Zach Miller (zarfmouse) wrote,
Zach Miller


I just realized how remarkable it is that as far as I can recall: no one has ever done physical violence to me. I've never been in a fight. I've never been hit, pushed down, punched, kicked, or slapped in anger.

I've also never had a really bad accident. I've never had a broken bone. I've never had stitches. I've been to the hospital twice for accidents but both times it turned out nothing requiring medical treatment was wrong.

I wonder how this (lack of) experience has shaped my outlook on life and my fellow human. Some people say I'm more trusting or more forgiving than average. Is this because for all the random bullshit betrayals of trust or other interpersonal strife I've had, no one has ever really endangered me in a palpable memorable directly experienced way. Others point out that I am more risk averse than average. Is this because having never dealt with emotionally traumatic physical trauma, I don't have a model for coping with and overcoming it? Does it make me weaker that I've never had to face my physical weakness and integrate it into my view of myself? Does it make me stronger or overconfident that I've never had my physical weakness really demonstrated to me? How many of my personality traits, positive and negative, are tied to this (lack of) experience with physical violence or trauma?

I'm never clear where the line between forgiveness and avoidance is (this paragraph is not about physical violence, I'm not suggesting a non-avoidant strategy would involve physical violence, there was just a segue about the link between physical conflict and emotional rage in my head that made sense here). I've reached a point where I've basically washed the slate in my brain even for the 2 or 3 people that I'd years ago declared would and could never be forgiven for their betrayal of my friends (I forgive transgressions against me MUCH more readily than against my friends). This is largely because I've just hit a breaking point where I see no gain in maintaining the rage, it's non-productive and only hurts me. I realize the non-productiveness of it when I'm confronted with people I'm mad at and I realize that I have no desire to bitch them out. I make friendly with them and go away. I step around the conflict. I avoid them. If my rage isn't righteous enough to express then why have it? Is that forgiveness or avoidance? Is it a virtue if I'm avoidant? Have I lived the charmed life free of physical violence because I am avoidant? Is that really wrong?

Now of course I'm not always avoidant. If I'm able to express my feelings rationally and reasonably to a person who is willing to work out the conflict...then no big deal, that's the more common case which is why I'm only talking about 2 to 3 people above. This is what recently happened with a classmate. There was conflict, we dealt with it, no hard feelings.
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