[EDIT] I picked the image of pyramid head to play on the metaphor I believe that character stood for, the evil that exists in the soul of men. I was trying to come up with an image that expressed the feeling I have today, that a monster is only skin deep. This was before I decided to relate my feeling to the news article of a man stabling his wife, I now feel that the image is very uncomfortable when viewed in the final context of this post, I am sorry if I accidentally offend you, I did not pick the image to glorify murder, but to visually relate to the horrific nature of the monsters that exists inside us.
—— —— —— —— ——
No one who, like me, conjures up the most evil of those half-tamed demons that inhabit the human breast, and seeks to wrestle with them, can expect to come through the struggle unscathed.
- SIGMUND FREUD
A monster exists inside all men.
I think the quote goes something like that.
On the drive into work this morning, there was a story on the radio about a woman who was stabbed to death in front of her child, by that child’s father, her estranged partner.
This act is abhorrent and unfathomable, I’m angry and saddened and afraid that such violence can be committed against those who should be protected and loved. I’m angry that a man would do such a horrible and despicable act, angry that someone of my gender would commit such a crime. I’m saddened that these stories are becoming far too common, to the point that when you hear about a woman being murdered, you instantly assume it was the ex-partner.
But the worst part, for me, is why i’m frightened. I’m frightened by these stories because I can see how easy it is to sink to such a monstrous level. I’m frightened because it isn’t unimaginable for me to be a perpetrator of domestic violence against women.
There is a monster that lives inside me, one which is usually kept quiet in a cage made from my ego and the concepts I construct around who I am and the sort of person I shall be; right now that monster has awoken and its cage is weak. It makes me uneasy that the monster feels so close at the moment, lurking just under my skin, I loath it, I despise it. Though unwanted it comes out to protect me when I am vulnerable, and while I am vulnerable I must be constantly aware of this, and actively keep it in check.
I’ve been going through some hard times emotionally recently, probably the hardest I have had since my school days. I have been through a lot of deep and critical self reflection, I have had comments from professionals which I have found hard to reconcile with the person I thought I was.
I have always believed we find ourselves in how we deal with the hard times, we are only who we truly are when the world isn’t going out way and we have to fight for ourselves. I hope to come out of this period of self-doubt and introversion with a few less demons and better control over the ones which remain.
With this in mind, I am actively challenging all my pre-conceptions about the sort of person I am. Asking myself could I be just as capable of such evil as the wife-beater, as the rapist, as the murderer?
I find myself answering yes, whilst I believe those acts are evil, if I am honest with myself, I am potentially capable of that evil.
I find this exceptionally uncomfortable.
I have always believed myself a feminist, someone who hates the social construct of gender roles and believes the patriarchy exists and damages us all.
Yet when friends post their experiences with sexual abuse, with being coerced, with being raped or molested, I am sickened, both because it occurred and because in a slightly different world that might have been me, the cognitive gap between being that man and not being that man is far smaller than any of us would like to accept.
In the last year it has become quite apparent to me that the man I thought I was and the way I believed I was treating those around me, are not always the way I and my actions have been perceived, perhaps even were.
With that sense of self-doubt I have been looking back over my years and looking for times when i might have misunderstood the situation, where i could have been one of those evil men, there are moments, moments when i could have been that evil person with a complete sense of justification and believing myself innocent. Not that I have ever forced myself on anyone, or failed to take a no seriously, but what if there were times when the ‘no’ or the ‘stop’ wasn’t said because they felt pressured or coerced into satisfying my urges. What if they later regretted what they had done, or the way I had treated them when my self-centred monster was at the fore. I have surely, at times, used people to fill the voids in myself, to compensate for the sadness that I carry inside me.
How different are my selfish actions, taking consensual advantage of friendships or the sexual chemistry of those towards me; to the actions of the rapist, the peadophile and the killer?
I feel the difference is not as great as the world would like me to believe they are.
Perhaps if we all carried such self-doubt about how our actions impacted those around us, the world might be a better place?
Perhaps i’m just being self-indulgent.