The cycle of harm

What happens when the "done to" become "doers" themselves
ah now there is a topic that needs some consideration
and the picture you posted led me to all night thinking
for in my many attempts to heal I've thankfully never once
considered the possibility of becoming a "doer", and yet

From the outset I settled to never become a parent myself
unsure that the damage done wouldn't do more in turn
so this taking out of insurance against possible infliction
has had consequences not considered those many years ago
an enduring self doubt heightened at the advent of Charlotte

A girl who may have proved something but hadn't the chance
passing as she did straight from the womb to immortality
where whispers of what might have been become meaningless
and anyway what if these doubts were in fact with foundation
well then eternity is a safe place from any mortal harm

But back to the question of "done to's" becoming "doers"
never an inevitability and yet never without some risk
the instinct to inflict pain in order to heal is not new
but whilst some choose to do to others, most choose themselves
perhaps this part of the cycle of harm is an unseen outcome

Because some things are hard to say for just about everyone
and no more so than when describing these innermost aspects
these hallowed halls of our minds eye, our individual creations
where thoughts can play themselves out in indescribable ways
repeatedly defeating the constructs of our own poor defense

Leading in it's own turn to the quest to defeat that within us
and here the choices are skewed in a way not often appreciated
for people more complete cannot easily imagine the fragility
or the viewpoint towards this ever diminishing horizon
resulting from defeats endured during our internal warfare

But that is not to say that "doers" must therefore be excused
or that pain suffered can in any way be used as justification
I refuse to believe that there is no knowledge here of wrong
and I fully concede that some gain a kind of twisted satisfaction
from inflicting the darkness within, continuing the cycle of harm

So what is the answer here, how do we break through the cycle
I suppose we start as ever from both within and without
looking to heal both perpetrators of harm and their victims
accepting that those who do abhorrent things to others
are the flip side of those doing such harm to themselves

Can we turn our backs because of our own limited horizons
our inability to comprehend two sides of the same coin
do we pillory because it is simpler than striving for wisdom
despite knowing that such complex matters require more of us
that any solution discarding some involved is no solution at all

What if I were asked to sit face to face with my monster man
would I understand ... would he? Would any difference result
or would the cycle of harm thus continue into perpetuity
how would this in any way stop the goings on behind closed doors
does asking people to face their own monsters diminish them?

In the here and now we can only work to provide escape routes
and truly safe havens widely known of and available to all
guarding against those who would prey on these vulnerable ones
whilst at the same time building, diminishing the vulnerability
somehow though we must also address healing doers of harm too.

... and what of the picture that prompted this train of thought?

Well if you are interested, follow this link;

Circling My Head: Soundless Saturday No. 57

... and whilst you're there have a look at the rest of Renee's incredible blog, it is full of wisdom and the kind of reality that celebrates life's richness.


  1. it's relatively easy to become a 'doer' after having been a 'done to'. humans do, after all, learn from example much easier than from knowledge gained. yet it's never an excuse should the 'doer' part be harmful to oneself or others. the circle stops when one starts to accept responsiblity for one's actions. hard to fact up to, hard to do, but definately not impossible.

  2. Dear friend how wise you are. I read over this three times and saw something and learnt something different each time.

    I have three nieces and one nephew who were abused and they are all at such different places. It is so hard because I hate what has been done to them, and reading what you have written I still hate what has been done to them, and though........ I don't know. I don't know this and what I could so stronly agree with was giving the children escape routes.

    Sorry I didn't get back sooner, been feeling super shitty.

    You are an advocate Jos. You are wise and bring what you have learned (I wish you never had to) into helping others.

    You are brave and loved and thank you for writing about the most important topic their is; children and making sure they are safe.

    Love Renee xoxo

  3. I'll to Renee's soon but this first. We are flawed. The question becomes what do we do with these flaws? Do we allow them? Or do we work to become better people? This is a very important difference between some of us doers. I hope.

    You.would make the most loving of mother. You would set back your monster behind a door. I see you coo into a blanket. You pull the blanket up just that bit further to shield even more, and to funnel directly your love. I doubt it not for a second. Not one second.

    Much love.
    and holy frig.
    You play the fiddle!
    Why are you not in Canada?

  4. What a thoughtful and engaging post.
    We and the doer need to dissect the why's of the doer in order to effect change and understand, at least try. It takes an openness, an awareness and a nurturing sense to make it happen, among other things.Tough subject for sure.

    I will have to visit your friend Renee now to see what prompted this post.
    thank you~ :)

  5. Darling friend, I want you to know that now and forever I will consider you my friend.

    love Renee xoxo