“The best defense is a good offense.”
How many times in your life do you hear that phrase? How many different ways do you think it’s interpreted?
For many children who grow up feeling insecure that motto becomes their entire way of interacting with anyone close enough to hurt them. By the time they’re an adult they have absolutely no idea how to communicate with others in a positive and easy manner. They are so ingrained to always point out other’s flaws (to distract from their own) that most people find it extremely unpleasant to have more than a short conversation with them. They have 5 minute shelf-lives to put it another way. This causes their insecurities to increase and they go on the offense even more, a vicious cycle that leaves everyone involved unhappy.
There once was a boy who always had to shout the loudest, have the last word and be the best at everything. For this little boy there was only one way to do everything, and it was always the way he did it. Everyone else was wrong unless they agreed with him. If he was the loudest and the best, if he was always helping others (even if they didn’t want his help) and giving his last dollar to anyone who would take it than he could feel like he was loved, feel secure.
Some people preyed on his generous nature and others dealt with the frustrations of his adamant personality. No one taught him what it was to love unselfishly. No one ever told him, or got him to believe, that he was worth being loved even if he wasn’t always right. He grew up in a whirlwind of dysfunctional friendships and (un-returned) loyalty to family members. By the time the young boy became an adult he knew no other way to live than to always be on the offense.
Eventually, as most people do, he found someone to marry. He had managed to hide many of his insecurities and had convinced himself he could trust his future wife, of course some things he had simply lied about entirely. As the wedding date got closer his insecurities started to grow and some of his lies were uncovered. Nevertheless they both proceeded to say their “I do’s” and the man assured himself he had nothing to fear from the woman who now shared his name. He underestimated the depth of the lessons taught to the young boy, he thought love would be enough to chase away his demons.
He opened up and shared his fears, his desires and his dreams. She embraced them all with kind acceptance and for some reason the man found himself confused and afraid that another person would treat him in such a positive manner, especially when in doing so she was limiting herself. He knew that he was flawed and that most people would laugh at him, or turn away, he knew that he didn’t deserve her. He began to mistrust his wife, not realizing it was only his inner fear that whispered such doubts to him.
He began to grow distant and avoided spending time with his wife. When they did interact he found himself pointing out all her flaws and trying to start fights. He would find a way to prove she couldn’t possibly actually accept him. He would prove she didn’t really love him. He would prove his inner fear correct, that he didn’t deserve to be happy. Problem was, she refused to give up on him and refused to leave. He grew even more aggressive in his attempts to push her away. He became condescending. He would purposely do things to piss her off. When his attempts were met with love and understanding it only served to enrage him. He couldn’t understand her actions and his fear began to do more than whisper at him.
After years of letting his insecurities rule his thoughts he had convinced himself he wasn’t happy and then convinced himself he was only unhappy because his wife wouldn’t agree with him on everything, she wouldn’t jump just because he told her to, therefore she couldn’t be trusted. She also refused to play along when he threw his tantrums, she refused to accept his condescending attitude and she refused to stop loving him. He decided he needed to convince other people that his wife was as imperfect and stubbornly offensive as he’d convinced himself she was in order to push away from her.
He complained to his friends that she was a bitch. He would tell his family that his wife didn’t want to interact with them and she was the reason he didn’t come around as much. He kept saying it until he thought everyone believed him and then he planned to go back and tell his wife that everyone thought she was a bitch too. He thought for sure that would break her. He knew only how to live a life of insecurities and had no idea just how strong a person who didn’t deal with those demons could be. He had no idea that unselfish love cannot be destroyed, only rejected.
When he looked his wife in the eye and told her everyone thought she was an unfriendly, cold bitch the last thing he’d expected her to do was laugh at him. Laughter was exactly the response he got, however. She saw through his lies as easily as through a clean pane of window glass. She knew his friends liked her and she knew his family loved her, as well as her friends and family. “The only person who thinks I’m a bitch is you” she told him. “You are so scared to be vulnerable that you push away or avoid anyone that is willing to love you in a positive manner. You are only comfortable when you feel like you’re in control and only trust that the people who use you and give nothing back in return are your friends. You don’t know or understand what unselfish love is and if you do than you certainly don’t believe you deserve it and as such reject anyone willing to give it to you.” For once the man had no response to fire back.
He had cried bitch and no one was willing to come help rescue his inner demons. If they weren’t strong enough love would get them and he would be left with nothing but the harsh light of truth flooding into every part of his mind. He now had a choice, stand and fight with his demons or let them die and step on into a new chapter of his life.