This was the text included in a photo that was put up on Facebook. It’s probably not new – at least the sentiment behind it is as old as humankind itself. Let me just start with the quote:
“The word hate will never be enough. It can’t describe the depths of my feelings, every day I put up with the same shit. The imbecilic people and their fucking lies. The pointing and the laughing, the misery and pain that they bring me.
I want to hurt them, to strangle them, to kill them. They all deserve to die.
But I know that won’t satisfy me. …No amount of torture can ever make me happy. So I’ve decided to end this my own way. They’ll live live being miserable and regretting every day. I’ve decided to take my revenge. They’ll be sorry… They’re going to go on knowing that they killed me. They brought my hands to this gun and caused my finger to pull the trigger, the bullet piercing through my tender brain. I’m going to make them suffer the way I did.
They’ll be scared to die the death they made me embrace. Because they know that when they die… THEY’RE ALL GOING TO FOLLOW ME STRAIGHT TO FUCKING HELL!!”
I’ve known this feeling. Most of us have, even if it’s been to a lesser degree. There are people out there who feel no pangs of conscience about tormenting another human being, and there are people out there who become their victims, sometimes for no apparent reason other than their availability. The tormentors are usually the ones with the problem. That’s hard to see when you’re on the receiving end. So hard that you’re helpless to defend yourself from them with the one weapon that’s stronger than hatred, more formidable than anger, and more satisfying than revenge – indifference. You’ve probably heard the saying that the opposite of love isn’t hate, but indifference. That works for hate, as well. If you’ve been treated like this, felt this feeling, but then – one day – somehow pulled from deep inside you the ability to give your tormentors exactly the amount of attention and respect they deserve (that being none), you know what I mean. When you stare them down, eye to eye, let them say their worst without any reaction, let them keep going until they realize how stupid they sound, see them walk away first, then you’ve actually accomplished something. It doesn’t always work the first time, and sometimes you’ll get hurt (but you would anyway. . .) but when it does, it’s far more satisfying, and lasts longer.
Hurting yourself because other people are enjoying being mean to you is completely counterproductive. They don’t give a crap about your feelings, they don’t care if you break down, or cut yourself, or commit suicide. It’s just one more thing for them to laugh about, because you are not a person to them, but an object. I remember watching a show once, the premise of which was something about people who had made major changes in their lives getting in touch with people from their past. In this one segment, a woman whose entire school life had been miserable in good part because of the singular efforts of one of these assholes, wanted to see if he had it in him to apologize for everything he’d done to her. She had really come into her own – grown out of being an ugly duckling, succeeded in school and career, had the love of family and friends, but still kept inside all the horrible things this guy had said to her, still allowed them to undermine her happiness. With the cameras rolling, this now mid-thirties guy regaled the audience with stories of the things he’d said and done to her, roaring with laughter. He confirmed all the hateful things he’d been charged with, and expanded upon them with more tales of how stupid, ugly, and deserving of torture this girl had been. Rather than regret, he felt pride. Oh, how clever he had been! How much fun he’d had thanks to this girl! How cool he was, how admirably witty! Of course, his victim, no longer the sad creature she had been, was watching this, and eventually came onto the set and revealed herself. She derided him for his attitude, told him how horrible he had made her feel, still hoping for some show of conscience. No – he chided her for not being able to take a joke, made crude “compliments” about how she had changed, and then – get this – offered to make up for all those years by having sex with her. Is this the kind of person who’s going to feel bad for making you kill yourself? Hell no. 10, 20, 30 years from now, he’ll still be laughing about the stupid/ugly/dorky/retarded kid who was so much fun to tease. If he has any regrets about your death, it will be because he had to cultivate a fresh victim, and that’s so much harder than just going after the same one year after year.
No, living well is the best revenge. It’s the one way you can see everything play out the way it’s supposed to. If the idiots don’t change, and you run across them later, you can see how well their social skills have helped them in life. Not. If they have, and you run across them later, it’s always good to find that common sense won out, and to hear a truly heartfelt apology. (You’d be amazed. . .) Your fantasy about how awful they’ll feel about having driven you to the brink will never happen. Even if it did, you’d never be able to enjoy it, because you’re f’ing dead. Better to show them by rising above and enjoying your life more than they’ll ever enjoy theirs. Their coolness depends on intimidating you, while your happiness is in no way connected to them. They need you far more than you need them. If you don’t give them what they want, you’ve taken power into your own hands. If you dismiss them as unworthy of your attention, it’s the worst thing you can do to them.
Hurting you is entertaining to them. How would hurting yourself have an opposite effect? They enjoy seeing you suffer, so you’ll “show them” by exhibiting how much they made you suffer? If they make fun of you when you cry, will they feel bad watching the people who love you cry? If your hatred of them makes them laugh, will the hatred of the people who care for you have any impact on them? Even if it did, so what? You won’t be there to see it. It will benefit you not one tiny bit. Instead of living a few years of your life being bothered by morons, you’ll have spent almost all your life being bothered by morons. You’ll never get to know how great things can be after you get away from these bothersome morons, and how what goes around comes around to bothersome morons. No, you want to show them, show them how decent, good people become happy and successful, while imbeciles who make other people miserable never seem to do quite so well at all. That kind of revenge lasts longer and has so much more to offer.