This post originally went live on mydnyht.wordpress.com on 25 April 2013.
No one can ever fully empathize with another person, and no one can ever truly understand what someone else is going through. What we can understand, however, is that we are all human beings. We all feel things, including pain. Pain and trauma is ALWAYS valid, regardless of why you feel that way, regardless of whether or not someone had it worse. There is always someone who is better off than you are, and there is always someone who is worse off than you are. Always. The pain, the trauma, the hurt you or anyone else feels, it is always, always valid, simply because you are a human being and you felt it. That’s it. That’s all she wrote. You have every right to feel pain, and no one has any right to take that away from you, ever, under any circumstances. Pain, struggle, they never make anyone less, but they never make anyone more. We are all human beings, plain and simple. We all have brains. We all have hearts. We all have blood. We all have souls. We all feel things. We are all born, and we all die. Someone is a good, worthwhile human being simply because they are a human being, because they exist. Someone is a good, worthwhile human being because they have a brain, a heart, blood, a soul, they feel things, they are born, and they die. The fact that someone is worthwhile, the fact that someone is good, is never under any circumstances a reflection on something they have or have not done, or something they have or have not experienced. It is simply because they are a human being who has a brain, a heart, blood, a soul, who feels, who is born, and who dies. Even if their brain or heart doesn’t work the same way someone else’s does, even if they feel things differently, or more or less intensely, even if there is not a lot of time between when they were born and when they died, regardless of the tragic or wonderful circumstances behind their birth, death, or life, they are a human being, and are therefore good and worthwhile. It really is that simple. There is no such thing as a bad person, only good people who do bad things. There is no such thing as monsters. Only human beings who do monstrous things. Human beings who are in an unimaginable amount of pain, who repress things, who do not know how to deal with their pain or who do not want to because they are terrified. There is never a simple answer for anything. There is always, always, always a myriad of complicated circumstances, reasons, things that are incredibly grey, behind any one event or occurrence, be it major or minor. Everyone wants to heal. Survivors want to heal, but offenders want to heal too. People who do bad things want to heal just as much as the people they have hurt. It really is that simple. Everyone just wants to be loved. To feel like they are loved, to know that they are loved. Sometimes, instead of loving a baby, someone hurts a baby. And sometimes that makes the baby feel really bad. And sometimes the baby feels like because someone hurt them, and because they feel bad, that they are bad. And then the baby goes on to hurt other babies. Everyone is someone’s baby. Even if someone never had a mother, even if someone gave birth to them but abused that privilege, did not love them, and hurt them instead, everyone is someone’s baby. Everyone deserves to be loved, and everyone wants to be loved, to feel loved, to know that they are loved. Yes, we have choices. We have to accept certain things that we cannot control, but we can choose to feel better. We can choose to change certain things that we can control. We can choose to make cycles stop. We can choose to feel better. But one person is never truly or completely accountable for any one thing. There are other people who enabled them. Who encouraged them. Who told them not to talk about it. Not to ask questions. To accept it. If someone does something bad to someone else, then yes, they need to take accountability. And they do have a choice. But the people who enabled them, who encouraged them, who allowed things to happen when they had the choice to stop it, or change something, they need to take accountability as well. The people who made someone feel bad enough to do something bad to someone else, they need to take accountability as well.