Learning is extremely important. It can also be extremely painful. It’s possible why so much of society is reluctant to do so. They’re afraid of the pain. They’re terrified of the truths it will reveal. I believe it is why science is ignored and also why science is stuck in the ways it is.

Learning also works in smaller, more dynamic ways. It opens up your mind and way of thinking for the better or the worse. Like when you idolize someone. An adult who seems to understand you when no one else does. How your mom is the greatest individual on the planet or your dad is your best friend. Until one day, you realize they’re as normal and human as you are. They are, and always have been, flawed.

I think that’s what hit me the hardest. I viewed the mask certain people put on, genuinely believing it’s who they really were. Until I had to experience them up close. Uncovering the truth of some of them was rough, but there were some who was just plain horrible. Anyone could argue that everyone goes through trauma in life (and we do), but this person reveled in the attention it got them. They would lie about abuse and create dangerous situations and environments for themselves and the minors in their life.

As a child, which a small percentage of us involved were, we thought they were the most sincere person in the world. We were wrong. And the one adult who knew better, would try to explain it was and will always be a façade. Sadly, the problematic person could do no wrong. Until I experienced them up close and personal.

I realized there was something very wrong with them. They were toxic, a master manipulator ready to play victim to anyone who would lend an ear and eventually a hand. And it breaks my heart, even to this day. This person felt like my only support in my time of need, but it turns out they were using me so they could be in the spotlight. So they could look like the hero in the eyes of others. Then they did the same to their own child and I learned how much of a monster they truly are. It’s how I came to terms with the fact that there are people in the world who can be absolutely horrible for their own selfish desires. 

Can they be helped? Of course. Will they choose to better themselves? I can only hope so. Until then, I understand that to lead a mentally healthy, happy, and productive life is to live it without them in it. May the others involve find the realization and strength to do the same.

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