March 17, 2012


Maybe there's a reason she's so hateful. Maybe there's a reason she's so hard. Poison in her, all through her; maybe it hurts. Maybe the hissing keeps her up at night. Maybe there's no magic. Maybe it's your own discomfort that turns you stone-still when you look into her eyes, her brutal and self conscious pain that stops you in your tracks.

Or maybe not.

Maybe she's just mean. Deep down, bone chilling, irrational, hates-your-guts-without-even-knowing-you mean. With a venom glare and an icy heart and her hair, even her hair! Restless snakes alive with silky voices, hateful songs. She could cut off all of their heads in a matter of moments (blood, then silence). But she won't. She's grown accustomed to their whispers, torturous but familiar. She's accepted the myth that they are a part of her, and she won't be parted from them now, not for anything, not ever.


I have been struggling lately with my long held belief in giving people the benefit of the doubt. It would be so much easier if everybody was one thing or the other: bad or good. But we are, annoyingly, often both. Have you ever met Medusa? ARE you Medusa? What do you think?


  1. Definitely have met Her, over the years. Probably have been Her, sometimes, to some people - although my venom tends to rise, mainly, for injustice. I don't like bullies; people who bully other people, or people who bully me. Maybe that's not Medusa?

    I hear you about giving the benefit of the doubt...but have also learned over the years that, unfortunately, there really are narcissistic sociopaths walking the earth. And they really don't care who they crush.

    Does your Medusa need a thumping? Want me (and I'm sure Catherine W. would come, too) to come out there and ride in your posse? :)

    Cathy in Missouri

    1. I think my original Medusa has always been my mother... Or even more accurately, my mother was like the product of Narcissus and Medusa combined. I wanted so badly to understand her, to Figure It Out. Why things were so bad, why she couldn't (or wouldn't) protect me. I do understand now, or my head does at least, but my heart never will and I don't expect it to. It's not right, none of it is right, and there is no excuse good enough for what I was put through. But there are also other people about who strike me as Medusas and I don't know how to respond to them. Out of understanding, or out of defense. You can't just look at someone and know what they deserve, whether it's your mercy or your justice, but you still have to muddle through as best you can. I want people to be nice to me. But I don't want people to be nice to my parents. How can you tell, if you don't know any us, which deserve your kindness?

      If I thought thumping my mother would make a difference I'd say yes. But she is too pathetic for that and I'd rather keep my promise to never lay eyes on her again. The thought of me at the head of a posse does make me smile though. I cannot think of anything funnier than that.


    2. I hear this. Understanding - also, being understood - has always been high on my list.

      I thought it might take the sting out, to understand. It doesn't, though, not enough. Maybe it adds mercy back to the justice, but trust does not magically appear (nor should it) alongside.

      Someone I respect told me that I am tangling mercy and trust. They are separate, he says. The mercy can stay, and the forgiveness (whatever there can be), too - but trust won't come that way.

      It has to be earned. Sometimes it never can be.

      "You don't owe anyone trust."

      He reminded me that, in situations of abuse, animals run away. They won't trust. But people may be torn, feel guilt when the relationship is severed. They may not feel the same freedom the animals do - to move away from the Medusa's striking distance.

      I'm glad you feel that freedom, Vera Kate.

      And I'm glad you don't trust Medusas when they've done everything to let you know they'll trash the trust you give.

      Ready to ride if you ever say the word,

      Cathy in Missouri

  2. Hmmm giving people the benefit of the doubt. Now there is a tricky one.

    As Cathy says, I've meet Her on several occasions. Sometimes you know what turned her into Medusa, other times you're left wondering if she were simply born that way.

    I know that I have been her. Wish I hadn't. My only defence is that it is usually in response to being hissed at myself.

    Before Georgina died, I had a bit of a falling out with a family member who had lost her son in a car accident. I remember saying to husband that, yes it was very sad, that her son had died but it over ten years ago now and it didn't give her a licence to be horrible, mean and rude to everyone else for the rest of her life. Now I look back and think I should have made more of an effort to understand but, on the other hand, sometimes I still think that I was right.

    Everyone has their own issues to deal with. Equally some to spring to Earth, fully formed, with snakes a-hissing for no particular reason.

    I'll be in a posse with CIM any day. Do have to say that I am slightly lacking in the thumping department but I do a fine line in kicking in the shins and running away! What do you say vera kate?

    Hope she isn't too unbearable and that you can try and stay out of her line of sight (and that of her snake companions) xo

    1. I also don't think you get to be horrible forever when something bad happens. For awhile perhaps, but not forever. Or maybe you can be horrible, you can be whatever you like really, but you can't expect everyone to put up with you. You must go off to the woods or the mountains or a little flat somewhere and be horrible by yourself, if that is your choice. Says I.

      I'm not much of a thumper myself, or even a shin kicker. Alas. Sometimes I wish I was. Staying out of sight has always been my chosen line of defense.

    2. C.W! The shin kicking!!!!!!!!!

      You *know* I love you, too. :)


  3. I agree. If you want to stay always horrible, you may, but you must retire from the rest of us. But I think that encounter with Medusa made me quite, quite aware that I did not want to become one of that particular brand. So I do, in a way, owe her thanks as well as an apology.

    I'm sorry about your mother my love. I think I understand what you mean, that your mind forgives but your heart does not. And some actions, or the lack of them, are inexcusable.

    I try to be kind, as kind as I can manage to scrape together. Sometimes that isn't particularly satisfactory but at least I tried.