Right now I'm facing a combination of deadlines and depression. If you'll pardon me, I have come to a distressing conclusion that I'd like to air.
The virtue I value most highly is kindness.
I like being nice. I work hard at it because I want to live in a world where people like each other and look out for one another's interests.
Yet there is a person who I am responsible for, and I have treated them in a fashion that would, in a just world, land me in prison.
I have beaten this individual. I have broken their bones. I have cut them -- the scars are quite visible. I have burned them, pierced them with needles. In moments of stress, I will bite them until they bleed, wrench at their mouth as if to tear it wider. More than once I have worked them to the point of injury. I have starved them, denied them water, limited their opportunities whenever possible.
And all the while I have insulted them and abused their person to such a degree that they have accepted my abuse as simple justice. I have made them feel unworthy to such a degree that they fear that they might simply cease to exist as a result of sheer inadequacy.
Whatever I did to their body, what I did to their soul was worse.
Now that I see what I've done, I am lost.
What recompense can I offer this person? What can I give them to make up for what I have taken?
What's worse is the thought of being forgiven. It is unimaginable and unbearable. And I will be forgiven.
The person I hurt is very kind.