like oxygen starvation? Pressure at the base of the skull, pain and heat at the top, queasy neck and gills, a throat made of sandpaper that couldn't swallow solids if your life depended on it? Laboured breathing; eyes constantly blinking but dry? Ice blood in your arms and the inability to close a fist?
Come to think of it, does that describe a condition, and what's it called?
Not exactly a panic attack? Shock? It feels more like a short circuit, or a heavy blow to the head. Here I am nearly an hour later, still feeling like I'm on some sort of evil pre-med. I felt my aura go 'thwrup' as it imploded. Heck it probably turned inside out from the speed that it shrunk in its own defense.
Only those we love can do this to us. Only those we have invested ourselves in; those we have hope for or faith in. Those we always see through rose coloured glasses no matter how many times they kick us down.
This woman was an abused child. She refused to crumble; she's not rushing around living out a hollow painful urge to please people and be seen as worthy. She was praised and supported and to all intents and purposes it looked like she had survived.
Now she is an adult herself, her fun is to make damn sure that as many others as possible feel like abused children themselves, by the time she's done with them. She doesn't get her self validation by seeking praise to lift her up, she does it by seeking people to crush and stand over.
Who but a mother would keep coming back for more, keep believing the apologies, keep being desperate to have her precious baby returned whole, keep refusing to accept the damage as intrinsic to the person.
But there comes a point where this spiritual vampirism saps so much from you that you feel so insubstantial, so ungrounded, so battered that you could lean on a wall and fall through.
So the big question now is what to do.
Fight or flight is screaming through me, although I froze at the time. If someone recorded her verbal cruelty and used it as script for a soap opera baddy, then some well meaning soul of limited capacity would have felt it their God given duty to save the world by exterminating the actor, probably inside the first week.
How do you cut off your most damaged child, your firstborn? I don't want to retaliate. I'm not sure that running, shutting her out, would do any more than give her ammunition to bolster her aggressive view of life.
Of course its all academic, if relating to her is actually going to kill me. I think I need to go and lie down.