Death by a thousand cuts

So, there you are. Someone does something that, in itself, is not so bad or so terrible or so hurtful. You have been relied upon for so many years to do something and then, because things are a little strained and they won’t ask for help, they go and do it themselves or, find someone else to do it.

And you don’t know until it has been done.

And it’s a shock because you didn’t realise that they were going to do that. And, maybe, a little angry. And, probably, somewhat hurt that they had done it and you would have been quite happy to do it.

Or maybe you wanted to be asked, even if you would have said ‘no’ or made it for some time that was going to be impossible for the other person. But you wanted that chance to say ‘no’ or make it difficult. And they have taken that away from you.

And you look at the result and you’re not impressed. You know that you would have done a far better job as you know the person and you know what they like.

The trouble is that, for whatever of the reasons that you wanted to be asked – to say ‘no’ or because you would have done it willingly and wanted to – it’s difficult to keep your voice and face from expressing some emotion and, thereby, letting the person know that they have ‘got one over on you’.

It’s another little cut. Each one is nothing. Even a hundred is nothing. But a thousand? With each you bleed a little more. After a thousand you are dead and, in the meantime, the death is agonisingly slow and painful.

Of course, it may be that they weren’t trying to do anything. Maybe they were just trying to make it easier. Maybe they had to do it as you had gone out and they didn’t know when they would see you again for this to be done?

Have you counted the cuts yet? Is it near a thousand? Wouldn’t it be better if they just made one fatal slash? Then it would be over and the pain would go away and you would be free of this life.

Oh, yes, and this is both of you in both situations. It’s not just the one side, of course. Intentional or not intentional – the result is the same.

And, if you’re on the receiving end, it hardens the heart a little more. It makes you more stubborn and I’m already as stubborn as they come.

Whilst, if you’re giving the small cut, it has two feelings. There is a feeling of giving back what you get. A small victory in this war of small attacks. In a war that, surely, is far too important to be taken so lightly. In a war that, in the end, gives no winner.

he other feeling is one of sorrow. That something was taken to be something it was not; that you couldn’t see that the thing would have been seen as such a bad thing. But, then, you knew really; it was pride that meant you could not ask; pride and stubbornness; pride, stubbornness and the desire to have at least one thing that you could “show” you didn’t need the other person for.

So, locked in your silences this is all you have to show – this demonstration of independence and strength.

Meanwhile, the bleeding continues……….

4 thoughts on “Death by a thousand cuts

  1. Hi Andy-
    I am truly quite sorry you are bleeding. I understood your every word, emotion, feeling, sense of pain and hurt and dare I say, betrayal. And yet, I know too the gift of no more cuts, no more slow bleeds that drain one of life and love and hope. Now, as time has allowed, I am still cut, but not here, not with him – we, instead, help heal the wounds/cuts from others around us, a child, a sibling, a friend and so forth.
    I was just telling my daughter that my hope for her and her son is that they are safe and your words explain perfectly what I meant. She has a thousand cuts, and she is in another relationship that will bleed her slowly as well – sadly, she is used to it, bleeding is a way of life – as my gently placing on bandaids is my role in her life – and Andy, I guess, as you endure the cuts I hope that someone is always close by to gently place a bandaid on you. If I were closer, I would, as many as you need. I am really quite good at it.

    Love from across the pond,

  2. Hi Gail,
    Yes, and thank you for the kind words but, as I know, you have endured far worse than I.
    I understand about your daughter, from what you have written and, yes, I agree, for some people bleeding is a way of life – a little like abusive relationships, etc.
    The cuts, though maybe many, are new and must bleed yet before they can be healed – but soon, I think, the cuts will stop – at least, I hope so.
    However, your very kind words are a comfort in themselves.
    Love from this side.

  3. Hi again-

    you are so very welcome.

    and yes, you are SO right, first the bleeding, then the scab while it heals. I guess, the “trick” (can’t think of a better word), is to be sure no one pulls off the scab and then to avoid re-injury. Easier said than done, huh>
    And, interestingly and surprising is the fact that when I wrote of my cuts and bleeds I wasn’t even thinking of my trauma history- perhaps because those events were not cuts but more like deep stab wounds – but still, I am quite pleased that my references were about me and Skipp, and not the past. Some times I am amazed at just how far I have come on this healing journey of mine. Your response to me provided that clarity and I want to “thank you”.

    And your expressed insights about my daughter are quite accurate.
    I am also amazed at how much we know and thus can infer about one another. We each pay close attention. :-)

    Love and healing

  4. Hi Gail,
    The problem is that, whilst healing, usually, the person picks at the scab. You are lucky that you have Skipp to help you NOT to pick at the scabs.
    We do pay close attention and this is always a good thing, I think :-)
    Love and healing to you too.

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