Revenge is a sweet, sweet word. Can anything beat the delicious satisfaction of a primal instinct, the illusion of justice being served? If we, personally, could have the power to right the wrongs of the world – or, more importantly, the wrongs done to us – wouldn’t life just be grand?
After all, revenge is about ego. We all have our own little visions of how our lives are supposed to unfold, and how we deserve to be treated. And when someone tramples our world without a shred of remorse, we tend to feel entitled to brandish our weapons of retaliation, proceeding at all costs. At least, we fantasize about doing so. Most of us. Others of us take the leap to act on those fantasies.
My first lick on the ice cream cone of revenge came after I ended my engagement and found out the little bastard was selling stolen merchandise on his ebay account from the store we had both worked at. The balls! I knew he was a lying piece of crap, but a thief?! That was new. I was ashamed to have known him, much less almost marry the loser. It took some work, but he was eventually fired as a result of the tip-off to loss prevention. Finally he could get what was coming to him, right?
Wrong. A couple years later I find out he had a BETTER job which, in some sick way, I helped him get. Now the crook is ‘Store Manager’ at a place that sells the same type of merchandise! He had gotten fired from the first place with a little slap on the wrist, no charges were filed, and he charmed his way into a great position banking way more money. Chapped my ass. So I sent documentation to the store owner of his honesty problems. I never followed up to see what happened, but I heard from an old friend he doesn’t work there anymore.
You were warned, dumbass...
What I love about the show Revenge is that it encapsulates the inherently flawed logic of trying to settle the score. Amanda Clark (aka Emily, the main character) is hell-bent on ruining lives in her pursuit of vengeance for her father’s life, which was destroyed. In so doing, she squashes her own joy and loses out on love. With revenge, attainment of the goal simultaneously annihilates one’s own opportunities for happiness.
Why would anyone act on an impulse that stands to cost them more than could ever be gained? I am convinced that retribution can only consume the heart of a soul devoured by pain.
There was a period in my life where hatred completely took me over (see above). It boiled down to a mentality that, if my life was irredeemable, the people who had hurt me should not be allowed to walk around smiling.
In a situation where I felt completely powerless to fix myself, the opportunity for revenge gave me the only sense of power I could brandish. I couldn’t get a job, but maybe I could take someone else’s away. I couldn’t find love, but maybe I could wreck some jerk’s blissful relationship.
Modern technology fuels this breed of sickness. I didn’t need to see my exes’ wedding photos online, but there they were. I didn’t care to know what store they registered their first babies at, either, but thanks to Google, “name” + “town” = “too much information.”
The worst part of revenge can be summed up in seven little words:
"Seeking revenge is a confession of pain."
Sh*t. You mean, I thought I was weilding the mighty sword of retribution, and instead I just inflated those jerks’ egos by showing them how much they STILL affect me, STILL hurt me, STILL control my thoughts and feelings? Wow, did I screw up.
Payback *is* a bitch, apparently.
They say “Living well is the best revenge,” but if I could do that, I’d love to rub it in a few peoples’ faces how great my life is (methinks that may be a confession of something else).
The moral of the story is:
A) Those people are all doing just fine, and I am not.
B) While they were getting on with their lives, I was wasting time sinking energy into the past.
C) I need to grow the hell up.
D) My life should be about ME, instead of about other people.
I agree with D) but the others, I'm not so sure. I think if there are feelings about people in the past, it's for a reason, but I like to think of it as not anything to do with them as people but just as places in myself they're still triggering that show where healing needs to happen. I like to think of those people as actually being just a figment of my imagination, something I created in order to show me something.ReplyDelete
Anyhow, this post has some excellent insights about revenge. I can think of two things I did that still make me feel terrible when I think of them--one was egging my ex-bf's car in high school, and then when I was a yearbook editor I changed the names of some people I hated to unpleasant words. I'm sure actually that both of those things bother me more than those people. When my life flashes before me I'll probably spend a good two seconds on each of those incidents.
Picturing people as "being just a figment of my imagination" as you suggested has changed the way I look at things the past few months. Except I find myself doing it in the present moment, and not just with those from my past. Oddly, sometimes the people from my past seem more real than what's before me. Like literally, a part of me is still stuck there in that relationship with them. And it comes out in dreams, as well.ReplyDelete
I definitely concur that it show's where healing needs to take place.