Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Laughter - the best medecine?

Someone brought up the idea of making fun of/laughing at abusers in your past that was considered to be a positive (I think) part of the therapeutic enterprise and what did I think about it. I really didn't know what I thought about it. My initial reaction was what purpose does it serve? It has been running in the back of mind for a few days now- obviously, because I'm writing about it.

I wrote a note "laughing at our pain by making fun of the abusers". I think that was the answer to my question about its purpose. A story went along with the question, and all I could think of was how that little boy must have felt. I couldn't imagine how even years later, laughing at the abusers would take the pain away in any way, shape or form. I guess that I have also been thinking about my past - could I even begin to find any humour in what happened to me? Even if I could find some kind of joke in there - it would be tinged with such bitterness, that it wouldn't help me. They treated us like we were dolls to do with as they wanted and then abandon when they were finished. We didn't have feelings; we weren't human beings. For me, there is no humour in that.

I think the rationale must be that if you can make fun of them, then you are cutting them down to size. So you become an abusive person. It just bothers me that someone can think that turning us into abusers is a solution to fighting the past. What! We get over being victims by turning into victimizers? This is how we destroy our demons? If we turn into victimizers, then they've won. They've turned us into them - the scale of abuse may not be the same, but it is still abusive behaviour. And besides, they couldn't care less - they didn't give a damn what we thought when they abused us as children, why would they care now (if they knew, of course)? I guess my answer is that it serves no purpose other than to make us like them. Whether we like it or not, they were once children too and look how they ended up (have I mentioned that I think they should all be hung up by their toes and left to rot for longer than eternity - sort of like Prometheus, they would never die, just suffer and suffer and suffer - I only wish I believed in hell - we all have our phantasies!)

I had a decision to make over the last little while. It should have been a very simple decision. I even knew what the right decision for me was. When the decision had to be made, it still took me two restless nights to say what I needed to say. Relationships are a bitch - even the mildest of them. I have never done them well. I second guess myself all the time. It is as if I want them to be different than what they are. What can I say but ...

Yet another legacy of the abuse - for whatever reason, I have always thought that I could handle anything. It was as if I believed that if that priest didn't destroy me, nobody and nothing could - nothing could ever happen to me that was as bad as what happened to me as a child (even when it was hidden in the recesses of my mind, I operated on the assumption that I could do it all). I've made rather a lot of questionable decisions over the years. Even when I knew better, I would walk right into the centre of the hurricane. I would just dive in willynilly, thinking that everything would work out. It always did, but never without a lot of emotional pain and scars and never the way I thought it would and never the way I wanted it to (ask me why my favorite type of music is the blues, second favorite, country).

The bottom line is that "laughter isn't always the best medicine". It can be dangerous. Just look at all of the bitterest of the comedians (e.g., Lenny Bruce, Sam Kinison). When the laughter comes out of emotional pain, it can be destructive. It leads to no good, it just offers a momentary respite from the pain - just as drugs, alcohol, random sex, compulsive shopping and gambling do. And it has the added danger of maybe turning us into people we wouldn't like very much. And it doesn't make the pain go away.

The universe unfolds as it will; we do what we can.

No comments: