Dehuminization of one’s enemies bleeds us all

When one thinks of an enemy, one should not think of them as less than human. Calling them slurs or railing against them, calling them trash helps to dehumanize them. It makes it easier to harm them. I get it. But it is a mistake.

When we dehumanize our enemies we erode our sense of their capabilities. We convince ourselves by rote comparison that because they are trash, they couldn’t or wouldn’t take a action or make a plan or think a thought. It narrows our view of what is possible and doing so narrows our options to combat them.

An enemy who is thought of as human can be seen as having all of the same complexity as we do. When making plans, one must take into account that there will be counter moves and unanticipated actions. Seeing them as equal to yourself allows for these actions to be at least counted if not accounted for.

Tactically, it is the right course.
But, it is also the correct course for our mental well-being. When we dehumanize, the consequences of our actions ‘in the moment’ become easier. However, when we have time to think later, those mental gymnastics have real world consequences. Either by cutting yourself off from your emotions or by making empathy for your fellow humans much harder.

The best course is to think of everyone as a feeling, thinking, equal person, First. And anything else that they may be second. It’s a hierarchical way of thinking that may be difficult but it helps. Because there is also the flip side. When we contemplate moving against them, we no longer see them in the position or place they are in, rather we see them as human. And humans are fragile.

In the end, thinking of your enemies as human also forces you to think of everyone as human. This helps. In many everyday ways. It also helps to realize that the things we tell ourselves about ourselves and each other have real emotional and rational impact on how we view the world and ourselves. Discounting this leads to underestimation. And the downfall of self.

Nightmares are also dreams Part 24

Tara’s lips linger over her wife’s. Their breath mingling for the barest moments. Pushing away slowly she stands. Sauntering over like the fox that ate the hen.

I can’t help but smile when I see her confidence restored. And I seeing my approval, Tara lights up in response. She grabs Mr. Fox and sits. Rather primly for one clad only in a stuffed fox.

“Well,” I ask, “what are we to do about this breach of protocol?” I cast a glance at Tara and, as her smile fades, I shake my head. No. Not meant for you.

“Sara dear. You seem to have forgotten that today was to be a slow day of agony. And instead partook of pleasure. Now, she is a sweet succulent peach, to be sure, but that does not excuse the breach of protocol. Whatever am I to do with you?

I suppose, technically, I should punish you in some way. I had planned on hot stones, just a scoach under the temperature at which flesh burns as our next step. Not enough to do harm but enough to think that harm would be done. It’s a shame really.”

The disappointment and fear in Sara’s trembling flesh makes me smile. If only with my eyes.

I wonder if she knows what punishment I had waiting in the wings….

I go to our closet. The walk-in cedar lined walls reflecting the subdued lighting and almost making the wedding dress shine as if in a spotlight.

“Come, dear Sara. Release your bonds and stand, do. I have a present for you.”

I grab the dress by the hangar and sweep around into the bedroom proper. Sara has released the wrist restraints and is bent over working on the ankle ones.

I move to stand in front of her. Knowing that in doing so, the hem is likely to be visible from her position. But she takes her time, almost defiantly, and releases the second cuff before looking up.
Seeing the dress, she looks puzzled. In response, I pull out my cell phone and call for our detail.

“Honey, it’s been more than ten years since we were marries. I think it’s time your family knows. So we are going to take wedding photos. And send them off to your parents. I’m sure they will be ecstatic knowing that their precious jewel is so well loved.”

As I speak, I see the puzzlement fade and be replaced by outright horror. Her parents are a particular kind of monster. And I know she has never confronted them with the truth of her life and lifestyle. Nor will she be doing so now. But I’m not going to let that drop until we have our photos in hand. Let her fret a bit. We’ll talk about it in aftercare.

“And here, my dear. Don’t forget to bring our darling pet along. She’s going to be so beautiful collared and playing, nude at our feet. Aren’t you dear Tara?”

Tara smiles at us shyly and nods eagerly.

Now Sara will have to try and pretend that this is all a happy and good thing. It’ll eat her up.

My little pain slut…did you think that you would get what you wanted so easily?

Wrung out turning begging to begin

The dark pours into me
Peace that’s lost
Floods in
Making itself at home
Tired heart crying
Eyes untouched
Little lost peace holding my hand in the darkness
A kiss on the forehead and gone
Off to whatever stranger shores
Calls them home

And I a waystation
A place to rest weary
In tired lines
Bent past breaking
But unbowed
And unbroken
Reaching

Hand outstretched
Fingers pull wide
To the point of tearing
Small tricks
Split out wide
Trembling

Say thoughts out loud
Madness or a dream
Wake my turtle dove
We are not as we seem
Follow the raven
Home

Hard to build a future on the too live sea

I can’t let go; It’s a problem
Or it’s not; I don’t know
There are those won’t ever leave
Even if we’re never together
They are mine
Even if I’m not theirs

Does that mean that I’m too tethered to the past to move forward
I don’t think so
I hope not
Even though I ache with the thought of somehow moving out beyond their ability to call me back

These aren’t beautiful words or artful phrases
Just a baring of heart and soul
It’d be simpler if I could hide behind the lilt of wordplay
I just don’t have the energy to do so

When I love, I love complete, complex
And with gleeful discovery
And when I’m without
Never without love
Without partner
I don’t know
Sometimes I become stronger and more able to take the world on
And sometimes I’m just a small boat on a infinite ocean
Seaworthy but at any given moment, taking on water

I suppose I’m just a shifting sands dancer
And lately I’ve lost the song