Not in my name, not for my healing, not because you think I deserve justice and somehow you’re qualified to dole it out.
I’m talking about revenge in behalf of others. How many people offer to break the legs of the guy who assaulted me? A few. Would it accomplish anything? No.
When we see someone we care about suffering it can make us feel powerless. We want to help, make it better and just like the perp who hurt your friend, violence seems like an easy solution. It’s why people I know are afraid of opening up about their perspective on childhood abuse because while their radical story of familial healing may be much needed, there are others outside of the situation who think the crimes are unforgivable. Doesn’t matter that they are rehabilitated and healed. Doesn’t matter that the past is the past and people are capable of growth. It’s easier to lock someone into the role of bad guy forever, then to face them as a flawed human capable of growth, because in doing so we need to acknowledge that we are also flawed, we are seeing the other as equal and redeemable. Violence acted in my name and on my behalf is not violence I endorse. Adult friends eager to protect and defend me in the face of online harassment were telling the kids bullying me to kill themselves. The kids were ignorant or uninformed and while some harm had been done to me, I did not want to be a part of this cycle of violence and I had to take measures to protect those harassing me if I wanted to talk about it (which I did). Defending someone you love is an easy ego thrill but is it actually something the person you’re defending wants? Ask them. It may surprise you.
I think a lot of violence is perpetuated from this beneficiary place, but does that solve what happened? No, it just adds displaced rage and egotistical self-righteousness to the mix. I want peace and closure which people mistake for mockery and revenge, those things do not serve me, do not enact revenge on my behalf.