I know a lady who is never wrong. She had never done a thing to another soul that wasn’t totally justified and within the constructs of moral and right. She’s a godly woman, upstanding in the church, admired in the community, loved by all. Well almost all.
This woman, knows everyone’s story, everyone’s character, and everyone’s motivations. Never minds she hasn’t spoken to most people. But she has her spies, her friends with whom she its in conclave, over the phone, or shooting the breeze on the leisurely paced outings set by retirement.
For years this woman had the perfect family, intelligent, lovely, children, a providing husband. To hear her tell it she was the envy of her village. her profession, hell even her spy support network. That is til it was all ripped away.
Now when a family of folks ups and leaves us, abandoning all they hold dear including you, one would wonder what it is they would have done wrong. They would sit and reflect on the whys of the exodus of the nearest and dearest out of their lives. But not our lady, to hear her tell it, the family was deceived, bamboozled, hoodwinked and every guilted into leaving. It’s a convincing tale if you know no better.
You see, on the flip side of the story, are a vernier family. Miserable for years, under the tyrannical rule of a flawed queen. One emboldened by self righteousness and gossip. Trained well in the keeping up of appearances til they could take it no more, and then they fled. After much secret waring, and tears shed behind closed doors, and smiles hiding screams that nobody ever wanted to see.
But the tale gets curiouser, you see the final decent into madness, was spured most cruelly by many the family themselves would have called family. And with the children and husband out of fire’s way, the Lady, good, kind and sweet, that she perceived herself to be, would turn on her sister spies, and where once the game of gossip and misleading, that had torn away the Lovely Dear was once an amusement, it was now them who peddled that were the subjects.
To the cost of their reputations, their health, their ability to look into the eyes of those they had helped to exile. Those to whom they would turn for help to slay the monster they had helped create. Yeah, this is why irony is my favorite literary device.
But you see, watching all this, I have to examine the topic of guilt. The delusion if innocence, held by our sweet Lady Tyrant, the delusions of victim-hood of the Sister Spies, the terrible raking the Family Dear do to themselves at being forced to flee, ‘loving’ mother.
How is it that they guilty seldom feel it, and the innocent are so often racked with it? Why is this funny thing so contrary in it’s haunting of souls? It makes little sense to me, even now feeling guilty at the shiver of delight at the Sister Spy’s plight.
It’s odd, the way guilt flows against the gradient it would seem, but then perhaps it is the guilt that separates them. That draws the distinction. Maybe the Lady and the Sister Spies are capable of the horrible because they have no capacity for guilt, and the Family Dear willing to forgive because they have too much.