I have all my life been deeply fascinated and intrigued by evil, by its sheer existence, its diabolical methods, its sinister purpose, its complex functioning, its hateful motives, and its intricate inner workings. I imagine my fascination is like a child born in the tropics wants to literally and figuratively grasp the concept of snow.
I’ve finally realized the line. The actual line! It seems simple and obvious and most of my “eureka” moments of epiphany ( like in this revelation of The True Face of Evil ) were all pointing directly at this line, but I hadn’t figured out the very specific equation that differentiates between good and evil, bad choices and bad people, selfishness and pathological narcissism, etc., etc…
It’s definitely not just that evil feels nothing when it lashes out to inflict pain on others. True evil, actual pathology, literal sociopaths and narcissistic disordered people ENJOY it!
Here it is in all it’s simplistic glory: the ultimate defining line between the two:
They. Enjoy. It.
They feed off it.
It brings them actual pleasure.
Now, I was raised by a cruel mother who’s “mothering” tactics easily represent something like Samuel Jackson’s character in Pulp Fiction as displayed in the “say what again” scene here:
The last severe, pants and panties around my ankles leaned over the bed, beating I received was at 14 years old. I was in the 8th grade and my actual crime was I said “I promise I didn’t do anything mommy” one too many times while being questioned of something I had, in fact, not done. Thus, I had no other options for a truthful response to her raging hot-breath-in-my-face interrogation. I was 14. I didn’t know what other answer to give except the truth and lying, even just the perception of lying without any actual lie, brought down furious and lengthy punishments. I couldn’t lie. So when she shrieked, IF YOU SAY ‘I DIDN’T DO ANYTHING ‘ ONNNNEEEE MOOOORRRREEE TIMMMMEEEE, I WILL BEAT YOU WITHIN AN INCH OF YOUR LIFE, I truly had no other honest answer to her question. Believe me, I desperately wanted to give her another answer and I’d gotten pretty good over my short life at learning how to guess what answer she was looking for and wouldn’t stop berating and accusing me until she got it out of me, but in this specific situation I truly had no idea what the “right” answer was. I was clueless as to what magic reply would satisfy her and make the threats and screaming stop.
Yup, I defied her demand and gave the only answer I had available to me and yup, she dragged me into her bedroom made me pull down my pants and panties, lean face down over her gigantic red velvet bedspread, and beat me up and down from my ankles up to my lower back (wherever the flesh was naked and exposed) with the buckle end of one of my step-dad’s big leather belts.
This time was different for me than the others tho. Usually I would cry and beg and plead for her to stop. My brain would frantically try to understand whatever I had done wrong so I could be sure not to do it ever again. And no matter how confusing and truly innocent I’d felt, I could find a way to blame myself and accept responsibility for something… anything… to justify her punishing me.
This time, just like I had no other truth to give her no matter how badly I wanted to give her the “right” answer; this time I knew absolutely I had not done anything wrong. I mean not even a “sassy tone” or a “salty face”. For the first time ever in 14 years of life, I truly knew I had done nothing wrong.
So I couldn’t cry. It hurt… yeah, it burned and stung like millions of wasps attacking my bare naked backside. And as she went back over the areas she’d already hit once or twice, it felt like my skin had been set on fire. I couldn’t feel the specific sting or cuts into my flesh anymore. It merely felt like she’d set a match to my ankles and I was drenched in gasoline. It just burned with wild painful fury .
Yeah, it hurt like a mother fucker. But I couldn’t cry this time. I just couldn’t. My faith in my innocence was too solid to beg and plead and cry and wail like a toddler… not even at the pain of it. I just was unable to cry. I just lied there silent and patiently waiting until she might run out of fury or energy or motivation… or whatever it was that was driving this senselessly harsh furious red hot beating.
I lost time waiting. So I can’t know for certain how long the beating went on before she paused to snatch my head back by my hair and glared rage directly into my face, and snidely screamed, OH YOU THINK YOU’RE TOO BIG TO CRY NOW, HUH? WELL, I WILL JUST KEEP GOING UNTIL YOU DO.
So I knew I was really fucked this time. Just fucked. I would have gladly given her the pleasure of me bawling my head off to make it stop, but I literally could. Not. Cry. I just couldn’t. I realized she would keep going until she killed me. And that I would lie there docile and quietly accepting it until my death. I definitely knew better than to fight back or try to run. So she dropped my face back down in the red velvet bedspread and continued beating me with a new gust of furiously determined energy.
I have no clue how much longer the beating went on. I lost time completely and removed myself from my body in order to tolerate the pain and accept my inevitable death. Until at some point, I came back to present awareness when it suddenly stopped and I heard my sister say, “Mom, stop. You’re going to kill her.”
I remember those words vividly and they snapped me back into the present moment. No one had ever dared stand up to or stop my mother!! I instantly became afraid for my sister. Even though she was the golden child, mother’s fury once at this level, could unleash on anyone. I couldn’t believe my sister was willing to risk her life to save mine and I was petrified because I was scared I couldn’t save her like she had me.
This, made me cry. I sobbed both in gratitude and fear for my sister. Tears of shame came running out of my desert-dry eyeballs worried that I wouldn’t have the same courage to stand up to mother if she chose now to direct all this fury onto my sister.
She didn’t though. And the rest of the night is a blur. I only remember trying not to bleed on the sheets when I went to bed that night. I slept face down without any covers trying to keep my wounds from staining the sheets. I prayed the bleeding would stop before I fell asleep in case I turned over in my sleep. I remember how excruciating it was trying to put pants on for school the next morning so I wore an old pair of my sister’s sweatpants.
After everything, one wouldn’t think I’d be so dense and slow to figure this definitive line out, but I’ve come to understand that those without this evil really are blind to understanding something so thoroughly foreign to their own nature. I have spent my life desperately looking for reasons why some behave this way; looking for understanding rather than pinpointing the definition. I’ve always believed if I could just understand why they did this, then I could choose not to let it affect and traumatize me or maybe I could even help them overcome their pain and love the cruelty out of them. Good souls will never understand its definitive opposite. It doesn’t have the ability to accept evil and cruelty for the mere sake of being evil and cruel. This is another way some are repeat victims. The light can’t see darkness for what it is. Once light shines to look and see the face of darkness , the darkness is gone. We can understand logically that darkness and evil do exist, but we can’t actually ever see it. Our vision and sight flow first through our soul spreading lights of compassion and kindness into our very eyeballs and sprinkle it over our logic a little as well so that good can’t truly see the face of evil or understand it for what it is. By the time it reaches our eyeballs to see or our mind to understand, it has already been touched, tainted, and altered somewhat by the light of goodness from our soul before we ever gaze upon it or attempt to sort through it for the understanding light souls want to have for everything and everyone.
My previous assessments were mistaken. These people don’t just “feel nothing” as they hurt and destroy others, it actually gives them pleasure.
I don’t understand enough yet to know exactly which aspect pleases them enough to motivate the cruelty, though. Is it your actual pain and suffering? Is it the control they feel knowing they can inflict such pain and agony onto another person? Is it the satisfaction they get when they’ve taken bits of your soul and crushed them in their hands laughing until they’re dust ? Is is the sense of accomplishment they get knowing they’ve completely snuffed out all the tiny desperate-to-survive slivers of light inside your spirit?