Here's an excerpt from my latest book.
What a problem this is for abusers and despotic agencies.
To desire is to say “I want.” It’s to say, “I” exist.
It’s therefore the first thing they try to regulate (at best) or crush (at worst). Should it come as a surprise that four of the seven deadly sins involve desire in one way or another?
Desire is the genesis of identity, of individuality, of procreation. As such, it’s not easy to eradicate or control: it’s primal. So, for optimum success, the program begins when a person is young.
The abuser requires helplessness. He will prevent his victims from fighting or fleeing; he will shackle them by any means necessary. Invisible, psychological bonds will be the toughest to rend. As an added bonus, most people fail to see these types of chains, of prison bars, even the captives themselves. If the captive does know about them, hardly anyone will believe her. What chains?
In abusive situations, the tyrant is the only one his pawns are allowed to desire. What he wants, what he needs, is all that’s permissible.
Loving him is elevated as the supreme virtue.
“If you love me, if you surrender completely to me, all will be well. You can only live through me. Unless I become your focus, you will always be incomplete, unrealized. You’ll already be dead. If you love me, you’ll be beautiful, and I will love you like no one else has loved you or can love you.”
Only the abuser exists. Being absorbed by him is to love him. His actions alter our brain.
We must love him with all our mind, all our strength, all our heart, all our being. We shall have no god other than him.
He becomes our sole sustenance, our blood, the one who gives us life—yet we grow weaker, thinner, paler with every mouthful.
This is because the abuser has, in fact, nothing substantial to give.
What he gives is an illusion. What he does is take. Steal. Plunder. Pillage. Destroy. Disfigure.
His gifts have one purpose: to compel. To annihilate whatever desire might oppose his. Shouldn’t it be clear to everyone how devoted he is? How magnanimous, how selfless? He gives “everything.”
But the object of his devotion cannot be free.
No freedom. That’s the main thing.
You can’t refuse him. You must be what he wants. You can’t have a mind of your own.
Where there are threats, there can’t be love. There can’t be an authentic relationship.
Rebellion is the spark that will set you free. When you rebel, you become what the enforcer fears more than anything: an outsider, an unbeliever. He isn’t the measure of all things to you.
You begin to know who you are, you acknowledge that you’re separate from others. You’re not meant to fulfill someone else’s every desire, because you have desires. Your desires.
Powerful desires. Lust for life, your life.
You are a person with valid desires. Personal desires.
I freed myself when I thought, what I want isn’t what this other wants, the other who tells me I must only want what he wants, that I only belong to him, my abuser with a thousand faces.
I thought, I can decide for myself. No, my wants aren’t inherently dangerous or arising from self-deception. I am my light.
I am responsible for myself.
Does my desire enslave someone else to me? No. All I want is to rejoice in myself.
Self-knowledge, personhood, give you the option of saying “yes” to something and “no” to another.
When I can’t say “no,” there is no love. There is no desire. There is no me, no you and me. A dark hole is all there is.
Abusers are dark holes.
Abusers need to take over everything. To be everything to everyone. Anything less hurts them.
So I’ve learned to desire. My luminous, self-centered desires melted the bonds away.
I have dared to desire what I’ve been told is bad for me. No terror, no punishment could stop me from finally standing my ground.
I have dared to desire being me. To enjoy it. To take pleasure in this desire, in myself.
To become larger, more vibrant, more present, more resplendent.
I would no longer become less and less, that the abuser might become greater and greater. I would no longer be a mere branch. I would no longer be a decorative void, a doll with a pull cord.
I would no longer be manipulated, intimidated, cowed. I would no longer let myself be confused.
Tears, threats, promises: I became deaf to these. I told the tyrant, “I won’t hear you anymore.”
Because as long as I heard him, I had no voice.
I will hear those who let me have my own desires, who won’t accuse me of being heartless simply because I don’t always want what they want, because I don’t conform myself to their laws. Because I won’t let them rule me. Because I won’t let them abuse me.
I will hear those who also hear me. I will hear those who respect my voice, who acknowledge my existence, who accept that I’m a person in my own right.
I desire myself. I love myself passionately, yet calmly. I am my best desire.
I give my life meaning. My desires give my life meaning.
I am filled with that much sweet lust.
I do more than that: I revel in it, in this fierce, burning desire. My goals are my first priority.
My self-love isn’t defined by anyone or anything other than me. I don’t need to be instructed on what is “healthy” or “acceptable” self-love. When self-love is permitted, extremely modest, minute amounts are tolerated. It’s better to doubt yourself, deny yourself, despise yourself than risk being an egoist, the authorities grimly warn. I’ll take that risk. Whoever wishes to see my self-love as selfishness can do so. I don’t care.
I am an individual, and that’s why I love myself, why I love those I love. I am a whole person.
I’m not empty like the abuser who demands love, who won’t take anything less than everything you have, every last drop of your precious self.
I am mine, whole unto myself.
Rascal: A Manifesto
#PTSD #selfcare #satanism #individualism #atheism #mavericks #empowerment #lustforlife