Have you ever been in a situation that BEGGED you to take revenge on someone? That called out to you to leap over the boundaries of your self-imposed good behaviors (if you have such limiters) and wreak havoc on the mental or physical functioning of the person who caused you injury?
Yeah, me too. But I never took advantage of the call to arms to really and truly and revengefully get payback for my tormentor.
And boy, I should have....
The times on the bus in elementary school when the older mean girl called me names? Should have come up with some good ones and hurled them right back, but instead just enveloped myself in imagined painful punishments for her and all her greasy friends. It is she for whom the "slide of razor blades" was invented.
The time that guy dumped me on the phone the day before Valentine's day? Should have messed with his mind, but all I did was get back together with him, then slept with his brother.
The coworker who blamed everything bad that ever happened on me? Should have purposely screwed with her reagents so that her assays all turned to mush and her data were irreproducible, but all I did was avoid her as much as possible, and spend too much time in the library, "doing research."
The hurt? I SWALLOW it, people, I gulp it down, forcing a great huge ball of painful embarrassment and indignation down through my esophagus and into my subconscious, where it can be digested by my dreams, which often are filled with images disturbing and sometimes wonderful.
But, if you hurt someone that I love, then man, you are in some shit. Deep shit. If I find out you're messing with somebody close to me; all bets are off where your health and welfare are concerned.
Does the phrase "Mama Bear" remind you of anything? Yep, that's me when I have to stand up for someone else. Suddenly all that repressed anger and semi-digested referred pain come surging forward and I'd step into a bar fight on a floor of broken glass to get my licks in on someone who'd hurt a friend.
I remember a time when a was really little; we were out in the backyard playing in the neighbor's fort, and my younger brother fell out of it and landed, hard on the ground. He started to cry, a little out of proportion to the fall and subsequent landing, and the kids started to make fun of him. Something in my little towhead snapped, and I TURNED on them, spewing a stream of bilious vitriol that even a gifted teenager couldn't have gotten their mouths around. I was STEAMING hot and on a roll, but there was my brother, still on the ground. I snarled at him "get up, we're going HOME!" to which he replied "I can't, I'm stuck to the ground!" I looked at his thigh, and saw that there was a board from the fort that was essentially nailed to his leg. My rage at the taunting neighbor kids helped me yank that board out and just about CARRY my baby brother home, still snarling and fuming like a cornered badger. Oh, I was HOT allright, and even at 8 years old I felt like I could spit fire because of the hurt those kids had caused my righteously suffering brother.
While anger, however well-vented, isn't revenge, really, the anger is the hot-start for all things protective that can be kindled in me at a moment's notice. If you come to me with a story of a cheating boyfriend or mean boss or evil neighbor, then the knee-jerk of my indignation over your ill-treatment will kick-start the revenge part, and I can take that ball of pain and RUN with it into the recesses of the twisted up parts of my brain to devise an insidiously perfect torment for the tormentor (whoa, just realized I did a little football metaphor there. Weird). Cheating boyfriend? I'll set you up with a date of your own, someplace where the cheater is going to see you. Evil neighbor? I'll not only BRING the bag of dog poo but will bring the lighter too. Mean boss? I'll be sure to help you find out what they're allergic to so you can accidentally-on-purpose start exposing them to it on a daily basis. It's fun, you should try it sometime!
Yes, friends, it's clear that, while I have no self-preservation instincts on my OWN behalf, I'm all over the third-party action. This, I'm sure, is a brilliantly lit roadsign to whatever mental imbalance I ought to own up to, but that would take all the FUN out of life while I'm pretending to be so well-aligned.
Revenge - while perhaps it is a dish best served cold, is also sweet. And I have the research to prove it.
Let's all chew on that for a while, eh?