Fear & Adoration Walk Into A Bar
Is all truly fair in love and war? Is humanity receptive to both, equally?
A couple years ago, I had my heart broken for the first time. Shattered into a million bits. It was my first love and one of my first dances with loss and deception, with my being young then and still rather young now. Worst of all, the person who'd broken up with me knew how hurt I was, how desperate I was to have them back — and they used it against me. They kept me thinking that I still had a chance with them, that I had hope, tremendously hindering my efforts to get over them. They would make paper-thin advances just to keep me guessing. Every interaction I would come to have with them became an effort to try and figure them out, an effort to sweep them back to me — because they made me think it it would work. This gave them extreme power over me, and they were well aware of it, I've come to realize. They played me like a damned game of chess, just so they'd never get rid of the one thing I was good for in their eyes — giving them attention. It was all a power move, and it would take me months to realize.
Around this same time, I got into a heated and long lasting argument with one of my closest friends. And he hated me during it. Issue is, being the aforementioned young and naive girl I was, I had trusted him with several pieces of sensitive information about my life. And oh how he weaponized them. Every day I was reminded that he could wreck my world by snapping his fingers. He wore me down to the point where I imagined I'd told him things I hadn't, and that the consequences of him using what he had would be far greater than they would be in actuality. Hence, he had me wrapped around his finger. I did everything he wanted in fear that any wrong move would ruin me.
The question then presents himself — which of these is a stronger force against the human psyche? Instinctually, I would say fear. When it comes to a situation like mine, I had something to lose in the fear situation, but not so much in the heartbreak one. I'd already lost it. And further, the fear situation could lose me everyone, not just one person. But thinking of it subjectively, I am tempted to say that love is the stronger force, as stupid and pretentious as that may sound. But it is simply because of how hope plays with people, amplified when it conspires with love and obsession. If you've ever fallen insanely hard and unreciprocated for someone, perhaps you can relate. Every interaction become a critical one. And hell, when it comes to past relationships, it starts to fill up your life massively, simply due to the presence they had prior to separating. You see them in everything. You are reminded of them constantly. You lose the ability to think about much else–so even if you've got other people in your corner, they'll get sick of your emotional turmoil. That love will corrupt everything.
Love is more manipulative than fear. Fear wears no mask. Fear doesn't dress up in roses and hearts and engagement rings. Fear does not hide in the black of the groom's tie. Fear is shameless, and fear is confident, unwavering in its motivations, in its malice. But love is different. Love is fluid and unrelentingly misused. Love is often pretty, but not always. Love so easily becomes concealed weaponry. It can slip into deception without the other party ever noticing, because it is so easy to lie about. Because the contrast between lover and enemy is so intense, it is strange to think that the transition between them can be one-sided, with one manipulated so blind to their manipulator. The phrase "I love you" can mean a hell of a lot more than "I could rip you to shreds."