Hatred is infectious.

I have never wanted to kill anybody, especially not my ex-husband. At the time all I wanted was for him to stop and let me leave with the children. If I have to talk to him now, I feel a faint disgust, a small amount of sadness at his pathetic loneliness, and his vague attempts to force me to return. I hope he is happy. I hope he meets someone else and he never hurts them. I hope even, that my childbearing days behind me, that he has another shot at fatherhood, and this time he doesn’t fuck it up momentously. I hope he becomes a better person, even though I have my doubts that it is possible.

I have never wanted to hurt anyone, Of course I get angry, I get stupendously furious at things and people that try and hurt my kid. I count various politicians in that cohort. Instead I dream of denouements where they are dragged off in chains to a jail cell, or some kind of public humiliation, but not violence.

You see I understand what violence is. What did Tyson say? “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face” or something like that. The first time I was punched in the face the world stopped. I thought I was going to die. Closed fist grazed my cheekbone, I flew backwards, and when I managed to open my eye as far as it would go, everything was fractured. The world took on a broken mirror look. I knew it was bad. It was worse than I thought. The pain was immense. I had a plan. I couldn’t remember what it was.

I understand what it means to be on the receiving end of almost being killed, as close as you are going to get. When the glass shattered around me, floor to ceiling glass, with thin safety wires that were meant to protect me, I got covered in a haze of shattered glass. I’ve been kicked so hard that I could not breathe, quite literally my chest was not moving and the wind all gone from me.

I don’t use phrases like “you would want to kill x y z” because in my world that shit was real. I never hit back. Hitting back is escalating, hitting back means now you are exchanging blows, and it will get worse. Not hitting back is wiser if you know you are a foot shorter and 150 pounds lighter, and if he kills you, he could kill the kids. I felt a faint sense that I had to save him from doing that. Strange, huh. I still think so.

I am no saint. I am not even a good person. I am just informed by my experiences. The closest I got to understanding was a veteran friend of mine. He looked straight at me and said “You are a prisoner of war, and I won’t leave you there.” He didn’t leave me there, but I lost even that kindness to more people who inflame hatred and talk in polemic extremes.

Hatred is infectious. So is love. I choose love.


  1. Thomas Pickard

    That must have been a hard post to write, and even harder to live through. I agree with your veteran friend, you where a prisoner of war – even more you were at the hands of hate. I am so glad you have chosen love. “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV)

    1. The Paltry Sum

      Thank you, Thomas. Trapped in Japan by international law regarding habitual residence of the children – you can’t just take them without potentially triggering very serious charges of international parental child abduction, the law doesn’t care if your husband is trying to kill you, it was indeed a grueling twenty years of my life. I did the only thing I could do – ran somewhere I was safer. Only to find Trump made me and others like me, public enemy number one. Love wins, every time. I refuse to hate.

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