Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Terrible Tuesday - Wrath

Check out Lunanik for more Terrible Tuesday/Seven Deadly Sins Carnival posts.

Before writing these posts, I always go to M-W first to see the exact definition, instead of what the essence of the word has come to mean. Okay I'm not sure if that made sense. Here's hoping!

I thought it just meant anger, but it turns out it means: 1 : strong vengeful anger or indignation 2 : retributory punishment for an offense or a crime : divine chastisement.

In my youth, I was much more apt to seek revenge, as evidenced by this Flashback Friday post. And believe me, the things I have wished to happen to my ex-husband...

However, acting upon such feelings - beyond writing rants and even a few choice letters to him - is not something for which I have the energy. I think my slothfulness gets in the way of really giving wrath a fair shot.

As far as divine chastisement goes, well, being an atheist kind of makes it hard for me to swallow that one. I used to wait for something to happen to my ex that would seem like a just punishment for his wrongs.

Yes, yes, I know, he doesn't get to know them the way I do. He doesn't get to see them grow and change on a daily basis. They don't depend on him the way they do me. I know all that.

But that all comes with its own price, as any active parent can attest. You pay for it in the patience you dole out, visits to the ER in the night, trying to plan the perfect birthday party, finding where you put the birth certificate...all of the everyday stuff that create the whole of the relationship.

So him missing out on the good stuff? That's the price he pays for not being an actual parent.

He deserves more retribution than that. He deserves to not have a roof over his head. Not even one in jail. He deserves to not have clothes to wear or food to eat. He deserves to have no one's love.

And yet he does. He has a roof (in a house - with a yard. I'm just sayin'...). He has food, clothes, a bed. He has all the comforts of a safe and secure shelter without having to do any of the work to get it. And he has my daughters' undying love, as well as the love of his family. I don't begrudge them, mind you, but he still doesn't deserve it.

On the other side of the coin, there are children going without. There are families squatting in homes or living out of vans. There are millions without a safe haven all around the world, and the most that any of them did to deserve it was to simply be born at the wrong place at the wrong time.

The 5 million Jews that died in the Holocaust. The first genocide of the Armenians. The Christians thrown to the lions. Darfur. Rwanda.

It is easier to count all of the injustices of mankind's history than to count the times that things have gone right.

And I know that many religious folks would tell me, have told me that it all works out in the afterworld. I'm not ignorant enough to say that this is absolutely impossible, but I'm not too confident about it. And even when I try to lend credence to that thought, it still doesn't seem good enough to me. Particularly when so many disagree on what constitutes one going to Heaven or Hell. (Like, what do the 72 virgins get out of the deal for their sacrifice?)

As you can see, when it comes to wrath, I'm more questions than answers. Which makes the whole thing just not worth the trouble to me.


Anonymous said...

I have to cling to the idea of eternal damnation in hell for my ex...because nothing that could befall him on earth would possibly be just.


Anonymous said...

"It is easier to count all of the injustices of mankind's history than to count the times that things have gone right. "

Wow, truer words were never spoken... and no I don't believe that it all works out in the end. Personally, I think that's a naive way of looking at the world.. the last ditch hope of the desperate.

Honestly, I mean no offense by the last comment. That's just the way I see it.

And in all honesty, from what I see reading your blog, you're not nearly as wrathful towards you ex as he deserves, but it's wonderful that you can keep yourself so level headed for the sake of your girls.

Kori said...

I get you. That's it.

Jen said...

Brilliant post, April. And I couldn't agree more.

LunaNik said...

Wrath is totally not worth the trouble to me either. But, you'll see that when I post about it next week.

Another great post April.

Melissa said...

everyone had such great comments. Wrath is really one of those things where it might make you feel good for a little while, but once we finally cool off, not worth it. There is probably only 1 time I had done something.. um.. wrathful?... well, wrathful and didn't feel to bad after it. And well, the ex deserved it :)

MarĂ­a said...

*standing ovation*

Anonymous said...

LOL at the being the slothfulness getting in the way of wrath. That is so, so me. I was *so* riled about O's daycare situation a week or so ago, now I'm just like "Eh, let's move on."

"It is easier to count all of the injustices of mankind's history than to count the times that things have gone right. It is easier to count all of the injustices of mankind's history than to count the times that things have gone right. "

I don't know about that. I think it's easier to count the injustices, because they stand out more. There are things that go right every day, there are also things that go wrong every day. The important thing is not taking advantage or disregarding the things that go "right" every single day just because that's the way we "think" things should be. Sure, they might be small, right things, but they are victories none the less.

Does that make sense?

sybil law said...

I know what you mean about the ex, but I have to believe that deep down, he knows he sucks. And he has to live with himself. That wouldn't be too pretty or fun. (And I don't know him but I am guessing he sucks.) Sometimes, you look around and see the crap people getting all the good karma going on, and it can be frustrating. But then you realize, at least with some of them, that they are really miserable on the inside. And that helps.
But with some people, the only thing that would make me feel better is a diseased rat enema, with the rat chewing its way out.
Too gross?!

GetSmartGal said...

I decided a long time ago that carrying anger and thoughts of revenge for another did more harm to me than them. So now I just rip into them until they feel like throwing themselves off of the closest bridge-mission accomplished! ;)

Serioulsy it is hard to let it all go, this is a great post! If it helps Lilly Allen is awesome to listen to when you are made at an ex. Smile is the best song it will definitely make you smile (a little graphic, but funny!!)

Anonymous said...

"And yet he does. He has a roof (in a house - with a yard. I'm just sayin'...)."

GAH! I get this one. My ex (not Little Man's Dad) was a royal a-hole but he's sitting pretty in a beautiful new home right now while we dink around a tiny little one-bedroom apartment.

I'm with you on the religious part of it as well (though I prefer to call myself Agnostic, since I HOPE for it).

Caffeine Court said...

It's all about karma. I really believe what goes around comes around.