A very respected reader asked me the following question over on Tumblr:
How would you describe your experiences with enmity?
My relationship with spite, anger, and a feeling of being wronged is very straightforward. I rarely take things personally. (I suppose because my actions themselves tend to be impersonal?) However, when I do feel wronged and the perception reaches a point where I do take it personally, things tend to escalate quickly, though the magnitude of my “revenge” is usually within the realms of reason. For instance, I can differentiate between the impersonal slight (such as an acquaintance forgetting to bring me an item that I require at a time we agreed upon) with the very personal offense (a former friend neglecting to invite me to his wedding solely because I am transgender). Sometimes the distinction becomes fuzzy (as with the missiles launched by both sides when I turned in my resignation with a former employer) and it becomes harder to articulate the line between “playing along” and full-scale retribution.
In the instance of my former friend publicly humiliating me by failing to invite me to his wedding – I say publicly humiliating because he invited friends who did know of my transgender status and who wondered why I was not there – I publicly shamed him in return (many view him as a bigot now) and made it very clear that he was no longer to be part of my life. In the case of the former employer trying to play hardball with me on my way out the door, I resisted their attempts to get free work out of me and made it very clear that they were not good to their employees and that I’d be sure to tell prospective employees such as best I could and I have worked tirelessly to get other former coworkers to move on from that place as well. Neither of those examples are intended to be “legendary” accounts of ruination or the like. I generally don’t waste my energies on such. I prefer to suckerpunch and disappear into the shadows, leaving them to realize what they lost with my exit from their lives. I don’t feel the need to break every bone on my way out.
Many psychopaths are ruinous with their enmity, however. I would not call my experiences typical of the larger mass on this front. I am a parasite and it does me little good to kill my host on the way out. I know that I’ll never return to those that have wronged me, but I do not feel the need to destroy them either. Prove a point? Yes. Annihilate? No.