I know a woman – not very well – who just gets odder. A little awkwarder every time I see her. A little more shaming; whether or not that’s her intention. Now, when I say hello, I feel almost short of breath and I wonder if that’s how she feels all the time. She is unfriendly, faintly accusatory and rather judgmental. She was a great beauty and would still be were it not for the fact that she appears rather hologrammatic these days; as she stands still you can somehow see here twisting herself out of shape. She has money and a job and a house and a child. She used to have many friends (and admirers) and she still has plenty. There’s pain there. And it’s making her mean. She has not – for want of a better and less disgusting phrase – dealt with her core wound.
Now, I’m no shrink (although I have been shrunk), but the core wound reaches far back into time to the time and place when we knew that love wasn’t unconditional and from then on it throbs with echoes of our deepest, cruellest beliefs about ourselves. And when someone hits their Forties with their core wound gaping, their inner child howling and the very kernel of their being furious and in agony… well, it starts to show.
I feel a bit sorry for this woman. I wish her well. I wish her some excellent, life changing therapy or a spiritual epiphany or whatever it takes. But I do not wish to see her again. And that is the true cruelty of unresolved, early pain. It alienates. There comes a time to stop blaming and take responsibility. They say that if you get up in the morning and the first person you bump into is an arsehole, then that is a shame. But if everyone you see that day is an arsehole? Well, maybe you’re the arsehole.