Thursday, 20 February 2014

How I avenged my hurt

Hurt can be such a game changer for me. It changes how I see life. It changes how I trust people. It changes me and how people see me.
I recall my first hurt. It was nearly 20 years ago. She was my girlfriend. My first love. I was a sucker for love and still am. One evening, she told me that she was going out. I asked her with whom. She kept quiet and walked away. 

I wanted to trust her but couldn't. So I did the silliest thing expected of a man in helpless love. I followed her. I tailed her like a shadow. What I found out hurt me deeply.
She went to watch a movie with another man. It was in fact a romantic movie about inseparable love (I guess watching a comedy would be less hurting? Especially one played by Danny Devito?)
I was devastated. I tried to dissuade her from entering the theater but she was as muted as an antique. She went in nevertheless and I was hurt, really hurt.
For once in my life (and never so intense before), I could feel my heart's vigorous pounding as if it was trying to break free from my rib cage, trying to make a run for it. I tried my darnest best to keep it all in. This struggle lasted for what seemed like an eternity. I guess descriptive words during such time could only scratch the surface (drama of youth?)

Till this day, decades later, I still recall that night. And I remembered that I carefully plotted my revenge after that. I didn't want to let her do this to me. I can't let her get away with it. I thought through my revenge; every step of the way. It was an elaborate plan and it took three years or more to come to fruition.
I wanted it to be equally, if not more, hurtful to her. Of course, I was not thinking of murder. That would be too juvenile. I did the next best nefarious thing. I
 actually married her. I married my hurt. I was a sucker for love remember?
It has been 14 years now and this "hurt" has given me three lovely children that I cannot live without. Just before I said "I do" at the altar in year 2000, I muttered under my breath that I love her. That was my "revenge". And as I kissed her, my plan came to fruition.
Life is a strange spiritual lodestar. Hurt's backfire was love's desire. I came around to love the one who hurt me. I love her more than I want to hold on to my hurt. And doesn't love sometimes hurt? 

My hurt was the game changer for me. But it was love that changed me in ways I cannot imagine. It was love that led me to let go of this hurt. I cannot imagine a better, more enduring therapy.
Life nods sagely when I came full circle. I have learned that nobody is perfect. That phrase is so trite that it has acquired a gangnam-style, semi-conscious, horse-riding coinage. But to me, I 
understood it intimately, deeply.
Everyone has their flaws. Mine can even be more hurtful than hers over time. During this 14 years, the struggle has been no less intense. Marriage is no park-in-the-park or a piece of wedding cake. You have to make up your mind and make it up everyday. It is a case of remembering to remind and reminding to remember. You can't go on autopilot or assume or presume or take for granted. This is another trite advice I  guess but it is so crucial to a marriage if it's understood and internalized.
Let me share this. I remember I was in court for a case involving bankruptcy and I pleaded with the judge on behalf of the debtor that he was heavily in debt. There were many creditors coming after him, I said. I told the court this metaphor, "the wolves are at the door."
I think this metaphor applies in a marriage. The wolves (of temptations/materialism) are indeed at the
 door. If we allow them in, even opening a small gap thinking that it is safe, we are courting trouble of the most regrettable kind.
So, going back to my love, it has been 14 years and counting. The three children, no less wolverine-like at times, are the consummation of this enduring, life-changing passion. And if this consummation has a mantra, it would be this: Love over-powered hurt and overcame all.
Although two of us seldom went 
to watch romantic movies together, I guess you can say that we have done something even better: we live it out with all the romance, lovers' tiff, embracing, hand-holding, reconciling, intimacy, reproducing, and the best of them all, growing old together and stronger. Now that's at least worth a mid-lifetime achievement award?
And come to think of it, I guess there is no sweeter revenge than the "revenge" of giving myself wholeheartedly to
 the one I love. Cheerz.

(ps: Thanks dear for allowing me to publish this. The silly things we do in our youth only make for endearing memories to be treasured during our golden years together).   

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