I badly injured my first human being at the age of six, my youngest daughter is currently six. At six years old. I held a rock as large as I could hold and smashed it repeatedly against the side another boys head. He was hospitalised, I burst his eardrum.
My family history is filled with violent men, I am a violent man. Last night I had a situation at my Violent Men’s Group that was a confluence of events that drastically aggravates a situation. We were having a discussion about jealousy and doing an Agree/Disagree exercise. The supervisor would read out a situation and we would have to stand at one or the other end of the room depending on if we agreed or not.
After half a dozen questions and some heated discussions, we got on to this question.
Do you agree or disagree that you wouldn’t survive if your partner left.
I stood at the agree side, the only man there. Everyone was disagreeing with the statement.
One particularly vocal idiot (and he is an idiot), started having a go at me for “Not being a Man”. I have a lifelong history of violence, there are things from my past that I cannot speak about, a depth of brutality that is shocking. I’ve mostly got away with it, there have been a few occasions when I’ve been convicted, but generally I’ve got away with it. This is due to a combination of factors, wealthy mother (until she cut me off for hospitalising her husband), patronage from members of the establishment and academia. Finally, good lawyers and an excellent knowledge of the law.
I never hit a woman, until I started hitting my wife and then finally presented myself to the police and made a confession and accepted no contest. That day was the end of my violence, it was the day I became a real man not a pastiche of beliefs that supposedly define a man.
So I stood there listening to him go on about me “not being a man”, all the other guys were behind him and started to agree. The supervisor was very good about managing the situation, she knows our histories. I’ve been honest and open about some of the things I’ve done – some I’ve left closed mainly because there’s no point bringing up the past, the list is pretty long and they’ve got a good enough picture and its not AA, I don’t have to make amends to those I’ve injured.
Thing is, I feel no remorse or guilt, (I do regarding my wife though, so that Is a major change for me), you only feel that when you go past your personal moral compass. Violence towards men is thoroughly acceptable in my worldview, I suffered a lot of violence directed towards me, so if I can take it you can take it.
So yesterday, stupid said stuff to my face, that would have caused a significant violent reaction from me and I did nothing. I heard his words, watched his sneery stupid behaviour and I did nothing. I didn’t react one way or the other, I was indifferent, later I thought to myself, that I’m glad that I don’t think like him and then I though, how amazing it is that we can change, previously I would have assaulted him, yesterday I didn’t.