Victims

I should not have said the words

I did.  I wasn’t trying to make you feel bad;

I was trying to make myself

Feel better.  How,

I am not yet fully aware.  Maybe

 

I wanted to have

Control, or power.  Maybe

I was just trying to connect.

Maybe I didn’t know,

Or realise,

Or consider the effect

It would have on you.  After all,

If I have to second guess

Someone else’s feelings before

Each time I open my mouth,

Communication would be stilted,

False even,

Since everything would be calculated for effect.

 

 

Even then, without

Fully knowing the workings

Of your mind,

I would get it wrong.

I cannot think

About everything

I say.

 

I meant nothing

By it.

I’m sorry that it hurt you

 

You

Did not hurt me; you merely

 Gave me the weapons

To hurt

 Myself.  I

Allowed your words to remind me

That I am vulnerable

To embarrassment and

My subconscious raised ancient defences. 

 

I did not think

To challenge them,

To realise

That I was not under attack.

 

I could have showed myself

My strength by laughing

With you.  I should have

Interpreted your words

As the easy, unconscious

Banter of friendship,

As they were meant.  I didn’t

Even know

I had a choice. 

 

Your words made me angry, so I hit you.

 

Your last sentence implies simple

Cause and effect.

It is not so.

Simple.

 

My words connected

With some remembered pain,

Or programmed fear.

In doing so, you did not

Become angry; you

Got scared.

Primitive responses

Kicked in and fear

Created anger.

 

A simple, automatic, chemical reaction.

 

Your body tensed

For violence and you did not

Read the warning signs,

Did not intervene.

You went blind.

You went stupid.

You did not hit me

 

But lashed out at your own imaginary demons.

I became

A metaphor,

A manifestation of your fear.  I’m sorry

I turned myself

Into your fear;

Maybe I was trying to pass

On mine,

To rid myself of it.

 

I wasn’t attacking you.

I was attacking me.

My fear.

 

 I wasn’t attacking you.  I was attacking me.  My fear.

 

Why are we afraid?

 

Because of the words of others.

 

Because of the violence of others.

 

But would we not have the same conversation as we have just had, with them?

 

How can we stop it?

By watching what I say.

 

By minding what I do.

 

By not being a cause.

 

That is impossible.

There are a million causes.

There is no cause.

The Fear exists.

The Fear does not exist.

 

Let us decide not to be victims of the Fear,

But realise that the Fear is a victim.

Let us comfort him and, smiling as brothers,

shake hands.

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