One thing that I realized (not for the first time) as I was talking to my mom last night is that I can be very very cruel when I’m upset. I don’t yell, I don’t say “I hate you!”, I just point out ways in which you have failed or disappointed me, and the consequences of the failure. I don’t deliberately set out to destroy; but when I am hurt or angry I do seek to cause pain. I humiliate by picking at the points which are most tender. Sometimes my barbs are marvelously subtle – I’ll just start talking about desires of mine which have been stymied, directly or indirectly, by your actions, and let you draw the implications on your own. It’s the flip-side of empathy, this ability to tear someone apart with a few words, this sensitivity to weakness.
I don’t know why I am driven to lash out when I’m upset; it doesn’t accomplish anything. Drawing attention to the things I harbor resentment for doesn’t magically fix them. I’d like to put an end to this habit. A little voice in my head yells “therapy!” as usual, but I think it’s simpler than that. I can talk in circles about my past for hours on end, but this is something I need to just. stop. doing.
I doubt if anyone besides Stacey and maybe my parents has really experienced this side of me. It has only ever manifested towards people who are extremely close to me, and Stacey is the only person to ever get that close for any length of time.