I once knew a woman - a brief acquaintance - who was so angry with her lying, cheating husband she washed all his underthings in a load with a fiberglass sheet.
I kinda wanted to ask her if she found happiness in that act of revenge. If she found peace after she'd done what she did in vindication for the sins committed against her. But she was kinda mean and I guess I didn't care enough about her to care whether or not she did find happiness. I suspect she didn't. I don't think a woman like her could find happiness generally.
But I also don't think there is happiness in revenge.
There's no joy in I told you so.
There's no wisdom to be gained from hitting below the belt out of anger or hurt...no matter how much you want to.
Years ago, I was friends with a girl - or, shall I say, I was a really good friend to her - who, over the course of about 2 years, proved herself to be so insecure and jealous of everything I had, she was willing to risk our friendship time and again by making every attempt to take as much as she could from me...boyfriends, clothing, money...prom dates.
She hurt me plenty. I'd get angry and say so. She'd say she was sorry. She'd promise not to do it again. We'd go along until the next time (writing that out now, in hindsight, makes me see that I was in an abusive relationship with a so-called friend).
Eventually, I had enough. And, when I'd had enough? I didn't seek revenge or lash out at her or try to make her hurt like she hurt me.
Instead, I went cold, looked her straight in the eye and said, "I'm done."
And then I walked away and never looked back.
She sent me cards and letters. I threw them away unopened. She tried to call. I would simply repeat, "I'm done" and hang up the phone. The last phone conversation I had with her (years later), she said to me, "Jane, I've changed! Please know I've changed."
My response was to tell her, "That's good. I'm glad for you that you've changed. I truly hope that is true. However, that does not negate the fact that, as I've told you before, I'm done. Goodbye."
I didn't need revenge. I didn't need to hurt her. I just needed to be done.
Revenge is like...trying to get the last word of hurt in. And, as we've established, I don't intentionally hurt anyone. Even though I easily could. No. Instead, when the done door closes, it is...simply...done. And that door will not open again no matter how hard someone bangs upon it. Is that revenge? Naw. I call that self-preservation.
I give lots of chances. I give lots of leeway. I give lots of overtures and opportunities. But, as warm as those who know me in real life know I am, there are a few who can attest to just how cold it can be when they are shut out on the other side of the done door.
Think I'm lying? I'll give you her name. You can find her on Facebook. You can ask her yourself. I'd ask her to tell you but, well, I'm done.
I'm never mean. But when I'm done? I'm soooo done. Whether I get to that point, is up to...well...you.