The young are often given a set of strict guidelines in regards to their elders, in order to set up the long established hierarchy. Passed down for generations, as surely as our biological manuals on how to breathe, the young take in these guidelines as unfailing truths. “Those are our elders,and we treat them like gods. They know what you’re going through and what you’re doing. They love you, they have your best interest at heart. They only hurt you, sometimes because they love you too much.” We, as tiny humans, take that information and internalize it. It is Fact, it is Truth. But then the day comes when that god hurts you, and you realize this god has been hurting you for eighteen years, and you’ve believed it was because they cared, but really it’s because they are broken and they are human. The understanding sinks in “Aw, he’s human. Now I understand.” and then the second realization hits you “Oh. He’s human. He is a human. And I am a human. And he is treating me as less than human because he is broken like I am broken. Yes he may love me, and he may care too much, but he is not a god because he loves me. He is not allowed to treat me this way.”
In ideal situations, this human in disguise as a god gets help. They realize they are human. They realize that they are broken and are indeed hurting other humans around them, humans they care about. They stop behaving the way they have been. They see that they are human and other people are human.
Then in other instances, the god continues to behave in angry, erratic behavior. They get angry at the person who is calling them a human and they claim “I am a god, don’t you understand? I see things more clearly than you do, tiny human, I am not the problem, you are the problem! You and your brokenness are sad and weak and I only wish there was someway I could help you, but you must stop blaming your weakness on me.” The tiny human turns to the human in disguise as a god and says “Man, Fuck You. You cannot beat me down my whole life and proceed to claim your godliness. You are a human, and maybe if you saw that you might understand that as a human, we are allowed to be broken and as a human, I am allowed to tell you to treat me like a human.”
The god becomes desperate to understand. He puts on his most endearing face, just begging for clarity. How have things become this ugly when all he did was love the human? All he wanted was the best for the human. And sure he raised his voice a few times but it was only because he cared too much. And maybe he hit the human a few times, but hadn’t he apologized? Besides, when he hit her it was nothing compared to the way he had been hit as a child.
The human flees the situation, shutting the god out of her life hoping for the day he realizes he is a human and needs to treat others like humans. She realizes that she cannot maintain a relationship with someone who refuses to see their faults in full, realizes the depth and capacity at which they have done damage and flees from their life of abuse and intimidation and seeks out a life of peace, compassion, and genuine understanding.